Midchildan Music is a crossover fanfiction story that was born with one simple idea: what if Miku was a Nanoha-style device AI, in the same position as Nanoha's own Raising Heart?
Of course it isn't quite that simple. The first problem was that pretty much any major Nanoha character you care to name either has a device or a good reason not to have one. And I had no interest in trying to get Nanoha (or any of her friends) to take on a new device, not when they already had ones of their own. That meant I needed an original character.
Largely, this first chapter is that OC's introduction: my nameless Sergeant in the 42nd Battalion of the Bureau's Ground Forces. Making him nameless was somewhat of a spur-of-the-moment decision, and one that I'm really not quite sure about anymore. To some extent, that decision was made for the same reason that many video games don't name their protagonists, to make it easier to empathize with the character.
At the same time, though, I never intended to make him perfectly generic. Given that he is the one telling the story, it would have been completely impossible to do that. So I can't imagine that making him nameless is actually accomplishing anything that I originally intended it to do, and I think if I was rewriting this now, I might try to give him a name from the beginning.
Speaking of his personality, one particular aspect of it deserves attention: his power level. C rank makes him weaker than any main character shown in the series, effectively. I did not want to make him at all powerful for a number of good reasons. The Nanoha series themselves focus on characters that are clearly quite powerful, and I wanted to see if I couldn't create a story from the perspective of someone who is, essentially, one of the line troops that the series itself would use as little more than redshirts. Besides, making him less than powerful in his own right means that I can get him in trouble a lot more readily.
The other problem that my OC gave me was in the amount of "making stuff up" that I had to do. I gave him the job of device technician mostly to make it possible for him to recognize what "Miku" (or this version of her, anyway) was. But I needed a way to prove it, essentially. "Show, don't tell" and all that. Which meant I needed him to actually talk about his job.
The problem is that the series themselves don't exactly offer a whole lot of information on how devices actually work. So pretty much all of the specific detail that shows up, both in this chapter or later ones, is stuff I've invented, including the idea of some kind of "AI chip" in the first place. I'd like to believe that it doesn't contradict Nanoha canon, but it's not actually canon all the same.
Anyway, that's chapter 1, pretty much. Not much actually happens beyond the Sergeant finding an AI chip and turning it into a device. Aside from the end-of-chapter "powerful forces at work" cutaway, which is really just reminding the readers that I didn't name the chapter "Two Very Bad Ideas" for the hell of it. What can I say, I like foreshadowing.