Author Topic: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)  (Read 4463 times)

Cherry Lover

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2014, 08:52:41 PM »
Hmm, OK, looking at it I can't see much I can comment on here. You seem not to have really changed the stuff about Rin's attitude to Sakura, or how he actually starts off in the first place and, indeed, the FSN stuff (which is the main bit I can comment on) seems not to have been changed at all.

Andoriol

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2014, 09:44:11 PM »
Wait, what?

...

Fuck, apparently my edits to those hadn't saved, wtf. Joys. I'll fix that, sorry.

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2014, 11:38:53 PM »
Okay, as I've been struggling to find a Beta, here's my first chapter sans any Beta-reading. I'm still re-writing the F/SN parts again to put my changes back in, sorry about that, I hadn't realized those hadn't been saved.

---

What does time feel like?

It’s a weird question, I know, but try to think about it for a moment. Can you define the sensation of time flowing?

Because I felt the absence of it.

I had no words to really describe what it was like to exist without time, language isn’t really built to communicate that.

One moment I’m driving home from work, the next I’m being assaulted by sensations without name, the color of sweet, the feel of purple, concepts and meanings and existences beyond counting. It was honestly horrifying… but while it lasted for an eternity, it also lasted quite literally no time at all.

And then it was over, there was pressure against my skin, something within me rising to meet it, sights, colors, sounds, motion-

Pain.

My entire side exploded into pain as I slammed into something hard and unyielding, and my body gave first. There was a sickening crack and pain lanced through my arm and side.

Oh… I was screaming.

And then it really hit me and I clamped my jaw down hard, whimpering as tears flowed freely, rolling off of the broken limb.

Someone was speaking words at me that totally flew over my head through the pain, fucking hell that hurt. At very least an arm was broken, but my whole side was just a big mass of pain at the moment so I couldn’t really figure out more, “Wha-?”

“What in the name of the gods did I summon… you’re not even a proper wraith…”

“W-What-?” There was some… thing in my head, it was like a big lump of something just resting in there. It was a woman’s voice and she definitely wasn’t speaking English… but I understood her? What the hell?

Suddenly I was being lifted by the collar of my shirt, a pained noise escaping me at the strain the motion put on my broken arm. Lifted, I was met with purple and black robes and the lower half of a beautiful face, that much I could tell even through the tears of pain, “What is your name?”

“J-Jacob-? What- what’s going on?”

“Tch, obviously not the biblical one either…” I was dropped, though I was able to stand, if wobbly at first, clinging to my broken arm in an admittedly vain if reflexive attempt to stave off the pain, “Is there anything you can do?”

“Not die… hopefully?” her lips pressed into a tight line as she frowned and I swallowed, my hear thundering in my chest and throat, “I really have no idea what’s going on right now…”

“Hmph, I am you Master, child. Hold still.”

“Yes ma’am…?” I blinked stupidly as she spoke words that I had no hope of understanding, her hands raising in front of her. Magic? Wait, really? I stared as she made some gestures, speaking more incomprehensible word, the tears finally clearing from my eyes enough to see details… details like her outfit and my surroundings. We were in a Japanese style room, a circle on the floor around me with what could only be called runic inscriptions around it.

… there was a bit of blood on the floor beneath me. That couldn’t be good.

A soft dripping sound came to my ears and I looked, fear rising in my chest.

Yup, I was bleeding from my arm, rather profusely actually. I couldn’t tell where beneath the long sleeves but a steady trickle of my blood was falling from my knuckles.

… welp. This keeps getting better doesn’t it?

With a slow breath, I clamped down on the fear in my chest, trying to calm my pounding heart, fear wouldn’t help and would probably just make things worse. Especially with this woman’s attitude so far… another spike of fear at what she might do, but I forced it back down. Not the damn time for this.

… wait… I’ve seen her outfit before… where have I seen that before…? Focus brain, you know this answer. Focus because it makes it easier to ignore the fear.

She snorted and my train of thought was derailed, “Nothing, you have nothing. How pathetic,” her voice dropped to a barely audible grumble, “… can’t even be made cute. Hmph.”

“Um…” What-?

“Tch,” she reached into her robes, pulling forth a flask of… something. I tensed before I suddenly had to fumble to catch it with one hand, “Drink, it will fix that arm, stay here until I return.” I’m not ashamed that I trembled at the hint of anger in her tone. Something in me was screaming not human at me, there was no other word for it, I instinctively knew she wasn’t something I wanted to anger.

She turned and walked away in a swirl of her cloak, and I fumbled with the flask in my hand, my heartbeat still furious and loud in my ears.

Waitaminute-… should I really drink this…?

I stared at the container in my hand even as I worked my thumb against the cork, trying to get it open with one hand.

Was this a good idea?

Counterpoint, did I have any other options?

Not really, I had no idea where I was, what was going on, was injured, and definitely dealing with something that could squish me with a thought. Said squisher-en-potentia had just given me something she said would heal me up, and given I had no reason to disbelieve my instincts at the power disparity, if she wanted me dead I’d be dead.

The cork came free with a pop.

Right, I’ll have to roll with this until I have a better idea what’s going on. If she’s going to kill me there’s nothing I can do to prepare for it in this situation.

I downed the potion.

Man it tasted foul and it was like I could taste it all the way down… but a burn started in my arm other than the throbbing ache of pain… and it spread through my veins from the point of greatest pain, my arm starting to tense despite my best efforts to keep it relaxed… and then there was an intense crack and pain that earned a strangled gasp from me and a fresh wave of tears.

Ow. Just… fucking ow.

I looked at the arm through the pain, finding that it was flexing in the appropriate direction again. The burn was fading, taking the pain with it.

So that was good news…

With a shuddering breath, I rubbed the arm as my heartbeat finally slowed. I’m guessing she was my ‘summoner’… and gotta admit, I really didn’t want to make her mad. So I stayed.Gently rubbing my arm, I really took in my surroundings as I waited, rubbing the tear streaks from my face. Definitely Japanese themed, the paper walls and the beams… and I couldn’t shake the feeling that those black and purple robes were familiar…

I pulled back my sleeve, confirming that yes, my arm was healed. Magic… real magic… that was probably how I got here… Could this be a dream? Unlikely. I’ve never personally experienced pain that intense, my brain couldn’t fake that. So what the hell…

My brain was still spinning its wheels when the woman returned, I swallowed and stood a bit straighter. She was holding a… katana? Well, the place was Japanese themed-

She threw it and it slammed into my chest as I fumbled to catch it. Hell, it knocked the wind out of me! Really, really glad that it was sheathed! Holy crap. That had looked like a casual throw for her!

“Here, maybe your pathetic swinging will make them laugh themselves to death.”

I coughed trying to catch my breath, “Um… could you explain what’s going on? I really don’t have any idea…” she scowled, but I took a breath and stood my ground, “I can’t do much if I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing or what the situation is.”

“Your summoning didn’t tell you?”

“Nothing that I’m aware of. As far as I can tell all I’ve got is understanding what you’re saying…”

My summoner made a face, “You are my Servant in the Holy Grail War,” my stomach fell, “Servant Assassin. As much as the term can be applied. You are going to protect this temple from other Servants while I achieve my goals.”

That was not good- that was not good-! I swallowed even as my heart raced, “That-… that’s probably not going to work-“

Her voice was hard, “I am aware.”

“Ah.” ’Fuck.’ My chest seized up, “Right.”

“Any complaints?”

I started to open my mouth, but I caught myself before I did something stupid, closing it shut, “No ma’am. Where to?” ’Don’t get killed. Need time to think. Go with it for now. Figure out a solution later. Panic later.’ With effort, I seized control of my rebellious breathing, forcing it slow and steady despite my thundering heart, making myself meet her eyes and hold the sword in my hand without shaking.

There was a moment of silence as she met my eyes, I don’t know what passed through her head, but she pointed, “Over there, guard the main gate and try not to be utterly useless.”

“Yes ma’am.”

oOo

So this… this wasn’t good.

Was I dreaming? Caster? I was summoned by Caster? As in Medea?

I was supposed to be a Servant?

No. I wasn’t dreaming. I couldn’t dream in this amount of detail or that pain.

I’d asked that question before hadn’t I?

Fucking hell, my brain was running in circles. Alright, let’s take stock of the situation.

I’m sitting by an archway with a freaking katana propped against my shoulder in the middle of the night. I was at a temple on a mountain. It appears that I’d been summoned by Caster of Fate Stay Night as Assassin (Very Fucking Fake). I had been ordered to protect the temple pathway.

Could I do that? I didn’t feel like I could.

A scowl crossed my face, had being summoned increase my strength at all? I didn’t know. I had to test… with a small heave, I tossed the sword in my hand upwards, it traveled a few feet in a lazy arc before I caught it. Well, that’d determined a few things.

One, I hadn’t lost that little bit of skill I’d gotten from hanging out with the Color Guard in high school; and two, I wasn’t any stronger than I should be.

Right, so I wasn’t some sort of supernatural spirit-badass. Damn. Okay, I couldn’t actually defend the temple. What were my options?

Try and do the job? Not a good plan, last resort.

Run away? To where? I had no money, no passport… did I have my ID? I checked my pocket. Well, I’ve got my wallet, which means I do have money, just not appropriate for the locale. Okay, go to the authorities? No… it was 2013 last I knew, but F/SN wasn’t set then. If I showed up, I’d be a duplicate if I even existed here. Okay, what would happen if I did it…? I didn’t know. Possible plan, better than trying to defend this gate.

I sighed, letting my head fall back against the archway, staring up at the night sky… … what if Caster used a Command Seal…?

My lips pressed into a thin line.

Then she used a Command Seal. I’d deal with it when that happened.

Right, any other alternatives?

Attack Caster? Pffffft. Nope. Nonoption.

Reason with Caster? … maybe. After she’d calmed down after getting me as a shit Servant it might work. But how? And for what? What did she want? To be with Kuzuki. What did I have that could help her? Information. What did I want? To go home and not die. What information did I have that was useful and what could I anticipate her using it for?

Considering her predisposition to using Shirou as a fucking wand… I blanched. Yeah, let’s say that’s a backup plan.

Go to other masters…?

… that might work. Rin and Shirou were good people, as was Sakura. I wouldn’t have to worry about them trying to kill me or fuck over the world with any info I gave them. I just had to leave here, not get caught by Caster, and figure out who the fuck they were.

… god damnit, did I have any good options?

A sudden streak of chill made itself known on my face earning another scowl from me. I closed my eyes and wiped the few tears away and took a slow, shakey breath. Panicking or breaking down won’t help, I need to think and be calm and logical.

Could I just wait? No, that was no better than doing my job. Hell I’d probably starve, and if I didn’t intercept Saber or the other Servants when they arrived I’d be in serious trouble with Caster, I doubt she’d let that go easily. And she’s already shown the ability to heal me up at least a bit… so that meant she could seriously hurt me without any real concern for killing me.

Yeah, no good options here. Fuck.

Pinching the bridge of my nose I closed my eyes tightly. What did I have?

Knowledge. The clothes on my back. Thirty dollars American. Various IDs and cards that likely were invalid in this time and place. A katana. Keys to a car that I had no idea where the fuck was.

… where was my phone?

… huh. Okay. Weird, I have everything except for my phone.

Regardless, what could I do with these things? Fighting was a no no. The katana would likely get me arrested with ‘fake’ IDs. Thirty dollars American could be useful, but it wasn’t significant. Clothes would be of no help, they weren’t strong enough to turn into rope or anything and I had no backups. Keys? Nothing useful.

Damn, alright, best option was to try and run and find either Rin or Shirou… hopefully I can speak Japanese because of the summoning… hoo boy. If I can’t find them within two days I’m going to have to call it quits and talk to the authorities and try and just get the fuck away from here… and all the while hope that Caster didn’t look for me to kill me. If she comes after me, I’ll-

A slow breath. Think. Focus. Logic, not emotion.

… I’ll tell the truth. I didn’t think she’d given me enough to reasonably expect me to do anything other than stain the tile. I can’t do the job she tasked me for, while I might be capable of helping her, that’s not the way, and I didn’t think she would listen to me. I couldn’t lie, and this would be my best chance for survival.

Still not likely, no, but fuck it all, I’ll take whatever I can.

With a slow breath, I lifted the katana in my hand and used it as a crutch to push myself up to my feet once more.

Right. No use procrastinating. It wouldn’t help to be a coward. I could feel a tear work its way down my cheek as I started to walk down the staircase.

’Wha-…?’ Wiping it away, I realized that it was of panic and fear. Swallowing past the lump in my throat, I clutched the sheathed blade to my chest.

I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, I was going to die.

Here, in this city, likely tonight.

I stood no chance. I couldn’t survive. There was nothing I could do in a battle between Servants, nothing more than die.

But I couldn’t give up. I couldn’t. Giving up… not trying… that was no better than dying.

It was because of that fear that I walked down the steps into the night.

Cherry Lover

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2014, 09:56:29 PM »
Hmm, OK, that looks interesting, and pretty well-written. There's not much I can really say just yet, it's in early stages. As for beta-reading, whilst I know the FSN stuff, I wouldn't know any of the other aspects, and I don't have that much time any more, so I'm not sure if I can help there. It's possible, though.

Also, what happened with the FSN stuff you said you'd update?

Andoriol

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2014, 10:11:49 PM »
On my phone right now, just got it done on break today. Gonna post it after work

Andoriol

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2014, 03:59:27 AM »
First Swing - F/SN
Through a combination of factors (a broken grail, Casters overwhelming power, and his own Kaleidoscopic soul), Caster summons a living being from the depths of the Kaleidoscope as a Servant, summoning OCdoriol as (False) Assassin. As he is still truly alive, he doesn't need prana from Caster, nor is he bound to the arch, and unknown to him, his Kaleidoscopic Exposure skill renders him immune to Command Seals or any magecraft that tries to affect his internal world. Thus, he hauls ass once he can and tries to get into contact with Rin or Shirou.

It's on the UBW route and he's able to get into contact with Shirou. It takes some convincing, but the group is at least willing to give him consideration. He tries to convince Archer that his plan won't work and that the group (and Sakura) needs him (Archer), but it's not much later that Caster kills him horribly for his betrayal, using her pseudo-command-seal to make him quite literally suffer to death... and OCdoriol doesn't want to die, he wants to get away… it's all he can think about at those last moments-... and the Grail, twisted as it is, grants his wish. It renders him unable to truly die, but sends him cascading through the kaleidoscope.


Second Swing - F/SN
Summoned as (False) Assassin again, though this time with his leather armor, sword, shield, spear and bow. He avoids pissing off Caster as much as he initially did due to his shitty status since he at least has weapons of his own this time.

He still runs though. This time, as he knows where to look, he has an easier time of finding Shirou and Rin, though this time it seems like the Fate route instead. Shirou believes him easily, it’s Rin that’s hard to convince, not that ‘Sasaki’ is surprised by this. He begs for her to A). help hide him from Caster and B). Teach him magic as well. Anything he can learn to help him survive. He’s so pathetic though and has enough out of universe information, that Rin believes him.

His magic circuits are activated (all 8 of the shit-tier circuits), though this quite literally lights him on fire which scars him. Staying in the Boundary field that Rin erects, he’s hidden enough from Caster that she doesn’t bother looking for him, acting as an info-dump for her to try and manipulate the war. ‘Sasaki’ has a fair amount of knowledge about the Fate and UBW routes, but only the most basic info on the HF route. But it’s enough that Rin decides to go save Sakura. With Archer still injured, she ropes Saber and Shirou into helping her steal Sakura from the Matau while nuking the mansion, though Rider is killed in this process.

Caster arrives at the home while the team is away, intending to hold Taiga hostage to get Saber… and finding (False) Assassin… and once again ordering him to suffer to death for his betrayal.


Third Swing - F/SN
He gets summoned as-… Saber…? What the fu- … Oh fuck.

His Force-granted Instinct is at least partially functional, but he only helps Shirou avoid getting stabbed by Lancer by-… relying on the rules of hospitality? It was a complete guess on Sasaki’s part, but it works! Well, at the very least long enough for Archer/Rin to arrive.

He has absolutely piddly magic resistance and stats for a Saber, though he has his lightsaber which cuts damn near anything. He’s able to assist Archer enough to force a retreat from Berserker when encountered after getting Sasaki registered. He insists on going by Saber as there really is a Sasaki in this world.

‘Saber’ takes the time to use his magics to ‘discover’ a lot about the situation. Information that Rin accepts with only a bit of trepidation as Saber has been only helpful so far, and while he admits to having a wish, her Archer doesn’t have one, so this might work out…

When Sasaki uses his ‘scrying’ to determine the situation (using this as an excuse to tell Rin and Shirou as much about the war as he can), it takes pretty much no time at all for Rin to decide to head to the Matou mansion and break Sakura free after hearing the horrors she’s put through for basically no reason.

Sasaki is happy to help Rin take down Zouken and save Sakura. Between Rin’s gems and Archer’s anti-magic weapons in UBW, they pierce the barriers that Zouken has erected, trusting Saber to handle the other things. Sasaki gets the idea to saturate an area with his Od to simulate the Force, allowing him to connect to the life force of things directly. It’s not efficient and is very draining on him, but if he uses it to open up channels with living things and suck the life force out of them, he can still end up in the positives. As it’s based off an ability he already knows, it takes very little time for him to re-master this, and it allows him to slaughter the worms by the thousands as they have so little life force individually. He can exclude Shirou, his Master, but not Archer or Rin. However, both of them have such comparatively large reserves that while they feel the drain, they can resist it and aren’t massively affected. Rin likens him to a weak tornado of Od. They basically grab Sakura and run, the worms inside of her protected by her own body.

Sakura is utterly stunned that her sempai and sister have come to save her and still care for her even after learning how ‘filthy’ she is. (Unknown to them, this causes a crack in Sakura’s psyche at the sudden 180 of expected and actual reality, it’s nothing big, but it’s enough for the Shadow to start to appear)

Rin moves to talk to Caster with ‘Saber’ and Archer as her support, leaving Rider with Shirou/Sakura at the Emiya place. Archer considers turning on them to get the command seals removed, but decides against it, acknowledging that ‘Saber’ is useless (Also because Sasaki has been trying to curb the self-sacrificing impulses of Shirou and this can’t be where Archer is from originally, so even if he hates Shirou, killing him won’t solve anything). Sasaki takes offense to that! Archer shouldn’t have even considered turning on them with how super useless Sasaki is as a Saber. It’s like a damn comedy skit. Until Sasaki’s magically hidden (and hidden magically) lightsaber hilt gets close enough to Caster for him to activate it and cut her in two when negotiations fail.

Later, they end up fighting Berserker, Rider and Sasaki try to buy enough time for Archer to put up his Reality Marble. It’s a struggle for Sasaki to even stay alive since Berserker’s immune to any weapon Sasaki has. By leaping onto Berserkers back and putting him into a draining headlock, Sasaki is actually able to reduce Berserker’s stats by a full rank before Berserker grabs him and slams him down into the ground and cleaves Sasaki in half. That wound sticks with Sasaki as a massive scar through his torso.



Fourth Swing - F/SN
Summoned as Caster (due to his tendency towards Item Creation).

His master is a massive dickbag who tries to make Sasaki use his magic for his own gain and ignore the war until the last.

Yeah. No.

Sasaki lops his arm off with his lightsaber before stealing all of his grimoires and heading off. He makes use of the darker Force abilities, primarily his draining field to drain the Od of things and people around him to sustain himself. Once at the temple, he’s able to draw a significantly larger amount of power from the environment and use a both his Sith Alchemy, his own spellbook and those he stole from his former master to create a Workshop specifically built primarily to sustain himself.

Since it's so long before the HGW, Sasaki has plenty of time to set up his defenses which are layered and many. He simply plays himself off as a prospective monk... which is easier than he'd thought due to his Jedi training.

Creating a Crystal Ball, he scries the master of assassin before they summon, a very average magus with only a few circuits but a massive determination to reach the Root… Sasaki offers him a chance, give up his arm and command seals or die. Between Force persuasion (which the magus doesn’t recognize as magic and resist) and Sasaki’s status as a Servant, he convinces the prospective master to give up his arm, which is a lot less painful for him with his cooperation.

Unfortunately, he realizes that the bruise, while it stays with the arm, isn’t anything he can figure out how to use. It’s actually rather frustrating as he can tell it’s linked to the Holy Grail War system, but he doesn’t understand it enough to figure out how to use it like Medea had. However, using Sith Alchemy to graft the arm onto Kuzuki as well as empower the teacher with excessive amounts of Od he’s able to coach the teacher through a summoning. Assassin is summoned, but his existence ends quickly and Kuzuki nearly dies from the strain.  Yeah, not trying that again anytime soon. Still, the bruise solidifies into Command Seals.
 
He keeps an eye on things as best he can from the Temple... and senses Lancer appear in the city. He goes to meet them to discuss terms and keep her from at least trusting Kirei... but he's too late. Kirei has already taken Bazett's arm and Lancer, leaving her to die. Quickly, 'Caster' uses his Healing Potions to save her before whisking her off to his Temple. With a combination of Sith Alchemy, the Force, and another healing potion he grafts the arm from his previous master on her before she wakes up.

((A.N.)- To be clear here, I don't have F/HA, nor have I had the time to watch a let's play, so my characterization of Bazett in this is almost certainly off. I just had a spark of inspiration and wrote it down for possibly later. - ))
Spoiler for Scene Idea:
Consciousness returned to Bazett slowly, the world swimming in and out of her blurry vision. With a groan, she put her hand to her face, she hurt all over, especially her arm…

Her arm!

“Ah, it seems you’re awake, good, I was starting to get worried.”

“Wha-?!”

“Easy, you’re still recovering, don’t sit up just yet,” her body acted without her intent and went limp, falling back to the bed. She was in a bed… where…? The ceiling was definitely old time Japanese style, lit by moonlight… “Relax, you’re safe, I don’t want you putting too much strain on yourself is all.” Her body came back under her control gradually, and Bazett turned her head to the soft, scratchy croak of a voice.

It had come from a shadow in the corner of the room, the rough sillouette of a man sprawled out, propped up against the corner, a mismatched pair of glowing eyes stared out from the darkness.

Sickly yellow and vibrant purple stared out at her from the darkness, she felt no fear from that gaze but she certainly felt unease. Slowly this time, Bazett pushed herself up and the eyes went half-lidded in disapproval, “Determined aren’t we? Hmph…” there was the rustle of fabric and a soft whirr of machines as a hand was raised and Bazett froze, her instincts kicking into high gear-

Her prana was dangerously low-

She wasn’t in her suit, just her shirt and underwear-

The figure was four meters away-

Her vision was still blurry-

Only for a pleasant, intense heat to flood through her from the center of her chest outwards…? Strength was returning to her limbs faster now and her vision cleared… though the heat quickly became nearly painful before it was cut off, the hand lower once more, “There, that should help.”

Finishing her attempt to sit up, Bazett stared at the figure in the corner, “Who-“ her voice was even more of a croak than his had been, she swallowed futiley for a moment before a cup of tea levitated in front of her.

“I am Servant Caster, at your service, Master,” her eyes adjusting to the darkness, Bazett could see the man place a hand on his chest and give a small bow.

Suddenly very wary, she reached out to take the levitating cup, “Master…?” she croaked, holding off drinking just yet.

“Yes. I had a rather serious disagreement with my initial Master over morality, I removed his Command Seals and accompanying arm. It turned out rather useful that I kept the arm as I used it to replace your own,” there was a flash of teeth in an amused smile, “And don’t worry, it’s just Chai.”

Flushing slightly at his amusement, Bazett sipped the tea, it was overly sweet and spicey for her tastes to be honest, but it soothed her parched throat as the Servant continued, “I sensed you and your Servant arrive, I’d hoped to meet with you to discuss a possible alliance, but I only was able to arrive in time to save your life. I took the opportunity to use my previous Masters arm to forge a contract with you while replacing yours.”

By now, Bazett could actually see the Servant… her Servant through the darkness, he was wearing a dark, loose overcoat over a set of heavy black armor plating. He shifted, folding his arms against his propped up knee and setting his chin atop them. With his silence, Bazett asked, “What happened to Lancer…?”

The man’s head cocked to the side, his mismatched eyes blinking, “Kirei stole Lancer’s command seals and has taken him as his own. The Hound wasn’t particularly happy about that, but they likely assume you are dead now. I believe Kirei used a Command Seal to enforce obedience.”

Bazett was quiet, absorbing that information for a moment before she turned to her Servant, she could feel the connection to him, prana was flowing from her to the armored man… Caster it seemed… “Who are you?”

“Servant Caster. I have no legend and I’m fairly certain that I never existed in this world even. I’m admittedly rather weak for a Servant, so we’re going to have to work around that unfortunately. I do have the advantage of knowledge due to my scrying skills though.”

“At least there’s that…” she said softly, staring at the tea in her hands as her Servant made a noncommittal noise.

Slowly turning the cup, she asked, “What’s the plan?”

With the whirr of machines, Caster stood, “Right now? You get healed up. The sooner you’re up and moving the sooner we can get to work. Unfortunately, I have nothing to accelerate your healing any more than it already is without risking compromising your magecraft.”

A brief scowl crossed her face as she looked at the servant, noting that were she standing rather than laying on the bed, she’d likely be taller than him, “What did you do?”

“Aside from transferring my former masters arm? I’ve temporarily altered the flow of your Od to accelerate your healing, and you’ve got a bit of an alchemical cocktail in your veins to ease the adaptation to the new arm,” he extended a hand and a cup lifted from the ground to his hand as he walked forward into the starlight, “I could try fleshcrafting, but I’m hesitant to do so as it can be rather… unpleasant,” his understated smile was visible in the low light.

Bazett blinked in surprise at the sheer mangling of her Servant’s face. She’d seen some pretty bad scars during her time as an Enforcer, but the fact that he was still alive after that was… surprising to say the least, “I’m guessing all of… that…” she gestured at his face with a hand, “Is because of it?”

Casters’ gaze became distant for a moment as his armored fingers traced the three large, jagged scars that overlapped his purple eye; the skin around them discolored and rough, “A failed attempt to fix up damage or scars, made it a fair bit worse in addition to the pain…” His hand fell away and he smiled at her, “I’d rather not inflict that upon you without necessity.”

A burned throat and jaw, a missing chunk of his right ear, the mangled upper left side of his face, his sunken and unnaturally colored eyes… Bazett came to the conclusion that unlike Lancer, her new Servant was not a prime physical specimen, “Thank you… I appreciate it.”

Strangely, while Caster made her uneasy and uncomfortable, it also made her feel safe. He unsettled her, but she knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would let no harm come to her. Turning back to the tea, she sipped it again, considering her next question for her new Servant…

“Master.”

Her eyes flicked back to him, finding an amused smile on Caster’s face, “Servant?”

“You should rest, Master.”

“I’ve been out for days haven’t I?” she asked with a scowl.

The smile faded into a more somber look, “Yes, but the only thing allowing you to stay upright at the moment is my power. You lost a lot of blood Master, and there is little I can do to help that other than get you food and rest. Were I able, I would get you food now before letting you sleep more, but I cannot do so without breaking my cover. So for now, you should rest.”

“You expect me to be able to sleep?” Bazett raised an eyebrow at her Servant.

His smile returned as he reached out, “Yes Master, I do,” the warmth that had been supporting her limbs was suddenly gone, leaving Bazett feeling cold and weak. Caster took the cup from her hand as she was gently eased back into the bed by a force, “Rest easy, Master, no harm shall come to you while I draw breath.”

Bazett was exhausted, but she wasn’t sleepy damnit!

The black armor of his hand gently touched her forehead, his fingers moved subtly a few time as he murmured words she could not understand or hope to produce, “Sleep.” The world suddenly swam as a fuzz settled over her mind, her eyes closing against her will.

Bastard Caster, doing this without… her… approval…
While Bazett is initially leery about working with him, she settles in to working with 'Caster' relatively quickly. With a proper Master as well as his advance knowledge of the situation, the two of them make a terrifying pair, especially with the addition of Kuzuki to the little team. He can’t enhance people as powerfully as Medea could have, but with Bazette’s runes and his own combination of Force enhancement, Sith Alchemical enhancements and Reinforcement-style Arcane magic, it’s still a decisive boost for all involved.

Sasaki places the magical equivalent of landmines along the entire stretch of the path to the temple, not breaking the flow of the leyline but rather tapping into it to kill any Servant silly enough to attack

Cue Berserker attacking the Temple, without False Assassin, they have trouble, but Sasaki can rain magic down at them with impunity, the runes of paralysis, devastation, destruction, and more all slowing down the Magic-Resistance-less Berserker. Berserker simply can’t get too far from Illya or the spells raining down on him will kill her, and Illya isn’t immune to the traps that Berserker triggers and the two have to fall back. Berserker himself was never in any danger, but Illya was. Cue sighs of relief from both Bazette and Sasaki.

Sasaki takes tons of (electronic) notes on the runes that Bazette uses as well as everything she mentions about them. While he uses Sith Alchemy to enhance her outfit, she uses runes to enhance his armor in return.

Sasaki meets with Rin as she comes out of school, Blood Fort Andromeda has been set up. Rin automatically assumes that ‘Caster’ is the source of the effect, but he denies it as he tries to crack the magic put into it. Doubting she’ll listen to him now, he only points out that her sister has been suffering, thinking that she doesn’t care about her, ‘idly’ noting the horrors she has to withstand. Rin almost has Archer attack him for this (wounded by Saber or not), but thinks better of attacking a Servant at full strength with a partial strength one and heads off to investigate his claim.

Not two days later, the Matou mansion is reduced to rubble.

Sasaki feels like a complete badass considering that he’s been successfully manipulating the war so far aside from the whole ‘summoning Saber properly’ bit. He didn’t have time, but still, this has been working really well so far (at least in his mind).

Shirou gets kidnapped by Illya and Sasaki only finds this out when he notices the prana surging in the Eizenbern lands. Excalibur had been used. Well fuck. He rushes over to find an exhausted Saber, wounded Rider, Shirou, Rin and Sakura all together. Damnit.

He’s not really able to convince them of his good intentions, but they don’t attack him. Still, he ensures they’re all healed up and safe before getting them home.

Gilgamesh takes exception to ‘Caster’s interference with things and attacks the temple. Sasaki is rather obviously unable to hold him off, but teleports Bazett to the Emiya household with instructions to get Saber recharged (With a tantric ritual if necessary) and that Shirou holds Saber’s Sheath. Cue Sasaki trying to buy time, initially by drawing out a conversation with Gilgamesh as long as he can without setting off the King of Heroes temper, but ending with him getting impaled by a rain of blades. His precognitive edge, magical defenses, home-field advantage, dirty tricks, invisibility and ability to teleport all amount to little. He’s able to harm Gilgamesh simply due to his ability to teleport closer, but it’s not enough. Though strictly speaking, Sasaki is as skilled as Gilgamesh if not more so with a blade, Gilgamesh is just too much stronger, faster, and tougher and also possesses armor that exceeds Sasaki’s own.



Fifth Swing - F/SN
Summoned as Assassin again after such a time without being so. This time, Assassin tries to negotiate with Caster, but that doesn’t work as she pseudo-command seals him into obedience to stay at the gate. He was summoned a fair time before the war this time (the proper time for the summoning of false Assassin rather than right as the war was starting up as he had been).

Stuck at the gate, he tries to figure out how to subvert his Command Seal, but there’s nothing he can really do. His best attempts just don’t have the raw power to break her hold. He knows he’s on the right track, but he can’t compete with Caster in raw magical power. This does get Caster to come to scold him, at which point he tries to tell her about the corruption of the Grail as well as the existence of Gilgamesh- but she doesn’t listen the first time.

It’s only after he deliberately provokes her four times with his attempts to break his command despite the agony she puts him through that she actually listens, wondering if he’s stupid at first, but worried at the information he gives her. She’s completely unrepentant about her previous actions (“You are a such a fucking bitch Caster.” “Be silent Assassin.” “No. Bite me. We could’ve been working on this for a month had you just heard me out in the first place, I’m not going to just shut up.” “You are an insolent Servant.” “We have to deal with Ao-damned Herakles and Gilgamesh woman! You did not let me help and made me suffer! Fuck yo-NNNNNGGGYYYAAAHHHH! Damnit woman! I’m not going to attack you but you’ve pissed me the fuck off! Now do you want to stay with your fiancé or not?”)

The two of them do not get along, but they work together to try and find Gilgamesh and see if they can figure out a counter to the absurdly powerful Servant.

Upon listening to his description of his previous battle with an alternate Gilgamesh in another World, Caster decides to enhance Assassin and his weapons and armor when the fight comes to allow him to match Gilgamesh, relying on Sasaki’s ability to teleport past Gate of Babylon.

The war begins to start in earnest, and several Servants come to challenge the Temple. Sasaki is able to use his style, shield, and precognition he’s actually able to force a retreat from Rider, though he requires the assistance of Caster to stop Lancer and Berserker. To his considerable surprise and amusement, the Mace of Disruption is actually able to take one of Berserkers lives as all Servants aside from Saber and Sasaki himself are in truth Undead, and the Mace of Disruption, as a conceptual effect, kills undead. It’s this death that causes Illya to pull back at the time.

In time, the Shadow comes and assaults Sasaki. He has to fall back, trying each of his weapons against the Shadow but finding all but one ineffective. The Sunblade is able to hold back the Shadow, but doesn’t seem able to harm it. Caster appears to attack it but is badly wounded before Sasaki can get between her and the Shadow. Using the Sunblade as he is drains him of power quickly to even ward off the Shadow. HE tries overcharging the blade, filling the Temple with Holy sunlight… only for the Shadow to appear once more almost immediately, while Sasaki taps into his armors reserves to hold up the weak light, warding it off, it’s not enough as he fades from existence and the Shadow consumes Caster.

Cherry Lover

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2014, 04:13:42 PM »
Hmm, OK, you've still not really addressed the "Grail granting him a wish" thing, although I appreciate that doing so might well be impossible.

With the Sakura thing in the third swing, is there a reason why he's choosing to leave the worms inside Sakura intact? That seems rather dumb to me. I also don't think that knowing that Shirou and Rin care for her and would save her would cause the shadow to appear by itself. The shadow appears initially because Sakura has negative thoughts in response to the idea of Rin killing Shirou and winning the war, not because of her psyche cracking. Once it has started getting a hold of her, anything that affects her psyche can strengthen it, but for it to develop in the first place it specifically needs something negative or evil, to allow AM to get a foothold.

In the fourth swing, wouldn't his lightsaber somewhat negate Gil's armour? I can't imagine metal armour is much good against Lightsabers in general, and Gil's armour is not classed as an NP in its own right. Also, how does he get Kuzuki to support him? He's not canon Caster, Kuzuki never rescued him like he did her and nor are they in love, so what reason does Kuzuki have to even care?

As for the fifth swing, he seems to have got nowhere, honestly. His negotiation with Caster didn't do him much good, and he doesn't seem to even try to talk to the others (even fighting them off at the gate). Also, where did the shadow come from? It doesn't seem like the story is following HF based on the number of servants still around, and he's not done anything in that timeline to cause the shadow to appear otherwise.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 04:16:02 PM by Cherry Lover »

Andoriol

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2014, 05:02:43 AM »
Hmm, OK, you've still not really addressed the "Grail granting him a wish" thing, although I appreciate that doing so might well be impossible.
Yeah, I couldn't think of a better way to justify it, still open to ideas.

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With the Sakura thing in the third swing, is there a reason why he's choosing to leave the worms inside Sakura intact? That seems rather dumb to me.
It's not intentional, he can't drain them without draining her (and thus agitating the worms inside her and hurting her), and draining them only kills the worms, not disolves them, which leaves these dead, rotting corpses wrapped around and within her organs. Not a good plan if he even thought of it.

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I also don't think that knowing that Shirou and Rin care for her and would save her would cause the shadow to appear by itself. The shadow appears initially because Sakura has negative thoughts in response to the idea of Rin killing Shirou and winning the war, not because of her psyche cracking. Once it has started getting a hold of her, anything that affects her psyche can strengthen it, but for it to develop in the first place it specifically needs something negative or evil, to allow AM to get a foothold.
The comment that inspired this thread was that the sudden shift of perspective would give Zouken an opening into her psyche, and that one opening is all he needs. But again, I haven't gotten through Heavens Feel myself yet, so I have no first-hand knowledge of this.

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In the fourth swing, wouldn't his lightsaber somewhat negate Gil's armour? I can't imagine metal armour is much good against Lightsabers in general, and Gil's armour is not classed as an NP in its own right.
His armor is A). Magical, and thus resistant to his lightsaber and B). Able to withstand Excalibur without Invisible Air and without taking a scratch. So it's pretty damn tough.

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Also, how does he get Kuzuki to support him? He's not canon Caster, Kuzuki never rescued him like he did her and nor are they in love, so what reason does Kuzuki have to even care?
He has no reason not to care, and despite being grumpy and admittedly ugly by this point, Sasaki is trying to help the world and, more personally, Kuzuki's students.

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As for the fifth swing, he seems to have got nowhere, honestly. His negotiation with Caster didn't do him much good, and he doesn't seem to even try to talk to the others (even fighting them off at the gate). Also, where did the shadow come from? It doesn't seem like the story is following HF based on the number of servants still around, and he's not done anything in that timeline to cause the shadow to appear otherwise.
He was summoned well before the war proper, and a number of Servants tried to get past the original Assassin (False) during the time, even Berserker, but with the support of Caster Canon!Assassin held them off. Sasaki does the same here, but it's on the road for canon Heavens Feel.

Not much is accomplished because A). He's not persuasive enough / not in a position of power (without his immunity to Command Seals from Exposure to the Kaleidoscope in the first two Swings, Caster can just order him around and force him to obey), B). He's limited in what he can say to Servants as magic resistance  makes telepathy impossible and he doesn't want to reveal certain aspects to Caster for fear she'll exploit the information and hurt people (and there'd be shit he could do about it)

And no, he did nothing to cause the Shadow to appear, but he's just the PoV character and only the protagonist by technicality most of the time, he's not the protagonist of F/SN in any sense. Things can, and do, happen without any input from him.

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Re: Adrift in the Kaleidoscope (Brainstorming / Summary / Criticism Thread)
« Reply #53 on: April 14, 2014, 01:53:13 AM »
Hmm, OK, you've still not really addressed the "Grail granting him a wish" thing, although I appreciate that doing so might well be impossible.
Yeah, I couldn't think of a better way to justify it, still open to ideas.

Yeah, I guess. I can't think of much right now either....

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With the Sakura thing in the third swing, is there a reason why he's choosing to leave the worms inside Sakura intact? That seems rather dumb to me.
It's not intentional, he can't drain them without draining her (and thus agitating the worms inside her and hurting her), and draining them only kills the worms, not disolves them, which leaves these dead, rotting corpses wrapped around and within her organs. Not a good plan if he even thought of it.

Ah, OK, fair enough.

Surely he has to look for a way to get rid of the worms in her, though.

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I also don't think that knowing that Shirou and Rin care for her and would save her would cause the shadow to appear by itself. The shadow appears initially because Sakura has negative thoughts in response to the idea of Rin killing Shirou and winning the war, not because of her psyche cracking. Once it has started getting a hold of her, anything that affects her psyche can strengthen it, but for it to develop in the first place it specifically needs something negative or evil, to allow AM to get a foothold.
The comment that inspired this thread was that the sudden shift of perspective would give Zouken an opening into her psyche, and that one opening is all he needs. But again, I haven't gotten through Heavens Feel myself yet, so I have no first-hand knowledge of this.

Yeah, this is where not reading HF causes you problems. The shadow is not directly controlled by Zouken, and nor can he directly cause it to affect Sakura. All he can do is manipulate events so that Angra Mainyu is able to start to influence her, and then use his control over her to control the shadow indirectly (because the shadow is connected to Sakura's subconscious, and Sakura has had "I must obey Grandfather without question" drilled into her mind by constant torture for the last eleven years, so without any conscious thought involved she (and, therefore, the shadow) will almost always just do what he says). So, it is not enough for him to gain an opening into her psyche, he needs to give AM a way in, which means specifically something negative.

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In the fourth swing, wouldn't his lightsaber somewhat negate Gil's armour? I can't imagine metal armour is much good against Lightsabers in general, and Gil's armour is not classed as an NP in its own right.
His armor is A). Magical, and thus resistant to his lightsaber and B). Able to withstand Excalibur without Invisible Air and without taking a scratch. So it's pretty damn tough.

Fair enough.

That implies that the lightsaber doesn't have particularly exceptional cutting ability, though.

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Also, how does he get Kuzuki to support him? He's not canon Caster, Kuzuki never rescued him like he did her and nor are they in love, so what reason does Kuzuki have to even care?
He has no reason not to care, and despite being grumpy and admittedly ugly by this point, Sasaki is trying to help the world and, more personally, Kuzuki's students.

"No reason not to care" isn't usually a reason to risk your life for something. And, I don't get the impression that Kuzuki is particularly bothered about either the world or his students. He certainly couldn't care less about all the people Caster harmed (including Issei, who Caster forces to kill Shirou and then himself in one Bad End).

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As for the fifth swing, he seems to have got nowhere, honestly. His negotiation with Caster didn't do him much good, and he doesn't seem to even try to talk to the others (even fighting them off at the gate). Also, where did the shadow come from? It doesn't seem like the story is following HF based on the number of servants still around, and he's not done anything in that timeline to cause the shadow to appear otherwise.
He was summoned well before the war proper, and a number of Servants tried to get past the original Assassin (False) during the time, even Berserker, but with the support of Caster Canon!Assassin held them off. Sasaki does the same here, but it's on the road for canon Heavens Feel.

Not much is accomplished because A). He's not persuasive enough / not in a position of power (without his immunity to Command Seals from Exposure to the Kaleidoscope in the first two Swings, Caster can just order him around and force him to obey), B). He's limited in what he can say to Servants as magic resistance  makes telepathy impossible and he doesn't want to reveal certain aspects to Caster for fear she'll exploit the information and hurt people (and there'd be shit he could do about it)

Eh, what do you mean by the "Exposure to the Kaleidoscope" thing? Why did his immunity to command spells suddeny disappear?

The rest makes sense, though. If he can't avoid being forced to obey Caster, he's kind-of stuck....

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And no, he did nothing to cause the Shadow to appear, but he's just the PoV character and only the protagonist by technicality most of the time, he's not the protagonist of F/SN in any sense. Things can, and do, happen without any input from him.

Well, yeah, of course. It just didn't seem from the way you were talking about it that it was heading towards HF.