Fate/Trans Form

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Nerroth, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Hi!


    This is intended as a cross between a variant of G1 and the anime version of Fate/Stay Night. This is what happens when you watch the end of the TF movie too many times!



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    Note that this story follows the F/SN story as outlined in the anime (which I am treating as a separate continuity to that seen elsewhere), and branches out from there near the series' end. Well, and before, if you want to get pedantic...


    Fate/Trans Form - Prologue


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    At the edge of the Clavius crater on the lunar surface, a being emerged from a trans-dimensional portal, before stepping silently upon the dull grey landscape.

    The being, which had no need for such concerns as a regular oxygen supply, shielding from solar radiation, or the kind of modulated temperature ranges found on the world around which Luna orbits, had other matters to attend to.

    It looked to the threads dangling from its clenched left fist, which were attached to what had once been the right forearm of the last security agent who had attempted to stop it on its path through the complex at Axiom Nexus.

    That city - a creation of the so-called 'transcendant technomorphs' who evolved on that timeline's Cybertron - served as a waypoint for dimension-crossing beings seeking adventure, temporary refuge, or permanent asylum from their indigenous realities. Typically, it tried to limit the arrival of especially powerful individuals, such as the Primes or Megatrons of certain timelines, as well as the use of powerful items such as the Matrix (of whichever type) within its confines.

    They had not expected to encounter a being quite like this one, however.

    Such insufferable creatures, it thought to itself, as it lifted the arm upwards, noting the irreparable damage done to the slider-device which had once belonged to the arm's original owner. It had been careful to scramble the data from the jump, so as to prevent the other TransTechs from determining which 'universal stream' he had jumped to. Their precious egos might seek retribution - but even I cannot risk drawing their full ire.

    Nevertheless, the fact remained that the being knew nothing of the reality it had become a party to - which made the presence of the other item attached to the severed forearm quite useful indeed.

    Wrenching the data pad from its socket, and dumping the now-worthless arm to one side, it activated the device, overriding the security lockouts, while activating its quantum resonance scanner. Once done, the pad's intricate sensor system would determine which quantum reality they were currently located in, whether it was one hitherto recorded in the database - and bring up the data entries, if any, recorded in Axiom Nexus' records.

    After a few minutes, a match was found.


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    Universal Stream designation (provisional, pending further review): Primax 307.23 Iota

    Continuity family: Primax (outlier*)

    Status: Ongoing

    Level of research: Preliminary (pending the results of further investigation)

    Summary: This timeline, one of a relatively narrow band within its own reality cluster, exhibits certain common features of the wider Primax continuity family, but also evidences significant differences to almost all other recorded universal streams. Most notably, these differences are noted in the Sol system, yet it is unknown at present whether this extends to other commonly-known regions of the galaxy. Said differences implicate that this universal stream represents a 'hybrid', or outlier, which merges known traits with those of an as-yet-inaccessible continuity family.

    Initial Report (By Minister Rhinox, Department of Higher Dimensional Sciences, Axiom Nexus):

    So far as we can guess, there are upwards of fourteen quadrillion concurrent universes - each identifiable by a unique quantum signature, each unique in its own way to every other universal stream currently in existence.

    Of these, despite the sense of accomplishment that many of our kind might feel, it is worth remembering that a mere 15,962,782 or so of these have been even provisionally catalogued through our efforts - and that of those, 1,176,325 have, one way or another, come to termination. A most troubling ratio.

    And even then, while most of these universal streams are somewhat familiar to us, in terms of certain multiversal aspects we have managed to ascertain, it is not always so straightforward a matter as we would like to believe.

    This stream, one of several others in its reality cluster, is a case in point.


    From a Cybertronian perspective, many elements are familiar. There is a Prime who possesses a Matrix of Leadership, a division between Autobots and Decepticons, a range of alien worlds which have seen bouts of Cybertronic activity (such as Earth and Nebulos, to name but two) and the confirmed presence of Unicron.

    To summarize, the current Earth year is 2007. The Great War between Autobots and Decepticons has ended, due to the catastrophic impact of an assault by Unicron on Cybertron itself two years previously.

    The Decepticon faction, which had control of the home world at this time, and thus bore the brunt of the Entropic attack, was shattered and broken. Its leader lost, its ability to maintain its holdings fatally compromised, the surviving remnants have been scattered across the extent of what had once been a quadrant-spanning Empire. On worlds where they had neither revealed themselves to the indigenes (like Earth) nor were unable to successfully prosecute their aims of conquest (like Nebulos) the survivors have been driven to exile or seclusion. What will take root in the considerable power vacuum left by the collapse remains to be seen.

    Meanwhile, the victorious Autobots, now led by Rodimus Prime, have established a provisional civilian authority in the ruins of New Iacon City, while seeking to fortify their clandestine holdings on Earth and other worlds. However, despite their triumph, they are in no position to assert themselves on anything more than a regional stage. The damage caused by Unicron's assault had only exacerbated the serious decay and ruin which most of the home world had fallen into (outside of certain isolated city-states - many of whom did not survive the assault) and it will take centuries, if not millennia, for Cybertron to even begin to recover.

    Plus, the substantial exile communities which have left Cybertron to find shelter on other worlds have developed significant cultural and political divergences from those still present. Balancing the needs of these off-world communities, and the alliances with various alien species which they have become a party to, will be a taxing matter indeed.


    All well and good, one might assume - until one examines the data coming from the Sol system.

    It seems that, beyond the kind of life forms and biological systems found on other Earths, this planet is host to a number of unusual creatures, powers and forces, that are unlike anything found outside of this reality cluster.

    Further, it seems that there are certain, for want of a better term, metaphysical entities and concepts which are tied to the presence of life on Earth.

    Or, to put it another way, there are elements of 'magic' and 'sorcery', ethereal beings with a myriad of powers and intentions, as well as humans with the ability to tap into the mystic.

    And yet, thus far, the level of interaction between the known Cybertronic presence on Earth and these super-natural elements is less than prominent up to this point. Perhaps the secrecy which both groups exhibit, and the different focus that each has (more aware of others within their 'field' than each other) has caused this.

    There are certain worrisome anomalies which may change this dynamic - specifically at the following set of coordinates - though there is only so much I can determine at this point.


    It seems that in all, this reality cluster constitutes an overlapping of the furthermost edges of two continuity families - and that the interaction has altered and modified certain elements from each family into a distinct hybrid.

    However, we cannot plumb the depths of this currently-unidentifiable continuity family, as for some reason, while we can interact with the hybrid streams, our efforts can go no further. (There is a range of quantum realities which may, or may not, belong to this wider family, but which do not respond when we attempt to access them - as if some unknown element at work within that stream prevents us from even opening a passive portal.)

    While I would be fascinated by the prospect of further research into this stream - not least in order to more thoroughly examine the elements which, apparently, come out from the deeper set of realities like waves lapping onto a Terran shore from the deep ocean - even my time is limited, and there are millions of streams left to catalogue.


    Perhaps, one day, I will get the chance to revisit this stream... and explore a world where, for once, we don't have a ready-made list of answers.


    Note: *Due to complex interaction with elements from a hitherto-unknown (and mostly inaccessible) continuity family.


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    The being found the concept of even a vaunted TransTech scientist to admit his lack of expertise in this reality to be amusing - but that also meant that it itself would need to understand such intricacies for it to navigate a viable path of its own.

    Fortunately, it thought to itself, I have not arrived entirely unprepared.

    It opened secure bays within the twin modules upon its back, then launched a series of miniature probes into the void between the Moon and the Earth. The probes set themselves on a route which would allow them to take up a geosynchronous orbit of the planet, allowing it to use them as covert surveillance devices.

    It made a point of having the probes concentrate their scans on the co-ordinates which so worried the report's author - and as it stood on the harsh, unforgiving lunar surface, staring coldly at the blue orb beyond, the data appearing behind its eyelids gave the being a somewhat unusual view of what was to be the Fifth Fuyuki Grail War.


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    BGM: Kenji Kawai - Contract


    It was a War between Magi - for a prize unlike any other.

    Seven Masters had been summoned, each calling forth a Servant, a powerful spirit-being drawn from the most famous Heroes (and villains) known to history, each set into several categories (Saber, Lancer, Archer - the three 'knight classes' - and other possible categories, in this case Caster, Assassin, Berserker and Rider) and bound to their Masters through the use of three inviolable Command Seals.

    Overseen by an agent of the Burial Agency - a secret body of the Vatican tasked with all matters supernatural - who was (intended to be) a neutral adjudicator of the conflict, the Masters each sought to eliminate both their rivals, and the other Masters' Servants, on the path to victory.

    The prize? An object known to most involved only as the Holy Grail, which was said to grant any wish its bearer chose to grant.

    Four other Wars had taken place, each six decades apart, in the same Japanese city of Fuyuki-shi - though none of them had resulted in a 'true' manifestation of this long-sought object.

    Yet, for some reason, the Fifth, and latest, was taking place five decades early. The generational gap which allowed for contestants to plan for the upcoming War was curtailed, and perhaps the most unusual series of Masters were called forth in this conflict.

    The head of one of the three families which had contested the Wars since the beginning, Tohsaka Rin, was a case in point. Unlike her father Tokiomi, who had fought and died in the Fourth War ten years previously, she was still at a relatively young age (still 17 years' old) when the current War broke out. Her Servant was an Archer-class, an enigmatic man who never revealed his identity openly, but left many unanswered questions in his wake.

    Another representative of the three founding families, Illyasviel von Einzbern, was sent from Europe as the Master of the ferocious Berserker - revealed to be none other than the legendary Heracles, though whose intellect was chained by the Mad Enhancement placed upon it. Altered by the Einzbern before birth, and bitter at the loss of her parents, she came to the War with an agenda of her own...

    The third family, the Matou (or Makiri), was an unusual case. Their Master, Shinji, had no sorcerous ability to speak of, yet somehow managed to command Rider - revealed to be the Gorgon Medusa, albeit appearing in her more human form - in battle. What, if any, role his graceful younger sister, Matou Sakura, or the reclusive patriarch Matou Zouken, played in this was unknown to others... as were the terrible secrets which lay hidden within the Makiri household.

    Other Masters and Servants emerged, and would play their parts in the War - but one man and his noble Servant would be at the very crux of events.

    Adopted by a magus called Emiya Kiritsugu ten years previously, Emiya Shirou had been the sole survivor of an horrific fire which had destroyed an entire section of the city. Inspired by the example of his adopted father, Shirou strove to emulate Kiritsugu's old dream of being a
    Seigi no Mikata; a Hero of Justice.

    In the last five years after Kiritsugu's own death, Shirou has been watched over by the headstrong Fujimura Taiga, and found that he had a minor gift of his own - albeit one he misunderstood, and had not been told about by Kiritsugu (who had not passed on his secrets of magecraft to his adopted son, perhaps wishing to spare him the tragic fate he himself had suffered).


    However, when the War came, Shirou found himself on the front lines. Moreover, he became the unwitting Master of Saber... a woman who captivated him from the instant she appeared before him, and who would change his live forever.

    The full list of events which have taken place in the War would take up an entire volume to detail - but at the final, climactic stage, Shirou and Saber (who by now have each developed strong feelings for one another) are among the last remaining contestants... and have learned that the Grail is a poisoned chalice, corrupted over the last several decades into an engine of death and chaos.

    The final conflict sees Kotomine Kirei - a man who had faced none other than Kiritsugu in the War ten years ago, and who had recently stabbed Rin and kidnapped Ilya for use as a catalyst for calling forth the Grail itself - and his ally Gilgamesh (the Archer-class Servant from the previous War, who had been granted a new form by the taint within the corrupted Grail, and now seeks to claim the world, and Saber, as his own) clash with Shirou and Saber at the Ryuudoji Temple, atop Mount Enzou, the epicentre of the cursed Grail system.

    Saber's attempts to defeat Gilgamesh are resulting in stalemate - the foe's range of Noble Phantasms (powerful weapons which are typically a signature of their bearer, but of which Gilgamesh has dozens available to use) are parrying her efforts, while his most lethal Noble Phantasm, Ea, is too much for her own blade to overcome by itself.

    Meanwhile, Shirou attempts to close the range on Kirei, and repay the damage done to Rin by striking him with her Azoth dagger - but Kirei's affinity with the tainted Grail's corruption allows him to use the black ichor seeping from it as a weapon.


    The last thing Shirou sees before the Darkness envelops him is the self-satisfied smirk on Kotomine's face, as the dark sphere which had been in Kirei's hand flies forth and envelops Shirou completely...


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    (EDIT: I've gone through the first 6 parts - and the side stories - one at a time, to fix some formatting issues. With luck, they are a bit more like the later chapters in terms of how well it reads... and thanks again to Elf from Beast's Lair for helping me get the hang of things in that regard.)


    Fate/ Trans Form - Part 1 [R]


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    BGM: Kenji Kawai - Darkness Squirms


    Darkness.

    Infinite darkness, hatred, and pain. The horrific chant of a vengeful god.

    The dark ichor that had surrounded Emiya Shirou had formed into a sphere, surrounding the unfortunate Master from reality, caught between the cries of death from a hundred million cursed souls. He could feel his strength and resolve fading rapidly, overwhelmed by the force of the darkness surrounding him.

    "Die! Die! Die! Die! Die!..." They called, over and over and over again.

    No! I can't let it end this way! he thought desperately to himself. I must resist, I must... for the world's sake, for Ilya's sake... for Saber, my love. I must focus... on an end to darkness... on a beacon of light... which will break this curse forever!

    Slowly, painfully, in what seemed to take a dozen lifetimes' worth, Shirou lifted his arms away from the writhing mass of limbs and gore, trying to form a circle between his hands.

    Once he was ready, he called out: "Trace - on!"

    He forced his mind to set aside the intense noise surrounding him, and coaxed a new image into life. Slowly at first, but gradually accelerating as he progressed, the object formed - a vessel designed to channel the awesome power of a Lord of Light, to provide a connection between the mundane and the phenomenal, to bring life where once lay death.

    And as the chamber formed, a new link began to form - a wafer-thin filament reaching from some distant source, taking shape and form within the still-forming object. And as the new energy was amplified and magnified by the astounding intricacy of the chamber's inner surface, Shirou could sense its power washing his fears and doubts away.

    And in a moment of absolute clarity, the hand of destiny graced Shirou's presence.

    It was time.


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    BGM: UVERworld - Halcyon


    Kotomine Kirei summoned a lopsided grin at the sight of the dark sphere before him, trapping the hapless whelp who had dared challenge his plans for the Grail.

    He had waited for this moment for over a decade - the chance to summon the cursed artifact from its resting place, to draw upon its power to darken the skies of Earth forever.

    "Emiya Shirou!" he taunted, "I hope you can hear me in there! I want you to know that soon you'll be gone, and your Servant too, and all that you have ever cared for! So much for a seigi no mikata..."

    And at that moment, the first crack appeared in the sphere, and a thin ray of light streaked out from within. And then another. And another....

    ...until it shattered into oblivion, revealing Emiya Shirou holding an unusual object, flowing with light, washing over his body, turning it into something... more.

    A voice boomed out from the heavens: "Arise!"

    In a few moments, the human Master had been replaced with a giant metal being, clad in red and gold, with streaks of flame upon its chest, surrounding an august emblem which Kirei did not recognise.

    "No!" Kirei insisted, as he threw a series of ichor spheres at what Shirou had become, but the spheres bounced harmlessly off his armoured chassis. The metal warrior held onto the object with one hand, using the other to reach for his opponent, as he affirmed that "This is the end of the road, Kotomine!"

    The hand clenched, and the warrior swung his left arm, landing the hit squarely upon Kirei's chest. The sheer force of the swing crushed Kirei's ribs, and lifted him high into the air... into the maw of the portal opened for the Grail. As his body impacted with the portal, it disintegrated, vanishing from this plane of existence. Kotomine Kirei's soul would spend an eternity with the corrupted being whom he had sought to bring fourth.

    But the War was not yet over.

    The warrior placed his fingers through the grooves in the object's handles, lifted it towards the sky, and pulled the two halves of the casing apart, chanting "Now, light our darkest hour!"

    With this, the orb of energy within the Matrix exploded, and the darkness was covered with light.

    Above, Ilya's body had been trapped by the dark ichor - but a wave of blazing energy passed over her, and the dark substance was gone. Freed from the sacrificial altar, her body began to fall...

    ...but she was in no danger.


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    Saber tried to lift herself from the ground, her limbs weakened, her armour crumpled, the force of her impact carving a gash through the ground as Gilgamesh's attack broke through her defences. The pain was almost unbearable - she was not sure how much more she could handle in the face of the twisted old King's onslaught.

    Gilgamesh stood there, charging his blade, preparing for a final, fatal strike. He had had enough of Athuria, and was prepared to destroy her utterly.

    So, he charged his fearsome weapon, Ea, chanting "Enuma Eli..." before being disrupted by a mind-numbing wave of pain.

    "Aaaaaahhhhhh!" he cried out, as in the midst of the warrior's attack, a wave of light had engulfed him, the power of the Matrix reaching out and washing over his body.

    Saber could feel it as well, the awesome life force sweeping across the Ryūdōji temple and the surrounding landscape. But she did not feel any pain, quite the contrary - the force repaired her armour and healed her wounds, and steeled her blade.

    At a stroke she sprinted over to Gilgamesh, plunging her blade through the old King's chest. As she retracted Excalibur after the strike, beams of light emerged from both the entry and exit points on his armour, and scores of smaller breaks in his skin and on his armour also appeared.

    She turned her head to look towards the temple, to the source of the new light, and saw a giant metal knight striding towards her, carrying Ilya in her arms, her body wrapped in a large blanket. An unusual glow within its - his - chest. For a moment, she was taken aback, but only for a moment - her mental link to Shirou told her exactly who this unusual giant was.

    He came to a stop beside her, and placed Ilya's body in her arms, as she asked "Shiro! What's happening?"

    "Saber, I'll explain in a moment! For now, let's roll out!" was the reply, as to her shock, the metal warrior pulled in his arms and legs, and began to change its form entirely! Within moments, he had become an armoured vehicle, which opened its forward canopy to let Saber in.

    Saber sat in the driver's seat, and placed Ilya's body on the passenger seat beside her. The vehicle's seat belts immediately formed themselves around the two, and it roared into action, driving down the side of the mountain.


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    Gilgamesh forced himself to turn to the collapsing gateway which had once loomed menacingly over the Ryūdōji temple. It wouldn't be long now - the entire mountain top would soon be gone, taking his twisted dreams of conquest and death with it.

    He could feel the light burning away his own flesh, tearing him apart from the inside out, as if all of the suffering he had inflicted on others throughout his existence had been repaid a hundredfold in mere moments.

    He knew the end would soon come, but he would remain defiant to the end. He summoned the last of his strength to cry out to the universe around him:

    "Destiny..." he mused, unwittingly echoing the last words of another now-fallen foe, "you cannot... destroy... my... destiny!"

    An instant later, his body was torn apart, and the mountaintop vanished in an immense final burst of light. His head was severed from his body, launched into the night sky, dissolving into nothingness.

    And a few moments later, it too was gone.
    The War was finally over.


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    BGM: Kenji Kawai - The Bond


    Shirou and Saber stood together at the top of a nearby hill, watching the light of the dawn slowly emerge. The Matrix was gone, and Shirou had 'reverted' to his human form. Ilya was lying on the ground nearby, fast asleep - with luck, all she would remember was having a bad dream.

    They both knew that the end had come, that the Grail was finally destroyed - that Saber's time with him was about to end.

    They each tried to say something meaningful to each other, to try and put a form and structure to the sorrow they both felt. That they both knew how the other felt, and were all the more stricken for it.

    They both reached out for each other's hand, holding it tightly, trying to burn the image of this moment into their minds. The feel of the wind on their skin. The warmth of their hands holding. The tears barely held back in the corners of their eyes.

    Why could this moment not last for an eternity?

    At length, it was Saber who spoke. "Shirou..."

    He could almost not bear to hear it. "...I love you."

    The dawn broke, and Shirou had to cover his eyes for a moment with his right hand. And when he put it down again, she was gone.

    "Yeah... That's really your style... My love," he whispered, wishing against hope that she had heard him, somehow, somewhere.


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    BGM: Steve Jablonsky - Optimus


    "Your Majesty..." heard Arturia, who opened her eyes, blinking so as not to catch the glare, and saw the familiar face of one of her trusted knights - from her own time.

    "Bedivere..." she said, before ordering him to take Excalibur and return it to the lake. While the knight was gone, Arturia thought of the dream she had experienced - no, more than just a dream. A vision. A life?

    Was it true? Did she take up her sword against other heroes for the sake of a cursed relic? Did she live for a time in an island country on the far side of the world? Did she witness the power unleashed by an alien god, a patron of giant knights of metal?

    Did she really fall in love with Emiya Shirou?

    She could barely move - but she was not in pain. She could feel the end drawing near, but she was not afraid. She had no regrets, not anymore.

    And there was something unusual about Bedivere's reaction to her story - but she could not understand what it was specifically that seemed troubling.

    By the time Bedivere returned, her eyes were closed - and she could barely hear the parting worlds from her trusted knight:

    "Your Majesty, dost thou behold the continuation of thine dream?"

    And then, nothing.

    But then...


    "Arturia, Saber, do you see me?"

    Her eyes opened one more - but she was no longer in the forest with Bedivere. She was floating in a strange world, filled with green and blue and white light, and a myriad of complex patterns flowing across the surface of her body - if this truly was her body.

    Before her floated the form of another metal giant, one in red, blue and white, with a faceplate covering his mouth. He spoke once again:

    "Arturia, do you see me?" the giant asked.

    "Yes," she replied. "Where... where am I?"

    He gestured to the strange world surrounding them, replying with "You are within a world beyond your world, beyond good and evil, beyond your wildest imagination. You have earned eternal rest for your efforts - both in your own time, and in those your spark has journeyed to."

    "Spark?" she wondered, unfamiliar with the term.

    The giant held up a hand in apology. "Oh yes - I'm getting a little ahead of myself. To my kind, a spark is what we would equate to your soul, or spirit, or essence."

    She looked at him with a renewed focus - for what it was worth in this strange place. "So it was not a dream?"

    "No," he answered, "you sacrificed all that you had for freedom and for justice, without fear. And for that you have earned the right to rest in eternity in Avalon.

    But I am here on behalf of one who would offer you a new life. A chance to serve the cause of justice once again. A chance to be with your loved one, and the others you care for, as a new kind of life - a new kind of being.

    As a seigi no yuusha."

    "I... can go to Shirou?" Images of her times with Shirou passed through her mind - the first time she saw him when she first emerged as his Servant, the present of the lion toy at the store, the look in his eyes as he confessed his fellings for her...

    ...And she knew that the new-found choice before her was no choice at all.


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    BGM: Steve Jablonsky - Autobots


    Shirou was standing on the hill, his mind overflowing with thoughts of Saber, of the times they had shared, and of the moments they would never share again.

    It had not yet sunk in just what kind of power he had unleashed at the Temple, of the emblem his power lines had formed into upon his chest in metallic form, of the revelation he had experienced through contact with the power of Primus. Primus... how did he know that name? And who was the red and gold warrior he had turned into? And how did he understand the nature of the symbol? And why had he been chosen - where did he get the idea of forming the Matrix in the first place?

    All of these were questions lingering in the corners of his mind, but he was too focussed on Saber's memory to properly register them.

    "These memories... they are all I have left, now," he said to himself, before the hand of fate changed his world once more.

    The light of the sun flared more brightly, and he once again covered his eyes to protect himself - burned retinas simply wouldn't do, after all. When he looked up he was astonished - a portal was opening above the sun's disk!

    An approaching howl could be heard, the sound of a powerful jet engine approaching. It was coming from the portal...

    Suddenly, a large, alien fighter craft burst through the portal, shrieking through the skies towards the hilltop. Faster than Shirou could respond, the craft banked up and overshot his position, arcing up into the sky.

    It was astonishing - the craft was sleek and aerodynamic, with a set of back-swept wings and an intricate pattern across its surface area. And on the top of the plane looked like... the outline of a sword and scabbard! Shirou knew at once that it was the Excalibur, but what could this mean?

    It banked to the side and came in for another pass, slowing rapidly and coming to a near stop just metes from where Shirou was standing. How could a craft move in such a way? It was impossible...

    ...But then, Shirou was even more astonished, as the craft began to transform into a giant mechanical being, shaped vaguely like a human. Its armour was silver and blue, the pattern on its chestplate the same as one he knew all too well, and its eyes were jade green.

    "Shirou!" it - she! - called out.

    As if this had not been enough, the being began to shrink, and its appearance changed, becoming more human, as if a shell was forming itself around the mechanical chassis.

    It was her. She was alive.

    "Saber!" he exclaimed in joy, as they rushed into each other's arms, tears flowing down their cheeks, almost in shock at the realisation that they were together once again.

    "H..how..." he tried to ask, before another voice spoke from nearby, "I think I can explain this one!"

    Both Saber and Shirou turned to the source of that statement, to see a large red-and-gold vehicle make its way up the hill, towards them. When it reached the summit, it transformed into a humanoid being, one whom Shirou already knew. "Rodimus Prime!"

    "That's right," was the response, "the real Rodimus Prime that is. It's nice to meet you both, would you guys like a lift back home?

    We have a lot to talk about."


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    End of Part 1.
     
  2. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Fate/Trans form - Part 2 [R]


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    Such a beautiful day... thought Shirou to himself, as he sat in the forward compartment of the red/gold vehicle driving itself through the streets of Fuyuki City. He was looking across at the impossibly beautiful woman sitting in the passenger's seat to his right, holding the still-prone form of a former adversary on her lap. Glancing out at the dazzling colours of the morning horizon, it was difficult for Shirou to register just how much had changed in the last twenty-four hours.

    One moment he had prepared to risk his life to bring an end to the Grail War, trying to steel himself (an ironic term, given his realm of magical expertise) against the inevitable outcome of the night's events, should he and Saber succeed - that the Grail would be gone, and she would be lost to him forever. But now here he was... and here she was, the same Saber he had completely fallen for, and yet, different in a manner he could not comprehend.

    And this vehicle - this comprehensive facade, for a being that was truly more than meets the eye. It should have been the greatest mystery of all, and yet...

    "So, you guys feeling okay in there?" And there it was - the voice of Rodimus Prime, the being whose form he had taken at the Ryūdōji temple, who bore the original Matrix from which he had inexplicably replicated in that darkest of hours.

    Shirou answered, somewhat cautiously: "Um... Well, to tell you the truth, I feel a little overwhelmed by the whole series of events - it hasn't even begun to sink in for me just yet."

    Saber voiced her own concerns. "I also feel uncertain about this new form I have been granted, and what brought me back to this time and place."It seemed that she was not without her doubts either - not least due to her relative lack of exposure to the concept of gigantic talking biomechanoids in disguise.

    Heh, as if watching Gun x Sword and The Big O was enough preparation for me! mused Shirou internally, "and even they weren't sentient life forms from a whole other world...[/i]

    Rodimus replied, in a slightly more relaxed manner. "Well, let me see if I can help with that - but first, let me introduce myself. I am Rodimus Prime, commander of the Autobot armed forces, Protector of Cybertron."

    "Cy...baa..." Shirou tried to wrap his tongue around the syllables.

    "Cybertron," repeated Rodimus, "my home world - in orbit of the Alpha Centauri A star, not too far away from Sol, in fact.

    My people, the Cybertronians, are a race of sentient biomechanical life forms, capable of transforming into a variety of other objects - cars, aircraft, even starships. I lead the Autobots - a force of Cybertronians dedicated to the preservation of sentient life across this galaxy, and to the promotion of inter-species dialogue and co-operation."

    Shirou was somewhat skeptical. "So, just how long have you and your kind been on Earth, anyway? And if you are so noble and beneficent, why have we not heard of your kind here before?"

    'Well," came the response, "we've been on Earth for a while now, but we feel that it's too early in your world's development for us to declare our presence openly. Your kind has great potential, the possible makings of a major influence on the galaxy - but you are not ready, and you won't be for quite some time.

    The most we can do is try to aid you from the sidelines, make what we hope are subtle yet worthwhile contributions here and there... and protect you from those who would show no such restraint in 'introducing' humanity to the realities of the universe around you."

    'Wait, just who exactly do we need protection from?' Shirou felt worried when asking. The seihai sensou had been trouble enough.

    For his part, Rodimus was not sure whether or not to rush into a full-blown explanation at that particular time. "I'll... get back to that part later, but let's just say for now that unfortunately, not all Cybertronians are as friendly as yours truly."

    Shirou and Saber were keen to learn more about the issue, but chose not to pursue it further – for the time being, at least. There were other pressing issues to raise, such as the one Shirou now turned to. "What happened to Saber? And just what has she become?"

    "I may need one of my colleagues to examine further, but my guess would be that Saber is a Cybertronian, and one with a Pretender shell to boot," came the reply.

    "Pretender?" Shirou asked.

    Rodimus affirmed this. "Yes… Traditionally we’ve relied on our alternate forms to try and blend in on alien worlds – though you’d be forgiven if you thought my own vehicle mode was less than inconspicuous! However, recent developments back home, and on other worlds in the galaxy, have resulted in new ‘shells’ – techno-organic bodies which we can use to mimic biological creatures, apes to cheetahs and even humans. The shells themselves are pretty impressive – a Cybertronian wearing one is pretty much indistinguishable from the life form they assume, with blood cells, lungs, a beating heart, the works!"

    He addressed Saber directly. "Saber, while in this form, you are as human as anyone on Earth – more or less - but you have the ability to return to your Cybertronian form at will. It might take a little getting used to, though."

    Saber lifted up her left palm and looked intently at it, not quite believing that it felt – moved – exactly as she had always remembered it. She put her hand up against her face, half expecting to feel a metal plate instead of her own skin.

    Shirou was no closer to understanding the situation, however. "But – how did she become like this? Was it something to do with…"

    "The Matrix?" Rodimus said. "I’d say so."

    "You’d say so?" was the less than overly sold reply.

    Rodimus tried to clarify the point with "Look, the Matrix has been the primary fount for Cybertronian life from the very beginning, but there’s a lot more we don’t know about it than we do. Even as Prime, my connection to the Matrix is… complicated, at best. I knew that the Matrix was reaching out to the two of you at the temple, and I could feel its power reaching outwards – which led me to you in the first place. That, and the portal through which Saber emerged.

    My guess is that the Matrix left a fragment of itself in each of you – as it does with each new spark, or life essence, it brings forth – and that fragment followed Saber to the past, and granted her a new spark, a new life as one of us. But I can’t say for certain, not without knowing more. I’m sorry."

    Saber saw a series of images in her mind – the last fading light of the forest, the ancient alien being in front of her, the circle of light opening up in the sky…

    …and suddenly, she felt tired, as fatigued as at any time she could remember.

    "Looks like you could use a nap" noted Rodimus, "you’ve both been through a lot. And just as it happens…"

    Rodimus turned the corner, and drove up the Emiya household’s driveway, coming to a stop near the main building’s front door.

    "Thank you for bringing us back. Thank you… for her." Shirou had yet to fully understand, but he was still more than grateful, for everything.

    Rodimus dodged the gratitude, saying "Don’t thank me, thank the Matrix – but don’t get too excited. There are still a number of unanswered questions to deal with. I’m going to get in touch with our operatives here in Japan, and I’ll be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, if you need to contact me, Saber has a comm unit built into her left arm, and you can take this -" the glovebox opened up, and Shiro reached over to the small communicator within. "- use it if you need to contact me. Take some time to get yourselves together, but don’t hesitate if there are any problems."

    "Okay," Shirou nodded, as he then helped Ilya and Saber out of the bay, and carried each to the door.

    Rodimus revved his engine, and set out back down the driveway, onto the street beyond. Just before he turned away, he activated the comm unit in Shiro’s hand, and said "You’ve done a great service to your people today, both of you – don’t forget that. You should be proud."

    And with that, he was gone.


    --------------


    Shirou carried Ilya over to her room, and lowered her into her bed. She had hardly stirred since her recovery, but Shiro felt it was best to let her rest.

    He carefully closed the room’s door panel, and headed back over to Saber, who by now was resting herself against the wall beside the front door. It was more awkward to carry her through the house, but she still felt surprisingly light – Shirou had half-expected her to weigh several tons.

    She had been a thirty-foot tall robot-plane that morning, after all.

    He laid her to rest in her own room, and pulled the quilt to cover her up to her neck. She was fast asleep, but what she saw in her dreams Shiro could not say.

    In the morning light coming in through the blinds, her face looked astonishingly beautiful. So graceful, so serene… so perfect.

    Shirou sat beside her, and reached his hand over to her forehead.

    "Saber…" The faintest of whispers, yet he hoped she could hear him in her dreamlike state.

    He picked himself up and headed to his own room, and suddenly realised how tired he was, as well.

    He crashed down onto his own bed and closed his eyes, and drifted away…


    --------------


    A verdant forest, the wind gently breezing through the trees.

    An inner peace, more sublime than anything one had ever known.

    A release, into a new plane of existence…

    A noble giant, offering a new chance, a new hope.

    A new life…


    --------------


    A new life, for my new Servant. Konotori Hizen was almost quaking in anticipation as he progressed through the summoning spell, his key to dominance in the years to come.

    It had taken years to acquire the magical items needed to form the portal, just as long to gather a stock of sacrifices to power them, and even longer to perfect the carefully-crafted language needed to bring his plan to fruition.

    While the Grail had been one means of drawing forth Servants from the far realm, Hizen knew it was not the only one – merely the most notorious among spellcasters. Indeed, many magicians liked to pretend that other means did not exist, or simply didn’t know any better.

    They must be delighted at the Grail’s demise, he cackled to himself, "it must be a great comfort when they sleep at night! Those fools!

    As the incantation gathered pace, the winds of dark magic formed into an octagon on the temple floor before him, ancient runes and half-forgotten marks burning themselves into the lacquered wood below.

    Hizen found it harder to concentrate – it was an aching temptation to gorge himself on the mounting satisfaction he felt as the pieces fell into place. With a sharp blink of the eyes, he re-focussed himself on the task at hand. It was too late to afford mistakes.

    He continued the chant: "Son of Heaven, Conqueror of Worlds, Mightiest of Rulers… Step forth!"

    The winds of magic within the octagon coalesced into a tornado, a nexus of otherworldly energy focussed on one spot, thickening into jet-black ichor, coalescing into a human-like form.

    It was time. "Great Khan, step forth!"

    The mass of ichor shattered, and in its place stood a warrior king like no other. The man who had taken the empire forged in blood and fire by his legendary grandfather, and led it to its greatest victories – who ended his days as master of China, and half of the known world. The mightiest ruler to have ever lived.

    Kublai Khan.

    The Khan looked to Hizen, and simply asked "You are the one who has summoned me?" He stared intently at the magus in front of him, who had no idea as to how the next several seconds would transpire.

    "Yes, Great Khan. I – uuughhh!" In a flash, the massive hand of the Khan was pressed against the mage’s neck, throttling the life force from Hizen.

    "B..bu… t… y…o.. u..." Hizen choked out the words.

    Kublai barked a short laugh. "Are your Servant? Ha! Pathetic. A miserable toad like yourself, daring to challenge the Son of Heaven Himself? However... I have waited for this moment for over seven hundred years – so perhaps I should show you a measure of gratitude for your services, yes?"

    In a lightning-fast motion, Kublai threw Hizen across the room, whose body smashed against the temple wall.

    Kublai reached over to the assembled artefacts, and despite his severely reduced physical faculties, Hizen could tell he knew every last one of them. As if he had laid them out for Hizen to find, to draw him here…

    "Here we are..." he spoke, taunting the battered magus, "the Seturyo Dagger, quite a useful item, and still with fresh blood on the blade. You have been meticulous in your preparations, I grant you that."

    Kublai walked over to the prone form of Hizen, who was crumpled in a pool of his own blood. "As I said, I will show you gratitude, and mercy. Normally I can be very particular about dealing with those who would dare place themselves in a position of authority above me, but given the unique circumstances I will spare you a prolonged agony. Rest in PEACE!"

    With that, Kublai plunged the Dagger into Hizen’s heart, and almost instantly his body was warped into a fresh portal. It had only managed to bring Kublai across in conjunction with several other powerful objects, but was more than adequate for the task at hand.

    In a few seconds, Hizen was gone, and in his place stood a second powerful warrior – one with a deep scar on his face, the legacy of a past shame.

    "Liu Fu-hsiang!" bellowed the Khan, and at once, the second warrior knelt before his sovereign. "You were a commander of my armies once, against the inhabitants of these islands – trusted with their subjugation. But not only did you fail me, you allowed yourself to be humiliated! Losing your horse, and your eye, to a samurai. Pathetic!"

    Lu knew precisely of what the Khan spoke – his soul had been in agony for centuries because of his failure.

    "However," the Khan continued, "I have been known to show mercy, when I judge it to be advantageous. I grant you this chance to redeem yourself, and to have your soul know peace at last. Speak!"

    His voice quivering, Liu hurriedly asserted "Command me, lord Khan!"

    Excellent… Kublai had known well what the disgraced warrior would say – but it still gratified him to hear it.

    Twice before, he had sent armies by sea to Japan, seeking to crush their insolence (they dared to hold their own Emperor as equal to Him? Preposterous!) and to add their holdings to the Yuan Dynasty. And yet, twice had their sheer effrontery been rewarded by salvation, from the skill and fanaticism they had shown in combat, the incompetence of his commanders, and the divine winds which ruined his fleets.

    But they would not escape a third time.

    Japan would be his.


    --------------


    Above the modest cloud cover over Fuyuki City, a purple and grey aircraft gracefully flew across the sky. Not that any human sensor could detect it – the stealth coating on the craft’s outer layer protected it from such primitive systems. Even detection equipment from its home world would have a difficult time in tracing its flight path.

    The Decepticon saboteur observed the ruins left behind by the Matrix’s unleashing, reminiscent of the day not so long ago that a similar force had saved the homeworld from the clutches of his unholy creator.

    His passive scanners followed the familiar sight of a red-and-gold vehicle leave the area, and head towards the city centre.

    He was quick to respond to this event. There is much more to this event than I had previously considered. This warrants further investigation. Cyclonus banked his left wing upward, and pulled up and away from the island, out towards the Pacific Ocean. Once he reached a certain point away from Japan, he activated his hyperspace portal, heading back to the Decepticons’ current home base of operations.

    Things on Earth were going to get very interesting.


    --------------


    End of Part 2.
     
  3. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    A few details:

    Saber has a number of different modes - the 'civilian' and 'knight' human forms seen in the series, as well as a Cybertronian form which will be more detailed as the series progresses.

    This equates more or less with the Pretenders you see in the Transformers Masterforce series - who can go from regular human to human-in-armour-suit, then from that to giant transforming biomech! (As seen here!)

    Rodimus Prime looks like the new Transformers Titanium toy - a little different to the old one:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cyclonus looks pretty much as he did in G1 - using the new Universe Classics mould (but perhaps with a slightly more... show-accurate colour scheme).

    [​IMG]

    No Nightstick, though. For now, at least...

    Kublai Khan looks like the version of the character shown in Shogun: Total War -

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    EDIT: The previous idea for how to rep Saber-tron has been altered - when/if I get a better idea of how she will look in this, I'll post it up.

    But if you want a hint, think of the opposite of defeat...


    Gary
     
  5. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Fate/Trans form - Part 3 [R]


    --------------


    Rodimus Prime took a moment away from the pile of data slabs to rub his optics with his left hand. Each slab contained detailed reports from one of several dozen Autobot outposts and surveillance centres on Earth, Cybertron, Nebulos and many other worlds in the Milky Way – and one or two beyond it.

    It wasn’t that there were any major crises to worry about – far from it: in the aftermath of Unicron’s assault on the home world, the Decepticons had kept to their reduced holdings on Charr and other fringe worlds, and by far the largest task facing Cybertron was the immense construction projects needed to restore it to at least a semblance of its former glory. The generous help from their new Junkion allies (or perhaps siblings, since it had been confirmed that Junk itself had a Cybertronian heritage, albeit an accidental one…), several cities were already being rebuilt, and long-term reclamation projects were on the cards for tacking the immense wastelands that had swallowed up much of the planet’s surface even before the Chaos Bringer’s devastation.

    The Chaos Bringer… It was hard to believe that it was already two Earth years since the now-legendary assault on Cybertron took place, during which the two major moons vanished from existence, and which left behind an immense ring of wreckage encircling the planet – and the severed, shattered head of Unicron himself in orbit, a perpetual reminder of that horrendous day.

    Of the day he became Prime.

    Shaking his head, Rodimus pre-empted any unwarranted recall of the events of 2005, and went back to the stack of slabs on the table. Let’s see… no news from the listening posts near Quintessa – seems that they are either involving themselves with other concerns, such as quelling the ongoing Sharkticon revolt on the eastern continent, or lying low in preparation for a campaign against Cybertron…

    Given Rodimus’ personal experiences on the hellish home world of the Quintessons, he had few illusions as to the potential threat posed by the five-faced ones and their legions of slave-warriors – and given the Autobots’ role in provoking the current uprising, he was sure that if they consolidated their hold on power, the results would spell serious trouble for all concerned.

    Filing that issue away for a moment, he turned to the next slab – with data from the assorted clandestine contacts on Earth that the Autobots had with certain governments and agencies. While it had been deemed premature to initiate public ‘first contact’ with the peoples of Earth, the Autobot presence planetside – and the after-effects of Decepticon activities – would be untenable without a measure of behind-the-scenes co-operation with relevant authorities.

    Not least because humans had their own secrets to keep, in terms of their role in the galaxy…

    Before Rodimus could reach for the subsequent slab – which at a glance was most likely yet another mind-numbing update from the civilian provisional government at Iacon – the comm system chimed: "Rodimus Convoy-dono, this is Metalhawk. I await your presence at the briefing room."

    Like most of the operatives deployed to Japan (or, indeed, anywhere on Earth), Metalhawk had ‘gone native’ in many of his mannerisms, including adding in honorifics that slightly irked the informal nature of the present Autobot commander.

    "Noted, I’ll be right there," replied Rodimus, relieved to be rid of the book work for now. While it had been almost a favoured pastime of his predecessor, Rodimus did not share an enthusiasm for it. He soon walked the short distance from his office to the briefing room.

    The complex was secluded within an innocuous-looking research facility in the Japanese countryside, within the Oumuroyama caldera, deep in the Aokigahara forest - in the near vicinity of Mount Fuji itself. On the viewscreen mounted on the eastern wall, the view from the mountaintop was replicated as a default screensaver.

    Metalhawk stood to attention as Rodimus entered, bowing politely in the commander’s presence – adding to the latter’s discomfiture. "Please, Metalhawk, I have said you need not worry with formalities around me, though I appreciate the effort made. And Rodimus is fine."

    Metalhawk stopped to consider this. "My apologies, Rodimus Convoy-do… I mean, Rodimus."

    Somewhat relieved, Rodimus asked "So, Metalhawk, what have you got for me?"

    Metalhawk – in his human persona as Professor Hawk – was section chief for the Pretender agents assigned to Japan, and filtered any relevant information gathered further up the Autobot chain of command. It was likely that no sentient knew more about the contemporary social, economic and political scene on Japan as he did …or about the anomalous events that took place on the archipelago from time to time.

    So begam his report: "This week’s briefing shall be relatively short, due to a lull in unusual activities in the country. Agent B is following up on a number of temporal displacements and energy surges which have been emanating from Misaki-shi, while Agent C has been reporting a drop in activity from the Tokyo bureau. Agent D is heading back from the Ryukyus, and is set to visit Aomori-shi upon his return. Agent E has recently arrived in Nishinomiya-shi, and is beginning his investigation of what seems to be another locus of anomalous events."

    Even here, Metalhawk – who was technically also Agent A - would not reveal the names of the agents in question, and Rodimus would not ask him for such information unless it was crucially important to do so. The Pretender agents took the lead in promoting and enforcing official secrecy in their operations – an attitude justified in the intelligence failures which had led to the almost-fatal security breach at Autobot City in 2005.

    "Do you have anyone deployed to Fuyuki-shi yet?" Rodimus asked.

    Metalhawk responded, with a hint of displeasure in his voice. "Not at present – our numbers are still a little thin on the ground here in Japan, and prior to the recent surge in activity the city had been quiet, so far as we were aware."

    Although it was true that resources had been stretched in recent times for this operation, it was an unavoidable side-effect of the immense strain that the barely-recovering Autobot resources were under these last two years, but the fact that the events at Fuyuki-shi had almost completely made it past the notice of the section chief had clearly been an embarrassment. Indeed, had the Matrix itself not activated at a critical time, it was likely that no-one would have known what was about to occur until it was too late.

    "Metalhawk, there is no reason to beat yourself up over this – no matter how much we try, we can’t get everything right. Believe me, I know. What matters is how we deal with the situation at hand, and finding out what we can about the events which led to the… intervention." Rodimus pointed to the Autobot emblem on his chest, behind which resided the Matrix of Leadership – which seemed to have no end of surprises in store for the young commander.

    Metalhawk was grateful to hear the reassurance from the Soushireikan. "I understand, and thank you for your generosity."

    A smile appeared on Rodimus’ face, an expression he had not lost from his days as a wild cavalier. "Don’t worry about it. Anyway, given that I already have a role in this affair, I’m going to stick around a bit longer, if it’s not an inconvenience. Also, I’d like you to suit up and look into this personally – we can rotate someone in to keep tabs on the base while you’re in the field, and I wouldn’t want you cooped up in here on a permanent basis."

    It had been a while since Professor Hawk had visited another part of Japan, and a part of him relished the prospect of field work again. However, his commander’s unorthodox request left a few matters to attend to…

    "Hmm… I can re-assign Agent D to the complex upon arrival, and we have a pre-arranged safe house in the area -" Such safe houses existed in at least one city in every prefecture in the country, "- And if I may be so bold, I believe our tailor may have something in your size…"

    Sounds interesting, thought Rodimus to himself.


    --------------


    "Senpai…"

    "Emiya-senpai…"

    His eyes opened at the sound of a familiar voice, and took a moment to re-focus themselves. Shirou raised his hand to his mouth and tried to stifle a yawn, as he groggily sat up on the futon.

    Beside him stood Matou Sakura, who had been volunteering her mornings and evenings at the Emiya residence for so long, it felt like second nature.

    For a moment, Shirou was lulled into a sense of familiarity – thinking today was no different to any one of a hundred or more days she had greeted him in the household, seemingly untroubled by the inconvenience, always showing a calm smile and a kind demeanour.

    But these last few weeks have been anything but normal… he quickly recalled.

    At once, the recollection of recent events rolled in, and Shirou looked at Sakura with a new intensity, though he did his best to hide it. Thankfully, she seemed to be untroubled by her unwilling participation in the Grail War – he hoped that Rin’s amnesia spell, and the purging of Sakura’s body of Caster's taint of darkness, had been successful, and so it seemed…

    …but he could never be too sure about her.

    For that matter, he had no idea how she was reacting to the death of Shinji, and of Matou Zouken, the enigmatic head of that household, who had apparently also died recently. She had told him so little of her life in that place, and a small part of him in the back of his mind almost didn’t want to know.

    Furthermore, maybe it was the light, but it it seemed as if her hair colour was a little... different than usual.

    "Sakura, how long have I been out?" he asked sheepishly.

    She replied, gracefully as ever, "Senpai, you’ve been asleep for the last two days, as have Saber-san, Ilya-chan and Tohsaka-san. Fujimura-sensei and I have been here looking out for you, waiting to see if you’ll be alright – we have been using two of your spare rooms, I apologise for the inconvenience. However, Fujimura-sensei seems to be enjoying herself more than usual at meal times."

    Shirou thought of what Fuji-nee would have liked most about that arrangement. "Hm, sounds like she’s glad there is no competition for your fabulous cooking, Sakura! And please feel free to use any room here you wish for as long as you want – you are always most welcome in this household."

    Sakura’s cheeks went a slightly pinker shade than usual, and her smile grew that little bit wider on her face – if he wasn’t already spoken for, Shirou would have been heart-struck at the sight.

    Oh yeah, he realised, there’s something to figure out – when, and how, am I going to tell everyone about Saber and I?

    Saber…


    Feeling more awake, he asked "Sakura, please give me a moment to get ready, I want to check up on Saber and the others as soon as I can. We should probably tell Fuji-nee that I’m alright, as well."

    "Hai, senpai." she answered.

    I should think of how I’m going to ask about Shinji, as well… he thought, as she left the room and he started to get himself ready. A few minutes later, Shirou was dressed and had freshened up, and walked with Sakura down to Saber’s room. Apparently Rin and Ilya were both doing well, at least in terms of healing physically – Sakura (apparently) had no idea what had happened, which meant that Rin must have already healed the stab wounds before Sakura got to the house.

    And Saber…

    Shirou slid the door open, and sat beside her, looking down at her face – and even though it was no different than the way it looked when he had laid her to rest when getting home, for some reason he couldn’t explain she looked even more beautiful than usual. He found that he couldn’t wait to see her eyes open again, for the light of the new morning to reach her eyes – the first of many new mornings to come, together.

    And almost as if on cue, he saw her eyelids flutter, and open.

    And Shirou could recall no finer feeling.


    --------------


    The hyperspace window opened above the atmosphere of Charr – or, at least what passed for one on this burned-out husk of a world.

    Cyclonus emerged from the window and took a moment to examine the surroundings, ensuring that no new obstacles had been accidentally placed in the flight path.

    When the Decepticon remnants fled Cybertron and other worlds across the quadrant in the flight to Charr, the once-mighty empire had reached its lowest ebb – at no point could he remember a worse turn of events for his cause.

    His cause… his life… It was not often that Cyclonus remembered his life before being reformatted by the hands of the Chaos Bringer, and even then he received mere glimpses of what had once been – almost as if he were looking through another’s optics. Which, in a manner of speaking, was the case – every subatomic particle in his body had been altered or replaced by Unicron.

    It didn’t help that there was confusion as to which Decepticon he had been forged from, or whether an amalgam of torn and twisted parts were refashioned into his new body – or whether Unicron had already produced drones in the past which shared both his and Scourge’s countenance. Cyclonus swiftly brushed the thought aside – he had no patience for such introspection.

    In the last two years of life on Charr, he had been meticulous in planning the eventual return of the Decepticon empire. As he, Scourge and the Sweeps were by far the most fuel-efficient of the survivors, they were the most active in raiding for fresh energon supplies, raw materials and other required elements – and he had orchestrated a carefully-balanced balance between serving ongoing population needs, creating a fresh stockpile for future use, and building up infrastructure in the Charr system itself.

    For the last part, the survival of the Constructicons had been a major boon – Mixmaster had yet again proven his worth at turning wreckage into treasure, for which Scrapper had laid out exacting plans for new construction projects – orbital solar collectors, planetside processing facilities, armouries, repairs to the Nightmare (the lethal starship bequeathed to Galvatron by Unicron, barely holding together after the battle for Cybertron) and reclamation projects (in an attempt to clear enough of an area on Charr to make proper use of). Indeed, they seemed to relish every moment, and were even more excited by the fact that Cyclonus ordered Scourge to hand over one of his Sweeps for a thorough analysis. Granted, the usual less-than-sterile methods which would have ordinarily been used were curtailed by Scourge’s blunt warning to Scrapper’s team, as well as the need to have said Sweep eventually return to active duty - but it was an invaluable opportunity to study the dramatic changes wrought by the Chaos Bringer in them.

    In contrast, most of the dirtside Decepticons were either powered-down in near-stasis-lock, or bored out of their sparks with the labour involved, and still reeling from the devastating loss of prestige from the empire’s fall. Cyclonus had been careful to keep those most likely to become malcontents powered down – in this situation, nothing could be left to chance, least of all to the seditious misgivings of a disgruntled populace.

    Cyclonus descended though the atmosphere, and came to a stop at the newly-paved runway beside the new Decepticon Headquarters – one of the Constructicons’ finest works, an example of the defiance they were keen to show to their situation.

    Megatron had been right to trust in these six minds during the Great War, considered the sleek Decepticon warrior.

    The Great War… another set of words which rang hollow in his mind. While he was loath to admit it, the victory speech from the new Autobot commander had rung true – that war, that entire era, had been brought to an end. A new peace had settled on the galaxy.

    However, Cyclonus still had several deep-cover agents in play on a number of key worlds, and he knew that it was only a matter of time before one power or another made a push to alter the balance. Perhaps it would be the Quintessons, detailed in stolen reports made by those Autobots who had 'visited' their home world in 2005. Perhaps it would be one of the alien empires in the far quadrants of the galaxy, who had hitherto been held back from this region of space by the iron fist of the old realm. Or maybe some new inter-stellar power, whom none locally had yet encountered.

    Of course, in Cyclonus’ mind, there would be one more player added to the mix…

    …an empire re-forged, setting worlds aflame with vengeance, re-claiming its destiny.

    And in Cyclonus’ mind, there was only one being capable of leading them in that coming war.

    "Cyclonus, welcome back… did you pick up any postcards?" Scourge’s unsubtle remark was a clear indicator that he was still smarting over having one of his Sweeps taken away – and perhaps in seeing his ‘brother’ in command? Or maybe even a sign of his general displeasure with Cyclonus’ planned operation?

    He enjoyed his current status, after all.

    "Greetings brother, it has been altogether too long." One did not need to note the fact that they had seen each other only a few days previously to understand the undercurrent in his words.

    Scourge remained as defiant as ever - more than Cyclonus cared for, but never enough to risk retribution. "Humph. Here’s an update by that snivelling green-and-purple runt, and his gang of cronies."

    To Scourge, every being in the universe that wasn’t Scourge – or one of his siblings, at a stretch – deserved that appellation, no matter how much they offered to the Decepticon cause. The callousness appalled Cyclonus, who possessed the (un-)natural gift of understanding the art of command.

    The data was promising – the collector was operational, and the refineries were up and running. A steady supply of energon was at hand. Also, Astrotrain’s surveys of the outer asteroid belt of a nearby system found a wealth of metals and minerals, and the remote mining craft were already in-transit to take advantage of them. Even better, the planetary defence net was ready, providing enough protection from a potential raiding force to allow for the operation to finally take place. In theory, at least...

    Cyclonus came to a decision. "It’s time, brother."

    "Yes. Time." Despite his rumblings, Cyclonus knew that Scourge and his Sweeps would not dare fail him in the days to come.

    At last, the time had come to take the next step towards the renewed goal of total Decepticon domination.

    The time had come…

    …to restore Galvatron.


    --------------


    Hakata Bay.

    It was completely unrecognisable from the shores his warriors had once stood upon, in their ill-fated attempts to claim these islands in his name. Back then there had been a relatively small city along the bay side – which, he remarked to himself, had been burned to the ground in the first invasion. There had also been clear beaches from end to end, and in the second invasion, a wall running along most of the length of the bay.

    Out in the bay itself once floated the pride of his fleet – vessels wrought in Koryo, waiting for their allies from the conquered Song shipyards.

    Now there was nothing left of those failed exercises – nothing but the occasional anchor, or unexploded Chinese bomb, raised from the depths by archaeologists. Even the wall which had sheltered the samurai was mostly gone, save for a few scattered portions here and there in the new city’s boundaries.

    Fukuoka…

    And to think the people here regarded the invasions as a side note! An irrelevance!

    It churned his soul to think of it.

    He swore to himself that this new city would suffer, as Hakata once did at his command, as every city which dared defy his will had done in the southern Song.

    But Fukuoka would have to wait.

    He wanted to see the storied bay for himself, to catch a glimpse of what his warriors had once faced.

    But this war would be won elsewhere.
    He turned from the waterfront and headed away, back to the portal which would take him to Fuyuki-shi once again.

    Destiny awaited.


    --------------


    It was late afternoon, and there had been much catching up to do, which was still far from finished.

    Saber had tried to explain her experiences to Shirou as best she could, but could feel a sense of annoyance, as if the answers were just at the very tips of her fingers, yet were out of reach all the same. Shirou in turn could explain little of what he had gone through, and while the results seemed clearer in Saber’s case, he could not say what affect the Matrix would have on him in the long term, if any.

    But perhaps unsurprisingly, Shirou didn’t care – holding her hand in his palm, watching her look at him with those clear emerald eyes, hearing the affection in her voice, he felt as if he was at the very centre of the universe, with the one person he could not live without. They would have a lot of time, he hoped, to discover the kind of relationship they were going to share together, and when Sakura left to check up on Rin, the two managed to steal a kiss – their first in this new life. And one they would never forget.

    They decided to take their time before revealing everything to the others, not least because they hadn’t figured out the best way to point out that he and Saber weren’t technically relatives (unless they became married someday, that is…)

    Marriage… another thing to add to the list of things I need to think about eventually, he noted inwardly.

    Their time alone was ended by the familiar roar of Taiga Fujimura. "Shirou! What makes you think you can stay awake like this and not tell me you’re alright?"

    He quickly apologised. "Sorry, Fuji-nee… I had to see how everyone is doing."

    And a different voice this time, "And we’re fine, thanks for asking…"

    Tohsaka Rin was at the door, with not a scratch on her face, looking fit as a fiddle. And beside her stood another former Master, with a huge smile on her face. "Hello Onii-chan, I’m feeling hungry after my long nap!"

    Food. Oh yeah, that. I’m kinda hungry, actually… his stomach swiftly reminded him. "Well then, we’d better all get something to eat, shouldn’t we?"

    Sakura was one step ahead. "Senpai, I already have dinner ready to serve, if you want…"

    "Yatta! You’re the best Sakura-chan!" Yet again, Taiga hijacked the course of events, and was the first to sprint to the dining table. The others followed suit, looking forward to what was undoubtedly going to be another one of Sakura’s delights.

    As the last person sat at the table, a knock could be heard at the front door.

    "Hang on, I’ll go see who it is," said Shirou, as he went to answer the knock. Who could it be, this time?

    Shirou opened the door, and was met by two strangers, one a tall Japanese man who looked like he spent his days researching astrophysics, and the other more European, with dark brown hair, green eyes, and a knowing smile.

    The latter spoke first. "Nice to meet you again, Shirou. This is my good friend Professor Hawk, and I… well, I think you might already know who I am."

    That voice… it’s - Shirou recognised it swiftly. "R-rodimus?"

    The man smiled. "Got it in one! You know, something in there smells really good!

    Mind if we can come in?"


    --------------


    End of Part 3.
     
  6. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

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    Nice. So far, so good. I really like the idea of a Saber Transformer. I'm gonna let that one percolate in my brain just a bit.
     
  7. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

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    Aaand, percolating done. I just drew about the roughest sketch known to man, but it's a Saber Transformer, eh? PM me if you want to see it.
     
  8. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Glad you like what you see!


    Gary
     
  9. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Fate/ Trans Form - part 4 [R]


    --------------


    "Itadakimasu!"

    Shirou was a little surprised that Fuji-nee wasn’t making a big scene over having another set of strangers show up for dinner – but not only did she not seem to mind too much, she even bought the cover story fairly convincingly. The fact that the guests weren’t women looking to bag a room in the household probably helped…

    …as did the interest which she seemed to have developed for poor Professor Hawk!

    "So, Hawk-dono, you’re a research fellow at the university? Ah, it must be a dream to be able to pursue your interests in peace, with no annoying kids to deal with!" Naturally, Fuji-nee was oblivious to any reaction her comment would have caused among the students who were present –

    "Oh, don’t get me wrong, my job is a solemn duty to the coming generations, but managing a classroom and looking after Emiya-kun all by my lonesome can be such a bother…" Poor Hawk’s face was blushing, and the way that ‘Garret Convoy’ was looking over at him, Shirou got the impression that this was a rare occurrence for the clean-cut Professor.

    Garret raised his hand to his mouth and let out a mild cough. "Oh, sorry about that. So, Shirou, how have you been? It’s been a while since we last heard from you."

    Yeah, a whole three days ago, he thought to himself, not that I could say that here, of course.

    Aloud, he answered with "Oh, not so bad – we decided to take it easy for the last couple of days, though."

    Garret nodded. "Good, good. Say, Matou-san, is it true that you cooked this? It’s marvellous!"

    Sakura blushed slightly at Garret’s compliment. "Thank you, Convoy-dono – and Sakura is fine."

    Seeing her reaction made him smile in reply. "Only if Garret is fine too – I’m not a big fan of having people call me by that other name. It’s a bit too formal for this gaikokujin!"

    "Hai!" she sheerfully affirmed. Shirou wondered if Garret could even appreciate his meal – he’d probably ask him about it later. Fortunately, it looked as if Saber, at least, was enjoying her meal, judging by the rate at which her plates needed refilling…

    …and come to think of it, he was still pretty famished, too.

    He did notice how both Rin and Ilya seemed less than convinced with the cover story. They were going to have to be told about what happened sooner or later, so it was just as well that Garret and Hawk were present.

    But, it could wait.

    Time to eat!


    --------------


    "Gochisousama!"

    "Hee-e! Sakura-chan, you’re still the best!"

    "Thank you, Fujimura-sensei."

    "Saber, how was your meal?"

    "Delicious, thank you for asking, Shirou…"

    Ooh, the way which she said my name!

    "So, you mind if I help clean up?"

    "There’s really no need, Garret.."

    "Naw, it’ll be fine – it’s the least I can do after crashing the party."

    "Ok!"

    "Hawk-dono, you can join the rest of us in the living room if you like – I have to hear more about your research studies…"

    "Um…"

    "Go and have a good chat, Professor!"

    Poor guy…

    "Emiya-kun, we need to talk…"

    "Tohsaka, I know -"

    "…Now."

    "When Fuji-nee and Sakura go to sleep, we’ll run through everything. I promise."

    "Humph…"

    "Onii-chan, there’s something unusual about our new friends, isn’t there?"

    "You’ll find out soon enough, don’t worry."

    "Thank you again for helping with the plates, Garret."

    "No problem at all! If I may say, you seem a little… well, forgive me for saying as much, but it seems as if you might have something else on your mind."

    "Garret-san…"

    "No, please, you don’t have to say anything, but if you ever feel like you want to talk about things, let me know. I’ll be happy to help."

    "I’ll remember that offer, it’s very kind of you."

    "Yawn, you know I think it’s my time to catch a few Zs – staying up to look after all of you was quite an effort, you know… I’ll have to catch up with the rest of the story later, Hawk-dono! Sakura-chan, come on! You should have a rest too!"

    "Well, I am a little tired. Senpai, is it ok if I continue to use the room I have been resting in?"

    "Of course, you don’t even have to ask – you are always welcome here, you know that."

    "Hai!"

    "Good night everyone!"

    "Good night, Fujimura-san..."

    "Hey, don’t look too relieved, Professor!"

    "What? No, I - "

    "Never mind. Shirou, is there a good place for us all to talk things over?"

    "Yes – this way."

    This should be interesting.


    --------------


    A few minutes later, everyone was sitting on a series of mats, laid out on the floor of the warehouse beside the main residence. Examples of Shirou’s efforts at tracing and imaging were still lying on the floor – though not everyone recognised them for what they truly were.

    Garret sat at one side of the circle, with Hawk sitting beside him. Shiro and Saber sat across from him, with Rin on the left and Ilya at the right.

    Garret started the ball rolling, by asking Shirou: "Well, we’ve go a lot to cover this evening – where would you like to start?"

    Before Shirou could answer, Rin was quick to respond. "You can start by telling me what happened at the temple, with the Grail. And then you can tell me how, if you managed to destroy the Grail, Saber is still in this time period. And then, you can tell me exactly who the hell the two of you really are!"

    Tohsaka Rin could be trusted to cut straight to the heart of the matter – and didn’t like to wait for answers to her questions. It wasn’t easy for her to sit easily at the dinner table, or to wait for Fuji-nee to have her fill of fawning over one of their new ‘guests’.

    The attention of the group turned to Shirou and Saber, who were in the best position to explain that night’s events.

    "All right," Shirou said. "Saber and I will try to go over, as best we can, what happened a few days ago."

    And so, Shirou and Saber alternated in their telling of the story – of the rush to the Ryūdōji temple, of the battles against Gilgamesh and Kotomine, of the trap set for Ilya (who winced a little at the mention of her unwitting part in the whole affair), of the desperate moments of darkness…

    …and of the hand of Light, which helped them crush the Grail once and for all.

    They continued up until the point of Saber’s disappearance, and took that moment to tell the others of their declared feelings for the other. While Ilya acted a little upset, and Tohsaka only managed a lop-sided smirk, both of them were happy that the two of them had managed to find each other after all. Garret and Hawk, of course, were more unreserved in their reaction – they were happy to see the couple together, the strong bond between the two clearly evident.

    Garret had to admit to himself, though, that Shirou was one lucky bastard…

    Saber continued by describing her experience after returning to the past, up until her re-emergence – which Rin and Ilya had difficulty accepting. Indeed, the whole idea of giant biomechanical life-forms struck Tohsaka as hard to swallow. "Wait – you’re telling me that you’re some sort of alien robot, like something out of Galaxy Force? And that you can turn back and forth from a human mode at will? Do you think I was born on Mars or something?"

    Saber was about to respond, when Garret raised his hand, and gestured to his compatriot. "I think that we can help in that department – well, not the areology part. Professor, it looks like there should be enough headroom in here, would you mind?"

    "No problem, Rodimus." Rin was surprised at the name which Hawk had used in his reply to Garret – but what happened next astounded her.

    "Suit on!" Haek called out, as he pressed his right hand on the wristwatch on his left arm, which emitted a glowing light. In moments, a suit of alien armour had formed around him, red and blue and white, with a red face-like emblem on his chest.

    But it didn’t stop there.

    The armoured man crossed his forearms and said "Pretender!" - and then his entire body dematerialised, only to re-form around what looked like a wire-frame 3D outline of his original form – that of a fifteen-metre-tall Cybertronian. However, just to play it safe, he was crouched on one knee and hunched down, so as not to hit the roof – and there wasn’t much distance between his back and the ceiling.

    "My original name is Metalhawk, when I am in this form at least. Yoroshiku." He reached out his giant right hand to Tohsaka, who was having a little trouble accepting what she was seeing. Still, she took a moment to pull herself together, and offered up her own hand in response.

    "You can come back down now, Metalhawk. It might be hard to get out the front door otherwise…" said Garret, and without a word, Metalhawk reverted to his human Pretender form – though Shirou wondered why he had spoken aloud when it was the other way around. Some sort of tradition?

    Garret continued. "Metalhawk is in command of the Autobots stationed here in Japan – disguised, like ourselves, in these Pretender shells. And I’m being inconsiderate – my 'true' name is Rodimus Prime, and I’m his boss! I try to be a decent one, though."

    "Saber," he then turned slightly to address her, "have you tried to activate your abilities since returning home?"

    Saber blushed in response to the question – not at being asked the question in and of itself, but at considering the Emiya residence as her home. For the first time, she realised that no word was more apt at describing her new place of residence. "No, I have not – we only awoke this afternoon, and were not active long before your own arrival."

    Garret nodded. "Okay. Well, we can set up a scrambler net around the residence, which should allow you to practice in your Cybertronic form undetected. Metalhawk can help train you in that regard – he has a flight mode, as well. However, It might be a good idea for you to come to the Japanese HQ for more advanced training. Maybe when you are more comfortable with your flying skills, you can fly back and forth from Fuyuki-shi. If you fly at night, your in-built stealth systems should prevent you from being detected."

    Saber bowed slightly in response. "Thank you. I admit, while I have seen aircraft in my time in Japan, the prospect of flight is one I am… unaccustomed to, despite my earlier display."

    "Hey, I’m not too sure about the whole flying thing either – but since I turn into a truck anyway, I’m not one to judge!" Garret replied, hoping to reassure her somewhat. "Anyway, we should get back to where we left off. Ilya… do you remember anything from the last few days? I’m sorry if it’s a difficult question…"

    Shirou and the others were uncomfortable with asking that kind of question themselves – but Garret knew that something like this couldn’t be left unresolved.

    In any event, she was not slow to answer. "It’s fine, Garret-san. I remember hearing a loud sound, the door open, and a spell putting me to sleep. I didn’t see much after that for a while, only darkness, but I felt cold, and – trapped. Afraid, but not too much so. But it was so dark, and I felt so alone. But then the light burst through, and I was happy again!’

    She got up and ran over to Shirou, giving him a big hug, a huge smile on her face. "I never got to thank you for saving me, onii-chan! I’m so happy you’re there to look out for me!"

    "It’s no problem, Ilya." As Shirou said this, Garret was glad that the Emiya lad had such a fine group of friends, who were glad for the time and effort he gave so willingly for their benefit. It reminded him of the tightly-knit group of friends he had grown up with in his early days as an Autobot – such as Arcee, Springer, Kup and Blurr – and of the now-legendary camaraderie that the ‘84s had shared, even before their arrival on Earth.

    Ilya then walked over in front of Saber and hugged her in turn. "Onee-chan, thank you for saving me as well, and for making Onii-chan so happy!"

    Saber felt a little awkward at first, but it was alright – her former adversary, who had been a pawn of her family’s will, had become truly free while living here, and was now well on her way to becoming the happy and carefree child she should have been all along...

    ...that she was when her parents were still at her side, a long time ago.

    "Well, this is all well and good, but where do we all go from here? And if this ‘Matrix’ has changed Saber so much, what effect will it have on Shirou?" Tohsaka had fully digested the evening’s revelations, and her patience with Ilya was always in short supply.

    Garret tried to answer this. "Quite so. As far as Shirou goes, I don’t know – we could have some of our scientists at Autobot City in North America have a look at you, but it’s less clear as to whether there will be a long-term impact on your physiology or not. However, I would ask that if you can turn into a Cybertronian, that you pick your own chassis – I kinda like being the only Rodimus I know!"

    "Fair enough!" replied Shirou, idly wondering what form he might take in such an eventuality.

    "And we have a safe house in the city, so we can go crash there," Garret added, "I wouldn’t want to further inconvenience you. Besides, I don’t know if Hawk would be safe from Fujimura-san in that circumstance…"

    Garret couldn’t help it – it was not often that the straight-laced Pretender was caught off-guard! Besides, in truth, he wouldn’t have a problem if something were to happen, as long as it didn’t affect his mission. And in that regard, Garret was quite sure that he wouldn’t have to worry.

    He wrapped up his mini-statement with "It’s fortunate that things for us have been, by and large, fairly quiet for us – I can stick around in Japan for a while longer, to help in what way I can. However, I won’t always be in this city, as, shall we say, there are other weird goings-on in different parts of the country!"

    Everyone seemed happy enough with what had been covered so far, and the group spent a little more time going over more details about Cybertron, the Autobots, and so forth. Shirou made a point of offering spare rooms should either Garret or Hawk need them – to which Garret wondered just how many rooms this house had to spare! In any event, it was clear that there was too much to go over in just one evening, so they soon agreed to pick things up again in the morning.

    As Garret and Hawk set out to leave, Garret called Shirou over to speak to him in private. "Listen, Shirou, I wasn’t sure about raising this earlier, but regarding your blue-haired friend, Ms. Matou – I can’t quite place it, but I have a feeling that there’s something on her mind that she would do with discussing with someone. It might be an idea to make a little time to talk to her, and see if there’s anything going on. I know it seems weird that I’d pick such a thing up, but humans and Cybertronians are pretty similar in many ways – and I’ve seen that kind of look before. Now, I said to her that if she ever wanted to discuss it, I’d be happy to help, but I’m just a stranger, and you might be better suited to it."

    Shirou knew exactly what Garret was talking about – he himself had often wondered if Sakura ever had any problems at the Matou residence, not to mention whether she had any memory of the events of the Grail War of which she was directly, albeit unwittingly, involved in. He suspected that there was a whole other story he was missing – a sad one. "I’ll try, and thank you for mentioning it. I’ve worried about Sakura myself, and I’m grateful that you would think of her in that way."

    Garret smiled. "Hey, it’s all part of the job description – leader, commander, diplomat, all-around hero… and guidance counsellor! Not that I claim any kind of mastery in the above, mind you."

    A few moments later, Garret reverted to his Cybertronic form, and transformed into the now-familiar (to some) truck mode. The group were impressed by the sight, as he wished them well, and said "See you all tomorrow!"


    --------------


    While the remaining group went back inside the main residence, none of them noticed that while they had been discussing recent events, they were not doing so unobserved. Sakura had trouble trying to get to sleep, despite her tiredness, and followed the rest out to the warehouse – where she heard about the Grail War’s end, witnessed Metalhawk’s transformation, and saw Garret reveal his true form as Rodimus Prime before driving off. She even noticed how Rodimus had called Shirou aside and spoken to him in private about something near the end, though she couldn’t be sure what they had been speaking about. All she could make out was a single name, one spoken in a tone which could only indicate concern – her own.

    She remembered the kind words that Garret Convoy – Rodimus Prime – had said to her while they were cleaning up, and how even though he did not know her, still showed concern for her well-being.

    She had wondered for a long time whether she could tell anyone – even her senpai – about her life, or what passed for one, with the Matou family, and of the role in the Grail War she had played that the others didn’t even realise... or of the questions she had over just how much of the last week or two she could properly recall, and whether she would want to or not.

    For the time being, she was content to stay in the room set aside for her, and was in no rush to return to the now-empty Matou residence. Were she able to pluck up the courage to ask it, she would have liked nothing better than to stay here for good, and never go back to that cursed place.

    Plenty of time to work on building up her courage, then.

    She slipped back to her room – no-one had noticed at all – and went back to bed, and found it easier to fall asleep, as for the first time in years her dreams were filled with images of hope and peace.


    --------------


    On a metallic world orbiting a distant star, a less benign entity was in chains.

    Fashioned as the would-be Herald of this reality’s apocalypse, based on the already-fearsome template of the Decepticons’ founding tyrant, his strength, intelligence and ruthlessness had only been amplified by the lord of Entropy’s handiwork. The entity in question had struck terror in the hearts of every Autobot who had cause to know the name:

    Galvatron!

    But now, his link to Unicron was severed, shorn by the awesome force of Primus, unleashed via the Matrix in 2005. His body was in deep stasis lock, with only the faintest sign of any life within. His body had been recovered in the wreckage left behind by the destruction of the Chaos Bringer, and upon recovery was placed in the most secure location the Autobots had on hand.

    His body was hoisted up in the centre of the cell, with neutronium chains wrapped around his wrists, securing him to the wall. He was in no fit state to move at any rate, but nobody was taking any chances. ‘Securing’ him like this might have seemed harsh to some, but Ultra Magnus had personally demanded it as a prerequisite for his support in not simply terminating him outright – and given what fate Galvatron had inflicted upon Magnus on the planet of Junk, no-one wished to raise the issue.

    Indeed, the only thing which stopped Rodimus Prime from pressing his photon eliminator rifle against Galvatron’s temple and pulling the trigger himself was the desire among the fledgling civilian government to hold a war crimes trial – to call Galvatron to account for the legion of crimes committed by this being, both as Megatron and as he was now.

    However, it was no surprise that the trial preparations were heavily bogged down – with the main dispute arising over whether Galvatron could even be tried for crimes committed by Megatron, considering the changes wrought by Unicron (similar doubts were raised over what would happen should the likes of Cyclonus or Scourge ever be captured) – and of the need to ensure that the trial itself would not descend into the kind of farcical event which was now known to take place on Quintessa…

    But as for Galvatron himself, none could say where – if anywhere – his mind was now. In truth, no-one wanted to know. Whether the trial went ahead or not, no-one even considered trying to re-activate the beast. The fearsome look on his face, even in this enervated state – still enough to tear at the spark cores of almost every Autobot who witnessed it – saw to it.
    No-one, that is, except for Cyclonus and his cadre.


    --------------


    "Say, Punch, it’s pretty quiet today, eh?" asked the slightly over-eager Autobot guard.

    "Yeah, I suppose…" Punch was in no mood to listen to his colleague's inane pleasantries for the umpteenth time. He had once served as a deep-cover double-agent, wearing both an Autobot badge as Punch, and a Decepticon one as Counterpunch. He had revelled in the assignment, often but a step away from discovery and death, trying to keep ahead of the game on a full-time basis.

    But now? With the Great War over, and two years of peace on Cybertron, he should have been happy – after all, he was worried about the effects of spending too much time in his Counterpunch persona. He had reluctantly adopted the third form when it became clear he would need it to survive, but sometimes he found it difficult to remember that he was supposed to be an Autobot, deep down.

    Deep down… But in truth, he felt empty. No war meant no direction. No excitement. A reassignment to guard duty at one of the planet’s space bridges, filing reports and checking inventories. What a drag.

    And so, he found that despite what would be against Punch’s better judgement, his subsequent actions seemed only natural.

    "Punch, I’m picking up an unauthorized signal coming through – I don’t see any friendly ID codes. I’m going to shut it d-aaakh…" The other guard barely registered the electro-knife in his neck, and he dropped to the ground instantly. The internal sensors had already been altered – set to fool the system into seeing nothing out of the ordinary – as Punch quickly dragged the body to the space bridge platform.

    In a few moments, the carcass disappeared, sent to the point of origin of the new signal – which in turn materialised into the form of four biomechs, three of whom looked all too alike, and the quite distinct fourth who led them.

    Punch was already ‘in uniform’ to meet them – if he could even call himself that any more. For he had realised that he was truly:

    "Counterpunch. Report." Cyclonus went straight to the point, as expected.

    Counterpunch responded with "Phase One is complete, my lord. The room is secure, and the other guard’s body should make for a nice addition to the collection you left behind on Charr. I have mapped the route to the holding centre. They won’t know what hit them!"

    Cyclonus nodded. "Excellent work, but I would prefer to contain my optimism until the mission is complete. Is our other agent in place?"

    "Yes my lord," referring to another being who had walked the same path as he during the Great War. "Doubledealer is awaiting us near the holding cell."

    "Then let us begin Phase Two. Scourge, Alpha, Omicron, you know your tasks, follow them through." Cyclonus gave the commands, but Scourge, as usual, was grumpy about hearing them.

    "Yes, he responded, "but don’t expect me to call you lord!"

    Scourge just had to get his oar in… Cyclonus mused to himself, as the five Decepticons set out, continuing with the next phase of Operation Restoration.


    --------------


    Where is this place?

    It is the realm between life and death.

    Why am I here?

    Only you can answer that question.

    I was… at war…

    But you faced a foe too much for any Cybertronian.

    I was driven to kill, to destroy…

    By the one who would call you slave.

    No! I belong to
    nobody!

    Then why do you exist?

    I accepted these terms out of necessity – my old form was waning…

    But you remained Its slave, to the end!

    No!

    And the only one who saved you was your mortal foe.

    The Matrix…

    Yes – it freed you.

    But I failed.

    Yes. But in so doing, you succeeded. You are free from Its clutches.

    But how is this freedom?

    I cannot judge.

    Who are you, anyway?

    I cannot say.

    No! I will not be ridiculed!

    That is not my intention.

    When will I be rid of this place?

    Soon, perhaps. Or never. Or sometime in between.

    What kind of an answer is that?

    The only kind I can grant you. Except for this – you did not endure Its forge alone.

    Yes, there is still Cyclonus and the others. If they live, they will come for me.

    Perhaps.

    Count on it!

    Do you enjoy depending on others?

    No!

    Then why take pride in the efforts you would ascribe to others?

    Can you say nought but in riddles?

    I say what I can.

    Why can I not see you?

    Here, there is merely darkness.

    Why does your voice sound familiar?

    Because you have known of me for as long as your spark has existed.

    Yet, I do not recognise you!

    Your misfortune.

    Again you mock me!

    I do not. I cannot.

    Tell me your name!

    Only you can do that.

    Then do not speak to me!

    I only speak in reply to you. If you do not speak, I will be silent.

    Cyclonus, Scourge, if you can hear me, free me from this prison! I command it!

    They cannot hear you.

    I don’t care.

    I thought not.

    Enough! For I am Galvatron, and I will rise again!


    --------------


    Were it not for the interference caused by the Decepticon infiltration of the security net, the path leading from the compromised space bridge to the complex holding Galvatron’s inert body would be clearly marked – by the rows of wrecked bodies left in the wake of Cyclonus’ troops. The need to avoid setting off sensors tuned for weapons fire was essential, so the Sweeps took to tearing out the throats of every Autobot guard they encountered. Swift, brutal, and effective – Scourge expected nothing less from his subordinates.

    The Sweeps had no individual names, so each had been assigned a designation based on a randomly-chosen designator set – in this case, the Cybertronian equivalent of Greek numerals. So, Sweep Alpha and Sweep Omicron, Scourge’s two most trusted lieutenants – had been taken along for the expedition, while Omega was languishing in the Constructicons’ laboratories.

    The group approached the compound’s service entrance, where Counterpunch went ahead to rendezvous with Doubledealer – who, if all went well, had already compromised the security systems within.

    Well, almost all – Galvatron’s cell was wired directly to Autobot HQ, and would go off the moment he was released.

    No matter – we’ll fight our way out, if needs be, considered Cyclonus, and soon they were in, heading down the corridor towards the holding cell.

    Towards the destiny of the Decepticon empire.


    --------------


    If I find out whose bright idea it was to let Magnus send me up here for this, there are going to be some serious questions asked! Springer was annoyed at the rotten luck of the draw he had made – every few months the lead baby-sitter for Mr. Purple was drawn from random lots, and his number had come up. And just when he was all set to ask Arcee out on another date. He wondered if Rodimus had plans of his own, that damned hot rod…

    He was startled back into the moment as the blast door was forced open, by the impact of three pairs of clawed hands, attached to some less-than-welcome acquaintances. "Well if it isn’t the Blue Con Group. Hope you can stick around for a slice!"

    Springer drew his rotor-sword and charged in, swinging at the nearest Sweep – or was it Scourge? It was hard to tell – catching it at its right forearm. To his satisfaction, Springer managed to force the blade right through, dropping the hand and a third of the arm to the ground.

    His success was short-lived, however. Cyclonus himself stepped over and floored Springer with a brutal left hook, sprawling the triple-changer against a nearby bulkhead. Before he could move again, the two unharmed Scourge-a-likes pinned him down, their unnatural strength keeping him from getting up again. "Is this the way you settle your fights, Cyclonus – cheap and dirty?" he spoke, defiantly.

    Cyclonus almost smiled - almost. "Not at all, Springer. In fact, I’m about to bestow upon you a singular honour. You’re about to witness history in the making!"

    Spriner's response had a less than enthused tone. "Sorry, I’ve seen enough of that, thanks..."

    Springer finally noticed the module that Cyclonus had removed from his leg compartment – an energon transfer module, heavily customised from the regular triage model. He was moving towards the prone figure in the centre of the room, to which he spoke: "Mighty Galvatron, for too long have you been denied your place upon our throne. Caged by these loathsome cowards, who could not even gather the courage to face you directly, blind to your greatness and majesty.

    But no more!"

    With that, Cyclonus pressed the module against Galvatron’s chest, and the energon stored within was transferred to its new host.

    Though he dared not show it, Springer was growing unnerved by the sound – the growing pulse emerging from the centre of the room, the furious heartbeat of a titan reborn.

    The room started shaking. His arms were moving, faster and faster, yet only moving centimetres at a time – the neutronium restraints straining against his outstretched wrists.

    As the energon flowed through his body, the vibrations increased – and cracks were forming at the points on the walls where the chains had been attached.

    The pitch was increasing, it was almost unbearable.

    And then…

    His eyes glowed red.

    His head rose.

    He let out a bestial roar.

    And the chains were torn off their moorings.

    "I AM GALVATRON! I RISE AGAIN!"

    His head turned to take in the surroundings, and noted Cyclonus, Scourge, and the two Sweeps in turn.

    A moment later, he noticed Springer, still pinned in place.

    His left arm rose, dragging the end of the chains up with him.

    The arm was drawn down again, and the end of the chains smashed into Springer’s face.

    Mercifully, his body went into stasis lock immediately – sparing him the agony he would have endured had he remained conscious.

    Cyclonus knelt in obeisance, addressing his sovereign. "Mighty Galvatron, this one is unconscious, yet may still live. Shall I terminate him?"

    Galvatron looked to the battered Autobot for a moment, then shook his head. "No, Cyclonus. Let him serve as a herald of my return. Think of it… as my way of repaying Rodimus Prime for the liberation of my mind from the clutches of Unicron."

    Accepting this, Cyclonus referred to the module he had used to restore Galvatron to consciousness - a stop-gap measure, at best. "Your energy levels are still low, Mighty Galvatron. We should head to the escape route at once, before reinforcements arrive to block our path."

    Galvatron was on the verge of chastising Cyclonus for his insolence, but he was correct – his power levels were too low for sustained combat. They would have to leave. "Very well. Let us leave Cybertron for now – but take heart, my loyal Decepticons. For we shall return triumphant!"

    The seven Decepticons managed to make their way back to the space bridge, crushing any force foolish enough to intercept them en route, and escaped back to Charr – while the mauled Springer was found in the rubble which once served as Galvatron’s prison.

    The success of the raid, and the carnage which had been caused, left a message which was loud and clear for all to see:

    The Decepticons had returned.


    --------------


    End of Part 4.
     
  10. mlai

    mlai New Member

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    Hi, finally found this fanfic again. Didn't know where to go to find it after fatestaynight.org disappeared a month ago. I'm glad you don't change your online name because that's the only way I found this.

    BTW, both Shirou and Saber have great lack of perceptiveness to the emotions and motivations of other ppl. Don't make them out to be perfect ppl. I'm sure u won't.

    So many forces are moving in this fanfic... either it'll get real epic, or real messy! Hope you have it all planned out, Good Luck!
     
  11. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Thanks!


    By the way, a lot of the old fatestaynighters are now over st code-geass.net, if ou want to pop in and say hi!


    I'm trying to do the characters justice, as best I can - and with luck, it'll work!


    Gary
     
  12. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    I like it! I like it even more now that I know what Fate/Starry Night is. Thanks for the link. I like the way you mesh the two worlds together. Garret huh? I like the masquerade. I can't help imagining Rodimus's pretender shell as a redhead though instead of brunette. Poor Springer. I really like what you are doing with Galvatron too. Post more soon please.
     
  13. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Glad you like it so far - coming from you, that's a real compliment!

    I should have the next part up soon, I hope.


    Gary
     
  14. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Fate/ Trans form - part 5 [R]


    --------------


    Please note - the first scene refers to a part of episode 21 which, well, obliquely refers to one of the scenes in the original game. If you aren't familiar with that particular event, you might wish to skip to the second scene.


    Tomorrow’s going to be an interesting day, I guess… Shirou scooped up some water from the tap in his hands, and splashed it on his face. He hadn’t felt unclean or anything, but it just seemed like the thing to do, for some reason. Maybe he thought the cold water would help ground him in the moment, to let everything begin to sink in.

    Fat chance of that happening any time soon! he realised, as he reached over to a small towel to wipe his face. He let out a sigh and tried to accept that he was probably going to have to get used to, well, not getting used to things these days.

    Everyone else had gone to sleep, or at least had their lights out. Maybe they were up with the same kind of things on their mind as he was – though he had to admit the look on Tohsaka’s face when she saw Metalhawk transform was priceless. Even so, Matrix-touched or not, he didn’t dare consider the kind of wrath he would incur if he ever called her on it. He’d had enough attempts on his life lately.

    He put down the towel and stared at the reflection of his eyes in the mirror. Why am I not freaking out over this? Is it simple shock – is my mind waiting for an opportune time to spring a heavy dose of PTSD on me? I thought I’d have nightmares of the dark, of that awful slime, of the endless litany of hatred screaming in my mind.

    But then, Shirou remembered how that litany hadn’t been endless after all. He could feel it in his chest – the presence of the purest light he had ever known, the impossibly brief moment when he saw and knew… everything.

    It didn’t matter that it was gone, that revelation – he just knew that in a stroke, any lingering doubts of his cause were gone, and when he closed his eyes he could see a point of absolute peace and clarity within him.

    And of course, he knew how crazy that all sounded, but it was ok.

    It was all right.

    He made a note of asking Rodimus if he could see the Matrix for himself some day, to thank it for everything it had done. And that didn’t seem like a weird idea either.

    He shook his head, hung up the towel to dry, and reached for the light above the mirror. It was not like he’d accidentally hit the door on his way out, or anything.

    He stepped out, and headed back to his room, ready to get a good night’s sleep, ready for the resumption of his training in the morning. He suspected that Rodimus-tachi were going to bring all sorts of gadgets with which to try and figure out what residual effects the Matrix had on him, and on – "Saber!"

    Just how did she do that? he wondered, taken aback. Her futon was laid out beside his, perfectly aligned at either end. She was sitting there in her pyjamas, the cover reaching up to her waist.

    And it wasn’t just the futon either – she had managed to smuggle in every item from her old room, even down to the stuffed lion he’d bought for her at the store that day. And he hadn’t heard a thing.

    "Good evening, Shirou." She never failed to send a shiver down his spine every time she said his name in such a way. But then, he loved the sound of her voice anyway.

    Even when it teased him. "So is your intention to stand guard at the door until morning, then?"

    He hadn’t realised how much of an idiot he must have looked, just standing there like that. He hoped that he didn’t seem as such too often – it wouldn’t do to let his side of things down, after all.

    He rushed over to his futon, which was now the right side of the combined one there at present, and sat down beside Saber. After carefully closing the door behind him, of course. "How did you… never mind. What made you -"

    "Shirou," she pointed out, "if you and I are to be a couple, it makes sense for us to avoid the inefficiency of using up a separate room. We do have guests here often, after all."

    There had been a time when she would say such a thing and be completely straight-laced about it – all prim and proper. But the playful tone in her voice was enough to tell Shirou that this time was quite different. He couldn’t help but smile at her, which brought out even more of a smile from her in return.

    "You’ve got a fine point, Saber… hmm." There was something he was trying to recall.

    "What is it, Shirou?" she asked.

    With this, a sudden thought occurred to him. "You know, now that the Grail is gone, and you are no longer a Servant, you don’t need to go by that name anymore. I can call you by your real name, if you wish."

    She changed position, sitting up on her legs, her hand reaching for his. "I’ve been thinking of keeping it as the name I wish to go by, when I’m in my Cybertronian form. Our new friends seem to enjoy the distinction."

    "True," he nodded. "So, shall I call you Arturia from now on? And what about a family name? You might need one of those."

    She was less than enthusiastic. "Arturia is the name I went by in a previous life, but it’s one I have not gone by in a long time. I don’t know if I am comfortable going by it again."

    He chewed the thought over. "Mm, I guess calling you Arthur might raise a few eyebrows as well. How about… Artia?"

    "Artia…" She pronounced it Ar-sha, and in an instant she knew it was a perfect fit.

    She smiled and made her decision. "Done. Thank you, Shirou."

    "No problem, Artia!" He got a sudden thrill from the use of that name for the first time. "But, I guess that leaves the issue of a surname…"

    She was one step ahead of him. "I would consider Emiya to be quite sufficient."

    Wow. He’d hardly even fully registered the idea of being in a relationship like this – let alone that of becoming someone’s fiancé. It was a bit sudden. But he didn’t doubt the idea for a second.

    But wait… "I know that Fuji-nee thinks you’re a distant relative already…"

    "When I become Artia Emiya, we shall be much closer a pair of relatives, if you don’t mind having me as your wife," she replied, again with that playful manner.

    He couldn't argue against that, of course. "That would be just fine. However, you would still need a family name to put on the register and to use before we reach that particular stage…"

    "Indeed," she answered, "very well, I’ll think of a suitable family name to use, and then discard after you correctly propose to me and I say yes."

    He was starting to reach the point where he would be at a total loss for words. "Artia…"

    She held his hand tightly, as she told him that "Shiou, I want to spend the rest of our lives together. And I know that you feel the same way. I don’t mind if we wait until you are 20, or 25, or 30, but I want to be able to call you my husband. So please do not leave it too long before you propose to me."

    He nodded, blushing. "I won’t."

    "Shirou…" She reached over to him, wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and kissed him.

    Yet, there was a flash of memory in Shirou’s mind – from the night before they had risked everything to stop the Grail – which Shirou had to exorcise. "Artia, there’s something I have to say to you, and I’ll probably make mistakes and cause unintended misunderstandings as I always do, but I have to say it."

    Wondering what was on his mind, she assured him that she was there to listen, should he wish to speak his mind. "Anything, my love."

    My love…

    He could remember the events of that night clearly, when he confessed his feelings for her, when he reached to kiss her for the first time. When she pulled away and went to another part of the house…

    …and later showed up in his room when he was about to fall asleep.

    And the words she used when she left again: ’My mana has been replenished. Now I am ready to fight anytime… as your Servant…’

    He hadn’t shown it at the time, but he was devastated. And while she had confessed her own feelings soon afterwards, he had to tell her. "When you came to my room that time, I – I can’t begin to describe my feelings. I felt as if you were accepting me into your life, into your arms, into those magnificent green eyes of yours.

    But then you left, saying how you were ready to fight as my Servant, how you were now prepared for the battle ahead. As if the love and affection I so freely gave to you meant nothing at all!

    And I don’t know how long you have had feelings for me – whether you really wanted to embrace me that evening, or whether it was a necessary act, a purely mechanical one. As if it wasn’t enough to go through that dragon vision already!

    Wait, wait – I don’t regret the circuit bonding, even if I don’t quite remember what happened perfectly. But it wasn’t the same kind of act, we weren’t trying to…"

    "Shirou…" she sighed, but he insisted. "Please, I need to finish this.

    It’s very difficult for me to talk about this sort of thing – I’m not exactly used to it – but I personally hate the idea of, of… having a partner who considers me to be a burden."

    "Shirou…" A tear was appearing in the corner of her eye.

    Shirou hated himself for this, but he had to finish. "Artia, I only ever want to be with you if you feel the kind of care and affection that I feel for you – if you feel as drawn to me as I am in return.

    I feel ashamed of myself for not insisting on this that evening – for getting lost in the moment. For not making my feelings on this subject very clear. For, for most likely insulting you in a way I’ve never done before, for, for…"

    It was no good. His throat was constricting. He was pushing back tears of his own. He couldn’t think of the words he needed to finish this, and was feeling worse and worse about the kind of reaction he must have been causing.

    "I’m sorry, Shiro." He had been staring down at the mattress, but looked up to her when she spoke. Her eyes… "We have had misunderstandings before, have we not?"

    He remembered. He had been concerned as to whether she would hunt human souls to survive, and she had made it quite clear how repulsive a practice she considered that to be. He felt ashamed then for insulting her, but she had understood that he could not be expected to know beforehand, and that it was beneficial to have the truth out in the open.

    And so, the time for clarity returned. "My own feelings for you were shrouded by my wish to fulfil my vow, and I was denying the truth to myself, and to you.

    I would never share myself with anyone in such a 'mechanical' fashion, as you put it. I did not come to your room because of that. I came to you because I love you, and because I share the same kind of affection as you do.

    Yet, I am sorry that I did not tell you this – sorry that I kept treading upon such a blind path for so long. The last thing I want is for you to feel in such a way because of me."

    She rested her head on his shoulder, and held him tightly once again. "I want you to know how happy you make me, to know how you have changed everything for me."

    She reached up to his face once again. "To learn from each other’s mistakes, to help face each other’s problems, to cherish each other’s affections... these are the essence of love."

    She kissed him again. They were both shedding tears now, but it was alright – part of the blissful release of moving past the heartache and misunderstanding they had caused each other, and part of an affirmation of the unshakeable bond that they had formed together.

    "Artia…" he said, looking directly into her emerald eyes.

    "Shiro, let us make sure that we avoid this particular misunderstanding in future," she asserted.

    At this, he nodded, and smiled. "Okay."

    They both laughed – that was cathartic, too.


    He raised his hand to reach for a stand of her hair, loosely falling in front of her forehead. "You know I love it when you leave your hair long like this."

    She smiled playfull once more. "I do now… Shirou."

    And like clockwork, her use of that particular tone of voice left him heart-struck once again.


    --------------


    It was late. Or early.

    It all depended on how you considered it.

    Rin was annoyed at the lack of sleep she was getting – just what did Shirou think he was playing at, not having Western-style beds for his guest of honour?

    In truth, it wasn’t the futon which had bothered her. She had slept on it just fine in the time she had been here, more or less.

    Hmph… With a wearied and annoyed look on her face, she got up, headed down the hall, and into the kitchen. She hadn’t quite got the hang of the floorboard layout, so she hoped that the number of telltale creaks were kept to a minimum. There was no point waking everyone up at this hour.

    She pressed her hand to her side – where she had been stabbed by her former mentor, Kotomine Kirei. It wasn’t too far from the point where her mind-altered sister’s blade had struck, either, but both seemed to have healed well enough. She didn’t feel any pain at all.

    Sakura… Rin smiled at the thought of her long-lost sister, back at her side at last. Well, after a fashion, since they were both guests at Shirou’s residence.

    Rin considered just how much there was to tell her sister about the life she had led during the past eleven years – the all-too-brief training under her father, Tohsaka Tokiomi, the temporary departure from Fuyuki-shi with their mother Aoi, her tutelage under the man who would one day try to kill her, her efforts at school to maintain the standing of the Tohsaka family through her example…

    …her summoning of Archer, her saving of Shirou’s life, the way in which her old Servant reminded her of her partner in the Grail War, the efforts she put into fostering the relationship between Shiro and Saber…

    …and the price she paid to save her beloved sister from the darkness.

    Rin opened the fridge, and looked to see what she could scavenge from within. "Hmm, I guess the milk will have to do, then."

    She considered looking for the powdered chocolate and practicing her drink-heating skills, but decided she was too tired to bother. Or perhaps just too lazy… whatever.

    She walked over to the window, and looked up at the night sky. It was beautifully clear – the thick band of light comprising the Milky Way stretched overhead, as did the brilliance of the other stars one could see from this latitude, when the light pollution was relatively low.

    One day, she would have to visit New Zealand or Australia, or Peru or South Africa, and look up at the night sky for the star around which Shirou had said orbited the home of the Cybertronian race. Just like that, two of them had appeared and revealed themselves in front of her – and now Saber was one as well? Honestly… I have to have a lot of questions prepared for the morning.

    But still, she was happy – she hadn’t expected Saber to be able to stay, since Shirou was in no state to accept her as a tsukaima, and she wasn’t exactly at her best either. She regretted not being there at the end, at missing the final chapter of the War.

    But she was not glad it was over.

    And now, she could look at the stars, and see the promise of a better future for all of humanity – blinking away in the sky over a city she had helped to save.

    It was a good feeling.


    --------------


    "Magnus, any update on the comm system yet?" asked Rodimus, patched through to the City Commander's office at Autobot City.

    "I’m afraid not Rodimus – that subspace disruption is still blocking communications with Cybertron, and we can’t reach Nebulos or one of the other allied worlds either." The storm had been broiling around the edges of the Sol system for over a week now. Not only was it blocking communications, it was hampering travel times in and out of the system. A ship which could go from Earth to Cybertron in a few days now took a fortnight to cross the storm area.

    "Do Jetfire or Perceptor have any ideas as to how long it will last?" Rodimus wondered.

    Magnus shook his head. "Not many – Jetfire has requested he go out to the heliopause to examine the phenomenon more directly. Shall I send him on his way?"

    Rodimus raised his hand to the viewer. "Negative, let Perceptor handle the readouts from Autobot City. Have Jetfire pack his things and head to Japan, we have a few mysteries for him to resolve."

    Magnus nodded. "I’m sure he’ll be pleased to hear that. How is the shell doing for you?"

    "It takes a little getting used to, but I like it," came the reply. "You should try it sometime – you never know, you may just like being only human…"

    "I’ll take it under advisement." In other words, thank you kindly, but no thank you.

    Rodimus half-joked that "I just might have to order you to try it eventually – having a shell is a very useful advantage to have on Earth, in case you hadn’t noticed."

    "Indeed." answered Magnus, in as non-committal a tone as he could muster.

    "Alright, that’ll do for tonight. Have fun, old friend. Rodimus out." The comm line went dead, as Rodimus Prime went back to his paperwork. It still bored him – and he was sure that when the comm net was back up and running, the amount of catching up he had made with the stack of documents on his table would be swamped by a host of new ones.

    Sigh…

    "Rodimus, do you have a moment?" Prime turned in his seat, to face Metalhawk, who seemed to have something in his hand.

    "What have you got for me? It looks a little small to be a data panel…" It was a DVD – with an unusual pattern on the front, and images of some sort of movie on the back. Apparently, it had been sent in by Agent E from another city in Japan, and passed on. The note attached said something about it being relevant to the ongoing investigations being carried out there, but that it was worth checking out on its own merits.

    "I don’t think I can spare the time now" he said, "but how about we bring it to the Emiya place? This seems like a comedy, and they’d do with a good laugh!"

    Metalhawk nodded in reply, but was somewhat hesitant to continue. "Indeed, Rodimus. However…"

    "Don’t worry, Taiga-san won’t be there until the evening, so you’ll have plenty of time to buy her some nice chocolates or something." It was remarkable how, after being in a human shell, one could notice the facial expressions on fellow Cybertronians.

    It seems the section chief could blush in bio-mechanoid mode, after all.


    --------------


    "How is he recovering, First Aid?" Arcee asked the medical specialist, with a very worried expression.

    "It’s going to take time, Arcee – he was mangled pretty badly. Of course, when he comes to he’ll act as if he’s had a dozen times worse. He’ll probably even believe it, too!" The renowned Autobot medic, who had come to the forefront in the years after Ratchet’s death, tried his best to cheer Arcee up, but he know it pained her to see such a close friend in this state. He wasn’t all that comfortable about it, either.

    She thought of other matters, and spoke of her concerns. "We haven’t been able to get through to Earth yet, they still don’t know…"

    That the Decepticons had raided Cybertron. That Springer was left in a critical condition. That Galvatron was a free monster once again. The population of Iacon was still in a site of shock and disbelief, and the civilian administration was sharply divided between those who chastised the governing council for not simply terminating Galvatron when they had the chance, and other factions criticizing the Autobot reaction to this turn of events.

    Arcee considered asking them if they would like to volunteer the next time Cyclonus knocked on the front door…

    "We’re going to put him through another round of CR treatments – I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to come back another time." First Aid insisted, somewhat apologetically.

    "I understand." Arcee turned to leave, thoughts of Springer’s condition weighing on her mind – more so, she found, than Galvatron’s escape. To her, it didn’t matter if the Decepticons were up to their old tricks, so long as the group of Autobots she had been a part of were ready. And that group was nowhere without Springer.

    Or perhaps it was she who felt like she was nowhere.

    And she couldn’t even talk to Rodimus about it – he was so busy after becoming Prime, even when the subspace comm net was up and running. She missed him dearly, even when he and Springer were falling over themselves in too-obvious efforts to impress her.


    This cycle couldn’t end soon enough.


    --------------


    Hail Galvatron! Hail Galvatron! The echo of applause and submission towards the newly-restored Emperor of Destruction was already ringing in Galvatron’s ears, long before he and his cadre even landed on the surface of Charr. They had entered orbit a moment earlier, and were preparing their descent through the atmosphere.

    However, something was missing. "Cyclonus! Where is my acclamation?"

    Galvatron's second-in-command responded promptly. "Mighty Galvatron, I’m not detecting any signals from the surface. We had left the Constructicons on duty when we departed, as they have been heavily involved in our reclamation projects."

    Galvatron considered this information. It wasn’t like the Constructicons to act in this manner. "Show me to their workshop!"

    "At once, Mighty Galvatron!" came the reply, and soon the cadre was marching towards the front door of the workshop – or what was left of it. It had been torn open from the inside.

    And the green and purple Decepticon beside it was in no better shape.

    "Scrapper!" Galvatron walked briskly over to the Constructicon unit leader, who had been one of his – Megatron’s – most long-standing and loyal officers. Galvatron stood beside him and bade one of the Sweeps to lift him from the surface.

    "Mi..m…mi…" the fallen Decepticon tried to speak.

    Galvatron ordered one of the Sweeps to "Recharge him!" who thus removed an Energon crystal and placed it on Scrapper’s arm – it was absorbed quickly, and his eyes began to flicker with more force.

    "Mighty Galvatron?" Scrapper managed to say to his sovereign.

    "Tell me, Scrapper – what has happened here?" asked Galvatron, using the frank tone he as Megatron had always used with the Constructicon leader.

    "O… om… ega…" Scrapper struggled to say.

    One of the Sweeps? Galvatron remembered. "Yes?"

    "G…gone." Scrapper deactivated and went into stasis lock – with just enough power to prevent his final death.

    Immediately, Galvatron turned to his lieutenant. "Cyclonus, have the Constructicons recovered and repaired. They are a vital aspect of our reclamation project. Scourge, begin preparing for an operation to find your traitorous sibling and bring his worthless chassis before me for judgement…"

    "Yes, Mighty Galvatron." As Cyclonus left to prepare the fortress’ CR chambers, Scourge prepared a list of nearby star systems in which to search, and possible planets or bases Omega could have escaped to.

    But even Scourge had not realized exactly where Omega was truly heading for…


    --------------


    End of part 5.
     
  15. mlai

    mlai New Member

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    Ooh, romance chapter.

    Well I consider the H aspects of the game and the anime as separate entities. AFAIC, "that scene" did not occur in the anime, the oblique reference notwithstanding. It is a better story (for the anime) IMO if she died a virgin monarch. But your way works for the purposes of your story. And it could have happened that way.

    When I write the script for my Saber fan manga, I always think "Hmm this makes a good fanfic too." But reading real (good) fanfics, I see just what kind of different entities they are. My script makes for a terrible fanfic, heh. Fanfics are concerned with prose. Manga scripts are more like cinema screenplays. The underlying character emotions are still there, but evoked thru action rather than words. I'm more concerned with describing the panel layout, the camera angle, and the character dialog/action in my scripts.

    BTW, for FSN forum resources, you can go to Beast's Lair. I just go to the FSN forum of animesuki because BL is too hardcore for my tastes - don't have the time.

    Edit: BTW, I loved the name "Saber." ;_; But at least it's not completely gone. However, what's all the fuss about finding her a surname? We all know what her last name is (and what a kickass awesome last name it is, if I may say so).
     
  16. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    I actually signed up to Beast's Lair a few days ago...

    Her original surname might be cool, but to this Saber it's a relic of a past life - she doesn't feel attached to it anymore.

    I would love to see this story turned into a manga one day, though! I'm sure it would be distinct from the version you see here, of course.


    Gary
     
  17. mlai

    mlai New Member

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    Yeah but for purposes of putting something on a census, it's handy. She's acting like she doesn't have one. "Last name? Gee I can't think of one, Shirou." "Well Saber you need to have a last name. DUUUUUH I can't think of one either." It's just that it doesn't make sense to me.

    Oh no, prose fiction is hard to translate into manga and maintain the same quality. You lose so much of the original. The FSN manga, IMO, is an exception because the original is a visual novel.

    You could ask for illustrations if someone likes your fanfic enough, though.
     
  18. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    It's not that she can't think of her old one - it's that she can't think of a new one (at least, during that short part of the conversation).

    As for illustrations, there are a few things I am trying to arrange...


    Oh, and what would your overall impression of the story arc be so far?


    Gary
     
  19. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    Another cool chapter. I like Shiro/Saber or should that be Shiro/Artia now.;)  Cute couple. I'm glad Springer is recovering. And just what could Omega be up to? Keep'em coming.
     
  20. Nerroth

    Nerroth Alea iacta est.

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    Thanks!

    I hope that there won't be such a big delay before the next one is up.


    And as for Omega? Well, let's say that there is something special in the works for that guy...


    Gary
     

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