Disclaimer: I do not own Zero no Tsukaima or Destiny

AN: This is officially discontinued. Below is the cleaned up beginning of the last chapter I started over a year ago. I haven't really played Destiny in over ten months, and doubt I ever will again. I had a lot of hope for the game after Bungie split from Activi$ion, but I don't like where they've been taking it.

This fic was mainly just an experiment in writing a story with shorter chapters. In that regard, mission accomplished. Sorry to disappoint those that really like it, but as I said in the beginning, this was never going to be developed to a truly finished state.

Tristain, Halkeginia

Tristain Academy of Magic

Headmaster's Office

"Have you sent it?" Jean Colbert asked the headmaster. It had been just over two days since the incident during the summoning ritual, and this was pushing it for how long they could delay.

"Yes Jean." Osmond said from behind his desk. "To wait any longer would have only brought uncomfortable questions, no matter how much we wanted to."

The 'it' in question was a letter to Dutchess Valliere informing her of what happened, and providing a summary of events. Of course, that had been somewhat modified for the target audience. Saito, Louise's Ghost, who for convenience's sake they were simply referring to as her familiar, had assisted the pair with bending the truth enough as to not seem too crazy by local standards.

Descriptions of the Taken had been carefully worded, as to avoid any fear that powerful teleporting monsters could just appear wherever they liked. Also gone was any mention of the word 'void'. They had all agreed that using the specific terms 'Void Light' or 'Voidwalker' would only cause confusion at best, or a full blown religious inquiry at worst. Osmond didn't need Romalia sticking its fingers where they didn't belong. No, from here on out, it would be 'Light Magic'.

"I'm not looking forward to her response. As much as we tried to play it down, Dutchess Valliere has a legendary temper. Louise may not be her favorite daughter, but even the suggestion that something bad happened to her on our watch could bring hell to pay." Colbert said.

"Which is precisely why part of the deal is that Louise herself has to handle that. She may not have understood exactly what that entails when she agreed to do it, but she is certainly not lacking in toughness and fortitude." Osmond replied with a grin. "How is she doing, by the way?"

"She hasn't left the library. Apparently her goal right now is to figure out how the Founder's system of magic works down to the most minute details. I'm not sure that's even possible, to be truthful." Colbert told him.

"Well, we have already seen supposed impossibilities from her already. Whatever she was before, Louise is a 'Guardian' now. She no longer thinks like we do. Maybe such an outsider is exactly what's needed to find a breakthrough. You know as well as I do how...inward thinking most of the nobility tends to be."

"That includes us, you know." Colbert said to the headmaster. The old man smiled at him.

"Oh, I do indeed."

Tristain, Halkeginia

Tristain Academy of Magic

Colbert's Office

Louise did not know what to expect as she made her way toward Professor Colbert's office. People stared as she passed through the corridors of the academy, mostly students and servants, but none spoke to her. She returned their silence, her mind still analyzing Colbert as she walked.

The man was certainly interesting, she had to give him that. From what she had learned, he was a talented fire mage with a very vague military background. Without any networks to hack, finding out more was out of the question for the moment. What she did know was that he was intelligent, brighter than most she had seen here thus far. He was curious, asked a lot of questions, and she was already thinking of ways to make the most of that.

It was with that thought that she knocked on the door, entered the room, and stopped dead in her tracks. This was no office, at least not by any definition she had seen.

The assortment of strange items around the room instantly reminded her of the Fallen. A wreckage of a dead Servitor would not have looked out of place. The piles of gear strewn about were at a second glance, well organized and not randomly scattered. She did not recognize most of the items, but it was clear that this was a tinkerer's workshop of sorts. Louise looked around the room for a few moments before her eyes stopped on the central table.

Upon the table was what appeared to be a small engine of some sort. A closer look revealed that it was undoubtedly a steam engine, which seemed quite out of place in this world. The locals' level of technology was, from what Louise and Saito had seen, all over the place in terms of pre Golden Age earth history, but uniformly pre industrial. If the tiny device she was looking at had been made here, that could very well be about to change.

Although she recalled that there were at least two instances in ancient earth history of very simple steam engines being developed and never advanced into being anything powerful enough to do useful work. Unlike those events, which were centuries, if not millennia ahead of their time, there was somebody in the room that understood the value of what she was seeing.

Saito, as if on the same line of thought, scanned the engine with his sensor suite. Design schematics, material composition, and even microscopic flaws all became known to the ghost in an instant. In the next consecutive instant, he had already simulated the engine's operation and determined its likely performance.

"A wonderful little device, isn't it." Colbert said as he emerged from a side room.

"I didn't expect to find a steam engine here." Saito said, slowly floating around the table.

"Ah, so you know what it is?" Colbert beamed, apparently finding the first beings to ever recognize what he was trying to build.

"It uses some heat source to boil water, and steam pressure to exert force." Saito said.

"Yes, exactly! From your familiarity, am I to assume that such devices exist in the world you came from?"

Louise and Saito looked at each other. Unspoken between them was the conundrum of how to explain that he had a major accomplishment on his desk, given the state of this world, without letting on just how primitive it was by their standards.

"Not presently." Saito began, trying not to be too hesitant. "We use other types of engines, although the general idea is the same. However, steam power was common in the past, and was used for over a hundred years." The ghost explained.

"What were they used for?"

"Anything the people at the time could think of. The most significant applications were for transportation, excavation, and construction."

"Fascinating." Colbert mused.

Whatever the pair had come here to do ended up a casualty of the flow of conversation. Louise took the time to examine some of the other oddities in Colbert's room as Saito and Colbert began a discussion that would probably end in Tristain's industrialization, and their rise as a regional superpower if her knowledge of old Earth's first industrial period translated to this new world.