A/N: Because I could. This was basically supposed mockbuster of Morphin'Fate, but they're really nothing alike. Nothing's plagiarized. Consider this... the other way things could go...
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapitre 01: The Super Arrives! Battle!
Disclaimer: All series belong to their respective owners. I make no money off this. This is parody and therefore protected speech.
Kariya was not having a good day. He'd sort of stopped having really good days when Aoi go married, and good days period when he'd learned Sakura had been adopted by the Matou, but even on his specialized scale of bad days he'd put together since he'd had parasites imbedded into him, this day was badder than most. It was slightly better than finding out Sakura had, against all reason, been chosen by the Grail as the Master of the Matou already but definitely worse than finding his own command seal burning on the back of his hand.
His summoning circle was slightly lopsided. It was only one of several imperfections about it he considered of note, starting with the fact it existed in the basement of his house and ending with the penis-worms that barely stayed away from it's edges. Still, he summoned with it anyway. What else could he do?
Sakura's circle was painfully exact, in a way no child's should be, and it chilled Kariya's blood to think of how his 'grandfather' has extracted such a result from her. She too was summoning, allowed a tattered blanket to clothe herself as she spoke her incantation, her version longer than his by two lines. Zouken had told him that his only chance to win the Grail at all for their bargain would be to attempt to summon Berserker, but with Sakura and her natural and much greater prana reserves now in the war, eve he had to admit it made tactical sense to bear the heavier load.
Kariya called himself a coward for not insisting it be otherwise.
"Look at it this way, Kariya," the old monster had said with amusement. "Either way, all you need to do is win. As long as either of you win, as long as I hold the Grail in my hands, you can take the little bitch away with you and do whatever you want. I won't need her anymore by then. Aren't I generous?"
He felt nauseous just thinking of the conversation.
Sakura finished, her dulls eyes flashing briefly with relief as her circle burned with light, a figure materializing upon it.
A tall, fit man with the muscular build of a fighter stood there, his black shoes gleaming. His eyes were already looking around the area around him as he materialized, and he seemed o recoil at the sight of all the worms, though he controlled himself. Adjusting the white jacket over his red shirt, he faced Sakura, looking slightly alarmed at her appearance. "Are you my Master?"
For a moment, Sakura just stared at him dumbly, before giving a short, jerky nod.
In a last burst of pain that had Kariya heaving blood and worms on the floor, his own summoning finished.
In the circle, a good-looking man with the pretty features of a male idol came into being. He wore what looked like a uniform in white and red, a helmet that looked less martial and more of an accessory tucked under one arm. A sidearm was strapped to one hip, one Kariya recognized as an energy weapon similar to the kind the issued to, most recently, Utility Government Members, the last defense organization composed of civilian enlisted officers. The duty of defending the Earth had pretty much been relegated to the Super Sentai these days, those small bands regarded as heroes.
Heroes. The word was bitter.
Kariya's Servant, for what else could he be, straightened and bowed, and Kariya found himself flashing to an old memory of his highschool days. The Servant acted nothing like what Kariya thought a hero would, instead seeming more like an freshman being introduced to the president of the student council. Or possibly the principal. "Greetings. Are you my master?"
Kariya, too overcome to speak, tried to nod in answer, and hoped the movement wasn't mistaken as just being part of his retching. There was a clatter as the Servant dropped his helmet, and Kariya felt as solicitous presence at his side. "Hey, are you all right?" the Servant asked, sounding genuinely concerned.
Zouken chuckled. It was such a horrible thing for such an inoffensive sound to have happen to it. Though it seemed innocent enough, Kariya could hear dark undertones. "My, what a polite young man you have summoned, Kariya-kun."
Kariya ignored him, getting control of himself once more and trying to push himself back to his feet. His Servant assisted him, holding on to the side of him that was mostly paralyzed. When Kariya finally managed to get back on his feet, he gave the Servant a pained nod. "Thank you," he said. "And yes, I am your Master."
The Servant nodded, flashing him a quick smile. "I am Servant Saver, Master."
Emiya Kiritsugu was a perfectly ordinary mage-killing badass, of the sort you could find anywhere. Years ago, the Einbern had made him an offer and a promise, and now was coming the day where he kept up his end of the bargain.
Though old Acht had acted his usual self when he'd given Kiritsugu the artifact meant to be used as a catalyst— a beautiful sheath allegedly that of Excalibur itself— he could tell the old homunculus had been nervous. It wasn't surprising. There had been a very steep upswing in strange phenomena in the lands of the Grail since the last war. Strange tribes from beneath the earth or other worlds, that 'Witch' Bandora years before, unusual powers, people running around in colored tights and motorcycles, not to mention at least three giant creatures and a robot appearing to duke it out each week. As far as the Einzbern could learn, the flow of energy to the grail hadn't been interrupted— if anything, it had increased— but they were... aristocratically nervous and magusly intellectually concerned about what had gotten into their Grail.
Still, they couldn't help being confident, for they had received a windfall. Not only had their chosen Master, Emiya Kiritsugu, had manifested the Command Seals, but Irisviel as well. With double the Servant-power then they'd ever had before, surely they'd win this war now.
In the chapel of the Einzberns, Irisviel stood before her summoning circle, the sheath before her. They had two chances to summon the hero they sought, and they weren't about to let it pass. Kiritsugu slipped on sunglasses as the chanting reached a crescendo, and then…
There was an explosion of light, and a figure stood upon the circle. Even before the light receded, Kiritsugu knew they had failed. Whoever this was, it was not King Arthur. It wasn't that the figure was femal.e some gut instinct. It had more to do with the fact the figure seemed to radiate an aura of pinkness and light. She looked like she was going to offer them tea so they could chat about fluffy clouds and hats at any moment.
The Servant bowed to Irisviel with absolute poise. "Good lady, are you perchance my Master?" she asked.
Iris smiled brightly in delight, but a quick glance to her husband made her settle herself for the safe of propriety. "Indeed, I am. My name is Irisviel von Einzbern. And you are?"
"I am the Servant Archer in this Holy Grail War," the Servant said demurely. She bowed once more, and Iris saw what she had thought was a hair band was in fact a tiara, a delicate, feminine thing of silvery wire and small diamonds. "I would be pleased to be your protector in this coming battle, lady of Einzbern." An aristocratic bearing, and that jewelry. Tiaras, strictly speaking, were not a solely feminine ornament, but ones in the style this girl wore were. Could she be some warrior princess from the distant past? She recalled one or two myths about such figures, though she couldn't remember any especially noted for their archery.
"The pleasure is all mine," Iris said, then gestured towards Kiritsugu. "I would have you know my husband. By luck, he is a Master as well. We will be working together, and I would ask you to protect him and obey his orders as you would mine."
Archer turned to Kiritsugu and bowed to him as well. "Very well then, my lady. I am sure we shall work together splendidly to keep you safe. Greetings sir. I look forward to working with you."
Kiritsugu just looked at her, looked through her, and then turned to Irisviel without seeming to dismiss her, for he had not even bothered to acknowledge her. "I had best try again as soon as possible, Iri," he said, taking off the sunglasses. "We have one more chance of summoning King Arthur, and we must not linger."
Irisviel nodded. "I'll reset the circle for the attempt while you get ready," she said.
Kiritsugu returned her gesture, seating himself in one of the chapel's wooden pews as Irisviel gestured for Archer to follow her. "I'm sorry about that," Iris said quietly to the Servant as she went to the box they'd left on a front pew with the tools for resetting the circle. "We were expecting someone else, you see, and we were hoping to summon him on the first try. Kiritsugu has othing against you personally."
Archer nodded congenial. "I understand. I have known men like him. Does he... does he have a dream he pursues?"
Irisviel quirked an eyebrow at the young woman, suddenly smiling. "Yes. With all his heart. One I wish to see him achieve."
Archer nodded in understanding. "I thought his eyes seemed familiar. I know that gaze very well." She smiled. "I cannot take offense at a man following his dream. It will be my honor to help him seize what he wants."
Irisviel smiled wider, no longer stifling her expression. "I think we're going to get along very well, Archer. I only hope you and my husband's Servant get along as well."
"As do I," Archer said as Iris began renewing the circle.
Not so long later, Saber tried to kill Archer on sight as Archer drew forth a gun and tried to shoot his head off.
Under the gaze of the three men behind him, one the very person who had taught him for to perform magecraft, Kirei proceeded to summon his Servant. Without a catalyst, he wondered what sort of Servant he would summon. Surely it would be one like himself, one of stern resolve and discipline? It was not arrogant or boastful to judge himself as such, when his teachers before had often commented on it. Still… would they also have his weakness as well?
It was time to see.
When the dust settled, a woman stood in the circle.
"All right, which of you is supposed to be my Master?" she said, sounding both annoyed and bored, as if the proceedings were a tedious necessity she couldn't avoid. One high-heeled, booted foot tapped on the floor to emphasize her words. "Come on, speak up, let's get this over with."
Kirei stood, unperturbed. "I am your Master, Servant. And you are?"
The woman tilted her head, one side of her pouty lips quirking. "Once, I stole the power of god himself. But for now... it looks like I'm Assassin. I guess this is my first revival. What season is it?"
Kirei frowned. "It is still winter. Why does it matter?"
"Before or after Christmas?"
"After." This was not good. He was losing control of the situation. "What does it matter?"
She raised a finger. "It matters," she said, "because the season tells me who I'm likely to be fighting and how strong they are. It looks like this isn't going to be the spring Movie War, but still, we'll need to be careful. It all depends who's writing and how much of a plot we have. If this is another Super Hero Taisen…" she shook her head in disgust. "I really can't blame DiEnd for going nuts there, the holes could have been at least patched over."
The four men stared at her.
She arched an eyebrow behind her kitschy old grandma glasses. "What?"
Risei turned to the man— more a teenager— in the white jacket next to him and said, "You will make more sense, right?"
Servant Ruler nodded to his Master, torn between ogling the woman's generous cleavage and looking away…
Tokiomi had long planned for the Servant he wanted to summon in the coming Grail war, but to his regret had never found a suitable catalyst. The closest he'd ever gotten was a snake skin someone had claimed was the very first skin shed. He'd been almost tempted to fool himself into believing it— with the clarity of hindsight, he could admit that now— but his wife had wisely pointed out that there was no way they could be sure it was what it claimed to be. Besides, snake skin was notorious for keeping very badly.
Now, after having held off in the hopes of getting a favorable Servant, he had to trust in whoever the Grail bestowed upon him. Surely, if the old writings about compatible Servants being summoned were correct, that he would be getting an elegant, refined, talented hero?
As the light and dust settled, Tokiomi saw a man in the circle wearing… he blinked. The man was wearing a suit exactly like Tokiomi's own, except in a much lighter shade of red, almost pink or violet. The Servant had smooth, almost beautiful features wearing an expression of aristocratic sureness. He practically radiated an aura of elegant, refined talent only marred by a strange device at his neck. A Noble Phantasm of some sort?
Tokiomi opened his mouth, but the Servant suddenly held up an admonishing finger, intent on the device. "Don't move. You're absolutely perfect right now, just let me…" There was a click, and the Servant moved slightly to one side. Another click. "Excellent." He finally looked up, meeting Tokiomi's gaze, then made an overly elegant and slightly mocking bow. "I am the Servant Caster. Are you my Master?"
Tokiomi raised an eyebrow. "I am, Caster." A Caster…well. It would seem he'd drawn more favorably than his allies had. Ruler had said he was a king from a faraway land, yet his tales were too generic and his name not known to any of them. While such obscurity would help in concealing his identity and abilities, it also raised questions about how good he was. Assassin merely deflected Kirei's as to who she was, saying only she was a commander whose name would mean nothing to him and spent her time taking baths and lying around naked in the bed she'd commandeered. Kirei had left her alone once she'd demonstrated her abilities, already altering the plans they'd had. But if Tokiomi had a Caster… Thinking of fighting like a magus was first nature to him. It made things easier. "My name is Tohsaka Tokiomi. I believe we will be able to work well together. If I may ask, what legend do you come from?"
At this, the Servant smiled, a strange thing partly of mischief, partly of bitterness and partly of amusement. "I have none. I take others' stories and bend them to make them my own."
Tokiomi's eyebrows rose, intrigued. It looked like he'd drawn better than he thought. That wasn't a straight answer, but if he was interpreting it correctly, his Servant's legend was not only obscure but conflated with the legends of others, likely making identifying him even more difficult. "Interesting… yes, I believe we shall get along just fine… I believe this shall be that start of a fine partnership, Caster."
"Caster-sama," Caster corrected, not unkindly, but it was not said in a tone that brooked no argument. "I am, after all, the legendary hero around here. That, no matter how you want to look at it, makes me your senior."
Tokiomi controlled his expression, instead rising and and offering a bow, not too deep, but not shallow either. He remembered well from his youth the displeasure of elder wizards towards disrespectful juniors. "Very well, Caster-sama."
Abruptly, Caster grinned, clapping a hand on Tokiomi's shoulder and gesturing for him to straighten. "Don't worry, Master-kun. I take very good care of my juniors. Just you wait and see… I will take your story and make you look great. Women will want you, men will want to be you."
A great boast. And yet, Tokiomi found himself smiling in response, the expression elegant, befitting the head of the Tohsaka. "A great honor, Caster-sama, but I already have a wife."
The grin gone now, Caster replied with an equally elegant smile, though one a touch more smug perhaps. "Well then, she might have to learn to share. Now… tell me what's going on."
Waver Velvet knew his luck had been going too good to last.
'Stealing' his teacher's catalyst had been no problem. After all, the delivery guy had handed him the thing, after all. Getting the Commands Seals, he admitted, had been pretty luckier. He took it to mean the Grail itself had put him on the shortlist of the top seven people worthy to be a Master. So he'd gotten a ticket to Japan, hopped on a plane with his trunk of apprentice magus stuff, got settled in, stole some chickens and done the ritual.
And now he knew his luck had run out.
He wasn't sure who the scrap of red cloth should have summoned, but given his arrogant ass of a teacher had picked, he had supposed it would be someone powerful and worth the trouble. Sadly, as he'd later find out, in the shifting moonlight of the clearing, he'd been confused by all the moon-shadows and had placed the catalyst in the wrong place, effectively not using it in the ritual at all.
So the young woman wearing the slightly annoyed look standing in front of him could have been anyone.
"Hey," she said. "Are you my Master?"
Waver gulped, still sprawled on his ass from the shock of the end of the summoning. "Ah, yes. Yes I am. W-which Servant are you? What's your class?"
the woman's mouth quirked slightly in mild amusement as Waver completely missed how like a bad pickup line that sounded. "I'm Servant…" She paused, as if doing a double take, then looked confused. "…um, Servant… Funny Vamp."
Waver blinked. That hadn't been in the book. "Seriously?-!"
"Apparently," she said, sounding just as confused as she was. "I figured I'd be a Rider, at least…"
Waver hung his head, practically sobbing. Yup. He was screwed.
Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi, who had never in his life realized what an unfortunate name his parents had saddled him with, made an aggravated sound as the Servant appeared before him. His luck had not been going well. First, the expensive ancient artifact that was supposed to have been his catalyst had been stolen from with the very Clocktower itself (and if he ever found who did it he would flay them alive and use his Mystic Code to give them a mercury bath). Then his hastily but expensively procured second catalyst had been made useless by a few errant drops of wine he had overlooked while preparing to summon. He just knew Sola-Ui was never going to let him forget this. She was merciless with him, despite his love for her. It almost made a man want to cheat. Almost
The oriental who wore formal-looking but obviously cheap clothing, stood with poise and attentive Kayneth had come to expect of family servants and waiters, a stylized crimson 'G' pinned to his lapel. There was a strong scent of wine about him, though the oriental had only just appeared. Had he been such a drunkard in life the scent followed him even now? It was vaguely promising. The primitive east was full of warriors so skilled as to be able to do battle even when intoxicated. "Are you my Master?" the Servant said with a grave formality.
"I am," Kayneth said curtly. "And you are?"
A bow, deep and reminding Kayneth more and more of a waiter. "I am your Servant Lancer, Master, here to serve you in this Holy Grail War."
"Very well, Lancer," Kayneth said. "Why do you reek of wine?"
"I apologize if you find the scent distasteful, Master," Lancer said. "In life, I was once a sommelier. It appears the scents of my old profession have followed me into my new existence."
Kayneth couldn't help but raise an eyebrow. A sommelier? How had one of those end up becoming a hero worthy of the Throne of Heroes? Though that probably explained why he had been called. Who'd have thought the wine of all things would act as a catalyst? "Demonstrate then."
It was, even Sola-Ui had to admit, damned good wine.
"Ha ha! Free at last! Again! Ah, I missed out on some many things… The Spanish Inquisition! The Holocaust! The Brady Bunch reunions! Ferdinand Marcos!"
Ryuunosuke grinned widely, an expression that had more in common with a shark than a human being. There was no humanity there, no compassion, only a thirst for blood, without the extenuating circumstance of him helping regulate the oceans. "AWESOME!"
Ah?-! What had happened? She'd been training in the mountains, preparing for a match, and then suddenly those strange things had happened, and before she knew it this total HUNK had been in her campsight, and ah, what did he mean she was his master now?-!-?-!-? Ah, why can't he be ancient Celtic hottie?
Rin knelt in her room, holding the huge book she'd taken from her father's library. The red mark on the back of her hand itch, but she stoically kept herself from scratching it. She was a big girl now, big girls didn't go around scratching themselves! It was inelegant, her mother said, and as a Tohsaka, she was supposed to be elegant!
That guy had said he'd protect her father, but Rin didn't trust him. He was SUS-PEE-SHEEUS! He was trying to replace papa, Rin just knew it! Why else was he dressing like papa? It hadn't even been a good suit, it had been a girly color!
She finished the circle with exacting care, and carefully began writing the runes with her very important, favorite chalk. Absently, she scratched the back of her hand.
She had to stop when her mother called her down for dinner, and nearly walk over it when she forgot to go straight back because her mother insisted Rin sit with her while she watched the news channel. It was more of those 'Powerful Ranger' guys from the US. Ugh, why did stupid Americans have to make a big deal about everything? Like it was only important if it happened in America? Grandpa said they'd had sentai YEARS before the Americans did, and they'd also had Riders and Ultramans and way cooler guys.
When she finally remembered her circle, she was so sleepy she nearly walked over it. Her mother chided her for drawing 'magic' circles on her grandparents clean floors, but didn't make her wipe it up. Rin was glad.
It was nearly midnight when she finished, and she carefully enunciated the words the like she'd seen papa do that time she hadn't been supposed to be awake. There was a light, and then…
Two women appeared in her bedroom. Rin nearly panicked at the noise they made.
"In honor of Niibori-sama!" one cried. Rin stared as she backflipped, landing in a split that made Rin wince, before spinning her legs over her head and standing up, taking a pose. "Magical Girl x2, Blue!"
"Nya!" said the other woman, patting her head blonde head with a huge paw. "Ah, we're back! It looks like I'm not like Yellow Four-sama after all, I'm more like Yuuki Gai–"
"Pain is power!" the other woman interrupted her, and Rin watched as they made weird patty-cake gestures while standing on one leg. "Hikonin Servants! Are you! Our Master?-!"
Behind them, blue and yellow confetti exploded out of nowhere as a giant logo suddenly appeared behind them.
Five minutes later, Rin ran away from home, carrying her beloved magic compass, her school bag with some hastily thrown-in clothes, and some food the woman who called herself Magical Girl x2 Yellow had 'liberated', heading back to Fuyuki to help her dad. Really, it was to help her dad. It wasn't like she was trying to get out of trouble for waking everyone up in the middle of the night or anything!
Tokiomi blinked. "Rin did what?" he said, not sure he'd heard it right the first time. He listened. "In her room? With nothing but chalk?" More listening. "I see. Very well then. Try calling the police Aoi, and we'll see if we can't find her before this war truly begins. I will set things in motion from my end."
He hung up, then turned. In the bookshelf, conspicuous now that he was looking for it, was a gap in the books. He sighed, then leaned back in his chair.
After moment, he smiled. "In her room," he murmured, "with chalk…"
He was so proud.
She was so grounded when he got his hands on her, but DAMN, he was proud.
In his laboratory, something rang. Still basking in proud papa vibes, Tokiomi got up to answer it. The sound was coming from what looked like an old-fashioned phonograph record player.
"I wasn't sure before, but now it seems undeniable," the old preist said, once Tokiomi had opened the connection. "More than seven Servants have been summoned so far."
"It appears those hypothetical effects of the powers sweeping the owlrd aren't so hypothetical after all," Tokiomi said. "You should know that my daughter has apparently summoned a servant using only a magic circle drawn with a stick of chalk."
"Your daughter?" the old man said, surprised.
"Indeed. Inform Kirei and the Servants. They are to locate her but, and I stress this very strongly, they are not to harm her. I will have the head of anyone who does. Perhaps I can convince her to renounce her claim as Master."
"Understood," Risei said. "Ah, you will want to know that Assassin has deployed for the ruse as planned. They will be there soon."
Tokiomi didn't turn to look at the presence behind him. "Are you ready?" he asked Caster.
Caster smiled. "As someone once said, let's make this showy…"
Someone was sneaking into the Tohsaka estate.
"Gulp, paca… I hope I don't screw this up, paca. Ah, I've already screwed up so many times, paca…"
They weren't doing a very good job of it.
A dark figure approached the mansion with cat-like tread, managing to make a sound with every step. It trying to sneak past the security system centered around the fountain was an exercise in pathetic.
"Oh, for crying… that's it, I can't take it anymore…"
Singed from all the attempts, the intruder turned toward the voice. "Paca?" it said, instantly trying to go for the wide-eyed, innocent look.
A figure stood on the roof, head in one hand, shaking said head with disgust. "You," Caster said, "are pathetic. Why did you even bother to come here, Assassin?"
The last word was very pointed.
Panicked, the bumbling figure fumbled at his belt, where a sheaf of papers that read 'script' had been tucked in. "Um, ah, paca…"
"Save your excuses, you pathetic excuse for a Servant!" Caster said, drawing a card and holding it up. With a practiced flick, he slipped it into a slot without looking. "Die so we don't have to level charges of trespassing at you!"
"Kamen Ride!" a digitized voice said. "DiEnd!"
The intruder screamed as he was vaporized. "You hit me! Not even my father–!"
And he was gone.
Kirei lowered his binoculars and turned towards Assassin. "Why did you send someone so pathetic on this mission? It was hardly believable."
She snorted. "I wasn't going to send any of my good ones. I'll need them later. He was the most expendable."
Kirei knit his brow. "Even more than the drones?"
"Even more so. The drones, at least, can follow orders and blend in. Useful for a covert assassination, wouldn't you say?"
Kirei made no reply, which was his way of giving an affirmative. Well, the farce was over. Now to continue with the plan…
He headed for the church to 'surrender'…
It was the next day.
Iris had had the best day. She had walked the city with Archer and Saber, the former disguised as an Einzbern maid, the latter incorporeal. After the shaky truce the two had come to, they had surprisingly managed to be rather civilized. Saber, according to Archer, was known to keep his world, if only because she had never heard of him breaking it. As she had no personal grudge against him, they were currently managing by pretending the incident had never happened and politely pretending the other didn't exist.
It was dusk when they felt it, the flare of power that was a Servant challenging them. And Iris, mindful of the plan, had answered…
"This is almost a shame," the smooth-talking Servant who identified himself merely as 'the sommelier' said as they faced across the empty docks. He seemed to be have a bottle opener as a belt buckle. "To think I must do battle with a beautiful lady. Would you rather not surrender instead?"
Archer had smiled. "I believe you have made a mistake," she said, curtsying with only a little wobble. "I am a servant, true, but only of the domestic kind. He is the Servant."
And Saber had materialized out of the very air, directly between the self-proclaimed 'sommelier' and Archer. It was a simple ruse, but judging from their enemy's expression, it seemed to have worked.
The sommelier smiled now. "I apologize, dear maid," he said around the hulking brute that was Saber as the other Einzbern Servant drew his sword, the light gleaming dangerously off its edge as much as it did his metal body. "It appears I've made a mistake." He turned to the steadily approaching Saber, inexorable as death. "Gentle sir, before we begin, would you perhaps like a pre-meal drink."
The sommelier moved with inhuman speed, dodging to the side and grabbing Saber's arm. To Irisviel's astonishment, he seemingly effortlessly flipped the other Servant over his shoulder, stepping away lightly as Saber impacted. "A sherry, maybe? Cocktail? Or liquor?"
Slowly, Saber got to his feet as the sommelier just stood there. There seemed to be a more serious, appraising look in Saber's single eye. "You wasted the element of surprise," the metal Servant said, voice deep.
"It wouldn't have worked anyway," the sommelier said easily. He clenched his fist, raising them before him in a fighter's stance. "Bow down. I will eliminate the enemies of wine and my Master."
Saber advanced, then charged. The other followed suit.
Emiya Kiritsugu was mildly impressed. The enemy Servant had not identified himself by his class, looking for all intents and purposes like an ordinary man in a white suit jacket and tie. He was fighting bare-handed, so they could not yet know what his weapon was. That would soon change, but for now the uncertainty of his exact range of attack made the Mage Killer want to be cautious.
As Kiritsugu took up his sniping position, he noticed it. A hint of movement and color from the crane he had spotted and avoided. He looked at it through his scope.
A young man in a white jacket crouched there, the color of his clothes concealed form the combatants by the cover of the crane, but not from Kiritsugu's sniping position. He frowned. Was this one of the Masters he had no information on? Or perhaps, like 'the sommelier', it was a Servant disguised in civilian clothes. Privately, Kiritsugu thought 'wine waiter' was a stupid code name.
"Maiyu," he said quietly. "I've spotted an observer on the crane. Keep an eye on them."
They sat and waited for targets.
Irisviel was astonished at how long 'the sommelier' was lasting against Saber. He agilely moved out of the other Servant's way with inhuman swiftness, often moving in close and blocking the Servant's arms with his own. Under Saber's guard like this, he was able to attack with his legs, sending strong kicks that momentarily staggered the metal Servant.
"You… you are too strong to be merely human, even for a Servant," Saber accused after one such encounter.
The sommelier merely smiled. "Life throws all things into our path. Have a taste of my evil and justice flavors."
Saber did not smile. He was physically incapable of it. "I have studied your technique," he stated, before running himself, markedly slower but with steps no less sure. They clashed, and suddenly the sommelier was sent flying, rolling across rough ground. Though he seemed uninjured, his face was apined as he flipped quickly to his feet, barely avoiding the slashes of a now much faster Saber.
"I see–" he dodged "– that I was not" dodge "– the only one holding back."
He spun away from a stab that had Saber wobbling slightly, reaching into his jacket. Irisviel gasped, dreading the Noble Phantasm that was sure to be coming–
His hand came out holding a small bottle. It was about the size of a sports drink made of heavy glass. "Very well, then," he cried. "My vintage is now at its most luxurious! Henshin!"
He swept his right arm, thrust out the arm holding the bottle, and slammed it into the bottle opener at his belt. One hand swept the mechanism, and there was a sudden burst of prana. Crimson lines seemed to burn from the bottle, trailing down his left leg and up his chest to for the letter 'G' before seeming to erupt in a burst of deep maroon energy.
Where the sommelier once stood, a figured garbed in a shiny black material towered, the red 'G' a chest plate. On his head was a fully concealing helmet, the eyes large, yellow and insect-like, surrounded by crimson accents. V-shaped antenna rose from his brow. He fell into a fighting pose as the stack of steel shipping containers behind him suddenly exploded into a giant, fiery 'G'. "The lonely warrior of love! Kamen Rider G!"
Next to Iris, Archer suddenly gasped.
Kamen Rider G touched the letter on his chest, and from it a long, red weapon settled into his hand. Holding it by the handle in the middle, a blade unfolded from one end as a corkscrew point did the same from the other, making for a strange but very deadly-looking spear.
"So, you reveal yourself," Saber said, not seeming very impressed. "Lancer, I presume. It does not matter. I will still defeat you, for my master and the glory of the Zangyack Empire!"
Once more, cyborg swordsman and cyborg lancer charged.
"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!" a high-pitched, bratty voice cried.
Acting on some known instinct, the two warriors screeched to a halt.
Everyone turned, even the snipers.
At the other end of the docks, outlined by light from what looked like a car with its high beams on, three figures stood, two women and one child. The child stood with her fists on her hips, her twin pigtails fluttering in the night breeze.
Seeing all this through Caster's eyes, Tokiomi suddenly got a sinking feeling in his belly.
The child in the center snapped her fingers, and the two women on either side raised what looked like deformed guns. Archer placed herself between them and Irisviel as the men instinctively shield themselves. But no fire came. Instead, there were twin cries of, "Jumousou!"
There was a light that swept down their bodies, leaving their outlines changed as all three, as one, stepped forward and into the proper lights of the docks.
The child in the center wore a thick fluffy jacket, mittens, and thick pants, all of which went badly with the cheap plastic Ultraman mask she was wearing. "Fuyuki belongs to my papa!" she cried. making strange movements that looked vaguely martial arts-esque. "Bad magi go home! Chibi Akiba Red!"
"For the smile of a child!" the one to the girl's left said. The did a complicated physical stunt. "Akiba Blue!"
"Is nyat a genuine official enemy commander?" the one on the right said, clenching her fists under her chin. "Wah! He looks so big and buff! Af, what if he did it with Grey-sama–"
"Pain is power!" Akiba Blue interrupted, and they made patty-cake motions, the child nearly falling over as she tried to do it on one leg like the other two did. "Magical Girl x2! Akibaranger!"
Behind them, the car exploded. Chibi Akiba Red yelled, and dove, yelling about stop, drop and roll.
In his mansion, Tokiomi slowly facepalmed. "Rin…" he muttered. He could feel Caster laughing himself sick. He turned to the communications device next to him. "Risei, Kirei, slight change of plans. If you would be so good as to keep my daughter from getting killed by her own inexperience…?"
"Of course," the old priest said, answering for both of them, only the faintest hint of amusement in his voice.
Let it be noted for the record Kiritsgu didn't aim at the little girl. He had a daughter himself, after all. So she lived… this time…
Off to his side, the watcher on the crane leapt.
As Yellow helped Chibi Red to her feet, Blue sized up the competition. The big, metal guy reminded her too much of Delu-Knight, in a scary kind of way. The other… she'd never heard of a 'Kamen Rider G' before, but that didn't mean much. Maybe Yumeria would know. The two women though…
"Yellow be careful," she hissed as the two men sized them up in turn. "those two women are suspicious!"
Yellow glanced at them. "You're right, nya," she said, pushing Rin behind her. "Especially the meido. Meido are bad nyews! She's probably some kind of nyanja meido…"
"Moe Magnum?" Blue asked.
"Not yet! Those two look like nyey're going to be big main characters! If they don't fall to our finisher, it's a pretty nyad defeat flag!"
Abruptly, two figures landed to either side of them. One wore black and light-blue armor, his silver belt buckle gleaming as he leveled a gun at the other two male servants. The other was a young man in a white jacket with curly black hair. "Mind if we help you then, ladies?" the one with the gun said lazily.
The two women immediately pushed Rin between them, going on the defensive. "Nya! Who are nyou?"
The armoered one gave a jaunty, two-kingered salute. "I'm Caster," he said said easily. "And this is my collegue."
"Ruler," White Jacket said. He didn't look over their shoulder at them. "Get the girl somewhere safe. We'll handle this."
Caster sighed. "And here I was hoping they'd kill each other without me having to do anything."
"That's lazy, don't you think?" Ruler said. He clenched one fist. "After all, one-on-one is good odds. Ectophase, activate!" His body seemed to morph and shift, and suddenly he stood there like a large green and black insect, red eyes huge. "I am Masked Rider!" he cried. "Masked Rider, Super Gold!" Once more his form shifted, taking on a shape with smaller eyes and golden accents.
"I think I have that trading card," Caster said conversationally as the two sides sized each other up. Then the two charged.
Caster pulled into the lead slightly as Ruler charged up his destructive Ecto Ray, taking aim…
A white form suddenly darted out from between two shipping containers, suddenly right in front of Ruler. He started in surprise, leveling his ray…
The sword stabbed straight through his belt buckle, erupting out his back in a shower of gore and the stench of innards.
The light of the Ecto Ray died.
Caster slid to sudden halt as he realized he no longer had backup, darting to one side before turning so he could keep everyone in his field of view.
A feminine form clad in white stood in front of Ruler, her sword piercing him in the gut, one hand on his shoulder. Almost gently, she pushed him off the blade, and he slid to the ground before disappearing into an anticlimactic shower of sparkles as Iris shivered slightly. "Well, that was easy," the sudden new arrival said. She turned, the enormous red eyes seeming to glow as she regarded the tableau. Her gaze lingered especially long on Caster. "I am Servant… Temptress," she said, even as all Masters saw her class in their senses. There was nothing 'Funny' about her. "More powerful than a Pluton Rocket! Greater than 25 Kamen Riders of two eras put together! Surrender, or I start kicking ass! Kamen Rider Kivala is here!"
There was silence.
"Oh, shit…" Caster could very, very clearly be heard swearing.
Deep within the bowels of the Earth, made private now, Zouken began his summoning. It had been touch and go there for a while, with Berserker wanting to tear him apart and Saver more than happy to help, but he'd been able to diffuse it. The three men had left after tucking Sakura into her bed, sharing a mutual loathing of him and a determination to save the girl by winning the war. Perhaps they'd actually be able to. Stranger things have happened…
In darkness and gloom, amidst the squelching and hissing of worms, darkness took form.
It looked like a man. A simple man, very plain, nondescript. Most people wouldn't have noticed him if they'd bumped into him on the street.
Zouken wasn't most people. He would have noticed this man. His eyes burned with an unholy light the old mage knew well. His eyes had them too.
"I…" the perfectly normal voice said, in perfectly normal tones, from a perfectly normal face, "am Servant Avenger, returned. Are you my–" and the eyes burned with hatred and revulsion at the word– "Master?"
"I am," Zouken said, affable, if a bit smug.
Under his nondescript fishing hat, the perfectly normal face was smooth, but oh, how the eyes burned. "What," Narutaki asked, "do you wish of me?"
- To be continued in the next Kivala!…
A/N: Better than Zero Sense! Except I don't get to kill Kamina! But that's okay, because it means there IS NO KAMINA!
Why, do you ask, of all people, why reveal Avenger as Narutaki? Because!
Zouken is evil, but not a moron. Really, why do people supposedly trying to write 'serious' fics make him so blatantly evil that he's only a bad mustache and a top hat away from being Snidely Whiplash?
And now we will reveal Narutaki's true identity, on the next Dec– er, Kivala!
There are no such things as consistent power levels in sentai!
I wonder if you can guess who everyone (else) is. I'm sure I left enough clues...
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.