α 4,600,000,000 BCE
The Moon Cell Automaton is created for the purpose of observation and recording of events.
Continues to observe the universe, maintaining its perfect objectivity in recording events impartially.
β 1,000,000,000 BCE
Construction of Mass Relays and Citadel begins by parties unknown.
β 50,000 BCE
The Prothean empire is brought to an end, like countless civilizations before them.
α 12,000 BCE
Sephyr scourges the Earth, destroying all civilizations and laying low all the gods until it is brought down by the wielder of the holy sword. As a consequence, the other half of Sephyr which had been invading the Moon Cell is sealed away in the Zero Dark. The Moon Cell lost all prior records, suffering crippling losses during this battle.
The Moon Cell begins to calculate methods for continuing its existence; destruction by Velber would prevent continued observation of Earth. Gaia begins to favor the race of Man over the Gods, due to the wielder of the holy sword's success where all others failed. The surface of the World begins to slowly change to suit emerging dominant species.
α 1970 CE
Mana begins to disappear from the World and magecraft begins to wane. Slow shift among circuit possessing humans to Spiritron Hacking as information technology advances.
α 2011 CE
A natural disaster occurs, killing tens of thousands, additionally causing a nuclear reactor to overheat and go into meltdown as all cooling and containment procedures fail. Unexpectedly and inexplicably, however, when all seems lost the out-of-control core stabilizes.
α 2013 CE
Emiya Shirou stands trial for numerous counts of terrorism, extrajudicial killings, summary executions, funding & training & operation of international death squads, kidnapping & torture & unjust imprisonment of numerous individuals, and the assassination of fourteen democratically-elected leaders. Found guilty and given the death sentence. The Moon Cell receives a nameless hero of justice as a contracted guardian, as payment for giving a man the power to prevent a nuclear meltdown and saving the lives of a few hundred people.
α 2020 CE
Humanity is on the cusp of discovering the Moon Cell as Spiritron Hacking continues to grow.
The Moon Cell considers inviting select humans as representatives for a Holy Grail War. Winner will be granted the Regalia; a Royal Authority to wield the Moon Cell's power. Meant to act as the vanguard against the future return of Velber or re-awakening of Sephyr in Zero Dark.
α 2030 CE
The Moon Cell observes near-future and runs virtual world simultaneous parallel processing to predict the future. Many futures lead to destruction by Velber, forcing the Moon Cell to reconsider current methodology and means.
Efficiency and harm to continued observation is weighed. Plans to contact humanity and organize the Holy Grail War are canceled.
β 2030 CE
The Moon Cell slides into a parallel world, deciding that continued observation of Earth α is possible from the parallel world. Concludes that observation from adjacent worldline will decrease the chance of discovery by Velber or re-awakening of Sephyr by 999.99192‰.
β 2148 CE
Humanity discovers Mass Effect physics, remaining wholly unaware of the Moon Cell's existence.
β 2172 CE
The Moon Cell discovers Prothean Ruins on the southern pole of Mars. Notes possible observation station that exceeds current oldest records in the databank. Unable to trace existence in immediate lightyear around itself. Considers secondary means of investigation.
There is a perfection to equations and numbers that can only be expressed through equations and numbers. One goes here, thus another must be there. A balance, a symmetry. Beauty after a fashion.
Something which most assuredly did not exist in humanity, Archimedes of Syracuse had found. Humanity was something he did not understand or be understood by, as he had come to realize over the years.
Perhaps this was due to the need of explaining this beauty through itself, a rather tautologous state of affairs which complicated it for most who lacked the mental capabilities of understanding it, forcing him to always stand alone in opposition to the unwashed, uninitiated masses.
A fundamental difference in nature, one could say.
He preferred reason, logic, and order. Humanity as a whole... did not. The closest word he could use to describe humanity—if he were forced to make such a judgment—would be 'lacking'. Lacking in almost all aspects of the things he found good. Or even acceptable.
Thus, he had long since distanced himself from the matters of the world. Humans were scum, he knew this by heart and head. But as long as he could busy himself with his equations and numbers, then he did not have to suffer from the knowledge of sharing the world with such aggravations.
Perhaps that was why he had been made the sole Administrator of the Moon Cell, among all the great and venerable heroes that had been recorded by the photonic crystal quantum super-computer orbiting Earth.
Other people saw reality and interpreted it however they wished. Their eyes beheld illusions and lies in the stead of facts and truth. Were that all, perhaps he could stubbornly accept their existences. But the crux of disgust for the whole of Humanity lay in the simple fact, that each and every single human being was not subject to this through the works of others...
But of their own cowardice.
Perhaps that was why he, among and above all others, had been chosen to be given such privileges in the Moon Cell. He alone could see the Truth of things and judge their worth and purpose. It had always been like that, so the duty had surprised him none at all.
Rather he took it with stride and pride.
Archimedes of Syracuse was undoubtedly the most suited man in all of history for such a job and he proved it every day. Indeed, this was the very definition of his perfect life. He had never eschewed the public life, for he had known the necessity even as he decried its ugliness. But here, he needed no one else. It was merely him, his tasks, all the computational power he could ever ask for, and his beautiful, perfect, and most importantly—rational, equations.
He was assigned tasks, maintenance, and technical duties; challenges that tickled his interest and intellect beyond the pale. And to fulfill those duties, he was given a proportionate amount of the nigh-infinite computational capacity the Moon Cell possessed. Overall, a wonderful arrangement. By performing the very things he enjoyed he was permitted to further enjoy those very same things.
Except for one small issue.
It aggravated him, not having achieved a perfect completion rate. It was something he had accomplished for each quantum time-lock with unerring accuracy. Until now. Here, he stood lacking.
"What is it...?" He grumbled, his fingers dancing as he manipulated the connection he had to the Moon Cell with expert precision. His eyes focused on a particular line of data as he paused. "Mars...?"
He frowned, raising his hand to his brow as he closed his eyes in thought. It made sense, then. He had completed every task set before him within the Moon Cell. But only within the Moon Cell. This task regarded the analysis of something beyond its immediate boundaries.
Not merely outside the Serial Phantasms that made up its internal structure; the simulated reality that allowed their Cyber Frames to exist. Even beyond the surface of the physical shell of the Moon, beyond the direct sphere of influence of the Moon Cell and out in space. On the planet Mars, there lay an objective the Moon Cell wished to be investigated.
The Moon Cell did not possess consciousness, as in its striving for perfect objectivity, it rejected anything that could color its observations with the taint of subjectivity. This meant that sometimes these small issues occurred due its inability to render executive decisions. For example, the Moon Cell wishing to investigate a ruin on Mars and having the ability to do so in an instant, but refusing due to its observation parameters being set only for Earth.
The sensors could be used to analyze such a nearby celestial object with ease.
"...How peculiar." Archimedes mused, his fingers dancing.
Still, he had come to accept the mysteriousness of the Moon Cell. According to his own analysis, it had existed for at least 4.6 billion years and there existed no records of when or by whom it had actually been created due to the Umbral Star incident, some 14,000 years ago, when most of the Moon Cell's records were destroyed.
A tragic event for sure, much more than the ravaging the Earth, the gods, and the civilizations of old underwent.
Its power and sophistication were beyond anything humanity could even conceive. In this world or any other, he had witnessed. Indeed, the sensors of the Eye of God could even behold parallel realities. Such was its absolute might. With a couple of taps of his fingers, he could complete this matter and go on with his business.
But, he thought with a frown. Such resources will be directly taken out of my share.
He looked sideways, checking that his calculations and simulations continued to run unimpeded and without errors even now. Their beauty and potential made him smile, but he shook it off. If he were to brute force this, he would have to put his own work on hold.
Not for long, but for a moment regardless.
That would mean not simply pausing his continuous simulations, but rather shutting them down. Simulations, which had been running for countless cycles and continued to feed him with interesting data without fail with each new turn. If he shut them down for the scan, he would have to re-run every simulation until now to continue where he had left off.
He had always optimized his duties in such a fashion that he could maximize his own gains, leaving only the most fluid of tasks to a smaller portion that could be taken to use in case of an emergency. But as it was, that portion would be insufficient.
"Unacceptable." No, there had to be a simpler way.
Perhaps it was merely a matter of analysis; by which logic he could momentarily direct the great computer's attention to the red planet without consuming his own partitions. But a string of errors denied such easy solutions.
He tapped his chin in deep thought. "Perhaps if I created a simple device, through which the site could be analyzed and had this device deposited on Mars directly... and then had it brought back. No, no. That much would not be necessary. Simply having the device planted there would be enough.
"Yes... That might just work." He nodded to himself, satisfied with his plan. Of course, there lay only one problem that still needed to be solved. "Now who shall carry the probe to Mars?"
"Fools! Arrogant louts and contemptuous simpletons!"
He almost frothed at the mouth as he kicked the floor. With each step, he imagined grinding his feet into the faces of those he had mistakenly sought ought. Did they not see the importance of his work? He was Archimedes of Syracuse, the sole technician of the Divine Automatic Recording Device—the Eye of God, Moon Cell!
Those arrogant fools could only see their simple pleasures and pastimes.
He could not use an AI for its frame could not exist or function beyond SERAPH. Even operating on the surface of the Moon would be pushing it for one of those things and would be highly inefficient. Worse yet, who knew what those AI would do, given how simple-minded and literal they were. He could not simply launch a probe either due to the humans occupying both the space around them and the ruins on Mars.
No, this required a subtler touch.
How aggravating. That left but one option; using a Heroic Spirit. Only the recorded existences of heroes and villains were strong enough to survive beyond the Moon Cell, while also possessing the necessary cleverness to avoid undue attention.
He had considered going himself.
But that would be no different from using his personal resources, pulling him away from his work for who knew how long, which was unacceptable. So he had devised a plan to incarnate a single Heroic Spirit on Earth and to have them investigate on his behalf using the powers of the human shell.
The spike to his process drain would be considerable, but much less than the alternative of direct analysis. It was a pity no life existed on the surface of the Moon, for there it would have been child's play to incarnate an envoy.
An envoy. Hah, really it was mere courier work.
Something any simpleton could accomplish.
Apparently, this had soured the minds of all those who were capable of such an errand. 'Can't you just let us go directly?' they had asked and he had explained that it was inefficient. 'What do you mean we can't do anything? What's the point of leaving—hell, Incarnating! if you can't have some fun!' they had shouted back at him before blowing him off when he had tried to explain.
Idiots. All of them. Did they not understand that Heroic Spirits, lacking a Corpus, had no right to intervene in the world of the living? Of course not. SeRaPh Had made them used to being—to simple base existing despite their status as ascended existences who should remain uncorrupted as references for the greater logos of history.
They had gotten used to the state of affairs, not realizing it was the exception and not the norm.
Archimedes shook his head, ridding himself of any last thoughts of those fools. Inferiors, driven solely by their emotions and desires, unable to see the whole picture. Worst yet, Heroic Spirits could not be so easily commanded and ordered around. Even the Moon Cell had trouble directly influencing those legendary figures at times.
Archimedes sighed deeply, rubbing his brow as he paused.
"If only there was someone I could simply command to do as I needed..." A window blipped open before him, causing him to pause as he stared. He blinked read it slowly, before a smile erupted on his face. "Ah, well if this isn't most fortuitous..."
He smiled, relaxing as the answer to his problems materialized in his mind as he walked back with light steps.
Nameless frowned, crossing his arms as he began to materialize.
He had been forcibly called by something and his soul had obeyed, materializing in a cyberframe on demand. Such was his lot as a contracted guardian of the Moon Cell. His soul and existence now served the whims of the Moon in the sky, in exchange for the power to save a paltry number of people what seemed like an eternity ago.
It was a rare occasion for him to be called, since the Moon Cell seemed rather averse to direct action and much more prone to simply sitting around and doing nothing. Well, at least as far as he could tell. This meant he had been left with a lot of time on his hands.
Time he had spent thinking and remembering.
Thoughts he did not particularly like, but were all he had in this bound half-wraith-like state he was locked in. Neither alive nor properly dead.
He opened his eyes, taking in his surroundings stoically. Nondescript and bland. Compared to what the Moon Cell could create within its Serial Phantasm world that drew on all recorded, imagined and theoretically possible environs, this space was of absolutely no note. Which ironically enough made it rather stand out.
It said a lot about the man before him.
"Archimedes of Syracuse. I can't say I had ever expected being called by you of all people," he noted, smirking at the brown-haired man, intuiting the desperation that must have led him to summon one such as himself.
"I am sure you are honored, but I don't care much for such talk. Especially not with someone like you; an unremarkable man who failed to accomplish anything of note on his own." Archimedes' words were thorny, though not directly hostile. He did not even bother to look up from his work, still reading off some screen before he even acknowledged Nameless's presence.
Nameless simply shrugged, not bothering to deny those words. Had he not himself concluded the same since his death?
"Then again, given that I am forced to turn to you... Perhaps it is the way of the world, that there exist mostly useless janitors who can be put to better use when the needs arise."
Nameless raised an eyebrow, not bothering to feel heckled by the continued verbal abuse. He could simply tell that it was in this man's nature to speak bluntly from his own perspective. Like a professor giving a lecture. It even somewhat reminded him of an old friend he had had as a youth.
He simply smiled at the refreshing attitude the man had—compared to what a guardian usually dealt with—as he waited for him to continue.
"You don't deny it? Good. That means we can get to business. Which by the way, as a guardian you have no option to refuse; this is a matter set forth by the Moon Cell itself." Archimedes continued, finally looking up and meeting eyes with Nameless.
"I see. Well, it's good that it is finally finding some use for me. My days here have been nothing if not long and unexciting." He said, shrugging.
"Yes, I can see that. I had thought it peculiar that the Moon Cell sought to contract one such as you; a man without any achievements or notable abilities. Your records speak for themselves; after a disproportionately eventful life where you cast everything aside to fight meaningless battles that failed to leave any lasting mark on the world, you have been called forth a few times to put down rogue AI and attack programs when more direct methods by the Moon Cell were judged too overt or wasteful. So unremarkable. How pitiful, truly the title of 'nameless' fits you." Archimedes sneered to cap off his rant.
"Hmm..." Nameless simply made a neutral sound at that, not offering his thoughts as he continued to stare at the Administrator.
"Gruntwork. Pitiful labor that could be performed by anyone. Then again, your cyberframe is quite pitiful for Knight-class Servant, isn't it? My own parameters as a Caster almost rival yours; truly deplorable." The man continued, laughing lightly as he looked down at the screen before him.
"Then again, given your relative youth, it can't be helped. No, rather... I would say that it is impressive that anyone could even qualify as a Hero with such little effort. Good work, good work." Archimedes smiled, offering praise with an honest expression. Then it turned into a crooked smile. "Ah, well. That's not quite true though, is it? I took the liberty of analyzing Earth's records. It seems that no one remembers your existence anymore, hahaha... How pitiful, but I suppose it comes with being nameless, after all."
Nameless shrugged. He had never done anything for wish of being recognized or celebrated; it mattered little what people thought of him.
Though it was getting a little repetitive, all this taunting and heckling. Had he been summoned merely to be a stress relief, chewed out by this frazzled and out-of-touch bureaucrat? Well, if that was what the Moon Cell considered the best use of its assets, he was in no position to complain.
"No, well. It is actually quite useful here and now, for you to be a complete unknown despite being relatively intimate with the era." Archimedes calmed down, erasing any traces of his previous joy as he finally settled into the real matter at hand. "Nameless Guardian; I have called you here in my capacity as the Moon Cell's Administrator."
"I see. And what would you have of me?" Nameless asked, uncrossing his arms as he stood straighter.
"You are to take this object to Mars. On the south pole exist a ruin which is of interest to the Moon Cell." Archimedes spoke, lifting a translucent blue orb with shining white circuit-like veins on its surface. "It is a spiritron codecast, which is set to analyze and record the location once you arrive and then transmit the information back. Don't worry, it will work just fine in the outside world and will activate on its own. Simply take it there and then return, after which you are free to go back to doing whatever it is you janitors do around here."
"Hah. courier work, is it?" Nameless eyed the codecast, attempting to analyze it with his gray eyes for a moment before giving up. It was a thing of radical complexity; as expected of Archimedes of Syracuse, one of the most famous engineers in history.
"Indeed, a suitable job for someone like yourself. Now, since this grunt work does not justify the amount of power it would take for you to go there straight away and return, I have taken the right of... shall we say, optimizing the plan a little. You will be incarnated in a suitable body. The soul and mind will have been scrubbed and the corpus has been prepared to handle your spiritual core." Archimedes explained, only to be interrupted.
"Scrubbed? Explain." Eyes narrowed, posture straightening.
Archimedes blinked before scowling at Nameless for the change.
"Just that. The host body is a worthless urchin who has all but already died. The Moon Cell shall prepare it for you as a possessed vessel while it is still usable, allowing you to create maintain your own energy with it. The corpus is not of the highest material, but for the Moon Cell, it will be an easy task to adapt it to your mind and soul. I even took the effort of re-arranging a few records retroactively to match you, Emiya Shirou."
Nameless did not react to the barb, his attention still on the earlier topic.
"I see. And this is the most efficient plan?" he asked, though with perhaps a bit more vehemence than he would have liked to let on.
Archimedes nodded with a smirk, though the Administrator misunderstood the matter of contention. The reveal of his old name was of no real note, simply something that had been left behind long ago. What had bothered him was the use of someone's body like this. The sacrifice of someone to give him a platform and past to work with. Because it seemed a bit much; the Eye of God could simply analyze an object in the same system in an instant, or just as well send someone over there directly, so long as it was on the same plane of existence.
All this preparation didn't make sense to the guardian, intimately aware of what the Moon Cell could do.
But if this urchin was already as good as dead then it hardly mattered, over and done with as it was. Not something worth wasting time over with an administrator. It wasn't like was unaccustomed to sacrificing people before, either.
"Alright, then." He said simply, accepting things as they were.
It wasn't like he had anything better to do. Other than mulling about his life some more and waiting for the Moon Cell to call upon him once in a blue moon. Archimedes smiled, crossing his fingers in front of his face in a satisfied gesture.
"Very good. Now, remember that you aren't there to play around. Get to Mars and activate the codecast and then come back immediately. Nothing more, nothing less. You don't play around and you don't make waves. It's that simple."
Nameless, no—Emiya Shirou nodded and with that, the untouched galaxy felt its first shudder ripple out.
Thanks to guest reviewer for spotting a date error and Tisaku & another guest reviewer for proofreading,
Also, ffnet won't let me write SeRaPh the proper way ;_;