Solenoid Flux
An Evangelion / Fate Zero Crossover
Snippet #1: Summoning


Fuyuki City, 1997

Zouken blinked slowly. This was the 'strongest' Servant? It seemed that a full year of preparation hadn't made the boy any less of a disappointment. He allowed himself an ironic chuckle; he'd known better than to place faith in a broken instrument.

"Um ... I'm, uh, Servant Berserker," said the child at the center of the formalcraft circle. "Are you my Master?"

Kariya couldn't keep himself from gaping dumbly. To save Sakura, he needed a strong Servant - not some weak, effeminate-looking boy. And what sort of Heroic Spirit manifested in a boy's student uniform? If the kid was a hero from the modern era, Kariya hadn't heard of any who matched his description.

"Your identity intrigues, Servant," said Zouken before Kariya could make a response. "Pray tell, who might you be?"

"Uh ... my legend hasn't really come into existence yet in this era," replied the Servant hesitantly. "Even if I told you who I was, you probably wouldn't recognize my name. You could, ah, refer to me as the Third Child for now?"

The gnarled old man barked out a laugh.

"Precious, precious," he said, amused despite himself. "And why is it that Mad Enhancement isn't triggered by default?"

The Servant scratched the back of his head as if embarassed.

"I should probably apologize about that," he said.

"Apologize?" asked Kariya.

"Um ... based on the information that the Holy Grail's given me, my Mad Enhancement boosts all attributes except Luck to A-Rank or higher."

"So, what exactly is the problem?"

"It's conditional," said the Servant, expression downcast. "You won't be able to activate it with a Command Seal, because it will only manifest if I'm in mortal peril. The rest of the time, most of my attributes are E-Rank or lower. Really, I'm not much stronger than a normal human."

Kariya pulled his lips into a line. It was sounding less and less as if he had a chance at winning the war - but he'd made a promise to Sakura. There was no backing out. Not after a whole year. Tokiomi had to pay.

"I formalize the contract," he said, gritting his teeth. "I recognize you as my Servant, and I shall be your Master in this War."

The Servant nodded, and the formalcraft circle flared again before dying down. Zouken, who had looked on during the exchange with an amused smile, released a cackle.

"Well done, Kariya," he said. "I don't believe that you'll win this War, but I anticipate that your efforts shall be most amusing."

Kariya's fingernails dug into the flesh of his palm.


"I shouldn't pry," said Berserker, "but, ah, do you always get on so badly with your father?"

Kariya sat himself down on a dew-covered wooden bench, taking in the sight of the Mion River at night.

"That old bloodsucker hasn't been my father for a long time," he said after awhile. "If he didn't have a use for me, he'd cast me aside without a second thought."

An odd expression crossed Berserker's face, but Kariya didn't read much into it. Instead, he regarded the boy with his good eye, pushing himself to activate his senses.

Matou Kariya wasn't a trained user of magecraft, but his efforts toward becoming a competent Master of the War had won him one hard-earned trait - an astute sensitivity to supernatural energies. He'd been dimly aware of something being 'off' about his servant in the basement of the family estate, but his experiment just now proved it: Berserker did not have a Servant's presence. He felt like a completely normal human.

Kariya had heard that the Assassins possessed a class ability permitting concealment of presence, but this was a different animal. Berserker still gave off a presence, but it wasn't anywhere near as strong as Zouken's simulation of a Heroic Spirit's aura. Could this be exploited somehow?

"Hey," he said. "Is it really alright if you don't go astral? Somebody might detect you."

Berserker glanced about, seeming slightly worried.

"Um ... I don't think there's anyone here?" he said. "I can dematerialize if it makes you more comfortable, but I sort of figured that if they saw me, they would mistake me for a normal human. An enemy Master probably wouldn't be able to get an accurate read on me, I think."

It seemed that Berserker was somewhat aware of his attributes. Kariya wouldn't be able to rely on him for monstrous brute strength as he'd intended before the summoning, but there had to be some way to use this to his advantage. Maybe an ambush?

"What are your combat capabilities?" asked Kariya. "We need to start planning out our tactics."

"I don't want to disappoint you, so I'll tell you right off the bat," said Berserker. "Without Mad Enhancement, my offensive abilities are limited to things you might learn in a self-defense class. I can handle a gun if we manage to procure one, but I'm not really that good with them."

It wasn't as off-putting to hear as Kariya had imagined; after the chain of disappointments that had already occurred this evening, he'd expected something like this.

"What about Noble Phantasms, then? Do you have anything we can use?"

"No offense, but you can't supply enough prana to support my primary Noble Phantasm."

Primary Noble Phantasm? The old man had assured him that he was capable of supplying sufficient prana to satisfy the demands of most Servants in short term. What was this Noble Phantasm that he couldn't support it?

"It's nominally an Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm the size of a building," continued Berserker, as if reading his mind. "Due to certain circumstances, I can forcibly ignore energy requirements to manifest it, but I'd rather not."

"To keep it as a trump?" asked Kariya.

"No," replied the Servant. "I'd rather not use it at all. The 'Anti-Fortress' description is only nominal. If it's manifested at full power, it would be considered an Anti-World weapon."

"Is that the only weapon that you have?"

"My secondary Noble Phantasm is a spear that can destroy bounded fields, but if it isn't used in conjunction with my first, its combat effectiveness is about equivalent to a normal spear."

Kariya sighed. The second had its uses, but neither sounded very reliable - and Anti-Fortress was already a bit on the side of overkill. Too much risk of collateral damage. However, something Berserker said caught his attention.

"You talked about your limitations in offensive abilities. What about defensive ones?"

"I'm glad you asked," the boy replied with a small, proud smile.

Holding his right hand in the air, Berserker manifested a shimmering plane of orange light - arranged, as far as Kariya could tell, in a regular hexagonal pattern. He could sense prana within the glow, but it was almost nonexistent; an enemy would probably have to be within very close range to detect it. Berserker's own odic pressure was obscured.

"A ... bounded field?" he asked.

Was Berserker qualified as a Caster? Personal bounded fields were something that very few magecraft users were capable of. The old man's friend, Araya Zouken, was said to be one of the few modern mages to have mastered such a technique.

"Similar, but not quite," replied Berserker, dismissing the field. "This is more of an ability than a Noble Phantasm, but it isn't exactly magecraft. I can do this all day without much drain, and it'd take a pretty high rank attack to breach it."

"Is there anything else you can do with it?"

As Berserker uttered the answer, a smile began to form on Kariya's face - a humorless grin with no trace of mercy.


The weakest Servant of the 4th War ...

BERSERKER / the Third Child
master: Matou Kariya
gender: Male
attribute: Chaotic Neutral
strength: E- (A)
endurance: E- (A)
agility: E- (A)
mana: C (A)
luck: D
A nameless boy-hero of the End of Days, who defended mankind from the enemy known as the Aristoteles. Though many considered him a savior within his own lifetime, he was unable to obtain any true acknowledgement from those closest to him. In the end, his fate was steeped in bloodshed and sorrow.

Skills:

Mad Enhancement - Rank A: Activation conditional to mortal peril. Deactivates upon successful conclusion of conflict, followed by a recovery period of a length dependent on the Master's prana supply. During activation, Monstrous Strength, Mental Pollution, and Battle Continuation equivalent to Rank A are exhibited. A more minimal manifestation of this skill - known as Alaya Nemesis - may be consciously accessed, but the Servant is reluctant to activate it except under extreme circumstances.
Territory Creation - Rank A (A++): Construction of a mobile spatial quarantine that rejects foreign phenomenon up to a low divine Rank. During Mad Enhancement, the ability gains offensive projectile properties. Shares some characteristics with Reality Marble construction.
Divinity - Rank C: Attribute of unspecified origin, which notably does not conflict with Monstrous Strength effects during Mad Enhancement. Limited resistance against divine phenomenon.
Information Erasure - Rank C (-): As the exact identity of the Servant was suppressed within his lifetime, he was effectively an Unknown Hero despite his legend. Perhaps (?) in consequence, it is difficult to perceive him as a Heroic Spirit even with knowledge of his status as a Servant. The effect extends somewhat to prevent the Master's Perspective ability from directly reading the attributes of the Servant's Noble Phantasms, but it is cancelled during Mad Enhancement.
Self-Modification- Rank - (A): Enabled only during Mad Enhancement. The Servant obtains the ability to repair injuries by incorporating into his own flesh the body parts of opponents.

Noble Phantasms:

The Beast / O-Ni System
rank: B (EX)
type: Support (Anti-Fortress / Anti-World)
A monstrous cyborg capable of initiating the End of Days. Support of this Noble Phantasm is beyond the prana supply of the average magecraft user, but under specific circumstances, the Servant can force it into a self-sufficient state. Under standard functionality, the Noble Phantasm greatly magnifies the scale of the Servant's actions. In minimal manifestation, it may appear as a human-scaled personal armor during Mad Enhancement.

Lancea Longini / the Tree of Creation
rank: C (EX)
type: Anti-Barrier (Anti-Fortress / Anti-World)
An organic red lance with a double-pronged blade; a conceptual weapon. At the Noble Phantasm's minimal level of manifestation, it is merely a polearm of uncommon robustness of construct, capable of annihilating bounded fields and certain magical phenomenon on contact. Full manifestation can only occur when used in conjunction with The Beast, whereupon the weapon becomes capable of absorbing the spirits of Aristoteles. It is an artifact central to the initiation of the End of Days.

Progressive Knife
rank: - (A)
type: Anti-Unit
A knife of standard appearance. If supplied with energy, the blade vibrates at supersonic frequencies, enabling better cutting power. Full manifestation in conjunction with The Beast raises attack power substantially. Strictly speaking, however, it does not qualify as a Noble Phantasm.


End Snippet.
Draft: Feb 7th 2012