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Franziska

Nikolic Compound, Third Night


@floodtalon@ReallyDumb





She thought she had been doing the right thing. She really had. When she had appeared in the stranger's arms, she had felt so... sure. So certain. So in love. Something like this couldn't possibly be wrong, could it? It felt safe, and right, even when Vlado had a hole punched in his chest. She'd been sick to see it, sure, but she and her father were master bone-crafters. With enough time and effort, and quick enough reflexes, the boy would be right as rain. When her father's rage consumed him, she had stepped forth, taking on the sparks of his Noble Phantasm, taking the Breath of Life into herself. She had opened her mouth, to speak, to reassure. She was all right, she would say. Vlado would be all right. And Jack? Jack was a friend. More than a friend. Surely he could help them, surely they could come to a mutual arrangement? Surely--

And then Jack cleaved her father in two. Without a word. Without negotiation. Without any hope of resolution at all. In an instant, her father's corpse lay at her feet. Dead. Gone. Her brothers and sisters collapsing, like puppets loosed from their strings. The Igors shook their heads, as though shaking off some horrible dream, and left. And Franziska was left alone with a murderer.

He turned, regret in his eyes. As though he had the right to feel regret after what he'd done. She opened her mouth again. To scream? To rage and cry? To rip his throat out?

And then he spoke. Hells, that voice... her anger shattered, like spun glass before a sledgehammer. She couldn't be angry. She loved him, didn't she?

A shard of wrath lingered. And she tucked it away, somewhere deep inside her. Right next to the place she could feel thrumming with power- her father's last, unintentional gift to her. She looked up into his eyes- her beloved? Her most hated foe? She wasn't sure. But she would be. Soon. Or soon enough. She focused on the words he spoke, rather than that damned voice he spoke them in.

“I promise to make you happy.”

She felt the rage. She felt the lightning in her breast.

And she smiled.

I'll hold you to that promise... Jack.




Suzaku Kirishima

Fuyuki Church, Third Night


@floodtalon@Reflection@Scallop@Yukitamas@Kyoka




Suzaku shook his head as he looked at the hole in the stained glass window his Servant's... paramour (Christ, just imagining it made his stomach turn) had left on their hasty exit. He grit his teeth, trying to think of calming things, trying to quell the rage and the anxiety that swelled in his chest. Unfortunately, his usual method of calming himself would be to go out and kill things. Considering the only targets within range were all allies... that avenue was counterproductive to the extreme. So, he compromised, and went for a joke.

"Waste of damn good art," he mused, ruefully lighting up another cigarette. "She did see that the door was open, didn't she?"

It helped. Marginally.

...Up until Xerxes came up from behind and started addressing some... very accurate assessments that Suzaku himself had made about his Servant. Suzaku took a long drag on his cigarette, sighing out the smoke with frustration.

"I don't like this. I don't like her. Tesla isn't likely to be caught off guard by her again, but... damn it all, this isn't right. It's not sane. I don't think we have anything to worry about from Tesla himself- he's been loyal, so far. But that..." He grit his teeth, searching for words he didn't have. "...That... thing... if he loses control of her again, we're done for. She's too powerful for us to stop on our own. Conventionally, anyhow. But I have a plan. All I have to do is look at this from a... different angle."

He turned to Xerxes, a grim fire in his eyes. "I don't relish being so underhanded, but I am a hunter. And a hunter must hunt with wits and cleverness, not brute strength. Tesla may not enjoy what I'm planning, but I have to keep my options open. So, I need a favor from you- keep an eye, an ear out, for the Master of... that one. Should Tesla's leash on her loosen... we will do what we must. He can have his dalliance for now, but I am not about to let this alliance be threatened by his insanity."




Miraculously, things then proceeded to get even worse.

Suzaku's fingers twitched as he lifted yet another cigarette to his lips, watching the Fantasy Tree- the reincarnation of Yggdrasill- rise into the sky.

Somehow, he was sure this was Tesla's fault.

Regardless of who was the initiator of this new nightmare, it did not change the fact that this war had officially gone from bad to worse. A power like that, a seed of the Age of Gods, was an unprecedented occurrence. He could feel the Leylines beneath his feet, twisting and writhing and cascading toward this new... abomination. He could feel reality shifting around it. Changing. Transforming.

If that tree was allowed to flourish, it could spell the end. Of everything. All of reality swept up in a whirlwind, a hurricane of creation and destruction, until only Primordial Chaos remained.

...Not if I can help it.

"Ludwig."
His voice was loud, clear, and calm, lacking the same kind of panic he'd possessed earlier. "Inject the draugr I showed you earlier, in the manner which we discussed. Xerxes, help me prepare the Draugr Delivery System. We won't have a better opportunity- we're killing that fucking tree."
@FalloutJack Been having... issues. Post incoming tonight.


Victor Frankenstein

Nikolic Compound, Third Night


@floodtalon[@ReallyDumb





Victor blinked his eyes. Once. Twice. What...? What was going on...? Where was he? What was he doing? He remembered Vlado channeling his will through one of the New Lifers, in order to negotiate with that... "Archer." Then, whatever primal madness the belligerent individual had forced backward through the connection, and then... here he was. Looking at a more-than-slightly-damaged workshop. He grit his teeth, seething. Ohh, yes. That fool would pay for trying to attack him at the heart of his territory. He turned to Vlado, to ensure his most faithful disciple had not been hurt in the midst of this nightmare, listening to the boy rant about something being stolen--

Victor froze, eyes wide with horror. Franziska...? He felt at the connection he normally possessed with his Firstborn. Or, rather, at the empty, hollow feeling that now occupied the place where his connection normally resided. The panic started to set in. Franziska...!? No. No, no, this couldn't have happened. She... she couldn't be gone. Even if she'd died, she should still be there. Somewhere. But this... this was...

Franziska!! Franziska, my dear, where are you?! Who was responsible for this? Who could've done this? The pressure built in his head, in his chest. The rage. The blind, seething, agonizing fury. Every cell in his body was baying for blood. For the head of whatever thief, violator, murderer had stolen his most darling daughter from him. His eyes, wide now with wrath, not fear, trained on the upstart who had robbed him, and his thoughts were consumed with one singular idea:

B L O O D


His hand snatched the crystal lantern from his hip, holding it aloft.

"That which gives life shall rob you of yours! AZOTH!!" A fountain, a geyser, a solid pillar of azure lightning erupted from the container, striking all around, suffusing, infecting, breathing into every inch of the workshop. First, it struck the New Lifers and Igors, carrying the Doctor's wrath along with it, granting them greater strength to do their new, grisly task, and the motivation to do so.

Then it struck the tools- the knives, saws, scalpels, and other assorted surgical implements, and the blades rose into the air at their master's bidding, ready to draw blood and tear flesh and sunder bone. It suffused the metals and materials next, channeling and charging and shaping with a roar, golems of stone and precious metal, forced into the crude form of a man, though precise enough to do this task.

...Then it went further. Deeper. Into the walls. Into the ground. Through stone and wood and metal, down to the dirt and rock and foundations. And with a mighty heave, the workshop- the entire compound- began to rise up. Outside, great limbs of stone began to erupt from the ground, planting feet the size of houses with a booming stomp, as the limbs sparked with lightning and began to bear up the complex, rising inch by inch into the air on the back of a colossus.

And Victor still wasn't done. He seethed, practically frothing at the mouth, as he glared down the interloper.

"Children!" he cried. "There is a thief in our midst! Not a thief of jewels or coin, no! But of something infinitely more valuable! Your elder sister, our Firstborn!"

The New Lifers present, which had been staring with a mixture of fear and awe, now froze... and in unison, fixed glares equal to their father's on the intruder.

"Yes! He has stolen her! Violated her! He must be destroyed, for daring to even think of stealing her away in such crude, puerile fashion!! KILL HIM! Peel the flesh from his bones! Grind his skeleton to dust! Sunder him to his constituent atoms!! ALL BUT HIS HEAD!! I want that for a trophy!! Teach him his mistake! DO IT!! KILL! HIM! NOOOOOOOOOW!!"

And with a bellow of rage felt all throughout the complex, the New Lifers- all 200 of them- and the dozens of ensorcelled Igors surged forward at the thief to carry out their father's gruesome command.


Victor Frankenstein and Franziska

Nikolic Compound, Third Night


@floodtalon





It had been a good day. At first. Vlado- his first and most faithful disciple- had been making great strides in his training. Franziska was, even now, hunting down the defilers that had unleashed that cursed blaze upon the city. The "Igors" had production in full swing, and his creations were learning by leaps and bounds- an advantage granted by his summoning. Yes, indeed, things had been going well.

And then some upstart prick fired off some sort of psychosis backlash through the connection Vlado had to the New Lifer he'd been... commandeering, and the entire workshop was going to pot. Within the small part of his mind that was not consumed by the corrupting berserker effect, Victor was... well, still enraged, but at least he was capable of being rational about it. He watched helplessly through the haze of red over his vision as his body betrayed him and again lashed out at his disciple. It pained him to do so, especially with how, surprisingly, the boy had endeared himself to him. He was a quick study, a talented Magus, and the first person who had ever been possessed of the same passion for his New Life that Victor himself had possessed. Which made it all the more stressing that he was now trying to kill the boy under the effects of this corruption.

He tried to bring himself to turn his attentions elsewhere, but... elsewhere was New Life. And his damned "Obsession" that should have kept him focused now prevented him from turning his violent impulses elsewhere. He could always sacrifice a few Igors to slake this unnatural bloodlust... but they were too far away. The berserker effect was very... precise. Lightning-focused on the nearest victim. Which, sadly, was his disciple.

Victor swore and raged in his mind- if he ever found out who did this to him... if his Master still lived by the end of this nightmare... he would find whoever played this foul trick on them, and roast them alive in their own skins. Oh yes. They would BURN. But first, he had to get away without killing his disciple. Fortunately, he had a backup. He only hoped she would get here in time.

Franziska! Franziska, can you hear me??

Father? Father, what's wrong, you sound--

No time to explain! You must return with all haste, before I do something I cannot correct, or control!!

O-okay, Father. Just hold on, okay? I'll be there soon! Just hold on!!

Victor ground his teeth in rage as his body took another swing at Vlado. Hold on, eh? One could only hope.
@FalloutJack@Kazemitsu Steve Blum was Spike in Cowboy Bebop. He’s also been lots of other things, but that’s the one I remember most fondly.
Scathach hummed to herself as her "handler" escorted her to the meeting area. Despite the magnetic cuffs enveloping both of her hands entirely, and muting her powers, she was in a reasonably good mood. After all, it wasn't every day that you might get to meet your hero! She smiled- leered, really- as she meandered down the hall, much to the concern and annoyance of the soldier training a gun on her shoulder blades. Ha. As if she could actually be hurt by such a little toy. She'd survived atmospheric reentry before.

...Once. It hadn't been pleasant. But she'd survived, and that was the point.

The only downside was the lack of comfortable weight on her back. The Seraph had been her constant and loyal companion (once she'd burned through their meager security measures) since she'd stolen it out from under these Feddie dogs' noses so long ago. It was almost more fun than when she'd stolen their Prominence thingy. Gods, she could still remember the thrill she'd felt when she got that particular power boost. Her interrogators had threatened to take the precious thing away from her, but without a really good black market cyber-doc on hand, they were shit out of luck. Unless they really wanted to tear her literal heart out just to get to it. On any other day, they even might have done so. But not today.

No, today, she was useful to them. Today, she was an asset. And she had no doubt she'd have her baby Seraph back soon enough. Can't have an asset running at minimum base effectiveness. Even if that was still the level of throwing star-stuff into peoples' faces.

The doors to the waiting area whooshed open, and Scathach's eyes widened slightly. A dragon. Well. They certainly were pulling all the stops out for this mission, weren't they? Nothing said desperate like being willing to be confused with Space Pirates. Even if the two of them looked nothing alike. Seriously, use your eyes, people...

She grinned brightly at her fellow cannon fodder, looking forward to knowing just how fucked all of them were. After all, what fun was a mission without a little horrible, life-threatening risk?
Suzaku Kirishima

Fuyuki Church, Third Night


@floodtalon@Reflection@Scallop@Yukitamas@Kyoka@Froppy




Suzaku wondered what it would be like to have a sane Servant. One who actually listened to reason. One who didn't threaten an already-tenuous alliance with what could only be described as absolute fucking psychosis.

He supposed it must be nice. Shame he'd never experience it himself.

He sighed again, lighting up a rare cigarette as he inspected the schematics he'd drawn up for his newest model of draugr. As if losing two arms in as many days wasn't bad enough, Tesla had actually brought back the contemptible woman who'd inflicted said injuries to their doorstep. Proclaiming, of all things, that he was in love with her. He... still couldn't quite wrap his head around that. Was this normal courtship in his time? Evisceration? If that was the direction the future was headed, may he die before ever growing old.

He'd pondered using a Command Seal to order Tesla to kill the demon while she was unconscious and hungover (and what a feat it was, getting a fucking Oni drunk), but that was counterproductive to the extreme. Sure, it would eliminate the issue at hand, and prevent any further issues regarding the purple-haired Oni, but it would also leave Tesla resentful. Perhaps even murderous. And between his capability at Independent Action, and his ability to absorb mana from mundane energies, there wasn't much incentive to not kill him, should he decide Suzaku had worn out his welcome.

On the meagerly-bright side, should he be able to rein in the woman's homicidal impulses... perhaps we have yet another powerful ally to assist us. He bit down slightly on the cigarette in his mouth, trying to rein in his own frustrations. A very large if, but the difference between madness and genius is success rate. I've trusted him so far, and it's all worked out... marginally well. This will just require more vigilance than ever before...

He would've continued this tangent, had his metaphysical senses not suddenly taken a blow from a sledgehammer. He physically recoiled from the feedback from whatever ritual had been cast. While he was still reeling from that, however, something even worse started to happen. Something... started to move. His eyes widened in shock as he jolted from his workbench, dashing for the upper levels of the church where the rest of the group waited.

"Tesla! Xerxes! Ludwig! Everyone!! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!"
I’ll post soon. Been dealing with some issues with work and my personal life that I’d rather not get into right now.
@FalloutJack I’m pretty sure it’s contained, but I’m still keeping an eye to the north, just in case. Don’t worry too much about me.
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