6027/An Avenger In Paris

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An Avenger In Paris
Date of Scene: 09 September 2018
Location: Paris
Synopsis: The FateParadox Avenger blasts his way into Paris, out for blood
Cast of Characters: Eryl Fairfax, Seifer Almasy, Tanya Degurechaff, Staren, 1137, 1143


Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Paris, the city of lights. Known as such as one of the first cities in Europe to adopt gas lighting. But now in the hours approaching dawn, only the flare of anti-air cannons light it up alongside spotlights that track a small, rapidly moving target that zooms through the sky above. No retaliatory fire flies from it, but they do rapidly drop to escape tracking, only to zoom along the Seine, travelling so fast that a fine spray of water kicks up on the paths surrounding it.

    "DEGURECHAAAAAAAAFF!" screams the figure in a raw voice, carrying only anger and vengeance. Mobilizing soldiers and police are struck cold by the violence it promises. The figure abruptly pulls upwards and begins zooming through the crowded streets, pulling off hairpin-turns to duck through narrow allies and diving through tunnels ot make his path as erratic as possible. To evade pursuers? Or to find something?

    "SHOW YOURSELF, DEVIL OF THE RHINE!" He turns up and blasts towards the Eiffel Tower, darting under it before soaring straight up past it. There just above the top sits Ruler upon his staff, watching the figure with what can only be described as 'perturbed interest.'

    Avenger has come to Paris to grant his own wish. He evades more fire from the ground and resumes his flight in, around, and above the city. "ANYTHING TO THE PERSON WHO BRINGS ME DEGURECHAFF!"

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Paris, City of Lights, Pastries, Cow-Dudes, and The Empire. One of the first cities in Europe that Seifer Almasy has ever been to, on account of Europe not even remotely being a thing where he's from. The cobblestone streets are a familiar sight, but the gaslamp streetlights? The Eiffel Tower? Nothing like that where Seifer is from. At best, at *best*, the biggest city Seifer's ever seen is Timber, and he was only there once for a (failed) graduation exam. Paris is *massive*, sprawling, and easy to get lost in.

     So he totally did.

     He's spent most of the last day being super lost in Paris. City of Lights and Pastries got his attention, and he, being an enterprising young man with nothing better to do without hanging out on the Moon, went exploring.

     He's sitting on a bench, looking at the Seine and munching on a pastry, sending Caster a text and a photo, when the figure goes shooting past. The water splashes across Seifer's face, sogs his eclair, and splashes all over his phone. His paper box of other snacks? Ruined. Any shopping he had been doing? Ruined.

     Yeah.

     Yeah.

     Seifer stands up. As the figure goes screaming past, Seifer takes a second to shake himself dry and then goes running after the guy. Erratic tunnels and twists and turns are no problem for the paramilitary operative; he's been memorizing erratic tunnels since he was a little kid at Garden. As the guy goes under the Eiffel Tower and jumps up, Seifer does the same, springing off the metal.

     "HEY, ASSHOLE!"

     Seifer hurls the soggy container of eclairs at Avenger. It's a distraction; a distraction that's rejoined with a ball of fire from Seifer's Command Spell hand, exploding the container into nothing so much as a fine miscolored mist.

     Seifer passes through the mist, gunblade swinging.

     "APOLOGIZE WHEN YOU FUCK UP SOMEBODY'S DESSERT, YOU SACK A' SHIT!"

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
Minutes ago
    The early morning has its own routines. Waking up, hygiene needs, setting out the uniform for the day, verifying all creases are perfectly pressed, that boots are impeccably shined, that medals are polished. A ritual that prepares one to face the day. A ritual that is interrupted when a soldier bursts into a young officer's room, "Major, we're under attack!"

    The young girl in her white nightgown, boot in one hand and polish cloth in the other, rewards the intrusion with an expression that could curdle milk.

    Immediately he recoils and turns his back, snapping to attention, "--Uh..! A Legendonain mage has infiltrated Paris, ma'am! He's calling for you by name."

    "Understood," she responds curtly, "Knock next time or I'll carve that rule into your skull."

Now
    A fully clad and uniformed Major Degurechaff exits the Imperial garrison, slotting a magazine into her thompson. The weapon is then left to hang by its strap, "Inform all batteries to cease fire."

    A free hand is held out, and a soldier places a bullhorn into it. She adjusts the device's settings while muttering, "Asterios, stay intangible for now. If we can get him down to talk, kill him as soon as his guard is down. Find a good position in case he just opens fire on me."

    The little girl takes a breath, closing her eyes. When she opens them and starts speaking through the bullhorn, her voice is very different-- Squeaky and young, bright, cheerful, everything that anyone who knows Tanya von Degurechaff would not think to association with the young major.

    "Mister! Please come down so we can talk! We had our disagreements, but I'd like to reach a peaceful resolution~!"

Staren has posed:
    A Servant is 'invading' Tanya's Paris, according to the radio. They were supposed to keep to their own affairs and not cause trouble.

    Only when Staren is already on his way does he remember that one of the Servants is an enemy of Tanya's, someone she killed in war and who is out for revenge. It's probably that guy then. No way is Staren beating someone from Tanya's world in a dogfight... maybe he'll have to play sniper? Shooting and then relocating before the Servant can find him? It's a plan, at least.

    Staren emerges from the warpgate wearing his armor and... riding a broom? That, that is a thing that's happening. Staren can fly, but he made the possible mistake of designing the magitech to take input from neural signals being sent to shoulder muscles. So long flights can... if not exactly tire him, tire out those muscles specifically, making flight hard. So, the broom Belldandy gave him remains a reliable method of transportation for those times when the distance isn't quite long enough to use a spaceship or his mecha.

    Anyway, he flies low over the streets, trying to stay out of sight of the Servant, looking for possible sniping spots. He sends some drones up -- he brought a bunch of little quadrotors -- to start mapping out the area and hopefully get eyes on the Servant so Staren knows where to avoid -- he'd like to maintain the element of surprise until his first strike.

    Although the MOST surprising thing is Tanya's... change of tone over the bullhorn. Staren nearly flies into a wall at a T-intersection from sheer what-the-hell.

Asterios (1137) has posed:
In many ways, Paris has become a home for the legendary Minotaur of Crete. His presence was an unusual one at first-- who could really call a ten foot tall minotaur with a sweet tooth almost as big as he is anything BUT unusual? But it's hard to stay mad at a cupcake as bright-eyed and innocent as Asterios. With his incredible strength, the reconstruction efforts dotting the City of Lights and its immediate surroundings have progressed more rapidly than any could have predicted.

And now someone's come knocking on that city's door, looking for someone very near and dear to the minotaur's heart.

There doesn't seem to be anything in particular near Tanya Degurechaff, but the sense of danger in the air around her is palpable. Of course, considering who this is, that might just be because she's Tanya Degurechaff, regardless of how adorable and tiny she might appear to be.

But the fact is that she hasn't come out in the open unprotected. The minotaur lurks nearby, ready at any moment to emerge and defend his master and the city of Paris.

...Hopefully it doesn't get wrecked too hard this time.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Touta is probably the last to hear that things are going down. He doesn't have the kind of connections that the factions have, but at the very least he can say that he's quick to arrive when he hears the news. While he intends to show up this time around, he can't very well say its because of the Servant itself that's causing trouble. It's really a shame though. He's in France, one of the greatest places in the world (and not even just his world apparently) for food and he can't even indulge right now. He'll definitely need to take a picture later to show his cooking pal, but for now he's keeping his eyes out for some certain figures. Not that he doesn't plan to intervene if things go awry but he's hear to see one of three people, and surprisingly one of them isn't the person whose flying atop his staff.

    Theo Morrison.
    Reiji Arisu.
    Queen of the Concord, Priscilla.

     These were the people he was hoping to find at the scene, but no such luck. There's plenty of other Concord individuals that can be seen around though.

    The first he spots is...Seifer?! Yeah, looks like he was chasing the Servant that was flying around. What was he doing here? Did he mistake this Grail War as Tamamo's or something? He doesn't think that's the case but it's possible. Then there's.../THAT/. His head turned towards the direction of the voice on the microphone.

     "That's..."

     Touta recalls this girl vividly from the Lumiere incidents. Even though she was a small child she had no problem pointing a gun and pulling the trigger. Touta's seen some legitimate monsters but she was...Well...She reminded him of the immortals he knew. They appeared small and innocent on the outside, but were much more capable than they appeared. Of course, the moment he hears that voice even he gets thrown off...

     For the time being though, he was still just a bystander on the streets of Paris. For now anyway...

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Avenger's sojourn above the romantic Seine is interrupted by the romantic knight, Seifer! The sweet scent of charred sugar and chocolate fills the air as he gets caught in a cloud of mist, and almost meets a gunblade to the face! However, he brings up a trench gun to block the swing, and puts the brakes on his skiing flying apparatus to try and make Seifer overshoot his leap and fall into the river. "Away from me, boy! I've no time for you!"

    It is then that he hears Tanya's call over the bullhorn. "TANYA DEGURECHAFF!" He pivots in midair and screams towards her locations, travelling at speeds his equipment would never allow in life. However, even as he hurtles towards her position, he does not open fire. Is he going for a kamikaze attack?

    Staren has plenty of good picks for a sniping location, but the mazelike structure of Paris means there is no single point that would permit him total overwatch of the city. The Eiffel Tower is the highest point on the map in the area if he's just looking to maintain the high ground, however. It seems that Ruler had the same idea since he's floating just above the top of it and watching the goings-on.

    As Touta loiters on the street, he gets approached by a Gendarmerie who takes him hard by the shoulder and begins shouting at him in rapid-fire French. Fortunately, or unfortunately, all of it gets translated by the translation effect. "What are you doing out here, stupid boy?! Don't you hear the sirens? The gunfire? All the good kids are at home in bed, which means you're either a buffoon and a vagrant. I arrest vagrants, so be a buffoon and clown somewhere else!" He ends that with a hard shove before rushing towards the garrisons that Tanya emerged from.

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Seifer is really goddamn good at what he does. When the trench gun comes up to block, Seifer adjusts. The blade hits the gun, and Seifer presses off the blade. It's some mid-air acrobatic gunblade /bullshit/ for sure as he pirouettes upwards, killing his momentum when the Servant stops. Seifer's lips split in a wild-eyed grin.

     "Boy, huh!?" He says as he rises, "Motherfucker, you don't even know who you're talking to!"

     "The name's Seifer Almasy! Remember it - 'cause I'm gonna be showin' up in all these fucking Grail Wars! Mages are gonna be summoning me from here till Judgement Day!"

     "SO CALL ME BOY AGAIN, YOU SON OF A BITCH!"

     The Avenger dives. Seifer throws his hand backwards. Another fireball shoots out, but this one's not to attack, it's to send Seifer shooting downwards. He's following the Avenger like a bullet, firing multiple shots of fire to accelerate. It's stupid and risky and dangerous as hell, the kind of thing you could only really do if you had no regard for your own personal safety and thought you were completely goddamn immortal.

     Good...for...Seifer?...

     He hasn't thought through the whole *landing* thing, but that's fine. He figures he'll just get Avenger to break his fall.

     Because boy is that gunblade going right for Avenger's back, and boy does Seifer intend to ride him into the ground like a comet.

     "TOO BAD FOR YOU! YOU MAY NOT HAVE TIME FOR ME, MOTHERFUCKER, BUT I'VE GOT PLENTY OF TIME FOR YOU!"

Staren has posed:
    Of course Staren's eye is drawn to the Eiffel tower... And there is... Ruler? Staren flies up to him before getting embroiled in a fight. "Hey." Staren asks when he gets close. "Isn't this breaking the rules?" Honestly, he can't begrudge Avenger wanting revenge, but Ruler's intervention making the upcoming fight easier would always be nice.

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    "There's no reason to fight any longer!" Tanya's squeaky voice declares over the bullhorn, "Please, let's talk~!"

    That got his attention, at least. Avenger's making a beeline straight for her, and she has little trouble recognizing the weapon he's carrying. The exact reason he's not opening fire-- that Hague violation he's brought along. A weapon that will be most effective at close range. She's taking an awful risk calling him down when he's got that thing on hand.

    A hand raises, and she rests it over her chest, "Lord, grant me the strength to protect my home," A golden glow wells up from inside the round jewel worn at her neck, filling the crimson gem with deific light, "So that I may step forth unfettered to praise Your holy name." Her eyes close. When they open, the blue is completely washed out to a glowing golden hue. Then, she throws her hands to either side, weapon still hanging at her side. As if she's welcoming Avenger's approach, showing herself as --well, armed, but not in a position to make use of the weapon.

    But ready to defend herself if needed.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
    There's a legitimate surprise when someone in law enforcement actually calls him out for being in the area where all the action is occurring. While Touta definitely has no issue in a place like this it would definitely make sense that the guy would call him out. After all, he is still just a kid. That said, the moment he starts heading in the direction of the garrisons a red flag goes off in his mind. He knows that if this girl is calling Avenger out that this will go south quick. So the moment he starts rushing towards them, he runs back towards the Gendarmerie.

     "Hold up! I was looking for some of my friends! They're still around here! We got separated when all the commotion happened! Have you seen anyone running around at all?!"

     That's definitely a lie, or as far as he knows it is, but he figures if he can get this guy's help in looking for kids that don't exist than it'll definitely be safer than having him try to deal with Elites. He may not be a Paladin but he'd like to try and keeping any civilians out of this mess.

Asterios (1137) has posed:
Master wants to talk. Or so she says. But like the pitcher plant lures its prey close with honeysuckle nectar, Asterios knows that it's nothing but a ploy.

Because she told him so.

Seriously he's an adorable minotaur with basically zero social guile. If she didn't tell him explicitly, he probably would have thought that this was all just sunshine and lollipops.

But she did.

And it's not.

And moreover, that thing. That -Avenger.- The tone of its voice sends a chill down the minotaur's spine. It means to kill. To hurt the one who is his master.

This cannot be permitted.

As soon as the Avenger swoops down close enough, he might briefly notice an unusual shadow loom overhead for the briefest of moments. And then the minotaur would fall, with all of his might, right on top of him.

Incidentally, this might also mean dropping on top of Seifer. Whoops!

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Avenger is a hellsent spectre of vengeance. A man who went from dutiful soldier and faithful father to a maimed killer seeking revenge on a child. Being a Servant has only amplified these traits, seemingly rendering the man hellbent on Tanya, letting nothing stop him between taking her life.

    But even as he hurtles towards his target, someone seemingly willing to accept his anger with open arms, something that the pursuing Seifer says stops in in his tracks. He comes to a sharp stop and turns on the pursuing knight, taking the gunblade to the chest so he can lash out and try to grab the scarred man by the throat. "There is no glory in this, /boy/. Everything you want to do should be done in life, not sought as a spectre." He then attempts to launch the knight down at Tanya, before raising his gun... and getting dropped on by an invisible Asterios. So now Seifer, and by extensions Tanya, has that hot mess coming down on them.

    Up on the tower, Staren quizzes Ruler, which makes the mage look at him with a puzzled expression. "You would think so, but is he? I mean, he's being a real pain in the ass, probably woke up the whole city by now. But I don't know if 'making a nuisance of yourself,' counts as interfering. Honestly, if it did, I would have taken out most of the Servants by now. He clearly wants this kid dead, but he's just posturing right now. Maaaaan I am not cut out for this." He continues grumbling, but seemingly spots something in the distance. "Hey, listen. Gotta deal with something real quick. Shout over that radio you lot use if he actually does something." And with that, he blasts away from the tower down into the streets. A real lackadaisical Ruler, this one.

    Touta is about to get yelled at some more, when something drops behind the officer and lifts him into the air by his shoulder. "Thanks for finding my stupid great-grandson sir. You can go now," says Ruler, letting out more than a little murderous intent. The Gendarmerie's anger leaks out of him, and he babbles something about 'not doing it again' before running after his unit. Ruler puts his hands on his hips and scowls down at Touta. "What are you doing here, brat? I got Ruler stuff to do, don't expect me to pay your bail or something."

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     "Dipshit!"

     Avenger grabs him by the throat, and Seifer's hand goes to Avenger's. The gunblade's dug in, now. Seifer's eyes are wild and his grin is half-snarl, half-delight as he pulls the trigger. The gunblade *vibrates* in Avenger's chest, a horrible, thudding motion.

     He gets thrown downwards. Asterios is coming down on top of them both. Not a great place to be, especially if you *can't fly*, which, you know, Seifer can't.

     But Seifer *is* really goddamn crazy.

     "GILGAMESH!" His voice is hoarse; after all, a superhuman hand *did* just partially crush his throat.

     As he plummets, a grey-skinned giant just sort of.../appears/ out from behind him. The giant is clad in a red cloak; it has three arms on one side, and three...cardboard cut-out arms?...on the other. The giant points downwards as he and Seifer fall, at Tanya.

     Blue light comes shooting out of Tanya and into the giant's hands. The light congeals into a sphere. Seifer snatches the sphere out of Gilgamesh's hands and shoves it into the blade of his gunblade.

     He's mere inches from hitting Tanya - and the ground - when he swings the gun up and shouts a wordless cry.

                                LIMIT BREAK                                  
                             GUNBLADE ARTILLERY                              

     Tanya and Avenger both get a real good look as the Gunblade just *expands*, turning from a long, thin blade into a MASSIVE long, thin blade. Seifer jams the gunblade into the ground sideways.

     He falls down.

     The blade bends.

     He stops an inch away from Tanya.

     He grins and salutes.

     And then he's *flung* upwards, the gunblade soaring with him. The massive thing comes swinging around as he passes Avenger, and, at the last minute, he pulls the trigger-

     -the vibration is like *thunder* as the artillery cannon goes off in his hands, shaking like a chainsaw blade as Seifer passes by Avenger.

     The gunblade shrinks as Seifer swings it over his shoulder and reorients himself for another fall. "Asshole!"

     "You think there's no glory in being such a goddamn legend wizards want to pull your ass back from the dead to fight for eternity?"

     "You think there's no glory in just /walking/ that path?!"

     "What kinda chicken-wuss answer is that, huh!?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren didn't mean the ruckus, he meant the obvious intent to kill Tanya. But Ruler is gone before he can clarify. So, if Avenger attacks Tanya and fails to kill her, THEN Ruler will help them? Hmm...

    Staren looks for Avenger... who's already under attack. He can hold back in hopes Ruler will intervene, or he can take action, and further void any claim that Avenger is doing more than just defending himself?

    ...He doesn't know Ruler. It's not worth gambling on him. Staren sets down on the Eiffel tower, lines up a shot, and fires a three-pulse burst of intense laser at the vengeful Servant!

Asterios (1137) has posed:
The good news: Asterios' surprise grapple was successful and he's now dropping straight down to earth with an Avenger in his grasp. The bad news: Asterios has no good way of actually slowing his fall down.

Also, he's holding an extraordinarily dangerous, aberrant heroic spirit.

These are not necessarily good things, but Asterios will have to make it work.

"Whoever you are. You. Will not hurt master," Asterios, ever the bull of few words, growls between his teeth as the wind tousles through his hair. He grunts, catching sight of Seifer's (actually pretty damn impressive) acrobatic sword maneuver and hatches a brief but brutal plan. His muscles strain against the empty air as he pivots, twisting to drive the Avenger's body into Seifer's artillery cannon.

Whether or not he's successful, the very air shudders and trembles with the thunder of high caliber lead. The minotaur grunts as the pressure wave rattles his bones and hammers the inside of his skull-- but a single artillery shell is nowhere near enough to put the berserker down. Shaken and bruised, Asterios never-the-less turns to try and drive the Avenger face-first into the Parisian streets below...!

(And hopefully, not on top of Tanya in the process)

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    Seifer is thrown directly at her. Tanya's face contorts briefly in surprised dismay, and she brings her arm up. A step back is taken, right when light is pulled directly from her. The normal blue is tinged with streaks of gold, particularly the light that emerges near her computation jewel. Not quite grasping what's going on, she takes another step back, going for the SMG hanging at her side.

    Scant inches, face to face, Seifer's salute and grin is returned with a wide-eyed, bewildered expression. This lasts the entire second or two before the energy stored up in the gunblade springs Seifer away from her. The surprise gives way to a cold, appraising gaze when the knight weilds his altered Gunblade-- which is actually a gun now, as opposed to his usual denial of such being a good idea.

    Well this one's just full of surprises, isn't he?

    Shielding her face from the explosion of Seifer's copied artillery, and lacking her own flight unit, Tanya takes the time bought by Seifer's insane creativity to move from her spot in front of the garrison.

    She waves her free hand as she passes in front of the fence, rallying troops on the other side, "Forget the tanks-- SPAA! Anti-air units, mobilize! I want a machine gun on every roof, and a flak gun in every intersection!" Once at what she's determined to be a safe distance, the girl digs her heels in, whirling about in a slide and raising her weapon, "And get me a flight unit!"

    Surprised and disorganized troops, shaken awake by the commotion and the shouting Major, at least start to get their acts together.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Okay, Touta was fully not expecting Nagi to show himself before him. He knew that the man was in the area but for the guy to actually drop down to him, he honestly didn't expect him to. What's probably the most shocking is the gaze he gave that guy who starts going off. Though when he starts questioning him the first response Nagi receives a response that's well... Touta inherits his great-grandfather's scowl quite well.

     "If you deciding to pay bail is anything like you paying for you sushi I wouldn't dream of it. Besides, why do you care? As long as I'm not messing with the war it doesn't matter right? Listen, I'm just looking for some people. I'm not gonna try smacking any Servants around this time, unless they start messing with the people here. So just do your job and don't worr-"

     Touta's attention gets pulled away from Nagi as he sees the fight continue in the distance He has no idea what Seifer's doing but whatever it was he ended up launching himself upwards into the air back towards Asterios. Now, Asterios was a pretty big guy, Touta's seen him in action and is pretty sure he can survive a fall like that, but while Seifer definitely looks pretty cool with his slash on the way up...He's not looking so hot on the fall...Can he fly...Apparently not.

     "SEIFER!"

     Touta doesn't even give Ruler an indication of what he's doing. His mind's already made up on what to do. Before his great-grandfather's eyes his body blurs as the boy darts towards the battlefield. Fully intending to catch this lunatic from out of the air before he has to explain to Tamamo why another one of her husbands has disappeared!

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    A baffling confluence of events takes place. Seifer somehow manages to cheat a hard landing again via an extending blade, launching him back up at the plummeting Avenger, pinned and grappled by Asterios. He's struggling to get his weapon raised, to point it at Seifer to meet his aerial charge. "Glory does not provide for a family! Glory does not put food on a table! Glory just gets you sent off to gain more glory until you die! And then you get summoned as this husk of the person that was! Better that I kill you here and spare you that!"

    From the distance, Staren's shot whizzes through some narrow gaps to catch Avenger, scorching his hand and making him drop his weapon. Now, there's nothing stopping Seifer from scoring that upward slash. It could prove fatal. It would mean Tanya is spared her enemy, but also that Seifer violates one of the rules of the War. 'Only Servants can kill Servants.'

    The limit break hits home, carving through Avenger's military coat, slicing his face in half, severing that eyepatch. That should be it. Touta rushes in and tackles Seifer, knocking him aside. Frankly, this probably saved the gunblade knight's life, because blood does not issue from Avenger's form.

    A formless ichor issues forth from the great wound. The air fills with the droning buzz of locusts. The substance that should be blood hurts to look at. It seems to be composed of static, but it fluctuates between colours that the mind can't comprehend. The taste of the end of a battery fills the mouths of everyone present.

    And then reality snaps back to normal. According to local timepieces, 45 seconds just passed in an instant. The street has been caved as if Seifer's limit break went wide due to Touta's tackle. Avenger now stands on the roof of the garrison, looking just as perplexed as everyone else likely is. Then suddenly, Ruler appears to get the man in a tight headlock.

    "All right, break it up! That's enough horsing around. Everyone go home and get some rest, I'll handle this guy." He's trying to sound joking, but the tightness of his smile implies that he just wants this wrapped up so more questions aren't asked,

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    Ruler has stepped in. Tanya squints against the bizarre material shooting out of Avenger from the damage he's taking. When things freeze, her eyes snap around, narrowing suddenly.

    Being X..?!

    Her eyes return to Ruler and Avenger, now on the roof of her garrison building. Being X... Or was it Ruler? It was mentioned that he was once a powerful wizard. Eyes narrow. Coincidence is possible, but...

    "Very well," the girl lowers her SMG, quickly clearing the chamber and unslotting the magazine, "Avenger. If you want to settle this, we'll meet on the Rhine. That old battlefield is still being repaired. At least you won't threaten any innocent civilians with your antics, there." The gold washes out of her eyes, and she fixes those blue marbles on the man, "We'll settle this, Servant to Servant."

    Her eyes travel the slight distance to Ruler, "As for you. I have questions you will be answering later."

    With that, she raises her empty Thompson. Scrambling soldiers, some already in self-propelled AA guns, slow to a stop to stare at her. But the order is clear: Stand down.

Asterios (1137) has posed:
One minute, Asterios succeeded in performing his first impromptu dual-tech, and was in the midst of grinning victoriously over the fact. And the next...

The next, the nature of the world seems to go topsy-turvy. Something that burns Asterios' brain erupts from the hole in Avenger's chest. He tastes acrid death. Everything goes /wrong./

A split second later, and Asterios is... standing next to Tanya as if he was just ordered to pull back from an epic battle of some stripe or another. The berserker blinks his dark eyes once, then again, and looks down to stare at his very empty hands.

"Aa?" Asterios murmurs, squinting hard. You can almost hear the gears in his head struggle and fail to turn.

"..." He clenches his hands into fists, then opens them again-- as if testing to make sure that everything is in fact back to normal again.

"What." Asterios asks, turning his gaze up toward Ruler. "Was that...?"

Seifer Almasy has posed:
     Oh good.

     It's that kid again.

     Now, a normal, well-adjusted human being might say something like 'hey dude, thanks for the save.' A normal, well-adjusted human being might say 'that was pretty cool' or 'i'm glad that worked out, i was probably gonna die.'

     The second Seifer is on the ground, he shrugs Touta off without so much as a by-your-leave. In fact the look on his face is one of /annoyance/.

     He throws a potion up in the air. It won't heal him much but it'll cure his sore throat. He rounds on Touta and grabs him by the collar; the weird taste in his mouth, the weird hiccup, all of that just glosses right over Seifer - not that he doesn't /notice/, but that he's occupied.

     "You dense motherfucker!" Seifer shouts, "You made me fucking MISS!"

     "I DON'T FUCKING MISS!"

     "MORON!" Seifer rounds away from Touta and shoulders his gunblade, looking up at Ruler and Avenger. He stands there for a minute.

     Then he just goes right up the wall.

     Seifer doesn't bother to slow down. He jumps up the window, one, two, three, four, five. He lands directly in front of Avenger and Ruler.

     Seifer's blade flashes.

     It stops a hair's breadth from bisecting Avenger, and probably Ruler, right through the neck. The blade is quite *literally* a hair's breadth away from both of them as Seifer gives them a long, cold look. Seifer stopped that sword so precisely, so *perfectly*, that it's...frankly staggering. Only somebody beyond Master-level could pull that off. Somebody *absurdly*, *stupidly* gifted, who took that gift and polished it till it shone like the sun and then kept on polishing because he had to *outshine* the sun.

     "Motherfucker," Seifer says.

     "*You* may be some crybaby bitch, but I'm a goddamn hero. I've killed a *god*. You can't even kill a /teenager/. Cut your chicken-wuss bullshit. Nobody cares what a coward thinks."

     "And you," Seifer points at Ruler as he shoulders the blade, "You fuckin' remember this. You remember that I made this choice. And the next time you try and get in my way, you think about how this choice coulda gone, and you ask yourself - /how confident am I that he'll make that choice again?/"

     Seifer turns away. "Be real fuckin' confident. 'cause you ain't gonna kill me. I'm Seifer Almasy. Remember it."

     And then Seifer hops off the building, jams his gunblade into the side to stop his fall, lands, shoulders the blade, and goes walking off.

Staren has posed:
    Staren actually hit his hand? A lucky shot, he thinks to himself, and tries to keep Avenger in the sights while the laser cools...

    But then... ichor that... hurts to look at. A taste of electricity and metal, and... Ruler's breaking up the fight? What the heck just happened? Oh right, servants often have some kind of reality-warping power. Could Ruler's be some kind of time control?

    Staren can't hear Ruler from the Eifel Tower (or maybe he can,) but one of his drones is in range. Staren nods. He keeps Avenger in his sights until it's clear he won't give chase. And then... Well, he has no interest in hanging around WW1 Paris, so off he goes.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     There's no processing what happened. One moment he was ready to catch Seifer as he fell. Instead...He tackled Seifer mid-swing? Did he overshoot the launch? He knows he was going fast but did he really overdo it that much? Well...He wasn't complaining completely. He knows that Avenger was by no means a good guy. He also knows that technically speaking the person wasn't 'alive'. All Servants, even his friends were simply magical familiars. Nothing more. That said though, even if this guy was on a ballistic rage he hadn't actually attacked anyone that wasn't his target or got himself involved. So it makes him think if only for a moment...

     Though Touta's snapped back to reality as Seifer picks him up. He's pissed. Really pissed. More than that he's blaming Touta of all people for missing his shot? He tries to speak up but he's quickly cut off by Seifer. It's hard to focus on his insults though when some sort of weird sensation was going on in his head. What was that weird taste in his mouth. It'd probably be at the point that Seifer picked him up by the collar that he'd throwing hands with Seifer. Besides the fact Touta went out of his way to save him from impeding death, the guy blamed him for missing?

     Perhaps the worst display he saw from Seifer though, even more than just simply checking him or the disrespect from before was what would occur next. He placed his blade to Avenger's throat as he was being restrained by Nagi...And then threatened Ruler's life. While Touta might have had some bias, the fact the guy had done nothing to the guy and Seifer still threatened his life...Well, to put it simply he would have never expected such behavior from Nozomi. Ultimately, Seifer leaves more pissed than he was before.

     So in the end, Touta didn't find any of the three people he was looking for. Touta ended up pissing another person off in the Concord. He still probably has Priscilla pissed at him. There's a stinging and metallic sensation in his tongue. This has been a really awful day.

     Touta doesn't want to retreat. He wants to know what the hell just happened. He wants to know why everything felt so distorted for that moment and what was giving him this weird sensation. If he wanted to...If he really wanted to he thinks he could make Nagi talk. By force if needed. But...He's not Seifer, and this war at the end of the day wasn't any of his business. The only reason he's butted in so far has only been for a few reasons.

     He looked into more originally cause of Nagi. But now that he showed he had no interest in anything but the grail, Touta stopped there. He tried helping Reiji speak with his father which while he did ended up getting him enemies with Priscilla as well as locked up by Theo. Now he was gonna get blamed for something else he didn't intend to do?

     Man, if he was a Servant at this point he'd have luck Rank E.

     "Take care, gramps..." He slowly walks away into the streets of Paris.

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    The police and soliders stand down at Tanya's signal. Some of them are throwing up, having been caught in the confluence of 'whatever-that-was.' Ruler smirks down at her, keeping Avenger in a tight hold as he tries to struggle free to extract revenge. "You might have questions kiddo, but I have no obligation to answer. Suffice to say, what just happened was a 'mistake.' Won't happen again." When the girl throws down the gauntlet at Avenger though, he immediately ceases and looks at her with a crazed grin. "I will hold you to that, Devil. Should you go back on your word, it will be those around you who suffer." Ruler just rolls his eyes.

    Ruler looks to Asterios and gives a pretty genuine shrug of 'I dunno.' Avenger though, now that he's not about to die, takes a moment to leer at the Minotaur. "You're her Servant, aren't you? Place no faith in your position, monster. The moment you are more useful as a sacrifice, she'll throw you away with no hesitation or remorse."

    And then Seifer runs up the roof and threatens both Servants with his gunblade. Ruler raises an eyebrow as he begins to crow, and Avenger begins to shout an answer, but he's cut off by Ruler clamping his hand over the other Servant's mouth. He's smiling at Seifer. "Potty mouth aside, I like you. So let me tell you something. Had you killed him, that would have broken a rule. 'Only a Servant may kill a Servant.' You and me going at it? That can't be allowed to be routine. That's gotta be a climax. So if you're looking to make it big, learn the rules, and maybe we can face off properly."

    All the while, Avenger had gone silent under Ruler's hand, and his one visible eye was shining in a way much like Tanya's does when she prays. He begins to convulse, prompting Ruler to remove the hand and expose the deep belly laugh he was issuing. "My Master just informed me as to what you are trying so desperately to cover up, Ruler! You absolute fool! What hope have you got, placing your trust in these fools?! They'll-"

    In an instant, Ruler pivots and drives a fist into the Servant's stomach. The garrison under his feet trembles from the force as Avenger is sent flying into the air, quickly vanishing from sight. "Phew. Sorry about the mess," he says to Tanya, his face fixed in a rictus of quelled anger. He looks at Touta's departing back, and hesitates for a moment, like he wants to go after his relative. But he shakes his head before hopping off his staff and flying after Avenger.

Tanya Degurechaff has posed:
    "We will meet again on the Rhine," Tanya repeats to Avenger. When he goes after Asterios, her eyes dart towards him, then back to Avenger. She seems to relax a bit, then, letting some of that confidence enter her voice and quell her tension, "You shouldn't have called him that." She's not going to bother refuting the claim that she might ditch Asterios if he becomes less than useful.

    Because it's kinda true. But. There's also a caveat to that she doesn't feel a need to vocalize.

    When Avenger's eye turns to that deific golden glow, though, Tanya's eyes narrow suspiciously.

    And then he's gone. And Ruler, shortly after.

    Tanya's face, in the mulling of her thoughts, has transformed to a glower that could kill a man. Her eyebrow twitches, teeth bared in a frustrated grimace. After a moment, her eyes close and she takes in a breath. Letting it out, the Major relaxes her expression.

    "I need to know something. Begin the investigation." Turning back to the garrison, anger just bubbling under the surface of her carefully measured tone, she adds, "Turn over every rock in the Multiverse until you find out who Avenger's Master is."

Asterios (1137) has posed:
'Monster.'

The atmosphere darkens instantaneously. It's as if the temperature has plummeted two dozen degrees. The massive minotaur standing behind Major Tanya Degurechaff seems suddenly infinitely more terrifying, as if everyone was standing in a room with a hungry tiger and only now realized that it has been licking its chops the entire time.

Tanya's right. Avenger shouldn't have called him that.

"Next time," the one called Minotauros growls in a voice that seems at last to fit a monster of legend. "It will be a servant. That kills you."

And then, Ruler punches Avenger into the sky, and the terrifying atmosphere seems to lift.

"Mmmn," Asterios grunts, saying nothing about the potential of being abandoned, should he ever become a dead weight.

Perhaps so. But that just means he'll need to make himself as useful as possible. He has... debts to repay, after all.