To everything, there is a season...
After World War II, inspired by the idea of the Holy Grail War - namely the Third sometime in the early 40s - a multinational (read: both Soviet and otherwise) group of magi and scientists work to create a similar project. Realizing that, if humanity alone can split the atom then they can probably adapt that dedication and theory to magecraft and create something just as powerful as the ritual of the Holy Grail War of Japan. The goal of this is to settle the Cold War, reacting to increased tensions after the hot-button issues of the late 50's and early 60's such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Named the Manhattan Project II as a way to hide it as yet another nuclear weapons project following World War 2, the scientists and magi create their own replica of the Holy Grail, minus the corruption that had ruined the Japanese original.
...and a time for every purpose under heaven.
The winner of the subsequent War, as a magus from either a NATO or Warsaw Pact country, would use their wish to end the Cold War with particular benefits for their home country, making them a superpower. Of course, that's a definite oversight by the designers, as several magi who participate learn the scope of the Manhattan Project and for the most part change their goals to more personal ones.
A time to gain, a time to lose...
Unlike the Fate series itself, there is no rule in the Manhattan Project that states that there must be only one Servant for each class, or that each class must have an equal number of Servants. The presence of Servants instead of some more scientific, non-magic deciding factor is based on the idea that secret magic is easier to conceal than all out fighting - in addition to some of the founders' own observations of the actual Holy Grail War.
A time to rend, a time to sew...
The setting is Washington, D.C., for the strong leyline that runs through the heart of the city and as a result of the amount of history the place has in America; with its high number of monuments and its status as the capital of the United States of America, few cities could be better from a symbolic standpoint. And also, for symbolic and logical purposes the war is presided over by a member of the Church, working out of the Oak Hill Chapel. He owns the spiritual land of Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, and ensures that the city isn't damaged... too much, at least.'
A time for love, a time for hate...
"The Manhattan Project II" is a Fate/stay night fanfic written by Five_X and hosted at the Beast's Lair Fanfic Forum. Featuring a cast made up of original characters and set in a time far before the key events of Kinoko Nasu's stories, its actual connection to Fate/stay night is tenuous; it is set in the same universe and involves a war for a Holy Grail, but the similarities end there. In a way, it's more like an original story rather than fanfiction, though set within the Nasuverse.
A time for peace... I swear, it's not too late.
Wiseup! This fanfic contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: There's a lot of supplementary info for the story, including profiles for Servants and Masters, and some Q&As answered in-character by the author. Lots of info can also be found in several of the omakes.
- A Father to His Men: Temujin, both literally and figuratively.
- An Ice Person: James makes excellent use of this type of magecraft after Hassan captures him.
- Badass Army: During the General Dialogue arc, when each of the Generals summons his respective army.
- Big Brother Instinct: Francois has this for his older sister, Amelie.
- Blue Blood: Eleanor.
- Break the Haughty: Saber experiences this at the hands of Hannibal, Nobunaga, and even James.
- Canada, Eh?: Eleanor. Also, the author.Eleanor: "I am Eleanor Rosemary Richardson the Younger, daughter of Patricia and William Richardson, from the city of Ottawa in the province of Ontario of the modern and illustrious nation of Canada."
- Character Filibuster: Saber talks at length about the meaning of a Heroic Spirits existence during the General Dialogue kickoff dinner. Unfortunately for her, she falls short of an I Am What I Am moment.
- Character Song: Each major Master has one, as shown in their profiles (i.e. James' is "America" by Simon & Garfunkel, Ilse's is Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones, etc).
- Cold War: The story takes place during the Cold War, and most of the Masters are representatives of NATO and Warsaw nations.
- Cycle of Revenge: Hannibal nearly falls into this before his master dissuades him.
- Failure Knight: Johanas Lancer wouldnt see himself this way, but hes admitted that theres a dead little sister of some sort in his backstory.
- Fan Disservice: It's not the fact that Saber is sexually active. It's more along the lines of how easy she is, and how she flaunts it without any shame, to the point where even one of the leads gets sick and tired of it.
- Four-Star Badass: Many of the Servants commandeered an army during life, and it shows. Amongst those are Alexander the Great (not that one), Oda Nobunaga and Julius Caesar
- Gender Flip: Subverted. Turns out, Julius Caesar was a man in this continuity. However, Saber still remembers herself as a woman, something which has yet to be explained.
- Ice Queen: With her sheltered ojou background and often-overbearing personality, Eleanor fits this trope to a T.
- Kill It with Fire: Lets just say that Johana never did play nicely with others, making her memories a constant source of torment for her.
- Must Have Caffeine: Johana would be even less mentally stable without her sugar and coffee.
- Ms. Fanservice: Saber.
- Omake: Several. Most notable are the "Teach Us, Scathatch-Sensei!!", small hint-corner-like snippets which give info about the story, a Christmas special, and one snippet starring Eleanor.
- Original Characters: With a few exceptions, almost the entire cast.
- Public Bathhouse Scene: Happens during the General Dialogue arc, when James and Saber visit Eleanor and Moctezuma at his palace. While Monty and Saber have no problem with being seen naked, Eleanor gets understandably flustered.
- Really Gets Around: Saber, during the General Dialogue arc.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: James delivers a powerful one to Saber after getting fed up with her attitude during the General Dialogue arc.
- The '60s: The setting of the story.
- Shown Their Work: Five_X makes sure to do his research, and it shows. The setting, the characters' attitudes, the Servants, their abilities...the list goes on. He even waited to reveal Napoleon's Noble Phantasm until he had researched every single one of the twenty weapons it involves.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Dietrich is an ex-SS Officer.