[Fic] Magical Lyrical Evangelion

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[Fic] Magical Lyrical Evangelion

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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:58 pm

As threatened elsewhere :twisted:

=================================================
#1 -- Mysterious Encounters

Shinji Ikari stared at the payphone handset. Like all the others, this one
was useless, all lines unavailable. Out of habit, he hung it back on the
hook, and grabbed his things.

Stepping out of the booth, the distant rumblings were louder, closer than
they had been when he had got off the train. He checked the postcard that
gave the very vague instructions, scrawled around the seriously off-duty
photo of the woman who should have been there to meet him, then consulted his
watch.

Well, there was nothing more to do. He had seen the signs at the station
for the public shelters. Might just as well head back and wait this all out,
whatever "this" was. He looked down the silent, deserted street to check the
signs.

And there, some way away, in the middle of the road, a girl, looking
younger than him, in what looked like a rather formal school uniform, a white
jacket, and calf length white skirt.

The fluttering of a flock of pigeons from the power lines, disturbed by
the ever closer rumbles, distracted him for an instant; and when he looked
again, she had gone.
--------------------------------------------------------

It had started the night before, in a strange dream of the sea at night,
and strange fires both above and beneath the waves. A monstrous presence, a
desperate attempt to contain it, then wounded headlong flight into darkess.
There had been an odd atmosphere about the dream that had left Nanoha
Takamachi distracted all morning, while she had been helping around her
family's coffee shop by the railway station.

An errand to run across town had been a welcome break, out in the fresh
air, under a sky that gave at least occasional glimpses of sun; and then, on
the way back, the alert sirens had sounded.

She paused a moment, and then made her decision. She would hurry back, to
the shelter near the coffee shop, rather than have everyone worry about her
while she took refuge in a shelter out here. There was a short-cut through
the park that would get her close to her destination, through an overgrown
area of trees.

Under their crowding branches, the air was still and oppressive, the only
sound her feet on the gravel path, and there was a sense of something
lurking, but she shook that off as a silly thing for littler girls than
herself. Then a feeling like she had walked into something, that brought her
up short as if she had. Was there something?

She looked around. Nothing. Just the pounding of her heart. She was about
to move, when the feeling came again. Something about a small, almost
overgrown path off to the left, ahead.

"Can you hear me? Can you help me?"

Not a voice in her ears, but in her head. Disorientation swept her, until
she realised what it was about this place. It was just like where her dream
had ended.

Trotting now, she headed down the side path.

"Help me!"

The not-voice came again, stronger. And there, in a wider piece of the
path, in a patch of sunlight, there was an animal curled. Not knowing why,
she stopped, and knelt down beside it. A bright little face looked up at her,
and climbed wearily into her hands. Long and creamy coloured, it looked like
a ferret, and one with a red bauble on its collar.

"Can you hear my voice?"

It was clearly the animal talking into her head, and not her ears.

"You who have heard me, please lend me your strength," it asked,
"The time left, the danger, it may already be too late."

As if to emphasise that, the sound of distant rumbling came distinct on a
rush of breeze, and in the gap between the trees, in the distance, a flight
of aerodynes, retreating steadily before a giant thing.

"What's going on? What is that thing?"

Nanoha began to hurry back down the path, intent on home and safety.

"You have the proper talent for this. Will you lend me your
strength?
"

"Talent?"

"I have come here from another world in search of something; but I
don't think I shall be able to this all just by myself. That's why... If
anyone with the proper talent could find it in themselves to assist me, I
shall repay you, I promise. I want you to use the power I carry with me.

"

The ferret held up its head, presenting the jewel at its throat.

"Use this magical power."

"Magic?"

The sounds of missiles and artillery, and the rumbling of giant footsteps
were getting uncomfortably close.

"I promise to repay you, so please?"

"This isn't really the time to be talking about that, is it? What am I
supposed to do."

"Take this device, hold it, close your eyes, and repeat after
me...
"

She grasped the red stone, which had come free of the collar. It was
surprisingly warm to the touch, She clasped it in her left hand, while
keeping the ferret in the crook of her right arm.

"I who have accepted this mission...upon the ancient contract, command
you to release your power...
"

The stone seemed to pulse in her hand, and even though her fist was closed
about it, and her eyes were shut, there was the feeling of light shining from
it.

"Wind in the sky,... stars in the heavens,..."

Redness was swallowing the universe, and the stone pulsed through it like
the heart of the world.

"And a resolute heart... beats within my breast!"

The world was dissolving around her, but the mantra seemed unstoppable.

"This magic in my hand! Raging Heart, Set Up!"

The cosmos held its breath, it seemed.

"Stand by. Ready. Set up."

The Raging Heart spoke, and light flowed from her hand into the sky.

"Focus, and picture the tools you need in your mind. The conduit for
your magic, the form of a magical staff, and a strong armour, to protect your
body.
"

But her imagination was blank.

"There's no way you can expect me do do that, just like this!" she
protested. But if she had to, then she had to,

She had seen magical girls on the TV. She knew roughly how a staff should
look. And as for an outfit, well, perhaps something like her formal school
uniform. That would have to do for the moment.

She felt herself falling into the gem as if the world was turned inside
out around her, and then back again. The fountain of light that poured from
her hand became solid, a magical staff, carrying the Raging Heart in its
crook; and her clothes unwove and reconstituted themselves around her, more
substantial and yet more comfortable than before.

"It's a success!"

"Uh..." She paused, uncertain, looking down at herself. "What's with this
outfit?"

And a strange bird-like head loomed over her.

She took a step back, raising the staff.

A great green-black hand was reaching down for her; and light was
gathering in its palm.

She closed her eyes, and held the staff up to ward it away.

"Protection."

Light flared through her closed eyelids, and there was a roaring noise,
sounding, as it felt, like she was holding an umbrella up against a
waterfall.

It went on and on, until a series of detonations rang out from high above.
She opened one eye, cautiously, to see the giant had turned its attention to
the planes that were buzzing about it, and firing their missiles.

The middle of the town didn't seem like a good place to be doing this sort
of thing -- either what she was doing, or what the Self-Defense Forces were
doing. Even as she watched a plane was struck by a lance of light from the
creature's hand, and began to tumble from the sky, looking like it would
impact somewhere near the station.

"Flash Move."

The scenery blurred around her as she took just one step, and then she
halted, almost by the station. The stricken plane was heading for one of the
office blocks. And there was a boy, standing on the pavement opposite, just
looking at her; not noticing what was happening, not aware of the imminent
impact over his head.
--------------------------------------------------------

Shinji became aware of a growing roaring above, and then as he looked up,
an explosion of impact as a downed plane struck near the top of the building
he was standing near, sending slabs of glass and concrete tumbling. Useless
instinct drove him to hide his head under his arms, as he waited for the
worst.

"Wide Area Protection."

A mechanical voice, like the announcer on the train, but speaking English;
and the sound like a landslide, punctuated with the shattering of glass, but
nothing was actually falling on him. Peering between his forearms, he saw the
wreckage and rubble sliding off a surface marked by a slowly rotating ring of
cherry-pink light.

"This ... isn't a ... safe ... place ..., senpai."

Speaking between gasps for breath, the girl he had just seen was now
standing behind him, holding a crook staff that was alive with more of the
pink light.

Around them, the debris continued to descend as the giant strode on past,
dogged by the swarming planes; and amidst the tumult, the sound of squealing
tires, as a blue car screeched to a halt beside them.

"I'm..." the woman who was driving flung the passenger door open and
spoke, cutting short in surprise.

It took Shinji a few moments to realise that this woman in black dress and
shades was the one whose photo he had been carrying. She in her turn appeared
taken aback by what she saw.

"Go!" the girl urged, as a barrage of missiles struck the giant, sending a
rain of shrapnel down onto her shield. "I'll manage."

At that, Shinji scrambled into the car, dragging the door shut, as with a
grinding of gears, the car spun around.
--------------------------------------------------------

Miles away, in an underground redout, a red phone rang, and was picked up
by a white-gloved hand.

"Ikari. Continue."

A woman's voice at the far end sounded tinnily.

"Spikes of AT Field activity have been detected. Pattern cerise."

Ikari's features hardened almost imperceptibly, as he continued to gaze
impassively at the monitor displays showing the almost continuous bombardment
that the Angel was receiving, artillery, air-to-surface missiles, and even
one of the JSSDF's limited supply of heavy cruise missiles.

"It's the AT Field, isn't it?" Kozo Fuyutsuki, who had been
standing silently behind him, spoke to confirm their understanding.

"Indeed. Conventional weapons are useless against an
Angel."

But there were too many outsiders here, the boys in green uniforms playing
with their expensive toys, for him to voice his disquiet.
--------------------------------------------------------

With the tide of battle retreating, and the bystanders seen to safety,
Nanoha let the protection shield drop. She was panting with effort, like she
had just run a mile; and could hardly keep her eyes open.

"Rest, now. I can keep a barrier around us."

The ferret was bounding across the road toward her, while she leaned on
her staff.

"You have done well, for a beginner; and when you have recovered, I
will continue the chase.
"

"No way! I've started this -- I want to see it through to the end, now.

"Takamachi Nanoha, pleased to meet you."

"Yuuno Scrya." and he nodded his head.

A green circle expanded from under him, surrounding them both; and Nanoha
could feel the web of energy surround them. With a sigh of relief, she
relaxed, letting the Raging Heart dissolve back to a gem in her hand; her
normal clothes return, and was asleep before she had finished curling to the
ground.
--------------------------------------------------------

Gendo Ikari looked up at the assorted brass on the observation deck above
him. They had loosed everything in their armoury against this Angel, all to
no avail; and while they might look down at him literally, as well as
figuratively, the moment was now his.

"Are you certain you can defeat it?" one of them asked.

"Nerv exists for that very purpose."

There could be no thinking otherwise, not in these circumstances. He kept
his expression neutral as the officers departed, leaving the stage to him.
This was the day long anticipated.

When the military had gone, Kozo asked the painfully necessary question,
under the circumstances as he knew them

"Even the UN army has been brought to its knees. What are you going
to do?"

"I will activate Lævateinn."

The mask slipped, and he allowed himself a wry smile.

"Lævateinn? But we have no wielder."

"No problem. One will soon be arriving."
--------------------------------------------------------

Shinji was feeling completely lost in this vast underground maze that
Misato had brought him to -- and, at times, he had the feeling that she was
too. He tried to let the sights and the events of the day keep him
distracted, not always with success, from the encounter that must surely lie
ahead.

After lots of down, up, moving walkways and echoing corridors, they were
finally travelling in a surprisingly normal lift. carrying down into the
bowels of the Earth.

He braced himself as the lift stopped, and the doors opened; but it was a
stranger who stood there, a severe looking woman with bleached blonde hair,
to whom Misato immediately deferred.

"The boy in question, I presume."

She hardly gave him a glance as she spoke.

"Right. According to the Marduk Report, he's the Third."
Misato confirmed.

"Nice to meet you." Finally she took notice of him.

He grunted the necessary reply, then turned back to reading the fat file
of briefing documents he had been carrying, letting the grown-ups talk.
--------------------------------------------------------

Finally the lift stopped, and they stepped out into darkness that was
absolute. The space felt vast, but there was no light of the sky above.

As the lift doors shut behind them, and his eyes began to adjust, he
thought he could see a faint purple spark in the unknowable distance.

And then, a cluster of spots fired up, casting a bright pool of light
around a night black plinth, the blade and hilt of a sword standing out of is
top surface. And at the guard, an amethyst, the size of his fist, glowing
with more than the reflected light.

The manual... He flipped through the pages, trying to see if the mystery
was explained there.

"You won't find this in the manual," said the bleached blonde,
dismissively. "This is the Ultimate All-Purpose Decisive Battle Weapon
developed by humanity. The Armed Device. That is Lævateinn.

"Its construction carried out in complete secrecy, it is our --
humanity's -- final trump."

The crunch could not be far away now.

"This is my father's work?" he had to ask.

"Correct."

An amplified voice; and a figure silhouetted against a brightly lit window
high above where they stood.

"...It's been a while."

He could not tell the tone of voice, and the word
"...Father." just dropped from his lips. He could not bear
to look at the man.

"--Sortie."

A stern word, the word of a man not used to anything but instant
compliance.

"Sortie!! Isn't Bardiche still being frozen?" Misato again seemed as
lost as he was "No, you plan on using Lævateinn?"

"There's no other way," Ritsuko's voice was resigned.

"Now, wait! Fate can't do it yet, can she? We don't have a
wielder!"

"One has just been delivered."

"...Are you serious?"

"...Shinji Ikari."

Like he was in a dream, he looked at her. "Yes?" he asked

"You will take it up."

"But it even took Fate Testarossa seven months just to activate her
Device. This child just got here -- it's impossible for him to do
it!"

"All he has to do is take it up, and speak the incantation. We don't
expect more than that.

"Right now, intercepting the Angel is our top priority. To that end,
if someone seems to have the slightest chance of working with the Device, we
have no choice but to put in their hands."

Shinji shook his head. These people were talking about him, as if he was
not there. He would ignore them, in return.

"Father... Why did you send for me?"

"You know exactly why."

"So, you're saying I should take up that sword and go fight that
thing?"

"Precisely."

He broke into a tirade that had long been bottled up inside.

"Why me?"

"Because no one else can."

No, this was not possible, he could not do this.

"If you are going to take up the sword, do it quickly. If not, then
depart." he father spoke with familiar contempt.

A tremor struck the hall, and another.

"Shinji-kun, we don't have any time."

"Take up the sword."

No, he could not do this. What had he come here for? He had torn up the
letter, and yet he could not escape the dread fascination.

"Fuyutsuki." his father's voice, somewhat off-mike, "Go wake
up Fate."

He could not make out the reply, but the matter of factness of his
father's next words chilled him

"She isn't dead."

Activity burst out around him, as Ritsuko barked out orders to reset
systems.

A creaking of casters announced the arrival of a hospital trolley, being
pushed out from the lift. Lying inert on the thin mattress, a frail looking
girl, pallid, with long blonde hair, wearing a black leotard and bandages.
She looked distantly from the one strange, red eye that was not bandaged.

In obvious pain, she slowly pulled herself into a seating position.

Another tremor. Closer, more intense.

The trolley, slight off balance, tipped, tumbling the girl to the floor,
where she lay, inert.

Shinji too tumbled. Lying on his back, winded, he could see the lighting
gantry descending upon him. Once again he put his hands over his head,
anticipating the agony.

"Panzer Geist."

A harsh metallic voice spoke, and a beam of lilac light shot forth from
the gem in the sword's hilt, blossoming into a whirling triangle, from
which the gantry bounced, harmlessly.

"Impossible!" Ritsuko was clearly as shocked as he was. "There had been no
activation. It should not have been able to cast."

Shinji picked himself up, and looked at the one who had been neglected
in all this -- the injured girl, sprawled clumsily on the ground. He dashed
over to her, and raised her in his arms. There was almost no weight to her --
but the shuddering surely indicated that she was in more pain than she was
showing, and there was wet warmth in his hand..

He looked at the sword, then at the girl's blood on his hand.

He was in their trap. He just had to give up, go with the flow.

"------I'll do it. I will take up the sword."

He let Ritsuko lead him to the plinth.

"Draw the sword," she commanded.

He had to stand on tiptoe to grab the hilt, but the blade then came easily
free.

"Now, repeat the activation after me..."

"Spirit of balance and light I call upon you for strength in this time of
need."

The sword felt light, almost alive in his hands.

"Walk beside me and help to guide me on the path of light and battle
against those that would bring harm."

A flood of rainbow colours filled his vision

"Enfolding me in your protection."

Warmth enfolded him, and he felt a subtle weight upon his shoulders

"Lævateinn, Activate!"

"Anfang."

He was holding the white hilt of the sword with heavy black gauntlets; and
his school clothes were replaced with something vaguely military in black
with some silver flashings; and a full length black cloak.

A series of grindings and booming above signalled a series of heavy
bulkheads opening overhead.

"Launch!" Misato took over command at the end.

"Jahwohl. Adlerflug."

Without any volition on his part, Shinji found himself soaring up, up and
then out into the last of the evening light.

And facing the same giant creature that he had seen earlier that day.
Last edited by Mr. Tines on Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Omegagouki » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:46 pm

Not bad, Tines, not bad at all. My Nanoha knowledge is vastly limited, but I don't think that's a necessary prerequisite to enjoy this. :P

Makes me wonder, though... have I started a trend? :lol:
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Postby thewayneiac » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:03 pm

Alright! It's been awhile, but it was worth waiting for. Keep up the good work.
Rejoice, glory is ours. Our young men have not died in vain. Their graves need no flowers. The tapes have recorded their names.
I am all there is.
Negative! Primative! Limited! I let you live.
But I gave you life.
What else could you do?
To do what was right.
I'm perfect, are you?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:41 am

Belatedly, the next chapter.

Even though this is to some measure hack-work, a purely intellectual exercise to show that it can be done, I want to keep up some measure of quality -- and fight choreography is one of the more difficult bits to do well (which is why I've avoided focussing on the battles in previous fics). But this is nothing without the beam-spam, so...

Also, I now have a better idea of how this is going to shadow the series up to episode 10-equivalent, so, work permitting, it should become more frequent.

===========================================



The cool evening breeze was in his hair; and was all that lay beneath his
feet for tens of meters. Shinji tried not to look or think about that.

There was something to distract him from the feeling that he should be
plummeting to the ground below; but not the sort of distraction he would
have ever wished for -- down the boulevard, the gangling shape of the thing
that had marched past him, uncaring, a few hours before.

A voice crackled in his ear.

"Are you ready, Shinji-kun?" Misato speaking.

"Y-yes."

It wasn't as if there was any option.

"Shinji-kun," Ritsuko took over.

"Just think of controlling your flight now. You must learn to command your
Device."

"But, I don't speak whatever language it is."

"It should understand your intention."

"Forwards," he suggested, hesitantly.

Slowly, in a wobbling movement, he drifted towards the creature. The
initial uncertainty in his flight continued to build, all his attempts to
keep to a straight line just too slow to keep control until a final spin left
him tumbling on the ground, only the heavy material of his cloak and uniform
keeping him from skid burns.

Stationary, he unwound himself, lifting himself on one arm and looking
up.

He wished he hadn't.

Distantly aware of Misato's panicked voice, he stared up at the Angel that
was reaching down with one its enormous hands.

Casually, it picked up not only him, but a patch of the road surface as
well, and then he was flying again, in a smooth ballistic arc, one that
intersected the glassy surface of one of the tower blocks. The slab of
asphalt took out the plate glass before he could hit it, but he still slammed
hard enough into floor and furniture to be winded, and he could only watch as
the Angel tore away the face of the building.

It held out the palm of one hand, where blue light gathered.
---------------------------------------------------

The main topic of conversation at the impromptu late night supper in the
Takamachi household was an obvious result of Nanoha's escapades -- what to do
about someone's lost pet ferret, while waiting for the owner to answer an
advertisement.

Nanoha's initial trepidation was soon overcome. Yuuno-kun was an immense
hit with her mother and her older sister; and that fact alone was enough to
pre-empt any objections from her father.

In fact, Yuuno's presence was a welcome distraction from the details of
what she had actually been doing during the long hours into the evening while
everyone had been waiting anxiously in the shelters. Being caught away from
home and in another shelter, and then walking back home after the all clear
was all entirely plausible; so she didn't actually have to tell any outright
fibs. So long as she didn't mention the exact time that she had been walking
back through the park, harmlessly mistaken conclusions could be drawn.

So while Yuuno was being fussed over, she could sit and quietly work her
way through the spread that her mother had put together; then, when so full
she could not take another mouthful, she collected the ferret, and headed off
to bed.

A small basket, lined with a piece of old blanket together made a
ferret-sized nest, which Yuuno curled up into, while she changed into her
pyjamas.

"Goodnight, Yuuno. Goodnight, Raging Heart.", she said as she climbed into
bed.

"Goodnight, Nanoha," Yuuno uncoiled and looked at her, before
burrowing back. And from the red jewel on her bedside table, the faintest
pulse of energy.

With a contented sign, she pulled the bedclothes over her. This had been a
good day.
---------------------------------------------------

In the hour of the wolf, Shinji snapped awake in a cold sweat. Whatever
night terror it had been, retreated into the formless depths below
consciousness.

He was in a room he had never seen before; furnished as a hospital
ward.

In the background, the sound of a radio, tuned to some early morning
exercise drill lent the scene a bizarre familiarity.

So this was his new life.

His brain raced, futile thoughts buzzing through his head, keeping sleep
at bay.

After what seemed like forever, the dim night-time lighting gave way to
the first grey light of dawn.

Impelled to move, he clambered out of the bed, opened the door, and found
himself in a long corridor, the windows looking out onto parkland. Even at
the early hour, the heat was already enough to waken the cicadas into
tentative song, and their trilling driving out thought.

A sound slowly emerging from the background caught his attention,
footsteps, and the squeaking of wheels, a bed being wheeled along the
corridor.

Apart from slightly trimming her course, the nurse propelling it paid him
no heed, carrying steadily past, as he looked at the occupant of the bed --
the girl he had seen last night, now wearing a hospital robe, but still
looking as frail. Only her one visible eye moved, to look at him as she moved
past. The expression on her face was nothing he could read.
---------------------------------------------------

As the morning wore on, recovery teams began the work of clearing the
debris from the streets of Tokyo-3.

And in a dark and hidden place, Gendo Ikari was clearing his own path of
some of the other fallout from the previous night.

The Committee's attempts to tell him how to do his job, he let wash past
him. Let them worry about the fictions of their accounts. Let them jeer at
his passing the Lævateinn to his son.

"Next time, Ikari-kun, endeavour to recover the Jewel Seed intact,
otherwise all this expenditure will have gone to waste."

"And that is not your only responsibility. The Enlightenment Project.
That should be your highest priority."

At last. This would be about the only exchange that would justify the time
spent in this charade.

"Precisely. Under these desperate circumstances, that project is our one
and only hope."

The meeting moved on. The Committee moved to the next item on their
agenda, their images vanishing from this meeting room.

Only the chairman remained, squatting like a toad at the far end of the
virtual table.

"Ikari. There is no turning back," he said, in a tone that might have been
meant to be avuncular, before vanishing.

Now, he could resume his real work. He picked up the phone.

"Infirmary? This is Ikari." pause "I shall be visiting to check on Miss
Testarossa's condition."
---------------------------------------------------

Evening at last. Another day, another new bed. Another ceiling to stare
at, and hope for sleep to come; that little escape from the world, and the
responsibilities that it was thrusting upon him. Misato. His father. And that
girl, Fate. And the other one.

The familiar music failed to quiet his racing thoughts.

The other one.

The one in white.

Who was she?
---------------------------------------------------

Sitting on the edge of her bed, the Raging Heart cupped in her hands,
Nanoha concentrated.

Unobserved, a circle of pink light expanded about her feet, swirling,
reaching out, fading in intensity as it grew.

"Nothing," she said, after a while.

"That means that none of the other Jewel Seeds are active yet. We might
find one if we stumbled upon it. Until then, we just have to wait.
"

She felt rather let down. Last night had been ... exhilarating. As if it
were what she had been waiting all her life to do.

But that boy...
---------------------------------------------------

The evening breeze was cool in her hair, as she stood atop one of the
towers of Tokyo-3, watching the giant approach the city.

"You must get close enough to be able to seal the Jewel Seed."

She pondered. This magic should be able to...

"Flier fin."

Winged heels. So that was how it worked.

She launched herself towards the remote figure, watching to see if it
would react.

And react it did.

Fierce light gathered before it, the blue of an arc lamp, which it then
spat at her.

From such a distance, what started as a mere spark blossomed, larger and
larger, but slowly enough that she could evade with ease. Evade that, and the
next two that followed it, though even their passage snatched and twisted at
her magic.

She pondered a moment. Being a magical girl didn't seem to mean that she
could get away without sound tactical planning. Well, that was one thing that
she had picked up from watching the rest of her family at their swordplay.

"I'm not going to be able to get close enough like this. It's still coming
this way. We can wait until it's here in the city, and then I should be able
to ambush it."
---------------------------------------------------

"Shinji! Shinji!"

Misato's voice crackling in his ear sounded desperate.

"Command your device -- 'Cartridge Load!"

"Huh? OK. ... Lævateinn, cartridge load!"

A mechanism near the hilt cycled, spitting brass, and a stink of
sulphur.

"Explosion!", it announced in a self-satisfied sounding
tone, then "Gepanzerte Festung!"

A dome of lilac light blazed around him, just as the giant figure above
him unleashed its fury. A shaft of blue light like an arc-lamp pounded at the
globe, like God knocking and demanding to be let in. Around him, half hidden
in the blaze of energies, concrete and steel failed under the assault,
crashing in waves off the barrier, and then he was flying again, the disk of
floor under his feet loosed from the tower that was now collapsing like a
house of cards.

A few brief seconds of near free-fall, then impact, bouncing and rolling,
until his little sanctuary fetched up against another building, and the
barrier flickered, and went out.
---------------------------------------------------

"Now, Nanoha."

The Jewel Seed creature had paused, looking at the remains of the building
it had demolished.

"While it is distracted, we can seal it. Now, speak the
incantation that comes into your mind, to focus your magic
."

"O.. Okay."

She paused, contemplating then...

"Lyrical! Magical! Jewel Seed, Seal!"

"Sealing Mode. Set up."

Fins of light eruped from near the crook of the Raging Heart.

"Jewel Seed, serial XII..." she began, and a ribbon of light sprang forth
towards her target.
---------------------------------------------------

Beneath the level of conscious thought, Shinji reacted.

As he lay sprawled in the rubble, he was vaguely aware of Misato talking
off-mike -- "We have to abort the mission. Prepare the First for emergency
recovery!"

He had had a bad day, and he was going to spread the grief around. Using
the Lævateinn as a prop, he hauled himself to his feet. Without word or
even explicit intent, he cycled the mechanism twice.

"Blitzschlag!"

Eerie purple energies crackled along the blade and he launched himself at
the tormenting figure above, and the blue globe that looked like its
heart.

"The Third Child is amok!"

Howling with rage, he swung his blade, only to be deflected at the last
instant by a whirling blue octagram.

"It's no use!! As long as that A.T. Field is up..."

Back and forth, swinging, chopping at the barrier for all he was worth, he
began to drive the Angel back, stumbling into and through the buildings.
---------------------------------------------------

Nanoha's first strike passed the creature by, as it retreated under this
sudden onslaught, out of sight behind another building. Now, at least, it was
completely distracted, she had no need to hide herself behind the blocks.
Soaring into the air, she took up station above and behind the creature as it
made its slow retreat.

Many ribbons of pink light poured from her staff, winding themselves about
the creature.

"Stand by. Ready."

"Lyrical Magical! Jewel Seed, serial XII... Seal!"

The number blazed on the creature's brow.

"Sealing."

Gouts of energy spurted from between the tightening ribbons, and then, in
a cruciform blaze of light, it evaporated, leaving a small blue spark
drifting downwards.

She swooped towards it.

"That is a Jewel Seed. Now we can capture it."

As she approached, it was drawn as if by magnetism towards the Raging
Heart.

"Receipt Number XII." it announced, as the red globe
swallowed the blue crystal.

With a feeling almost of anti-climax, it was over.

She looked for the other, the one who had attacked the creature while she
had first tried to seal it, but there was no sign.

So, she had done her part. Time to leave before she had to explain
anything.
---------------------------------------------------

Howling with inarticulate rage, Shinji pounded against the blue design,
feeling it begin to crack.

And then light. Too much, too bright, as if the creature were bleeding
like a sun.

He felt the Lævateinn put up a barrier, seeming like the silhouette
of a figure hardly visible against the glare. Some long-forgotten reassurance
seemed to fill him as he flew backwards, into darkness.
---------------------------------------------------

He awoke from recollection, of what he had done just a day before, brought
to the present by the screen door sliding open.

"You did a very praiseworthy thing, Shinji. You should be proud of
yourself. Sleep well."

As if he could.
Last edited by Mr. Tines on Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:22 pm

Had this hanging around on my HD for months now, waiting for the flow to carry me through the second half of the chapter, thought I might as well post it.

=================================================
#3 -- It's another magical girl! (part 1)

"Sixteen! ... Seventeen! ... Eighteen! ..."

At each count, a metallic impact echoed through the tentative cicada song of early morning.

"Nineteen! ..."

"Oh!" a sound of disappointment, a different voice, and the rattle of a soda can hitting paved ground.

While her mother was preparing breakfast, and the rest of the family were sparring in the dojo, Nanoha had dressed and headed out to this fairly secluded place to do some practice of her own -- with the example of the rest of her family to go by, she knew that practice was the key to developing and maintaining any well honed skill.

"Well done!" Yuuno signalled encouragement, bounding along beside her as she went to pick up the can that she had been kicking into the air with her own magic. "You are doing very well for a beginner."

"If I'm going to help you collect all the Jewel Seeds, then I shall have to get a lot better at this!"

Her stomach gurgled.

"Anyway, it should be time for breakfast now!"
--------------------------------------------------------

"Stance. Block. Strike.

"Stance. Block. Strike.

"Stance. Block. Ooowwww!"

The dull monotone recital was broken by a yelp of pain, and a clattering of wood against wood.

Two figures in kendo attire stood in a practice hall. A bokken lay, gently rocking, at the feet of the smaller of the pair.

"That attitude would get you killed in a real fight", the taller admonished. He thrust his practice sword into his belt, and took off the mask, shaking out long green hair.

"In this dojo, it will just hurt. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Saionji-senpai." The same flat voice

The slap against the kendo mask was more noisy than painful, but the intent was clear.

"In this place, you address me as 'Master'. I does not matter that you are the Commander's son. Being permitted to train like this is already something that is above the station of your family.

"Now, pick up your sword, and do it all over again, from the top."
--------------------------------------------------------

The school bell sounded for break.

Shinji stayed at his desk in a numbed haze, cocooned away from the rising chatter and sounds of play. After long sessions of sword-play, he still ached. Any relief that yesterday's session was over had been punctured by Misato presenting him with a box, which had turned out to contain a school uniform. He heart had sunk when he had found that he would have to do his normal school work and this out of hours training.

His reverie was interrupted by a thud, as a girl with a yellow ribbon in her hair planted her elbows on his desk and stared at him from only inches away.

"A mysterious transfer student arrived just after we've been attacked by a monster. Don't you think that's a bit of a coincidence?" she asked.

He stammered, trying to fit words together to answer her, but it became clear that she was not looking for an answer from him when she grabbed his tie, and began to drag him by it, out into the corridor, and along, past landmarks that he had not yet committed to memory, and into another room, where a few other students were amusing themselves.

"Attention, team!" his captor announced, "We have a new member, the mysterious transfer student."

"It couldn't be him." the boy who spoke was freckled and wore heavy glasses. He was holding what looked like a Sailor Moon doll, fitted with an improvised long white skirt, above his head, as if to pretend it was flying.

"Magical girls, are, well, girls, after all.

"Or full-time traps," he added as an afterthought.

"Well there was that dude in black who showed up and got in her way." The other boy who was sitting on the window-sill added, without turning to look.

"Say, Kyon, that reminds me -- how's your little sister today?"

"Just about over the shock. She'll be grounded for a week at least, for wandering off like that, when she should have found a shelter."

"Tea?" Shinji's distant viewing of the conversation was interrupted by the other girl, who was wearing some sort of maid outfit, and holding a gently steaming cup on a tray in front of him.

He seemed to have been snared into some sort of mad house here, and he couldn't see how he was going to escape, when...

"Hey! Babe alert!"

The boy on the sill pointed down, and outside, and then everyone crowded around, with Shinji finding himself gently guided into the throng.

There, emerging from an untidily parked car, was Misato. He wondered what she was doing there, and must have vocalised.

"You know her?"

"Is she your big sister?"

"No, no," he protested, "I'm just staying at her apartment. She's my guardian."

"You lucky dog," said the freckled guy, as he nudged him in the ribs.

"I have to see what she wants!"

He finally had an excuse to escape, even if the others might be close on his heels.
Last edited by Mr. Tines on Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Tabasco » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:10 pm

Throwing poor Shinji to the wolves? :)
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:56 pm

Wolves? No, he's just in crossover hell at the moment :twisted:

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:15 pm

At last, the rest of the current chapter, wherein Shinji escapes the spotlight for a while....

=================================================
#3 -- It's another magical girl! (part 2)

"Did you feel that?" Nanoha thought. There had been something, like
a shiver running down her spine, that had jolted her out of a half doze.

They had been here in the shelter long enough that conversation had died
down, and some of the younger children were having full-scale afternoon
naps.

"Yes," Yuuno replied, "It is another Jewel Seed."

That was going to be a problem, being stuck down here, along with everyone
else, while she needed to be outside, ready to protect people, and gather up
the Seeds. And she was new enough at the magical girl thing that she didn't
want to just blurt the secret out to the teachers. Wasn't it part of the way
these things worked that they only lasted a while, and then you had to go
back to being normal? A secret identity for while it lasted had to be the way
to go...

"Yuuno-kun, we have to get out of here. You'll have to be a
distraction.
"

She had brought the ferret to school in a cat-box, to show her friends,
and he had been let out to play a while before settling down to sleep on her
lap. Now, with a sudden bound, he shot off, heading not quite directly for
one of the exits.

"Oh, Mr. Ferret!" she yelped, and headed off in pursuit, following Yuuno's
lead between the groups of children, out of the main shelter, and into a maze
of corridors beyond, all bare concrete and dim emergency lighting.

This was not the way they had come, down broad brightly lit escalators
from the subway station, where electronic signs had shown the way, and
automated doors had sealed behind them. Here, the signs were simple engraved
plastic, pointing to the shelter, she was climbing plain conrete stairways
that twisted up and up, and all the doors were all manually operated. Had
indeed all been manually operated, and were standing ajar.

Was someone else sneaking out? Was it the black-clad boy who had appeared
while she was fighting the first Jewel Seed creature?

The final door ahead shone a ray of sunlight into the final landing at the
top of the stairway. Her pace, which had slowed considerably during the
ascent, eased off to a slow sneaking movement, sidling along against the
wall, until she could peer carefully out the door.

"Awesome! This was worth all the troubles! Oh, this is what I've been
waiting for!"

A voice caught on the breeze reached her, and she looked out a little
more.

There. A little way down the hillside from where she was emerging, two
boys and two girls from the senior school were clustered together, looking
down at the city below, where something purplish, some lurid squid-like
thing, was floating amongst a district where the blocks hadn't retracted.

And, more than see it, she could feel its magical aura, and how it
suddenly spiked, as it lashed out a tentacle of white light, and send
something flying. The creature followed like an express train, no, like a
jumbo jet coming in to crash land almost where she stood. The commentary from
below disintegrated into involuntary screams of terror.

"Take the Raging Heart, and say the passphrase," Yuuno prompted,
"Hurry! 'I who have accepted this mission...'"

"I..." the words did not come, as the thing loomed above her, coming
closer, and something impacted trees nearby, tearing off branches.

"I... Raging Heart, please..."

Light flared from her clenched fist where she held the gem, bright beams
streaming between her fingers.

"Stand by. Ready. ... Set up!"

She felt the gem fold, shift in an unnatural direction, and then she was
clutching her staff. There was a burst of amazement from Yuuno, and then the
command "Your protective clothing!"

"Barrier Jacket!"

The comforting weight settled around her, as the thing lashed out one of
its tentacles, falling harmlessly on the umbrella of pink light that she had
thrown up without a thought.

"Protect Condition : All Green."

The crackling discharge of energies quieted, and she hesitantly opened her
eyes again.

The thing was still hovering overhead, but the other children, who had
fallen or been knocked to the ground, were starting to pick themselves up.

"This way!" she called to them, as they started to rise, and then stopped,
looking at something above and behind her.

Warily she turned, to see the boy in black, standing on a spinning
triangle of purple light, carrying a sword that she could feel pulse with
magical energies as it worked. He, abruptly distracted, looked down at them
all, a shock of sudden recognition on his face.

"Now, while he is distracted." Yuuno whispered.

"Sealing mode."

The Raging Heart reconfigured as she leapt into the air, ready to dispatch
this beast.

"Photon Lancer. Full auto fire."

The hairs stood up on her neck, as Nanoha turned to face a wave of
incoming fire. This was not coming from the boy, nor from the Jewel Seed
creature. There was another player in this game already.

"Wide area protection."

She spread her umbrella wide, covering the civilians still scrambling for
safety as well as herself, as she drifted back to the ground, scanning for
the source of this new threat.

There was a rustling in the trees, movement catching her eye, as a girl in
black, cloaked, and clutching a staff of black metal landed on one of the
major boughs. Another mage, like herself?

They stared at each other, Nanoha taking in the sadness of the girl's
expression, and how beautiful her long blonde hair looked.

"Another searcher after the Lost Logia?" the strange girl wondered,
"Another intelligent device like my Bardiche?"

"Scythe form. Set up."

The device reconfigured, growing a blade of golden light.

"I am terribly sorry," the girl said, matter-of-factly, "but we shall be
the ones to claim it."

And she launched herself forwards in attack, disregarding the behemoth
hovering above them all.

Nanoha dodged the first sweep of the scythe, flying backwards, up and out
from under the Jewel Seed creature, parrying the whirling bolts of light the
girl was sending after her, pausing only when she had made it clear, and
could devote energies to full defense. The bombardment ceased for a moment,
and she looked around, just in time to bring the Raging Heart up to block a
blow of the scythe.

Locked together in combat, she stared into the girl's garnet eyes, staring
impassively back at her.

"Why? Why are you doing this?"

"Any answer would be meaningless to you," the girl replied, before
disengaging.

So far, Nanoha realised, she had not had to do anything but defend
herself, and others, or seal the Jewel Seed. Like there was a special way to
seal, then surely, she must be able, like the girl, to make a counter
attack.

"Shooting mode."

Responding to her desires, the crook of the Raging Heart folded in
directions that they eye was not meant to follow, as concavities protruded,
and shapes flowed, before stabilising again as a two-pronged fork, one tine
longer than the other.

"Divine Buster, Stand by."

"Photon Lancer, Get set."

They stared at one another, weapons at the ready.

Nanoha was in a whirl of confusion. This girl had to be about her own age,
and there was this strange beauty about her that affected her in ways she
could not understand. And yet she must fight her, for all her instincts
were telling her that she should not.

"Uaahhhhhh!!"

The roar distracted her, as the boy, whom she had forgotten about,
launched himself from his platform above the trees, striking at the heart,
the blue globe of the Jewel Seed, that pulsed amongst writhing crab-like legs
in the belly of the beast. She saw the sigil XV light on the cobra-like hood,
and then magical light sent her flying, spiralling down into her own personal
darkness.



Evening was colouring the sky as she woke, groggily, and headed back into
the shelter, until she found one of the grown-ups, and explained that she had
managed to get herself lost, so had stopped, and dozed a while, waiting for
someone to come after her.

The evening, in her room, sent to bed by anxious, but relieved, parents,
she sat wondering about what had happened. Not one, but two other mages, and
by Yuuno's reckoning, not from any world that he recognised.

What were they doing? Why were they tracking down the Jewel Seeds? And
what was it about the blonde girl that had affected her so? And would they
meet again, while there were still more Jewel Seeds to gather up? There were
so many sad and confused feeling churning in her chest, as she lay in the
darkness, staring at the blankness of her ceiling.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:41 pm

The other side of being off-net for a couple of days at the end of a holiday...

=================================================
#4 -- Fate, beyond her heart

The cold wind blew tendrils of mist up at him, occasionally parting to show glimpses of the towers of Tokyo-3 below in the distance. There was ground where he sat, and the palings of a fence at his back, but from what he could see, Shinji felt like he was sitting in the clouds.

It would be so easy to stand and leap forwards, like a character in an old wu xia movie, to soar through the clouds into the land of the Immortals.

Not like the last time he had been stood in mid-air, supported only by a slowly rotating mandala of lilac light, the sword in his hand feeling about as helpful as a toothpick against the whale size or more behemoth bearing down on him.

"Stance. Block. Strike..." he had fallen into the monotony of training drill, as cables of light, thicker than his body, whipped towards him. This was hopeless. he could only try frantically to dodge, or throw a barrier up against each strike.

"Cartridge load! Cartridge load!" he called as the crawling whips of light shattered his barrier.

"Explosion. Schlangeform."

The sword elongated itself into a whip braided with jagged teeth.

"Cartridge load! Cartridge load!" he called again, heedless of Misato's voice in his ear, telling him to use his ammunition sparingly until Fate could be sent to assist.

His own whip, alive with magical energies, tangled with one of the flailing tentacles, and in a convulsive motion, the creature hauled back the limb, flinging him away.

A moment of flight, and more of confusion, as he realised he was lying in a clump of bushes on a hillside overlooking the city -- and that a few feet away, his friends from school, and beyond them, the on-rushing mass of the Angel.

It reared up, flaring its hood, and revealing writhing legs like a crayfish -- and revealing the blue glow of its core.

Ignoring Misato's increasingly frantic orders, he hauled himself to his feet, cycled his remaining cartridges, and leapt screaming at the target, too quick for the creature to resist.

"Gefangen. Quittung Nummer Fünfzehn!"

And it was done.

After, he had sat stonily through the debrief and reprimand -- if anyone else could wield the Lævateinn, then there would have been no need to call him from obscurity. And as soon as he could go, he went, just going wherever his feet would take him.

And now he was spent, physically, emotionally, financially. The step forwards into the void beckoned. But when he stood, he turned and scrambled back through the gap in the fence. For the moment, he would not run away.

It was almost a relief, then when the roaring of engines, and the clatter of rotors brought a black helicopter up to face him, and other dark suited men were running down the hillside towards him.




Misato's reaction on his return made it seem like he had been gone weeks, rather than just the one hight, and that sleeping in an all night flea-pit of a cinema, before making his trek into solitude.

The next morning, though, a nervous exchange of glances formed an unspoken agreement that the matter would be forgotten. And so, the next few days became once again a familiar treadmill of school and training. And then one day, Dr. Akagi came to visit.

It would have been memorable enough -- in a bad way -- just for the catering, which Misato had insisted on doing. But with the fiery sauce that had been concocted to liven up the instant noodles becoming just a fading memory -- at least until the next morning -- over the cups of instant coffee, Ritsuko dropped her bombshell.

"Shinji, I'd like you to run an errand for me. Now that Fate is fully recovered, we think she should go to school...

Testarossa... Apart from the day he had been dragged here, he had only seen her in the distance, in passing, across wide expanses of space within the GeoFront, usually seeming quite wooden -- except one time when she had been talking to his father, and then she had been quite animated, very girlish...

"So here is her new uniform." She held out the box she had brought "could you take it to her in time for school tomorrow?"




Morning. Early.

The address scrawled on the card taped to the box was in one of the city's central blocks, apartment number 4402.

The steel and marble atrium of the block was intimidating, but there was an obvious group of lifts -- though on inspection, none of them went above level 40. He looked around in bewilderment -- and spotted another lift door in a side lobby, with no call button, just a card reader with a discreet fig-leaf logo.

He swallowed hard, and swiped his NERV card. A progress bar lit up on the display above the lift door, and with a faint whining of mechanisms, unwound with surprising speed.

The ascent was as vertiginous, threatening to buckle his knees as it took off, and to fling him at the ceiling as it halted. The penthouse lobby was as austere as the atrium had been, with an inconspicuous sign indicating 4402 to the right. He pressed the button beside the brushed metal door, and to his horror, it slid open, revealing a space of dazzling light.

"Uh, hello?" he ventured, shading his eyes against the morning sun in this room of white stone and stainless steel, with a wall of glass. Glancing carefully into the light, he saw a figure sitting on a dark coloured couch, facing him.

"Uh, Testarossa? I've brought your school uniform."

The girl suddenly animated, standing up and taking the box, holding it close to her chest. And was she blushing slightly over the top of it?

She skipped off into a side room, to emerge a short while later wearing the girls' uniform of white skirt and jacket, each with black trim.

"We should be going." she remarked, offhandedly.

They walked in silence together to school, where Fate was met by her form teacher, leaving Shinji to reflect on the experience, and to wonder about their next possible encounter.

It came sooner than he expected. At lunch break, he had been dragged into the club room again, where he knew he would be pestered again about what he was doing fighting the Angel -- and there was Testarossa, sitting in a corner, calmly reading a book.

"So you've dragged her along as well? Do you pounce on all the transfer students?" he accused.

"No," Fate replied. "I was told that this was where the reading club meets. So here I am."

Apparently the fact that the reading group was effectively defunct hadn't reached the school administration. But it was a relief not to be the main focus of attention -- and that Fate played each question fired at her with an innocent straight bat.




And the, as if things had become too quiet, another Angel, a floating metallic octahedron, whose slow approach was accompanied by strange harmonies, like the music of the spheres. And after the soft organic feel of the previous creatures, this was disturbingly different, threatening.

Reluctantly, Shinji let himself be kitted out and readied for action. How to deal with a floating mountain with just a magic sword?

He emerged from the deployment shaft at speed, continuing to climb until well clear of the remaining above-ground installations.

"We're detecting a high energy reaction from inside the target!" he heard on the telemetry. And suddenly, to eldritch strains, the octahedron bloomed like a flower, exposing a blazing blue kernel that..

"Barrier! Cartridge load! Cartridge load!"

He was cycling the cartridges as fast as he could work the mechanism, and still the beam was eating away at his barrier. There was nothing he could do. he just power-dived back down the shaft, noting in horror as the beam followed him that it sliced through the supply towers, leaving them running with yellow-hot slag.

Having dealt with that nuisance, the Angel folded in on itself, approached the epicentre of the GeoFront, and gently began to extrude its nadir into a drill.




"The problem is range," Misato explained at a briefing, after Shinji had been rushed to the infirmary for observation and probable treatment of radiation burns.

"Either of the Children should be able to bind the Logos that enables the Angel, and each can defend a while against that beam. The problem is approaching it.

"I have a proposal that will at least resolve the current threat, the drill that will pierce this GeoFront soon after midnight, even if we may not be able to salvage this Logos.

"There are a couple of independent projects that we need to requisition. Oh, and we'll need to temporarily requisition the entire national electricity supply as power.

"First, Japan Heavy Chemical Industries..."
Last edited by Mr. Tines on Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:23 pm

I never noticed this fic before! My goodness, what a crossover!
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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:44 pm

Next episode with its special guest star will be here just as soon as I get around to transcribing it from its current dead-tree format.

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Postby universalperson » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:19 pm

So is Fate related to Shinji, or what?

Will Rei show up at all?
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Postby Tabasco » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:13 pm

As far as I can tell, Fate is Rei for the purposes of the fic.

It'd be neat to have her show up in the obligatory mid season new character introductions, though.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:46 pm

universalperson wrote:So is Fate related to Shinji, or what? Will Rei show up at all?


All I'll say at the moment is -- someone has to take the place of Alicia Testarossa.

=================================================
#5 -- Fate II

Having this much fun could not possibly be decent, Misato thought, as she tried to keep a straight face while going through the whole "By the powers vested in me..." ritual to the crowd of bemused SDF officers and techs.

By superhuman effort, she remained dead-pan while the message sank in -- she was commandeering their shiny new toy, the Self Propelled Positron Cannon. And the heat shield module of their experimental orbital shuttle.

"We'll try to return this in as close to its original condition as we can.
We appreciate your cooperation!"

Watching them put two and two together -- how she and the couple of minders she had brought along were actually going to take the items they had so brusquely appropriated -- almost broke her composure. Then, having let the situation ripen to the appropriate point, she spoke into the microphone at her lapel.

"Okay, Maya! Take it away!"

With a screaming of tortured metal not unlike the keening of this latest Angel, that they were laying siege to, and the staccato popping of rivets, part of the roof lifted to reveal the grinning non-face of General Purpose Mobile Suit Jet Alone Test-Type-01.

"That's a piece of precision machinery, so be careful!"

No sooner had she spoken, than Tokita-san's voice sounded tinnily in her ear as he reminded her that the Jet Alone Test Type was indeed a piece of precision engineering, and never mind the military's stuff. She didn't bother to look up, to see if he was actually showing visible agitation through the cockpit windows -- watching to make sure that her weapon of desperation came to no harm was far more important at the present moment.




Nanoha and Yuuno sat concealed in undergrowth on one of the hillsides overlooking Tokyo-3, having managed to separate themselves from the flow of people heading into the shelters.

Were it not for the Jewel Seed creature, it would have been pleasant just to sit in the late afternoon sun, and appreciate the cool breeze off the lake. But today, their focus was on that geometric bulk, the sun occasionally glinting off its facets, as it slowly turned on its axis.

Every few minutes, the authorities were making some sort of probe at it -- artillery fire, missiles, the occasional drone -- at which point the creature would spin off a ring of satellites, and from the disk thus described, project a beam of blue magical energies to counter the attack.

"For all its size and power, it is just a simple Jewel Seed manifestation," Yuuno explained, "the trouble is going to be getting into a position where we can seal it without coming under that sort of fire, without disabling it first, and I don't think we have the power for that."

He halted in mid-exposition, not at the flat crack of another distant detonation that had just sounded, but upon sensing -- just barely -- a magical probe of unexpected subtlety.

"No, you're right," Nanoha agreed. "I don't have enough power to do that, yet."

He felt a chill that made his fur stand on end. He had hoped on this dead-end backwater world to find maybe a D-class mage candidate, if outrageously lucky, a C-class -- but the wide area search he had just felt was at least A-class work. And there was something ominous about the "yet" in that flat statement.




The sun was sinking and the light piped into the GeoFront turning golden when Shinji was finally released from observation and sent, still clad only in a paper hospital gown, into some waiting room, with instructions to wait to be collected.

He was hoping that Misato would arrive soon with some proper clothes and take him home, but when the door opened, it was Fate who arrived, carrying a plastic wrapped bundle.

"I'm here to brief you on the timetable of Operation Yashima, which will begin tomorrow at 00:00 hours," she began, "Operatives Ikari and Testarossa will arrive at the temporary base on Mt. Futago at 18:30. There, they will stand by and await further orders. The operation will begin promptly at midnight.

"Here is your garment for the operation," -- she tossed the bundle at him -- "and here is your evening meal." An orderly wheeled in a tray of not quite appetizing smelling dishes.

He protested that he had no appetite, but Fate ignored him.

"We'll be departing in sixty minutes. You must take up arms against that Angel once again."

"Do I have to face that thing again?"

"If you wish, then stay there. Dr. Akagi and Lt. Katsuragi is prepared to revise the plan so that my Bardiche will take the primary role. I am going now. They will be waiting for you."




Darkness had shrouded the mountain, and Shinji, clad in the embarrassingly skin-tight body-stocking that Fate had delivered to him, was being briefed about the plan, while technicians swarmed over the massive gun barrel to which they had attached the Lævateinn.

"Here are your individual duties for the operation.
Shinji..."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Yours will be the primary assault Device. From the control cabin of the Jet Alone, you will employ the Device Mounted Positron Sniper Rifle."

"Yes, Ma'am." He was sleepwalking in all this -- thing were changing beyond what he could cope with.

"Fate, you and Bardiche are in charge of defence. The Anti-Heat and Light Wave Defensive Equipment will bear the brunt of the conventional energies, backed up by your magical shielding."

She quietly acquiesced to her role, but as the gravity of what he was being expected to do, Shinji could only rise to protest that he had not had chance to practise.

Ritsuko tried to reassure him -- but after what he had gone through earlier, he was not so easily placated. What if he should miss?

"I..." Fate began, "I just need to defend, correct?"

"That's right." Ritsuko agreed.




Midnight was approaching, and Shinji in his plug-suit, and Fate, her barrier jacket and Device already deployed, waited fretting in a portacabin. They had exhausted anything they could say to each other hours before, but the miasma of their exchanges still remained, neither quite looking at the other.

The go signal came as a relief, as across the valley the lights of the city blinked off.




Across the valley, Nanoha roused herself as well, glad to be about to move, after the chill of the night. She was glad of the warmth of her jumper, and the friendly glow of the Raging Heart.




With Misato following him, Shinji climbed the access ladder to the cockpit of Jet Alone, where Maya was waiting, ready to help haul him in, strap him into the pilot's seat, and attach all manner of cables to his suit.

And then, as promised, he could feel the Lævateinn, and through the force-feedback gimmicks, the fingers of Jet Alone on the trigger of its new and vastly up-powered cartridge system. A periscope was lowered in front of him, and in its view, he could see the Angel, and the sighting marks for his shot.

"Seventh and final connection engaged!" That was the signal to begin the final countdown. He nudged the rifle slightly, centring the Angel in the sights. In the view, he could see the heat shield that would be his defence, and the tiny figure in black beside it, looking overwhelmed in this conflict of giants.

"Five."

"High energy output detected from the target!" Maya exclaimed behind him

Helplessly, he watched the Angle bloom again, opening that mouth again as it had before.

"Zero!"

"Cartridge Load! Lightning strike" He pulled the trigger, and waited.

White light leaped forth from the Lævateinn, while at the same instant, the Angel vomited its own blue fire at him.




From her vantage beyond the line of fire, Nanoha watched the two beams approach, writhe about each other like angry serpents, and from their nexus, gather and then explode in a blaze of energies. This was her moment.

The whole bowl in which the city lay, as far afield as she could sense, was aglow with the overspill of magical energies from that clash.

"Raging Heart, set up."

"Standby. Ready!"




"Fire two! Hurry!"
"Replacing fuses! Initiating recharge!"

Shinji became aware that he could still hear activity. He could see the technicians manoeuvring a fuse the side of a small van into place, see the high voltage equipment crowned with eerie blue discharge and the occasional arc as the energies built up again.

"Another high energy reading coming from the target!"

Had they lost the race against time?

The blue light struck the heat shield, which held for a few seconds before glowing white hot and beginning to fray. He watched helplessly the tiny figure silhouetted against the glare.

"Fate! No!" he screamed.

But a great circle of golden light sprang forth, stemming the flood while the seconds continued to tick away.




High above, Nanoha began her strike. Standing above a magical circle, she wove as the Angel sent forth its second attack. As she worked, the crook of the Raging Heart folded like the Jewel Seed creature did, settling into its bident shooting mode.

Rune-bearing bands of cerise light formed about its axis, mapping out a wider barrel, and around those, a ring of satellite globes, each bright enough to cast shadows on the ground below, globes that sucked the ambient magical energies loosed by the previous exchange.

"Starlight..." she focussed her perceptions on the Raging Heart's targeting system, lining up with the Jewel Seed at the core of the creature. "...Breaker!"

The lance of light sprang forth, piercing the creature. For a brief moment, it resisted, tried to slew around towards her, setting the mountainside ablaze. And then with a scream and clattering of metal, it fell apart into shards, which themselves frayed into dust, leaving just the blue heart.

"Sealing Mode! Jewel Seed Serial XI!"

And it was done.




"Two! One! Zero!"

But the target had already burst into a cloud of dust that sparkled as Shinji unleashed the energies that could not stay pent up.

As soon as all was dark again, he hit the quick release, pulling free of the web of cables, scrambling, running, to where a small figure slumped beside the still glowing spine of the heat shield.

"Fate! Fate! Are you alright? Fate!"

The girl raised her Device, and using it for support, hauled herself upright.

"Why are you crying? The attack did not breach my barrier. Another intervened -- and has captured the Logos we had been prepared to sacrifice."

"But we did what we had to, and everyone is safe. At least, just for that, you should smile."

The sad girl managed a wan smile, under the arc lights as, all around, the lights began to come on again.




Next:-- Vita Strikes!
Last edited by Mr. Tines on Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby BobBQ » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:00 pm

I need to hurry up and marathon Nanoha so that I can make sense of the finer points.

Regardless, it looks pretty darn slick.

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Postby universalperson » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:02 pm

I would like to see more Nanoha/Shinji interaction, if possible.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:15 pm

universalperson wrote:I would like to see more Nanoha/Shinji interaction, if possible.


That'll be the onsen episode, which is coming up shortly.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon May 04, 2009 6:05 am

Mr. Tines wrote:That'll be the onsen episode, which is coming up shortly.
Oh well, best laid plans, and all that. In tidying up this weekend I did find the notepad where I'd drafted the start of the next chapter...

=================================================
#6 Vita Strikes!

Blue, the dome of the sky above, and the darker floor of the ocean below, each with a hard white spot of Sun, and joined at the horizon in pale obscurity. One dark speck, moving, the only feature in that immensity, a dark speck that as it approached, resolved to crimson.

Vita Shikinami-Zeppelin looked down at the darkness below, lightly marbled with waves, the feeling of unease that had sent her on this flight refusing to fade or resolve into something concrete. There was something here, the faintest trace of wrongness, like a waft of smoke upon the breeze, but she could not tell what it was. That worried her -- more because she could tell what it was not. It was not the corrupt rankness of BLUE HADES that had become too familiar during her time spent training at the Massachusetts branch, not anything obviously akin.

One of the Lost Logia, perhaps? If so, wherever it was, it was concealing itself in a place that she could not pin down.

Ill at ease, despite the bright calm of the day, she sought altitude, until the traces of the UN fleet she was accompanying became visible at the distant horizon, then began the long gliding descent.




"Ikari-kun," the chairman spoke accusingly, "You have already let two of the three Lost Logia that have so far awoken fall into another's hand. You know how small the margin is, how few we can afford to lose, if we are to hope for success in our Work."

"I understand," and he lowered his head perhaps one sixteenth of an inch in deference, knowing that his own plans had far more modest needs than that.

"I have seen to it that the First Child will be suitably disciplined for this failure. Dr. Akagi is attending to the matter personally."

A hint of a shadow crossed his face, as he considered what that young woman considered to be "discipline". It was as well that she only bore the weakest of the devices so far forged, the Atem Gottes, one more attuned to healing rather than harm.




Brief tropic twilight was fading swiftly to full night, the stars sprinkling the clear dome of heaven, and yet Vita's unease continued. She could not even tell if what it was had continued to shadow them or whether it was something towards which they were steering.

Her handler, knowing nothing of this -- why should he? there was nothing he could do of any use, even if she had felt it worth telling him -- prattled on about next day's landfall, and the new people she would meet. From the sound of it they were a pathetic crew -- an invalid with an early prototype Device, and the Commander's son, just recently dragged out of obscurity, seemingly on a whim.

"I am not a child, you know!" she snapped, "I am a Knight, and I have faced things that would have turned your bowels to water.

"Look, look!" and she summoned her Device's true form, took on her own martial garb, and when he tried to turn away from the maelstrom of her henshin, she lifted his chin with the spike of her hammer, forced him to look her in the eye.

"It is not a matter of whether I am ready for anything that lies ahead. It is whether they are ready for me!"

=================================================

To be continued...

Here's hoping that the gap will be a shorter one this time :D

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Postby Tabasco » Tue May 05, 2009 4:00 pm

What? No love for the update?

Anyway, I liked it. A nice change to have Jet Alone be useful, and for Shinji to miss the kill.

I'm also intrigued by the latest substitution. Here's to hoping you're right about the wait.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue May 05, 2009 6:54 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:=================================================
#6 Vita Strikes!

Vita Shikinami-Zeppelin


Yet another Shikinami strikes!

Nice scene descriptions, I must say. That's one thing I haven't quite gotten right yet.

Gendo's portrayal was spot-on and Vita seems pretty dangerous.
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