Solenoid Flux
An Evangelion / Fate Zero Crossover Concept
Snippet #11: Bluebeard

Tuesday, March 18th

A small puddle of dark bile stained the ground before his sneakers. Attempting to catch his breath, Kariya grimaced at the squirming chunks within. In his tenure as a war correspondent in the Balkans, he'd seen his share of parasite-infested refugees. He possessed no formal training in medicine, but practical experience with volunteer work at various Medecins Sans Frontieres camps suggested a high probability that his condition was terminal. How much time he had left, though, was difficult to gauge.

Over the bubbling of the park fountain nearby, Kariya heard an inhuman growl, and noticed Berserker poising himself defensively before one of the walkways leading away from the plaza. An odic signature that he hadn't noticed in his distraction was slowly approaching - and it was a familiar one. In the distance, he could hear the regular tapping of a cane.

"Stand down, Berserker," he said.

At his command, the armored Servant backed off, but didn't relax his guard.

"I have to say," said Matou Zouken, stepping into view beneath the orange light of a lamp illuminating the path, "I'm impressed by your showing so far. It was rather beyond my expectations that you would play your opponents against each other to compensate for your Servant's weakness. At this rate, you might actually have a chance at winning the War."

Kariya tiredly glared, thinning his lips.

"What is it that you want?"

Zouken cackled, striking the brick-tiled ground with his cane.

"Merely to convey a few words of encouragement where deserved," he replied. "As an author of tragedy, you're quite accomplished. Good to know that you've inherited at least some of my character. If I were aware of it beforehand, I might've had you try for an Assassin class instead."

With theatrical frailty, the vampire hobbled forth, stopping before Berserker and scrutinizing him with a calculating smile.

"Going by his performance versus the King of Knights, this Servant of yours isn't quite as weak as I imagined, either," he said. "Humor my curiosity, Kariya. You now have a fairly respectable amount of power at your disposal - but as you're quite aware, the worms lodged in your skull are set to trigger a hemorrhage should the notion of turning on me cross your mind. How do you regard your situation, precisely? Does it fill you with feelings of warmth? Or impress upon your heart a deep appreciation of my unconditional love for you as your progenitor?"

And there it was: the 'Know thy place' - a not-so-subtle reminder that Kariya had been living the high life for far too long, and should be reacquainted with his true station in life. Once upon a time, the appropriate response might have been rage - but he had long exhausted himself of any true heat toward his father. All that remained now was a sort of helplessness and empty despair, tempered by hope of a better life for Sakura.

"Go home, old man," he said softly. "I'll win you your goddamn Grail."

Matou Zouken responded with a snicker before turning away.

"Remember, boy," he said, facing the shadowed path. "No matter how far apart we are, I'll always be with you. You cannot deny the bonds of blood and family."

In silence, Berserker looked on ...

Wednesday, March 19th

Seated in an armchair in Kariya's living room, Berserker opened his eyes.

It looked to be roughly mid-afternoon, and his Master had apparently dozed off on the couch. The news program on television was going on about some plane crash in Russia.

Experimentally, he stretched. No noticeable pain - and no real sensation to go with the unhealthy-looking splotch of dried blood across the abdomen of his torn uniform shirt. That was good news, at least; his regeneration had gone off without a hitch. With a slight burst of intent, he reasserted the original structure of his clothing, musing at the curious sensation as the cloth mending itself over his skin.

Repairs completed, he stood and walked over Kariya, prying the remote from the man's fingers and turning off the television. There were several empty cans of Yebisu Beer at the foot of the coffee table, and Berserker sighed slightly on noticing them. Drinking this early in the day wasn't a habit that he really approved of.

'It's the first day that Kariya's taken off in awhile, though, and I shouldn't deny him the smaller pleasures in life,' he thought, picking up the cans and heading towards the kitchen. 'At least he doesn't have a hot water penguin as a pet.'

As Berserker deposited the cans in the recycling bin, the reddish-brown stains on the mess of paper towels in the trash caught his eye.

'He never intended to tell me about the worms,' he thought with a frown. 'He said that he needed the Grail to save his niece, but he wasn't gonna mention that he's practically killing himself to obtain it. He didn't want me to know exactly what it was that his father was doing to him ...'

Berserker had been vaguely aware of the worms' functions before, but he'd naively presumed that if Kariya didn't mention them explicitly, he knew what he was doing, and they weren't a big deal.

Last night had proven things otherwise.

With the increased energy demands of Mad Enhancement, it had become obvious that the creatures weren't simply supplying Kariya with prana - they were consuming his flesh in exchange. Before the fight had even really begun, the man looked as if he were on the verge of collapse. Potential effectiveness in defeating enemy Servants notwithstanding, the tactic they had employed was definitely not a trump they could afford to play often.

It was a good thing Kariya wasn't aware that Berserker could recall the events he witnessed in his altered state of consciousness - or else he might not have learned of the man's burden at all. It wasn't entirely a miscalculation on Kariya's part, in truth. Even to Berserker, Mad Enhancement was a bizarre creature, not at all fitting the expectations he'd arrived at from his experiences of Unit-01's episodes of rage. Perhaps because it was more a product of his legend than any real attribute of his original incarnation, the expression of the class skill merely reduced him to a combat machine that faithfully and unreasoningly executed orders. More than a little, it reminded him of a less unpleasant version of the Dummy Plug System.

'But thanks to that, I've got a better grip on what I can do to help Kariya,' thought Berserker. 'If he's unable to even think about betraying his father, then I'll just have figure out how to do it for him ...'

Shinto, 04:50 PM

The attack came without warning, and by the time Sola realized what was happening, Diarmuid had set her down gently in the dust-filled alleyway behind the building. With a forceful swing of the Gae Buidhe, he cleared the air within their immediate proximity.

"A projectile from beyond my range of detection," observed Diarmuid. Turning toward Sola, he asked, "Are you capable of combat, my lady?"

"I ... I only have access to the three spirits I recruited last night," she said, somewhat shaken. "The ones from London aren't obligated to come to my aid halfway around the world."

He sighed, and then froze. Abruptly pushing Sola behind a trash disposal unit, he deflected a bronze straight-blade that had been launched in their direction with the shaft of the Gae Buidhe.

"Mongrel and bitch, preparing to elope into the night, I see," drawled an unfamiliar voice. "Truly, you're a suited pair."

At the opposite end of the alley, the figure of a blond man in full-golden armor casually strode forth from the haze of the dust, apparently unarmed. Despite this, Lancer could identify no obvious openings in his stance, or any visual indication as to how the Noble Phantasm been fired.

"Unfortunately for you, there is no escaping my authority as King," the man continued, "and you are long overdue for sanction before my laws."

Behind him, a surface of light shimmered into existence, eerily illuminating the relative dimness of the alleyway. The ends of a dozen or more assorted weapons simultaneously pierced the fluid plane - and Lancer noted with rising alarm that each and every one was roughly a C-Rank Noble Phantasm.

"Run!" he shouted at Lady Sophia-Ri.

Panicked, the woman started at a stumbling run - and it was milliseconds later that the summoned weapons shot forth.

There was no room for doubt; no time for Lancer to do more than acknowledge that his Lady had deactivated her circuits - presumably to make herself less of a target. Almost as instinct, his body moved, cleaving through the metal of the oncoming projectiles with the tip of his spear. One attack was not enough. Again and again, he slashed, until nothing was left of the barrage. To complement its ability to disenchant armaments, the wide blade of the Gae Dearg had been reinforced to facilitate weapon destruction - and once again, it had served Lancer well in its purpose.

The obliteration of so many Noble Phantasms should've intimidated the enemy - but to Lancer's apprehension, the metallic fragments that now littered the alleyway provoked no apparent concern. Instead, the self-proclaimed king regarded the Gae Dearg with a sneer, and Lancer reassumed his opening stance. He had no means of ensuring the Lady's safety from other potential assailants, but at the least he could prevent the Servant before him from pursuing her. Hopefully, she would reinstate communications if she encountered any danger.

"The dual-pronged form of your weapon isn't intended for melee combat, I take it?" asked the gold-clad man. "Or is this a different Noble Phantasm altogether? It hasn't the same presence as the spear I last encountered."

A dual-pronged spear?

"I'm afraid that I don't follow," replied Lancer - but in fact, he could roughly guess the course of events that had led to the enemy's offensive. It seemed that another of Assassin's machinations had borne fruit.

"Feigning honor in the face of death, hmm?" The enemy smiled. "You're as much a fool as your former Master, then. Presented with a choice of dignity or survival in his last moments, he chose the former - and died like the dog that he was."

Lancer tightened his grip about his spears.

"In my presence, you shall not baselessly slander my lord."

The armored Servant briefly chuckled, and the surface of light reappeared at his back - manifesting a larger arsenal of weapons than he'd previously employed.

"You believe that I speak in jest, mongrel?" he asked. "The one to put down your dear Master was none other than my summoner - Tohsaka Tokiomi. As witness, I assure you: The method of execution was as demeaning as it was well-deserved. You've seen what was left of the corpse, have you not?"

The proper strategy would have been to retreat - to see to Lady Sophia-Ri's escape, as enough time had passed for her to be beyond the enemy's immediate range - but Lancer was not so entirely a creature of rationality. A rush of anger brought him to a sprint, and disregarding that the enemy was ostensibly of a higher order of power, his mind was set to the singular task of seeking a weakness to exploit. In reply, the enemy crossed his arms before his chestplate and let fly a second barrage.

Attempting to avoid the projectiles by astralizing, Lancer encountered the same resistance he'd experienced at Assassin's ambush.

'A bounded field,' he thought, deflecting several swords with the Gae Buidhe. 'Subtle enough that I didn't notice until now - and I can't very well dispel it without locating the anchors.'

The weapons - now B-Ranked and more difficult to destroy - replenished in far greater quantities; and even as Lancer applied both of his spears to defense, cuts and tears began to form across his clothing and skin. This wasn't a war of attrition that he could afford to drag out. Clenching his jaw, Lancer switched to defending entirely with the crimson polearm in his right hand, launching the Gae Buidhe at the enemy's exposed face with a well-timed throw.

The short spear missed its mark. At precisely the right moment, the gold-clad Servant avoided impalement with a slight tilt of his head - but much as Lancer had expected, there was slight dropoff in the onslaught of the projectiles. It was enough for him to close the distance, earning him a number of injuries as he thrust the armor-piercing point of the Gae Dearg in attack. The barrage concluded.

"Twice now you've missed, mongrel," said the man in the golden armor.

Somehow, the enemy Servant had caught the shaft of the Gae Dearg in his left gauntlet, guiding it away from his body quickly enough that the edge of the speartip left only a scratch across the armor at the side of his torso. Firmly gripping the polearm, he delivered a forceful kick to Lancer's chest, tossing him against a wall and into a trash heap a number of meters away.

Even as the pain of a cracked rib made itself known, Lancer smirked at his strategic triumph.

The phenomenon through which Archer delivered his attacks was an incomplete sorcery that would collapse if severed from a source of prana - and in Lancer's experience, spellwork of such complexity required an amount of preparation that would prevent immediate redeployment in the circumstance of cancellation. Deprived of his unending supply of weapons by the Gae Dearg, the threat that Archer posed was now greatly reduced.

"No, Archer - I struck true," said Lancer, panting heavily as he heaved himself afoot. "Without a means of bombarding me, you've lost your advantage."

For a moment, Archer's face blanked. Then, as if he'd heard a terribly humorous joke, he began to laugh heartily.

"By the Rivers," he said between chuckles. "You're proud of this! ... You actually believe that by closing the Gates, you've obtained some sort of victory at my expense!"

The Servant of the Bow tightened his hold about the Gae Dearg, and there was a brief burst of prana. Before Lancer could even think to demanifest his weapon, its blade and shaft had shattered to shards of wood - dissipating to motes of light before they struck the ground.

There was no longer any mirth in Archer's expression.

"So long as I hold the Key of the Kingdom," said the gold-clad Servant, materializing a key-shaped short sword in his right gauntlet, "I am able to open instances of the Gates of Babylon as I will it." With a theatrical swing of the key-blade, Archer again manifested the golden distortion behind him. "The achievement for which you are so laughably proud is the destruction of a single instance, of which I can produce any number." The red blade dematerialized. "And if you believe that a sharpened stick might permanently deprive a King of his treasury, you are incurably deluded."

Lancer opened his mouth, but was unable to find any words. A branch of the Tree of Manannan - destroyed as if it were a mundane wooden implement. As a Noble Phantasm, the Gae Dearg ranked only at B, but shattering a weapon crafted by a divinity shouldn't have been so easy. The figure before him was a monster in the guise of a man.

"It confounds me," continued Archer, "that a supposed Heroic Spirit could demonstrate such unyielding faithfulness to a common magus of this era. Your late Master was not even worth the smallest fraction of your undoubtedly meager legend - and yet you defend his memory, like well-trained canine. Have you no shame?"

'This is the end of the path,' thought Lancer; and in death as in life, he had failed. Even if Lady Sophia-Ri were aware enough of his quandary to reactivate her circuits and heal him here and now, there was no overcoming Archer.

Thinking to at least verbally one-up the enemy one final time, he muttered, "I don't expect that one such as yourself would know the worth of loyalty."

Archer visibly bristled at the comment.

"Rejoice, Lancer, that I am a most benevolent King," he angrily declared. From the fluid golden surface, there emerged a ceremonial longsword with an intricately decorated inset along the flat of its blade. "In my unlimited mercy, I have deigned to eradicate you with such thoroughness that the Throne of Heroes itself shall never again recall your disgraceful existence."

As Lancer grimly looked on, Archer snapped his fingers, and the sword was let fly ...

Reinforcement was unfortunately an area of Thaumaturgy that Sola had neglected in her training. A purely academic magus had no need of such skills, she'd once slothfully rationalized - and in those days, critical matters of life and death had been oh-so-distant. It was too late for regrets, though; and in the here and now, activating her circuits even to provide prana to Diarmuid was probably equivalent to putting up a beacon for the enemy to strike down at range.

Incomprehensibly, the Master of Archer was keeping pace with her all-out run at what appeared to be a leisurely stroll.

"Please, Miss Sophia-Ri," he called, only fifteen or twenty meters behind her. "If you would just agree to cooperate, I swear that I shall do everything within my power to ensure your safety."

It was almost certainly a lie.

Tohsaka Tokiomi was a smiling sociopath who concealed his utter absence of scruples behind a veneer of gentlemanly politeness - a particularly common breed of man in the high society of the Clock Tower, and one with which Sola was uncomfortably familiar. Through Diarmuid's eyes, she'd personally witnessed his handiwork.

At the collapse of the Cassis Circumdant, her familiars at the Grand Hyatt had lost Kayneth and Tohsaka to pranic disorientation, and it was an hour later than an anonymous tip led the police and media to the remains of the defeated party - "a British diplomat by the name of Archibald," according to the local news channel; "the latest of the serial killer's victims." Diarmuid, incensed at the report, had visited the police morgue to confirm the truth of it - and laid out across an autopsy table, he found a blood-drenched mess of dismembered flesh and bone, with bits of a face just intact enough to positively identify. For all of his insensitive idiocy, Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi had not been so evil that he deserved such a fate.

Sola had very little desire to be taken into the hospitality of the House Tohsaka.

Pushing over several trash cans near the end of an alleyway, she entered a suspiciously deserted street - huffing as she took stock of her surroundings. There should have been pedestrians about so close to rush hour, but she hadn't seen any since Tohsaka initiated his attack. He'd most likely set up a bounded field around the district to keep mundanes from getting in the way, too far beneath her detection threshold for her to notice - but if that were the case, there was a distinct chance that he wouldn't pursue if she crossed the perimeter into a more heavily populated neighborhood.

It had occurred to her to summon Diarmuid to her side, but second thoughts stayed her hand. Calling across their connection before she was reasonably safe would only burden him to protect her in a potential engagement against two opponents rather than one - and that was assuming Archer didn't just snipe her the moment Diarmuid ceased to occupy his attention. Her sole recourse was to escape under her own power - and without the use of circuits, she was forced to draw upon resources that she'd reserved as a last resort.

'Should've had the foresight to prepare several more of these,' she thought, stooping behind a parked Toyota a ways down the street and looking to the rooftops. 'If nothing else, this should slow him down a bit.'

It was an advantage of Spiritual Evocation that expenditure of prana was non-mandatory in the practical applications of the discipline. Unlike familiars - which were extensions of a magus' being - properly contracted spirits were independent, self-intelligent entities, and in exchange for a prenegotiated compensation, they would perform assorted services. For purposes of a direct offensive, the contracts that Sola had secured the night previous would be all but useless before a man who could destroy wraiths merely by clapping his hands - but there was more than one way to skin a cat.

"Kamaitachi!" she shouted, right as Tohsaka stepped into view.

Technically, it wasn't necessary to invoke an entity by name, but Sola found that it helped to focus the mental commands she communicated. The Kamaitachi was a minor nature spirit, local to Japan - a faerie of the wind whose physical form resembled a weasel, capable of slicing metal with its razor-sharp tail. At her call, a number of smooth cuts appeared through the cement of a utility pole at the man's side; and overhead, the supports of a rooftop billboard were diagonally severed, dropping it into the street.

Face shaded from the twilight by falling debris, Tohsaka smirked. It was the last thing that Sola noticed before ducking for cover; and nearly in time with the multi-ton impact, she'd sat herself against the vehicle's rear bumper, squeezing her eyes shut and covering her ears. The resulting sound was much duller than she would've expected, but in the fallout that followed, the body of the automobile was noisily pelted with fragments of cement and blacktop. When the brief metallic staccato ceased, she peered over the top of the car to study her handiwork.

Much as she expected, bent metal and shattered cement piled where she last saw Tohsaka - but there were no telltale bloodstains, or any other indication that Tohsaka had been buried alive.

"I ... I won?" she asked. Had she succeeded where Kayneth had failed?

Slow footsteps approached from behind, and Sola spun. Several meters away, Tohsaka Tokiomi stood uninjured at the center of the street. The fabric of his bespoke suit remained crisp and pristine - entirely unblemished by her attack.

"I apologize for my insensitive handling of your fiance's remains, Miss Sophia-Ri," he said, smiling disarmingly. "As you're understandably agitated, I shall take no offense at your actions against my person. I would, however, advise that you consider a parlay once you've somewhat cooled your temper."

Sola was prevented from replying. Before she could open her mouth, a brilliant light had filled the street, followed shortly by a deafening, thunderous crash. On impulse, she shielded her face, and hesitantly lowered her arms only when it seemed as if the new development wasn't threatening.

Amidst crackling electrical discharge, a chariot drawn by two immense bulls had come to a stop where Tohsaka had been standing. By some means, the well-dressed man had evaded, and was now standing at a safe distance, frowning as if slightly irked. For a moment, Sola thought that Rider had come to her aid, but the person at the chariot's reins was not the hulking brute of a man that Lancer had described. A nervous-looking boy with tears in corners of his eyes looked warily to Tohsaka before offering her his hand.

"C-c- come with me if you want to live," he stuttered.

Waver Velvet?

The certain demise that Lancer anticipated hadn't arrived. Instead, his vision was filled with the fabric of a red cape, billowing in a unexpected gust as electricity arched across the walls and pavement. The King of Conquerors stood proudly before him, holding the tip of Archer's projectile between two meaty fingers.

"No, Archer," said the flame-haired man. "You're the disgrace." With a casual toss, he lodged the longsword in a nearby wall. "A king that spits upon another man's loyalty is no king."

Unamused, the gold-clad Servant fixed Rider with a half-lidded glare, and with a wave of his hand, he summoned forth a veritable arsenal - an array of weapons far more numerous than Lancer had previously faced.

"You would doubt the legitimacy of my rule, King of Conquerors? The mercy of my Law?" drawled Archer. "Devotion to a man of inconsequential worth cannot be considered loyalty - merely a malaise of the mind. And how, besides to put it out of misery, would you receive a hound that so feverishly pines after its deceased master?"

Lancer made to retort, but without turning, the larger man stopped him with a gesture of his hand.

"I would give him a meal and a place under my roof," Rider replied, "and by no means would I deny him his dignity." Slowly drawing the spatha at his side, he directed the tip of the blade in Archer. "That's /my/ Law - and if you insist on doing things your way, you'll find that your sovereignty doesn't extend quite as far as you imagine."

"Oh?" asked Archer; the weapons about him drifted forward dangerously. "I'll have to rectify that, then."

"You can go ahead and try," said Rider, grinning fiercely.

With this declaration, the flame-haired giant raised his spatha skywards, and a scorching, unnatural wind filled the alleyway with a yellow haze. As granules of sand streaked across Lancer's exposed skin with tremendous rapidity, it felt to him as if his entire world were being consumed ...

When the whirlwind subsided, Tohsaka Tokiomi paced through the empty space that had been occupied by the chariot and the enemy Masters - narrowing his eyes as he studied the sand-strewn blacktop.

'The supposed theft of El-Melloi's original catalyst may have been a fabrication, then - arranged to conceal Velvet's collusion with his plans,' he thought, frowning. 'Presumably, they knew of Iskander's attributes, and positioned Velvet to serve as Master so as to provoke underestimation. Teleportation was to be their final trump.'

As with the crimson lance before it, the phenomenon that had mediated the enemies' sudden departure couldn't be discerned via the Master's Perspective. The Grail-granted augmentation was sadly not the asset the clan records had made it out to be; and enemy parties of the current War were irregularly skilled in obscuring intelligence without the use of Presence Concealment.

Still, Tokiomi was observant enough that he could hazard a deduction at the underlying mechanics: At the least, it involved remote spatial manipulation on par with High Thaumaturgy, achieved either by invocation of a Noble Phantasm or some heretofore undocumented skill with magecraft on Iskander's part; Velvet wasn't so skilled a magus that he could reproduce near-Magic independently.

'I've revealed far too much of my hand,' he thought, looking back upon the footprints he'd left in the fading, phantasmal sand. 'It would seem that I've done the remnants of the El-Melloi camp a disservice in taking them so lightly ...'

Alone in the empty passageway, Gilgamesh flexed the fingers of his left gauntlet.

Like the weapon he sought, the Noble Phantasm that Lancer wielded hadn't an antecedent within the Gates of Babylon - but the dual-pronged lance he'd encountered at the opening of the War seemed nowhere near as fragile, and likely wouldn't have shattered with the application of a low-level prana burst. There was a definite discrepancy in the presence exuded by the two weapons, and Lancer's toy felt distinctly unfamiliar.

"Should've known better than to trust Tokiomi's judgment," he muttered to himself. "The puppeteer behind the attack was most certainly another."

The desert extended to the horizons.

"Wh- where are we?" stuttered Sola, gaping at the sight.

The tall, well-built man standing beside Lancer gave a hearty chuckle.

"Welcome to battlefield of my heart, young lady," he said. "I believe you sorcerous types would refer to this as a Reality Marble. Very handy if you're creative with its applications."

A Reality Marble - a World Egg born from within a soul, wherein its creator was effectively a divinity. Amongst the magi, the human use of such was regarded as a myth with little basis in fact - but Heroic Spirits were larger than life; more than human. It was their nature to live beyond the bounds of humanity. Sola now stood beneath a different sky.

Materializing the Gae Buidhe in his less-injured arm, Diarmuid positioned himself protectively before her.

"And what is it that you hoped to achieve in bringing us here?" he asked.

"Not to intimidate, believe it or not," replied the larger man. "I have a bit of a business proposition for the two of you." He gave a wide, toothy smile. "How would you like to get your hands on the Holy Grail?"

UN-AEC Fuyuki, 05:01 PM

According to the sign near the gates, the laboratory was property of the United Nations Artificial Evolution Concern.

The name sounded vaguely familiar to Berserker, and he thought he might have seen it mentioned in a history textbook at some point - or perhaps the NERV pamphlet? Either way, who it was that operated the lab wasn't a large concern at the moment. Somewhere beneath the plain-looking building, the entity that he'd come across while scouting was inexpertly concealing its presence.

'A non-human AT-field,' he thought. 'And not the only one ...'

In the darkness of the sewers, a robed man with bulging, fish-like eyes smiled.

"Fear not, my Divine Maiden," he declared. "Your faithful servant, Gilles de Montmorency-Laval, has arrived, and he shall stop at nothing to deliver you from the host of the Lord!"

Within his hands, the Prayer Book of the Sunken Spiral City glowed ominously ...

Weapons from the Gates of Babylon:

Phersephassa (Archetype) / Maiden of Stillness
rank: B+ (A++)
type: Anti-Unit (Anti-Fortress)
range: 1 (1~99 as projectile)
targets: 1
A child's dagger intended for self-defense, gifted by the goddess that came to be known as Thesmophoros to her young daughter; a conceptual weapon. The blade is imbued with a divine curse that momentarily dislocates targets from the concept of "movement" - but as all things exist in a state of continuous flux, the "stilled" object is very briefly subjected to an immense inertia, resulting in collapse. Targets are designated by the mind of the wielder, and may range from living entities to nonphysical existences such as spell effects. With increased energy consumption, the effect of the curse may be applied to larger-scaled targets.

Vaitarna / The Blood-Darkened Waters of Oblivion
rank: EX
type: Anti-Unit
range: 1 (1~99 as projectile)
targets: 1
A ceremonial longsword resembling a khanda, whose blade is inset with intricate relief images depicting war and peace; a conceptual weapon. The blade dates from the dawn of the Age of Divinities, and its original wielder is unknown. Those that die by its edge are said to be annihilated from the cycle of the World - erased from the memory of Alaya. Merely as physical weapon, the strength of the Vaitarna is equivalent to a Rank B+ Noble Phantasm.

(Note that it's only "said to" have such an effect. The actual, observable effect is removal of records and memories regarding the victim, much like Jack the Ripper's Information Erasure. The only person who remembers the victim is the killer; and whether or not Alaya itself recalls the victim is unconfirmable. It doesn't erase the information from the Throne of Heroes, which exists independently of time and timelines)

End Snippet.
Draft: Feb 8th 2011