I'm baaack!...Sort of.
Here's a very short plot bunny I had rolling around in my head for a while - see if you can guess the identity of the Servant, correct guesses get a cookie!
The Grail works on legends, and legends are built in the telling. A warrior king becomes a paragon of chivalry, a young man becomes a hero, and a villain becomes the epitome of evil.
The Grail works on legends, and the more popular the legend the stronger the effect.
The Assassin that Kirei Kotomine summoned was not a Hashashin. This itself was surprising. The word Assassin itself drew from the root of the Hashashin, which made it perhaps the most predictable summoning.
This time it wasn't.
Kirei watched his Servant. Middle-aged, reeking of alcohol. A face that passed for an average man, shabby, stained clothing.
His weapon, which Kirei had insisted on seeing, was a gun – and a simple, mass-manufactured revolver at that.
He had no abilities that could help with their initial plan, of faking his death at the hands of Gilgamesh.
His physical parameters were pathetic enough that Kirei could probably take him out in a fight.
He was no thinker. His hands shivered, his eyes twitched, and he spent his time content in enjoying the material wealth – and intoxicants – that were around him.
He was crude, uneducated. He did not recognize Gilgamesh, did not even know his legend – had never heard of it. Nor any of the other participants.
And yet – the Grail had chosen him as a worthier Assassin than the Old Men of the Mountain?
How many people have you killed, asked Kirei. Hundreds, thousands?
A few, said Assassin, his mind far-away. Wasn't really the best at it. Maybe a dozen.
And these dozen, asked Kirei, grasping at straws – were they kings, warriors, politicians, men who mattered?
Not most of them, admitted Assassin. Most of them were just two-bit gangsters or junkies.
Some, then. Some were great men?
You wanna know the biggest score I ever hit?
Yes, said Kirei, eagerly. Please.
A rich man and his wife, said Assassin, his voice tired. That's all they were. A rich man and his wife.
But they mattered?
More than I could ever know.
The Grail works on legends.
And the truth about legends is that they ebb and flow.
How many people today know of Publius Cornellius Scipio the Younger? His defeated opponent is more famous by orders of magnitude.
How many children today can tell you of Jason's quest to reclaim the fleece, of Castor and Pollux the twin brothers?
And how many people have heard of the Old Men of the Mountain? Who even knows of their activities against the Templars?
So do new legends form in the public eye, gaining strength through the tale. Famous deaths – famous assassinations – and famous assassins.
Kiritsugu felt Assassin arrive.
After all, Assassin was nothing in life. A minor criminal, a career crook. A pathetic member of the debris that litters the underworld, clawing and grasping for money. Untalented, unremarkable. There were hundreds, thousands of people like him in every city, every country.
Yet there was one thing Assassin had done to make him indelible in the minds of people.
He walked closer to Kiritsugu, and the world changed.
Kiritsugu stared. He didn't understand this. What was going on?
He was – in a movie theatre – he could barely catch the words "Mask of.." on the screen –
A child cried, and Kiritsugu turned to find Ilya of all people on the seat beside him, and there was Iri trying to console her, looking beautiful in her fashionable dress and pearl necklace,
"Oh, Ilya, it's fine. Let's go out, it's alright. I know the movie can be a bit scary", said Iri as she stood up, leading a sobbing Ilya behind her. "Aren't you coming, dear?"
He jumped to his feet, numb. Where were his weapons, his magic? Where was the danger, what happened to Assassin? How did his wife and child come here? Why was he in a theatre?
Unblinkingly, unknowingly, as if the world itself was pushing him, he followed his wife and child out of the door, into an alley, and he knelt down to talk to Ilya-
Hand over your jewels, said a voice, and he stood, seeing a derelict, a mugger draw a gun-
Still dazed, he reached reflexively into his pocket, but he had nothing-
A shot rang out, the pearl necklace shattered, and red blossomed on Iri's dress –
He stepped forward, instinctively, trying to shield Ilya-
Another shot rang out, and Kiritsugu felt a sharp impact jar him as he collapsed to his knees.
The world went dark, and all he could hear as his eyes closed was the sobbing of a child and the beating of wings…
Do review! Haven't put my usual Servant statsheet here, but I want to see how many people get this!