The fluff on Familiars is also pretty horrifying. The sound stages state that standard procedure when creating a familiar is to form a contract with a specified end, and when it is completed, the familiar will lose their sentience and revert back to being a normal animal, which is the equivalent of lobotomizing someone down to animal intelligence.
Fate learned everything she knows about magic and combat from Precia's familiar, Linith and it's also implied that a familiar's knowledge comes mostly from it's master. Therefore it can be assumed that Precia has knowledge of magical usage in combat beforehand or gained it through extensive research.
Linith is Precia's familiar, created from her pet cat. However, both she and Alicia were found dead during the day the reactor accident happened. So, how did the dead cat became a familiar? Simple, she was revived by Precia first, possibly to test the effectiveness of Project F.