Rin Tohsaka stepped out of the airport with a certain redheaded boy. He was carrying their hands on luggage while Tohsaka handled arranging for transportation. She had brought Shirou along both because she couldn’t deny his combat experience and because he knew far more about handling technology than she did. She could drive a car fine enough, but Amami City didn’t use normal cars. As she stared at the small, compact, and wheeless car they were packing their luggage into and getting ready to drive, she was completely clueless as to even begin approaching it. She got into the passenger side and watched as Shriou began to work the machine to drive them. She sighed and asked “How are you even supposed to drive that thing…? With mimicry?”. Shirou shook his head, saying “No… it’s a smart car. We tell it where we want to go and it’ll do it itself”. Tohsaka sighed, asking “Just how did they accomplish that…?”. Shirou shrugged, saying “I dunno. I could visualize if you like but it might not give the results you expect”. Tohsaka shook her head, saying “It’s not really important… but check it anyway. I need to know something”. Shirou nodded, putting a hand on the dashboard and muttered “Trace on”. She watched as his magic circuits hummed to life and his spell did its work. She once called it useless but had stopped calling it that. He had made it one of the most amazing information gathering spells she had seen. While it wasn’t applicable to spells like Gandr that simply existed for a single purpose and fizzled out once done, she had seen him scan and determine magic rituals that to this day she wasn’t able to hide from him. She was willing to bet that if trained enough, the man before her could unravel magical mysteries that stumped magic users for centuries now. The thought made her snicker internally at a simple bumpkin overturning decades of precedent. Of course she never encouraged this behavior. In fact, she warned him away from such activities. It helped that his desires and dreams didn’t align with such ideals. He did want to be a ‘Hero of Justice’ and becoming researcher of the century didn’t fit that paradigm.
“Interesting” Shirou stated “I have no clue. There’s a computer onboard and it seems responsible for most of this car's functions… but the how is escaping me. All I’m getting is coding… which I can’t make heads or tails of”. Frowning, she asked “No magic?”. Shirou shook his head as Tohsaka simply sighed and said “Well glad to know the idiots in charge aren’t exposing everyone to it”. She froze a bit when she felt the car begin to move but calmed herself, remembering his explanation. They were heading to the property they purchased, a small run-down convenience store with a basement. After they’d set up their workshop, she’d make contact with the second owner to go over recent events. There was no way they weren’t aware of recent oddities. “So” Shirou spoke up, interrupting her thoughts “Any idea why they’re going about it this way?”. She shrugged, saying “I can’t begin to fathom why someone would even think to combine technology and magic. The two are wholly exclusive. One inherently degrades the other”. Shirou nodded somewhat, saying “I see. Still there must be a purpose… they couldn’t have just done it to see if they could, right?”. Rin simply deadpanned to Shirou, asking “You ask that, despite your time in clocktower?”. Shirou laughed a bit, but replied “You have a point there. Then I guess our best bet would be investigating the corporation itself. See what they’re up to with this stuff”. Rin shook her head negatively, saying “First we set up our workshop. Then I’ll check in with the second owner. After that… yes. We investigate Algonsoft. I’m sure we’ll discover something if we do that”. It was about then that the car stopped at their location. The run-down convenience store that would be their base of operations for their stay.
As they walked in, Rin frowned. “Really… already?” she muttered, to which Shirou replied “Makes sense. All citizens get a free computer… so of course we’d get one too, moving here and all” and he walked to it. Picking up an envelope, he stated “Ah… they left a note for us too. Want to read it? I’ll do a sweep”. Nodding, Shirou set it down and began to walk around, using his Visualization spell on everything to check for bugs. She meanwhile read the letter. It was an official welcome letter. It mentioned how due to a lack of details on personalizing their computer, they went with an ordinary, sleek design. What it mentioned however troubled her. It mentioned noticing her long lineage and as such made the computer user-friendly so she wouldn’t struggle with using some of the more complicated features. It was both insulting and showed that the government was definitely cooperating with Algonsoft. Putting it away, she made her way downstairs as Shirou came up. “All clear. I’ll go scan the computer and we’ll be good” Shirou stated. Tohsaka shook her head, saying “Just don’t bring it down and it won’t be an issue. Let’s get our workshop secured”. Shirou hesitated but nodded and followed her down. She pulled out a few gems and began to work on making a bounded field so no one she didn’t want walking in would.
Panting hard, he threw the VR equipment off him. He was still restrained enough that it didn’t damage the equipment, but he was still freaked out and didn’t want to risk it reactivating the system while he was still hooked in. He immediately moved away, taking a seat at the PC. Hitomi had moved away now, and then moved to him and tried to take his pulse, asking “Tsukamoto! Are you alright!?”. He tried to calm down but couldn’t. His body trembled. What he felt was fear. No… something deeper. More primal. He felt terror. Like something had done a thing that should not have been done. Like something had blasphemed him and gotten away with it. “Your pulse is accelerated but not worrisome… Tsukamoto? Can you hear me?” Hitomi pressed. He finally looked at her, saying “Y-yeah… s-sorry just… I might have… did you see that…?”. Hitomi slowly nodded, saying “Yeah… I watched that light… float there. Then you suddenly convulsed violently. Seven times. I tried to approach but then you started flailing… and then that… coyote appeared. After it left, you logged out”. Staring for several moments, he asked “Did it… say anything…? Either of them…?”. Nodding, Hitomi said “I know they did but I was so worried that I wasn’t listening well”. Sighing deeply, he finally stated “Then… I’m not crazy. That actually happened… I.. it claimed that light tried to steal my soul”. Frowning, Hitomi asked “Is that… is that even possible…?”. Shaking his head, he replied “Can’t be… I mean… what would it even do with it…? Forget it. It’s just some crazy hackers”. Looking at Hitomi, he replied “What about the gun PC? Is it done?”. Hitomi nodded, saying “It finished after the conference. I didn’t want to mention it because we were having so much fun….”. He gave a dry laugh and moved to it, pulling it to him as he closed the live feed for the vr. It was off since the equipment went off anyway. As he pulled up the decryption program, he saw that it was completed. What he found however was odd.
The machine's specs were… built towards one factor: Processing power. It’s storage was good for a portable computer but compared to PCs it was laughable. It only had 100 gbs for storage after all while even his home PC touted 5 tbs. The spookies computers? The VR setup had 10 tbs alone. The computer he used? 100 tbs. All using single ssds. Spooky of course set up RAIDs so that the systems had backups to fall back on in the event of an emergency. What shocked him was the processing power. It rivaled the systems he was working with now. How this guy managed to get that onto a portable computer like this was beyond him. The only explanation was they used an executive Algonsoft CPU. That was reserved exclusively for rich citizens of Amami City, like the mayor, the CEO, managers, etc. Even if you had the cash, you likely couldn’t even access the market for one. Who the hell owned this? After that, he looked at the login credentials for the gun PC. Username was Urabe Kouichirou, the PIN was JF29. Then he looked at the onboard programs and frowned. A chat room app called ‘Phantom’s Log’, another app was ‘Conspiracy Testimonials Daily’ which looked a lot like a reddit ripoff for conspiracy theories, then there was the ‘Amami Satellite Feed’ app which seemed to direct to a live feed of… the Amami City-owned Satellite? They had one? He put that aside and looked at the next one. It was called ‘Amami City Surveillance Suite’ and was… connected to every security camera owned by Amami City. He was creeped out now, knowing the previous owner had access to all the city’s street cameras. However the next one was damning about the legality of this device. ‘Amami City Network Cams’ was the title and he knew when he read the details that it was looking at every webcam connected to the Amami City network. Thankfully, his home and this place, among others, were exempt. All hackers knew better than to keep some software installed, the first thing he did was clean his home system of spyware. Spooky definitely did that with all his equipment, meaning this program wasn’t able to get access easily. Still, he felt dirty having this. Then there were the final two apps. ‘Grimoire’ and ‘Devil Summoning Program’ were their titles. The grimoire was a self-updating text file that was currently completely empty. The Devil Summoning Program details however… chilled him. “Summon… demons… from beyond? What the hell…?” he muttered as he looked at the gun-shaped PC and gulped. “Wh-what? Wh-why… Why are you saying that?” Hitomi asked, very nervous. “This program… that’s all that’s written about it... “ he muttered, looking back. Then he saw one more program. “Nemissa.exe?” he questioned, opening the details. He saw nothing and said “What kind of program is this…? Spookies systems have nothing on it? How?”. Hitomi frowned, saying “Think we should open it and find out?”. He stared for a few moments, then said “No choice… lemme run the firewall. Just in case it activates and tries to bust in”. With a few clicks, the computer’s homebrewed firewall was on full alert and he picked up the gun PC. He already guessed how to activate it. He put his finger on the trigger and pulled.
Several seconds passed and nothing happened. After a few minutes, Hitomi made the ‘Eh?’ sound, asking “Did you… do you maybe… need to turn the safety off…?”. Feeling his face go red, he checked. He did, in fact, need to turn the safety off first. Like a real gun. He did just that and put his finger back on the trigger, saying “Okay… gun PC booting up… try 2!” before pulling said trigger. This time, the folded up end unfolded, revealing a screen that projected a holographic keyboard on one side and the miniature monitor on the other. He looked at it and saw the login screen, clearly homebrewed. It had a picture of some man he never met, probably the original owner, and requested the username and password of the owner. He entered them and then a new prompt came up. ‘This user has died. You are now the new owner. Please enter your credentials’ it read. Frowning, he mulled it over when Hitomi stated “Why not just put your handle in? That should be fine”. Nodding, he entered it. ‘Sanaga’ as the username, and set the PIN to AT25. After that, the message displayed ‘New User Sanaga registered! Booting up now!’ and after a few seconds the desktop for the gun PC displayed. He waited a few seconds and saw nothing happen. “So Nemissa.exe doesn’t load up on-” but was interrupted when it suddenly shook violently. “What the heck!?” Hitomi cried out as a flash occurred suddenly. She covered her eyes, as did he. When they looked, they saw a ball of light… very similar to the one in Paradigm X. Before that primal terror could settle in again, it began to fly around manically. They both backed away, but this had the opposite intended effect. It stopped mid-flight for a few seconds, and then suddenly rocketed at Hitomi. “Touno!” He cried, running to her, hoping to push her out of the way. However, he was short by a couple of feet. The light ball slammed into Hitomi, knocking her over as it phased into her. “Hitomi!!!” he cried, panic settling in. He fell to his knees next to her, having dropped the gun PC. He managed to catch her fall and held her close. “Hitomi! Hitomi!” he cried out, as he took her pulse. He breathed a bit in relief when he found it was stable. However, he knew something was wrong. That light ball looked exactly like the one from inside Paradigm X. That’s when suddenly Hitomi changed. Specifically, her hair became very, very long. White as snow as well. As her eyes opened, he realized that her eyes were white as well. Suddenly, Hitomi sat upright, looking right at him… and smiled big.
“Yoooo…. I’m free! I’m finally free!” Hitomi declared, hugging him tightly. At first, it didn’t really register. Then suddenly, his face became flushed with pink. “Uhhh… o-okay…?” he stuttered, a bit shell shocked at the sudden 180. “I am! I’m finally out of that digital prison! It’s all thanks to you! Oh and your friend here. Really nice of you to have a body ready for me. How’d you know my type?” the thing inside Hitomi stated, standing up from its hug “Oh, by the way, I’m borrowing our friend's body. Name’s Nemissa. I’m a demon… wow. So this is what it looks like on the other side” and began to explore. “Wh-what!?” he cried out, standing “Get out of my friend!”. Nemissa chuckled, barely giving him a glance, saying “Relax. I ain’t gonna bite kiddo… that said, it’s time I moved on. Adios” and started to open the door. He grabbed her arm and pulled, saying “Not until you release my friend! Release Hitomi!”. Nemissa looked shocked at first, then glared, saying “Kid. You do realize what I am right? Let me go, and I’ll forget this. Don’t and-” then suddenly the face changed back to Hitomi’s, as she cried out “Arata! Help! Nemissa… she’s possessing me!” before Nemissa wrested control, saying “Calm down! I just got this body, stop fighting!”. Frowning, he said “That isn’t your body! That’s Hitomi’s! Now give it back!”. Nemissa glared at him, saying “I ain’t gonna say it again! I got this fair and square! I ain’t going back to that prison!”. Then silence pervaded. Nemissa glared, clearly thinking something, but sighed and said “Look kid. I’m sorry. You spend a few years in prison and then tell me you wouldn’t leave even if it ruined someone else’s life. Them’s the brakes”. He glared back, saying “I’m not letting go”. Growling, Nemissa was about to bark when a voice spoke up, saying “Yo! Hitomi, didja get a new look or something?”. Standing before them was the sharply dressed teenager known as Six. He wore a black sleeveless shirt over a white zipped over jacket, white jeans, and white boots.
“No! She’s been-” but saw Nemissa smirk. He stopped and realized quickly what it was about. If he revealed the truth, Six may not believe him. If he didn’t, she could just leave. He gritted his teeth and asked “Six. We’ve known each other long enough. Would you believe me if I said something crazy?”. Six laughed, saying “I dunno. I might believe you saw something that made you believe it. Why?”. Nemissa frowned, and before he could say anything said “We just got in a fight. That’s all. Hacker boy here almost got caught. That gun PC had some tough systems”. He frowned now but nodded, saying “Yeah… Hitomi here-” but was cut off as Nemissa said “Ah-ah, handles. I’m going by… I think Nemissa sounds right”. “That sounds du-” he started to say, but was cut off by a new voice stating “C’mon Sanaga, be chill. Nemissa works”. He knew this adult too. Well, young adult. The 19-year old man nicknamed Lunch was the group's hardware expert. He had an unusual but cool-looking hairstyle and wore a green trench coat over jeans and a rock t-shirt as well as combat boots. Pouches lined his belt, all filled with little gadgets he used. “Hey, the computer on? I wanna upgrade it” and walked over. He unplugged the gun PC and looked at Nemissa, then at Lunch, saying “It is… but I ain’t us’in it at the moment”. “Sweet” Lunch said, turning it off. After that, he pulled out a screwdriver from a pouch and undid the side, exposing the motherboard inside. “Got us a nice little present, courtesy of Algonsoft. The latest CPU that they’re gonna ship out tomorrow” Lunch explained, popping the old CPU out and pulling out a similar sized but sleeker looking one and popping it in, saying “This things gonna bump up the processing power a lot. Now we could process 24k videos if we needed to”. Nemissa laughed, saying “Wow. sounds impressive”. Lunch nodded, looking at her and saying “Yeah. Better than what we had. Imma pass this baby to the VR stuff. It’s still pretty good and Paradigm X is demanding” before heading there, though commented “By the way, you go’in for a new look? Cause it’s pretty great”. Nemissa nodded, saying “Totally. Glad ya like it”. Six looked between him and Nemissa, sighing in relief and saying “Well, if that’s resolved, where's the leader?”. “Ah, he stepped out. Looking into” and stopped as the phone rang. Six looked and saw the number, frowning. He answered immediately.
“Six speaking, what’s up boss?” Six stated, pressing the speaker button. “It’s bad” Spooky’s voice stated “I’m at the Algonsoft NS building, in Nikamimon. I’m being hunted. I need help, quickly! Gah! They’re back, hurry! Careful, there’s monster-” and was cut off as the signal cut out. Six and Lunch paled as they stared at the phone now emitting static while he felt his face get cold. Meanwhile, Nemissa grinned like a cheshire cat as she looked at him. He knew what she was thinking. He knew what he was thinking. This wasn’t some bad dream. It was real. Demon’s were real. His soul was actually almost stolen… and now his friend was possessed. “Let’s go” Nemissa said “Seems like the leader needs some help, right?”. Nodding slowly, Six stated “Yeah… dunno what he… meant by monsters but it can’t be good. I’ll lend everyone some gear…” and headed to a stack of duffel bags in a corner. Lunch meanwhile headed for the toolbox and pulled it out, saying “Portable hackers. We’re gonna need ‘em if we’re tackling Algonsoft NS”. Quickly, gear was handed out. Each of them were handed Nambu Type 14 and a switchblade disguised as a lighter. He also had a bulletproof vest underneath his clothing and combat boots. Lunch also wore this equipment as did Six and Nemissa. He put the gun PC in a holster provided by Six. “We ready? Let’s head out. I’ll drive” Lunch said, leaving the base. He did too and they piled into Lunch’s smart SUV. The vehicle was gifted by Spooky so they had an alternative vehicle for situations like this. He looked at Nemissa who looked back and simply grinned. He wasn’t going to enjoy this.