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[IC][Story][Arc 1] Arrivals
[IC][Story][Arc 1] Arrivals
OOC: Here's a place to put "arrival" stories that don't have anywhere else to go. Starting off with one we've already seen in the planning threads, then going on to previously-unseen scenes.

September 18, 2016, Asgard Time

Urd looked over Belldandy's shoulder and gasped. "Bel, are you trying to make our jobs harder?" Then she reached over Belldandy's shoulder and re-specified some insertion points so that Drosselmeyer and Fakir weren't dropped into the universe in the same place. "We really don't need two reality warpers acting against each other as soon as they show up, not with the entire continuity in the state it's in. Take a break; I'll finish up here."


"Go! Even Safety wouldn't have made that basic an error. Something's distracting you. You're of no use to anybody else right now."

She went. Grudgingly - there was still so much work that needed to be done - but quietly. Watching her leave, Urd carefully did not add that she was certain what was bothering her sister; it wasn't her place to make that particular comment.

Belldandy eventually found herself at the gate to The Almighty's private garden... which opened of its own accord. "Come in, child."

When you're invited in by The Almighty, you don't refuse. Of course she couldn't see Him; she never could. But she felt comfort in His presence.

"What is troubling you, child?"

"You would know that better than I do."

"I would. I also know that you have a Need to tell someone. It would be best if that someone was not Hild or Marller."

Belldandy stopped to smell the roses, then replied, "I miss my husband."

"As you should. Morisato Keiichi is a remarkable mortal, worthy of your love. And both he and his sister would be a good influence on both the people you have been sending to San Antonio and the person who has met or will meet them upon their arrivals. You have My permission to bring to San Antonio your husband, his sister, his employer, and the person who directly followed him as the chair of his school's Motor Club."

Belldandy wondered at that list. It was obvious that Keiichi was being allowed to join her for her own sake, and Megumi was included for Keiichi's sake, but why were Chihiro and Sora on the list?

"Their presence will become necessary. Their effect will be subtle, but necessary for the well-being of others."

She idly wondered why she even bothered saying anything while she was in this garden.

"You need to experience what it is like to speak in the presence of One who is more powerful than you, so that you can empathize with the mortals who you encounter while granting their wishes."

Belldandy realized that she still had much to learn about being a Goddess First Class, if she needed to be told such a simple thing as that. "Thank you."

"Go, child, and do what you must."

She bowed and returned to her duty station at Yggdrasil, stopping only to prepare to visit Earth once she had carried out her instructions.

San Antonio, Texas, USA
September 18, 2016
11:07 am Central Time

Keiichi stepped out of Whirlwind's small office for a breath of fresh air, only to discover himself some place he didn't recognize. He quickly turned around, only to discover he was in an empty lot... and his sister was standing where he expected to see the door he had just stepped through. She was standing beside two motorcycles: his BMW, with the sidecar, was parked beside her KSR.

"What's going on?" they asked at the same time.

"That's a good question," he heard Chihiro ask from behind him.

Turning to look at his boss, who was standing where he was certain nobody had been standing a few seconds ago, Keiichi saw that Hasegawa-san was standing beside her. "Morisato-sempai! Where are we?"

"I don't know..." he started, then trailed off as the mirror that he'd mounted on his sidecar back when he was dating began to glow. "But I think we're about to find out."

Sure enough, Belldandy emerged from the mirror and hovered just above the ground (making Keiichi look shorter that he actually was). "I'm sorry that I couldn't warn you, but I didn't have very much time."

Sora Hasegawa was less able to take odd occurrences in stride than the others were. "Belldandy-sempai... How are you... What's... Who are you?"

She stepped down from the air to the ground, then smiled at Sora. "We've told you that in the past, Sora-san. I'm a goddess."

"I thought that was a metaphor... You're really..." As she saw Keiichi nod in reply, Sora asked Belldandy, "Should I bow?"

"Only if you want to," Belldandy replied. "I would prefer to have you as a friend, though, not as a worshipper." She looked at Chihiro and Megumi, and added, "That is also how I would prefer to think of both of you, as well."

Megumi looked at Belldandy, then looked sideways at her brother. "This is just crazy enough to be true. Kei, how long have you known?"

"Since I met her. And I'm sorry that I tried to keep the truth from you."

"You'd better be sorry!" After a quick beat, Megumi added, "And you'd better tell me the truth: Was I dreaming a couple of years ago, or was I really turned into a car?"

"That wasn't a dream, Megumi-san," Belldandy replied.

Chihiro looked surprised. "Turned into a car?"

Before anyone else could answer, Keiichi said, "That story can wait. Bel, where are we?"

"You're in another world. There was ... an incident. This is San Antonio, in Texas. Here's a map." She pulled a sheet of paper from a pocket that wasn't there a moment ago and wasn't there after the sheet was in her hand. Pointing to the end of a line drawn on the map, she continued, "We're here right now. There's a residential complex called Westwoods here -" she pointed at the other end of the line "- and the people there will be able to help you adjust to your time here. I'm sorry that I can't stay - I have to get back to work."

And she dove into the mirror and disappeared.

Nobody said anything for a moment. Finally, Chihiro said, "Okay, that happened. What do we do now?"

For the first time since they had arrived in San Antonio, Keiichi knew the answer to one of his companions' questions. "We go to Westwoods and ask for their help. Who's riding double with Megumi and who's riding in my sidecar?"
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
RE: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Arrivals
Various Ways to Spend Christmas Eve Eve

Kasukabe, Saitama, Japan
December 23, 2006

School had let out for the semester, and the students had taken their report cards home. Two of these students, twin sisters, had dutifully given their report cards to their father and accepted his assessment of their grades: Kagami Hiiragi was still on-track to get a recommendation to a national university, while her sister Tsukasa was still struggling to keep up in the prep school that they both attended. In two other households, two of Tsukasa's classmates were also delivering their report cards to their parents: Miyuki Takara was telling her mother that getting the top marks in her class wasn't a big deal really, while Konata Izumi (having changed out of her school uniform first) was quietly slipping her own report card into the middle of a stack of mail for her father and getting out of the house while she had the chance. Konata knew that her grades were barely better than Tsukasa's.

Having grabbed her rarely-used cellphone on the way out of the house, Konata texted Kagami while she walked to the bus stop. "Want to go sing karaoke?"

A reply quickly appeared: "No anime songs."

"Fine, fine," Konata texted back... although, as far as she was concerned, singing anime themes at the top of her lungs was the best part of karaoke. And she'd almost got her Aya Hirano impersonation perfected, too. "Does Tsukasa want to come along? I'll call Miyuki and ask if she wants in."

A half-hour later, the girls had assembled at the subway station closest to their favorite karaoke parlor. Miyuki looked particularly excited. "I have two songs picked out to sing today!" she announced. "I won't be like last time, only singing once."

"You heard her," Kagami said to Konata. "No monopolizing the microphone this time."

"You'll just have to put songs in, then." Konata answered as the four of them boarded the bus that would take them to the karaoke parlor. "I'm not going to waste time that we paid for and not hear somebody singing."

"Miyuki-san has a pretty singing voice," commented Tsukasa. "I want to hear her sing again."

"Why, thank you," replied Miyuki. But it had been a long day; she nodded off as the bus pulled away from the station, quickly followed into slumberland by her three friends.

Eventually, they opened their eyes. "Where are we?" asked Miuyki lazily.

"I don't know. I think we fell asleep," muttered Konata as she looked out the bus' window.

"And we just talked about falling asleep on the bus a few days ago," Tsukasa added through a yawn.

"There's no point in talking about it," Kagami said with as much conviction as she could manage while rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. "Let's get off at the next stop and get a bus going the other way."

They did so ...

Montreal, QC, Canada
December 23, 2016

... and found themselves in a small Chinese-style park, with no bus - or bus stop - to be seen nearby.

"What is this place?" Tsukasa asked. "I've never been here before."

"Neither have I," her sister added.

"Nor I," added Miyuki.

Konata took a quick look around. "It looks almost like a fighting game level backdrop, with that pavilion over there and the murals on the walls."

Kagami sighed. "Everything reminds you of games, doesn't it?" she asked crossly.

"That doesn't", replied Tsukasa as she pointed at the building to the right of the pavilion... the brown brick building with distinctly non-Chinese signs above the doors to the businesses housed within.

"Miyuki, you're better than the rest of us at English. What do those signs say?"

She looked at them for a moment, then turned to Kagami, "I don't know. That isn't English."

Konata asked, "Then what is it?"

After a moment, Tukasa picked up a flyer that has been left on a bench and answered, "I think it's French. I remember seeing these words in a cookbook," she added while pointing at the phrase "marmelade de sucre" at the top of the flyer.

"Are we in Paris?" Konata asked with sudden delight.

"I don't think so," Kagami replied while looking at the licence plate on a car parked beside the park. "Unless there's a Paris in Canada. That car has a Quebec license plate."

"Oh," Konata replied flatly.

"How do we find out where we are?" Tsukasa asked worriedly.

They thought for a moment. Finally, Konata offered, "We could wait here until somebody who speaks Japanese comes along."

"And how likely is that to happen in Canada?" Kagami asked angrily.

From behind them, an unfamiliar voice (to everyone but Konata, who thought she sounded a lot like Kana Ueda) answered in Japanese. "You might be surprised."

They turned to see two black-haired Asian girls, both younger than they were. One was wearing a long dark blue coat and a headband covered with flowers. The other was wearing a scarlet coat over a black skirt with stockings that didn't quite reach her skirt, her hair tied in twin-tails by black ribbons.

The twin-tailed girl turned to the girl with flowers in her hair. "You're going to insist we help them, aren't you?"

"We can't just leave them here." There was something vaguely familiar about this girl's voice, but Konata couldn't figure it out offhand. Said girl approached the four and smiled. "I'm Kazari Uiharu. Pleased to meet you."

"Konata Isumi. Hi there."

As Miyuki and the Hiiragi sisters introduced themselves, Kazari's smile turned into a grin. She turned to face her companion. "I knew it! They're like us!" She turned back to the others. "I'm not the best person at this... You're in another world, and we're all fictional characters here. Want to have lunch with us? We were going to get some dim sum."

Kagami turned to the other girl. "You expect us to believe we're fictional characters? Is your friend always like this, miss...?"

"Not always," the twin-tailed girl replied. "And I'm Rin Tohsaka. Nice to meet you."

"You can't be," Konata stated flatly.

In reply, Rin wordlessly cast a spell, causing her hand to glow for a moment. Since it was the middle of the day, only the six of them could see the effect.

"You are!"

Miyuki raised her hand. "Excuse me, but who are you?"

Konata spun on her heels to face Miyuki. "She's one of the lead characters in an ero-game I really doubt you've heard of because it's too new!"

Before Rin could react, Kazari said, "Izumi-san, please don't mention that game in Rin-san's presence. I don't want to have to call an ambulance for you."

Konata stopped cold. After a moment, she said quietly, "Don't piss off the spellcaster. Right. Important safety tip."

Miyuki quickly changed the subject. "I wouldn't mind having lunch. But I can't pay for it; all of my money is Japanese."

"Oh, I can pay for a few dishes for you!" Kazari beamed.

"And I can cover a few, too," added Rin. "It isn't as if people in my favourite restaurants here in Montreal don't know that I always pay my debts."

"So. We're in Montreal." Konata stated, desperate to rejoin the conversation on a positive note.

"You are," Rin agreed.

"And we're in a Narō novel."

"They're called 'isekai' now," commented Kazari. "And, yes."

"And I'll bet we're not getting power-ups right away. If ever." Konata sighed. "Let's talk about our quest over lunch. We're getting a quest to save the world, right?"

Kazari looked puzzled. "Not as far as I know... but we could ask our friends whether there's anything like a quest that you could go on."

"No quest? That takes all the fun out of being in a Narō novel - sorry, in an isekai novel." In a quieter voice that she thought nobody else could hear, Konata continued, "Oh, well. It looks like I'm going to miss winter Comiket this year."

Author's Note: As a matter of fact, there is a Paris in Canada... but it's a small town, it isn't in Quebec, and nobody taking part in the discussion knows that it exists.
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
RE: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Arrivals
Appartements Mont-Royal Sud‎‎, Montreal, QC, Canada
December 23, 2016

The girls had enjoyed lunch - or, at least, they had enjoyed the food; the situation they were in still left them worried.

They had also seen Kazari to the train station so that she could return to Ottawa. (She had refused to explain why she was in Montreal that day, except to say that there had been something going on at her home apartment that she really didn't want to be close to in case her presence affected things.) After they had seen her off, they had exchanged their Japanese money for Canadian currency at the bank in the station, using Rin's account to do so, making sure that they had some change for the bus that would get them partway to Rin's home.

Now, the four students from Ryouou and their impromptu guide were walking along Park Avenue.

"Could somebody explain to me why the sun is setting in the north?"

Konata turned to Kagami. "We're in a different world. You shouldn't expect things to be the same as they were back home."

rin laughed. "There's a simpler answer, Hiiragi-san. The St. Lawrence River flows roughly east-northeast for the most part, draining the Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean, but there's a bend in the river around Montreal Island where the river flows almost directly north. Montrealers call downriver 'east', despite a compass calling the same direction 'north'. It's a local shibboleth."

"What's a shibboleth?"

Before Miyuki could explain the concept to Tsukasa, Rin announced, "We're here."

"Nice place," Konata commented.

"It's convenient," Rin replied as she opened the building's front door. "And before you ask, we're only using two floors of the building so far. Terry-ōya-san was wondering why we had seven floors for so few people; I think your arrival answers at least part of that question."

"Indeed," replied a man who was waiting for them. "I'm the apartment manager here, Terry Chambly. I'm pleased to meet you." The four newcomers introduced themselves in turn. "I assume you'd rather share apartments with somebody you know than have to live alone, so I asked Archer-san to get futons out of storage and put them in two of the apartments on the third floor."

"Thank you for your kindness," Miyuki replied with a slight bow, the other three bowing a heartbeat later.

"We're living together, right, big sis?" Tsukasa asked Kagami worriedly. She wasn't ready to live on her own yet.

Her twin sister nodded. "We're going to have to. If I let you live with Konata, neither of you would get your homework done."

"And you and Miyuki would starve to death, because neither of you know how to cook," Konata added.

Kagami glared at Konata, and continued crossly, "And if you lived with Miyuki, I'd never get my homework done because a certain homework copier would be asking to copy it all the time."

"Fine, fine, I'll make sure Miyuki doesn't starve," Konata grumbled, not willing to let Kagami know just how correct her assumption was. "Assuming I can find a part-time job that'll let me attend school and leave time for me to cook. The food and rent here isn't free, I'm sure."

Terry shook his head as he said, "We won't let you starve or go without a place to stay or clothes to wear, as long as you're attending classes. We have resources that we can draw upon."

"Free room and board, and clothes, and manga?" Konata asked happily.

"Not the manga," replied Terry quickly. "That, you have to earn money to buy for yourself." Before Konata could ask about other things that might be included, Terry added, "We'll shop for furniture tomorrow. And we'll buy you computers good enough for school work, but not for gaming. Oh, I should show you around. My office is over there." He pointed down the hall at a door marked "Bureau du propriétaire". "If you need any help, don't be afraid to ask. This is our dining room," he added while opening a double-door marked "Salle à manger".

The girls walked in to see what looked like a small bistro-style restaurant. Fourteen of the places had already been set for the evening meal, leaving over half of the room's tables without so much as a tablecloth. While the girls looked around, Terry walked over to the kitchen door and said, "Shiro-kun! Four more for supper!"

The question "We have guests?" came through the doorway, accompanied by the sound of water filling a pot.

"We have new tenants," Terry replied.

The sounds from the kitchen stopped, and a moment later Shirou poked his head out. "Hello! I'm Shirou Emiya," he said politely. Then he noticed how attractive the four young women were, and continued with more feeling, "I'm happy to make your acquaintance."

Still standing behind the newcomers, Rin cleared her throat meaningfully.

Shirou went back to being polite. "I could use some help in the kitchen. I don't suppose any of you know how to make agedashi dōfu?"

Before Konata could answer that, yes, she knew how to fry tofu, Tsukasa said, "I can do that! And if I help with the cooking, it'll repay your kindness for taking us in."

Kagami turned to Terry. "I think we've lost my sister for a while - when she decides she wants to cook, she doesn't stop until the meal's ready. If you don't mind her helping out, I'll sign the paperwork for both of us to move in." Then she turned to Rin and quietly added, "And you don't have anything to worry about from my sister."

Terry smiled at that. "Well, Hiiragi-san, you may as well help Shirou-kun, then."

Tsukasa walked into the kitchen while the others headed for the manager's office. As they left the dining room, they heard Tsukasa say, "Nobody else uses this kitchen? And you don't use it every day? Does that mean I can use it? I'm in heaven..."
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
RE: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Arrivals
Author's Note: One more group arrival, then I can get back to writing that story that's been on hold for a few months.

January 21, 2017

"Oh, dear - we can't have that", Hagall muttered while looking at the next batch of displacees that were expected to arrive. "Somebody who can summon demons - and control them? Let's move her entire group away from that island they're slated to appear on, and out into the middle of that nice, big river." She manipulated the appropriate coordinates. "There, that's better," she finished... just before realizing Hild was looking over her shoulder.

"Tsk, tsk. Hagall, don't you realize how many souls we get from that scam? It's almost as good as the golden fiddle scam for breeding hubris. But let's see how good these mortals really are." Hild reached over Hagall's shoulder and adjusted a different part of the coordinates that had just been changed.

Hagall loked at the second edit, and smiled - a grin that Accelerator sometimes wished he could pull off. "Yes, that should test them nicely."

Montreal, QC, Canada
January 21, 2017
9:23 AM ET

They weren't in Tokyo any more. Nor were they on the ground.

Itsuki's first thought, after "what just happened?", was of the safety of his friends (most of whom were his employees). For once, Itsuki actually appreciated his Glam Sight ability; he would never have seen through the fog otherwise. A half-dozen of Astral's staff, including himself, were in the air above a rather wide river.

Somebody had to do something if they were going to survive the next few minutes. (Except for Kuroha, of course.) And Itsuki was the person in charge. He shouted at the top of his lungs:

"President's Orders!"

He was surprised that he'd shouted it in English, but there was no time to wonder about that.

Adilicia was already summoning her favourite demon, as she always did during an emergency, so Itsuki turned his attention to the other girl who had a claim on his heart. "Honami! I'm over here! Pick me up!" As she manoeuvred her broom to catch him, he continued, "Kuroha! Channel power from Netzach to Gevurah! Use your Poltergeist to hold Mikan!"

"Right!", the team's resident ghost answered, catching the youngest member of Astral and pulling her back up to where she was levitating near Honami and Itsuki.

That left one person who still needed to be rescued. "Adilicia! Catch Nekoyashiki!"

Standing on the demon Forneus' back, she manoeuvred down to where the oldest member of Astral was still falling. The fish-like demon quickly locked its jaws around the back of the neck of Nekoyashiki's clothing.

"I do appreciate the save," he commented, "although, while I do love my cats, you really don't need to treat me like one." Said cats - Genbu, Seiryū, Suzaku, and Byakko - poked their heads out of the folds of Nekoyashiki's clothes at the sound of their human's mention of them... and immediately took refuge back inside his coat. "There, there, stay inside where it's safe and warm."

"Be glad I bothered to rescue you at all, you old onmyōji," Adilicia muttered.

"Since you mentioned 'safe'..." Mikan started.

Honami cut her off. "There's just enough room for you on my broom," the young witch offered.

"Thank you, Honami-neesan!"

"And thank you for taking her from me," Kuroha added. "I was almost at my limit."

"What do we do now?"

Itsuki considered Adilicia's question while Mikan sat down between him and Honami. "First, we land."

"I don't see any place near here where we can set down unobserved,"

"There's a park on the peninsula almost directly below us," Itsuki replied. "We'll land there, and meet at the gazebo at the tip of the peninsula."

A few minutes after they had landed and gathered under the gazebo, and Honami had cast simple spells on everyone so that they wouldn't be affected by the freezing air, Itsuki sighed. "We're safe now. Does anybody know what happened to us?"

"We can figure that out later," Adilicia replied while banishing Forneus. "First, we need to learn where we are, and whether there are any immediate threats to us."

"Right. I'm glad one of us knows enough to think about possible danger."

"President..." Nekoyashiki said quietly and not unkindly, "We all know that much. It goes with being a magician." Then his white cat, Byakko, poked his head out of Nekoyashiki's clothes and meowed. "There is? Thank you for letting me know." Nekoyashiki turned his attention back to Itsuki. "There's a very large group of people slightly over a kilometre directly west of us, and they're all angry about something."

"Is there a riot going on?" Mikan asked worriedly, holding Honami's hand for moral support.

"If there is, we won't go anywhere near it," promised Itsuki. "But I'd better make sure." He reached for the patch over his right eye, preparing to remove it so that he could use the full extent of his Glam Sight.

"No! You can't!"

"My eye is already picking up impressions, Honami." He removed his patch, revealing the dragon's eye that had been hidden behind it.

Appartements Mont-Royal Sud, Montreal, QC, Canada
Same time

Caster suddenly gasped and sat up from her slouch.

"What's wrong?"

She turned to Souichirou as she stood up. "Someone nearby is using True Magic. And it isn't me. I have to go."

She spoke a spell, and true to her word, she was gone.

Dieppe Park, Montreal, QC, Canada
Same time

Itsuki winced and covered his right eye with his hand. As both Adilicia and Honami rushed to his side, he said, "I've never seen magic like that before. It was far on the other side of the group that Byakko sensed, but I could see it clearly. And... it was movement magic, aimed here."

Suddenly nobody was by Itsuki's side, as Adilicia reached for her Seal of Solomon pendant, Honami pulled mistletoe from her pocket, and Nekoyashiki and Mikan both pulled ofuda from their own sleeves, each person at a cardinal compass point around the company president.

Kuroha moved closer to Itsuki, ready to create a wall of ectoplasm around the six of them if necessary. "I guess there is an immediate threat."

"Oh, I do hope you don't consider me to be a threat." Everyone but Nekoyashiki (who had taken the southern point of the circle) turned to see a beautiful, blue-eyed, blue haired woman with elfin ears. She continued speaking, but in a language that most of them didn't understand.

Adilicia replied in the same language, and was answered curtly by the newcomer.

"Whatever language they're speaking, it's Greek to me," Nekoyashiki commented quietly.

"It's Greek to everyone," replied Honami at the same volume. "But it's so ancient a version of Greek that it's only spoken by scholars and spell-casters nowadays. Oh, I have to get involved; Addie's annoying our visitor." She joined the conversation, which got Adilicia annoyed at her, but the blue-haired woman became calmer... until Honami said something about Glam Sight.

"Which of you has the True Sight!?" she demanded in English.

"Our President, Itsuki Iba," Honami replied in the same language.

"That would be me," Itsuki added while putting his patch back over his eye, before looking directly at the woman. "And you would be...?"

She smiled and curtsied... but it was obvious that the courtesies were sardonic. "In this time and place, I am simply called 'Caster'. But when I was human, I was the Princess of Colchis, the granddaughter of Helios, and the spurned wife of Jason."

Even Nekoyashiki's cats gasped in shock.

Adilicia was the first to find her voice. "Medea..."

Itsuki was the second. "You said you're called 'Caster'. Is there a Grail War going on right now?"

Caster scowled. "You're an idiot. If there was, I'd have to kill you all for knowing about it."

Le Centre Eaton de Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
January 21, 2017
10:20 AM ET

"If you can't find anything you like here, we'll head downstairs into RÉSO."

Mikan and Nekoyashiki felt it prudent to refrain from arguing with the First Mage when she suggested they get clothes that would let them blend in. Itsuki and Honami could get away with their high-school uniforms once Honami had removed her witch's hat and cloak (said cloak being used to conceal her broom), Adilicia was already wearing a stylish blue dress, and nobody who wasn't a mage or a medium could see Kuroha anyway. But Medea insisted that the miko and the onmyōji needed clothes that didn't identify them as Shinto priests, and they all (save for Kuroha) needed winter coats. Hence the visit to a shopping mall.

"What's with all the nekomimi? Is there a cosplay convention going on?"

Medea looked puzzled at Mikan's question, then noticed two women wearing pink hats with something resembling cat ears, looking at a rack of t-shirts emblazoned with the words "I'm A Nasty Woman". She wondered how much to say to a group that included somebody who appeared to be barely old enough to attend grade school, then decided that they all needed to know. "They're protesting the recent election in the United States. That country, in its infinite wisdom..." - everyone could hear the sarcasm dripping off those two words - "... decided to elect a President who is so blatantly misogynist that he makes the Argonauts look like feminists."

"And people are protesting that in Montreal?" Honami asked.

"People are protesting that around the world," Caster replied. "But, to quote Circe, all men are pigs. Foreign politics isn't our concern right now. What is our concern is getting you some clothes that are appropriate for the season."

While neither of them picked up a t-shirt just then, Adilicia and Honami each quietly resolved to come back and buy one when they had some spare cash.

Appartements Mont-Royal Sud, Montreal, QC, Canada
January 21, 2017
6:45 PM ET

"I'm back," announced Caster as she let the half-dozen Astral staff into the apartment building... only to discover a scene of organized chaos.

"Where have you been?" Terry, the building's manager, asked frantically as Saber passed by him in a run. "And why didn't you take your cellphone?"

She had taken her cellphone, but she had turned it off after that annoying call from Ottawa. "I was making contact with a new group of arrivals. What's happened?"

"What's happened? What hasn't happened? Tabernac." Caster was surprised - this was the first time she'd ever heard him swear. "Shi- no, Shirou's busy, and so is Saber. Rin! Come meet the new people, and if they really are new arrivals here, get them settled in. I'm sorry I can't stay and talk right now. Caster, can you be ready to open a gateway in a moment's notice, please?"

"A gateway to where?"

"I don't know yet!" And he was off at a run.

The staff of Astral looked at each other. "Should we go?" Itsuki asked.

"Go where?" Adilicia asked in reply. "Do you know anyone else in Montreal?"

"No," he admitted as a dark-haired woman approached them - presumably the "Rin" that Terry had called for. "Hello," he said to her. "I'm Itsuki Iba, president of the Astral mage consultancy company. Pleased to meet you."

Honami took the chance to introduce herself. "Honami Takase Ambler, corporate secretary of Astral. I'm happy to meet you."

The brunette smiled as if at a private joke, and replied, "Rin Tohsaka. I'm pleased to meet you." Everyone in Astral wondered whether something was wrong with their ears; Rin sounded almost identical to Honami. Rin noticed the looks on their faces and continued, "Maybe I should call Ottawa and ask Mii Konori to come visit. But before that, we need to explain both Transfictionality and the Metacontinuity to you."

Mikan looked even more puzzled. "What do those big words mean?"
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
RE: [IC][Story][Arc 1] Arrivals
spotted one typo

"Right. I'm glad one of knows enough to think about possible danger."

missing word, between 'of' and 'knows'

Not familiar with the source material so can't comment on the new arrivals much

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