A/N: See, this is why I don't talk to people much in real life. The ideas my forum buddies give me are bad enough.
Swords and Wizardry
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapter 1: Doesn't Crap Like This Usually Happen To Shiro?
Disclaimer: The Dresden Files belongs to Jim Butcher, not me. Kuro and the Nasuverse in general belongs to Type moon, and probably Hiroyama Hiroshi. I am making no money off this, nor do I intend to.
There are many worlds. It is quite possible that they were all created by the same omnipotent being, and thus share the same destiny, but so far there's no way to know for sure. They certainly don't share the same sky. Heck no.
Let us focus on one of these worlds in particular, and onto one little girl specifically. She is young, still in single digits, although her next birthday should take care of that. There are many forms of her in other places, places where she is not as important, who exists basically as a cameo token loli character as her older brother steals the story, and does very exciting and adult things with beautiful, dangerous women, particularly one who likes swords, while some overarching story with lots of fighting happens. Here however, she has center stage, wielding a magic wand that has chosen her as her master. She spent the first story arch fighting another girl who also has a magic wand, in competition with her to regain several magic items of immense power, but they're beyond that now, having become the best of friends and are now working together with lots of loli yuri overtones. This is the story of Nanoha and Fate as–
Huh? Not them? Are you sure? Well, pardon me if they're so similar. I mean, how many token lolis become magical girls and main characters in an alternate universe-reboot of their series?
Huh? That many? Wait, Sasami got TWO? Well, excuse me for living…
Um, let's try this again…
Okay, picking where the spiel left off…
This is the story of Illya and Miyu. Except it isn't. Technically, it's Illya's story, and only if you want to get genetic. After all, this is partially a Nasu-verse crossover, so things will of course get really insane.
Um, we'll go on with the actual story before everyone leaves, shall we? Right…
Tohsaka Rin was a Magus. Currently, she worked as a maid for another Magus, having run out of money, since using a style that relied on using gemstones as single-use consumables is a very expensive way to go about doing magecraft. However, as a magus, throwing exploding gems at things was supposed to be only a small part of what they did, and not even Luvia was going to make Rin work 24/7, as much as she wanted to. Currently, Rin was at home, frowning down at an old sheet of vellum. Or was it parchment? It could actually be a form of rag-pulp paper, she wouldn't have known. On it, the plans for an extremely complicated gemstone-based Mystic Code was inscribed, given to one of her ancestors by the immortal who had given them their jewel-based style, as a sort of very long-term homework assignment. Several generations of Tohsaka had labored to decipher it and build the object described therein. Rin intend to be the one to do so. Of course, so had every member of her family who'd looked at these plans…
She, however, had an edge over her ancestors. Unlike them, she had access to other examples of the work of the immortal who had made these plans, which also used the same principles. With another perspective to the process to enlighten her…
Rin smiled. It was not a pleasant smile.
Illya sighed. "Rin, do I really need to be here?" she said.
"Well, duh," Rin said, looking at the huge chunk of quartz she was working on, crudely fashioned into a knife. It had to be crude. The process relied on the crystalline matrices of the gems themselves, after all. Besides, it had an aesthetically pleasing quality to it, a sort of primal beauty. "I need you to get Ruby to work."
Kuro, standing bored off to the side, gave the blade a jaundiced look. "That thing looks like utter crap," she said.
"NO ONE ASKED YOU!" Rin cried venomously. One could swear she actually had a forked tongue for a moment.
Kuro remained unimpressed. "What's that thing supposed to be, anyway? Trying to make your own Kaleidostick?"
Magical Ruby laughed out loud at this, vibrating in Illya's hands.
Rin glared. "It's a prototype for a Mystic Code, not that you'd know what that was," the tsundere sniffed.
"Object used by Magi to channel their prana, either assisting them in their spellcasting or to do certain specific things," Kuro recited by rote. They all stared at her, even Ruby. "What? We were created to be a ritual focus, and filled with all the knowledge a magus would ever need. This what you're trying to build?" Kuro looked over her shoulder at the plans unfurled on Rin's desk.
"Yes," Rin said, putting the finishing touches on her creation. Well, no time like the present. Even if it failed, such a low-grade gem shouldn't cause much damage, and at least she'd have proof of concept. "It is an extremely old and powerful design given to my family. We've been trying to create it for centuries." She began pouring power into the thing, trying to get it to start. "I couldn't possibly explain the principles behind it to you in a way you'd understand." The quartz began to glow, and the Rin felt elated as she saw the first traces of shifting color that meant the Kaleidoscope effect was taking place. Illya eyed the thing suspiciously, backing away. Kuro gave it a cursory look.
As the power and colors began to build up, Rin let out a victorious laugh that would have gotten her a punch in the face from any self-respecting Master of Archer. Fortunately, none were around. "HAH! YES! I've done! Suck on that, Edelfelt! I'd like to see anyone build something like THAT in this and age!"
A small, mischievous smile played on Kuro's lips, and she held out a hand next to Rin's "Trace, on," she said, a trifle smugly.
In a flash and a burst of prana, a long, crude-looking sword, its entire blade made of sparkling, rainbow-streaked clear crystal appeared in her hand next to Rin's.
Rin's jaw dropped. And that's when her prototype chose to fail.
Rin had been doing a proof of concept test, trying to use Second Magic to try and open minute rifts in the fabric of reality to siphon off small amounts of power from the infinity other possible realities. However, she'd missed one critical detail: when you opened those things, you also had to be ready close them. She hadn't been.
The prototype failed, shattering in Rin's hands and leaving a rainbow-hue tear in the air. As Rin instinctively drew back her now bleeding hand and stepped away, Kuro, surprised at the sudden failure, jerked her own hand, holding the Traced blade. It past through the rift.
The Gatekeeper was the first line of defense against the beings known as Outsiders. He maintains the alarms that warn of breaches in the Outer Gates, and watches for signs of portents of wrongness that might indicate a breach. If there was so much as hint that one of the alarms might even think of going off, he was probably already there dealing with it. and he knew things. Things even wizards shouldn't know. It was rumored that, in his spare time, he watched the time stream and made sure no one did any jigerry-pokery of the Back to the Future variety.
He was, in short, a guard. And like all guards the worlds over, no matter how big the charge, how dangerous the situation, or how bad things were going to get, when something goes wrong, they all, even if it was just at the most basic level, for the briefest time, have one thought.
As EVERY single alarm spell went off, Rashid the Gatekeeper thought to himself, Am I going to get fired for this?
Damn, it was cold.
That was Kuro's first coherent thought as she regained consciousness. She could feel herself lying on cold, rough concrete, the wind blowing needles into her skin. With a start, she jerked up, shivering. Her extremely short skirt and thing-high socks did absolutely nothing to insulate her, and she might as well not be wearing her shirt.
Shaking, she got to her feet, wincing with pain that had no physical basis. Her magic circuits felt… ill. The best she could describe it was that it was like someone had given them diarrhea. She could feel her system recoiling, trying to get back to what was normal for her.
Well. First things first. Find out what the heck just happened.
As she stood up, however, the feeling of wrongness to the whole situation, lurking below the surface ever since she'd regain consciousness, poked her worries. Exactly just what had happened? She didn't see Rin or Illya around ,and judging from the neighborhood, it probably wasn't a good idea to try and call out to them. The place didn't seem like the kind of place children should randomly wander into.
She tried to recall the chain of events. They'd been at Rin's house, and her prototype had exploded…
Kuro suddenly stopped dead, looking around warily. Illya, and therefore she, had watched enough magical girl anime, among other things, to know what that meant.
"Aw, crap," she muttered. "Where the hell am I now?"
As she walked off to either find a phone, a police station, or failing that at least some local newspapers, she didn't notice the little sparkles of rainbow-colored magic left behind where she'd been lying…
Kuro had decided the first order of business was to get to somewhere that had resources she could use. That meant finding people, so she'd walked along following her ears and keeping an eye out for human traffic, arms wrapped around her shoulders in an ineffectual effort to retain body heat. When she did reach people, however, she almost had second thoughts. This place was clearly not a good place for an insufficiently dressed young girl with no chaperone or companions to be.
She found that out when someone tried to attack her about ten minutes in.
After leaving the unconscious body with one arm broken stuffed into a trash bin sans his coat, which was reasonably clean, Kuro continued on…
Finding a police station hadn't been all that hard. Finding out she was in the United States had been harder. Thank goodness someone had thought to include the English language among the things she'd been programmed with. Resisting the urge to grab the nearest person and drain them of prana was slightly harder, however. It wasn't like she needed it. She drained Illya just before they'd gone to Rins, so she was still pretty much topped up, but she felt an urge to indulge in comfort food, as it were.
She'd been asked all sorts of question she hadn't been able to answer adequately. After all, what could she say? "Sorry, I was sent here by a magic accident, and I'm not sure this is even my world"? It was never that easy. It should be, but it never was.
She'd sat around while police officers made calls. Someone got her a candy bar, and she did her best to play the innocent, confused little girl while she got her bearings. It was becoming increasingly certain they wouldn't be of any help.
Out of boredom, she picked up an phone book and started leafing through it. It was always interesting to see what sort of ads the sex industry had posted. Entertainment and massage venues were good bets as to where they'd try to hide, and she even found one among the gyms. Priority Health, it called itself. The ad was too unhelpful to be an actual, legal gym.
Damn, she was going out of her mind.
As she leafed idly through the book, now looking on with boredom at ads for such things as 'Mort Lindquist, Spirit Medium' and such, a small, discreet entry caught her eye. She blinked, and stared at it.
'Harry Dresden, Wizard'.
She stared at it some more. It was the only ad in it's section, which was also clearly labeled 'Wizard'. Out of morbid curiosity, she checked the 'V's, but saw no entry for 'Vampires'.
She stared at it still more, then checked under the 'M's. There were plenty of magicians, which she dismissed, but nothing under 'Mages', 'Magus' or 'Magi'.
She turned back to 'Wizards' and looked at it again.
Well. What the heck.
Copying down the address, since she wasn't so crass as to tear it off the page, she sweetly asked the officer who was trying to sort her out where the little girls' room was.
A few seconds later, she was out the door, and trying to find a map or something…
It was late afternoon when she finally reached the right building, having used up precious prana to run up buildings and over rooftops to get there. She'd barely managed to sneak past the guard up front, and was dismayed to find the elevator was out of order. Stairs it was, then.
Her legs were killing her by the time she reached the right floor, and the climb up had given doubts plenty of time to seed themselves into her mind. What were the actual chances that this guy was legit? After all, what kind of person advertises being a wizard in the phone book? Seriously, the phone book?
And then the door was in front of her. She could hear someone on the other side, someone who sounded pretty bored from the sound of it. according to the door, office hours were about to end.
Taking a deep breath, Kuro knocked.
"It's open," a masculine voice that sounded kinda like James Marsden said.
Kuro opened the door…
Of all the offices of all the private investigator wizards in all the world, she had to walk into mine…
Though considering the only other one in the world was his ex-girlfriend in Los Angeles, the statistical probability was still unfortunately high.
Harry had just been about to go home when someone had knocked on his door. He'd thought it was a prank, considering he couldn't see anyone on the other side, but had called out to them anyway. The little girl coming in was kinda unexpected.
"Mr. Dresden?" she said hesitantly, clutching a small piece of paper. "I was hoping you could help me…"
Anyone who knew him knew that, at the very moment, he'd been doomed.
- To be continued...
A/N:… but you all know me. It'll be done on a geological time-scale.
Happens before Changes, and immediately after the events of chapter 12 of Fate/Kaleid LinerPrisma Illya 2wei!
I'm assuming that Illya was filled with the same memories from the deep past as she was in the Heaven's Feel route, and thus she, and by extension, Kuro, have seen Zelretch's Jewel Sword, well enough to Trace it.
The thing about the phone book? All true. If you're ever in a foreign country, especially an Asian one, try it.
If they ever take James Marsden out of reading the Dresden Files Audio books, I might have to do something drastic…
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.