1232/A Surprise To No One

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A Surprise To No One
Date of Scene: 30 December 2014
Location: Fuyuki Zero <FZ>
Synopsis: A group go to find out what the Einzberns are up to, only to discover that magi are awful. This is a surprise to no one.
Cast of Characters: Maya, 253, 560, 591, 603, 606, 617, 641
Tinyplot: Fate/Zero Tolerance

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:

A Mage Association office that handles matters of records and communication is the destination for a trip to discover if there is any evidence to support the idea that Jubstacheit von Einzbern might be up to something - specifically, something related to Illyasviel von Einzbern and the Grail War. Kiritsugu has already determined what the likely result of his failure in the Fourth Grail War would be through extrapolating from the possible futures of other worlds, and his own knowledge of Jubstacheit himself. But that is not the same thing as fact, and proceeding on the basis that other worlds are assumed to be accurate parallels to Kiritsugu's own is not the sort of thing he does. He needs verification, he needs details, and he needs a plan.

While not generally one to work in a group, for this endeavor, aid has been requested. The office is disguised as a non-descript building of some kind. Bounded Fields keep non-magi away through suggestion-based magic (though this is not quite as useful against Elites - particularly those magically sensitive themselves). As Kiritsugu approaches the office's 'business entrance', he thinks over what he's here for, and how he attempted to get assistance in doing so...


"Information indicates that the Einzbern magus family may be planning something." Kiritsugu had said when speaking to the others. "While I am supposedly working on their behalf in this Grail War, Jubstacheit von Einzbern is determined to obtain the Grail no matter what. If he doesn't get it, or suspects he might not get it, I wouldn't put it past him to take action. Finding out what he has been up to is critical before WE can take action however." As his dead-eyed gaze had travelled around the room, examining reactions, Kiritsugu had said, "No matter what, I do not intend to leave my family under his care. It's just a matter of finding out whether accomplishing that involves moving Irisviel and Illyasviel... Or rescuing them."


At Kiritsugu's side is Illya von Einzbern. Technically older and older-looking than Illyasviel, she still has approximately the same physical characteristics as other Einzbern homunculi - and those are very recognizable among knowledgeable magi. Daughter-cred should be useful in persuading whoever is handling things that Kiritsugu is here on official business...

But he is the infamous Magus Killer. And blind trust is not something that many magi are prone to.

That is why Kiritsugu does not intend to rely upon convincing someone at a desk that he is legit. People who may be able to apply pressure of their own, distractions of their own, and to get in and obtain what they are after even if the rest are turned away, are instrinsic elements of this mission.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber is not good at infiltration. Psyber is acceptable at it, when necessary, but his individual skillset makes him more suited towards a different kind of helping out for this mission. He won't come along to help infiltrate or to negotiate. He'll hang out mostly to be a distraction. And thusly:


    Psyber is currently singing to himself as he roots around in the back of a jet-black 1973 Plymouth Satellite Seabring, the trunk wide open.

    o/~ "Wo~oah. We're halfway there. Wo~oah. Something about bears." o/

    False ID? The half-angel opens a tacklebox and fishes through. He finds a good one he made a few years back. Agent Lennon McCartney, MI:6. That'll, at least, give him an alibi for the massive trunk full of guns he's digging around in.

    And speaking of that, he takes out a couple pistols, which he checks for ammo and then conceals under his jacket as he keeps singing:

     o/"Watch out for sand, it gets in your hair. Wo~oah, I like my steaks rare." o/

    Absolutely not the right lyrics, but as he shoves a couple clay-looking bricks into his jacket pocket, he actually doesn't mind much. He slams down the trunk of his car and shuts it, he twirls the keys and drops em in his pocket.

    Distraction Psyber is on the move and waiting for a signal.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
Illyasviel von Einzbern is right here. She was here the whole time. It's not like she just showed up while no one was looking, wearing a warm purple coat and fuzzy purple hat. Thing is now there's... Two of her.

Indeed, Chloe von Einzbern has powdered up a bit. Or a lot. Enough to make her normally dark tan skin that eerie pale shade of colorless white that is prevalent among Einzbern Homunculi.

And she is flashing Illya the smarmiest grin on the face of the earth.

It's like some kind of time paradox as she leers at Illya.

Maya has posed:
Maya had known enough Kiritsugu, wanted to get his family the heck out of harms way of the grail war. Given Maya's own experiance iwht a war that went bad in the worst possible way she agreed to help. She was not so good at stealthing vese these sorts of people, she'd have other uses and she darn well know it. She isn't sure which way its going to go down at this point, they may just need to move them, or it could turn out to be a full out rescue operation like she was warned about.

So she was ready, she had no real visable weapons on her, no she knew that would cause issues on this world, she might get the attention before it was time.

She was decent at infiltration but given how they were dealing with magic people? She'd be better follin the same route as Pysber.

So she's hear near by about a block or so away and is just a distraction for being there, she's basically like a sun to someone with magic sense and she may have some other things pllaned but for now she's just trying to look as innocent as a lost fallout or mad max cosplayer could be...

Illya von Einzbern (641) has posed:
Illyasviel von Einzbern is one of the two best daughters in the universe. The other one is Chloe von Einzbern. Illya is dressed in a... comparitively normal outfit right at the moment, dressed in something that is similiar to what Kiritsugu's Illya would wear - royal purple shirt, skirt, matching fluffy boots and warm white jacket for the winter chill. She is every inch the Illyasviel von Einzbern of this world; except for those that know she should be elsewhere.

She is imperious and arrogant and also /glaring at herself/. Weirdly enough, the pair continue the color scheme of being opposite, Illya in main white with dark accents and Chloe-Illya in black with white accents. However, she quickly regains her attention, stoically moving towards the front desk.

The Illya twins... they're good, way, way too good at this. Blame Irisviel; their mother is nuts and they've inherited such thinking.

"Hello!" She says, not quite politely, but mostly to get peoples' attentions. She's down here. It's also so people in this group can slip away if they want.

Jimmy Wen (606) has posed:
     Jimmy Wen pulls up outside the building. Wizards of his world have always been hindered by their dual natures; they are magical creatures, able to make their wills manifest, but they are also human beings, blessed with free will. This clash of natures arises in the hexing effect, which, for more modern wizards, tends to make complex technology backfire and misbehave. So it is that the young wizard arrives in a car older than he is, painstakingly cared for and micromanaged to counteract his 'mojo,' as he and his contemporaries call it.

     An alligator-skin shoe hits the asphalt, and out of the '57 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham steps Jimmy Wen, dressed to the nines in a way that's uniquely his; a way that speaks to his less than sterling proclivities. Black slacks and a matching blazer, no tie, gold chain necklace revealed past his slightly unbuttoned white dress shirt. The door closes with a neat whump, and Wen adjusts his sunglasses. The wizard greets his fellow Elites politely. "I like your style," he says to Psyber.

     The two of them are evidently night and day, for while Jimmy dresses like a mob lieutenant in a John Woo movie, he's actually quite fond of the soft touch. The wizard makes a little checklist. Potion? Check. Lockpicks? Check. Gun? Check. It's an M1911, nickel-plated, the staple of the modern film noir wannabe. Tucked into his waistband 'tastefully,' of course. He approaches the building, enters through the 'business entrance,' and waits at the front desk for some service with his best charming smile on.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aoko arrives at an unspecified time and through unspecified means. TAKE THAT DETAIL. The red-headed magus is leaning against a well, checking her email on her phone. It's all extremely nonchalant and boring, you wouldn't like it.

    Occasionally her glance inspects the light and dark twins, mostly because that's amazing and she still thinks homunculi are cool. And rare! And special. It's kind of a tricky style of magecraft and alchemy so you don't see it too often.

    What she is here to do, well, she leaves it to Kiritsugu. He has a rough idea of her capabilities, he can figure out what he wants her to be doing. Bound to be a lot a magus can do around Einzbern property, considering.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    And to think that a certain magus-killer once told Shirou, 'keep your distance from the Mage's Association. Avoid the Church two. They're both bloody crazy people.' Maybe not in those words, but...

    Either way, now it's that same person Shirou's following... right towards the people he was told to avoid.

    What's new?

    Emiya Shirou's trailing behind Kiritsugu, clad in a stylish deep sea blue jacket with the hood down. Nothing special here, right?

    Well, when it seems there's two Illyas the boy does pause and rub his eyes. A glance at one's expression, then the other... ah, there's Chloe. Walking behind both now, he puts a hand on either girl's shoulder briefly, a reassuring pat and friendly 'let's go' all at one. Hidden in that might be 'no arguing now!' but besides a somewhat serious both look for both it's hard to say. Shirou's taking this as straightforwardly as possible: alert and asuming Kiritsugu knows what he's doing!

    Which means his expression is even and unbothered - a bit too grim for someone his age, but it's not like that's unusual HERE...

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
Modern technology - things like phone lines and computers - are seen as almost heretical by most magi. So though this building has the appearance of a modern business office, the large room that is entered into, with its checker-board patterned floor, and an unusual five-pointed front desk, is relatively absent of obvious machinery. The lights in the ceiling are actually glowing gemstones that dangle from intricately woven silver and gold. What appears at first to be a phonograph seems to lack some of the components that would allow it to work as such - and probably serves as a magus's equivalent of a telephone despite there being no obvious way for the sounds it records to be transmitted elsewhere.

A man in a coat, vest, and dress pants, and a woman in similar attire, are both behind the desk, attending to their work. The lobby seems practically empty, but then there are some very distracting individuals in the area outside who might be causing a lot of local scrutiny to be directed towards them.

As Psyber works on a trunk full of guns, he is being observed. Whether he can sense the presence of the observers or not, the observers themselves at least seem to be keeping an eye on him without making hostile movement or trying to get close. Given that the Magus Slayer just walked into the office, some guy with a lot of guns is possible cause for suspicion.

Aoko being nearby, checking her e-mail on a phone, probably has any magi who were planning to stop by this office twitching for a number of reasons and deciding to come back another time. This office has records in abundance, many of them stored in the archaic medium known as 'books', but the objective might be information too sensitive to entrust to writing. Aoko might need to accidentally on purpose check her email and wind up checking secret communications that have already been received and disposed of or something.

The Einzberns are rather prestigious and thus might have that kind of pull. But there's other information that would be more likely to be written down that is also physically obtainable - even if there are Bounded Fields and wards and thaumaturgical defenses against people stealing it.

Good thing there's a teleporting homunculus with Servant-level abilities along, skilled at breaking into and out of places, and presently disguised as the same person that Illya is disguised as (though, paradoxically, both of them actually ARE that person). Kiritsugu pauses just inside the door, allowing Illya to advance towards the desk while he blatantly pulls out a phone and makes a call. All these freaking phones in this freaking magus association!

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
At the same time this is going on, Jimmy is also getting dealt with. The man behind the desk approaches him and just stands there, staring and waiting for the man to say what his business is. The woman seems to have a bit more emotion, even if there is that sort of coldness in her eyes that many magi seem to have. "What do you require?" she asks of the girl in the fuzzy hat upon the call of 'Hello!', her gaze having already taken in these twins. Whether she had deduced their possibly identities or not is unclear, but she is at least smiling and offering to help - even if one of these two is radiating concentrated prana that likely has most of the people in the building twitchy.

With Maya, she is receiving scrutiny similar to Psyber's, though of a more direct sort. A brass-plated, clockwork eye is rolling along a ledge of a building a couple floors up, before coming to a stop. It irises open, revealing an actual crystalline eye inside that begins transmitting images of Maya. Psyber is probably under similar observation, and probably Aoko as well.

Actually, probably everyone who showed up is getting eyed.

And at a security room somewhere inside the building, there are people trying to figure out what's going on, and suspecting the worst. Everything is calm right now, but it might not remain so for very long.

Shirou is unrecognized, but if he is travelling with Kiritsugu and two Einzbern homunculi, he probably is also bad news.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Being eyed is fine for Psyber. Observation on him meets split attention, and that means that people trying more subterfuge-related activities can slip by with an easier time. He doesn't say much to them, though, not wanting to make it seem like he's associated with the Magus Killer and his friends. He might just be a random government agent-slash-pedestrian with heavy munitions.

    Jimmy Wen gets a response, though. Psyber grins and nods to him, "Thanks. Love the 1911, classic gun choice," He counter-compliments before he takes a cigarette out of his pocket and goes to head around a corner and away from the group.

    His goal is simple and two-fold: He wants to make himself as much of a pain to keep an eye on as possible. So he walks past Aoko and heads down an alley. And then just starts making back-alley turns and weaves, trying to either draw his observer out or distract him too much to notice the plans of other people.

Jimmy Wen (606) has posed:
     "Hi there, Jimmy Wen." The wizard foregoes a handshake, but he does continue to smile. Now, in the few moments he's bought himself, he needs to think. He's /very/ good at thinking. Obviously, he can't just say, 'Hi there, I need all the information you have on the patriarch of one of the most powerful families in the Association.' It's best to use a smokescreen, so he comes up with one. "So, I represent an independent family several generations strong who's looking to join the Association, but I need some information before I do that. See, my clients are very interested in the work of the Einzberns in particular, as they themselves are practitioners of Chinese Alchemy--the same alchemy that reputedly grants immortality by sublimating the soul. Interested? Of course you are. Now, I understand no mage worth his salt is going to just provide something without getting something in return, so I'm prepared to facilitate an exchange of information. What's the best way that we can come to an understanding?"

Maya has posed:
Maya knew she would be getting attention sooner or later at this point. Maya's world and thier views on both technology and magic? Would make the magi here likely flip out. Maya for now is just reching into a her pocke tnat pulling out what appears to be a Tarrot Deck which she idly shuffles and looks at while she's wiating nothing too much to see here. She does get the idea she is being watched but not sure just where, or she assumes she does.

She's got a load of magic that much is clear,but she doesn't seem to be oding much with it really she's not yet making any moves she's not got live personel or anything akind ot that on her just yet.

She takes a moment to look up at the building and smiles at it before getting up and staring to move about the region. She now is just moving about the region keeping in the open for the moment but it's clear she's lurking for something, but /what/.

Illya von Einzbern (641) has posed:
Illya smiles. It is a bit off putting, probably, as she tends to be somewhat cool around people she's not familiar with for being a rather lonely girl. "I am waiting on a message from my mother, Irisviel von Einzbern, or my great grandfather, Jubstacheit von Einzbern. I have not been contacted about either message coming in, and would like you to receive them for me so I may read them."

Illya has the commanding tones of being a von Einzbern down, at least. Some things never change. She also seems to plant herself on the floor, flicking only the barest of glances over her shoulders, mostly at Shirou and Kerry, before her gaze goes to Chloe, then back around to the woman assisting her.

Illya isn't going anywhere. She's a desk distraction!

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
So a Magus Killer, twin homunculi, and a HERO OF JUSTICE walk into Clock Tower...

It sounds like it would make for a great joke, but it's not. When Illya- the one that people actually call Illya greets the desk clerk, Chloe-Illya gives her a pat on the back. Once she detaches from Shirou's brotherly shoulder grasp, she simply flashes that cheeky little smile again.

"Aaaa... I'm bored already, I'll go wait in the car~."

Whelp looks like that's the end of that as she turns on her heel and heads back out the door. And right for Psyber's car. Unlocking the door with a simple application of magecraft is pretty easy for her, and anyone watching one of the Einzbern 'twins' will see her crawl into the backseat and... Curl up for a nap.

Problem solved. One less person to watch.

At least until she's gone. The hat and coat are left behind though, pretty convincing to a cursory glance, as she re-appears an instant later, boots barely making a sound as she lands lightly on a fire-escape, sticking to the shadows of a higher floor window, before trying to pry it open.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Well, Aoko has no intention of going in there, actually, when things get serious. It would probably leave bad aftershocks for the her of this world. Not that she'd mind! The train of thought would probably be 'there's another me causing trouble? jackpot!' and it would turn into this excuse to go 'it wasn't me, it was the other me' and the Association wouldn't be able to argue or prove otherwise.

    Good omens all around, really.

    Psyber heads into the alley, so Aoko just casually settles against the wall just outside. If anyone goes in after him, she'll get first look. Or if things get loud she won't have a delay going in to help, either inside the building or the alley itself.

    Nightmare Cat @whitelen - 5m ago
    @notamagician This is boring. Why do I always have to stay behind?

    Blue @notamagician - 4m ago
    @whitelen it's because people think you're a monster!

    Nightmare Cat @whitelen - 3m ago
    @notamagician YOU'RE a bigger monster than I am!

    Blue @notamagician - 2m ago
    @whitelen hey I already had this conversation with @moonpuncher, I don't have fangs, also you manifest nightmares

    Nightmare Cat @whitelen - 1m ago
    @notamagician That is not the only qualifier!!!

    Aoko frowns. Extremely important email checking and all.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Shirou, apparently some apprentice to worry about, is not doing anything terribly interesting. Okay, he seems a bit weirded out by the place. No gadgetry, not even a telephone? Not quite what he was expecting. Crystals for lights in the ceiling too, that's unusual. He's looking just a BIT overwhelmed at all the weird stuff in this ancient magekeep. But he does pay attention when Illya starts talking. "Don't forget to open a window!" He advises Chloe out of reflex - not even really thinking about what she has in mind. He's just being brotherly! Or trying to!

    cars can get stuffy!

    With Kiritsugu making a call though Shirou makes a weird face. He's not sure what his 'master' is up to here!

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
Psyber's round-about attempt to lose pursuit as he navigates around the building and possibly away from it, seems to either be working or not working. The brass eyeball thing is still rolling along on the ledges above, using a miniature skyway of steel pipes and copper channels to navigate overhead. However, Psyber is moving a bit fast for it, and it can not keep up. There are also people on-foot, however, who are walking after the half-angel with a calm, measured pace. Their heart rates are perfectly in control, and their movements almost more robotic than the construct that is now following THEM instead of its original target.

Two men in black mantles and hoods... With small white crosses embroidered into their garments.

Thankfully Aoko, parked outside the alley Psyber went into, is in a position to spot the men when they came out of a side-alley originally and started following him. And she can probably recognize members of the Church when she sees them.

The man Jimmy is speaking to has a somewhat pinched face, with nasty, narrow, suspicious eyes. Jimmy divulging all that sensitive information about himself has not inspired any degree of trust in the clerk. Randomly spilling secrets and personal business to some person behind a desk marks either a liar or a fool. And yet, he replies reasonably. "Petitions to join the Association are not the business conducted in this office. If you wish to transmit a message to the Clocktower, you may do so." He gestures a hand towards the not-a-phone contraption, apparently expecting Jimmy to know how to work it. This plan might be falling apart fairly quickly if it is not salvaged soon.

Maya starts doing like Psyber is doing, but unlike him, she does not get a pair of hooded guys following her. Just those metal eyeball things. A black tabby cat looks up as Maya comes by and starts meowing at her plaintively as though it has known her for years. If she passes it by, it moves to follow her, constantly speeding up its pace to move ahead or her or walk alongside of her.

The female clerk, despite her friendly tone, seems to be just as business-like as the other clerk next to her. "I see. And you would be a representative of the Einzberns?" She makes no move to retrieve any communications. Not until Kiritsugu comes forward, at least, to back up any claim of identity. Along the way, he hands over the phone he had open to Chloe as she is leaving, disguising it as patting her on the back.

It's a more modern phone, so it has a map displayed on the screen. The layout of the entire building.

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
When Kiritsugu approaches, he says, "I am Kiritsugu Emiya. I have been adopted into the Einzbern family, and this is Illyasviel von Einzbern, my daughter." He reaches into his coat and withdraws a letter in a white envelope, with a red wax seal. He bends down to hold it out to Illya. "The official documentation that names you as a representative."

Shirou's attention being paid to Chloe as she departs speaks for more than just a casual connection. Those watching from the eaves are attempting to match his face to any records they may have, as quickly as possible. They already have identification on three of those present, though the mystery of Illyasviel being two people is trying to be resolved.

Then a hit comes up. While his identity is unknown, Shirou was involved in an incident in New York City a few weeks back that the Association had to clean up. The interest level in him has just been ratchetted up a few notches.

There are Bounded Fields to prevent forced entry, and surveillance methods of all kinds inside and outside, but this is an outpost, not the Clocktower itself, and Chloe von Einzbern has a knack for getting into and out of places she shouldn't be. Maybe she inherited a little bit of Kiritsugu's talent at penetrating Bounded Fields, maybe it's a trait unique to her. Whatever the case, at least for now, she remains unnoticed, even when she pries open a window. Defenses fail to go off for some reason, even though she is a considerable magical presence and people should be aware of her right away. Maybe it's because there are so many other massive magical presences in the area that calibration is off? WHO KNOWS.

The hall on the other side of the window, however, is long and lined with many doors. Good thing that phone may be showing her exactly where to go to find the records they are after.

Illya von Einzbern (641) has posed:
"I am Illyasviel von Einzbern, yes."

Illya glances up and over her shoulder at footsteps, a smile crossing her face as she takes the letter, carefully cradling it in her hands. "One would hope, of course, that a message directly addressed to me would be passed along nonetheless without the representative paperwork, lest you be considered, um, obstructing my ability to speak with my family and such. After all, I am sure that my great grandfather would be displeased if his messages were not passed along." She gives a very polite smile at the clerk as she says this. There is a hint of teeth behind it.

She does present her paperwork, however, as appropriate.

Jimmy Wen (606) has posed:
     It's much more advantageous to be considered a fool than a liar. Lying requires tact and intellect, which makes liars somewhat dangerous if not properly handled. Fools, on the other hand, make excellent pawns and even better amusement. So, when it becomes clear that this little attempt isn't going to get any play, Jimmy cranks up the self-importance. He leans on the counter, then takes a look at the contraption. He doesn't look impressed. "Listen, buddy. The sneering imperialist thing is getting a bit old, don't you think? Granted, you're European, and that's what you guys are good at, but we've been doing the magic thing for 4000 years. Lao Tzu? That was us. Zhuge Liang? Also us. Just saying, on finding Akasha, we've got you guys beat, so if I were you, I'd be looking for all the help I could get. But you know what? Fine, I'll play your game. I hope you packed some warm clothes, because when I get finished talking to the Association, you'll be lucky if you're working in Siberia after this."

     With that, Jimmy approaches the not-a-phone and turns on his Sight. He's got no idea how to operate it, but if it's magic, he can /find out./

Maya has posed:
Maya does not have people following her that's fine with her she does notices the cat however looking at it wondeirng about it. She does passes by it and it's following her. She gets she's being tailed by a cat, she wishes she could have brought runner but that would get attention from people and she knows she's being followed. She idly shuffles her card and a faint blue fire leaks into one out of her palm but one might miss it. She does nothing else at this point but hopefully this is going to get their attention as he moves along with the cat tailing her.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
Chloe would probably be pretty amused if she were still in the lobby. Illya faking being herself. It's kind of rich.

Nevertheless, as soon as she's on the balcony, cell-phone twirling in her fingers she pauses. It takes her a second or two of thought on how to bypass the bounded field. It's nothing as grnadiose as an inherited trick or a secret technique up her sleeve, no no.

It's just plain cheating.

Though her existence is a fluke- a miracle by some accounts, she is still an Einzbern. Simply ignoring the processes and theories behind magecraft utterly bypassed, all she has to do is Want to get inside the bounded field without being detected and...

Well assuming it works, that should happen. At the very least it'll get her inside. Whether or not she's undetected is up to interpretation as she slides into a shadow, toning the phone's brightness to absolute minimum so she can sneak a peek at the map.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber is fairly content with how much of a pain he's making it to follow him around. And that doesn't even come close to mentioning the fact that now people are being forced to do it in person! He even whistles a tune as he goes.

    That tune, for reference, is 'My Girl', the Seminal 1965 Classic by The Temptations. But that's only half relevant.

    Abruptly, Psyber vanishes from being followable. But not actually. There's no paranormal stealth or magic behind it, he just ducked around a corner and waited. This might be a doozy for those crazy Church people following him, though.

    Because he's gonna wait for them to try to catch up for him. And then, as they round a corner, the half-angel is gonna pop out with a discarded two-by-four he found laying in the alley and swing it right towards the temple of one of the men hard enough to shatter the wood to splinters.

    o/ "We~ell I guess. You'd say. What can make me feel this way~?" o/

    He switches from whistling to a casual sort of in appropriate song-singing as he drops the plank right after swinging it, hit or miss.

    He'd normally feel terrible hitting a human that hard, but he knows that a lot of people in this world reinforce themselves and he wants to get a one-hit knockout. This does leave him open for a counterattack, though.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Perhaps it helps that Shirou's entirely unaware of the ploy that Kiritsugu's pulling - the boy shows everything he feels on his face. And right now that's 'why are we here? This place is pretty boring.' While not olblivious to all the attention they're getting, he doesn't seem too worried. He restlessly fidgets in place only to still himself a moment later. Don't want to be immature!

    Not that he goes long without something to be amazed at. That being Illya's sudden change of demeanor ! He turns to watch her, considerably interested in the way she's conducting herself. Quite a different thing from the bit of time they've spent together indeed.

    If he ever meets the Illyasviel of his world, will she be like that?

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Blue @notamagician - 1m ago
    @whitelen can this wait I have to stalk

    Nightmare Cat @whitelen - 1m ago
    @notamagician Whose tale are you making difficult?

    Blue @notamagician - now
    @whitelen no one new just the church

    Click, pocket. Aoko stuffs the phone out of view and then casually, hands in her pockets, stalks after the Church. Officials? Puppets? Executors? Just paperwork boys? Yeah, she doesn't care. She has tremendous experience making the life of the Church (and the Association) an incredible pain by just being around. Though, she's probably not well known here yet. Definitely doesn't have the weight and implications she normally would.

    It is odd, perhaps, that the magus' footsteps make not a single sound, her form does not cast a shadow, and she's kind of hard to see from the corner of one's vision, but she is very good at reinforcement, and decent at state-alteration. Sneaking about is something you can reinforce, and it's a state of being! Well, 'being silent' is, anyway. Kind of a trivial trick, easy to see through if you're expecting it though.

    Let's see where those Churchies are going and how unhappy they'll be if they end up cornered. Might be worth a picture to send her HER Church. 'in ur timelines, stalking ur past doods' or something like that, she recalls reading.

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
The pleasant-but-cold woman never stops smiling as she says, "Of course. But anyone can claim to be somebody famous. Proof is important when handing over correspondence." Upon accepting the letter, and opening it, the woman examines it with senses beyond mere sight, making sure this is the genuine article. As far as she can tell, it is. But then the letter itself is not quite normal. There's something about it that sways her subtlely. The clerk bows her head slightly to Illya, before saying, "I will check for any messages, Miss Einzbern."

The fact that Jimmy was asking about Einzbern alchemy like ten feet away from two Einzberns (well, three, but one left to 'sleep in the car') is kind of convenient, because now that Illya has been identified, maybe things can be confused/stalled further if Jimmy needs to, by inquiring with her. The clerk, in response to Jimmy's lambasting, just responds with, "As you say." They really don't handle petitions to join the Mage Association here. At least Jimmy obtains the information he needs on how to work the magi-phone. If he does call someone up on this weird contraption, he'll be able to get someone at the Clocktower who will want to know what his business is.

For Kiritsugu's part, he knows Illya is probably not going to have any messages here. But it should buy time searching for them. His attention, however, is on the people in suits down the stairwells on either side of the lobby. He imagines that even if he hadn't announced his identity, he would have received this attention. But it looks like now some trouble may be coming his way AND Shirou's. Ironically, it may well be Illya's presence that is keeping the both of them safe, instead of the other way around.

Chloe's methods succeed, and as her examination of the phone reveals, she is close to the place where certain historical records are kept - along with a record of who has been accessing them, and when. It's a door just down the hall... She better hurry though, because at the far end of the hall, it seems a door has just opened, and someone is standing in the doorway talking to someone in the room they are in the process of leaving!

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
When one of the Church guys comes around the corner, he reacts just in time to bring one arm up and get it slammed with a two-by-four with considerable force. He is knocked backwards, and his forearm bends in a way it really shouldn't. It may be broken, or not, but it's not usable anymore. He's gritting his teeth though and glaring at Psyber from beneath his hood. The other guy comes around the corner with Black Keys in each hand and takes a few swipes at Psyber with them.

Executors, it appears. Great.

Fortunately Aoko is sneaking up from behind, and appears to have gone unnoticed for now. The guy hanging back seems to be flexing and relaxing his damaged arm over and over to regain its use, even through the pain, but his other hand is in the process of retrieving a Bible from inside his cloak. He probably is not intending to start reading from it.

Maya keeps being harassed by the cat, right up until it suddenly just abandons her and takes off down an alleyway. It pauses half-way down, looking behind it, back at Maya, before then continuing to run away. Weird. Was it actually following Maya or not? Is it trying to lead her somewhere?

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
Chloe spends a few seconds taking in the map, committing it to memory before flicking the phone screen off and stuffing it away. As soon as that door opens, though...

Well she's gone. Suddenly just re-appearing by the door she NEEDs to get into, cracking it open for a quick peek inside while whoever's exiting the other way is caught in conversation. Assuming there's nothing obviously trap-ish on the other side she'll just slink right in and hope she remains undetected.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    And snap.

    That photo is going to the Church of her time.

    She'll add a caption later.

    Aoko stuffs the phone back into her jeans, stepping up behind the Executor preparing his Bible. "Tsk tsk. Don't you know it's rude to preach your religion at someone who doesn't care~?"

    Half a step. That's about all that Aoko takes, as her body accelerates to god knows how fast that is. Her elbow is going for the Executor's spine, and in the same spinning motion, her other hand attempts to grab him by the back of the skull. It's all carefully calculated not to completely shatter the spine, but rather inflict crippling paralysis-- which speaks a lot on how precise her Reinforcement can get, and how fast she's able to react.

    If the Bible man can't get out of that, he's just going to be a ragdoll, held above the ground by the back of his head and unable to use any of his four limbs. How long that'll stick, that depends on how much the Church cares to fix this guy up when they get him back.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    o/ "My gi-"

    Psyebr cuts off the song as he smashes the piece of wood against one of the men, splintering it apart in his hands and spraying about in a giant cascade of splinters. The man gets knocked backwards and his arm bends pretty nastily, but he's still on his feet and he's glaring at Psyber.

    "You were supposed to fall down, dude. Be a team player."

    Psyber scowls a bit and clenches his hands, clearing out wood debris and then curling them into tight fists. His footing switches to a simple boxer's stance. He hops up and down a little and then waits. Mostly so Aoko can get the drop on that guy.

    "Damn. You continue to surprise me, moocher. Nice moves."

    He'd shower his favorite moocher with more compliments, but he has a new friend he just made and that friend's current status is 'Stabby-Slashy'. He steps back a bit, weaving and ducking his way around Black Key slashes in practiced motion. A few manage to get solid digs in on him, cutting along his shoulder, forearm and his cheek to draw thin lines of blood. Psyber hops away to get some distance.

    And then, an instant later, he's darting back in towards the other one with a lightning fast combo of two jabs to the chin and a hook to the side of the head. He wants to drop him fast and hard before he can put out a call for reinforcements. These hits use more of Psyber's strength than the plank of wood, but still not all of it since he's not out to kill yet.

Jimmy Wen (606) has posed:
     First of all, WHOA. This thing is actually pretty damned clever, and there's a whole, whole lot of stuff going on behind the scenes of this place. Jimmy reels a bit from the sensory overload, placing a hand on his temple and rubbing it gently as the burning afterimages in his vision and the strong smell of ozone gradually dissipate.

     Once he gets his bearings, he does some /thinking./ The receptionist is a lost cause. This guy's the kind of peon for which there is absolutely no hope. He has no drive, no ambition, no /nothing/, outside of the Association. That means trying to bribe him is going to fall flat.

     Well, whatever. The wizard pauses. The girls are both Einzberns, so he'll mark them as plan C, 'Inquire with the Einzberns directly to continue the charade and keep attention on myself.' Sorry, girls, it's time for plan B. Jimmy rubs his hands together. and hunches over, then places them both firmly on the apparatus and begins channeling Will through it. His thoughts focus only on the Clocktower and contacting it.

     As soon as he gets a response, he puts on his very /best/ customer service voice. Aoko said to suck up, so that's what he's gonna do. Okay, come up with a name. One of the old aliases should work... "Hi! This is Chen Jiangmu, of the Chen family. We're looking to become a part of the Association, and would like to know what we'd need to provide in order to get the ball rolling. I also have a special request for some information from our patriarch--could you tell us a bit about the Einzbern family?"

Illya von Einzbern (641) has posed:
Illya nods at the clerk. She gives her a large smile nonetheless. It is still a little bit of teeth. Illya subtly slides her glances towards the two staircases, glancing over her shoulder at Kiritsugu afterwards, her red eyes sparkling with something close to... cool amusement?

She gently takes a few steps, firmly arranging herself inbetween Kerry, Shirou, and the staircase as much as she can. It has a very clear fact to it: She knows what is going on, or has a inkling of it, and from that frown that briefly crosses her face, Illyasviel von Einzbern Does Not Approve.

She may also be fighting the urge to laugh.

Maya has posed:
Maya notices the cat just heads off it's looking at her before it runs away, she's not sure but she's a bit on the curious side she's ware and knows there may be magic ahead and she need sto make a disturbance right? Keep them busy she palms a card before follo2wing there's a faint glow as she checks the alley way for any spell work or other beings that might be waiting. She's being cautious and it just looked like a bit of card palmin

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    The tension in the lobby is rising to the point where even Shirou feels it. He turns about, finding dudes on the stairs peering at him and Kiritsugu who weren't there before and they don't look friendly.

    Well, they just get stared at right back by the boy, whose expression clear is clearly readable as 'what do you WANT?'

    Yeah they'd be better speaking of they want something. ONLY reason HE's not speaking?

    This place's atmosphere is just too cold and intimidating.

    He glances to Kiritsugu though ponderous how he's taking this. Maybe just slightly edgy now...

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
Chloe slips into the room without difficulty, bypassing its locks - both mechanical and magical. It seems there are no traps. The room is dark, unless she turns on a light, but in what little illumination there is, there appears to be many shelves of books and scrolls, as well as boxes containing various things, like... Human hair. Weird scales. Stone tablets. HISTORY STUFF. Finding the list that chronicles who has used this place recnetly, and for what, should be relatively easy for her... And what she finds when she does may be quite unusual, and possibly disturbing. It's what she was sent to find, however, so mission accomplished in that regard.

Surprisingly, just as Illya is stepping away to stand inbetween Shirou, Kiritsugu, and the stairs full of Association Dudes on either side of the lobby, Lady Clerk comes back with a rolled up length of parchment addressed to Illyasviel von Einzbern. That was not expected or part of the plan. Does that mean that Illyasviel was actually expected to be here? Was she already here? What's going on? Lady Clerk holds the rolled up parchment out for Illya to take. "Here you are, Miss Einzbern," she says pleasantly.

Kiritsugu is not reaching for any weapons as the Association goon squad hang out, watching them. At least a couple of them appear to be armed - though with rather unconventional weapons that don't look like weapons. A cane with a red gem in the top. A device like a series of cogs and wheels held within a bronze frame with a handle. A woman in back appears to be dressed similarly to Kiritsugu, with black trenchcoat, and her hands in her pockets. That last one is looking at Shirou, not Kiritsugu. There's something that Shirou might find almost familiar about her... Oddly, not the similar clothing to Kiritsugu's. Her facial features? Something else? ...Her outline?

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
Executors are first-rate killers, but some things are beyond them. Aoko Aozaki is one. A bible slips through lifeless fingers as the Executor is paralyzed, neutralizing him as a threat. The other continues to face off against Psyber. Before he can show anything else he may be able to do beyond employing multiple rapier-like blades, he is struck forcefully with three blows to the head (even if not all in the same place), and downed.

What were Executors even doing here?

As Maya follows the cat, she detects no sign of traps or magic aside from the defenses in place around the Association office where the others are located. What she does find is that the cat is not exactly normal. And it has led Maya right to where Psyber and Aoko are. In a matter of moments, the cat's body splits open along its back, arching its body, legs extending and twisting. A horrific transformation ensues as its too-small head swells like a furry black balloon about to pop, but never truly completing the explosion. Body twists and snaps, and stretches and contorts before the eyes of all three, until out pops... A black-haired woman. With fangs.

Some freaky Dead Apostle? Something else?

"So, hey, I just wanted to thank you guys for taking care of those Church assholes who were looking for me!" the human-looking creature announces cheerfully. She is not wearing a great deal, just a long, black, furry coat that reaches to her bare knees. But she does not appear to be bothered by cold concrete beneath her feet. Just as she is not bothered overly when she waves while announcing, "Hopefully the three of you will take care of the rest for me as well. Have a good evening!" Then she leaps up towards a wall, and from there to a rooftop, hoping to escape, just as more guys in hoods and cloaks start approaching the location of the trio.

They haven't spotted Aoko, Psyber, or Maya yet. Staying and fighting them, going after the cat-lady... Or maybe just getting the heck out of there. What will they do?

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
In answer to 'Chen Jiangmu' whoever is on the other end says, "If yours is a mage family of good standing, seeking membership in the Association should come before asking questions of one of the esteemed mage families such as the Einzberns. However, it is not so simple a process that is can be completed without meeting in person. If you wish, I can find time for you to visit my offices to discuss your questions. I will expect documentation of your lineage and proof of inheritance of your family's magic crest howevever..." Various other words are spoken, but keeping up the act may appear to be becoming increasingly less relevant than being ready to act if something bad happens.

But hey, at least he'll know the proper procedure for petitioning to join the Mage Association if Jimmy wants to pursue it!

And at least he is not actually being actively peered at like he is in the wrong neighborhood.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
    Chloe does in fact rummage around for the important records. And when she finds them her eyes kind of widen. And for good reason as she peruses papers and files and scrolls, after shutting the door behind her. After a beat, she sucks on her teeth.

Jimmy Wen (606) has posed:
     Well, there goes that idea. Magic runs in some families where he's from, but Jimmy is a happy accident--there's no way he's going to be able to be Kerry's man in Havana if proof of lineage is what these guys are after. This act is wearing thin, so it's time to call it quits. "That sounds lovely! We'll begin collecting the relevant information, and we'll get back to you when we're ready to schedule a meeting. Ours is a meticulous family, but we do appreciate your patience at this time. Have an excellent day."

     With that, he hangs up and surveys the situation in the room. The wizard bumps into Kerry. "Wow, excuse you." There is now a potion in the Mage Killer's coat pocket. Wen leaves with a huff.

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "What is it with you and the damn cats?" Psyber says to Aoko in a serious tone, "If it's not a succubus nightmare cat that eats my ferns, it's a half-naked cat chased by Terminator Robot Mages."

    He's waving his hand a little bit, sore from the impact against another man's face in repetition. Still, he looks down at the men on the ground and says, "Yeah see, like that. Good job. You really put the I in cooperation there, guys." Psyber gives a thumbs up to the two probably-unconscious men on the ground.

    Of course, she's running off and more church guys are coming. So Psyber decides to just go whole hog into making a getaway for the moment. Which is why he tosses both those bricks of Semtex he was carrying earlier into a nearby dumpster and takes out a remote.


    Oh wait, that was Aoko's world, not this one. Whooooooooooops! Oh well, hopefully it'll pre-empt that mage who is totally innocent right now. Not Psyber's problem.

    He kicks the dumpster down the alley and then detonates it in an explosion which is equal parts metal dumpster and concussive force.


Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Psht, this? It's just something I picked up in high school," Aoko answers Psyber, still holding the man by the back of the head. Then there's a cat-lady, and then cay-lady runs away. The red-headed magus puts the man down against the wall gently, patting him on the head. "There there, you'll be fine! Man I hope we didn't just beat up two guys who were chasing a baddy down." That sure would be her luck.

    "Hey! Show off your wings, they'll double-take. I'm gonna go cat-wrangling because I'm pretty good at it!"

    No you don't actually get to answer, Aoko just kind of hops out of the alley and onto the closest roof in a short but fairly obviously powered jump, landing with her hands in her pockets and all. Glance left, glance right. Where did the kitty go?

    "Kitty kitty! I have catnip!"

    Aoko brings her phone out, and a squeaky mouse toy full of catnip. Pays to be a cat owner. Speaking of that phone, though...

    Blue @notamagician - 32s ago
    @whitelen found vampire cat, might bring home

    Nightmare Cat @whitelen - now
    @notamagician WHAT?! NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Illya von Einzbern (641) has posed:
Illya doesn't even blink more than once, and it seems so normal for her as she takes the scroll. "If you'll excuse me." She says, stepping away from the group at large as she reads the scroll, using it to block her face from all views by examining it closely - checking the seal, the signature, and everything else inbetween, almost as painstakingly slow as the clerk was at verifying it. Finally she rolls it back up, turning to face the group at large.

"I have a mildly unusual request - will you please hold onto this? I have other duties to attend too today and I believe this will be held safer here for pick up again at a later date." Illya improvises. She's a smart ten year old, even if she is a ten year old.

She turns to face her brother and father. "Kiritsugu. Are we ready to depart?"

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    Shirou finds this strange woman staring at him... and grows increasingly uneasy. He's pretty dense overall, but in a room full of growing hostility and strange weapon-like things being touted around, Shirou's nerves get a bit jumpy. But he finds himself just staring at that woman... and the urge to shudder welling up within. "H--" He tenses - for a moment looking like he's gonna step forward!

    But he never does.

    Instead... "... What is it?" He mutters just loud enough for her to hear him. So, not really muttering, but he just sounds a little annoyed right now. All this staring!

Maya has posed:
Maya is just about gets her heckles up, Maya does not have much love for the undead. She can accept there are good ones but this one? She doubts it she does keep herself under control and she palms some cards. She keeps quiet at this point for a moment and she wonders for a moment as she looks at Paysber and she now nods they need to make nois she can make noise as this point she now is going to look at the kitty vamp then to Aoko wondering as she now is channling magic blue fire is leeching out of her body, she's building up to something.

She shifts gears getting what's happening and moves to cast a differen spell she melts into the shadows almost and is going to use that spell as cover to get out of here as realy she hopes they bene able to give the distraction that was needed, yet she wonders about the cat, vampire thing. What /is/ it?!

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
Kiritsugu is slipped the potion, but aside from emotionlessly allowing himself to be bumped into and then glancing after Jimmy like most people would if someone randomly bumped into them, he does not react. At least not in a way that those on the radio would hear. Instead he turns his attention back on Illya, a smile actually gracing his features - however slight - as he responds. "We can. Let's go, Illya." The Lady Clerk accepts the parchment back and puts it back where it was before. She's still not sure why the letter she read seemed so convincing, and probably won't unless she looks at it again later... When its revealed there's a strange ink swirl pattern on the paper, and no words at all.

Someone passes by in the hallway outside while Chloe remains in the records room.-No, wait. They aren't passing by at all. Because the door handle turns, and the door itself starts to open.

For a moment it seems like it's going to open all the way, but then someone else starts talking to whoever is holding onto the door handle, door-grabbed responds, and the door is closed again after several seconds. A conversation ensues that has whoever was going to come in here getting pulled away - possibly due to the loud explosion that goes off outside. Chloe has a free avenue to escape!

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
Speaking of that explosion, right as Kiritsugu, Illya, and Shirou are about to get out of there, Shirou speaks up. The woman with pale-blue hair pushes her way past the others around her, who give her room once it becomes clear she is trying to advance into the lobby. She answers Shirou by walking to within a dozen feet of him, and then coming to a stop. Then she looks at him as though trying to peer into his very soul or read his mind by looking him in the face. Then she answers, "My twin sister and my niece were staying at a hotel in New York City about two weeks ago. You were there. I wanted to see for myself whether you were the one responsible." She looks Shirou over, from head to toe, taking his measure. She seems to find something about him that displeases her, because she frowns and turns right back around as she walks away, only saying quietly. "It wasn't you after all, I suppose." She stops then, when she's almost back to the stairwell she descended from. And she says without turning around, "Though the company you keep is questionable." Then she resumes leaving.

Only to stop again when that EXPLOSION goes off outside. She whirls around, and the other magi look show their own muted surprise. The Seal Designation Enforcer lady snaps out orders. "You and you, come with me. The rest of you stay here." Then she takes off outside with a couple of the magi to investigate the exploding dumpster.

Jimmy makes it out before all that, so doesn't have to deal with it.

Emiya Kiritsugu (603) has posed:
MEANWHILE, the exploding dumpster causes a lot of chaos and confusion, as well as drawing a lot of attention. The Executors are investigating that while Aoko goes chasing after Catula (with Psyber in tow apparently). Maya shadow melds to slip away unnoticed, and the Executors and magi are left trying to figure out what just happened.

And probably will eventually.

Some worrying information has been discovered. After examining it in more detail, it may be all the evidence that Kiritsugu needs to justify betraying the Einzberns, and taking action to get his family away from them. Given the immediate hostility to Kiritsugu's presence, it likely wouldn't have worked without everyone doing their part... And a Dead Apostle probably would have been stabbed to death by the Church, but hey, maybe she's not so bad, and maybe she'll wind up hanging out with Aoko Aozaki.

Whether that counts as being rescued or punished, nobody knows.

Chloe von Einzbern (617) has posed:
For an instant. Chloe peers over her shoulder, a red-flicker of light summoning Kanshou to her hand as she holds the files in her other one. But when the door doesn't open, she starts grabbing whatever papers she can and stuffs them into her cloak. Who knows what gems she could be yanking right now.

When the coast seems clear though if she's not stopped, she...

Busts out the door and pops out the nearest window like some kind of action hero.

She proceeds teleporting the hell away for some distance across rooftops. The others can pick her up at somewhere pre-determined.

Emiya Shirou (560) has posed:
    "What the--" SOMETHING EXPLODES, rattling Shirou's focus. He glances about wildly, but doesn't know what's UP yet. Still... his face pales upon making the connection. "... Sorry, I wasn't fast enough to save her." He gets out grimly, gritting his teeth. "All we could do was stop the magus who did it." A fact he is not happy with. he doesn't want to kill bad guys, he wants to save people who need saving!

    So he can't really meet the woman's gaze aupon figuring that out.

    there are more important things to focus on right now, in any case.

    Seems things are wrapping up though. If Kiritsugu's heading out, so is he.