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Fate/Beyond the Hollow Lens

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Chapter 6

 

Warehouse Down!



Spookies

 

He called Six right away as he left the Gourmaden. “Yo” he said as Six greeted him “Need some stuff. Can ya meet me at Amami Bay, Warehouse Block J?”. “Yeah… meetcha there” Six replied before hanging up. He put his phone away before renting a Smart Car to the Amami Bay. “Let’s take a Smart Car. My treat”. Nemissa perked up, asking “Smart Car?”. “Yeah” Hitomi answered “Smart Cars are fully automated vehicles. They still have traditional controls for emergencies, but otherwise it handles the rest. Onboard cameras are extremely high quality and the car can respond in nanoseconds. Its state of the art”. Laughing, Nemissa stated “Sounds fun… and comfortable. Nemissa approves”. Smirking, he stated “Good… otherwise? We’d have had to hike ten miles”. Nemissa’s confidence deflated and she frowned, saying “Not fun”. Laughing, he stated “Thought so”. Once it arrived, he went into the passenger side while Nemissa immediately claimed the driver seat. The smart car then immediately began driving. 

 

Once there, it parked and let them out. They had it let them go at Warehouse E. It’d be a 5 minute walk to J. This meant none of Amami City’s unmodified tech laid eyes on Lunch’s SUV. As he walked over, the side door opened and Six hopped out, saying “Yo, Sanaga. Got your gear” and pulled out a pair of duffel bags. He opened one and saw the goods. A real switchblade that had a longer blade than the lighter one while Nemissa pulled out a comb-hidden switchblade that flipped out and locked in. It was single edged while his was double. They also got 9mm guns with ammo to replace the old ammo for their nambu type 14s. After that was a small upgrade to their armor. To compliment their bulletproof vests, they now had football helmets. This would protect their head somewhat. Further, they had leather gloves to reduce strain on their palms when firing the new guns. “That should be everything. All I got on short notice… I'd have to hit a cache to get ya better stuff. ‘Course… all that it is are upgraded kevlar vests, actual infantry helmets, rifles, and real swords” Six replied, looking at him, saying “I didn’t bring mine because it doesn’t have a silencer. Those do. Aren’t going to alert anyone outside of 100 ft. to gunshots”. Nodding, he said “Thanks Six… this is good stuff”. Six waved his hand, saying “I told you last time. We’re in deep. I’m gonna let it get used. If I can’t afford someth’in, I’ll let ya know”. Nodding, Nemissa stated “I’m not sure about the helmet but I can get used to these gloves… remind me to go clothes shopping”. Six and him just stared at Nemissa, then each other and made a silent vow to not let that happen. Then he saw something else and asked “Hey… what’s this?”. Lunch simply smiled.

 

As they entered Warehouse Block J, he kept the equipment hidden. “We need to make sure we don’t spook the guards and get them to report us” he explained “We need to make sure we can get to Lunch’s SUV quickly”. Nodding, Nemissa said “It’s alright. I got magic if we get into a scrap. I kinda worked my circuits last night and unlock a new spell!”. As if to demonstrate, she held a hand out and concentrated, forming a ball of ice in her hand. With a simple breathe, the ice ball accelerated forward at the speed of a fast ball. Thankfully, no one was hit but he knew it might catch some attention. “Hey” he stated “Careful. We can’t hit civilians”. “I know, I know. I’m keep’in an eye out, ‘Sanaga’. By the way, why do you use code names?” Nemissa inquired. “Amami City has an expansive surveillance network. Anything that comes from the city has a bug on it. Some audio, some visual… codenames, or handles as we call’em, help up conceal our IDs. Can’t run a name that doesn’t exist, right? Well… can, but they’d need ta actually come down off their high horse for that” he explained, seeing a worker ahead “Hey, excuse me! Can I get a word?”. The worker turned, groaned and asked “What is it? I’m busy”. “It’ll only be a minute. I need a particular shipment. My client said it was from an ‘Eizenbern Family’ to the Gourmaden” he asked, pulling out a small slip of paper. The worker looked at it, saying “That’s a receipt… legit huh? Well.. I know where it is. Handled the crate myself. It’s in warehouse 3. Good luck getting in though”. Frowning, he asked “Why?”. “It’s… not in a stable condition. It’s so cold inside, a lot of stuff froze over. If you had come tomorrow? Probably be frozen shut. Cause ‘a how dangerous it is, we locked it for workers only and have a mandatory policy to wear insulated clothes… still. You are on the job huh?” the worker explained, eyeing him with pity. He nodded, saying “Now package, no payment. Simple as that”. Sighing, the worker said “They change the passcodes… talk to Jeri in this warehouse and Chimoshi in the far one. The warehouse that’s so cold is in the middle. Jeri’s got insulated clothes you can wear and Chimoshi has the passcodes. Just give them the same story and they’ll cooperate”. Nodding, he replied “Thanks” and walked away. Nemissa, watching the exchange, asked after they rounded the corner “Wow! Dude how’d you pull that off! I didn’t think Victor gave us a receipt”. Smiling, he showed Nemissa and gloated “He didn’t. I used Lunch’s new toy, ‘the Portable Printer’ to make one” and reached down, grabbing the warehouse door. He then began to lift it slowly, Nemissa walking in while ducking. He followed after. 

 

Thankfully their trek was short. They heard a humming from a nearby room and walked to it. When they entered, a chinese woman in worker's clothes looked at them, holding a box, saying “Why are you here? No civilians are allowed here!”. “I’m on job lady” he replied, showing the receipt “Gourmaden wants its shipment. It’s a week late. Got told you can hook me up with clothes”. Frowning deeply, the woman replied “I am… but I’m not allowed to give them out to non-employees and this sounds like you’re an odd-jobs guy”. “Yeah, ‘fraid I am” he replied “No shipment, no pay… c’mon we can’t work some’thin out?” he asked. The woman, looking him up and down, sighed and said “2k yen. Take it or leave”. Nodding, he pulled out his wallet and handed her the yen. Pocketing it, she stated “Great. Just bought replacement clothes and my next month of app games” and set the box down, reaching in and pulling two heavy-looking coats that covered them head to toe “Now listen… even with these, don’t stay in there longer than an hour. Hypothermia will begin to set in and if you aren’t out in time… well, police won’t be able to get in for three days”. Nodding, him and Nemissa took the clothes. “Now scram” the worker said, picking the box up, setting it on a shelf, picking up a clipboard, and marking it before moving on. They left that warehouse. 

 

The next warehouse, they scoured each room. They heard no signs of a man in there at first, but Nemissa decided to skip the search and went to the farthest room she could find. He scrambled after her, but was shocked as they stared at a shocked elderly worker. “E-everythin’....” the worker began, but then said sternly “Holds it! You can’t be here! Only employees of Amami City! Or Company men!”. Nemissa huffed, saying “Company men!? What, woman can’t be here or something!?”. Looking startled, the man said “S-s-sorry! I meant company people, people! I swear!”. Nemissa growled and just said “Ar- Sanaga, just show him the damn receipt so we can get the passcode”. Sighing, he produced it, saying “Sorry for my partner. She’s… sort of her own deal at the moment. Doesn’t like it being challenged. If you could give us that, we’ll be outta your hair”. The elderly man nodded, saying “The PINs 278534”. “Thank you…” he stated, putting it away, looking at Nemissa and saying “Heeey, can we get going?”. Nemissa nodded, saying “Yeah” and rushed ahead. He followed, saying “Sorry about this”. The man simply stared at them in bewilderment. 

 

They geared up in front of the warehouse. Ella worked some illusion magic to keep workers away while they did. He put on his insulated jacket, leather gloves, combat boots, and football helmet. He holstered his 9mm and switchblade. Nemissa likewise did the same, saying “Man… can’t believe I’m wearing this… at least it’s just today. I'm getting new clothes”. “I know, I know” he replied, checking his COMP to ensure it was working “We’re good. I’ve tapped into surveillance. This warehouse is completely down but I can watch elsewhere… unless the signal jams inside”. Laughing, Nemissa said “What, worried about your friends?” in a high tone. “You aren’t?” he asked, sarcastically. Nemissa froze for a second, as Hitomi suddenly stated “Of course I am! I dunno about her! I hope so!”. Nemissa hesitated but said “I… am actually. Let’s get this done quick”. As he inputted the code, he asked “I’ve been… hesitant to ask but… about your circuits… with me, I practically bled all over the carpet… but Hi- I mean she didn’t. How’d you pull it off?”. Nemissa answered “I guess… the best way to explain it is that our souls merged. When that happened, she… sort of had them… ‘appear’ on her. With you, they were… basically cut into you, like a messy surgery”. Continuing, she stated “I think it’s because of my unique existence. As I stated, I cannot possess just anyone. Qualifications need to be met… Hitomi fits the bill according to my instincts”. Nodding, he stated “I’m glad it’s not going to be anything adverse… what happens when you’re gone though?”. “She’ll be fine. Her brain and soul have what it needs from me to properly use magic circuits” Nemissa answered, going through the now open warehouse door “Its just actually using magecraft that’ll be the problem. I’m running on pure instinct with it”. Nodding, he stated “Good thing we aren’t planning to be mages… well I’m not. Hitomi?”. “Nope” Hitomi answered, to which Nemissa replied “Hey, don’t knock it till ya try it. Magic’s pretty fun after all”. Smiling, they entered the warehouse.

 

The insulated clothes worked wonders. He felt a nip but nothing more. However, the fact he felt like he was in a furnace outside really showed the temperature difference. However, he looked at Nemissa and asked “Hey… isn’t this… weird?”. Nodding, Hitomi walked further in with him, saying “Yeah…. Why is it just regular temperature literally an inch outside but this cold inside?”. Frowning, he replied “I dunno… maybe it's magic” and pulled his gun out, saying “Be ready for an ambush”. Nemissa laughed, saying “Was there ever an alternative? Don’t worry. I’ll be fine” and looked around, saying “Yeah… this ice I’m seeing… it’s definitely magical”. He nodded, keeping an eye out. Ella nodded, saying “I’m not sure on the specifics… but yeah. One of us definitely made it. Not my kind specifically but a non-human”. Looking at Ella, he asked “Can you tell which kind of creature?”. Shaking her head, Ella answered “No. I’m not an expert of my kind. The magical kind. Just an expert on pixie kind”. Nodding, they continued when suddenly Nemissa shouted “On the right. Two incoming… three ahead, one on the left”. Nodding, he turned left and fired a shot into the hallway just as a creature burst into life. It looked like a cooked turkey with a spine shooting out the wrong end with a malformed onion for a head. His shot however went right through said onion head and made it dissipate immediately. Meanwhile, Nemissa formed a ball of ice while pulling out a gun and blew on it, causing it to surge forward. It slammed into the face of a human-headed beast, caving it in and causing it to dissipate. However, two creatures zipped immediately to them, being on Nemissa and Arata instantly. Turning, he cried out “What!?”. “So fast!?” Nemissa stated, turning to attack with her comb knife. Ella fired a lightning bolt into the hallway ahead, slamming a bolt into a fish creature that howled and flopped to the ground angrily and in pain. 

 

“Hahahaha Humans! Time to die!” one of the living lightning bolts stated, raising a tiny hammer to strike. He was only fast enough to dodge and make the attack miss entirely. He still knew it was fast. Nemissa however yelled out as the hammer struck her head fast. Lashing out, she caught its tail but didn’t land a killing blow. It screamed in pain, yelling “Damn human! You’ll die for that!”. “Master!” Ella cried, turned and grabbed the one with her hands, then letting go with a scream. “Stupid fairy! I’m lightning itself! You just use it!” it cried out. The other creature from down the hall, a bee-like creature with pink arms and a pink face, yelled “Yoooo! Leave tha little guys alone!”. “Damn pests!” Nemissa yelled as she tried again. “Haha!” the lightning bolt yelled, dodging away each slash. He grew tired of it and simply tried to shoot at them. This failed just as much. Ella however concentrated on the approaching threat, saying “Back off! That’s my master!” and threw a lightning bolt. Which the bee monster couldn’t avoid. However, it weathered it and then grabbed Ella, saying “You punk fairy! I’ll kill you!”. “Shit! Ella!” Arata cried, turning his attention away. He cried out and fell forward as the lightning bolt smacked him in the back of the head, saying “Gotcha, Gotcha! Now you're dead!”. “Sanaga!” Nemissa yelled, finally growing tired of the creature and grabbing it. “Haha! You du- wait wait wait WAIT!” the lightning bolt yelled as Nemissa weathered the damage and stabbed it in the face, dissipating it. She quickly turned and with a huff sent an ice ball flying at the living bolt of lightning. The moment the two made contact, a scream going from low to ear bursting rang out before disappearing along with the bolt. However, the bee creature then slammed Ella into a wall, making her cry out. 

 

“Put her down!” he yelled, aiming his gun “Don’t and I shoot!”. Looking at him, then the now heavily bruised fairy of similar size, it asked “Why the hell should I? You’ll kill me if I don’t… c’mon. Give me a reason”. Frowning, he asked “To do what?”. “Anything” it answered “What, you green?”. He considered for a moment before asking “What do you want?”. Looking shocked, the creature said “Uhhhhh…. Well… magic I guess… or… ‘Prana’ as you humans call it”. “H-he… w-w-wants to n-negotiate” Ella stammered out “Th-this… is how s-summoners… make contracts… they offer things… in return for s-service”. The bee creature glared at Ella, then softened and asked “So ya are new… huh. Guess that explains it. Tell me… she your only contract?”. Shaking his head, he was about to say something when it said “Don’t lie kid. Not a smart move. I can kill her and you lose her”. Tensing, the creature continued, saying “I’m only putt’in up with ya cause I’m outnumbered… and I can get outta this alive. Listen. I’m offer’in a deal. Contract with me and she lives… and you get an ally. All I want? Prana. Sweet, delicious Prana… and out every other day”. Hesitating, Ella said “I… please… accept it…”. He asked “Can I ask her something?”. Nodding, he then asked “Ella, will it make more magic circuits?”. Ella shook her head, saying “No…”. He frowned but lowered the gun as did Nemissa and said “Fine. Dammit… but if I get suspicious, contracts over, got it?”. The bee creature smiled and nodded, saying “Done and done. Glad to be aboard”. Then his COMP dinged. He opened it and a message said ‘New Devil Added; Pennegal’. “Pennegal?” he muttered questioningly. The creature stated “That’s my race. My name is Jessup”. Nodding, he said “Alright then Jessup… What can you tell me about this place?”. 

 

“So… first a’ all, I ain’t familiar with the layout but I gets the feel’in you don’t want that… but I need ta tell ya, it’s got three basement floors” Jessup stated “The source ‘a this chill is on tha third”. Nodding, he asked “What is it?”. Shrugging, Jessup said “Dunno anymore than its a cold beastie. Thazzit”. Sighing, Nemissa asked “So how’s it spreading this cold? What kind of magic?”. Another shrug but Jessup said “Ya know a COMP repairer, right? They’ll know. They gots ta have a good knowledge base ta work on COMPs. They are magical instruments. Not sure on the specifics though”. “So… we talk to Victor… thanks Jessup” he said. Looking at Ella, he asked “You sure you alright?”. Ella nodded, saying “Yeah… let’s keep going”. Nodding, he took the lead as Nemissa, Ella, and Jessup followed. He was a bit worried though. He hadn’t felt his magic circuits this whole time, but now he did. He wondered if it was a sign of his contracts pulling magic from him. 

 

Rin

 

She tracked them. First, to the Shibahama district. At first she thought they were in the southern side but then she found it moved more north. Eventually she confirmed that they were somewhere within the Gourmaden. Frowning, she waited outside. It was common courtesy to not start fights in the home of the second owner. Even if it wasn’t really her home, it was where Ginko had chosen to show herself and so it was effectively a declaration to not start issues there. However she was not against waiting and spying. Not out of disrespect, but out of duty. The situation was dire and she had to intervene before the clocktower got word. As she watched the tracking gem, she saw it move. Looking, she finally saw them, both of them. The girl had pure white hair and eyes while the boy had short black hair and brown eyes. He wore a green windbreaker and jeans. Overall, he seemed normal for sure, except for the weirdly shaped gun on his side. The girl on the other hand was different. Her hair went down her back and she wore an orange vest and white t-shirt underneath and blue jeans. She wore brown sandals with pink socks. If not for the snow white hair, she’d think them normal. However, she noticed Shirou’s expression and asked “Something wrong?”. 

 

“Yeah” Shirou answered “The boy… I… think he might actually be a mage… but that girl is… I don’t think she’s human. Something about her mana and the way she carries herself…”. Frowning deeply, she didn’t like the implication. Possession was not heard of but rare. Only mages that royally screw up got possessed. This meant that one of them tried something and it backfired. She saw a Smart Car arrive and groaned. She knew what it meant. They were leaving already. Heading forward, she asked “I don’t suppose you feel like chasing a car, do you?”. Shaking his head she sighed and said “Nothing to it then… let me go see Kuzunoha-sama. She can likely inform us where they went… in the meantime, get a car ready” and headed into the Gourmaden. Shirou pulled a phone out and remotely entered his location to the Smart car they rented. 

 

Mary guided her further in. Standing before her, Ginkgo nodded and said “Welcome back young Tohsaka. I assume you’re giving your answer?”. Tohsaka nodded, saying “Yes… but I want another chip. The boy and girl who just saw you. Where are they headed? I also need to know their associations”. Raising an eyebrow, Ginko answered, “I did not deal with them myself… Mary? Where did they go when arriving?”. Mary answered “I escorted them to the master. He visited with the guests”. Nodding, Ginko asked “I assume you will not tell?”. Mary hesitated, then concentrated deeply. After a few minutes, she responded “I have been given leave to disclose their destination. However, he requests that if you intercept, you complete their task in their stead. He has sent them to fetch a shipment from Warehouse Block J”. Nodding, Rin asked “What was the shipment?”. “A custom-order artificial lifeform. It is hard to miss, after all” Mary explained “They made a Geas with my master. Delivery for repair… hmmm… perhaps you should meet with him before departure?”. Thinking, she nodded, saying “I think I should… I want to know what they wanted repaired”. Suddenly she felt an ominous aura. It came from Ginko, turning as Ginko said “Miss Tohsaka… I do not mean to overstep, but I advise against it. You will not prosper-” but stopped as Mary suddenly flashed an angry expression, asking “Do you dare accuse your host and master of something, mage?”. Hesitating, Ginko responded, saying “N-no. I just-” but stopped and sighed, saying “Fine. However, what is your answer, Tohsaka?”. Looking at her, she responded “I do not mind sharing some details. I trust you expect me to safeguard my family’s research… but some things can be shared”. Nodding, she then said “Go… I would rather not anger Mary further”. Mary nodded, looking at Rin and said “Follow me please” and began to leave. Rin let a shiver finally travel through her. She realized she misunderstood the power dynamic. Mary truly wasn't a servant to the second owner, but merely attendant at the behest of another. Who controlled the dead apostle though? 

 

Quickly she understood. The deeper she descended, the more she felt the hum of magic. It was practically all around her. Not like a reality marble, which forcefully overwrites reality, but this kind was far more subtle, corrupting reality instead. As she finally laid eyes on the core of the workshop, she saw him. The man there turned, his crimson red eyes gazing on her as he asked “Who is this Mary?”. “A guest of the second owner who has been seeking sanctuary among us… she wished for more information on your earlier guests” Mary explained, then turning to Tohsaka and saying “This is my master, Victor Nestrvankein. He is owner and proprietor of the Gourmaden”. Victor nodded, saying “Tohsaka… Tohsaka… I remember that name... “. She shivered but said “My family has been the second owner to Fuyuki City for generations”. Victor snapped his fingers, saying “Yes… Some thirty years ago, I made port there. The second owner took offense to my presence and tried to intimidate me. He learned that was a mistake”. Frowning a bit, she replied “I see… unfortunate”. Victor waved his hand, saying “The grudge was forgotten when he apologized. Pray tell, what brings you to my humble workshop?”. Tohsaka asked immediately “I have reason to believe you saw a non-human… and a civilian. I need to know where they went… you know what will happen if the clock tower hears of them”. Nodding, Victor said “Yes… the civilian killed to retain mystery, and the non-human captured for study… if this were anywhere else”. Raising an eyebrow, she stated “Sir, with all due respect, I-” but was cut off as Victor stated “Tell me. What do you think of the city?”. 

 

She hesitated but Victor continued, saying “I think it's fine. Not utopia, but comfortable… though with Paradigm X’s beta launch, there has been a certain… fervor. An expectation. Contentment is beginning to follow”. He then looked at her, asking “How could a false world provide that? How could the association stand by while it happens? More specifically… why are they unable to do anything?”. Hesitating, she asked “Wait… what are you saying?”. “I am not the strongest entity that has staked claim in Amami City… nor will the clock tower” Victor bluntly stated “Many pieces move Tohsaka all with their own goals for humanity. You have entered a dangerous chess board. I do not know your aim… but be careful. You are now as much a player as the second owner upstairs”. Shivering, she asked “How… what…?” to which Victor responded “I do not fear for the boy because of the clock tower… I fear for the boy because of what waits for him in the city… already it tried to claim his life once. Surely, it will try again. Go. Find the boy… he holds some answers for you”. She hesitated, but then asked “Alright… but why him? What makes him special?”. Victor hesitated, then answered “He picked up destiny… in the form of a curious tool. Examine it if you wish to know more. That is all, Mary, guide her back up. I do not mind entertaining Tohsaka again, but for now she cannot benefit from my workshop”. Victor then turned away, paying them no mind as he began working again. Mary turned to her, saying “Please, follow me” and began to leave. Tohsaka followed, knowing better than to disobey. Mary was already a dead apostle, a dangerous entity… However, Victor was something more. She sensed his humanity, yet he had the body of a True Ancestor. That fact scared her to no end. How had a human become such a being?

 

As she left the Gourmaden, Shirou was waiting in the car. She entered and looked back at it, staring at Mary who stared back. “Everything… fine?” Shirou asked hesitantly, his gaze going to Mary. “Yes… I just… realized how deep this situation is” Rin stated, looking at Shirou “Let’s go. I have questions for that boy… and whatever resides in that girl”. Shiro nodded, as Rin said “Warehouse Block J” and he entered it. Then he asked “So why do you look… scared? You’ve never held that expression before unless it was bad”. Rin frowned, then sighed, looking away with a lowered guard, saying “It’s… much worse than we thought. I don’t know if they’re using it but… whatever they’re doing, it’s rendered the second owner powerless. She’s being protected by a True Ancestor and a Dead Apostle… that’s how bad it is. Are we… enough?”. Shirou looked at her, his brow furrowing a bit as he asked “If we aren’t… does that change anything? He’s far less ready for this than us, which means… we have to go”. The car lurched to a start, moving along. Rin gave a small chuckle, smiling and looking at him. Her smile deepened as she said “That’s just like you isn’t it…? Mr. Hero of justice… well. You’re not wrong. Besides… As much as I’m ashamed to admit it, he may have something that’ll make our job easier. Let’s hope this goes along smoothly”. She didn’t like involving civilians. She was adamant the boy was going to be uninvolved. However, from the sounds of it he had something vitally important to this incident. Something she intended to acquire so the boy wouldn’t have to… she just hoped he didn’t resist. 

 

Spookies

 

He dodged to the left. Where he was, a ball of ice slammed into the ground. Nemissa meanwhile hid behind a pillar as a ball of ice slammed into it and cracked it. Jessup and Ella hid behind other pillars, waiting. Coming out of the far door, a pink wearing doll left. It coldly scanned the room, before holding a hand up and saying “Targeting… magic signatures locked on. Firing… Aeon Rain”. A ball of light formed above its hand and suddenly blasts of blue energy shot out of it, dissipating the ball. He yelped when he saw it make a wide turn around the pillar. Based on its trajectory, it’d aim for his chest. He ducked and barely dodged it, losing some hair from the attempt. Nemissa yelled in pain while he felt Jessup draw more magic. “Status!” he yelled. “I’m fine! It only grazed me!” Ella yelled, while Nemissa said “Tagged my arm but I’m healing!”. “I got hit! Healing!” Jessup said “Sorry for the draw master!”. “It’s fine!” he yelled, turning around the corner and firing “Just get her!”. The bullets smashed into its skin, cracking it like one might crack ice. Jessup and Ella came from around the corner, both yelling “Take this!” and fired their attacks. Jessup launches his own shots made of yellow energy while Ella fired a single lightning bolt. The doll simply held up both arms, the left raising a wall of ice to block the yellow shots, and a small shield of ice forming on its right arm to block the lightning bolt. “All presented magic analyzed. Too weak to breach generated defenses. Damage from unguarded impact; Estimated zero. Proceeding” the doll stated, pushing out with both hands. The wall surged towards Jessup while the shield flew at Ella. “Eeeek!” Ella screamed, flying behind the pillar and dodging the shield. Jessup took cover as the wall slammed into the pillar and cracked it. Nemissa came out and fired a few shots, hitting its face making it step back a bit and put a hand to it. “Got her!” Nemissa yelled “I hate to say it but magic isn’t doing anything!”. He fired a few more shots, hitting her shoulder, knee, and midsection. The dolls brow furrowed as it held out a hand, saying “Two intruders exposed. Attacking; Mabufu”. A flurry of ice balls shot out from various points around her at them. 

 

Dodging again, he was shocked when suddenly she suddenly skidded to a stop near him. “Magic analyzed; Link established with Phantasmal Beasts; Estimated summoner… Hypothesis, you die and your beasts fade” she stated in an emotionless state. Gritting his teeth, he quickly pulled out his switchblade and slashed at it as it suddenly thrust itself at him, arms first. His blade didn’t connect and its shove threw him to the wall, cracking it and injuring his back. He cried out in pain as he felt that. “Tsuk- Sanaga!” Hitomi/Nemissa cried out, saying “I’ll kill you!” and firing a flurry of shots at it. “Injury… sustained” the doll grunted, bending over from the blows hitting its back in rapid succession “Recovering”. Ella flew over, placing its hands on his back as he bent over in pain and exhaustion. “Master! We should retreat! This foe is strong!” Ella stated. He looked at Ella as Jessup said “Yea, I hate ta admit it but it's too strong!”. Frowning, he said “Fine! Nemissa, We’re retreating!”. “Intercepting escape!” Gargan Zero declared, rushing forward. However, it’s trajectory was diverted into the wall next to him as Jessup zipped over and slammed its fist into Gargan’s face. “Now, now!” Jessup yelled “I’ll hold it off!”. He ran for the door, Nemissa following and saying “I don’t like this but fine! We better set up an ambush!”. 

 

Once it recovered, it turned and stared at the Pennagal. “Calculating… delay estimated to be three minutes and forty two seconds. Surely, undesirable” Gargan stated “Turncoat, you survive 100%”. Smirking, the Pennagal stated “Nah… I’m fine. I’ll just retreat and fight! Ain’t noth’in wrong wit that right!?” and proceeded to fire its yellow shots at it before retreating to the door. It raised a wall, absorbing the blows, then made it surge forward. Jessup quickly retreated through the now open doorway, saying “Man! Thank you master for not clos’in doors on ya way out!”. Gargan simply leapt forward, reaching the doorway in 2 seconds. Jessup was ten seconds away but thinking ahead. He fired another series of yellow shots. This time, when the wall absorbed the blows, it was forced to send it to the side and cross the threshold. Unlike before though, it could put a lot more power into its sprint. Even so, Jessup was equally fast, and so was now twenty seconds ahead. Another firing of yellow shots delayed it by six seconds, meaning it had to waste time. “Calculating… clever. Escape may be inevitable…. If I was a mere phantasmal beast. Unleashing Prototype Reality Marble; Cruel Winter’s Day” it declared. 

 

Rin

 

Rin and Shirou exited the Smart Car a few blocks down. This was done in case the boy had brought back up… whether in the form of servants of the non-human, or his own friends. As they approached, they saw them. Two people hanging out near an SUV. One wore a lot of white clothing, while the other looked like someone trying to be edgy, but gave up and just wanted a unique look. Shirou looked at her, asking “How are we going forward?”. “Hypnotism. Give me a few seconds… if they get aggressive, knock them out only please” she replied, to which Shirou stated “Of course. I don’t kill people if I don’t have to”. As they approached, the unique-looking one turned to the other from the driver seat. She couldn’t hear what he said, but looking up at them, the white one frowned and stared at them with an angry look. She sighed internally. Punks. The most difficult type to deal with, next to the pompous rich rooster types. Approaching, she asked “Hello there. Is this Warehouse Block J?”. The white one simply asked “Maybe… why? Look’in for something?”. Nodding, she stated “Yeah, my package hasn’t been delivered yet. Been waiting a week already. Decided to come down and pick it up in person… same story with you?”. She was already working her magic, lacing her words with magic. “I see… we’re a bit different. Gett’in paid to do that for someone too busy to bother themselves” the unique one said, looking away “Yeah though. This is that block… What warehouse if we may ask? We can ask our guy to just pick it up on the way back”. “3” she answered “Warehouse 3”. “Awww, damn. Not ours… too bad. We’re in one” the unique one answered. “Ah. Thank you. Excuse me then… come on Emiya-kun” she replied, turning to leave and walking a few steps. 

 

As she was walking by the window, the white one suddenly said alarmed “Wait a second… didn’t they go to Warehouse 2?”. Eyes widening a bit for a second, she turned and looked at him, then the Unique one who looked at her very skeptically. She then realized something. He was wearing headphones. “Huh?” the unique one grunted, saying “Wait, why’re you thinking that?” and bent out the window, looking at the white one who replied “They said the shipment for the Gourmaden was in Warehouse 2… and they have been gone for a while. We can’t ask them to go take a look?”. Turning fully now, she looked between them, slightly confused. How did the unique one hear them both? After some hesitation the unique one said “Ah… that’s what’s go’in on. Damn. Didn’t think we’d run into one a’ you again”. “Huh? Lunch what are you-” the white one began when the one apparently called Lunch yelled “Six, wake up! She’s like Carol J! She’s gotta be us’in magic or something!”. Eyes widening, Six looked right at her, then furrowed his brow and said “Shit!” before reaching into the van. “Shirou!” Rin yelled, jumping back and reaching into her pocket. She recognized that motion. He was going for a weapon. She had a few gems but none non-lethal… except one. She only had one though and she was saving it for the boy. Shirou rushed forward, grabbing Six and pulling him back. With a quick neck chop, Six slumped to the ground. “Shit! Six!” Lunch yelled as he held his hands up “Dammit, dammit, dammit! I surrender!”. Rin smiled a bit, sighing in relief, saying “Good… don’t worry. I don’t want to hurt you… but I do need to know everything you know. It’ll make erasing it easier”. Lunch growled, saying “Sorry Lady. Ain’t happening… too deep to forget”. Frowning, she asked “Deep… hmmm… that’s what he said too…”. She thought for several minutes before sighing and said “Fine. We’ll let you go for now. When we come back with your friend there, you’re going to drive us and we’re having a nice, long chat. I might erase your memories… but do take comfort in this, I don’t seek your lives”. Lunch, clearly distrustful, replied “Sure, sure… just let us live and we’re cool”. Nodding, she looked at Shirou and said “Let’s go… oh but make sure he’s fine”. Shirou nodded, picking up Six and putting him in the SUV, saying “Done. He’s just going to sleep for a few hours”. 

 

However, things went from bad to worse suddenly. Rin immediately sensed a large amount of mana emanating from below them. Further, when she saw the second warehouse was covered in ice, she paled. “Shirou!” she yelled, running there now. Shirou ran with her, not projecting yet. As soon as they got out of sight, Shirou projected Kanshou and Bakuya. The moment she reached the ice, she put a hand on it and gasped. “Shirou! This ice is magical! It's sucking the mana from anything living! It failed with me though!” she informed him. “Dammit… that sounds like…” Shirou began, then turned saying “We need to warn them….”. Nodding, she dropped a gem on the ground, saying “Hurry inside and save the kid. If this has happened, he’s already engaged an enemy. I’ll set up a bounded field”. Nodding, Shirou rushed to the front. Heading for the other corner, she dropped another gem. She repeated this twice, then repeated the spell incantation she remembered. Instantly, each flashed and for a second walls reaching up to ten meters could be seen. Only for a second however and then they were invisible. She knew it wouldn’t actually prevent physical entry but any human that didn’t have magic that touches it would be compelled to attend another errand, even making them invent one. She wanted to prevent those other two from entering, as the moment they touched the ice they’d die from all their mana being devoured. 

 

Gargan Zero

 

Gargan Zero stalked the halls. They had not changed… mostly. Certain ways were iced over, while others exposed. However, the ice bent to her will. It shifted to allow her passage. She examined the interior of the warehouse as she walked. Five intruders were detected, one just entering. If he hurried, he’d arrive at the four intruders in approximately ten minutes… if she interceded, with his level of magic, she would delay him by four minutes… just enough. She willed the ice around the new intruder to attack him. Meanwhile, she headed for the four intruders. They had to be killed first. They sought her destruction, which only meant that they sought the doctor, her master. In this frozen world that only she knew, they would not escape. The only place untouched, save a single icicle, was her master’s laboratory. She needed to ensure his safety after all. Resolved, she walked forward. For a single moment, she did feel pity. If only they had come a week earlier. Her master would not be here and she would not have existed and their lives would be spared.