Part 1 - Introspection (Archer)
|Part 1 - Introspection (Archer)|
|Date of Cutscene:||28 August 2015|
|Synopsis:||Four years after the Fifth Grail War, Tohsaka Rin once again is dragged into the world of magical war... but this time for more then just Fuyuki or her family. And once again, she finds herself re-tracing the steps taken years before.|
|Cast of Characters:||Archer (Dropped)|
That word was still new to her, feeling strange and alien on her tongue as she tried to process it.
She knew the concept existed. She'd studied the theories of the Kaleidoscope - the theory of many, many alternate parallel timelines - effectively parallel universes - existing outside her own... but, no matter how much she tried, the reality of it didn't seem truly /real/ to her yet. As if it were some surreal dream. It just... eluded her ability to process it completely.
After all she'd been through, she hadn't been sure that was possible anymore... and yet... here she was, stupefied, as the world as she'd known it was effectively warped forever.
Then again, wasn't that the whole reason she signed on for this crazy project-?
Scrunching her nose slightly at the term 'Miss' - she wasn't /nearly/ that old - Tohsaka Rin turned and faced the one calling her; a young girl with bright auburn hair and amber eyes, looking a mix of innocent and uncertain that reminded her all-too-much of a certain moron she knew of back home. Sighing, she gave a short nod, affirming that she understood.
Of course, her brain wasn't quite so sure of that, but damned if she'd let her face show that.
Following the girl out of the small audience chamber, Rin was lead by the girl down the adjoining hallway toward another section of the complex. All the while, she glanced around at the others moving through the halls, once again wondering what she'd gotten into.
The world was peaceful. Nothing had happened to threaten it since the end of the Holy Grail Wars around four years ago. No tyrants setting up shop anywhere, no renegade servants or spirits, no rampaging Dead Apostles spelling out the end of the world. Rin's own research had been going very, very well ever since she finished her original task the year before - though to some degree it seemed that a lot of her work might have been much easier to do had she ironically just procrastinated a few years and picked up again /now/, given the circumstances - and she'd been looking forward to being able to spend an extended vacation visiting her family in Fuyuki.
... but that was before fate decided to toss their reality into a mass of others, now called the 'Multiverse.' And of course, the Clock Tower had decreed that precautions had to be taken.
Another symbol for the Institute - a moon-symbol that transitioned into a wave inside a circle, framed by a wreath - passed by her field of vision as Rin rounded the bend. The logo of Rin's new benefactors - the Chaldea Security Origination. A private initiative launched by one of the more prominent members of the Association from the Animusphere family, funded out of her own pocket.
Off the books.
... in other words... a Godddamn secret organization. Not like the Mage's Association - this was more like an actual black-operations secret-agent group like the kind of thing that, in the old days, she'd expect Shirou to think up which she would /laugh/ at from the absurdity of it... and now she was living that same absurdity.
The Chaldea Security Force had been established by Olga Marie of the Animusphere Family in the wake of what they had been told was called 'unification' - the merging of their reality into a large mass of interconnected realities - to provide assistance to the benevolent faction known as 'the Union.' They were to keep order on their world and make sure that no factions on their planet joined the ranks of the more militaristic 'Confederacy' and help defend against incursions from it... as well as to defend their world should the Confederacy decide to try and acquire their realm by force.
Of course, it wasn't quite easy for the Association to pick a side at first, and it took people like Lord El-Melloi II to almost literally knock sense into them and get them to side with the Union, even after seeing some of the hideous factions that worked under the Confederacy - groups like the 'Sith,' the 'Red Lanterns' and many more.
In the wake of that, it now fell to Chaldea - to Rin and those she now worked with - to help the Union against the Confederacy and try to establish some form of lasting peace, even if it was just in the immediate sense of the word.
Rin didn't have any qualms against that. She was all-too-happy to agree to that kind of contingency-response system - she had her sister and brother-in-law, or close enough at least, to think about, after all.
But still... the extent they were going to - the things they were about to do - seemed impossible. Hell, it was outright scary for her - she'd seen what could happen when this kind of power could be abused... or corrupted. She'd seen what it /did/ to people... how it tainted them. If it didn't twist them into the antithesis of who or what they were... then it just left them hollow husks of who they used to be. She'd seen /both/ happen - she'd be damned if she let it happen again if she had the chance.
... the problem with that though was that it wasn't just her own life on the line by doing this. Members of the Mage's Association that took part in this little... venture... they would be closely watched, and their families would be part of a clause to be protected in the event that something happened in her world. But that protection in and of itself was the problem - if they were promising to protect them, that would mean that, if something /did/ actually happen, they would take them into protective custody... and if they did, they could discover the secrets about her family she had kept hidden.
If anyone even suspected what she was hiding... if they suspected something of her family back home... Sakura, Shirou, Rider - if the truth about just /one/ of them was discovered-
No - /no/. That wouldn't happen. She wouldn't let any dangers reach this world. That was the whole reason she was doing this. Why she was part of this "initiative" to help give assistance.
Hell, she'd been an unofficial part of this institute for a while since it was /her/ research that was helping make half of this possible - the SHIVA Near-Future Observation Lens was effectively a re-tooled version of the Jewel Sword Zelretch she had replicated under the old man himself. Using the same principles of interacting with parallel universes as the sword did, a Professor by the name of 'Lev' retrofitted the theory to create a jewel-lens that could glimpse possible futures and see what may potentially happen in the near-future. Their 'danger-alert system' as it were... though building up the needed energy to get glimpses of events across the whole of the multiverse took time, making it an unreliable means of telling where hotspots were at best.
... and that... was where their 'reaction agents' would play a two-fold part... and this was the part where she prayed to God she wasn't helping start something worse then what could potentially happen if they'd just stayed out of the Union and Confederate's wars, possible eventual involvement be damned.
Almost as if in tandem with her thoughts, the girl who had been leading Rin through the complex finally stopped off at their destination room, with Rin unconsciously slipping a hand into her pocket to wrap her fingers around an old trinket that even now gave her a sense of comfort.
And soon enough... it might do more for her... as it had twice before.
That was why they'd asked for her to do this - because she was one of the few who'd had experience with it. One of the only ones they knew of that still lived through the Grail War who could assuredly provide them someone that could help defend their world.
Hopefully... she'd do exactly that.