disclaimer: Zero no Tsukaima and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are not mine, duh.
foreword: Let it be known that the denizens of the Spacebattles Creative Writing forums as well as their stories were the ones responsible for inspiring me to write this. "Unfamiliar" and "The Hill of Swords" are perhaps the biggest stories to exert such influence.
But for now... Gurren Lagann, spin on!
What the hell do you think this crossover is?
From Zero to Infinity
First Spiral: Welcome to Halkeginia
Not too long ago, in a time, place, and dimension so very much like ours in some ways - yet remarkably different in others...
...a knight began to fade from existence.
He faded away, because his purpose had been fulfilled.
This universe would have a brand new start.
It was done.
He had taken part in the ultimate battle, and finally saw through the cracks of the future he had fought for as a soldier... long, long ago. Defeat had changed him, robbed him of his idealism, tempered him completely, transformed him from a valiant knight into a merciless dictator, consigning the rest of his kin to a dark and dreary existence... all for the right for their kind to continue existing.
He was given the devil's choice of oppression or annihilation... he chose the former.
A long, long time had passed for him to mull over the decision he made as well as build his empire from the ground up, the use of his power spinning only to sustain his reign.
And then... there was the boy.
He could almost... almost see himself in the child.
Maybe that was why during their fight, he cut loose with everything he had... and then some.
He would not admit it to anyone, but the smile on his face was not of malice, but of joy.
It had been so long since he had run into someone who could do this.
And as he managed to cough his last words out despite having a hole blasted cleanly through him, he felt a few snatches of hope.
Maybe the boy would succeed... where he had failed.
That was the day that he died yet again, a despot falling and ushering in an era of freedom for his kind.
Died... and was brought back.
To prepare for the day they came.
And come they did.
If he took time to reflect upon it, the irony of ironies was there - the messenger they had chosen? Their messenger was the girl he had cast off.
His daughter, the one he had condemned to death for knowing too much.
"The wishes of the defeated..."
Asking too much.
"...the hopes of those who follow..."
Pushing the limits.
"...by spinning them into a spiral, they will carve a path to tomorrow!"
In these last moments, he saw another irony of fate - his daughter was so very much like the young man his vanquisher called Big Brother.
"That is Tengen Toppa."
Now, he found it another proof of destiny at work because his daughter was found.
"That is Gurren Lagann!"
Found by the boy who vanquished him back then.
"My drill is a drill..."
Long and short of it, he ended up being a part of another one of their group's quests, but this time, he was part of them... literally.
"...that spans the heavens!"
Except during the battle a few moments ago.
Now, he had taken the ultimate sacrifice, put paid on all his accounts.
Now, he could just... disappear.
"...I beg of you..."
Who could be calling?
"My servant, who lives somewhere in the universe!"
How odd, he thought as he glanced around all the lights in the sky (stars), the green flames slowly dying down as he tried to sense where that voice came from.
"Oh sacred, beautiful and strong familiar spirit!"
So that's where it was... it seemed the scale of the destined conflict had definitely unraveled space and time. He could feel the intensity of those words, the emotion behind them, emotions he had only recently awakened just in time for him to give to his successor his final gift...
"I desire and plead from my heart!"
He felt himself oddly compelled by the green light shining in the midst of his rapidly-dissipating person... and right then and there, he made his decision.
"Answer to my guidance!"
With the last of his remaining energy spinning around him, he grinned as he let himself get pulled into the strange green light, his heart oddly filled with a youthful vigor as he ventured into what his contemporaries called a 'warrior's heaven'...
The first thing he saw were the gobsmacked faces of children... and strange animals not unlike what he was used to so many years ago.
Standing foremost among them with a look that was best described as a cross between "three seconds from being mangled by a flying car in a head-on collision" and "what in the world did you just feed me" was... a little girl.
He had come into being seated, and as he drew himself up to stand and look at these children, everyone had on a look of equal parts confusion and derision.
How odd, he thought while sporting the most neutral of visages, looking around until he turned his gaze toward the little girl in the forefront.
Strangely, she seemed to be gesturing towards him, jumping up and down and waving a small stick in one hand that reminded him of music. Even stranger, he could sense her thoughts, almost as if she wanted him to stand still.
He shrugged and did so, thinking that one, it wasn't that hard to read her body language, let alone her thoughts; and two, it wouldn't be that bad to suffer this little girl one small request.
Little did he know that it would be the trigger for the craziest rollercoaster ride for both him and the girl who was now incanting something while waving that strange stick of hers around.
That was when she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Power began to flare around him as red lines blazed to life under his skin, gathering themselves in a spiral before converging on the back of his left hand in a fine sequence of lines.
He had long since learned to ignore pain, but the procedure did require him to exert enough willpower to not cry out or fall unconscious. So great was the effort he required that he sank to his knees, barely noticing the oldest one in the group edge towards him and look upon the lines on his left hand, writing them down on some sort of papers before they spun out of sight.
More than the pain, his point of view seemed... strange. As if he was somehow... smaller.
It was done, and he finally stood back up, asking the first question.
"What is happening here?"
"Unbelievable. The Zero not only summoned a commoner, she summons a squirt as well!"
"You heard her boasting, right? Like she would summon something as mighty as a dragon, a manticore or something!"
Her shoulders started to shake in indignation until the young man she had just summoned - a commoner, if it could be believed! - opened his mouth and asked a question.
"What is happening here?"
"You have just been summoned here," the old man said (old being a relative term, as he was the oldest one among the gathered throng, not that the Spiral Knight would tell them how old he really was), "by miss Valliere over there."
Everyone seemed to chortle at the fact, but Louise's new familiar seemed to just shrug it off.
"Need I remind you that everyone except Miss Valliere took two or more tries for the Contract Familiar spell?" the man asked - yes, it was the tone of voice he could understand, as he had spent some time inculcating what he knew about the art of war to his first four children - children who would end up becoming the strongest of his generals.
"That still hasn't answered my question, mister..."
"Colbert. Jean Colbert. And you should look to miss Valliere, as she does not want to be... left out of the loop, as it were."
The teacher was intrigued by the grin the newly-appointed familiar sported before turning to his master. His age and his appearance seemed to be dissonant... almost as if he was talking to a colleague or contemporary.
The fact that all said familiar had on was a pair of white pants didn't even put a dent on his bearing. As he got himself used to his new master's rather long name, Professor Colbert couldn't help but feel slightly worried.
This familiar is more than what he appears to be.
"...a commoner?" he asked, smiling to himself as if enjoying a private joke. "Me?"
"Well, of course!" Louise said. "Commoners can't use magic, nobles do."
"Magic?" he asked, a look of intrigue on his face. "Do you mean manipulation of mystical energies for various functions and applications?"
"Uh... yeah," the pink-haired girl - who apparently summoned him here and bound him as her Master - answered, oddly disoriented at how quickly her familiar so easily turned the conversation around.
"Excuse me, as much as I'd like to let the two of you finish your introductions, the class day is done, as today's Familiar Summoning Ceremony has been a resounding success."
"Yeah, if you don't count Louise the Zero taking the easy way out and hiring some commoner to masquerade as her familiar," a student at the back said, causing the whole class to snicker.
Said girl was shaking in extreme vexation and was about to yell her frustrations on someone, anyone... until a hand went to her shoulder.
"Easy," her familiar whispered. "You're playing right to their hands if you react. Don't give them the privilege."
He... dares... to lay his plebian hand on me? Louise asked herself - reaching the tipping point of her patience at this slight - but as she spared her new familiar a glance, he seemed to radiate a feeling of calm... the very same calm his hand on her shoulder seemed to impart to her. After a moment of thought, she agreed - yes, this was no way for a noble like her to act - and Louise Francoise le Blanc de la Valliere followed her familiar's advice.
"I can tell you what you need to know later, familiar," she declared coldly (not towards her familiar, but for the people who kept calling her the hated moniker). "For now, follow me."
She spun around, flaring her cape dramatically before stalking towards the castle at a carefully measured pace, her familiar hovering behind her.
"So what you're saying is that just like the strange... beings I've seen, you summoned me through time, space, and possibly different dimensions to become your familiar?" the young man said.
Night had fallen in what Louise told her familiar was the Tristain Academy of Magic in Tristain, Halkeginia - and both master and familiar were taking a break from today's twists and turns with the girl their class called "the Zero" giving a lengthy lecture over how he got here and what he should do as her new familiar.
"That's right. By the way," Louise asked, "you're obviously not only a familiar unlike anyone has summoned, you're also a person. And I never even had the chance to ask for your name."
He gave her one of his trademark grins, the one he typically used in battle. "My name? You can call me Lordgenome."
"And I'm sorry for my classmates back there. I've..."
"...save it," Lordgenome replied, his grin softening to an understanding smile. "Even I can tell you've been through a lot."
"By the way," Louise added, her odd expression returning, "your hair is colored rather strangely..."
Hair? he thought as he spun around to the mirror, examining his reflection - no wonder everything looked bigger! Who or whatever brought him here had shrunk him, no - rolled him back to his teenage days, mint-green hair, delicate features, wiry build and all.
"...and you're only wearing a pair of pants."
He looked at the comfortable pair of white trousers that was his apparel for the longest time, back at her, and then they had to share a brief laugh.
"I guess I am... where would I get something more appropriate to wear, then?"
"You can try the servant's quarters, as this IS a girl's room..." she answered, smiling.
Her familiar tilted his head to the side.
"...or we can go and ask one of the help for some clothes that could fit you."
He nodded, and went towards the door, opening it for her.
"Why, thank you, Lordgenome," she said, smiling her first genuine smile of the day as they embarked on tonight's quest for apparel.
After what both master and familiar deemed a successful supply run - what with being personally attended to by a maid who introduced herself as Siesta - Louise had finally called it a day, dropping off to sleep while wondering why her abridged explanation of magic didn't seem to elicit a reaction from her new familiar.
Maybe he comes from Gallia, Romalia, or Albion... he never did specify where he came from. Only "from far away", and when I pressed him, he changed the subject.
Maybe he comes from a world where magic also exists...
Meanwhile, her Familiar was outside the gardens and analyzing both the events of the day and just how different he was now that he was bound as the little (ha, as if he got his growth spurt early) Louise's familiar.
He ran an apprehensive hand through his hair, saddened that when using his power, his head would light up on fire, incinerating it.
And he loved the color of his hair, too - it was one of the things he had given up when he chose to become the oppressor of his kind, shaving his head to symbolize accepting his proverbial "deal with the devil".
It's not as if he would offer something like a marriage to bring back an aged relative - that would just be stupid.
Anyway, he was just outside the dormitory grounds, closing his eyes as he let the night air wash over him...
...and then he uttered his word of power.
The familiar caress of Spiral Energy began roaring through his body, and he had to suppress a smile. There was nothing that beat the feeling of something that you were so used to that it was almost a part of you, and the Spiral Knight knew it.
He carefully sensed the aura of red beginning to spin around him, and thus he began to up the rotation, getting ready to attempt to summon his Core Drill, and then...
He opened his eyes, waiting for the familiar feeling of his head burning from the excess Spiral Energy generated... but none came.
Instead, his Spiral Power seemed to converge on his left hand, where the odd lines etched blazed to life once more, surrounded by curves forming a counterclockwise spiral.
He raised the hand of his that was burning red, and focused carefully - he could feel the Core Drill coming into being slowly, surely...
...and then he stopped as an errant gust of wind blew at him. It was not enough to take him off his feet, but it did disrupt his concentration, as he was pretty sure no one should be up and about at this time of night in a school...
Oh, yes. Different place. Different culture, too, he thought as he looked up to see one of Louise's classmates - the pale-haired girl with the stick - on board a majestic winged beast - the monster the lore back in his world named a dragon.
The bluette gave him a knowing nod, which he reciprocated, before taking off further into the sky, commanding her familiar to maneuver this way and that in the air.
This... nearly all of this is new to me... Lordgenome thought. I should gather more information before deciding whether to remain as this Louise's familiar.
...I should get some rest, too, he added, noticing that the glow on his left hand had already subsided. Getting my Spiral Energy back to what it was is going to take quite some time...
I wonder what my new master is like?
Chapter 1 - End
a/n: I find the phrase "I am the drill that spans the heavens" a lot more catchy, so there.
And no, Lordgenome doesn't have petals for eyes, he still has the spiral-eye motif.