A Moment of Truth (Fan fic - set after UBW-Good)

Post any of your TYPE-MOON related stories, artwork, etc. This is a spoiler zone, so spoiler tags are NOT required as fan fiction is bound to be full of them. You have been warned.

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Unread post by Nerroth » October 29th, 2008, 12:34 am

Part 15


BGM: Trevor Morris - The Tudors - An Historic Love

For the first time in seven months and nine days, and for only the second time, Seonac and Sakura shared a unique dream-scape, as they lay asleep in one another's arms.

The two were standing in an elaborate ballroom, him wearing a simple yet effective suit, her clad in a spectacular salmon dress - and the two were focussing exclusively on one another.

As the music slowly started, the two stepped towards each other, following a pattern played out by the piece in the background. They reached for each other's hands, and began to step in tandem around the room - stepping to one side or the next, spinning on the spot, reaching their arms out so that he could twirl her, then draw her closer once again.

Around them, the ballroom dissolved away - and the two were in a new location, surrounded by cheering friends and family members. Now, he wore a groom's morning suit, and her right fingers could feel the ring on his left ring finger - while she wore a stunning white wedding dress, and a pair of rings on her left hand, symbolising the significance of the day in question.

Soon, the scenery shifted again, as did their attire - and appearance. They wore more informal attire this time, and were dancing in the main living room of their new home. Two young children, enthralled at the sight of their parents' dance, watched on. They each looked older now, more seasoned, yet no less vibrant - especially in the eyes, the fire in each pair showing no signs of dimming.

Another change - and this time, they were the ones among the dancing crowd, at a ceremony for their own 'little ones'... who were little no longer. In a scenic outdoor setting, atop a balcony overlooking the cliffs, the building music was carried upon the air of the summer evening, spurring the dance onwards.

The change came, again and again, each jump carrying the two on their progression through the rest of their lives...

...until the final dance, during which the two moved slowly, the vigour of their youth nearing its ebb - but the bond forged between their hearts, minds and souls as strong as ever.

Even as the time for the end came, the two approaching the ultimate step into the unknown, they were still reaching for one another, their hands weak, yet not quite weak enough not to move their fingers, as if attempting to continue the dance with the humble form of movement.

And then, for both, the eyes dim, the lids failing for the last time...

...and the Light taking their essences into Eternity.


BGM: Trevor Morris - The Tudors - Henry Meets Anne Boleyn

"Good morning, Sakura," Seonac whispered, taking in the sheer sense of contentment that came with the chance to say those words to his beloved once again...

...and that he would have the chance to do so quite often in the future, every day he was able to spend at her side from now on.

"And good morning to you, itoshii..." she said back to him, smiling over to him, as they reached over to embrace one another in the morning sunlight.

"Are you ready to tell them?" he asked her. The two had discussed the matter at length, and had even began to make the necessary arrangements - but there was only so much to be done before they could try to bring the others into the plan.

"Hai," she nodded in reply. "I suspect that nee-san-tachi will be somewhat surprised by what we have to tell them..."

He chuckled at the thought. "I wonder which part will leave the biggest impression?"

"Hmm..." she held a finger to her lips. "I suppose it will be interesting to see what nee-san thinks about her future role as an oba-san!"

"Or about the SPF factor she'll need to pack if she's gonna come with us," he added, "or the bug spray. I bet she'll hate that!"

The two of them laughed together, before he looked over at her with a more serious expression.

"This isn't going to be easy, Sakura," he said simply. "but at least I know, more or less, where we need to go. Are you sure you're ready for this?"

"No matter where they are," she insisted, "no matter what we have to go through to get there, and back again... let's make sure we get our little ones home, itoshii."

At this, he smiled, and his confidence lifted. "Of course - but we should try to plan it so that they will be at full term by the time we get to them - and even before we leave, we should do what we can to make sure they have the right kind of home to come back to."

"Hai!" she smiled, already looking forward to the prospect.

"You know, I love it when you call me itoshii, Sakura," his words folowed by a soft kiss in her cheek, "but I hope you don't leave my other names aside altogether!"

"Well..." she looked over to him, coyly, "I guess Jonathan is ok, and Sho-na-ku... did I get that one right?"

"Close enough!" he affirmed.

She smiled back at him, before continuing. "They are both fine names, but everyone else gets to use them for you - but I like being the only one who gets to call you my itoshii."

"Sounds good to me, Sakura," he said back to her - and she giggled in response. "However, does that mean I should have a name I can call you?"

"You already do, itoshii," she assured him, "as no-one says my name quite the way that you do."

"Sakura..." he said once more, as they kissed, and made use of the time they had together that morning.


BGM: Trevor Morris - The Tudors - Pleasured Distractions

"So, what have you got to tell us?" Rin got the ball rolling, as she did fairly often in, well, pretty much any group she was in.

She was sitting at the table beside Shirou, who was to her left, while Saber was waiting to her right. Seonac and Sakura were seated on the other side of the table, facing them, his right and her left hands holding on to one another, as she held her right hand o her lap, and he rested the end of his left arm on the table, near a pen and paper he was set to scribble on.

Considering how poor his handwriting usually was, scribbling would be a... polite way of putting whatever it was he usually seemed to be attempting, in that regard.

"Indeed we do," he replied, before taking a deep breath.

"Do you want me to go first, Sakura?" he 'asked' his partner over the mind-link.

"Ganbatte kudasai, itoshii," she 'said' in response.

No pressure then, he thought to himself, starting to feel the weight of the moment. Oh well, ganbarimasu!

"Do you remember that I was picking up a bit of Portuguese now and then?" he asked first.

"Yes..." Rin answered, not quite sure where this was heading.

He continued with another question. "Well, how does the prospect of enduring a sub-equatorial climate under layers of sunscreen and mosquito repellent sound?"

"About as appealing as a hole to the head, wh... oh, you've got to be kidding me!" She was forming ideas of her own as to what he was trying to get at - and didn't like those prospects one bit.

"Afraid not, Rin," he bowed, apologetically. "Sakura and I are going to be making a voyage to Amazonia, all the way up to the foothills of the eastern Andes...

...on a quest to find your new nephew and niece."


BGM: Trevor Morris - The Tudors - Buckingham Plots for Murder

In a far distant land, at a secluded location, a sorcerous portal opened in the midst of a cluttered room.

No, not a sorcerous portal - a magical one.

The portal moved across the centre of the room, depositing two figures in its wake, before fading. One of the figures held a glowing staff, which began to fade as the power used in the transfer was expended.

He looked around the room with a smirk on his face. "Ah, haven't been in this one for a while..."

The other one present, a worn-looking man with an elaborate rifle slung over his back, and several pieces of intricate items of technology attached to his uniform, removed his rebreather and looked over to the one who had brought him to this place.

"Not that I'm trying to sound ungrateful," he asked the staff-wielding man, "but where the hell am I?"

The old man chuckled. "Oh, my poor young man, compared to where you've been this place as far from the Inferno as it gets..."

At this, he gestured to the window, and the other man's gaze was directed beyond...

...at the blue sky!

His jaw dropped, as he saw the verdant life beyond. Greens and browns and blues and yellows, all so much more vibrant, more real, than anything he had ever seen on the Land of Steel.

"Where... where am I?" he asked.

"You're on Earth, lad," the other reassured him. "Just not your Earth."

Could this be? the man thought to himself. Is this... how the planet looked in the Age of Life?

"But where are the Knights, the Liners, the A-Rays, the ..." he paused to consider the other elements of the world he knew, "Aristoteles?"

The old man shook his head. "Oh, my poor fellow, almost none of those beings are present - or even possible - in this time period."

"Time period..." he wondered. "Did you bring me back through time?"

The old man laughed heartily at this. "Oh, how little you understand of divergent temporal flows and quantum realities!"

"Ah, so you brought me here to crack jokes at," the man said, unimpressed. "How gracious of you."

"Oh, there are few who would call me gracious," the older man replied, "despite all I have done for them. Can't they show even a little bit of gratitude?

But I digress. See, in different realities, time can flow somewhat differently - the point we are at now can be decades, centuries, even millennia apart from those at the 'same' point on other points along the Kaleidoscope."

"So the world I am from is, what, a few thousand years ahead of this one, then?" Despite his rough appearance, the man was sharp enough when he needed to be.

"Something like that," the old man answered, with the air of a teacher moderately impressed with the deductions of his student. "In this world, Gaia yet lives, and thus there is no need for your world's post-apocalyptic bastard species."

He considered this, thinking that to him, one of the Last Seeds, the current generations of races could be a shower of bastards, alright.

"Ok, so this is a place I don't need this for," pointing to the removed re-breather, "so why am I here? You should know that my specialty depends on Gin, and in using it to take pops at the Aristoteles. I can't see how much use I am here if you're telling me this world has neither."

"Ah, but you see, there is a use for you, my lad," the older man reassured him. "At least, if my theories about the matter are accurate enough."

"Theories?" the younger man waited for clarification - assuming the mildly annoying old man would actually tell him.

The latter, for now, had no particular reason to stop there, however. "Indeed. For you see, Godo, my good man..."

The Wizard Marshal placed his staff into a notch on the floor, leaving it facing upwards. "I, Wizard Marshal Kishua Zelretch Schweinorg, Bearer of the Kaleidoscope, have brought you here as my insurance policy. For a game is afoot on this Earth, Godo, a game I haven't seen played out like this before - which involves an Aristoteles that has been on this planet for over four thousand years..."

Godo glazed over the elaborate self-description, but was far more concerned about the part detailing one of the dreaded harbingers of death, as Zelretch finished:

"...and if my theories about its little lair are correct, you, 'Gun God', just might be my trump card."
Last edited by Nerroth on January 25th, 2009, 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by Nerroth » November 30th, 2008, 10:15 pm

This is an entry in a short fiction competition - think of it as more of a side-story, or a Lucky Star-esque 'slice of life' take on AMoT!


"I'll be back soon, itoshii!" Sakura kissed Seonac on the cheek before she stepped out of the door. In the time since she had joined the group of friends and loved ones in London, she had wanted to spend time catching up with her nee-san. So the two of them were going to go and spend some quality time together.

Seonac, in turn, couldn't help but miss her when she was away - but compared to the seven months they had spent apart prior to her arrival in the UK, he didn't mind so much.

And in any event, he had time to work on a little project he had in mind?

While he had been on his own, he had picked up a certain figure from an online vendor ? the G1 Ultra Magnus from the Transformers: Titanium line. However, while it was a decent scale to the Revoltech Magnus he had ordered at the same time, it was a bit of a nuisance that the larger figure had the head attached to the trailer, rather than to the removable cab. Not only did it make the head stick too far forward, it meant the armour looked a bit odd if you detached the cab and tried to stand the Revoltech figure beside it.

However, it seemed that one or two people over on one of the TF boards he occasionally visited had tried their hands at decapitating Magnus, and re-attaching the head to the cab.

Ironically, it was only now that he had the time to try it - before this, he had been too busy working extra shifts and being buried in his studies.

Thankfully, he thought to himself, there's no time like the present.

"Well, City Commander," he said to his inert colleague, "Let's see about a spot of re-engineering!"


After a while, it became clearer that the effort would take a bit longer than he had hoped.

Cutting the joint which attached the head to the trailer took long enough - since he didn't have more professional tools to use, only a modelling knife and pliers - but doing so in a way which would allow enough of it to remain for it to be mountable on the cab's connecting piece was tricky indeed.

Finding out that you had to pretty much disassemble the cab altogether, remove the centre piece, turn it to face the opposite direction, drill the hole in the centre for a pin to fit, then try to piece the thing back together again... that was even more of a hassle.

And then there was the issue of finding a pin thick enough to secure the various pieces, yet thin enough to still fit into both sides? oh, and sacrificing poor Magnus'? head movement - Seonac had to glue the head onto the ball joint, in order to keep it sturdy enough to stay put.

You'd think one of the engineers at Hasbro wouldn't have thought of this already, he sighed inwardly.

Still, progress was being made, and the stage was almost set for the first test of the new head-mount?

*knock knock knock*

Seonac looked up, and then set the tools down onto the modelling table, as he went over and opened the door?

"I'm back, itoshii!" Sakura was wearing a beautiful new casual dress, as she beamed a radiant smile at him.

And while Seonac scooped his beloved into his arms, he spared a moment?s thought for his work-in-progress figure. Sorry to leave you headless, Magnus, but I'm afraid I can't deal with that right now.

I have other priorities to take care of.

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Unread post by Nerroth » December 19th, 2008, 12:16 am



(Note: The following contains scenes of a mature nature. Reader discretion is advised.)

There was a lot which would need to be organised.

Flight plans would need to be made, hotels booked, currency exchanged, even basic language skills picked up - and would be just for the initial trip to Sao Paulo.

Taking the further voyage into the interior, to a place not shown on any map (or, at least, not shown in quite the same way as Seonac knew he would eventually find it) and working out a means of getting back again - and all of the major and minor logistical issues needed to do all of this...

...it was enough to give him a headache already.

It was too much to plan out in one evening - but he figured that since it was too early to go now anyway, given the need to let events run their course on the other end, it didn't have to be.

He and Sakura would have time.

But before they did any of that, there were more immediate matters that they could address, and which he did not want to leave undone.

"Sakura..." he said softly, as she held on to him while they sat on the couch, "We're gonna have a lot of planning and stuff to do, but before we rush into that - or rather, start to eat that particular elephant one bite at a time - there are a few things I want to say, about things I hope you and I can work out here first. Although, it might sound a bit odd to hear in places..."

Sakura smiled and nodded. "I'm listening, itoshii."

"Okay!" he took a deeper-than-normal breath, as he tried to bring his mind into the right focus, and tried to juggle the words he wanted to say into something semi-legible. Perhaps sensing this, Sakura squeezed his hand gently, to reassure him.

Indeed, it was that act which helped him begin. "You know, it's the chance to do something even as simple as this," he held up their clenched hands slightly, "which means so much - not just for the way it feels by itself, but how it fits alongside every other way in which I want to be able to reach out to you, Sakura."

She smiled more widely when hearing this, and said "It's the same for me, itoshii - being here with you makes me very happy."

He felt a wave of relief and joy at her words. "That's what I want - and of course there are so many other ways I want to share myself with you. But more than that, I want to understand you, to be able to know what makes you happy, and comfortable, and excited, and everything else."

"You have an advantage in that regard," she pointed out, pointing a fingertip from her free hand to her temple.

He nodded, but had a look that said he was trying to get at something. "Yes, that's true - and it's hard to put into words how precious that link is. But there are couples all around the world who have to make do without telepathy, and still manage to learn and understand one another... and God forbid that I somehow lose my gift someday, I'll not want to look back and see that it was a kind of crutch, on which I had to depend upon. If that makes any sense."

She didn't like the idea of hearing him talk about losing his gift like that. "Do you really worry about..."

He chuckled when thinking about it. "You know, it's ironic. I used to wish, more than anything, for me to have any other power, or indeed none at all, rather than be a telepath - to never have to worry about blocking thoughts, or seeing what most people wouldn't."

"And yet..." he sighed a little, somewhat nervous about what he wanted to say next. "it made all the difference in the world when you and I were together back in Fuyuki-shi."

"What do you mean?" she asked, trying to follow his line of reasoning.

He felt slightly more nervous, but bit the bullet and went on anyway. "Well... do you remember that when we first held on to each other that night, I said that I had a lot of things I wanted to ask, or understand, or work out, but that I didn't know where to start?"

Her eyes glistened as she remembered, all too well. "I do - and I remember telling you that I knew them all, and that I had a certain answer for you. I believe it went something like this..."

With that, she leaned over to him and kissed him playfully, their lips and tongues dancing together for several moments, before she lifted her head back to look at him.

"Indeed it did," he blushed, "but the point is that during that instant, and for the rest of the time we made love, I was depending on the reactions, the guidance, that I could sense over the link... to make up for the fact that I would have otherwise had very little idea of what it was I should be doing."

He looked slightly downcast. "And the truth is that I still feel that, right now at least, I'm inadequate, unprepared... I don't have the knowledge, experience and intuition that you deserve to have in a partner."

"You were more than fine for me, itoshii," she said gently. "You made me feel wonderful... so much more than I had ever hoped for. Not just because you made me feel good - but because it was you."

He was very glad to hear that, which was just as well, given what he wanted to say next. "And that's it - I want to be as much as I can for you, to learn everything I can about making you happy... and I want you to help me become like that the way those who are lovers without mind-links can be. I guess I just wish you didn't have to put up with a learning curve on my part..."

She wrapped her arms around him and held on tightly, pressing her cheek against his chest. "Do you know how much that means to me? To be the one you learn these things with, and the one you want to learn them for... I am so much happier to have this - to have you all to myself."

She lifted her head up and cupped the sides of his face as she looked down at him. "To be your one and only lover... as you are for me."

At that, a nagging dash of fear and concern flashed in his mind, which he tried to brush aside - but she couldn't help but feel it. "Sakura... I need to tell you, though I'm afraid, ashamed to say it, or even think it."

"Tell me, itoshii," she looked at him, assuredly.

"You know, there's one other reason why I... why it's so imprtant for me to want to learn how to do things the right way. I... I couldn't bear..."

She looked worried, seeing his expression turn like this. "What is it?"

He almost whispered the answer, his eyes turning downward again. "...causing you to... have a reminder... of..."

At this, she held more firmly onto his head, and lifted it up to face her, as she looked steadfastly at him.

"There are many things I am happy to say to you, again and again - but this is something I will only say one time," she said, her voice firm. "I can understand why you, more than anyone, would have reason to be afraid of that - and I greatly appreciate the sentiment behind your concern. But never, not for one moment, do you ever, ever make me think of him, itoshii - and you never will. So please relieve yourself of that concern, at once."

He felt his eyes water at that, a complex mix of guilt, relief, shame and salvation rush through him. "I'm sorry to have even thought of..."

"It's alright," she said, now the one pressing his head against her chest, his arms wrapping around her. "but it's done now, right?"

"Ok," he said quietly, glad to have shaken off that particularly bitter concern.

"So, was there anything else you wanted to say to me, before we begin our education?" she asked, with a hint of devilishness in her voice.

Lifting back to look at her, he surprised her by rolling her to her side, so they were lying and facing one another. "Oh, when you put it like that, I want to start right this moment - but there is one other thing we should try and work out..."

"Oh?" she asked, mock-shyly, as she snuggled up to him. "And that would be..."

"Figuring out a means of birth control," he pointed out, as he held on in turn. "Much as I'm happy to be starting a family with you, I think that two is enough for a while yet, don't you agree?"

She laughed at this, as she realised that she hadn't even stopped to think of that. "I believe you have a point!"

Showing a warn smile, Seonac went on, his analytical side trying to work on the matter. "Well, maybe we could go tomorrow or the day after and see about what methods are available, and which would be viable? At the very least, I guess we could go to a pharmacy and start with using a con-"

She stopped him before he finished that sentence. "No, we won't, itoshii."

Somewhat non-plussed, he asked "Hm? About which part?"

"Going to explore our options is fine, and I agree that we should settle on one which is viable for both of us - but I do not ever want to feel anything less than your flesh inside me, itoshii."

He doubted he had ever blushed as furiously as he did right there and then, at hearing that. "So, no to condoms, then? Well, I guess we don't need to worry too much about the other stuff they work against, so... wait, why did I start thinking about that sort of detail so quickly?"

"It's your mind in action," she replied. "One of the things I love the most about you."

"Sakura..." he said softly, as he kissed her passionately once again, before he thought of one more question for now. "So then, if we are gonna wait until we sort that stuff out before we try it again, what would you like to do until then?"

She answered coyly. "Oh, you'll find out soon enough."


"Man, this is complicated."

Seonac and Sakura were sitting in the waiting room at a small clinic, waiting for an appointment - which, thanks to the wisdom of those who founded the National Health Service, hadn't been too much trouble to organise.

While they were waiting, Seonac was trying to read through some NHS literature on various methods of birth control, as well as some pages he had printed off of Wikipedia earlier - and the whole thing was rather much to try and make sense of, frankly.

"Did they not teach about these methods in school over in Ireland?" Sakura asked quietly, as she saw his concern.

"Well, yeah, but not in as much detail as I'd like..." he replied in a low voice - there was no-one nearby to listen in on them anyway, but it seemed like a force of habit, for some reason - "And to tell you the truth... I never really imagined I'd ever have use for any of this, in fairness. Being convinced you'll never find anyone who would want to go to that stage with you can be a troublesome thing, ne?"

She smiled at that, though she might have felt a little bad at the thought of him being left with such a thought in his youth. "It makes me very glad to be the one to disabuse you of that notion, itoshii..."

"Well..." he blushed a little at that, "be that as it may, some of these options - well, they seem awfully... intricate. It's hard to wrap my head around them, let alone the part about how they would be for you."

She placed a hand on his forearm, and reassured him. "When we find the right option, I will be quite fine..."

At this, she was the one to blush, as she turned to one side slightly.

"What is it, Sakura?" Seonac asked, not quite sure what was going on.

She turned back and smiled more widely. "I just realised that I really will be fine, itoshii. To be here with you like this, making this kind of decision, sharing the matter together as we are... I never dreamed I'd be so lucky, either."

Before Seonac could say anything, the call came through from the PA system in the room. Their turn was up.

"Well then," he asserted, as he stood up, folded the papers into his bag, and reached out for her hand. "shall we go and take this step together?"

"Hai!" she said gladly, taking his hand.

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Unread post by Nerroth » January 6th, 2009, 8:32 am

Part 16

*knock knock*

"Please come in, Seonac," said a friendly voice from the other side of the door - one the person who had just knocked, and was now stepping into the room, knew well.

Two of the spare rooms in the O'Connell household had been set aside for their temporary guests, with Saber taking a smaller room to herself for the duration of their short stay, and Rin and Shirou a somewhat larger guest room not far away.

Sakura, of course, had no need for an additional room to be set aside. When the group had arrived, she and Seonac had explained everything to his parents, who despite being 'mundanes' had already known about Seonac's gift. Such knowledge would technically have been considered a breach of a magus' protocol, but the circumstances of Seonac being a first-gen - and more importantly, of being their son - made them among a relatively select group of exceptions to this otherwise-strict rule.

Seonac had asked his parents to let them bring the children here, and use his home, rather than the apartment in London, as the starting point for what would be his own family. But even if he hadn't, his parents would have insisted upon the matter anyway - and were already talking about the kind of elaborate ceremony they were hoping to get everyone involved in once the clan was re-united.

However, the stop-off in Ireland was not just for this purpose. There were other matters to attend to, which would be critical for the daunting mission ahead.

"How is it like to be back over, Saber?" Seonac asked, as he went to sit in the chair at the side of the small table, while Saber sat cross-legged on the bed, a book on her lap.

She smiled. "Your home never fails to feel like my own, Seonac."

"Good," he nodded, "I'm glad you feel that way - although we won't have much time to enjoy it."

"In that case, I shall take it in while I can," she replied, "and how about you? How does it feel to be back here?"

A simple question - and, as usual, one he seemed to instinctively generate a less than simple answer. "Well, on the one hand, I feel so glad to have been able to introduce Sakura to my parents, and to see how quickly they took to her... it makes me feel so happy. And of course I always like it when we are all together over here, not cloistered in separate apartments back at the Clock Tower."

She could understand that. While they were close to one another there, it was not the same as them sharing one roof in a real house like this. She wasn't quite certain what it was that made the picture incomplete, however. "And on the other?"

"Oh, that," he sighed. "I almost don't want to say it - not least because I feel like I'm always talking to you about this sort of thing. I must be quite a burden."

She shook her head. "Quite the contrary. I am honoured to be so entrusted - as I take pride in my ability to place my own trust in you when I need counsel."

He smiled at that, realising that there was something else he really had left amiss for far too long. "You know, I wish I had said this before, but I want to thank you, Saber, for more than I can say. You've been as close and kind a friend as I could have ever hoped for, you've always accepted me for who I am, and encouraged me for who I try to be - and you've always been honest and clear with me, when so many others I meet leave me guessing as to what it is I'm supposed to make of them, or their intentions towards me.

And if it pleases you, I'd be greatly honoured for you to be there for my new family, as you have been for me."

She in turn smiled widely at this, her spirit lifted by such an affirmation, which she felt the need to reciprocate. "I feel that it is I who has cause to thank you, also. When I decided to remain as a tsukaima, my main motivation was to watch over and protect Rin and Shirou - to stand as their guardian as they moved on from the Grail War. And in the time I spent with them, I learned much about the new world which was no my own, but my main focus was a more narrow one."

"And yet," she continued, "when I came to Europe, and I met you, I was given the opportunity to see myself, and my surroundings, in a fresh perspective. You encouraged me to explore, and pursue, my own interests, learn of new ideas and hobbies, pay more mind to the comings and goings of those who have arisen in the interim between my old life and my current one.

You have helped me learn to be more than just an existence - but to be alive. And for that, I will always be grateful."

"Well, I don't want to take too much credit," he winked, "but I guess a little credit would be ok!"

"Quite so," she responded, eyebrow raised, "so long as it is not too much to prevent you from telling me what it is that is also on your mind."

He put his hands up in mock-surrender. "Ok, you got me."

He turned the chair somewhat, and leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees as he held his palms up to his cheeks. "I'm worried about Rin."

Her again. "Is this going to be the kind of conversation you'll wish to keep from Sakura, perhaps?"

He shook his head at that. "No no, it's not like that - I assure you."

"In that case, how is it?" Saber asked, shifting position so that she was resting on her hind legs, facing him.

"Well, do you recall that prior to the circuit-bonding, I was unable, whether by accident or design, to pick up even stray thoughts from her?" Even now, he wasn't quite sure how much of that was him repressing things, and how much was a genuine phenomenon. "Well, that's not quite the case nowadays - and while I don't make a habit of looking into her mind unbidden, of course, I can pick up on certain stray feelings and sentiments. And I'm worried."

"What kind of feelings are causing you to say thus?" Saber pressed him, just firmly enough to show her concern, yet not to seem like she was trying to rush him. She knew they would get there in time.

He looked downwards. "I suppose I should have known that it was too easy - when we tried to settle things together. It's one thing to publicly agree to how things are now, but it's not always so easy for the built-up momentum of one's train of thought and emotion to change course like that."

"Do you fear that she holds a grudge over what happened?" Saber sounded concerned, hoping it was not the case, but understanding how that might be all the same.

"I don't know," he said sadly. "but I can sense it, when we are all together - something telling me that she's still hurt over what happened, even if she doesn't want to be. And I hate it. Even if we were not to be together as a couple, I still care for her deeply as a friend... no, more than that."

He looked over to Saber, matching her gaze. "As family - the way I see you, and even Shirou, for that matter. I can't stand the thought of being the cause of her unhappiness, not like this."

Saber moved herself to the side of the bed. "I am certain that she knows this, also."

"But even so..." Seonac looked downwards again, while a hand was placed on his slumped shoulder. "I know that I should just go and talk to her, try and... say something, to tell her that while I want her to be a part of my - our - family, that I can try to step back and work out a way for her to see Sakura, the kids and everyone while I'm not there, if that's what it takes."

"You won't get rid of me so easily, Seonac."

He looked up, and saw a raven-haired woman standing behind the chair - she had gotten the drop on him once again. The bloody hand in his shoulder was hers, too, and he hadn't even stopped to realise it.

"It seems that every time words pass from my lips in Saber's company, they find their way to you, Rin," he tried to joke.

"I have spies everywhere," she smiled jokingly, before the hand on his shoulder tensed slightly, and her expression changed.

He hated seeing her look like that, but he didn't turn away. "Look, Rin... the last thing I want is to lose track of you, but at the me time I don't want you to feel sad or angry or hurt every time we're in the same room. So, tell me what, if anything I can do, to earn your forgiveness."

She stood still for a moment, and he could sense a rush of feeling as she closed her eyelids, as if she was taking a deep breath, and trying to let go of her not-quite-pent-up-but-close emotions.

"It's not just you, Seonac," she said to him. "Learning about Sakura, taking in all of these changes in our relationships, still having so few answers about whatever the hell it is that happened to you during that vision... it's taking its time to process, you know?"

He nodded, understanding completely. "I know. And I guess it's not been helped by all of the effort put into the expedition..."

"But if you feel some of this, I want to be clear that, even so, I'm working towards it," she insisted, "so don't worry so much about me, ok?"

"I'll try," he answered, not quite sure that he'd give up his worrying habits so easily, but glad to hear her words nonetheless.

"And while we are here, I want to apologise to you," she added. "I really wish I hadn't struck out at you, and I'd take it back if I could. And I promise you, I won't ever do it again..."

"...unless I really deserve it!" he joked, though he was relieved to hear this.

"Best not to tempt fate, my friend," she laughed, tapping his shoulder with her hand before pulling it back to herself.

My friend...
It was good to hear that again. "I'll bear that in mind."

"As will I, itoshii," Sakura's voice carried over from the open door, as she stepped in and sat on her beloved's lap. "Though I promise that I will keep an eye on nee-san if I have to!"

Seonac held on to her closely, feeling that much more at home in that moment of truth. "And here i was hoping you'd keep them both elsewhere, Sakura..."

"I suspect that will not be a problem," quipped Saber, with a knowing smile.

"Indeed," Sakura nodded, locking her eyes towards Seonac's.

"Okay," he said, as something else popped to mind. "Now that we've got that out of the way, there is something that I wanted to try and address with all of you... but where is Shirou?"

"Down in the kitchen with an apron on," Rin pointed out the door, down to the edge of the stairs. "Want me to go get him?"

"Well, if he's helping prepare something, I guess we can go share the load," Seonac replied, "but once we're done, I'd like to talk about something we really ought to practice together for the campaign."

"What do you have in mind?" Saber asked, her mind quick to think of ways in which to prepare for the expedition.

Seonac replied, by 'speaking' into their minds at once. "Most of our time training or practicing is done solo, or in tandem - which is important in itself. However, if we are to travel as a team, we need to be able to function as a unit."

The others looked to each other, and to him, then nodded.

"Thanks to this gift, and all we've gone through together, we now have this shared link.

It's time we made the most of it."
Last edited by Nerroth on February 6th, 2009, 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by Nerroth » January 30th, 2009, 3:31 pm



BGM: Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard - I'm Not a Hero

"Look at them," tutted the co-pilot of the helicopter hovering over what was considered to be one of a steadily-declining set of rarities in the contemporary world... an isolated tribe of human beings.

This relatively undocumented group spoke a language unlike any of those encountered in the vast Amazon basin - or, at least, what little evidence thus far gathered gave little clues as to whether the native tongue was related to the Panoan, Arawakan, or another language family known to exist in the wider region.

And their culture, so far as the observer aboard the helicopter could tell, was about as isolated from the rest of the world as could be determined. Even things like Western-style clothes - seen commonly enough among some of the indigenous peoples who had seen contact with those of European and African descent who now comprised the vast bulk of Brazil's overall population - seemed to be mostly absent.

However, the observer, while showing more interest than the pilot and co-pilot in the indigenous group below - who, in turn, seemed not to be overly interested in looking back up at them in response - had a far less generous set of criteria he wished to pursue, compared to those that an enthusiastic anthropologist might carry.

He wanted to know only one thing from the natives below - and once he had his answers, their further existence was no longer required.


Once the scouting run was completed, the helicopter flew over the canopy and turned to follow the eastward flow of the river below. This was one of the last stretches of the mighty river which still bore the name Amazon, before it changed from the immense river-sea known around the world to the somewhat narrower - though still massive - tributaries extending up into the eastern Andes.

Soon, the craft finished its journey, landing at the impromptu helipad at the edge of the temporary base the group of mercenaries had established - not exactly with the permission of the state or federal authorities - and from where the eventual strike would take place.

While the observer had his own, inscrutable plans (which he had not felt like sharing with his present associates) theirs were far more transparent. From their perspective, the natives' land had trees to fell, likely sites of mineral deposits to tap, and locals who had no firearms or nearby authorities to stand in their way.

"So, have you finished your little scouting trip yet?" asked Munho, the commander of the mercenary company - who had the habit of using a singular name for self-reference, as if he were a member of A Selecao itself - asked the observer, trying not to show too much of the mounting impatience that he and his men were feeling. Had they had their way from the outset, the matter would have been settled much sooner.

And yet, even the ruthless commander found reason to pause when faced with the observer's 'requests'. "I'm nearly ready, I assure you," the latter assured Munho, as he stepped into the ground and walked with the commander to the makeshift compound. "I'll be present with all I need at the meeting this evening, and once I go over what requirements I have, we can begin the operation at your discretion."

"Excellent," the commander smiled, looking forward to getting the job done - he rather missed his air conditioning.


Later that evening, the sun set relatively early in the wide sky - it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere, though someone from a temperate climate might find it quite easy to forget this - and unknown to those within the compound, another set of travellers, who had been carefully tracking the flight path of the helicopter as it made its runs to and from the native encampment, were in the vicinity.

They suspected that the current phase of the mercenaries' operations would only go on so far, before they tried to kill and burn their way through the area.

But as they drew up their own plans, one or two of them might have flashed a smile, as they took a look at what was to be their target.

They wouldn't know what hit them.


Dusk was settling in, and within the main prefabricated building set up by the mercenary company, the observer stood at the edge of a large table as he pored over maps of the area.

"So," he said, as Munho and his command staff looked on, "I've marked the areas of interest here on the map, and these -" he pointed to the images he had taken from the helicopter of certain objects, as well as people, he had a particular focus on, "are the items I want looked after."

Munho nodded. "And the rest?"

"They are of no concern," the observer answered simply.

"Just as well," Munho smirked. "Can't have them get in the way of our business, can we? Although, I suppose keeping a few alive wouldn't be a total loss..."

His lieutenant was about to make a suitably obliging remark when he stopped to hear a distant rumbling in the skies above.

"I don't remember seeing any of this earlier..." he said, looking out of the window at the onset of dense cloud cover and heavy rain, creeping its way over the compound.

"I thought one of you was supposed to check the weather reports!" vented an irate Munho. Flying in that would be tricky, and if it made crossing the sea-river more troublesome, they would risk postponing the operation even further.

The observer seemed to take in the event with a kind of distant curiousity, but betrayed no outward sign of concern.


"Damnit, I hate being caught out like this," cursed Rafael, one of the sentry guards tasked with securing the nearby area - and one of many who wished the boss had never agreed to this God-forsaken operation.

His colleague, Ramon, was not much better off. "I told you they should have let us take umbrellas here."

"You and your fucking umbrella fetish," Rafael scoffed, all too aware of the many obscene jokes which did the rounds at camp regarding Ramon and his affinity for the guarda-chuva...

"Whatever," Ramon hissed, as he went to reach for his communicator. "Maybe I should make sure they only send one, eh? So that -"

He stopped in mid-tirade as he thought he saw something move - or rather, saw some... presence make itself known, as if a patch of thin air had shuffled from one part of the forest to another.

Rafael didn't see it, but he did hear a kind of echo - a ghostly sound, or chatter, but not from any one spot he could tell.

"Just what the -" Rafael tried to say, before a new movement rushed through the twilight, and neither he nor Ramon had time to scream before the clump-clump of metal slicing through meat and bone left their swiftly-decapitated heads rolling on the rain-churned mud.


Positions were taken, as the last of the perimeter guards were drawn from their positions and cut down.

Two waited, obscured from view, under the treeline across from the complex's main entrance.

Two more readied themselves, one taking point, the other providing backup, as they prepared to hit the side entrance.

And the fifth, standing on a slightly elevated area, readied himself with bow and arrow in hand - although neither bow nor arrow were like anything one might have otherwise expected to see.

No words passed through the lips of the five, but none were required. An invisible web of mental threads wove their way through the aether between them, keeping them precisely aware of the other's locations. Their confirmations were sent, silently, as the next phase was set to begin.

One of the five looked over at the man beside her, showing her quiet, yet fierce determination to see this through.

He looked back at her, a smile on his face, and 'said' three words that only she could 'hear'...

...before lifting his hand, turning back towards their target, and sending the signal while dropping it before him.

An instant later, the unorthodox archer loosed his 'arrow', and was already preparing the next by the time the first reached its target.


A massive explosion engulfed the helicopter, turning it into a fireball, then a scattered cluster of wreckage, taking the lives of those who had been its watchmen.

The shockwave rattled the pre-fabricated structures in the compound, and shattered the glass keeping the driving rain out of the room in which Munho and the observer had been making their preparations.

"Sound the alarm!" Munho roared, as the observer saw the aftermath of the helicopter's destruction, while trying to work out whether this apparent attack - it was ludicrous for him to consider it as anything else - was aimed solely at the mercs...

...or at him.

A second loud Booooom, as a new fireball engulfed the power generators, and the lights went out across the compound.

"Get out there, now! Before they hit the armoury!" At Munho's command, his lieutenant and the other subordinates present rushed with a flashlight towards the exit, while Munho himself turned to the observer. "Fight, run, stay hidden, sit and watch - whatever you do, don't get in the way of my men!"

The observer said nothing, as Munho armed himself and tried to radio his men as he followed his senior men out into the fray.


A blur of steel passed through the compound at superhuman speed and grace, slicing through mercenaries effortlessly in mid-leap, hardly leaving enough time or opportunity for them to even take aim properly. Wild gunfire echoed in the storm as the end came for one after another.

In its wake, a second blur, not quite as fast as the first, but no less deadly to any it encountered, launched dark spheres of aethyric force which struck out at any mercenaries trying to flank the duo, landing hits at range with deadly accuracy.

Closer than his previous vantage point, the archer loosed a third shot, which immolated the shack which had served as the makeshift armoury, and reducing those caught in the blast wave to frayed and shrapnel-sliced chunks of flesh and bone.

And almost passing through unannounced, hidden from those it encountered until it was too late, the other duo made their way to the group's ultimate target.

"What is this?" Munho swore, as he saw the devastation which had already been left in the wake of the unknown attackers.

But he never got an answer - only a bind which flashed out as if from nowhere, then latched on and snapped his neck before withdrawing to let him collapse lifelessly onto the ground.


He could feel it, now - they were coming for him.

All of his efforts, the careful studies, the costly expeditions into this accursed rainforest... he could feel how close he was to his goal.

It's not fair! He slipped the carefully-cultivated mask he wore before the others, who were most likely dead by now anyway.

He tried to run, to escape - there had to be somewhere, anywhere, which would be safe for him.

He waited until he felt a lull in the violence outside, before running to the far entrance, hoping to get away...

...but as he stepped outside, he felt a cable - or what felt like a cable - clamp his legs together and hoist him skywards.

"Who are you! And what do you want with me!" he cried out, his nerve breaking, as he felt a rush of vertigo, as he was carried towards the roof of the main building.

His eyes opened wide as a cloak of shadow receded, and two people stepped before him. One, a plum-haired woman, remained standing on the spot where she had appeared.

The other, a man whose green eyes seemed to glow with an unearthly light, walked towards him and locked onto the observer's tottering mind.

"I am the one," the man said, "that will have you explain exactly what it is you have been doing here."


This story will continue in Crystal Valley.

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