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<Snipped quote by Red Alice>

<Snipped quote by Phonic>



...Ohhh, nooo.
Apologies for the delay. I’ll get a post up in the morning. Thanks for being so understanding.
Post to come tonight, when I’m feeling less... bullshit.
Suzaku Kirishima

Fuyuki Church, earlier that morning




Suzaku panted with exertion and excitement, his limbs shaking with the effort he'd put into the spell. He'd... he'd done it. He'd done it! He'd summoned a Heroic Spirit, a Servant! He glanced down at the back of his right hand, specifically the red markings etched into it. Excellent. He then looked up at the Servant he'd summoned and... was caught significantly off guard. Lightning. Lots and lots of lightning. The man was practically cloaked in it. It was... exhilarating to watch, and slightly frightening. Then, he stepped forward to introduce himself.

"I am servant Archer, a man who has grasped the power of the gods in his hands. If it pleases you, you may call me Nikola Tesla. Now then, there is much work to be done if we are to grasp the Holy Grail."

Suzaku blinked. Archer? Tesla?

"...Who?"



Suzaku shook his head in wonderment as he walked about the outskirts of Fuyuki, pondering that which his Servant, Tesla, had told him. To be honest, it was a lot to take in. From what he could understand, Nikola's legend was from the future of this world- one in which he'd grasped the knowledge of lightning, harnessed it, and turned it into a power source for all mankind to use. It was difficult to wrap his head around the implications; an Age of Man to rival the Age of Gods. It was a tough pill to swallow, but also strangely enticing, in its own way. He pondered what kind of wonders might be unearthed in such an Age...

But it wasn't exactly what he should be focusing on right now. Right now, he was still at war, and so he needed protection, defenses. As nice as having a Servant around was, he still needed things to keep his sanctum safe, should the enemy come knocking while he was out on patrol.

My taking of the Leyline won't stay secret for long. I need weapons for that eventuality. Which is what led him out here, where the poor and starving congregated. Not people, no- he wasn't that desperate, and killing someone just to get a bodyguard is exactly the sort of thing he disdained. Still, it wasn't like the thought of his plan of action didn't turn his stomach anyway. He'd prefer a corpse, but, if worst came to worst...

Thankfully, at least this time around, his luck continued to hold. The mutt looked like it had already been on the wrong end of too many fights before whichever one took its life. It looked strong enough, though. It certainly hadn't died from weakness. It would need some reinforcement, though... some strong, flexible metals... What he wouldn't give for support from the clan, but they'd been rather clear- if he was set on this escapade, then he was on his own. Inwardly, he shrugged, heaving the corpse of the dog over his shoulders. He wasn't looking forward to explaining his profession to Archer when he got back; the dog would raise enough questions on its own...



As it turned out, Tesla wasn't too perturbed by a dead dog or two. Dead was dead, in his opinion; a man after his own heart. Moreover, Suzaku wasn't the only one who'd been busy that day- Archer had had some projects of his own, fortifying their position in the church. Suzaku almost grinned maniacally from the explanation the Servant had given- whoever tried to ambush their position here was in for more than a few nasty surprises, especially given the modifications he'd suggested to his undead. Things were definitely looking up for this war...



Fuyuki Church, First Night




Suzaku had just been putting the finishing touches on the ritual to raise the dogs he'd found earlier when Archer burst into the mausoleum- politely, of course- to tell him that the signal for the war's start had been sent out. Suzaku nodded, then stepped back, careful to avoid the draugr he'd raised. There were a few of them, at least half a dozen, though they lacked the effort he'd put into the pair of mutts he was about to raise. Armor plating just beneath the skin. Flexible reinforcement around the ribcage (the flexible part was important, given the tricks he'd installed in them), plus a few additions by Tesla, to interface with "Keuranos." He wasn't exactly sure of the specifics, but the modifications would be a massive boost to the Wolves' efficacy.

Suzaku raised his hands toward the circle in front of him, quickly addressing Archer before the ritual began.

"Just a moment. Let me finish reinforcing our ranks, and then... we hunt." In a dark voice, Suzaku began to speak as he gathered his Od, and the ritual began.





Victor Frankenstein and Franziska

Nikolic Compound, First Night




"Ah, Master," said Victor as Vlado entered the room, his address far less vitriolic than it had been. One step at a time. He went back to his feverish workings as the boy prattled on, though he at least seemed to have an interest in the work. Good. That was a point in his favor, at least. Victor finished with the corpse he'd been preparing, snipping the last suture with a pair of shears. "Excellent timing. You are to bear witness to the key to your victory."

He grasped the crystal lantern at his hip, raising it to eye level, so Vlado could see inside.

"My life's work, here in this bottle. Oh, certainly, my New Life is enticing. But it is only possible through this. I spent a lifetime working to harness it. I call it, 'Azoth.'" He held the lantern closer to Vlado, showing its contents- a spark of lightning, twisting and warping in odd, sinuous, impossible ways, like some kind of eel or serpent. It was almost as if--

"Yes. It is alive," smirked Victor. "Or, rather, it IS life. The very same energy that flows through and animates our bodies can be found in lightning. My method takes advantage of this principle, in far greater quantities than is considered 'natural,' to do what was once considered impossible- to reanimate, to confer life once again upon that which is lifeless."

The lantern was starting to glow brighter now, illuminating the unhinged smile on Victor's face. "Watch closely, Master. Behold the future. Behold... our victory!" He whipped around, pointing the lantern like a scepter of authority at the corpse he'd been working on. "Return! Be reborn! Azoth!!" A searingly-bright bolt of blue shot out toward the corpse, writhing and twisting around its limbs, sparks sinking like teeth into its flesh, jerking it awake.

"Yes! YES!! It's ALIVE!! IT'S ALIVE!!" Victor cackled insanely as the corpse's eyes flickered open, its fists clenched, and its body catapulted upward, a roar emanating from what was once dead vocal cords. Victor continued to watch with manic glee as he plied his craft, already eager to begin work on his other children.

Oh, this war was going to be fun...



@floodtalon
Suzaku Kirishima

Fuyuki Church, earlier that morning




"Let silver and steel be the essence.
Let stone and the archduke of contracts be the foundation
Let my great Master Kirishima be the ancestor
Let rise a wall against the wind that shall fall
Let the four cardinal gates close.
Let the three-forked road from the crown reaching unto the Kingdom rotate."


They hadn't wanted him to come here. He was the head of the house, after all. They needed him with them. Needed him to fulfill his role, to lead. If he was being honest, he hadn't wanted to come here, either- a fetid backwater, crawling with the cockroaches of the Association. No quarry to hunt, no skills to hone- nothing but whining children jockeying for more power and influence. Disgusting.

"I hereby declare.
Your body shall serve under me.
My fate shall be your sword.
Submit to the beckoning of the Holy Grail
If you will submit to this will and this reason... then answer."


But he had to come here. He had to. And if the idea was sickening to him, so be it. This game of theirs, this "war," it was the only way. The only absolute, the only hope he had. To the victor went the spoils, and he would be the victor. It was the only way his wife and brother were ever coming back.

“An oath shall be sworn here!
I shall attain all virtues of all of Heaven.
I shall have dominion over all evils of all of Hell!”


War. Ha. These children thought they knew war, just because they killed each other. They saw some kind of glory in this, some prestige. But war had a distinct lack of both. He should know. Kirishima were raised in war, baptized in it, forged by it. Their war never ended, not so long as the dead and damned walked the earth. They wanted a real war? They'd get it. He'd deliver a real war straight to their door.

“From the Seventh Heaven, attended to by three great words of power,
Come forth from the ring of restraints,
Protector of the Holy Balance!“


Suzaku Kirishima, deep in the mausoleum beneath the church he'd captured, watched the magic circle before him explode into light, face set in a grim line. There was no turning back now. On some level, he knew he should be worried- pampered and spoiled these Association families may be, but they were still magi. Still dangerous. But he was strangely at ease about the whole situation. Because this was a war, after all. And there was nowhere else a Kirishima felt more at home. Especially if that Kirishima was him.

The light faded, and Suzaku blinked the spots from his eyes as he waited for the dust to settle, and reveal just what sort of Servant he'd summoned.





Victor Frankenstein and Franziska

First Night of the War




Victor had to admit that he may have... slightly underestimated his Master. Though the title still tasted like ash on his tongue, he had to admit that, as far as the possibilities went, Vlado was far from the worst he could have gotten. The boy had taken his contempt in stride, rather than deride him for some perceived lack of respect and decorum, and merely set about assuring him and Franziska of the measures he'd taken to ensure their victory. It was... almost refreshing. Victor sighed, wiping down the surgical blade in his hands, then reaching for the suture.

He gazed down fondly at the patchwork amalgamation on his workbench. He'd started working on Franziska's first "brother" soon after Vlado had finished showing him around the compound he'd secured. Victor had quickly taken up residence in one of the buildings, setting the bounds of his territory, as was proper. He had even been excited to learn that one of the corpses in the nearby graveyard was particularly fresh, courtesy of his Master's machinations. The body had been aged, but still strong and healthy; stubbornness had apparently done the man some good in his life. With some other odds and ends in place, generously donated by some other relatively fresh leavings, and the metals Vlado had procured, his second-born child in this world was coming along nicely.

Franziska padded into the room, concern etched on her features. Victor immediately took notice, leaving the piecemeal corpse behind him- he wasn't alive quite yet, he wouldn't mind- and walking over to his daughter.

"Franziska, dear, what's wrong? Something troubles you?"

The girl shuffled. "...Lights, Father." Victor tilted his head, puzzled.

"Lights? I'm afraid I don't--"

"In the sky, Father. Lights of all different colors, streaking across like stars. I think... I think it's started."

Victor cursed under his breath. He'd hoped he would have a little more time, but it seemed fate had a different idea in mind. He stepped forward, wrapping Franziska in a fatherly embrace.

"Worry not, my dear. Our enemy may be strong, but we are stronger. Rally yourself, my Franziska- we must be ready if we are to triumph." He gave her another tight squeeze, then released, walking back to his workbench. "Send Vlado here- he deserves a demonstration of our capabilities. Then, patrol the grounds for any interlopers. I'll send your brothers and sisters to join you as I finish them."

The girl nodded, hefting her mace. "...Be careful, Father. Some of them can be... restless, when they first wake up."

Victor nodded, hands working in a precise frenzy to finish. "Thank you, Franziska. Take care out there."

He didn't hear her leave, though she knew she must have. Such a dutiful child. Hopefully this one would be just as diligent. He couldn't afford to discipline any unruly children, not at this juncture. He descended back into his fugue, eyes flicking upward to the other bodies he'd acquired earlier that day. And with war on the horizon, his supplies would only grow.

The curtain was rising. It was time to show this little city exactly the kind of play they were in.

@floodtalon


Victor Frankenstein and Franziska

The Madness Begins Again


@floodtalon




The man standing in the middle of the summoning circle raised an eyebrow at the first words his... "Master," said to him, following his summoning. He was tall, young, impeccably dressed, with long, lustrous brown hair and golden-brown eyes. Certainly not the image of a monster, and certainly not the monster his summoner was anticipating. But perhaps he would be less disappointed in the figure seemingly hiding just behind the man's shoulder? She was at once unyielding and solid, and yet also ephemeral, dressed in what almost looked like bridal wear, with electrodes installed in her forehead and temples. The air around her twisted and warped slightly under the pressure of some... hidden power. One perhaps emanating from the massive mace clutched in her grasp, despite the fact that she seemed far too small to wield such a massive weapon. The damn thing was nearly as long as she was tall...

The man cleared his throat, and the girl snapped to attention with record speed.

"Franziska, my dear. Inspect the... 'accomodations.' See that they are sufficient for our needs."

"Yes, Father," the girl chirped, calmly walking away to do as instructed. The man himself, however, stayed, directing an unamused scowl at his so-called Master.

"As for you... perhaps you are mistaken, young man? Perhaps you have confused me with the hulking monstrosity of that... ridiculous fiction written to slander me?" He looked down to find an copy of such offending literature at his feet. With a gesture, a small, lantern-like device at his hip sparked to life, a bolt of electricity arcing from the device to the book, reducing it to ash. Giving a small nod of satisfaction at his doing, the Servant looked back at his summoner, disdain still clearly etched in every line of his face.

"Allow me to clarify, then. While I am Servant Caster for the purposes of this war, I also am Frankenstein. Dr. Victor Frankenstein, to be precise. The charming young lady who will be thoroughly inspecting the abode you have for whether it suits our purpose is my creation, my Firstborn daughter. The... 'monster' that you were told such lies about. And if you are to be so caught off guard by the mere act of summoning your Servant, Master-" Here, he spit the last word out as though it were a vile taste on his tongue- "...Well. I think, perhaps, you are in for a very unfortunate experience with this war."




You all are... just the best. I'm so glad to have you all here~
@cunfuzzler A lighter color would be appreciated, yes.

Also, poor Thorn.
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