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Nuclear Contemplations

My Really Big Summer Project

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So, my ani-ue challenged me to write a full-length fanfic. Not one to refuse a challenge, I accepted, and here's what I have so far, so much of this is still subject to change. (I hope to have the first chapter up by the end of July, since classes start at August, and yeah). Comments, suggestions, and violent reactions are all welcome. Just keep it civil.
Premise: Philippines, the year 2012. Seven Magi converge at the historic city of Malolos and risk everything for the people they love in order to witness a miracle.

Setting: Sixty years ago in Subic, Zambales, the Americans conceived what would become the Malolos Grail from schematics discovered after the plunder of the Fuyuki Grail during the eve of the Second World War. The Americans sought to use this Holy Grail as a test subject to see whether such an object would indeed be able to grant any wishes without endangering the homeland should the experiment fail. Thus, the First Holy Grail War was a fairly simple affair that involved only American Masters and the forced suicide of the Servants. What the Americans wished for is unknown, and it is unlikely that the rest of the world will ever find out.

The Americans sought to use the Grail as a political and military tool, but that outcome was severely hindered by the fact that it would take another sixty years before the Grail could be usable. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, which saw the Grail becoming nearly unusable due to the instability in the leylines caused by the eruption (as well as being half-buried in soot and pyroclastic material) and the subsequent turnover of Subic Bay to the Philippines in 1992 shut down those ambitions permanently. During this turnover process, the Philippine government gained custody over the Subic Grail and decided to transfer it to the city of Malolos, where it would be near enough to Manila to be easily accessible and manageable, but far enough from it that the inevitable clashes would not affect life in the metro, as well as having similar leyline distribution and strength as those in Subic. 1993 saw the Grail settle into its new home beneath the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at the heart of the city.

Characters:
Team Caster
Leon “Noel” Mendoza: The elder of the Mendoza brothers. He is thirty-two years old, and has a wife, Maria, who is pregnant with their first son. He’s a self-proclaimed monster hunter, though he sometimes does exorcisms, fortune tellings, and talisman creation. He comes from a line of well-known practitioners of Witchcraft, though he prefers using combat related spells the most. Personality wise, he’s extroverted and a joker, in contrast to his quiet younger brother. In combat, he wields a pair of enchanted arnis sticks and a four-foot long stingray tail (which is a weakness of the omnipresent aswang).
Baldomero “Baldo” Mendoza, Jr.: The younger of the Mendoza brothers and the administrator for the First Malolos Holy Grail War. He is twenty-eight years old and was ordained as priest only recently. Being a younger son, his parents pressured him to join the clergy, which would prevent upstarting families from diluting the Mendoza bloodline by marrying him, and keep him out of trouble while they focus on training his elder brother, Leon. He has become rather resentful because of that. Personality wise, he’s quiet and moody, and prefers the company of books.
Caster: An enigmatic sorcerer summoned by Leon in order to take part in the Holy Grail War. He introduces himself as both healer and destroyer, having nigh peerless skill in healing Magecraft, yet possessing a Noble Phantasm that can kill thousands at the height of its power.

Team Berserker
Julius “Jules” Domingo: An up and coming politician in the 2013 local government elections. He is twenty-six years old, and comes from a long line of established politicians in Bulacan. Unbeknownst to the populace, the Domingo clan are actually Magi who specialize in charm Magecraft, imbued with a peculiar Sorcery Trait that allows them to tame even members of the Phantasmal Species in order to do their bidding. Julius uses this to great effect by charming potential voters with his voice, and setting his private pack of aswang on those who dare argue. Personality wise, he’s the type of person to get their hands dirty for the ideal they believe in: in his case, justice, in terms of rooting out corruption in the system.
Berserker: A strange, wolf-like beast summoned by Julius in order to take part in the Holy Grail War. Where most Berserkers are mad warriors, this one is more feral in nature, driven only by instinct and the power of Julius’ Magecraft.

Team Saber
Walter Chua: The nineteen year old son of a wealthy Chinese family living in Malolos. He is only half Chinese, due to his late mother being a Filipina. His left eye is a Mystic Eye which allows him to predict the future, and he is skilled in astrology, both neidan and waidan schools of Chinese alchemy and bajiquan in order to supplement his precognition abilities. Personality wise, he is a bored and detached individual because of his ability to see the future, and secretly longs for the day that his predictions would be proven wrong. In combat, he uses a combination of alchemy and bajiquan to strike hard and debilitate the opponent’s organs.
Saber: A mysterious swordsman summoned by Walter in order to take part in the Holy Grail War. He possesses a saint-like disposition, which serves to temper his twin blades and flagrant zeal for defending his beliefs.

Team Archer
Marianne Leeds: A twenty-four year old American immigrant who became a Master due to her privilege as a descendant of one of the Magi who built the Holy Grail. Her clan practices Spiritual Evocation, which allowed her to exploit certain loopholes in the Grail system and summon a Servant with a terrain advantage. She conducts herself with an air of elegance as one born of wealth and nobility, and dismisses the Philippines as a backwater and an unworthy place for the Grail to manifest. Thus, she wishes to plunder the Grail from Malolos and bring it to America, which would also make up for the disastrous Holy Grail produced in Snowfield. She mostly relies on her summoned spirits in combat.
Archer: The anomalous bowman summoned by Marianne to take part in the Holy Grail War. It would, however, be more appropriate to call him a cannoneer, seeing as he summons cannons seemingly from thin air.

Team Rider
Bienvenido “Bien” Azcarraga: The eighteen year old scion of a dying Spanish bloodline. Originally from Malaga, the Azcarraga clan was a powerful and prosperous family with multiple holdings and ventures all throughout the island of Luzon during the Spanish occupation, but have since fallen on hard times due to mismanagement of finances and land reform policy. Personality wise, Bien is as welcoming as his name implies, hiding his insecurities and secrets behind a smile. He practices Kabbalah as a way of pleasing his father and not as a field of interest, so he’s not pretty good at it.
Rider: William the Conqueror, the proud mounted knight Bienvenido summoned for the Holy Grail War. His noble attitude inspires Bien to act as he chooses in the Holy Grail War, without the constraints of his family’s expectations.

Team Assassin
Cecilia de Leon: A seventeen year old Biochemistry major who’s currently on vacation. Because her mother is dead and her father works as an OFW in Canada, she currently lives with her grandmother in the de Leon ancestral house some distance away from the Cathedral. She’s rather familiar with Bienvenido, as he’s an upperclassman of hers. She is entirely unaware of the Holy Grail War, or of her Magus lineage, up until the Command Spells engraved themselves on the back of her hand. Personality wise, she’s hardworking when she sets her mind to something, but is so indecisive that it rarely happens, and she simply goes through the motions of life. Her late mother was a genius with puppets, a practice she inherits.
Assassin: Oddly enough, the Assassin Cecilia summons for the Holy Grail War is the easiest to understand: it is literally a writhing mass of black shadow. However, using its Noble Phantasm, it possesses one of the deactivated puppets at the house’s basement, turning it into a veritable tool for the War.

Team Lancer
Hinden von Einzbern: A battle homunculus coined by Jubstacheit von Einzbern for the sole purpose of bringing “back” the Malolos Grail. As a result, his personality and skills have been programmed accordingly. He takes an obsession to the Holy Grail and immediately orders a newly-summoned Lancer to bring back the Grail as soon as possible. However, Lancer’s defensive tactics leave him frequently frustrated. In combat, he commands both his fellow homunculi and his own alchemical skills to quickly decimate the enemy before they can retaliate.
Lancer:Ranavalona I, the cruel spearwoman Hinden summons for the Holy Grail War. Her policy of hunkering down is in direct conflict with her Master’s, but she ultimately goes her own way because of her security in her own superiority.


So I currently have three plus storylines going on: Hinden, Julius, and Marianne blitzing the Grail War, Leon trying to keep his brother safe, and teenage existential bullshit. I honestly think the last one is the weakest one, since it involves little to no bloodshed and can be advanced in-between bouts. I'm thinking of writing this in either of two ways: as a seamless story like most main entries to Fate, or in story arcs, like in Proto Fragments. Again, ideas and criticisms are always welcome.

Updated July 15th, 2015 at 05:25 AM by Nuclear Consensus

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Comments

  1. Vagrant's Avatar
    Sounds fun to me. Sticking a grail into a highly Catholic place like the Philippines and letting it boil over surely can't go wrong.

    I'd certainly read it. If only so I can figure out who Caster, Archer and Berserker are. That's always half the game and it gets skipped too often.
  2. Dullahan's Avatar
    I'm down for this. Cryptonomicon has put me in the mood for a story about Cool Things happening in the Philippines.
  3. Vagrant's Avatar
    At one point the protagonists obviously have to escape by hitching a ride on a jeepney.
  4. Nuclear Consensus's Avatar
    Aw hell naw.

    Jeeps can't do shit against the omnipresent, omnipotent Philippines Brand Traffic. When you're stuck, you're stuck.
  5. Rafflesiac's Avatar
    So Kuramitsu Meruka summoned Saber, huh?

    At any rate, looks interesting to me.
  6. Ivan The Mouse's Avatar
    Wow pare, ano ba 'to?
  7. Nuclear Consensus's Avatar
    @Raff: Of a sort, since his Master has only one of half of Meruka's powers.

    @Ivan: Social commentary on the motherland in the form of fanfic.
  8. VasilikiHaidee's Avatar
    EDSA wars!

    Chinatown wars!

    Luneta wars!

    yippee!