When Rin Tohsaka opened the door into the living room after the failure of servant summoning ritual and the subsequent explosion she didn't have many expectations, or to be precise she had not yet received the time in which to formulate any expectations. Given a few more minutes she probably could have come up with a few, and one or two might even have been probable. However even if she instead chose to retire to her room, read a book, lie down in bed with the standard turmoil of thoughts that signaled an exit to the day and then woke up in the morning and had breakfast, she would still have not expected the sight that actually befell her.
In the wreckage of the room stood a girl at a height of about ten centimetres shorter than Rin. The girl turned towards her as she entered and Rin immediately noticed that her eyes were an unnatural purple and she had long grey hair despite her otherwise youthful look. Her face looked almost doll-like and bore no expression with dull eyes. Most unusual of all she was holding a feather duster and dressed in a purple maid costume, complete with headdress and apron. The girl in front of her placed the feather duster down before she turned and curtseyed, dipping her head in acknowledgement.
"Servant Saber," she said without any change in expression before raising her head up, picking up a nearby broom and going back to sweeping up the dust.
"That's good," Rin said still stunned from what she had seen. "No wait, you're my servant?" The question was obvious and Rin felt herself flushing as it left her lips. Even the servant looked confused for a moment before it nodded and the maid outfit was instantly replaced by a purple body suit. In her hands that were previously empty, two long thin swords unadorned with any decoration now were held in the easy grip of one long accustomed to them. That image lasted for a few seconds before the swords disappeared and once again the girl was adorned in a maid outfit and she continued her sweeping.
'I got a Saber,' Rin thought to herself before her eyes just happened to glance at the clock and they widened in disbelief as she saw the time. 'It's one 'o clock,' Rin thought to herself lamenting her one undeniable flaw as a magus; that at the final stage she will be always mess up in some large way. 'Well besides the fact that my living room was destroyed it doesn't seem to have gone too poorly,' Rin thought to herself. 'I've got a Saber after all, the strongest of the servants.'
"What is your name?" she said out loud to her servant anticipating some legend from mythology.
The maid put down the broom leaning it against the couch before she turned to stare at Rin. For a few long moments they stared at each other; aqua eyes meeting bright purple and Rin felt herself grow nervous under the otherworldly scrutiny of her servant. She had not originally expected a human servant but the simply enormous amounts of mana radiating from her left the possibility of her being anything else downright impossible. She clutched her hands as the thought that she was alone in a room with a very dangerous creature hit her with only three command spells between her and imminent…
"Unknown," the Saber said breaking her from her thoughts. "Name is unknown." Having said her part the servant promptly turned away picked up the broom and began sweeping.
"You really don't know," she said to her servant
The servant put down the broom and Rin watched as she turned towards her. Exasperation overcome her as it took a few more seconds before Saber said "No," and then went back to work.
"I'm not going to get anything more out of you, am I?" RIn said silently lamenting over the lost memory of her servant. She had never heard of a woman who used two swords and her dress whether it was a bodysuit or the maid outfit looked anachronistic and out of place for all time periods she could think of. "No, that was me just thinking out loud," she said as the servant who had begun to put down the broom again.
"Do you have any other skills that I should know about?" Rin asked hoping for some good news.
"I learn fast?" the girl asked more than said after a few moments more of silence, her words doing nothing to reassure Rin.
"Alright, I can deal with this," she said rubbing her head to try and dispel the headache that had formed. "You just continue cleaning. I'm going to bed." The servant nodded, still blank faced and Rin went upstairs where she fell into a long and dreamless sleep.
It was nine 'o clock, far past the time in which she normally had to go to school, when Rin finally managed to climb bleary eyed and exhausted out of the bed. Her body felt heavy and there was fuzziness about her head that signalled something more than just normal sheer exhaustion. While she had felt fine in the prior night there was apparently a cost that came from undertaking the ritual that could not go unpaid. Still rubbing her eyes she entered the living room she was confronted by a warm living room and an already made breakfast, apparently courtesy of the servant in front of her that was dressed as a maid.
"Good morning Master," Saber said bowing her head, still in her maid uniform, and it might have been Rin's imagination but the servant seemed livelier today.
"Thank you for the breakfast," Rin said. "But I didn't summon you as a servant to cook for me but to fight. Today we are going to scout Fuyuki City. Can you change into something more inconspicuous?"
"All servants can enter spirit form," the servant said and Rin was struck by the fact that her voice was smoother than yesterday. Suddenly she faded from sight, although Rin could still tell she was there and the flow of prana to her that she had never quite realised until now decreased by a large amount
"Alright then," Rin said to both herself and her servant. "After I've eaten we'll go."
Rin was a woman of her word as half an hour later the two of them had headed through the various streets of Fuyuki, using the rather excellent public transportation system that was situated in the city. Despite the fact that it was winter, the air was relatively warm, a hallmark of the city, and the streets were filled with humanity. Tucked beneath Rin's jacket was the heart shaped pendant that she had used as a catalyst to summon Saber. The girl had appeared fascinated by the jewel but under Rin's questioning she admitted that she had no recollection of ever seeing it before, so Rin had closed off that avenue of thought for determining who her servant was.
The conversation was pretty one sided throughout the day with Rin for the most part narrating their travel throughout Fuyuki, explaining various things such as the division of the city into the two districts as well as the various places of interest that they visited. The only time that Saber showed anything more than the most perfunctory of interest at all was when they arrived at Shinto Park. This area had been all but abandoned after the Fuyuki Fire ten years ago and the ruins had been left to fester and converted into a park, albeit one that nobody visited. Apparently to Saber's senses as a spirit the entire area felt incredibly wrong, filled with malice and Rin couldn't help but think that was maybe the reason that the area was deserted in the first place. The entire time that they had been in Shinto Park she had spent the time circling around Rin and scanning the area for threats; apparently she found none, of which Rin was thankful for.
However, even though she found no threats Rin could not shake the feeling off for the entire day that she was being watched. It was a persistent feeling, like bugs crawling under her skin, a persistent feeling that there were eyes on her back and despite her instructions for her servant to keep an eye out and her own observations, she could neither find the source of the feeling, nor could she dispel the fears that she had.
The end of the day came remarkably quickly and the two of them stood on the top of the skyscraper, a place Rin had occasionally frequented when she wanted to get away from it and a place with a perfect vantage point.
"This view is perfect," the servant Saber spoke up without prompting. She leant over the edge and turned her head inch by inch as if she was trying to absorb the city through her eyes. "Soon I will do battle to kill six servants and/or masters," she spoke up, her voice still detached but with a strange intensity. "Before the war commences I must ask you: What should I destroy and what should I preserve?"
"I don't understand," Rin said after a few moments of thought, but she didn't dare take the words lightly. Saber seemed to think it was incredibly important but she didn't seem to be able to express herself properly.
"I mean if I we were to win the grail and everybody in Fuyuki died. Is that a victory?" she said staring straight into Rin's eyes while saying those chilling words.
"Don't even joke about that," Rin said recoiling from her servants blunt words. "I don't want you killing any humans."
"Not even the Masters," Saber said not taking her eyes off Rin the magus paused realising that for the first time in her life she was about to order the murder of other people. "I'm not a servant with any compunction Master," she continued. "Tell me what to do and I'll do it. There are few things that I will not do."
"What are those things?" Rin asked coming to the realisation that for all of her helpfulness her servant was basically a psychopath. Despite her dangerous sounding words she got the feeling that her servant was not a danger to her.
"I cannot remember Master," the servant said apologetically. "Would you like me to inform you when I do remember Master?"
"Please do," Rin said firmly. "And Saber, please only aim for servants for now and try to keep damage to the surroundings to a minimum." She thought for a moment. "I'll tell you if anymore…"
Her words ended as the servant suddenly lunged for her and she almost activated the command spell before she realised that her servant had moved behind her as if interposing herself between Rin and an attacker. Rin stepped backwards and her servant moved with her as if covering her.
"What's wrong," Rin said feeling her heart pound at the sudden commotion.
"Master, somebody just attempted to kill you," she said.
"Are you sure? How do you know?" Rin said as she felt her blood run cold at the implications/
"I have a skill called Bodyguard," Saber said. "It helps me know when you are in danger."
"Thank you," Rin said catching her breath. "Do you know what happened?"
Saber pointed to a far off building and Rin strained her eyes trying to see on top of it. Was there a figure on top of the rooftop? She really couldn't tell at this distance. In fact she couldn't imagine any kind of magecraft being accurately able to hit her from that far away.
"Was it a servant," she said turning towards her own who was still standing protectively in front of her. "Maybe an Archer class."
"Gun," Saber said shaking her head dashing all of Rin's prior assumptions.
"That isn't the weapon that a magus would be using," she murmured to herself. "Is there anybody else on that roof," she spoke aloud to the servant next to her and received a shake of her head in reply. "We're heading home," she said to her servant. "Stay alert," she requested although she hardly needed to have bothered. Body guard sounded like an eminently useful skill and it also narrowed down the list of possible heroes that she could have been considering that her life must have been about guarding somebody important. Even considering the averted attack from earlier she felt as if her chances of winning the grail war had increased.
It was only when she got into bed for the night that she realised that the sensation of being watched had not followed her when she went home.
Rin almost choked on the foul feeling air as soon as she walked into Homurahara Academy. Disregarding her ever present servant, that stood invisible and intangible with her even now, the day had not been so unusual. She had woken up to a warm living room, had a tasty home cooked meal and the house was tidied for her. Okay so maybe things were a lot different with her servant to the extent that she would probably miss her once the war was over. The only departure from the normal day was that she undertook the singular unpleasant task of calling Kirei and informing him that she had summoned her servant. She had kept it as short as possible but right now she found that she would rather endure another one of his lectures than be in the situation that she found herself.
"Has somebody established a Bounded Field here," Rin said to both herself and the servant that invisibly trailed her.
"Honestly, I sometimes can't believe Mr. Kuzuki," came the voice of Ayako Mitsuzuri, Rin's friend. "One mistake and he has to send back all the papers."
"But it's good, right," the voice of Sakura Matou, said as the two of them rounded the corner and walked into sight.
Ayako was a very straightforward person with a strong almost predatory appearance, with brown hair and eyes and a smile that always seemed self-satisfied. Rin and she had a long time rivalry that spanned many years and many topics and the girl had always managed to keep Rin on her toes, at least in athletics.
Sakura Matou on the other hand was almost exactly the opposite or at least she used to be. A few years ago she was quiet, shy but friendly and helpful. However her brother had passed away in a freak accident and when she had returned after a few weeks absence she had become more outgoing and proactive, quickly becoming friends with the majority of the school grade. Honestly she could be said to be a completely different person since then and Rin wasn't sure how to feel about it.
"Oh Tohsaka," Mitsuzuri said seeing her. "You're back from your absence yesterday. You really missed out."
"Huh," Rin said. "I had not heard of anything. Tell me what did I miss out?" It would be just her luck to miss one day of school and for something big to happen.
"You remember how the last science teacher had to retire suddenly," Mitsuzuri said.
"Of course the school had trouble finding a teacher upon such a short notice," Rin replied knowing that other teachers had been filling in for the absent slot. "Have we finally got a permanent teacher?"
"Well I don't know if he's permanent," Mitsuzuri admitted. "Apparently he came as a request from Taiga. I don't know how she knows him.
"Okay who is this him you are talking about," Rin said getting the feeling that her rival was holding her lack of knowledge against her.
"Shirou Emiya," Sakura said putting her out of her misery. "He gave us a lecture yesterday. He appears to be well versed in the subject although you could hardly expect anything else from him."
"Sorry, who did you say he was?" Rin said just slightly confused and both Sakura and Mitsuzuri shared a look.
"Tohsaka, do you have any technology in your house at all," Mitsuzuri began. "Like a TV or something."
"This is the twenty-first century we're living in," Sakura chuckled quietly into the back of her fingers and Rin was overcome slightly with indignation. Sakura MATOU of all people shouldn't be lecturing her about current technology, considering she was part of the only other magus family in town.
Suddenly a thought hit her and Rin was struck with an unpleasant idea. Surreptitiously she glanced at the back of Sakura's hands that were both in view and was quite relieved to see that they were free from any markings. That was a reassurance to Rin, as she really didn't want to have to fight her.
"We don't have science again today," Mitsuzuri went on heedless of Rin's thoughts. "So I suppose you'll have to wait to see him tomorrow. Although I'll admit I'm not quite sure of the benefits of introducing a technophobe to a famous inventor."
"Maybe Shirou Emiya will rub off on you," Sakura said smiling. "Now if you excuse me I have to take these documents to Mr. Kuzuki before class. "Have a good day, Tohsaka, Mitsuzuri."
With those last words Sakura left the two of them standing there and it wasn't long before the remaining two split up and they both headed to their classes.
For once in her life Rin was not heading home early. Instead she spent the time after class wandering through the halls searching down the source of the Bounded Field and it was already dark outside when she found it on the roof. A purple-red mark, the originating point of a Bounded Field made with incredible skill. Rin felt horror gill her veins as she realised just what was the function of the Bounded Field. To be specific it was a bloodfort; a Bounded Field that was created with the purpose of rendering down people into their souls and harvesting them.
"Saber," Rin said looking towards the servant that had still not become visible. "I'm going to ask you a question and I want you to answer me truthfully. Can servants eat souls?"
"Yes," Saber said without any hesitation whatsoever causing Rin to sigh and look down at the mark. This was not unexpected among magi and in fact could be considered the proper way to win.
"Don't ever eat souls Saber," Rin said forbidding her servant outright.
"Yes," Saber responded immediately, although it was less of an 'of course I would never do that' and more of 'if my Master says it then I will comply.
"I cannot destroy this magic field but I can at least drain some of the energy," Rin announced her intention to her servant, although she was aware that it was ultimately a futile effort. Stepping forward Rin knelt and accessed the Tohsaka Magic Crest. A few words were all it took to activate the crest and she felt a familiar pain wash over her as she activated it. Information on how to deactivate Bounded Fields flooded her brain making her next task simplicity itself. She stretched out her hand, ready to begin her erasure when she was interrupted by a voice a couple of metres away from her.
"You're just going to erase somebody else's hard work like that," a masculine voice spoke up and Rin whirled on her feet to see a man in a blue bodysuit standing a fair distance away from her. He wore a blue bodysuit and silver bodysuit and he had red eyes and black hair and his ears were pierced with silver earrings. Rin's instincts cried out not to fight this person and Saber materialised in front of her dressed in her purple bodysuit.
"Servant," she said to Rin as if that explained everything and to an extent it did. Without any hesitation she drew her swords. "Command me," she instructed Rin.
Rin nodded, willing to let Saber take the lead, but first there was something she had to do. "Did you do this?" she asked the servant, staring him down despite her fear.
"I'm afraid these kinds of petty tricks don't sit well with me," he said and in the next instant he was holding a red spear that practically dripped bloodlust. "I prefer to get straight to the point," he said thrusting forward with his spear.
Rin leapt backwards but she needn't have bothered as Saber intercepted the blow, the force of the strikes sending her skidding backwards. Her dual pair of swords moved swiftly, independently striking the spear and redirecting it while she moved forward trying to get into his range. In this manner, the first blow and the second were blocked, but the third caused her to stumble and she was knocked backwards by the fourth. Another spear came for her and this one she blocked head on with both of her swords and was sent flying off the roof.
Rin had a brief moment of realisation in which she leapt backwards following her servant off the roof, unwilling to be in close proximity to the spear wielding servant. Spells were invoked and she accelerated her rate of descent, with the realisation that the spearman was right behind her. Murderous intent hit her from behind and she felt more than saw Saber intercept a blow from (apparently) Lancer that was aimed for her back.
Rin scrambled backwards out of range as the two of them engaged in mortal combat. Lancer's spears were like light, multiplying as they went, the infinite onslaught was matched well by Saber who managed to parry the blows, moving backwards and retreating when she couldn't withstand the force. Rin could barely see the two competitors but she got the distinct feeling that Saber was losing. The sound of crunching metal rang out in the night sky and Saber flew backwards before landing on her feet. One of her swords had snapped in two and there was a large gash on her chest that was oozing a purple liquid.
"Just what the hell are you?" Lancer asked curiously. "Your style of fighting started off crap but is improving every single strike. What kind of legend did you leave behind? I'm honestly curious to see if you will ever improve in the future."
Saber said nothing but she brought her hand to her chest examining the bloody purple liquid and in the next second the gash healed itself. And she drew her remaining sword.
"Alright you can heal from my Gae Bolg somehow," Lancer said and this time he didn't seem to be as amused. "I guess I will have to take you seriously then."
The feeling of murder rose to crescendo and the air froze. Lancer drew back his spear and pointed it to the ground. A sense of inevitable evil rang through the air and Rin watched as the chance that Saber could escape shrunk immediately to zero. She was reduced to a helpless spectator as whatever Lancer did prevented her from moving a muscle.
"Face my finishing move," Lancer said earnestly but Saber didn't reply. Rin had no idea what she was thinking at the moment facing uncompromising death. Her mind urged her to use a command spell to save Saber but it couldn't leave her lips.
"I'm sorry do you know the place to the nearest cosplay convention," a foreign voice killed the mood and Rin whipped her head sideways to see a Caucasian man dressed in a black suit that probably cost more than most cars. He had brown hair cropped short and a moustache and despite the serious situation he was smiling. "You have no idea then. Sorry, it was just something about the way you guys are dressed that led me to make assumptions. I'll let you get back to your thing."
It was at this moment that he turned away and Lancer struck, using the full force of his servant speed to launch a blindingly fast attack on the unaware man. Rin tried to cry a warning but her human mind was no match for the servant speed and the blue clad servant was upon the man before she had any chance to react. She closed her eyes at the last moment, dreading to see the man's end but a loud bang startled her forcing her to open them and she was greeted by a sight that she wasn't expecting.
Lancer was staggering to his feet clutching his side. Despite the situation that he found himself in there was a wide grin upon his face. The well-dressed man on the other hand was standing there as casual as ever if it wasn't for the fact that his entire right arm was encased in gold and red armour.
"So I'm guessing you must be Archer then," Lancer said to the man as he was standing up. His side was clearly wounded by this servant and Rin felt a strange mix of hope and despair at the new competitor. "I'm going to enjoy fighting you."
"Call me Iron Man," Archer said. "And I can promise you that you won't."
Servants Name: Unknown
Magic Resistance: B
Swift Learner: A
Perpetual Discharge: B-
Replicant Factory: A
Author Note: Yes I probably have enough stories that I need to get back to. This idea had been buzzing around in my head since Endgame and I finally decided to do something about it. It's a little closer to canon than my other FSN story but that will hopefully, hopefully make it easier to write. As usual reviews are the lifeblood of a story so tell me if you love it, hate it, think its a stupid idea.