Part 2 - Preparation (Archer)

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Part 2 - Preparation (Archer)
Date of Cutscene: 28 August 2015
Location:
Synopsis: As she nears the moment of fate, Tohsaka Rin prepares herself for the fact that she will once again call upon a warrior among Heroes to fight by her side... and thinks of one in particular that she would be both anxious, yet not entirely reluctant to see.
Cast of Characters: Archer (Dropped)

The next step had come - double-checking everything before the actual event. It all had to be perfect... otherwise it would be wasted effort.

But that didn't mean she had to enjoy the idea of being near it again.

Taking a breath, Rin stepped forward into the chamber, walking toward it's center - towards the large, ornate design imprinted into the floor, swirling patterns interlocking into a circular pattern she was familiar with even after so much time had passed. Beyond that...

Beyond that, behind a plexiglass pane inside a much larger chamber then the one she was currently in... was a white crystalline device, built in the shape of something Rin would rather have never seen again. A device that took advantage of this newfound 'unification' and the concepts of the SHIVA lens to replicate the so-called 'miracle' that had existed in Fuyuki until four years ago. A 'miracle' that had been tainted and corrupted by the greed of a family who's pride blinded them to the reasons of discovery that had initially fueled their construction of it. A 'miracle' that Chaldea had taken great pains to replicate - and while it was not the original, nor was it corrupted like the original had been... the very concept of the crystalline, miniaturized and vaguely chalice-like structure in the background was something she would never stop experiencing shudders at the thought of, let alone the sight of.

For it was also a 'miracle' that her close friend's step-sister had given up what little life she had left to end for good.

It once again made Rin wonder if what they were doing was really worth messing with fire once more... and after everything she - they - had given to end it all the last time... would they ever understand, let alone forgive her if they knew she had dabbled in it once more? She hoped it never came to that - that their job never was exposed to their public... that their people didn't know they were involved in war for the sake of having surefire protection from one side against the other.

... but if it did... would she even get the chance to say anything? Would she have anything to say that could justify-?

"Wow... you're very good at this, Miss Tohsaka" came an all-too-relaxed statement of encouragement from beside her - the auburn-haired girl, blissfully oblivious to the internal questions Rin was being plagued with. "I've never seen anyone so calm about this." The girl then fidgeted somewhat awkwardly, momentarily unsure of what to say. "Um... I know it's a bit early, but... I hope you get a good one."

Regarding the other for a long moment, Rin forced herself to expel the tension in a sigh, giving a simple nod of affirmation before stepping ahead toward the circle. The child reminded her of Shioru so very much it wasn't even funny.

Then again, maybe it would have been under better circumstances. The fact that Rin was effectively going to become one of her world's covert heroes, acting for the sake of defending her reality - her family - from potential dangers was not such a circumstance to laugh at... especially now. After all, even as experience as she now was, she still occasionally screwed up at the worst moment... and right now was /not/ a moment she wanted to screw up. She couldn't afford to. Not this far along.

After all... if Rin didn't do this... who would? Not Sakura - Rin wouldn't allow her sister to suffer any more hardship. Not Shirou - it was unfair to both him and Sakura to even suggest it, considering that he, or rather they, finally had some semblance of a normal, happy life. And she had no desire to inadvertently rekindle that suicidal sense of 'save everyone at the cost of yourself' that he had finally put past him now. She was the big Magus in the family - this was her responsibility, for their sakes as much as hers.

That was why she was willing to help with the FATE system - with Chaldea's pseudo-replication of the original Fuyuki Holy Grail. One designed not for the granting of wishes, but rather for the specific purpose of summoning and sustaining Heroic Spirits as Servants to use in assisting the Union - and in doing so, aid in the overall defense of their world. Using the warriors of the past not as pawns in a power-game, but instead for actually defending their world like the heroes they were remembered as. It was far more noble a cause then what the original Grail had been built for.

... so why did she still feel so anxious? Why did she keep imagine what it could do if misused?

...

Well, that was her job, wasn't it? To make sure it wasn't misused? To be sure those mistakes never happened? Friends close, enemies closer and all that? Besides... like she'd said before... she'd be darned if she let anyone else get shouldered with this burden.

Stepping fully into the circumference of the circle, Rin stilled her thoughts for a moment and withdrew a pouch from her pocket with practiced ease, placing multiple gemstones into the carving on the floor at regular points.

This was the easy part in all honesty. The harder part... well... that was actually selecting who it was she should think of to summon.

She should have aimed for the strongest one possible, given the circumstances.. A Saber, preferably... heck, a Lancer would do well, too. And seeing as few, if anyone in the group had anything in the way of Catalysts - they were basically just summoning whoever and trying to keep it restrained to "good guys" by using good-natured Masters to draw Servants of similar disposition - there was no real way to predict who Rin would get.

Still... she also knew that, slim as the chance was with how many heroes there were in history, she might end up with a Servant she knew from the Grail War. Cú Chulainn, maybe? Heracles? They'd be good picks. There was also... well... there was Arturia Pendragon as well... but somehow, that thought unnerved Rin, as she didn't know if she could face the former Saber without remembering what happened to her last time. It would be awkward to say the least.

...

And... of course, there was the chance... she'd get /him./

It was a slimmer chance then the others... normally. He hadn't been a normal spirit and his name was not recorded in history... and it never would be recorded in /their/ history since his timeline wasn't theirs. It would be summoning a Servant from beyond their own history itself - typically impossible.

But he was unique... and she still had the catalyst.

Fingers brushed against the smooth, multifaceted surface of the object in her pocket, reassuring Rin once again as if the one it brought to her still looked out for her, begrudging as his help had been in the past for both of them. In her other, currently outstretched hand, she finished placing her gems on the floor, the patterns etched into it's surface slowly filling out as the melting stones across it filled the empty recesses of the carving.

It didn't matter who she got - they'd do the job just as well. Hell, they would likely be far more trustworthy as well, all things considered - she'd never actually gotten far enough down the line with him to have considered him 'trustworthy.' Reliable, yes. Skilled, certainly. Trustworthy... that was subject to opinion.

... still... if she did get him again... it wouldn't be so bad, would it? After all, given the situation... someone like him, with his duty, would be more then welcome. Even though it was unfair of her to push that kind of job on him, it was still his job... and at the very least, she felt he could accomplish it better then a hero who's mental state was inflexible.

Or at least that was her errant hope, if she ended up with that twisted man once again as her Servant. +bb After all... in spite of his smartass attitude and the fact that he was often more trouble then he was worth... he had still been a good person.

And anyway... she owed him. And if there was one thing Tohsaka Rin didn't do, it was fail to repay her debts. So if she did end up with him again... well, worse came to worse, she always had the Command Spell, right?