- "And if any of you call me master I swear I'll throw myself out an airlock." - Chrono Harlaown
On a cold, snowy day, on an administrated world in AC 0068, a twelve-year-old Nanoha Takamachi was supposed to have been there, where she would be injured by a Type IV Gadget Drone.
Hayate Yagami was there instead, and wounded far worse. By the time help reached her, it was already too late. But her children, her Wolkenritter, still new to a life of kindness and relative freedom, would not die with her. She would not allow it. And so with her dying breath, she gave them and the Book of the Night Sky to another.
It's the most precious gift anyone will ever give Chrono Harlaown. Now he has to survive it. Along the way he'll find out things about the organization he serves that he never wanted to know, meet new and interesting people, try to survive with his dignity intact, and avoid doing anything he would regret after gaining two very attractive female servants. If he happens to accidentally bring down the Bureau government seeking justice for Hayate, once it started killing loyal and capable servants it wasn't worth keeping anyways...
It can be read here.
Provides Examples Of:
- Alternate Universe Fic: Rather than Nanoha being injured between A's and StrikerS, Hayate is killed; she gives the Wolkenritter to Chrono before she dies, though exactly why she does so is something Hayate does not have time to express to anyone. It's possible Reinforce Zwei knows, but only guesses have been voiced on the subject by the characters.
- Artificial Human: Wolkenritter are very good copies of humans, even when copying a human this well doesn't make sense for what the Wolkenritter are supposed to do. But they're not actually human.
- Battle Couple: A Harlaown family tradition, and taken deadly serious. You're not acceptable dating material for a Harlaown unless you've partnered with them in combat. This specific phrasing is intentional, because "fought alongside" is not necessarily required; Amy Linetta was considered acceptable for Chrono because she had been his "angel on the shoulder" as Arthra's combat controller, while Lindy was bridge crew to Clyde.
- Big Good: Leti Lowran, mainly. Not actually the first person Chrono goes to with his information, however.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Wolkenritter's Belkan Knight morality has very little in common with that of anyone else currently alive.
- Signum casually threatens to murder Tiida Lanster, because he's hitting on her. She apparently means it.
- Signum and Shamal are required to offer their, ah, services to Chrono, as Knights of the opposite sex from their Master and past puberty.
- Signum treasures the fact she is feared by nearly everyone she meets in the same way someone might treasure universal acclaim. This is because it is the fear of those who were once her enemies, and to be universally feared by your enemies is considered one of the signs a Knight has really "made it" as a warrior.
- Zafira's almost-angry reaction to Due not having instantly recognized him as a Wolkenritter, instead treating him as a common familiar, may stem from the same reasons Signum treasures her universal fear.
- Chekhov's Gun: The starship Morrigan is mentioned as orbiting Quagmire during Quirks and Jerks but is on her shakedown cruise and not considered combat ready; Arc En Ciel reveals that Quagmire is the Bureau's storage facility for Arc-en-Ciel equipment, and Morrigan was there to be fitted with an Arc for testing.
- The Conspiracy: The Bureau Council/Jail Scaligetti/Regius Gaiz team-up that StrikerS only hinted at is in full effect here, though its public face in the story so far is Auris Gaiz, who is haplessly trying to get a look at Hayate's personal possessions.
- Contemplate Our Navels: Relatively early in the story, Chrono and Zafira have a conversation about how perfect Hayate was for the Wolkenritter and why Chrono can't be a second Hayate for them.
- Crazy-Prepared: Naval Counterintelligence has plans for everything, up to and including dealing with an opponent capable of hacking Devices at a distance, which is supposed to be impossible.
- Creepy Good:
- Muhammad al-Faddil, Head of Naval Counterintelligence. Chrono describes him as the sort of person who makes people check their closets and under their beds. Zafira goes beyond not turning his back on Muhammad: he refuses to stand "at ease" in Muhammad's presence. That would require Zafira putting his hands behind his back and making himself more vulnerable.
- The Wolkenritter themselves to most other Bureau servicemembers, having been one of the Bureau's nightmare scenarios for nearly sixty years.
- The Wolkenritter to the Combat Cyborgs: during their attack on the Morrigan, the only Cyborg who succeeded in her mission was Due, and the only one who escaped the ship without severe injury was Tre. Sein has her arm broken by Vita, Due has several large chunks of her shoulders and chest torn out by Zafira, Cinque loses an arm and Quattro is burned down to her cybernetic bones on the face and arms by Signum.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens to everyone the Wolkenritter face short of another Belkan War Construct.
- Due only survives her first encounter with Zafira because he wasn't expecting to need to hit her hard enough to break her cybernetics.
- Only Tre escapes the Combat Cyborg's first clash with the Wolkenritter without crippling injuries.
- Dream Team: We have the Wolkenritter in their prime to do the heavy lifting, and the series' resident innovative genius Chrono Harlaown to command them. When Jail's cyborgs directly engage them, even though they manage to badly injure Chrono, only one of them escapes without losing a limb or having their face burned off.
- Full Potential Upgrade: Like Hayate's Device woes in the canon, Chrono is well aware that with all his newfound power he'd fry S2U pretty quickly, so he's borrowing Durandel again until S2U can be upgraded to handle what he can do now. It's been hinted he might dual-wield Durandel and a post-upgrade S2U at some point.
- Godzilla Threshold: General Order #27: "The capture of or possession of dimensional flexure equipment by any non-Bureau person or group is unacceptable. Any normal rules of engagement may be suspended at the discretion of the guard force as necessary to prevent it falling into the hands of others." Leti Lowran stresses to the Wolkenritter that this is the one circumstance where they can do anything if they think they have to.
- The Carneades Protocol is one of the Bureau's list of rules of engagement. It states that any level of collateral damage necessary to complete the mission is acceptable, in effect declaring that no matter how much damage the Bureau units in the area can do a failure will be worse.
- Military Salute: The story makes a point of noting adherence, or non-adherence, to proper protocol. The Bureau's own set of rules regarding salutes are not often elaborated on in the story directly but can be picked out from observation.
- Mission Control: The Bureau Combat Controller career path is essentially this. They're commonly referred to in-universe as the "angel on the shoulder".
- Internally to the Navy they are considered honorary members of the combat mage branch, though they are almost universally non-mages. One of the quickest ways to provoke a fight with the members of a Mage Team is to treat their combat controller(s) as a REMF/pogue: the voice on the other end of the radio saves lives.
- Mundane Utility: The Wolkenritter use their mental link for making snarky comments at each other or personal discussions they don't want Chrono to hear, aware that he hates connecting to it outside of combat.
- Must Make Amends: Zafira states he thinks one of the reasons Hayate gave the Wolkenritter to Chrono was that the Wolkenritter had killed Chrono's father, and any chance to make direct amends (no matter how small) means a great deal to them.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Chrono regards the Wolkenritter's obeying this as a very big problem. He can't trust them to warn him, much less stop him, if he accidentally, thoughtlessly, or deliberately tries to abuse the near-infinite power he has over them.
- Not So Stoic: At Hayate's funeral, it's Signum who completely loses it: screaming, crying, and lying face-down in the mud.
- Oh My Gods!: Chrono swears by the Sankt Kaiser. That's about all the religion he's got in him.
- Revealing Cover-Up: Altering the mission reports surrounding Hayate Yagami's death turns the incident from merely suspicious into actual proof that something very wrong has happened. Vita even mocks the decision."Conspiracy amateur hour."
- Properly Paranoid: The Wolkenritter have to actually think about whether it's acceptable for all of them to be asleep at the same time and one of them is always awake from midnight on since it's a classic time for a surprise attack. They will not let Chrono out of their sight in even a semi-public area either. Considering Hayate was probably assassinated, this is not just carryover from their bad old days of the Book of Darkness.
- Public-Domain Character: An unusual In-Universe Subversion. The Wolkenritter's exploits from Ancient Belka's times were so infamous that they're still part of the popular culture of the Administrated Worlds, making them go-to villains in innumerable fictional works, many of them still available for purchase or in-production. Chrono realized that once the Wolkenritter became naturalized citizens of the TSAB, the unauthorized use of their likeness was now a crime and entitled them to punitive damages. Which is legalese for "a lot of people owe them some cash".
- The Unfettered:
- The Wolkenritter. Other Belkan-era constructs that pop up as well. From implications to outright statements, it becomes clear quickly that Belkan Knights do not have rules, they have loyalties. They are trained not to be concerned with whether an action on the battlefield is moral, just, or honorable and care only for the approval of their lord/lady and the efficiency with which it destroys the enemy. Off the battlefield, they may be different...or they may not. Some appear to have very loose definitions of battlefield as well.
- "Honor is for nobility. Knights destroy."
- Wham Episode: Arc En Ciel has Jail try to steal part of the titular weapon. In the process, the Combat Cyborgs have their first full-scale encounter with the Wolkenritter and lose. Very badly.
- Worthy Opponent: Signum discusses Clyde Harlaown, Chrono's father, with a great deal of affection. Why? He beat the Wolkenritter twice, something no one else had ever done.