I woke up once more on unfamiliar surroundings.

To my credit (or maybe just resignation), I wasn't even fazed this time. Sure, I was in an empty train wagon, clutching some sort of sheet of paper… But I have been through stranger places.

Back to the problem at hand.

A mostly blank sheet of paper. There was a logo on the leftmost top of it, the words top secret printed in a light shade in the background, and a signature that my local-self identified as being father's. And a single word printed on paper.

Resentment, sadness and anger tried to force a way out my local memories, but I held them back. Surely, if father really worked on the command for a military organization on such a large scale (or at least that was his job according to my local-self memories), he must have pushed me away to protect me, or because he simply hadn't the time to raise me.

Saving people was important afterall.

I still wish for my local-self's emotional stability's sake, that he could have spared the time to have a proper letter asking me back, but you never know the circumstances he was when he wrote. Maybe it was some sort of emergency, which would explain the empty train wagon, and the official paper.

Or the sheet had some sort of code, perhaps? I held it against light. Nothing. I focused on the details of the logo. Nothing there either. I traced a small half-inch metal shard halfway inside my finger, and dissipated it, smudging the paper with a bit of my blood. Nope, no result.

You know what? The last one was a waste of time, really.

'trace on' I muttered my aria and scanned the paper. No. Just your ordinary paper sheet, ordinary paper ink, if a bit old, and ordinary pen ink. No secret message then. So much for that theory.



It was a strange sight to take, leaving an empty train to an empty station, right in the middle of the day. It was unnatural and highly disturbing. Like a nightmare I had once, where I was the last living person on earth.

Still, I checked the other paper, where a handwritten message in a hasty feminine calligraphy (four loops ago I wouldn't be capable of identifying femininity in a girl, now I can do it in handwriting. *sigh*) pointed the meeting point in the side street of the station. I promptly ignored the photography that came with the note, after memorizing the face of the person I was to meet with.

I held back a gasp of shock when I noticed the upturned cars and the debris that lined the place like a warzone. There was even a ship, sticking out of the ground upright like one of those cheap Godzilla movies that Musubi liked to watch so much.

And there was the smell of magic and blood. Faint, but ever-present like a fog around the city.

I saw Ilya standing there for a moment. White hair, clear skin, and those piercing red eyes. Only it wasn't her. Shorter hair, a taller girl, and no expression unlike my sister's ever present (even amidst death threats) smile. Something else crossed in front of my line of sight (a pigeon, I think) and she wasn't there anymore.

Nice. I'm hallucinating now.

The telephone cables overhead shake, warning of something approaching. In hindsight, a hurricane or typhoon was out (the skies were clear and blue), but the empty city just spoke of an earthquake alert.

As If on cue, the ground shook and quaked, and my nose was assaulted by that smell again. Not the subtle fog like as before. This time it hit me like a truck full of bricks at a hundred miles per hour. I sunk to my knees and gagged, nearly pushing my guts through my mouth, like my insides were knotting itselves into highly elaborate French braids.

It was alien, it was evil, and it was hell-bent in killing everything. Not even Primate Murder (and yes, I've been in Its presence) was as bad.

And IT (deserving of bold and capital letters) was over hundred feet, black with white bones making a beak-like face and a pair of rib-hands holding a large blood-red jewel in the midst of ITs chest. Both arms and legs looked from distance like twigs in comparison with the bulky body, but were probably thicker than my last school water tower.

Some sort of aircraft also appeared, in massive numbers bombarding the gigantic creature with all sorts of weaponry. It was doing nothing, or better yet, the missiles and bombs were somehow exploding in mid-air before hitting the target.

The creature roared, and made a lance out of its hand, destroying one of the planes. The others gave space, but continued the useless bombardment. IT made the lance again. Someone was going to fall, and it wasn't going to be the beast for the way it looked like.

Without thinking, I made my bow, and pulled its string. Caladbolg drank deeply in my Od's reserves, but I needed something capable of hurting such a big monster, and that was one of my better choices.

A missile flew over my head, and the tremors intensified, but I ignored everything. There was me, there was the target, there was the arrow. I saw the path connecting us, I saw where the strike would be made… and I released.

Caladbolg struck true, right after a blue car stopped half a meter of running me over. (Saber would've struck my head a thousand times for dropping my awareness to this dismal amount only because I was snipping).

The creature roared with pain and rage, and the woman from the photo, the same one in the car, gaped at the results of my shot and I nearly smacked myself for the blatant demonstration of supernatural powers in front of a civilian. But that wasn't going to help…

"I used to play with rocket arrows since I was nine. I guess the thing can't block the attacks it can't see coming." I lied with a straight face, feeling much like Alice those times she wanted to keep my attention off her feelings.

"Just get in the car!" She yelled.

"All right, all right."

Another missile roared overhead, and I heard the explosion of one of those weird helicopters.

I shoved my bag in the backseat of the blue car and belted myself to the seat. She didn't even let me finish closing the door, and stomped the pedal hard enough for the tires to screech.

Not a moment later IT stomped the place the car just left, and missiles bombarded the area.

"But it was nearly a mile away! How fast is that thing!?" I blurted out against my own judgment.

"It was a field-assisted jump, it seems." The woman rubbed her forehead, still keeping the pedal floored. "Sorry about early, but I needed you to move fast." She took the sunglasses off and smiled.

"No problem. I'm Shirou."

She made a face. "I'm Misato Katsuragi… Shirou? Not Shinji Ikari?" She made a 'are you serious?!' face, and only looked to the street briefly enough to evade an upturned tank.

"Ah…" Oh shit, THAT never happened before. I usually get to keep my name, at least as a nickname, and my surname is either Sahashi or Emiya, usually the former. "…well, that is a nickname actually. But I prefer it over Shinji. I don't like that name." Technically true, as it brought the face of my former friend and master of the murderously insane King of Heroes, and one other servant that may or may not be Rider.

"Oh. Family issues, I guess." I shrug.

"It doesn't matter."

"OK. So what is with the rocket arrow?" She changed subjects. "I take you weren't exactly a quiet, well behaved kid as they seen to say."

So there were reports on me. "I was a kid. We are only well behaved when people are looking, if at all." She giggled.

Not very detailed ones, considering my not-so-fond memories of my uncle and auntie, but you can't expect soldiers to make a good job in child-care. "And I like to experiment with scrap and junk." I thought about it for a sec, and added "And as every kid, I loved to swordplay and archery."

She parked the car on a small out of town hill, and took a binocular to watch the battle from afar. I reinforced my eyes and looked too, seeing the weird planes dropping like swatted flies, and the heavy artillery not hurting the damned thing at all.

Even my broken phantasm has only made a nick on the red jewel, easily dismissed as a natural imperfection or trick of light by those who don't know exactly where it is. I doubt is even a single-inch deep.

"Oh my they're going to!" Instead of finishing, she dropped her rather prominent chest on my head and smothered me below her body, but rather than a child abuse, it was needed, because an explosion was both heard and felt, the car tumbling, spinning and landing upside down out of the street. I got a couple of bruises, but my worried were on her.

"Are you OK?" We both asked each other. And laughed.

"Fine here." I smiled. "A few bruises and a little dazed, but nothing serious."

"Yeah, I'll be sore for days." She shook her head, probably to get rid of the cobwebs and we got out of the car.

We had to turn it around, and fix it (with duct tape), but we managed to enter the geofront base as she called.

For a moment I sworn I was entering the Bloodfort.

"Are you ok?" She asked with concern.

"Yeah, just a little dazed. Probably backlash from before." I lied again. Sadly I'm getting good at it.

She presented me a manila folder with a manual, and I nearly cried in happiness 'Finally a world that do comes with an instruction manual!' and started devouring the thing, absent-mindedly following Misato-san after we left the parking lot.