2013-11-02 - 1st Annual Sister Schools Sports Festival!

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Title: 1st Annual Sister Schools Sports Festival!

It's sports festival time, and Juuban is hosting the Sister Schools this year!

Ed. Note: The tug-of-war and three-legged race were run in separate rooms simultaneously; both logs are posted on this page, plus the scavenger hunt, cavalry battle, and relay race.


Honoka Yukishiro, Miyu Oyanagi, Fuu Hououji, Eri Shimanouchi, Suzu Hamasaki, Kinzo Hiroyuki, Raikari Shinkyou, Jay Dawson, Aisha Ayries, Nagisa Misumi, Homura Akemi, Amu Hinamori, Sakana Yagijima, Nikki Akiyama, Meimi Haneoka, Naota Uneme, Utena Tenjou, Pisard, Oriko Mikuni, Anthy Himemiya, Chao Lingshen, Midori Sugiura, Madoka Kaname, Sayaka Miki, Nadeshiko Fujisaki, Syaoran Li, Akemi Tsukiyama, Michiru Kaioh, Azyana Konstantinov, Dark Precure, Nori Ankou, Yukimi Amane, Lera Camry, Miki Kaoru


Juuban Public School

OOC - IC Date:

11-02-2013 - 10-11-2013

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Honoka Yukishiro is set up under a bleached white canvas pavillion, complete with fold-out table and a remarkably untangle set of electronic equipment. Cables safely duct taped down with all due diligence snake from it to the loudspeakers.

Gently pushing one of the dark locks that frame her face behind one ear, she looks down at the beautifully organized notebook in front of her. It is a schedule that is positively color-coded and symbol-marked. Clearing her throat softly, she pushes the button to toggle the PA, and her sweet, gentle voice fills the air, cutting smoothly through the many excited, babbling conversations of students and parents alike without being jarring or unpleasant.

"Please excuse me. The tug-of-war event is starting in five minutes on Field B. I repeat, the tug-of-war event is starting in five minutes on Field B."

Her encouraging smile is audible. "Good luck to all the participants!"

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Oyanagi [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Miyu isn't quite sure exactly why she's here, other than 'Because her friends dragged her here', but that doesn't matter, because now she's curious about all these wonderful sport events! She even took the time to check out Wikipedia on these strange events!

And which did she sign up for?

All of them. Or at least as many as she could manage to squeeze in.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The tug-of-war event? Fuu perks up a bit as she hears the announcement, and heads towards Field B - mostly to cheer on any friends she recognizes on the field ...

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri Shimanouchi is here, she arrived rather early for the events. While she felt vaguely guilty about not being out there hunting witches today, she needed something a little more cheerful than battling eldritch horrors of despair to take her mind off the latest gossip that had developed in the Ohtori middle school class.

Like dragging people through the mud and dirt, literally. +_+ She placed herself on the volunteer list immediately.

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Of course Suzu signed up for the tug of war.

Actually, she signed up for literally everything they would let her put her name down on. It was a source of surprise and occasionally confusion for her peers at Juuban, because Suzu is not especially athletic and is known for being at least a little clumsy on her feet, and it was surprising to see the generally quiet, somewhat reserved girl go so all-in on... sports. There was at least one rumour that someone signed her up for things.

She's here, so that rumour is either false or Suzu just put up with competing anyway, and judging from the smile she actually intended this. Suzu is in her gym uniform, having had nothing else suitable for doing all the track and field events in, which means her legs are cold because it's October and she's not actually exerting herself yet, just strolling toward Field B with a bag. The bag has bottles of water in it. Suzu is not going into /any/ events dehydrated.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki signs up for the tug of war, and sighs, he has to be here, because his parents want him to get back and out during the day. Well, this is a start!

He writes his name down on the list as he then goes down the row for all the other events he can do. He puts down the pencil/pen used for this as he walks back to the field and crosses his arms, he kind of tilts his head back and ughs for a good, long moment. He uggghhhhhhhs.

He probably didn't get much sleep last night.

<Pose Tracker> Raikari Shinkyou [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Can you believe my mom tried to -color coordinate- my clothes for this? What's the point? I'm going to hopefully get sweaty, dirty, and grass stained regardless of what I wore," muttered the redhead with a roll of her eyes while doing a few quick stretchs. This wasn't the sort of games Raikari typically played, but it was a compatition, as she was -very- competative.

Also secretly being a magical girl protecting the city was very physically demanding it turns out, so she was trying to get more athletically well-rounded as well.

"So what's first? Tug of war? Awesome."

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

As with most things, Jay is not outstanding in P.E., but competitiveness is a natural part of the American spirit, and what could be more American than dragging people through the mud on a crisp Fall day? Not much, at least as far as he's concerned.

The young man stands on the sidelines of Field B; like Suzu, he's in his gym uniform, though he's at least put a hoodie on so as not to be too cold. He seems to be doing some sort of stretching routine, which apparently consists of all the jumping jacks, ever. If nothing else, he is intently focused on them.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Down at Field B, all has been prepared; the last few members of the Gardening Club look a little bit morose as they finish creating a mud pit. Admittedly, some of them are spraying those hoses at each other rather than at their high-quality potting soil.

"Break it up, break it up," barks Haruna Sakurada-sensei, 8th grade Juuban teacher, but not without a twinkle in her eye. "Okay! Tug-of-war, let's see, I know I have lists here..." She digs around in her purse, shaking her huge mane of auburn hair behind her and out of her way.

"Aha! Maple Team! Shinkyou, Ayries, Oyanagi, Hiroyuki, Akemi, and Hinamori as anchor!" Perhaps having the 5th grader in there with all those 10th graders is supposed to balance things out... especially given that the littlest one is the anchor. She names a bunch of other people, too; it's going to be about ten on each side of the rope, and students of all shapes and sizes appear to take up their sacred charge. "Sakura Team! Dawson, Tsukiyama, Hououji, Misumi, Shimanouchi, and Hamasaki as anchor! Take your positions, and let's have a nice... 'clean'... match!"

Clean. Yeah. Haruna-sensei isn't actually wearing shoes, the sharp-eyed observer may note; her toes squelch a little bit too gleefully in the mud.

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Oyanagi [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh hey! We get to be on the same teams!" Miyu announces to Raikari as she practically skips out onto the field, turning briefly to run backwards as she addresses her friend, "C'mon, let's take our positions!"

She jogs (in that girly waving her arms from side to side fashion) over to the rope and reaches down to pick it up. Oh boy! Her first ever Tug-o-war!

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Juuban eh? Its easily Aisha's first trip to the public sister school to her own. She doesn't even have a lot of time to have a look around before hearing her name called out, "Wait what?" a blink, then she has to wonder if one of her 'partners' signed her up for the tug-o-war. She actually isn't far behind Miyu on approach to the field, "Alright, which one of you signed me up, hmm?" Though the tone and gaze is shifted more toward Raikari then anyone else. She is, at least, amused, and starts to dust her hands off on approach to the rope, "This should be interesting.."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

As Fuu hears the names being called, she starts to cheer for the friends whose names she recognizes -

Then stops short when she hears 'Hououji' called. On the other team. You can almost see the sweatdrop rolling down the back of her head, but she heads over to where the Sakura Team is gathering. Her glasses are removed, folded up, and handed off to Sakurada-sensei to hang onto during the actual match; Fuu doesn't want to lose those or get them dirty (especially should they fall off, which seems somewhat probable - it's *tug of war*, after all), and she doesn't need perfect vision for something like this. Just dig her heels in, pull with everyone else, and back up as we're able, right?

Ayries gets an amused smile, "I didn't think I'd signed up for this event either ..."

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa couldn't be happier that it's Sports Day, that marvelous day of the year when every class is PE. Dressed in her gym uniform, with a long white headband letting its tails down her back, she can hardly seem to stand still, bouncing on the balls of her feet occasionally. "It's so nice out!" she observes, and then stiffens as, unbeknownst to anyone else, Mepple answers from her thigh. Shushing him, she rushes off beneath the bleachers for a moment, returning without her "cell phone."

"Sakura Team!" she exults. "I like the sound of that. Okay, let's do our best." Picking up the rope, she wriggles her fingers on its rough surface, finding a good grip, and sets her feet carefully. "Everybody ready? Juuban girls, let's show some school spirit!"

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Tug-of-War isn't exactly the sort of event that Homura Akemi has ever excelled in. The reason that she does so well in so many events usually is because she has been constantly training against Witches, youmas, and familiars for a long time now. Generally speaking though her combat style relies on her /not/ being tied down...

... so perhaps that was why it was a bit of a surprise to hear her name called down at Field B. Or at least it was Once Upon A Time. In this case though she was already walking down to the field in anticipation of her name getting called. She sighs to herself. Well, better to just go ahead and get this part of the day over with. Then she can move onto the events where she has more of a chance to put on a good show.

Coming up beside Amu Hinamori, Homura inclines her head slightly, "Amu Hinamori. Don't worry we will do our best to win. However, you should make sure you don't get tangled up in the rope..."

Helpful reassurance combined with an ominous warning... yay?

<Pose Tracker> Raikari Shinkyou [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

At Miyu's announcent that they're on the same team, and Aisha's look, Raikari does the mock innocent look in the other direction. "I have no idea what you're talking about." By the tone of sarcasm in her voice, it's pretty obvious who is behind this. "Don't fuss about it, let's just show 'em how it's done," she finishes as she walks up to her two friends, dusts her hands off, and gets into position. The little kid is the anchor? Huh. Hope that isn't going to be a problem...

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Suzu Hamasaki /is/ wearing shoes, because she hasn't had it really suggested to her that she shouldn't be. Plus, she doesn't like walking around with bare feet. There are rocks and... things.

Suzu hears her name (well, half of it) and walks over to the rope. Where she spends a moment looking at it instead of picking it up. Is she really going to be a useful anchor?

Then she hefts it, figuring the best way to hold it. Suzu is at least big for a schoolgirl; she can provide /that/ as an anchor if nothing else. "I guess I'm ready!" she says, looking around and shifting her weight. Mud squelches.

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Amu Hinamori is here because she has to be. As a member of the Ohtori Guardians, it's expected for her to help out, so she's actually been spending part of the omrning helping with the setup of other parts of the field. The presence of an elementary schooler helping out has even motivated (through guilt and not wanting to look like wimps) some of the older boys and girls to help out. Besides, some of them were too scared to get on Amu's bad side, given her rumored reputation.

When her name is called, then, it coems as a complete surprise. Amu doesn't even react at first, until someone nudges her. "Huh, what? I didn't sign up for that!" It was probably Nadeshiko that put her name on it. Or Kukai. Siiiigh.

As Amu walks to the back end of the rope and takes hold, she frowns slightly. "I... can't see the front." She isn't worried about being anchor, but everyone in front of her is taller! "Oh! Akemi-senpai?" She gives a faint smile to the middle schooler. "Ah... thanks. I'll be careful."

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Sakura Team, let's go!" Jay cries, grinning broadly and pumping his fist in the air. If nothing else, he's got the 'spirit' part down right. He slips off his shoes (no use getting them all muddy now), and squelches through the mud towards the rope. He takes up position right before the anchor, and gives Suzu a glance over his shoulder. "You ready, Suzu?" he asks. "I'm sure we'll do fine."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Wait, Homura was on the opposing team? This caused a momentary mental lock up in Eri Shimanouchi. This was /not/ how it was supposed to go. She was pretty sure that she didn't want to drag Homura through the mud and dirt despite her perplexing nature. There is a sort of mental sigh, before she resigns herself to taking her place on the Sakura team side.

She mumbles to Nagisa, "It is a lovely name at least." Taking her position alongside the braided length of rope, she picks it up, taking a firm grip on it, and beginning to shuffle her feet about in order to dig into a position on the ground a little more firmly and deeply. She then plants them, in case there are any shenanigans from the opposing team before they're all ready.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana just barely made it. She rushes onto the field, panting, and looks up sharply, glancing around. Tug'o'war! While lthat wasn't on her top three list of activities, it's still in her top 4. Granted, her top fourth activity is 'everything but these three which I like even more' but that's neither here nor there. She is panting for breath by the time she hears her name called. "Yes!" She pumps her fist, jogging on over--it's like she has infinite energy. She jogs over to the Maple Team and looks over toward the Sakura Team. It's... that Dawson guy, she recognizes as Sister Six, though most of the others she doesn't actually recognize.

Misumi, she thinks, she recognizese her name. Perhaps even from PREVIOUS Sports Festivals. She's one of Sakura's sports talents. She won't let her have her way in this event that easily!

"It's less about the strength and more about the timing of when we focus our strength. We're sure to win this one hands down!"

She takes these events pretty seriously apparently. She gets into position.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Haruna-sensei looks between the two teams, eyes twinkling, and flashes a brief slasher smile, then hides it behind a hand. That hand then fishes in her pocket for the fakey 'starting' gun, then raises it to the sky.

"Arrrrre yoooooooou rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrready tttttttttttttttttto stttuuuuuummmmblllllllle!!" she shouts in atrocious English that is still entirely and iconically recognizable in its nasal tone and hype-up intent.



<Pose Tracker> Raikari Shinkyou [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

As soon as the bang goes off Raikari digs her heels in and pulls. And pulls. And in her mind is imagining she's trying to resist her mom dragging her into one of those pink girly fru-fru fashion shops that Raikari just -hates-. It's rather effective at inspiring herself to PULL and DRAG FEET.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu glances around at her teammates, smiling encouragingly. "I'm sure we'll all do our best!" she says as she gets a good grip on the rope, debating whether to wrap it around one arm for extra purchase - she decides not to, though. As the teacher calls out in Engrish, Fuu tightens her grip and braces her feet -

And as soon as the starting gun goes off, she starts pulling, leaning back, heels digging into the ground. "Eeiiii!!"

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Oyanagi [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Oh c'mon, what's wrong with a little team building excercise?" Miyu asks with a bubbling tone in her voice as she gets ready with the rope, digging her heels into the dirt and bracing herself.

Then Haruna mangles the english language.

Knowing enough about English to spot the discrepency, Miyu says, "Wait, isn't that supposed to be rumbl-- EEK!"

Gah, she got caught off guard by the mangled english and the pulling started when she wasn't ready! Strambling to regain her balance. Miyu digs in as hard as she can!

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay digs in his heels as best as he can, bracing as the rope begins to shift. "Ngggh!" he grunts, as he hauls back on it with all his strength. "Fuu," he says, "Be careful, you'll slip!"

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Nikki is almost certainly cheering for Sakana (and by extension her team) in the background. She did not enter this event because she's a real lightweight and expected to be a liability. Given the presence of a fifth grader, she probably shouldn't have worried about it.

Suzu braces almost as soon as the gun fires, though there's an instant where she's not anchored very well and she's depending on the tuggers of Sakura Team to... well, tug. Then she recovers, putting her arms and legs into it. "Pull harder!" she calls. "We can do it!"

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Homura glances at Eri from across the mudpit. She doesn't seem to be as perturbed by the arrangement though. If anything, shouldn't the mud and dirt be a place a plant-based Puella Magi would like to go?

Don't worry Eri, you will look lovely planted in the garden until Walpurgisnacht arrives.

After her reassurance plus warning to Amu and her glance toward Eri she walks up to the rope and takes her place on Maple Team side of the line. Shortly afterwards the announcer yells in atrocious English. Though thankfully the full atrociousness is spared on her due to being born and raised in Japan.

Homura grips the rope as tightly as she can within her pale fingers and pulls with all her strength. Oddly this is one of the few times that Homura's neutral and indifferent expression is dropped for a grimace of exertion! She digs in her heels the best she can, though admittedly the 10th graders are probably doing most of the work on her end!

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

BANG. What? Gun? OH GOD. Right, she's the fluent english speaker here, she should have known how that was going to go, still, grip tight and heels dug in, the heavy hitter between her partner -heaves- on the rope, trying to get some folks from the other team to stumble forward! "Ngh! C'mon! LETS GO!"

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

As the countdown begins, Amu takes a moment to make sure she has a good grip on the rope. She.. blinks at the bad English. "That's not right, is it?" But she's the anchor. She can't be too distracted!

That's why, when the signal gun goes off, Amu tightens her grip on the rope and leans back, digging her heels against the ground. They should probably time this to pull together, she thinks. Someone should start yelling, she thinks.

But not Amu, she's too cool for that. Really.

Honoka Yukishiro's last pose:

Haruna-sensei looks between the two teams, eyes twinkling, and flashes a brief slasher smile, then hides it behind a hand. That hand then fishes in her pocket for the fakey 'starting' gun, then raises it to the sky.

"Arrrrre yoooooooou rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrready tttttttttttttttttto stttuuuuuummmmblllllllle!!" she shouts in atrocious English that is still entirely and iconically recognizable in its nasal tone and hype-up intent.



<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Her heart wasn't in it at first, until she looks Homura's way. Eri gives Homura a furtive glance, the sun glinting off her glasses suddenly. In her head she imagined Homura taunting her with /Eri Eri quite contrary, how does your garden grow?/ As the accomplished gardener here, she'll do the planting, Homura, thank you very much.

She almost loses the grip, taken aback by the teacher's atrocious English, but then the starting gun goes off, and her slackened grip tenses just before the rope goes taut. Keeping her feet planted, she then attempts to draw back, one step at a time. Sweat begins to bead on her brow almost instantly, as her expression contorts into almost a caricature of exertion.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Her rear leg bending low, her fore leg jamming into the mud, Nagisa hauls for all she's worth, her brow breaking out into a sweat. "Nnngh," she growls, slowly reversing the position of those two legs, cramming her heels into the dirt.

"Lean into it!" she shouts. "Dawson-san, use that fighting spirit!" Pulled forward a few steps by Ayries's rally, she grits her teeth.

"Okay, Sakura team! On 'ho,' everyone pull your hardest! Heave... HO! Heave... HO!" It's hard for Nagisa to see if anyone's listening, as all she can see is Eri's back, but it will be easy to feel it. "Heave... HO! Everybody together!"

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Unfortunately Homura is also 'Too Cool' to go about yelling for her team to pull together. Though perhaps not too cool to at least offer the suggestion. "This is no good." Homura manages out over the strain, as the Sakura Team rallies again and Nagisa begins to get their team to work together by calling out.

"We need to time our pulls together or else..." Already Homura can feel the dirt slipping beneath her feet from the combined effort of Sakura Team, and slowly Maple Team is being pulled toward the mud pit. Can they work together, or will they fall (into mud) together?!"

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana braces, digging her heels in and pulling on the rope. Too many people on her team are too cool to yell! This could be bad! If only Sakana knew that coolness could get in the way of succeeding at the event. She hears eternal rival Nagisa shouting. And she turns to the others on her side and says, "Don't let it just be them!"

She takes in a deep breath, "HEAVE! HO!" She yells, timing her pulls. Maybe the others will go along with it, maybe they won't.

"HEAVE! HO!" She finds herself skidding. "Come on! Time our pulls together! HEAVE! HO!"

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Oh no, Miyu. No. It was /definitely/ meant to be stumble. The mud awaits! Haruna-sensei's moderately malicious grin reappears even as she backs out of the way a little bit, watching with hands planted on her hips. Truly, this is a wonderful sight.

It is, as previously noted, extremely high-quality mud; it smells gloriously of loam and nitrate and a little bit of sulfur... all those stinky things that help support life on Earth as we know it. It has only a minimum of gravel, which on the up side means no scratched feet, ankles (or knees, once things get messy), but on the down side makes things /especially/ slippery.

Jay Dawson, Nagisa Misumi, Miyu Oyanagi and Amu Hinamori are the first to discover this, as they happen to step on an angled slope of the mudpit and might struggle to keep their balance!

Raikari Shinkyou, Fuu Hououji, Eri Shimanouchi and Kinzo Hiroyuki discover instead, as they inch their way along the rope, that sections of it have been painted with grease. In a fair and orderly way, even across both sides, of course, but nonetheless. Better hold on--!

And, in terms of momentum, the current advantage is with the SAKURA team! Fight, MAPLE!

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Listen as well as calling out!" Fuu advises her teammates (via subdued shout) - and then her hand slips on a surprisingly greasy section of rope. She compensates quickly, moving her hand further ahead to an ungreased part between heaves (or "ho"s as the case may be), but her palm is still slicker than it should be. "Watch out for grease - *eeiii!!*" She puts her back, and pretty much her *everything*, into the next pull to help make up for lost momentum.

Spectators might also see a glint of good-natured determination in Fuu's eyes, and a smile forming on her lips. She's got a competitive streak behind the perpetual polite manners and friendly smile; who knew?

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Trying!" Jay grunts, through gritted teeth. The rope slips a few inches, its roughness burning his hands. "Come on, Sakura!" He steps backwards, trying to simultaneously brace himself and wrench the rope away from Maple Team--except he wasn't expecting a slope beneath his foot. Jay slips, nearly losing his grip on the rope; with a splash and a last minute-grab, he manages to stay upright, but for a few critical seconds he can't apply force. Can Maple team use this to their advantage?!

"There's grease?!"

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Oyanagi [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Waaaaaah! There's no traction under her feet! What should she doooooooo?

Biting down on her lip and trying her best to dig her heels into the slippery earth below. Miyu does her very best to to stop the gradual lose of ground... then she hears Homera behind her and the advice she gives.

"Oh hey! That's a good idea! You must have done this kind of thing before!" Miyu says with a cheerful smile as she relents for a moment to regain her footing and ready herself, "C'mon everyone! All together!" And then she starts to pull!

<Pose Tracker> Raikari Shinkyou [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Ugh, what kind of dumb mud is this?" Raikari complains at random. "It smells like the kind mom puts on her face instead of the kind you play in!" None the less she does her best to keep her footing and pull, then step, and then pull. Step back, and.. gah! At first she thinks there was some mud splattered on the rope when she grabs it, but after looking down when she jerks her hand back to the previous spot she had a grip on, sees otherwise. "Careful, someone lubed the rope in spots! Now heave, ho and don't let go!"

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

At first it seems like all is going well, Eri times her pulls with Nagisa's coaching, rhythmically with each /Ho/!, tugging as hard as she can. But some of her momentum is lost when she discovers the rope is painted in grease. There is a moment where she tries to pull, and finds her hands nearly slipping off entirely. Which causes her to ramble to herself almost in a panicked manner, "Nononononono.. NO!" They slide instead, and she clamps down suddenly, digging her fingers in as hard as she can.

She switches to more side stance, one leg in front of the other, while she's leaning back to the point where it looks like she will fall backwards anyhow, even if they manage to win. On Nagisa's next /Ho/, she tries her hardest to maintain her grip, and pull past the grease painted section to something a little less treacherous to the hand! She tries to get into the rhythm again, calling out /Ho/! in time with Nagisa.

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Suzu Hamasaki is really trying to put some muscle into it! For all that she's a little clumsy, she actually makes a decent anchor; she's not as light as a lot of the pullers and she is, if not a paragon of strength, at least not weak enough to immediately fall over.

She is not sure if anchor means she's team captain (she assumes it does not) but she is at the back and can help time the pulls. "Heave! HO!" Suzu's timing is a little different - because she's emphasizing the 'ho' immediately before she thinks Maple Team is getting ready to pull, trying to keep them off balance!

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Not good, not good! The other team really seems to have it together! "What are we going to do..." She really would rather not take a dive into the mud today. "We have to--whoah!" Amu's planted foot skids at least an inch or two as she loses traction entirely. She momentarily finds her face bumping against the back of Homura's neck, but a tiny step back and a -push- with her foot steadies her again. "S..sorry, Akemi-senpai."

And that's when her three Charas float around from behind her. "Fight, fight, Amu-chan!" Ran waves little pompoms. Suu is... pretty distracted, looking down at the uneven ground. Miki, meanwhile, holds up a sketch of Amu covered in mud.

"Not... helping... Miki! We just need to all pull together, that's--" And then her eyes widen as she sees her pink Chara floating closer. "Don't you -dare-, Ran--!"

"From a girl who doesn't want to speak up to a girl who can yell." "--no!" "Chara change!"

The hairpin in Amu's hair suddenly pops from an X-shape to a heart shape. She doesn't get any stronger; that's not what this Chara Change is for. Instead, she takes a breath and -yells-.

"Maple team! Pull on two! One.. TWO! One... TWO! Pull together or we'll end up in the mud! One... TWO!"

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

About to count down for the group, Aisha blinks when Miyu starts thinking the same and calls out. "Can do!" A step, another heel dug in, and then a hard pu--OHGOD Grease! At least it was only for one hand. She's quick to adjust and then heaves -hard- on the spots she can keep a grip!

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Yes! Great work! Heave... HO! Heave... H-uuup!" Sakura team gaining ground presents an unexpected hazard; Nagisa's rear foot finds unstable ground, and slides out from under her. She's glad for stretching exercises, because her feet are rather far apart now. She knows, however, that she has to keep up the metronome. "Heave... ho!" she shouts, trying to find her balance.

Eri runs into a problem of some kind too. Nagisa bites her lip, struggling with her conscience, and then, already low to the ground, lets herself drop to one knee, and holds a foot up in front of her, planting it right between Eri's shoulderblades, stamping a proud brown footprint on her back. With a firm push, she gets Eri more upright, then restores her own footing, more mindful now of the ground's treachery.

"Let's finish them off! Heave... HO!"

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

It seems that Sakana Yagijima has taken up the call. That is good. Hopefully others will take it up as well and the Maple Team will begin to work together better. Already there's some sign that the momentum is changing. At least they're not losing ground as quickly! Homura tries to pull in a bit more rope and finds her fingers slipping on a bit of grease as well. The tsks to herself. So that's how it is this time.A

"Something like that." Homura replies to Miyu's comment. Then suddenly Amu stumbles, falling face forward into her back. Momentarily it seems that Homura is the anchor as she grits her teeth and tries to set her feet hard into the ground in order to give Amu a chance to recover. "It's... fine..." She sounds a bit winded now though. Part of this battle is teamwork, strength, but it's also a test of endurance. And while Homura is capable of using her Soul Gem's magic to wash away some of her fatigue it would be, indeed, cheating. Worse than that it would be a gross waste of her magic.

Luckily it sounds like Amu has suddenly picked up a burst of energy. Or more accurately, enthusiasm. Even Homura manages to begin saying 'One... two...' under her breath with the pulls.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana is surprised to find Amu joining in the shouts, she takes in a deep breath and times her shouts with Amu's. She is impressed, she was thinking of Amu as the weak link here. "One...TWO! One...TWO!" She joins in, skidding her feet back to try and get a good grip going on. Will the other time their pulls too? Still, this is a marked improvement. She won't yield to Sakura easily. She grinds her feet back, shifting her grip to try and get a firmer and steadier grip.

"One... TWO!"

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

It's Raikari and Eri's turn to find some serious mud, as they suddenly sink up to their ankles in the increasingly sloppy footing! Sakana, Aisha, Suzu and Homura each discover seriously slippery rope!

And everyone else might be a little bit distracted by the roar. At first it was difficult to really notice, but now that the initial starting adrenaline rush has ceased to pound in competitors' ears, they can hear ... the crowd. Parents, other students, even teachers, calling out names and chants and cheers. It's an electric feeling.

Advantage MAPLE! The rope is starting to pull back the other way! Can SAKURA hang on?

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Oyanagi [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

It's working! YATTA! So this is what it feels like to have real team spirit!

Inspired by Hinamori's sudden commanding shout, Miyu starts to time her pulls in since with everyone else as she too begins to follow the chant, "One! Two! One! Two!"

Tug-o-war is so AWESOME! n_n

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Come on, everyone!" Fuu calls out to her teammates. "Pick up the pace - and don't give them any slack to pull us around with! Heave, *ho*! Heave, *ho*! ..." She's working up a sweat by now, but she keeps breathing in time with hauling on the rope, and digging her will in along with her heels. Sure, it's all in good sporting fun, but she's not about to give up on this either, not until it's over - !

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Momentum! YES. Soon as she feels some give in the rope Aisha's quick to take those small steps back and dig in all the more. The roar of the crowd is only going to get her adrenaline to come surging right back. This was the kind of thing that thrilled her, ketp her motivated! "LETS KEEP THIS MOMENTUM!" she calls during one of those hard pulls.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri feels a foot between her shoulderblades. There's a brief moment where her eyes become anime dark pinpoints, while her face contorts with an expression of /What/? She's so surprised that it looks like she might turn around, and indeed her neck starts to shift that way, but, she resists the urge. Eventually realizing what happened, since she hasn't been introduced outside of the team lists she just states, "Hey, thanks!"

Tug of war was entirely different from swimming, she used entirely different muscle groups. So she continues to have a rough time, especially when she's up to her ankles in mud. Eri Shimanouchi did in fact just get planted. Fortunately she has the capability to uproot herself, which she tries to do one step at a time, "I may...need some more..." She strains against the rope, now with most of her footing gone, just trying to maintain her footing in the slick mud. She slips, but manages not to fall down completely into the mud due to that grip, "...HELP!" Her feet flail for a moment, before she digs in again. She tries to extricate herself with every step, every call of /Ho/! But it's obvious she's having a rough time.

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Suzu Hamasaki was not expecting to get grease at /her/ end. She wasn't moving around that much as the anchor, but she guesses it sort of slipped down her hands, and then, well...

When the cheering starts up, Suzu entirely loses her grasp on the rope for a split second as it slides through her fingers; she yelps in surprise, losing her count. She manages to hang on with just her right hand, pulled along with it for a step with her left hand flailing before she manages to get it back on a non-slippery part of the rope.

As if to make up for her almost losing the rope and the anchor position entirely, Suzu redoubles her effort, not just pulling but leaning back to put her entire weight into it in a slightly precarious position! "ONE! TWO!" she yells, before going red in the face, a combination of exertion, embarassment at starting to yell, and mortification about her prior slip. Now she can't let herself lose!!

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

"One... TWO! One... TWO!" She is going to kill you when this is over, Ran. Especially if they don't win.

"One.. TWO!" Amu is already panting, even though it hasn't been all that long since they started. It's the exertion combined with the yelling and having so much weight dragging against her. Whose cruel idea was it to make her the anchor? "Maaa...PLE! Team... GO!" Amu briefly feels her foot slip, then quickly repositions it. "Slippery part just behind you, Akemi-senpai. Careful!" If her teammates fall, there's no way Amu will be able to carry it on her own!

"One... TWO! Don't... FALL! In the... MUD!" This is so embarrassing!

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"I'm trying--" Jay grunts. He wraps the rope around his forearm--or tries to, there's not much slack in it--as he regains his footing. "Hang on, Eri--!" And now, Jay takes a risk, reaching down with a red-knuckled hand to try and pull poor Eri free. Is this risk worth it?!

<Pose Tracker> Raikari Shinkyou [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fortunately for her teammates Raikari has -no- problem with getting dirty. Her feet sink into the deep spot up to the ankles, but instead of screaming or flailing she digs in, grabs the rope, and pulls even harder, sloshing her feet as she can manage in the thick muck to keep going. The thought of her fussy mother likely shrieking and fainting if she saw her legs getting even a little dirty just bringa a smirk to her face as she keeps putting in effort.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Just after noticing the grease on the rope momentum has begun to build and now Homura Akemi is having to actually deal with it. It's easier said than done honestly. This isn't a game where you can just, say, stop time and move yourself into an ideal position. You have to deal with the slippery ground as it is, and you have to grab the rope as you come to it. During one of the pulls Homura's hand falls directly in the middle of a particularly well greased length of rope causing it to nearly slip from her forward hand, and forcing her arm at the rear to do double the work for a moment. Miyu probably would notice a sudden lack in pull from behind her at that moment, but she soon recovers!

Amu tries to help Homura identify another slippery patch, and the gloomy Ohtori student nods her head in agreement. Though at this point she is a bit too winded to respond directly. Even her 'one... TWOs' sound more like ragged breaths than her actual words.

They need to end this, and quickly, or else their strength will fail. Or at least Homura's!

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa is spared any great mishap this time, and she puts this to her advantage. The lacrosse team is used to getting muddy, and she has no compunction about burying her feet as deeply into the mud as possible in order to get more traction. "Hamasaki-san!" she yells to her classmate. "Take us--heave... HO!--all the way home!" she encourages.

She doesn't have any more help to spare the beleagured Eri. But there's something vaguely annoying about the crowd's roar. Something... familiar.

"Ryouta-kun?" she asks, and glances over. She can see her family in the bleachers, her dad on his feet shouting, Ryouta on his much shorter legs as well, her mother more dignified in her seat but every bit as eager. "Everyone..." she whispers, and then, heartened, she screws up her face, her cheeks getting red with exertion. "HRRRGH! HEAVE! HO!" she gasps. "Sakura team, fight! HEAVE! HO!"

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Way to go, Hinamori-San!" Sakana grins. They wouldn't listen to her shouts--clearly a cute fifth grader needs to do the yelling.

"Is that all you got Sakura?! You can't stand up to our anchor's adorability!!" She calls out, pulling in time.

"ONE TWO!" Her hands are getting red but she pays it little mind. Just a little bit more...!

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The struggling is mighty on all sides! The rope scarcely seems to move at all at times, suspended with perfect tension above the deepest part of the pit! But when that moment comes, it doesn't come gradually, as is so often the case in such events. In time with Suzu Hamasaki's ONE! TWO! that are so carefully designed to pre-empt the other team's pulling, she leads SAKURA with a surge of strength that seems to ripple down the rope, amplified especially by Jay Dawson's efforts -- in pulling Eri free, he adds her strength back into the equation at just the right time!

The grease is almost a kindness; MAPLE team is liable to suffer some rope burn if they aren't careful. The sheer backlash, however, is likely to send both teams into the mud -- one forward, one backwards, but all the same.

"WINNER! SAKURA TEAM!" shouts Haruna-sensei, grinning like the devil at all the muddy students... until she slips and falls right on her butt into the mix. Her laughter is good-natured and raucous, even so, and she offers someone a hand up even as she scrambles back to her feet. "Alright, we've got hoses and towels here for a reason, rinse, dry, then back to the fight! Fight-oh!"

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Oh no! YANKED forward Aisha, likely with her co-horts, ends up face down in all the stuff they were just fighting to keep OUT of. At least as she starts to pull herself up she's laughing about it, "Good job!" And that's for everyone, not just her own team. "Haha, man, that was great, lets get cleaned up before the next thing starts."

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Oyanagi [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Waaah! *SPLAT* Into the mud goes Miyu as the final pull takes her right off her feet... but as she pushes herself up off the ground, she can't help but smile.

"That was awesome!"

She pushes herself to her feet... and then grabs her uniform and shakes out the excess mud, "Would have been even better if we had won, but it was still really fun!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu lets out a yelp as she splats down into the mud - but as noted, track pants can be laundred, as can her T-shirt, so it's all good. She's still smiling brightly as she gets back up and starts helping her teammates up - and for that matter, she'll help Maple Team up as well if any of them need it.

Once everyone is back on their feet, Fuu grins and says, "That was great work, everyone, as well as great fun!" She bows politely to the members of Maple Team for good measure before she goes to rinse the worst of the mud off of her clothes and face, and out of her hair if possible. She wastes no time in drying off again and collecting her glasses from Sakurada-sensei.

... assuming she can identify Sakurada-sensei to get her glasses back from, that is. It's a good thing she took them off before the tug-of-war started, though.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Jay pulls Eri free at just the right moment! And they surge forward to victory one tug at a time. Unfortunately, their final fevered rush towards triumph causes the line to go slack at just the exact moment for her momentum, and the very slick tractionless shoes to carry her backwards into the team's anchor of Nagisa. While Nagisa may be able to keep her footing better, Eri finds splattering backwards into the mud.

There's that moment of shock on her features as the winners are called, and she realizes that despite being on the winning team she still ended up in the mud. And then she begins to laugh, and when it seems like she's going to stop, she laughs harder.. that's about the moment she realizes that she's so winded from the experience that she begins to gasp for breath, she catches her breath, finally sitting back up, and running her hands down her shoulder length hair to try and get out some of the caked on mud(Which was difficult between the muddy and greasy hands as well), . "Well.. that was a... that was a /thing/!" She had no better word to describe it at the moment, "Congratulations team!"

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana goes flying into the mud. SPLOOTCH.

"Ug....no way... we even had cuteness on our side..." She has a moment where she has an 'Oh no we lost' moment, staring into the ground, but Miyu jars her out of it. "Mmhmm. I suppose that's one way to look at it." She supposes that Miyu has a point there. It's better to win, but worst to not try at all!

She looks over to Amu and says, "Good work! We wouldn't have stood a chance had you not stepped up!" That's right. This is just the first event...

"We'll beat them next time!" She promises, standing herself up and intending to give Miyu a muddy hi five!

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Suzu Hamasaki does not fall. Amazingly. (Barely.)

Instead she staggers when the resistance suddenly ends, barely managing to hang on! "Hey! Good work, everyone!" Suzu herself is relatively unmuddy since she never fell, mostly on her shoes, though her legs are also a little spattered; there's a faint hint of glitter from the moisture when it catches the light. (Probably.) Her hands /are/ super greasy, though.

Suzu pales despite victory. She didn't think about this part. "Uh, I don't need a hose," Suzu says, hastily. "I'll take a towel though - actually I'm going to go dry off somewhere else!"

She makes pretty good time for someone who just finished a tug of war and has sore arms and legs. Wonder what her hurry was?

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sometimes, even Amu's adorableness can fail it seems!!

Exhaustion is not kind to Homura, unfortunately. Putting all of her effort into maintaining her strength means that she's also more distracted when the time ultimately comes. In this case the rest of the team is suddenly pulled forward. The transfer student immediately loses her footing upon the slippery ground and flops head over heels in order to face plant straight into the mud pit!

When she rises from the ground her face and some of her hair is caked in the thick, gooey muck. She wipes the worst of it from her eyes allowing her violet colored eyes to stare disdainfully from the filthy mask. Though they won fair and square so Homura offers a polite bow to the other team.

... then as she turns to walk away she has the poorly thought out notion to run her fingers back through her muddy hair. It hardly gives her a satisfying hair flip the way things are right now, and worse! The muddy tresses are likely to flick a few globs at her unlucky team mates as they flip through the air. Homura doesn't seem to notice though. Instead she just makes her way over to where the hoses and towels are so that she can try to rinse and dry out her head and hair the best she can.

... it's a /lot/ of hair so it is going to take a bit!

<Pose Tracker> Raikari Shinkyou [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Raikari Shinkyou sits up after the tumble and wipes mud off her face. "Still don't see what mom sees in coating herself in mud as a beauty treatment. Seems like that would take the fun out of getting plastered in it doing something like this."

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

The tension gives out on one side of the rope. This is quite a surprise for at least one person on the other end; Jay's feet slide out from under him, and he pitches backwards into the mud pit with an ungainly squawk. Mud squelches around him as he clambers back to his feet, coated in top-quality garden topsoil but grinning nevertheless. "That was great!" he cries. "Nice job, Eri!" He raises a hand for a muddy high-five, before turning to Suzu. "Great job, Suzu, we--" He frowns. "I guess she's just shy," Jay mutters.

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Even as she feels her heels beginning to slide, Amu leans back. Puuuuullll! And it's because she was pulling so hard that she doesn't get a dignified slip and skid. Oh, no. Her feet remain planted and she finds the top half of her body pitching forward to land her face-first in the mud. "Mpfllrrlf!" Maybe she'll just stay here. It's less embarrassing than getting up and facing everyone.

Siiiigh.... Amu finally pushes up, wiping her hand across her muddy face and leaving three diagonal lines down it. "Raaaaaannnnnnn...." The pink Chara laughs nervously and tries to fly away... but Amu grabs hold of her and hugs her close, generously sharing some of the mud.

At least there are hoses to wash off. "Sorry, everyone... I was hoping we'd make it!" Her hair isn't nearly as long as Homura's, but she at least gives a lonh forelock a flick, sending a little spray of water to the side. The encouraging words from the others helps keep her from being -too- embarrassed, at least.

<Pose Tracker> Suzu Hamasaki [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Suzu Hamasaki will be back later. Probably.

She makes pretty good time out, though. Maybe she /was/ embarassed about falling, even if they didn't lose because of it.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

As promised, it takes Homura quite some time in order to rinse out her hair and clean her face. But she is diligent. It's also useful for her to take the time to sit down and relax after that last event. Thankfully she is young and can recover quickly, supposed heart malady or no!

After rinsing her hair clean, Homura then tries to squeeze all the water from its length before taking a few towels to towel dry it. The end result is a bit messy compared to her usual style, but at least with her headband she can keep it held back and out of her eyes.

Even while slightly damp from the towel drying though her hair still seems to sweep outward oddly at around her hips. Truly, Homura Akemi's hair has the strangest natural curl around.

It's like it spent so long being tied up in two say... braids that now it has forgotten how to lay down straight!

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa is startled by the sudden slackness of the rope, and she drives herself down into the mud with her ferocious pulling. She doesn't even have time to prop up Eri again with her foot, so the gardener splashes her with blobby flecks of mud. "We won... and I'm in the mud anyway," she sighs. "I can't believe it..."

Laughing, she stands up, slinging some mud off her legs with her hands. "Nice job, Hamasaki-san, Dawson-san!" she says, to the people she knows. "Sakura team forever!" She offers her muddy hand to Eri. "Sorry about the foot," she says, shamefaced.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The PA system triggers again. It's been going on and off this whole time; various other events have occurred, including the Ball Throw, 50 Yard Dash, and Shotput. But now: "May I please have your attention: The three-legged race will begin on Field A in five minutes! Please collect your supplies from Sugiura-sensei. I repeat, the three-legged race will begin on Field A in five minutes!"

The owner of that honeyed soprano then hands PA duties over to her second, another Science Club member named Yuriko; her glasses gleam with the anticipation of getting to make announcements to the entire school. Honoka sees her expression and raises a single, quelling eyebrow... but then smiles slightly, and bows her gratitude. "I must hurry -- thank you for taking this responsibility, Araki-san!"

And then she hurries off through the crowds, dark hair streaming behind her in the sunlight. She has a little brown canvas baggie in her hands. It looks like it may contain small, rectangular items.

OOC: New log starts here!

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The lunch hour at the Sister Schools Sports Festival was a jovial affair, with thousands of students spread out across the bleachers and fields, sharing bento and other delicacies with old friends and new, and some family audience members, to boot. The street food carts are doing killer business, as well, so there's no short supply of takoyaki, donuts, chocolate cornets and, of course, Chao's Bao.

The fields are being kept scrupulously clean thanks to a combination of the competitors themselves not wanting to play sports over litter, and some really gung-ho Juuban volunteers (or 'volunteers', press-ganged into) cleaning up as the hour comes to its end. One of them finishes sorting recycling into three bins, wipes off her hands, then walks back to the makeshift PA booth under its bleached white canvas pavillion.

"May I have your attention, please," requests Honoka gently, her sweet soprano carrying across the crowds. "The Sister Schools Sports Festival will begin again in five minutes. The Obstacle Course will be taking place on Field B." She proceeds to name several other events as well, such as the long distance run, the javelin throw, and the Giant Ball Roll.

At Field B, Haruna Sakurada-sensei, 8th grade Juuban instructor, seems to have wiped the worst of the tug-of-war mud out of her everywhere; she is bright-eyed and bushy tailed as she surveys the course they've set up. There are cones. There are nets. There are pits. There are walls. There are tables. There is bread hanging from fishhooks.

"Obstacle course participants over here," she calls, cheerfully. Too cheerfully.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama is already back at Field B after buying a trio of chocolate cornets (one was for Umbra; she dropped it in her bag, and she's pretty sure it never actually hit the bottom). This is one of the two things she is usually pretty good at - that, and the scavenger hunt (she has no clue whatsoever how Sakana and her won the three-legged race).

At the moment she's just finishing up /her/ second, along with a bottle of water; she pops the last bite into her mouth as she ambles up, trying to sneak a peek at all the obstacles ahead of time.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi Haneoka is here to participate in the Obstacle Course and Scavenger Hunt events. She's heading out to the Obstacle Course with great enthusiasm, in her Ohtori gym outfit. She seems to be popular enough to have her own little cheering section in the stands. She looks out toward it, and waves, seeing Seira and a few of her other friends. No Daiki though... hm. That's almost a downer in a way, but not enough to wipe the smile off her face for more than a second.

She has a headband, which she puts around her head, but she leaves her hair hanging down, for Reasons. This'll be a piece of cake, she thinks.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme is impatiently doing stretches as he waits for the event to begin. He's happy to be a part of the insanity that is the Sports Festival, and doubly happy that it's happening here on his home turf.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri Shimanouchi ate a very light lunch, which she'd brought herself.. helping herself to one chocolate cornet as well. She still has some large stains on her white gym T-Shirt, as a result of the Tug of War, including one large footprint on the back of it.

Mostly she'd stayed up in the stands during the cavalry battle to cheer, but now she was back attempting to compete at events. When the obstacle course was announced, she started heading to field B. When she examined the obstacles on the field, however... Eri starts having second thoughts, mumbling, "What are the bread on fishhooks for?"

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

It's a rare thing for Utena Tenjou to actually participate in an inter-school sporting event on behalf of Ohtori; usually she's only there to help the Ohtori crew practice. This is a little different, though -- it's a single serving, no-obligation bit of athletic competition, which is really much more Utena's speed than locking in on a club.

She takes up a position, looking out ahead at the course. She glances toward Eri as she asks a question, but for the most part, her focus is on the path which has been prepared ahead of her.

<Pose Tracker> Pisard [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Mr. Kazama is standing at the side of field B. He's a student teacher from Infinity who's been sent here to act as a chaperone. This is the kind work student teachers do, as 'real teachers' have more important things to do. This does not bother Mr. Kazama much.

Then again, it's hard to tell because he never really reacts to much, in his usual stilted tone. He has his arms folded in front of him and is merely staring at the field.....or off into the distance. He finally looks to the right a moment.

Human children are weird.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Originally, Fuu had no intention of competing in the obstacle course today - she had signed up for the scavenger race, figuring that quick wits would help figure out where to find each item on the list, and to do so in good speed.

On the other hand, the opening tug-of-war that she got dragooned into (or at least dragged into) ignited her competitive spirit, and while she didn't do as well in the cavalry battle as she would have liked to, neither did she suck as horribly as she had kind of expected to. And besides, the obstacle course looks like it ought to be a good training exercise, so to speak - even if she's not using her magic, training the body helps by building up the foundation on which the transformation capitalizes, right?

.... that logic probably works a little better, she reflects, if you're doing this kind of thing *regularly* and not just at a special event like an annual sports festival.

Still, she finished her lunch early (the meat buns from Chao Bao Zi are quite convenient, as well as delicious) and has spent at least half of the lunch hour walking around, socializing with people she knows in passing, and staying loose and kind of warmed up for the events to resume after the lunch hour ... and here she comes towards the starting line. She even managed to find a length of elastic cord to help keep her glasses from falling off (although that won't help much if they somehow break in the course of things).

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Oriko Mikuni spent a bit of time observing the whole set of previous events, quietly cheering from the stands. She was planning to participate in the some of the last ones and didn't want to mess herself up doing Sports capital S before then. Time to dodge obstacles, though.

The almost fifteen year old girl is amongst the Ohtori participants, sporting the gym outfit like everyone else. She probably sticks out a bit due to looking just a nudge older than she is, disregarding the fact she'd stand out in the first place if anyone knew about politics. Because they'd probably hate her. Common trend, she's okay with it by now. Mostly.

"Hello Eri~. Likely things we have to duck under."

Unlike others she did not spoil herself on delicious food. She's probably going out with Kirika to eat after this anyway. Better not to spoil one's appetite!

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Utena-sama! Good luck!" Anthy Himemiya cheers from the rafters, perched delicately on one of the front-row seats to watch her fiancee participate in the obstacle course. She has been watching the various sports events with varying levels of (dis)interest, but now her attention is set fully on the event. "I'll be cheering for you~!"

"Chuchuchuchu!!" Chuchu agrees, waving a tiny pennant, which is actually a white napkin corner with a U written on it, hooked around a toothpick. One can reasonably assume that they'll be in this position for the rest of the events in which Utena participates, and that no overt attention will be paid to anyone but her.

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay did not end up as an entrant in the obstacle course. He doesn't really seem to mind, given that he already got muddy and wet earlier on in the tug-of-war, and just finished cleaning up and changing his clothes. (The muddy clothes are quarantined in a bag, so he can get his exchange sponsor to launder them later.) Presently, he is in his street clothes, sans hoodie, which is in the bag. He munches contentedly on one of Chao's char siu bau rolls, and there may well be more in the paper bag he's holding.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa had been visited by an angel after Sakura team's victory in the tug-of-war. The angel gave her juiceboxes. This was, in fact, what made her an angel. It had powered her through several more events, but there came a time in every girl's life when juice just wasn't enough, and that time was called "lunch."

By that time, she couldn't find Honoka in the announcement booth, and anyway it didn't feel like an assumption yet that they would start taking lunches together regularly, so she ate her hearty (if somewhat workaday) bento with the lacrosse team, getting regaled with tales of the cavalry battle.

Restored, she waits at the starting line with the others. "Duck under?!" Nagisa says, catching Oriko's response to Eri's question. "You two haven't done this event before? You don't duck under those, you eat them! It's half the reason you do this event." At least for Nagisa, who is grinning. "Bite them off--no hands!--and keep going with the bread in your mouth. Don't drop it, though, it will get all dirty."

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota looks up, hearing Anthy's familiar voice. He gives her a wave but then follows the direction of her cheering and does indeed spot the famous (or perhaps infamous) Tenjou Utena of Ohtori Academy. She's right over there! Should she say hi? No, that'd be weird! He doesn't want her to think he's weird! Well, he's staring at her and blushing, so that's probably already a lost cause.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao, rebuffed in her overtures of Super Friends Foreverness by Homura 'a jerk' Akemi, retreated back to Chao Bao Zi to drown her sorrows in orange soda.

No, what she actually did was change into her waitress outfit for a while to help out at the stand for lunch! But the lunch hour is ending, so she excuses herself while the people who don't have an event right away stay behind to clean up, including a certain over-helpful halfpint redheaded young boy.

"Thanks a bunch, sensei!" she calls back, and tosses her uniform off summarily. One panel later: Gym clothes! One panel after that: Chao dashing up toward the obstacle course, energy restored!! She takes up position on the starting line. Her hair buns flex with excitement.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Haruna-sensei looks over the assembled masses with a gimlet eye. She is the warden at the gates, the watcher at the walls, the keeper of the prize. Folding her arms, she marches up and down the starting line. "This is the Juuban Public School Top Level Grade S Obstacle Course! You will treat it with all respect! There will be no cheating! No horseplay! No bad sportsmanship! Emerge on the other side to be showered in glory!"

Turning on her heel, she returns to her place at the end. "Everyone in position! Get ready! Get set!"


The first obstacle is but a thirty yard sprint away; every contestant has a soccer ball waiting for them, and a series of cones to navigate it around. Though the cones are far enough apart that soccer expertise is clearly not required or expected, it's all pretty tightly packed together, there's a lot of potential for collision and other insanity.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri looks at Utena, stating, "Tenjou-san, I'm glad to see you again." It's about that time she catches sight of Himemiya in the stands with Chuchu, causing Eri to offer a lopsided smile, "My, she's quite enthusiastic, isn't she? It must feel great to have such an adoring fan."

And then Oriko approaches, and Eri gives her a questioning look, "Oh, Mikuni-sempai. I'm glad you're participating! And if that's the case, why not use something like say a bar?"

However Nagisa is quick to approach and answer the question, "Really?" She looks sidelong at the bread on fishhooks again, then returns her look at Nagisa, "Well, I suppose it's better than an egg on a spoon!"

But then the race is about to start, so she gets into position. She hadn't done much track before, but she was rather athletic, so she acquits herself well enough during the sprint. Her pace slows down slightly as she reaches the soccer ball, and begins to kick it about at a methodical pace around each of the cones. This takes her precariously close to Meimi at one point...

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

And they're off!

Nikki is one of the ones who takes off like a shot, because she doesn't understand (or, more likely, doesn't care about) things like 'pacing herself'. As a result she gets to the soccer ball pretty quickly, but short legs are definitely not an advantage for quickly kicking it around cones.

As a result Nikki slows down a bit once she gets that far. She handles okay, but not as quickly as she'd like. "There wasn't anything wrong with the egg on a spoon!" she calls back, as she kicks the ball around a cone, narrowly avoiding it knocking it over as she tries to corner a little too tightly.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The sudden bit of loud cheering from Anthy catches Utena off guard, but not in a bad way -- not in the least. She gives a big grin and waves back to Anthy, taking up a position at the starting gate -- and they're off!

Utena gives Eri a pleasant, "Himemiya's great!" as she gets out of the starting gate, quickly taking up the ball. She has some soccer familiarity, though it's not her strongest sport -- which means it takes her a few seconds to find the right rhythm, meaning she nearly hits Oriko's ball off course with her own at one point with her more irregular kicks. Fortunately, it's only a "nearly."

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Anthy continues to smile as Naoto waves her way and Eri gives her a glance. Both of them get a polite wave back, and a more expansive, more enthusiastic one for Utena. In all fairness, Chuchu is the one being the most enthusiastic about it, climbing to the top of Anthy's head and leaping up way higher than you figure a monkey that tiny would be able to do, but he is waving that pennant like his life depends on it, and Anthy still claps as the starting shot goes off, before quieting and folding her hands to actually watch.

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"But... bread is so bland," Oriko remarks, admittedly she has never done this before. It just made sense that suspending bread on hooks was cheaper than installing things to duck under. And possibly less dangerous but verdict's up about the hook part of the setup.

"And of course. I still like my school, even with how some people treat me. Isn't it natural I'd try to help it win?" She's no legend, not like Utena, but she'll still give it a shot.

The briefest attempt to divine the course nets her the big punch at the end of tonight's big anime marathon she planned to catch, instead.

She frowns slowly.

"Well, let's try our best then, Eri."

Signal. Oriko treks along at a normal pace, not wishing to exhaust herself early. She doesn't seem to have any trouble kicking the ball at especially odd angles and intercepting it back and forth across the cones. It's almost like she's great at launching balls!

"Ah, be more careful there~," is all she manages, because she's not really the type to trashtalk over an accident. In this situation, anyway. She's also keeping a bit closer an eye on Eri than is safe on a track. Odds of bumping into someone: high.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi bursts ahead. The first obstacle seems pretty straightforward, to her. She is a fast runner, too. It looks like Ohtori may have a good showing in this event. She was worried about keeping pace with Utena, who is a bit of a superstar, but she's actually best at agility contests and manages to surge a bit ahead when things get tangled. Then she comes up neck and neck with Nagisa... and almost tangles around her, with a little "Whoa!"

That girl seems like a tough athlete, she thinks, but she kicks her ball away after a brief little dance-around, just barely making eye contact with the Juuban girl in the process.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Soccer. Why did it have to be soccer. With a ferocious battlecry Naota charges forward, trying to keep the ball under control. This is far from being his area of expertise but he's not going to let that stop him!

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Thirty-yard sprint? Easy enough, although Fuu is pacing herself from the outset - she doesn't want to exhaust herself on the first leg only to run out of steam on the last. And kicking the ball to wave through the cones isn't all that hard either, although Fuu's hardly a soccer ace - there's a reason why she favors archery over field sports.

Still, she can cut her own path along the cones tighter than that of the ball, and she generally manages to keep the ball going in a series of straight lines, zig-zagging between each cone. It might not be the most efficient approach, but she certainly could do worse - and she's keeping her control nice and tight, *not* wanting to send the ball flying off into someone else's 'lane'.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Haruna-sensei really gets into her job, doesn't she?

"Bland? Better hope you don't get the spice bread, then!" Nagisa chirps at Oriko. And then she's off, bounding off to her soccer ball, which she chambers and dribbles adroitly. She'd been on some soccer teams before she settled on lacrosse, her true love. Soon, though, she has to lunge to trap it with the inside of her foot, forced to do a partial split again like she had during the tug-of-war. Those soccer years are long behind her, as she realizes now with a bit of a sigh. Better stop dribbling like Pele.

Meimi's foot latches around Nagisa's ankle, somehow or another, and Nagisa's steps hitch, her weight plunging forward. She plants her foot again, but her ball is rolling ever-so-slowly out of her range, and she's already hyperextended. Well, you can touch it with your head, right? Nagisa brings her forehead down and headbutts the ball firmly straight down, stopping its motion, then recovers her footing. "Sorry!" she sings to the girl in the Ohtori uniform.

Jay Dawson's last pose:

Jay did not end up as an entrant in the obstacle course. He doesn't really seem to mind, given that he already got muddy and wet earlier on in the tug-of-war, and just finished cleaning up and changing his clothes. (The muddy clothes are quarantined in a bag, so he can get his exchange sponsor to launder them later.) Presently, he is in his street clothes, sans hoodie, which is in the bag. He munches contentedly on one of Chao's char siu bau rolls, and there may well be more in the paper bag he's holding.

Chao Lingshen's last pose:

Chao, rebuffed in her overtures of Super Friends Foreverness by Homura 'a jerk' Akemi, retreated back to Chao Bao Zi to drown her sorrows in orange soda.

No, what she actually did was change into her waitress outfit for a while to help out at the stand for lunch! But the lunch hour is ending, so she excuses herself while the people who don't have an event right away stay behind to clean up, including a certain over-helpful halfpint redheaded young boy.

"Thanks a bunch, sensei!" she calls back, and tosses her uniform off summarily. One panel later: Gym clothes! One panel after that: Chao dashing up toward the obstacle course, energy restored!! She takes up position on the starting line. Her hair buns flex with excitement.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Showered in glory!? that's awesome!! Top Level Grade S...should Chao have brought her rocket boots?!

Oh no it's just soccer balls. Chao half-listens to what else is going on around the starting line, rolling her shoulder, hopping up and down to get her legs warmed up. She's doing lunges when Haruna gets to the end, producing her starter's pistol!

"Whoa, she's fast!" Chao yelps, and then BANG, and Chao transitions straight to a run! She is in the Martial Arts Maniacs clique instead of the Sports clique though so she's merely pretty alright. She gets to the soccer balls fast enough, ticking eyes to her left and right to see who's coming. Gotta eye the competition, y'know. She gets to dribbling , tapping the ball with the inside of her foot to get it moving. Control, control! She knows how to control at least this much, but there's so many people trying the same course!

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

At the end of the soccer course, Nikki Akiyama is in the lead with Meimi Haneoka, Utena Tenjou and Nagisa Misumi extremely close behind. That pack isn't unreachable by the rest, however; especially since the next challenge tests a very different kind of physicality: three vaulting horses, each one bigger and more imposing than the last, and that last requiring quite a scramble indeed by some who simply can't clear its height the traditional way.

The crowd is already going wild, the cheering sections competing against each other to see whose bad poetry can be the loudest. Some of them, from the bleachers, have spotted the obstacle to come after the horses, and the snickering is already beginning. It may be distracting to the sharp-eared and easily-humiliated.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Oo. Why is Nagisa apologizing, though!? Meimi should apologize. She tilts her head at her... but doesn't stop running, either. "So sorry!" ... Oh, hey, as she turns to apologize, Nikki seems to be making a break for it! She tries to run a bit faster, catching up to the vaults.

She's actually happy to see them, abandoning the ball and leaping over the first with grace. She's not distracted by snickering... so she may not realize what lies ahead. But she's great at leaping. A competetive urge swells up in her as she tries to catch up to Nikki.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu is quickening her pace some as she finishes the soccer-ball leg of the course, mostly because she sees the vaulting horses ahead and wants to build up speed to deal with them - not that she needed to worry much on the first one; the second takes a bit more of a jump to deal with, but she manages it all right - and as she lands, she drops into a crouch with the impact, mostly so she can push off from the ground and try to clear the third one that much more readily.

... and hope that she doesn't tangle herself up while attempting to complete her third vault, of course.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Utena sees herself falling into a respectable third place -- but is just a little too competitive to be content with third. She glances over to Nagisa, who she sees as her most immediate worry from how she handled the soccer ball; she doesn't trash talk her, but she does give her (and by extension the now-very-nearby Meimi) a tiny hint of the evil eye (which might just be the competitive eye, granted).

Utena is tall for a middle school girl, standing at about 5'5", and specifically practices the high jump besides; as a result, this is a section she was born to take. On the other hand, that snickering is putting her on-edge, and she totally biffs it on the third vaulting horse and has to try again as a result. Is the time she gained from the taking the first two pretty easily enough, or is the three-way tie for second going to shift to only two?!

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

If it was climbing, Nikki would be fine. Dodging things, great - she's excellent at that. Swinging from ropes over a pit, no problem. Instead she is perplexed by her greatest physical flaw:


Nikki goes over the first vaulting horse with no problem, but even the second one is too high for her to simply bound over; Nikki is a couple inches under five feet tall and she doesn't even have her high shoes on to hide it right now (because she has her running shoes on). Even with a running start she can't make it over cleanly, though she does make it over with a push.

And the third one is even worse. Nikki struggles to get over it and has to actually pull herself up and then hop down the back side. Her face is red because she's not sure that some of the crowd isn't laughing at her; it makes her more determined, but it doesn't make her get over it any faster. Internally, she swears revenge on vaulting horses. She'll get back at them some day!!

"No fair!" she whines, when she sees someone catch up to her as she's climbing up. She doesn't even recognize who it is because she doesn't know Ohtori students worth anything and has never seen Meimi before.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Wait what's that about spice bread?" She asks the question, however.. Eri's coming close to Meimi doesn't end in disaster primarily because Meimi was already almost colliding into Nagisa. The three student pileup is narrowly averted! Eri actually winces a little, despite Nagisa's masterful recovery. She cheerfully states towards Oriko, "Well, maybe you could have them switch it with one of those chocolate Cornets before we arrive."

The vaulting horses are in the way. The first one is small enough that she manages to simply use a short hop for momentum enough to spring over it. The second one she has a little more trouble with, placing her hands down on the platform to steady herself as she finishes the vault over. The third... well there's near disaster there. She's moving as she would as a Puella Magi, except she's not transformed, which makes her agility a great deal lower. As she jumps, there's a moment where her head rams into it lightly. She's momentarily stunned, but tries to shake it off by climbing it like she would a wall, before trying to catch her second wind and close the gap towards the others.

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Finally, being tall has its use. Oriko certainly has a leg up here (leg up... hehe...). Though she's not going at quite the pace the pack leaders are, she doesn't mind the slow and steady approach, if that means she can sprint at the end. The first two horses aren't much for her, although the third is still going to take her a bit of effort. She's a bit taller than average for her grade, not a giant. Actually, she's just at Utena's height, it turns out!

She plans to use her ease over the horses to try and catch up; at the very least, to Utena. She has her reasons!

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme may be behind in the running, but once he finally manages to reach the end of the soccer ball portion the next part just makes him smile. "See, this is what I'm talking about!" The first horse doesn't give him any trouble and the landing gives him momentum to clear the second. For the third he ends up having to plant his hands to hop over, but he manages to make the movements smooth and quick, showing surprising upper-body strength for someone as rangy-looking as he is. "I'll catch up yet!" he says.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Seeing the difficulty that Utena has with the high jump, something that she normally takes on with ridiculous ease, Anthy's smile fades into a more neutral expression. Chuchu, on the other paw, redoubles his efforts, leaping YARDS into the air with a ridiculously loud monkey CHUUUUUU screech, eyes squeezed shut, as he waves that pennant with the fury of a thousand Chuchus.

Mind you, this pennant is still pretty tiny.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa just laughs merrily at Eri. She won't take away the joy of discovery from an unfortunate girl who never did a bread-eating race before.

She catches Utena glancing at her with that competitive gleam in her eyes, and Nagisa's smile glints roguishly. Pumping her arms, she pounds both hands into the first vaulting horse's back, sailing over it far further than is really necessary given its low size. A challenge?

The second horse passes beneath her almost as easily, and she spares just a moment to see how Nikki is doing. Then it's the third she has to worry about. "Okay," she pants, sprinting to get as much momentum as possible. "Come on, come on..." Air woofs from her as she launches herself the final time, slamming her palms into the horse with stinging force, using their stiff leverage like a polevaulter. On the way down, her rear end scrapes the back of the horse, and she lands already rubbing it, hissing. But she feels good enough about her performance to glance over at Utena, sure she'll have passed the pink-haired girl.

Concerns about competition go away, however, when one of the vaulting horses vibrates with a violent impact. Someone apparently ran straight into it. Wow... poor Eri.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Not a good followup to earlier," Chao mutters to herself, batting the ball aside with slightly-too-much force when she clears the last cone. If this were kempo, she'd flatten these suckers!

Chao keeps up a strong pace for the moment, pounding pavement under her as she moves onward. Got to make up for lost time! And vaulting horses...yes, vaulting horses are easy! Just got to show off a little. She hits the first one with a solid bound, actually flips over it, lands on her hands, shoves off into an even higher leap over the second, and then SHOOTS into the air to tackle the third! This, too, is the power of the Chinese Martial Arts club.

She lands on her feet, her knees lighting up under the impact with the ground, and then works up the strength to shove back upward and continue the race.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The second obstacle has definitely mixed things up a bit; now Meimi Haneoka has something of a lead, while Nagisa and Utena are in a dead heat with Nikki, Naota and Chao trailing just behind. Fuu, Eri, and Oriko are running a noble race, too; they're still in, for sure, hardly so far behind that they couldn't make a comeback.

All bets are off, though, because the next section is a gigantic slip-and-slide, a sheet of plastic that has been completely coated from end to end with what appears to be shaving cream. At the very end, the bread has been lowered to dangle just above the ground. The message is clear: this obstacle is meant to be taken head first, on your belly, such that you grab the bread mid-slide, get up, and run.

There seem to be all kinds of bread there... very different patterns and textures. But it won't be obvious what each of them are until you bite into them!

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi takes the lead! She's excited! Bounding over the last vault like it's not a big deal, she runs toward the next obstacle. She makes the mistake of glancing at the crowd for a reaction, though, and then... nearly trips when she sees the giant slide. ... What the heck!

Well, she has to go for it. It's a good thing she doesn't care too much about her gym uniform. She dives face-first into the cream, and slides all right... the grab for bread is a little bit awkward, but it would be for anyone, she thinks. Or hopes. It takes her a second to scramble a recovery from that one. She gets to her feet tripping a little.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Not only is it another straightaway, but it's one with every reason to pick up speed going into it. Fuu pours it on, covering the distance at a sprint, and flings herself down the slip-and-slide, grimacing at the cream(?) but refusing to let it slow her down. And here comes the bread ... she pushes herself up just a bit, turning her head sideways so she can *nomf* the bread off the string in passing.

She obviously didn't take much time to look over the breads first ... that may blow up in her face. So to speak.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme beams. "Sliding. Perfect." He's rubbish with a soccer ball and a decent jumper, but sliding? Sliding is the heart of softball, anyone could tell you that. And so it is that the boy pitches himself forward onto the sheet with reckless abandon and a cheer, reaching up to grab the bread as it comes into reach before stuffing it into his mouth.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

At first, Eri felt a little giddy, punch drunk from the impact against the vaulting horse. But then her second wind does catch up with her, and she starts pumping both her arms and legs, going broke for an attempt to catch up. She literally dives towards the Slip and Slide head first from a distance, her sudden momentum carrying her through the giant foamy pile of shaving cream, all the way to the end, where she snatches her head up to try and yank the bread by her teeth.

It doesn't look like its going to give way... but it does, only for her to discover that it's hanging pretty precariously out of her mouth, she gets up, and immediately starts running again, trying to tilt her head back enough to keep her balance.. but because of that, it looks like she's no longer looking out for where she's going! Only trying to keep a hold on the bread while running forward at a fevered pace. Little flecks of shaving cream fall off her as she continues, covering the track in a further mess.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

This segment holds literally zero fear for Utena Tenjou. As Chuchu cheers in the background, Utena gears up for the segment the way only she knows how: a dead-on sprint, as she gives Nikki a grin this time. She's a little surprised that someone Nikki's height is doing this well -- but then, that tight control early on was really something!

Empowered by the cheers of a monkey-sized mouse, Utena takes the slip-'n'-slide with aplomb, leaping directly forward and practically shoulder-blocking her way onto it without even a little hesitation, mouth wide open to catch some delicious bread.

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Well, what do you know, Nagisa was right, you can't just duck under the bread. That slide, though, that's going to be quite unhygienic. The cream might make the bland bread a bit better (yes, she knows it's shaving cream, still better than bland bread!), but how unclean. Public schools, ugh.

The pale-haired girl slides onto her belly, taking the first facefull of cream with closed eyes to avoid the obvious and then aiming for the bread with her mouth. She just hopes the cream doesn't make things so slippery she can't hop back to her feet and resume running right away, because that's when she's planning to start actually running.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama tries to speed up once she's past the hated VAULTING HORSES (seriously, who put those there?? Even though they're kind of a standard obstacle). But she does much better on a straightaway.

A brief straightaway. Who puts a giant slip-and-slide down? At least it looks like fun! Nikki pushes herself absolutely as fast as she can go for about three steps and then throws herself into it with abandon despite the mess. There may even be a 'wheee!' from somewhere over there.

She opens her mouth to try to snag the bread as she goes. That part she is extremely confident in her skills with. Only when she has bread does she push herself up, trying to scramble up (and spraying excess shaving cream everywhere).

Honoka Yukishiro's last pose:

The second obstacle has definitely mixed things up a bit; now Meimi Haneoka has something of a lead, while Nagisa and Utena are in a dead heat with Nikki, Naota and Chao trailing just behind. Fuu, Eri, and Oriko are running a noble race, too; they're still in, for sure, hardly so far behind that they couldn't make a comeback.

All bets are off, though, because the next section is a gigantic slip-and-slide, a sheet of plastic that has been completely coated from end to end with what appears to be shaving cream. At the very end, the bread has been lowered to dangle just above the ground. The message is clear: this obstacle is meant to be taken head first, on your belly, such that you grab the bread mid-slide, get up, and run.

There seem to be all kinds of bread there... very different patterns and textures. But it won't be obvious what each of them are until you bite into them!

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa and Utena's rivalry seems to have benefitted both, as they've caught up to Nikki. Unfortunately, Meimi has pulled ahead in her place. Nagisa needs to pause and figure out what's going on when she comes to the slip-and-slide; this has to be Haruna-sensei's doing. "We have to grab it like this?" she murmurs, and then sets to running again, taking a dive onto her belly.

She slides along quickly, sluicing through whatever slippery foam this might be, and draws hr head back, teeth open wide like a shark. When she makes her chomp, however, it's a little too enthusiastic, and she simply bites off a piece of the bread and skids past it. "Mmph!" she objects, and quickly chews while doing a reverse frog stroke to get back. Biting the bread off for real this time, she stumbles to her feet and continues running, now with a piece of bread dominating the lower half of her face.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Utena certainly doesn't hesitate to dive right into a messy, would-be humiliating challenge. As ridiculous as it makes her and all the other contestants look, Anthy smiles. Chuchu cheers from on top of her head, and the purple-haired girl herself leans forward, cups her hands over her mouth, and calls something to cheer her on. Something that just might propel her to win.

Just three words: "Utena-sama~ The Prince~!"

<Pose Tracker> Pisard [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Pisard has been helpfully watching. No one is going overboard it seems so he has not have had to step in on anything yet.

He walks along with the group, mostly. making sure that a fist fight isn't going to break out, or anything like that. His arms keep at his sides most of the time in that weirdly stotic manner of walking.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Made up some ground! that's the stuff! Chao grins to herself, and tries not to feel too much regret over the sound of someone slamming into a horse. All's fair in love and sports festivals!

Indeed.../all/ is fair, she realizes. A slip-and-slide with cream on it...she can't do anything about that except dive in! But scanning ahead, she sees the trick to it all. As a chef, Chao can't be easily deceived by mere bread on fish hooks!! She does her best to assess the breads mid-run, and then, she mutters, "It's got to be...that one!" and picks a lane, and dives in with no regard for goopiness!! Pride, too...is only a shackle of the weak!!

Mind you, Chao is a chef, not a baker, so who even knows what she dove at.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The slide is a long smooth moment of wind and speed and ALL THE GOOP FOREVER. The crowd is loving it, but their laughter is affectionate, enthusiastic, not jeering. Although Meimi's the first to hit it, the first out is, impressively, Naota, who makes up a lot of time with mad softball skills. It's still anyone's game, though, especially since Naota discovers to his great misfortune that he's grabbed the Ultra Super Spicy Spice Bread, known to its detractors as Scary Spice.

To establish the rest of the order, though it's currently a very tight pack:

Meimi gets curry bread, Utena gets sausage bread, Nikki gets potato bread, Chao somehow gets a bao, Oriko gets a sticky roll, Nagisa had to go back but at least got chocolate bread for her trouble, Eri gets melonpan which isn't technically bread at all, and Fuu scores a nice currant roll.

Eating these chunks of carbohydrate might be easier if there wasn't an endless spread of tires -- of a variety of shapes and sizes -- between the end of the slip-and-slide and that precious white ribbon finish line! One last obstacle to go! Hop, skip, jump!!

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Miemi bites into her bread, and keeps running...

Spicy! Ack! She's got it in her mouth still but she's really making a face. Bad bread luck... but it's not the worst possible, as it looks like Naota got an even spicier one.

The spicy bread slows her down somewhat when she hits the tires, which, otherwise, she'd be pretty awesome at. She still has her native agility when she leaps from tire to tire, and hopes she can pick up some of the race, but she has no idea how Naota got ahead. She thought she was neck and neck with Nagisa, but doesn't see her now. She decides to stop looking back, and keep hopping!

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Hey this isn't bland at all. Munch munch. Would taste better without the splashes of shaving cream, though. Oriko can't complain about the bread anymore, at least.

Back on her feet, Oriko attempts not to end up on her ass from the slippery cream still on her shoes, and mostly(!) succeeds. She's not going to sprint her way to the finish line like this, though.

Her footing isn't legendary, so neither is she going to plow through the unlimited field of tires. At most she will attempt not to fall and finish the sticky roll. She's just not cut out for obstacle courses, turns out! Least she didn't slam face first into anything. Poor Eri.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu wipes as much as she can of the 'cream' stuff off of her right hand as she scrambles back to her feet, heading for the tires. This part is basically just like hopscotch, except for needing a higher vertical clearance - and if she's allowed to use her hand, she can keep hold of the currant roll (excellent if belated dessert to follow up her lunch, by the way) while she's making her way to the tires and making her way across. Up and down, in and out, good thing she's so slender of figure, right?

Either way, it's basically a matter of whether she can catch up with everyone who's ahead of her at this point ...

Which seems to be quite a bunch of people, but she adamantly refuses to be disheartened by how far back in the pack she is.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Ha ha, oh, observers. Eating a chunk of carbohydrate might be difficult while running for people who aren't Nikki, but Nikki's ability to eat anything at pretty much any time is not exactly a secret.

That potato bread last about two seconds, leaving Nikki free to pay all her attention on the obstacles. Tire fields are another obstacle that short legs are not nearly as good at, but this one Nikki can make up for with energy; hopping from one to the other and exerting herself a little more, Nikki bounces her way towards the finish line. It's not that far, she thinks. She still has a chance, if these tires don't slow her down as much as they could!

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Melonpan was super delicious, so Eri didn't mind being pedantic enough to point out that this wasn't a bread but a sweet bun, and even if she did, it would sound mostly like /mmph/ at the moment.

However, since she was not in fact, looking at where she was going going how she was balanced, and there were tires in the way... well, by whatever miracle of coincidence, her first step goes into the direct center of a tire. It's her second step that doesn't fight good footing. This is the moment where gravity exerts is vicious and certain toll on Eri by taking her down, face first..... as she topples over into one of the other lanes. There was much flailing involved, and shrieks muffled by the bread. And then an involuntary swallow of the bread when she lands in the midst of the rubber obstacle course.

Then she's gasping, like she's choking, only to weakly cough out a small piece of the bread. Yes the rest of the bread had fallen to the ground and was super dirty. What a shame... assuming noone runs into her, she'd try to grab it again with her teeth, while thinking /ewww/ the whole time in her head, just so she could at least continue and finish the race. <Characters> Yuuichi Kazama says, "I wanna app a normal person who knows Ghosts, Spirits and Creatures exist, and goes through great lengths to prove they exist, which makes him look like a nutpot to the rest of the world. Is there any themes conducive to this already?"

You will no longer hear messages on channel <Characters>.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme's world has become one of fire and suffering. He screams. Tears stream down his cheeks and he sweats profusely as he bravely swallows the bread and keeps running, hopping from tire to tire and trying not to stumble too badly, vision blurred from tears.

Has it been mentioned that Naota doesn't like spicy food?

Naota doesn't like spicy food. Maybe the flailing helps get that across.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Utena is ecstatic about her bread success; sausage bread is /delicious/, and she does her best to savor it even as she attempts to get herself back up and running again. At first, she has some difficulty really getting traction -- but as Anthy not-so-subtly reminds her of her prince, she kicks it into overdrive.

Yet another contest that subtly rewards Utena's height! She's pretty pleased with that; she locks her eyes not on Meimi, but on the end zone. Though she doesn't take every step in perfect stride, she seems to have the rhythm of the tires... for the most part.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa has gone from tied for second to somewhere in the middle, her frog stroke having been rather time-consuming. But this taste... chocolate? Chocolate bread was a delight even normally, but to have the gods choose it for her only made it sweeter. As Nagisa's legs thread tires quickly, her eyes are trailing tears of joy. Now she just wants to reach the finish line so she can eat this.

Eri suffers another great calamity, flopping over and dumping out her bread onto the ground. It's melon bread, too. What a sad waste. Nagisa wants to help her, but she's got to finish this race. It's hard to breathe with her mouth full; panting through her nostrils is quickly wearing her out. Pushing herself, she exchanges legs quickly. Just a little further...

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.


Chao Lingshen's eating bao on the move powers are unrivaled!!

It dangles out of her mouth the way ordinary people dangle toast on the run as she finishes the dash, then she flips it into the air like a freaking dolphin, pushes off the slick ground, and CHOMP

Snatches it out of midair, less like a dolphin and more like a shark.

She hits the ground with both feet, and even though they are slippery with horrible goop, her BAO POWERS are now beyond the measurement of mundane equipment!! So she finds her traction quickly. The tires are tough work, and there's people still ahead! It's too close to focus much on any one person! All she can do is hop nimbly from tire to tire, and push herself onward!! Up down up down up down, try to chew, try to move, try not to get a cramp...

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Apparently one of the nurse's aides has decided that Eri has suffered one calamity too many, and ushers her off the field and out of the race to the medic station for examination. She might have a minor concussion out of the ordeal. Unfortunately she can't tell them that she could heal this herself if she could just get a moment of privacy, but for the moment they're conducting a pretty thorough assessment to make sure she's alright.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Naota's world is suffering, and with tears in his eyes he can't easily navigate the safest, fastest path. Meimi surpasses him, then Utena, then Nikki! The three of them become neck and neck, but Nikki's short legs ultimately become enough of a disadvantage that the shining stars of Ohtori athletics get one pace ahead, then two, then three.

Utena and Meimi's hearts beat as one, blood pounding in their ears as they match each other hop for hop, step for step, jump for jump! Chests heaving, sides stitching, eyes and hearts set on only one goal, they burst through the ribbon simultaneously.

It takes comparison of stopwatches on either side to determine the winner as Meimi Haneoka, by a few hundredths of a second!

But that doesn't mean the pressure's off -- there are other places to take, after all, and third place becomes a mighty struggle that ends in Nikki's victory!

Everyone is greeted with cheers, and also towels and juice to wash down their hard-earned bread with.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota accepts the juice and downs it in a single long gulp, panting and sweating and trying not to whimper. Fourth place. Still good, but still. Fourth place. Curse you, Scary Spice! "Good race," he says vaguely to the blurs walking past him.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama tears through the...

Okay, NOT through the ribbon, because it has already been broken by that point. But through the spot where the ribbon was until someone else took it out. She flops down, disappointed in her lack of victory.

But then she bounds back up again, apparently immediately recovered from the disappointment. It was a fun race! Plus, she tells herself, she was saving it all for the scavenger hunt. Yes. That's it. She gives the two winners (she's not sure who did yet) a thumbs-up.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Even if she only gets second, Utena is very pleased with her performance; she takes a few seconds to breathe, hands on her knees, having overextended herself a little in that final sprint. She glances over to Meimi, giving her a smile. "Good job!" she says, through a mouthful of sausage bread, feeling /zero/ guilt about speaking with a full mouth. Ohtori 8 has /nailed/ this event.

She then hastily jogs over to Himemiya, giving her a big smile before sitting down next to her. She doesn't have a whole lot to say, though; she's clearly exhausted herself a little.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi trips over the last tire and skips across the finishing line! She didn't think she was going to make it, but...

Utena is right next to her, and she realizes she actually won! She looks over at Utena next, and makes a squealing sound! She's covered in shaving cream and her eyes are watering from eating curry bread but she actually won! "Great job! Good showing for Ohtori today!" She has a towel thrown at her, and she takes it and wipes her hair. It looks like it didn't help a lot.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu manages to finish the obstacle course - nowhere near as well as she would have liked to, but she's hardly bringing up the tail end of the race, either. She accepts a towel to wipe her clothes and arms(and face) off with, then a cup of juice to rinse the last of the bread down and refresh herself a bit ... that really did take more of an effort than she thought it would, all things considered. But she was also right about it being a good workout.

She has to get a smaller, smoother cloth to wipe her glasses off with, but once that's done and the elastic is snugged around her head again, she's ready for whatever comes next. A chance to cool down some and catch her breath would be nice, but she seems to recall that the scavenger race is due up next?

"Excellent work, everyone," she congratulates the winners - and for that matter, everyone else who made it all the way through the race.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama is also still half-covered in the foam from the slip-and-slide. This makes her thumbs-up slightly hard to distinguish.


<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Utena is still totally covered in foam, and may not have even fully registered it courtesy of her focus. She looks /absolutely/ ridiculous sitting next to the downright dainty Anthy.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

When two of Anthy's classmates rip through the finish line ribbon nigh-simultaneously, even if Meimi is just barely ahead of her fiancee, Anthy still rises to her feet to clap with a wide smile. Chuchu is going nuts, particularly when a crow swoops down and steals his pennant mid-leap. Chuchu is devastated by this, but Anthy pays it no mind, now lifting a hand to wave at both Meimi and Utena, then sit back down when the pink-haired girl returns, sweaty, panting, covered in foam, and grinning.

"My, you look quite dashing, Utena-sama," Anthy remarks, smile widening just a bit. "Congratulations. You did very well."

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Cream, some dirt, definitely exhausted. But she got a sticky roll and now there's refreshments! It could have gone a lot worse, Oriko's sure. The political daughter makes her way to Meimi and Utena, smiling gently. "Congratulations on your victory, you two~." It was close enough she can call them both winners, really; gotta be nice and polite. "Ohtori sure has no shortage of runners this year."

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi gets a little help with her towel from Seira. She manages to clean herself up a little, with some water too. She looks at Oriko and smiles. "Thank you! Though I'm surprised! I think the scavenger hunt ... should be my best event..."

"Isn't that next?" Seira asks.

"...Already?" Meimi almost chokes. "But I'm not even cleaned up yet..."

Her hair feels so gunky. The problem of long hair. Seira hands her a brush, and she works on it furiously. "Well may the best student win!"

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The PA triggers with its usual pleasant voice. "May I have your attention, please: the scavenger race is beginning at Track C. I repeat, the scavenger race is beginning at Track C." Track C is notable for being especially close to the bleachers, and one of the edges of school grounds; there are lots of /things/ in close proximity to it, given easy access to the field, the crowds, and the carts by the safely roped-off streets. It's something of a block party today!

OOC: New log begins here!

<Pose Tracker> Midori Sugiura [Ohtori Academy (S)] has posed.

Midori Sugiura has been busy doing her adult job thing or so it seems to anyone who knows her. She'd been hired as a teacher for, Ohtori Academy and one of her first jobs? Was to help over see some of this event. So here she is to over see the next event. She's going to be overseeing the next event and she's going all out too. The first thing that would be noticed about the history teacher is one she's got a bright red cape on and seems to be used to strutting about in such.

she's got all the supplies there also is that the Gurren Brigade logo on her cape? Yes it may very well be so. She seems quite excited, she thankfully does not have her old college buddies in town or things might have got even more crazy than this.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka arrives at Field A looking a little bit sweaty and dirty; she participated in some of the sprints this morning, and while she certainly didn't win any of them, she placed surprisingly well. The unassuming little pink mouse can /move/, apparently, when given sufficient motivation. Her hands creep up to her ribbons, yanking them out; she runs her fingers through her hair a few times, then starts redoing them, blindly, while looking around everywhere for a familiar face.

She can't see them, but up in the bleachers are her father and brother, not all that far from the Misumi family. "DOO-KAHHH, DOO-KAHH!" cheers Tatsuya, enthusiastically. "Hey, buddy, it hasn't started yet," Tomohisa Kaname remarks fondly, bouncing his son on his knee. "WHEE!" Tatsuya raises his hands in the air and rocks it.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri goes to clean up. Given the sheer density of mud upon her obsidian tresses and school gym uniform this might take some time...

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

THIS one Nikki wanted to go to. She can totally help with the three-legged race, even if her legs are shorter than lots of other people; she'll make up for it with energy and speed!

Even though that can cause tripping in a three-legged race. ENERGY AND SPEED!

Nikki finishes the last of her takeout meat buns before vaulting the last part of the bleachers and heading onto Field A. Now all she has to do is find Sakana so they can team up properly.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana is still winded from the last event but once she sees Nikki coming along, her attitude goes positive again. Smiling, she stands herself up and approaches Nikki. "Lets do it together! Our energy and speed and power will be unmatched together!" She pumps her fist into the air once.

"besides..." She murmurs to her cousin. "A lot of our family members have three legs? We're a shoe-in!"

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka jogs up, fresh from the same sprints as Madoka, which she similarly did quite well at without winning. She looks around for Madoka (easier with the bright pink hair, harder with the tiny size), eventually finding her. "Madoka-chan," she greets, between pants. "We're gonna team up, right? I bet you're really good at the spoon thing. You're low to the ground, right? It means your center of balance is low. Plus you're all... nurturing. I bet you'll take care of the egg."

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

And thus, the architect of Amu Hinamori's despair appears:

"Aaaaamu-chan~" Nadeshiko Fujisaki chimes from slightly more distant than usual, because her dedication to the gag is not so great as to get filthy from Amu's mud trip. Nadeshiko is wearing the Ohtori Elementary athletic uniform, which resembles more or less every other athletic uniform in the history of the universe; white top, red shorts, each has the other's color as trim, and the emblem on the chest is the star-and-moon of Ohtori Elementary on an Ohtori crest. She grins, cheerfully. "We have to get ready! Are you claned up? We should get our supplies."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

While Homura is the sort of person to attract a lot of attention on campus, she isn't the sort of person to make a lot of friends. She's far too busy being aloof, cryptic, and mysterious for that. No. So when it comes time for a three legged race the fact of the matter is she doesn't have a partner in mind. Though perhaps there will be another person in a similar situation as her? Someone who is wanting to compete in the field day. Someone who has spent every day for the last two weeks practicing holding an egg on a spoon while hopping on one foot only for their friend to sprain their ankle in the last minute!! Perhaps... a miracle will happen?

Maybe not?

It is at that moment she notices Madoka standing around and looking for a familiar face in the crowd. It's not normal for Homura to approach her for this sort of thing but... the two of them do seem to be on friendly terms so far. Perhaps...?

Suddeny, Sayaka Miki appears from the crowd and talks happily to Madoka, suggesting that they team up. Homura watches the two from the distance for a bit. Perhaps it is for the best. Closing her eyes Homura turns away from Madoka and Sayaka to resume her own search in the crowd near Field A.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

"Yeah, but /I/ don't," Nikki points out, equally quietly. She guesses she could use her shadow, but she's pretty sure that is cheating (which doesn't bother her as much as the fact that she could be caught doing it). "But we can definitely do it!"

Umbra is actually not with Nikki today because her gym outfit doesn't have anywhere to put him. As a result, there is a small black cat off to the side, in the shadows. It tends to keep out of the way and is mostly visible by its eyes. A few of the crowd members have noticed small things go missing - soda and juice cans left too close to the ground are target #1, but anything dropped might have gone missing. Or might not. It's pretty much random.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Saaaayyyaka-chan," Madoka says, stretching out the first syllable musically, then ending with a giggle on the honorific. "Ehehe, you know better, I'm totally not at all good at balance... but," she puffs out her tiny chest, "Madoka Kaname will do her very best!" She wanders over towards the red-caped instructor, and once her hands are free from hair, reach out for a pair of leg-securing straps, an egg, and two spoons. Ducking a little bow in Midori Sugiura's direction, she makes her escape, back to the side of her friend.

Planting herself on the grass, she reaches out one leg, then the other, staring at them experimentally. "Which leg do you want?"

Sadly, she fails to notice Homura entirely, the crowds passing between them at just the wrong moment.

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Because it wasn't called right in her ear as usual, Amu doesn't jump ten feet in the air this time. "Huh? Nadeshiko?" Despite holding a towel to dry out her hair, her clothes are still a little wet. "Was it you or Kukai that signed me up for this?" She gives her friend a hard, but not angry, stare.

"Supplies? Oh... that's right, the three-legged race." That one she -did- agree on, and she did know about, at least. "Are you sure you're up for it? I usually see you sitting out in gym class."

<Pose Tracker> Akemi Tsukiyama [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Long red braids bob as Akemi moves into the field, dressed in her gym uniform and looking bewildered. "Three-legged race." She ponders, speaking aloud, though most from her school grade who have gotten to know her realize this... just seems to be a habit of hers. It doesn't help that some rumors have pointed out her choice of residence, being an old rented house that was rumored to be haunted by anything the rumor deemed was fit for making the story all the more enticing.

So she's probably talking to ghosts or something. Who knows. "... So I just need to find a partner, right...?"

Aloof, crytic, mysterious? Akemi doesn't notice Homura, but the bear kami inside Akemi does. If simply because it would be a proper challenge to throw her host at. ('See if she's free.') "O-okay." Pacing up to the long-haired girl, Akemi grins. "...H-hi, I'm Akemi Tsukiyama, from Juuban, grade 9. Would... you happen to be free? There was something about an egg..."

<Pose Tracker> Midori Sugiura [Ohtori Academy (S)] has posed.

Midori Sugiura grins at Madoka as she gets her equpment for the event. She grins at Madoka 's whole gettin her self fired up. This should be an interesting contest to watch. She looks out at the contests are getting ready for the race. She's got the topes, the spoons, eggs and everything else that is needed. for this event.

"Best of luck! Give it your all in this!" She calls out to Madoka as she rejoins her friends.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Unnoticed ... isn't it sad, Homuhomu?

But that's fine. Madoka is enjoying a carefree day with her friends, and that is wonderful. Still it doesn't solve her problem for needing a partner to compete in the upcoming race. Then as it turns out the world has a bit of a sense of humor as a girl with braids named Akemi runs up to the long haired girl also named Akemi.

No relation. Which is fitting since in this case one Akemi is a first name and the second is a last name.

"My name is Homura Akemi." She manages that without even a twitch of amusement over the fact that their names match so strangely. "From Ohtori, Second Year Middle School. It's a pleasure to meet you." She then nods her head, "And yes I am free."

There is a slight twitch from Homura when Akemi mentions that she had heard 'something about an egg'. So not someone who had been practicing this event for weeks in advance then. No matter. "Yes you have to hold a spoon with an egg in your mouth. So you have to focus on balancing that as you also focus on keeping a stride with me. Don't worry, it's not as difficult as you think it is."

Which is a funny statement because it can literally mean it's less difficult ... OR MORE DIFFICULT. Either way, Homura will begin to lead Akemi toward the starting line.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka considers. "You're right-handed, yeah? I better take the left side," she says, sitting down and offering her right leg to Madoka. Better to make this as easy as possible on Madoka. There's no question, though, for Sayaka, of finding a more athletic partner. She'd rather lose with Madoka than win. Besides, it's about coordination, right, not speed? And Madoka's her best friend. Even strategically, this might be the right call.

"Aaah-n," she says, leaning in toward Madoka and parting her lips, hopefully not causing any sudden panic over on the Homura side of the field. She just wants her spoon.

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

And then, to everyone's surprise, near the starting line...


...oh, it's that kid.

Syaoran Li looks pretty much like he always does, except a headband is tied around his head, the only variation from his class's standard PE uniform. stands, arms crossed, at the edge of the starting line, looking impatient as his partner works to fasten their legs together. His eyes are distant, focused on the goal, like any true warrior should be. I shall cross you, he thinks. I shall bring victory to my school.


His partner straightens.


"Did you know," Takashi Yamazaki says conversationally as he wraps an arm around Syaoran's shoulders, "That the three-legged race was invented by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt?"

THe young magus blinks. "...it was?"

"Oh yes," Yamazaki says eagerly. "Apparently there was a sandal shortage in the kingdom at the time, and the pyramid workers only had three between them. The pharaoh wanted to make sure the pyramids could still be constructed on time, so he tied their legs together, allowing them to continue their work!"

Syaoran considers this, chin in hand.



"That...makes a lot of sense, actually," he allows.

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

"I thought you'd have fun with a little warm-up~" Nadeshiko chimes, with a big, guileless smile. "See! You're all ready and loose now!" Says the girl who only just finished helping set up some other event...

"Yes, we should get our supplies quickly. Which leg would you want? I can hold the egg, if you like..." Smile, delicately, as she begins moving toward Midori for their supplies. "I'm very graceful, after all."

She hems at Amu's question. "Oh. Yes. That. I'll be fine! One race won't be the end of me, Amu-chan~"

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"It's in our blood! That's what matters. The third leg...will be in our mind's eye and our genetic history." Sakana bobs her head a few times. "Or something like that." She adds. "We'll be fine. We just have to move at an even pace with the both of us. We work together all the time so it should be easy. We're the best at working together."

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

"Definitely!" Nikki agrees.

This is a lie. Nikki is not actually good at working together. Only the fact that it's Sakana gives her any chance at all.

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

"But I'm also all wet!" Amu pauses. Her head tilts slightly. Then she smiles and presses her side right up against Nadeshiko's, wet clothes and all. "And now so are you!" A little revenge. "Hmm... either is fine! You want me to call, then?" Once they get what they need from Midori, Amu holds the spoon up for her friend. "So long as you'll be okay. But let me know if you have to stop."

<Pose Tracker> Akemi Tsukiyama [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Ah, that's a coincidence." While Homura is unphased, Akemi seems pleased at this, nodding. "A pleasure to meet you as well." Akemi, Akemi... it's enough to overpower her anxiety at approaching someone completely new, and from another school to boot.

('.... I want to try this.') Akemi winces slightly, then recovers. "I'm used to things like that actually, haha." ('I'm more used to it than you.') The idea of being to show her more innate skills of.... having to deal with an elderly(?) woman's demands atop a mountain/hill of stairs is tempting, but-

There's a shift in her demanor. Her eyes seem to flash at the challenge. Her voice changes slightly, but it's still the same octave- hardly the commanding pitch of the Scarlet Maiden. She smiles, slightly. "I'll adapt."

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka smiles, and leans over to deposit a spoon in Sayaka's mouth. Jamming her own in as well, she presses her leg up against her friend's, binds the two of them together possibly a little bit /too/ tightly -- alas, she's trying too hard -- and then, egg held gently to her chest, starts trying to wobble herself to her feet, to the tune of 'unnnf, oooo, eee!'

By some crazy miracle they make it to the starting line without dropping the egg (even though it was still just in hand) or, in other words, dropping themselves. She's not very good at this, and very timid; they are wobbly and slow. Her bright eyes widen happily at the sight of Homura, making a new friend, apparently, and she waves awkwardly but enthusiastically with her free hand, the one slung over Sayaka's shoulder.

At the starting line waits one of the Juuban vice principals. He's an older man with thin gray hair and a thinner chin, weedy, beady eyes and a self-important, stuck up nose. "Now everyone," he instructs the students in his nasal, whining voice, "Remember: you can transfer the egg between spoons if necessary, but no touching it with your hands, or you're out. Now! Right legs on the starting line, left hands back -- um, I mean, left legs on the starting line, right legs back! I mean... yes." He adjusts his glasses, watching the ripple of motion down the line.

"The first three teams across the finish line will receive juice," he finishes. "Three! Two! One!"


<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Aisha Ayries has, by now, taken to the stands. All cleaned up and now? Cheering for those that are in this crazy race! Yes. Crazy. Crazy cause she probably wouldn't have participated in this one, you know? "WOO! GO GO GO!" At least she's enthusiastic right?"

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Nadeshiko emits a high giggle at Amu's touch. "Oh no!" she laughs, taking it all in stride. Her pace is unbreakable! But can it withstand a race!? Geared up, Nadeshiko moves pretty quickly, since the countdown's already started. She holds up spoon, winking at Amu and chiming, "I'm sure it'll be fine," before putting the spoon in her mouth, then grabbing up her own. Maybe possibly showing off just a little, Nadeshiko actually starts balancing the egg immediately; she moves with an easy, casual grace up to the start line, and only then pops an eyebrow at Amu to get in position so she can apply the ties to their legs. She rises up. This, she thinks, is where it gets hard! Balance is easy! Balance with Amu isssssss let's be honest, probably doomed.

She waves to Li, because hey there stranger, but --BANG!!

She takes a step! And then attempts to take another!

/Will doom befall them at the starting line!?/

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Panic on the Homura side of the field? No no no Sayaka, you're free to move in ambiguously homoerotic ways. Just be careful not to give your other best friend, Hitomi Shizuka, a panic attack. Or give her reason to visit Kyousuke early.

Homura would just chalk it up as another strange irregularity. But one that she can work with.

"Oh?" Homura's voice lacks any distinct sound of surprise at Akemi saying she is used to things like this. "That's good." Then Akemi's demeanor shifts. She declares, optimistically, that she will adapt. Homura pauses at this, and takes a moment to actually look the other girl in the eye so that she can see that light of determination. She nods approvingly, "Good. You should make a good partner then."

The two approach the starting line. They get the rope to bind their ankles together, and the spoons with eggs in them. Madoka's eyes settle upon Homura as she is tying her leg to Akemi's so she just misses the bright eyed smile the pink haired girl gives her.

Homura will allow Akemi to practice carrying the egg in the spoon as the approach the starting line. They even do a couple test runs of passing the egg back and forth! The results are likely ... mixed. "I'll do my best to keep an eye on you in case you're having problems balancing it, though you can make a noise in your throat as well. I will do the same if I need help. And remember, bound leg first."

Not that she intends to need help.

Homura insists on holding the egg first in her spoon as the two approach the starting line. Not that she mistrusts Akemi's potential egg carrying capabilities, it's just Homura is a bit of a control freak. When the starting pistol sounds, they're off! It all depends though: Does Akemi try to take her first step with her free foot, or with the foot bound to Homura?

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Right before Nadeshiko puts the spoon in her mouth, Amu begins to say, "In, out, in, out..." So that the rhythm is there when the spoon is in. "Ihh, ahh, ihh, ahh." She puts her foot into position, then glances toward the wave. "Ah, ich we-fu!" Li is given a brief wave.

But then the signal is given! Amu can totally balance! Really. "Ihh, ahh, ihh, ahh!" She's even keeping her feet tot he same pace as her words! She just... is keeping it at a speed-walking pace more than a running pace, because she's not -insane-.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama ends up affixed to Sakaya (she's good at tying, if nothing else) with a spoon holding an egg in her mouth. It takes some self-control not to think about eating the egg, but she's pretty sure it's raw, and even she won't eat a raw egg.

"Go!" Nikki tries to say, though it comes out muffled and indistinct because she's holding a spoon between her teeth. She does not take off like a shot, despite her instincts, because she's attached to Sakaya. Instead she takes a hesitant starting step, then another, only picking up speed once she's a little more confident.

That doesn't take very long.

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Syaoran Li's eyes narrow, as the final preparations are underway. Soon, finish line. Soon he will have you. The young magus's legs tense, muscles preparing for the first surge, his arm tightening around his partner's shoulders. Soon he will--

  • BANG*


^o^ <"Did you know that starting guns---">

"W--aaaaaaauuuuuuugh!" Syaoran wails as his leg tries to go forward and his partner's doesn't; the young man holds his arm up to try to save the precious cargo, but then faceplants. Yamazaki watches helplessly as the egg wobbles, and then lands on Syaoran's head.


"Did you know that neither eggs nor chickens came first?"



<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka goggles at the vice-principal. "But... my left leg is attached to her right leg..." she protests, confused. Arbitrarily, she puts the shared leg back, or tries, and starts on her free leg. Speaking through her spoon, she mutters, "Okay, um, just tell me if you--oh, you have an egg in your mouth--well, squeeze my shoulder if you need me to take the egg."

And they're off. Sayaka drags the shared leg forward, limping along. "Ids lieg dansig," she says, apparently much less able to control the spoon's influence on her tongue now that they're running. "Oo wend to the dansig lesson, ride? Vigdory is guarandeed!" Sayaka tries to set a fairly quick pace, but with the egg on Madoka's spoon, she doesn't drag the shy pink-haired girl like she wants to.

<Pose Tracker> Michiru Kaioh [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Speaking of people cheering the racers on - there was Michiru Kaioh. Dressed in her school uniform, with a scarf around her neck due to the potential for October chill, Michiru had her hair free, and her eyes curiously flickering over the participants of the sports tournament.

As a general rule, sports had never been quite as interesting to her as other things. That had changed fairly recently.

The familiar faces in the tournament were drawing her attention - specifically the pair of Sayaka Miki and Madoka Kaname, a little smile dancing on her lips as she draws a thumb along her own cheek in thought.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana is Sakana! It's not Sakaya! It's totally different!! WE'RE FAMILY WHY CAN'T YOU KEEP IT STRAIGHT??

Sakana steps forward--practicing holding her spoon straight. She can't rush off full speed or Nikki will drop the egg. And she can't summon a portal like this to just keep that egg busy! Not unless she transforms. Also they might frown on breaking spatial boundaries in order to win a three legged egg carrying race.

"Alright... that's more like it!" She says once Nikki starts picking up speed. She increases her own to compensate, it takes a good bit of struggling to get it at a measured pace though.

"Huh..." She murmurs. "...Neither eggs nor chickens came first..." She must have overheard that.

<Pose Tracker> Akemi Tsukiyama [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Unfortunately, the test results are mixed, even with the real Akemi allowing the bear kami Guma to take the lead.

You see, bears have great balance, but they have to be trained.

And Guma is used to a taller host.

"Gfot fit." Guma says intently around the spoon's handle, gold eyes resting on the finish line, hooking an arm around Homura.

.... At least Guma is a qwuick study. Moving with the bound foot first, Guma does her best to sync with Homura's efforts.

That precious egg cannot be wasted on a foolish trip.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki is having a ball watching everyone make an ass of themselves with the egg race. He was able to forgo this event because someone ripped out a few PA cables. He's fixing those right now, being one of few folks who knows how to do that here, after a quick trip to the supply closet, splicing wires together.

There's an occasional low squelch from the speakers whenener he makes the connection.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The track is the usual red, bouncy material, with cleanly painted white lines and a slight curve to it. The finish line is half a lap away, which would normally take but a few seconds to traverse but under these circumstances will probably take a few minutes, at least.

Madoka hurries after Sayaka the best she can. "Mmmmf mmmm," she mutters, at one point, but her meaning is totally obscured by the necessity of holding the spoon, and egg, as carefully as possible. There's shoulder-squeezing, but it's very constant pressure, probably not a panicked signal, just the girl holding on for dear life.

By some freak accident she spots Michiru in the crowd, right as Sayaka is talking about dancing, and blushes furiously at the memory of how well /that/ disaster went.

And then -- the first obstacle! It is a large puddle of water, possibly accidentally created by overenthusiastic use of the hoses in other events. It has a beautiful, iridescent patina of grease, which sparkles in the light.

To add to the excitement, the unstable trajectories of the Amu Hinamori/Nadeshiko Fujisaki and Nikki Akiyama/Sakana Yagijima teams are inadvertantly closing in on a collision -- think fast!

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama speeds up a little.

Then a little more.

Then she tries to talk around the spoon. "No fair!" she mumbles. "My legs aren't that long!!" It's true; Nikki is not even five feet tall, and she's having trouble just reaching as far as Sakana's step goes. She tries, though, which is probably not helping the unstableness of their path very much.

Nikki notices the collision pretty quickly. She immediately starts waving her arms, along with a muffled, "Turn! Turn!" though it comes out as "Tnnn!" which is significantly less helpful. Sakana almost certainly nearly gets hit in the face by the flailing Nikki (fortunately, Nikki has the egg, not Sakana). Turning sharply will put them in the water, but Nikki isn't scared of some stupid water.

<Pose Tracker> Midori Sugiura [Ohtori Academy (S)] has posed.

Midori Sugiura has yet to reveal her true madness to the students, no she just got hired and does not want to ahem make too bad of an impression on things. She's watching with great amusment as the students start to get into things. This was an amazing bit of teamwork building as mcuh as it was fun. She watches the races with a good deal of intrest.


Nope she's not singling anyone out today!

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

It seems that the other Akemi is reliable after all. But of course. To be otherwise would to bring shame on that illustrious name. While Homura often works alone she actually seems to be pretty good at teamwork when she sets her mind to it. She matches Akemi's stride pretty well and the two move at a pretty good rate. They're not as far ahead as those who have practiced at this more, true, but they'll pick up more speed as the race goes on and they grow more used to working together. Will it be enough to win though?!

Well speed isn't everything. There are also obstacles to overcome. Homura sees the light reflecting from the water puddle. At first she decides to stir Akemi toward the area of the puddle that seems most shallow, but then her eyes narrow slightly. The sheen across the top of the water. Grease? It would actually make the dirt more slippery in the shallows. Perhaps, then, it would be better to get a bit of mud on her shoes for better traction than to slip on some oily dirt?

She tries to lead Akemi through the middle of the puddle. Will she go along?! Meanwhile she brings the spoon and the egg closer to Akemi's. Some of this uneven footing may require her to pass the egg to her partner for a bit in order to keep from dropping it into the puddle.

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

There are many words one might use to describe Syaoran Li, and "competitive" is definitely among them. "Proud" is most certainly another. He pushes himself to his feet, face red as his feet are separated from Yamazaki's. He stalks away from his partner just as his friend begins to explain how shame is an emotion created by overconsumption of swedish meatballs, only to be cut off by Chiharu Mihara wrapping her arms around his mouth and dragging him away.

The young magus stalks up to their teacher, who breaks off his conversation with Rika Sasaki. Syaoran gives the girl a look, frowns, and then looks up at the older man. "I want to be in the next event," he says firmly. "I can do better."

Terada-sensei smiles. "Well...I guess it wouldn't be a problem. I don't know what the next event is, though, Li-kun."

Syaoran's face reddens further. "I don't care what it is," he says. "I can do better."

Hey weren't you doing that cosplay race thing?"

"Where you dress up in random girl's clothing and run through obstacles? No /thanks./"

A muscle tics over Syaoran's eye. "I will be waiting," he says, then stalks off toward the water taps to wash the egg out of his hair.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"ggh--We'll keep it--" Sakana begins, but then suddenly--"Turning!?" She starts to but then gets clobbered in the face by Nikki's arm. Ugh. Good thing she's letting her hold onto that egg... That could have been a disaster!

But she doesn't turn quite so sharp as Nikki might like. Her leg spins out a bit from the awkward turning and it MIGHT very well collide against Nadeshiko's as she tries to not turn too much as Nikki tries to turn plenty. Either way, though, Nikki's influence ultimately wins out and they end up pushing through the water--apparently!

"So sharp--!" Sakana cries out. "S-settle down, Nikki-Chan!"

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka grimaces, seeing the upcoming puddle. She's tempted to go around, lest they slip in it, but she can see the Amu/Nadeshiko pair of /elementary schoolers/ are currently beating them, and she can't stand to lose to little kids. "Hoad on to de egg," she tells Madoka, and slides the hand from Madoka's shoulder up under her armpit, until the inside of her elbow is locked under Madoka's weight. "I'm aboud to do somesig." She only has to do this for two steps...

"Hhhngh!" she grunts, the spoon clenched tight, and she lifts up on Madoka, so that Madoka's right leg no longer needs to touch the ground for them to walk. Squashing Madoka into her shoulder, she moves the shared leg with a mighty heave, splashing it firmly in the puddle, then, much more easily, catches up with her other leg. One more time... Sayaka has to crush Madoka harder this time, as she can't seem to lift the other girl as easily the second time, the awkward angle already tiring her. Hauling the shared leg forward again, she lets Madoka drop once they're on dry land again.

<Pose Tracker> Akemi Tsukiyama [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Indeed, the pride of the Akemi name is at stake here, even if Akemi, trapped inside her mind, is currently unaware.

_That's why Guma is at the helm._ This is a Serious Matter.

Guma is surprised when Homura steers towards the middle of the puddle. ('Why is she- we're going to get really muddy!') If the she-bear wasn't so focused on winning, she would have made a comment in response akin to 'take it like a proper adult.' But Guma's sharp eyes, tempered by centuries of experience on the battlefield, see the sheen on the water. "....!" Such trickery! That they would use such tactics on mere school children! Barbaric! When Homura moves her spoon next to hers, Guma seizes the moment and steals the egg from Homura's spoon, focusing on the sync of their movement. She chose this young woman to be her companion in this battle, and she shall see it to victory!!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka shrieks with surprise as she's lifted into the air entirely, and the spoon in her mouth wobbles precariously! She pulls a muscle in her neck recovering it in the nick of time, and dangles her toes downward frantically, trying to find her footing. The ground returns to her moments later, and she scrambles to re-establish a pace, one, two, one, two. Her soaked foot, from that shared stop in the puddle, squelches a little bit miserably, the sock retaining water like a sponge.

"DOH-KAH! DOOOOH-KAH!" squeals Tatsuya gleefully, his voice carried by the wind to her ears.

A determined glint settles into them, and she starts double-timing it, now practically the one pulling Sayaka along. One, two! One, two! One, two!

But she's not very good at steering them, and now it's their turn to be on a collision course with Team Akemi. "ooh owwt!" she cries, through the spoon, trying desperately to give fair warning.

The next obstacle on the track is more deliberate than that weird puddle -- it is, cruelly enough, an actual, honest to goodness stand-up board, the sort that you're normally expected to easily vault over at high speeds!

It will probably need to be navigated by each team at very slow speeds. But dare they? Because right beyond it is the finish line!

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Nadeshiko does her best, but with Amu, she can only stay even sort of stable at a fairly sedate walking pace. But the egg is quite well-protected by Nadeshiko! Her feet are quite elegant, you know.


Nadeshiko's eyes widen a hair at the gooey slick, and an incoming collision from the Nikki/Sakana team. She hums urgently at Amu in a 'LEFT LEFT OH MY GOD LEFT' sort of way, which may or may not work; but she is an actress! She can see incoming peril!! That's a skill they teach actresses.

So she gets clipped by Sakana, and stumbles one step, which might transfer through to Amu, and then she sort of...stops, for a few seconds, breathing once, twice to catch her breath. Do not chara change in the race do not chara change in the race do not chara change in the race

Then she starts moving again. One, two, one two, one, two, keepin' pace with Amu!

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

"Ihh, ahh, ihh, ahh--" Wait. They're drifting! She sees the waving hands out of the corner of her eye and... well, she can't flail. Half of her is attached to Nadeshiko! But she flails her free hand to signal back as best as she can, leaning a bit into her partner to try to steer them slightly back the other way! They probably lose some time doing so, but it's better than crashing! As Nadeshiko is bumped, Amu reacts quickly, leaning back against her to keep her steady. Dancer or not, she can't let Nadeshiko handle that alone! "N'd'ho!"

Speaking of crashing, Amu sees the shine off that puddle ahead. Good thing she's already still wet! So when they step into it, she doesn't mind at all the big splash of water that comes up.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Soaked feet are unpleasant. But unpleasantness is something that Homura Akemi has learned to deal with. Though her shoes and soaked socks make squishing sounds with each step. After the race is over she'll have to take off her shoes and wring out her socks. As you can see she's really putting it all on the line for victory!! Mud and wet shoes and all!!

'ooh owwt!'

With the egg no longer in her spoon Homura is free to whip her head around to look at Madoka and Sayaka's team swerving toward them on a collision course! Unfortunately there's little that she can do about it at the moment. Instead her arm wrapped Akemi tightens as she braces for impact. It's time to see if Guma's impeccable sense of balance can save the egg, or if this will all be fated to end in disaster!

Unfortunately, regardless of the actual outcome of the collision the impact will probably slow both teams enough that another group will be able to snatch away victory. Though at the moment victory is the furthest thing from Homura's mind.

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.


Syaoran Li watches the race with a certain amount of dismay. Honestly, he only has himself to blame. He should have coordinated better with Yamazaki. He knows that if he was still out there, he'd definitely be winning. Or at least beating the fifth-year Chara girls.




Syaoran sighs and drops into a crouch, placing a finger in his mouth to wet it and then doodling seemingly idly in the dirt. He really shouldn't.../do/ this sort of thing, he admits. Public magic is the sort of thing the Association was created to discourage. But with everyone's eyes on the race, it shouldn't be hard to sneak a little encouragement in.

"Vertatur tempestas veris," he whispers, gathering a few wisps of energy from the spirit of the wind. "Nobis protectionem, accelero aerialem," he mutters, then brushes a hand across the dirt doodle, and lifts it to his mouth. "Limes Aerialis," he breathes, puffing a bit of earth out from his hand. The delicate little spell slips out on the breeze, swirling toward Nadeshiko and Amu, giving them...a gentle tailwind to carry them forward...faster?

With the eyes of the crowd on the race, Syaoran thinks, surely no one will have seen him being nice.


<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama makes a hell of a splash when she goes through the water. Sakana gets some too. Sorry, Sakana.

"Mph!" Nikki has a lot more to say than that, but it is way too hard to do it through the spoon. Of course she's pushing, though. What's the point of entering if you can't win? Or at least try? Compared to that, a little dampness is nothing!

Nikki looks at the stand-up board in her way. They're going to have to push through that, too? She straightens up (and almost trips) and kind of points for Sakana. To the navigating!

Nikki is fast and agile and can't use any of that while tied to Sakana. She's careful instead. It grates and she's not actually very good at patience, especially when her feet and legs are soaked (she has already remembered why you don't put track sneakers and socks in water).

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana waddles across the ground along with Nikki. Argh come on they could just time their jump!

But at this stage of the game they better play it safe, she /supposes/. She huffs a bit and keeps her pace measured with Nikki, though she has to move a little slower due to being taller and all.

She readies her spoon, just in case. Spoon, she thinks, spoon! That finish line is so taunting!!

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Anthy Himemiya is somewhere in the crowd, watching the activities with an ever-present smile. She's been clapping at the victories politely, but otherwise not really paying attention to the actual... races... all that much. Mostly she's spacing out and giggling a bit to herself every so often.

When Li casts his spell to help Amu and Nadeshiko out, her gaze happens to be in his direction.

Her gaze stays on him for a long moment.

And then she smiles and returns to melting into unnoticeability in the crowd.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov watches from the sidelines with the crowd of students, occaisionally jumping a little at the enthusiastic cheering and screaming on every side. But its for that reason (among others) that she is in a cluster of more sedately applauding and snickering Ohtori students, in order to save her poor ears. Still, she watches with a certain amount of amusement, wincing and even laughing guiltily behind her hand when a big splash hits one of her classmates.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki has finished fixing the PA System lines! He's sort of used some U-hooks to secure them to the ground so feet don't rip them up as easily and they snap again. He dusts his hands off and returns back to the volunteer tent, to wait for the next event!

<Pose Tracker> Akemi Tsukiyama [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

'Ooh owwt!' Guma feels Homura's arm tightening, but with the egg on her spoon she can't look around.

She can only assume there's someone about to collide, and she's not about to harm someone who could potentially be a friend to her host.

There's also the fact that she's... sort of a mama bear, only trapped currently in a fifteen year old's body. "Hrrrrgghhh!!" It's a gamble, but a situation Guma relishes, if just for the excitement, the challenge! Things Akemi goes to all lengths to avoid! Right at the moment of impact, the egg tips in the edge of obilivion, Guma's neck cricking noisely as it is forced to bear the load of Guma's devotion. ('Was that my neck....?') Guma's eyes narrow against the irritation surging from her body. "...."

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Amu stomps in that puddle, and Nadeshiko...gets wet.

On the far end of the yard, Temari's eyes glimmer like stars of ill omen.

When Amu looks over again, Nadeshiko's eyes are slitted like daggers. "W'w g'win'," she hissses out, her voice low and gutteral.

...bumps: A little annoying. Getting wet: UNACCEPTABLE.

She sees that standing board looming behind them, then darts daggers at Sakana, then at Sayaka, then feels the wind push behind her.

Then her eyes fall on Amu, gleaming with malice. "L'ke h'll w'r' losin' to a b'nch of J'b'n l's'r's!! R'N!!"

And then she stomps, and swings her leg, and tries to pick it up from a gradual, carefully balanced pace up to about half a step shy of a sprint, which is probably not going to go well.

You tried, Li.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka is relieved to find the egg still balancing, but the race isn't over yet. Her longer legs are steering them Madoka's direction, and that way lies Akemi's. "New girl!" she cries. "Loog oud!" But somehow she can't stop; every time she tries, Madoka drags her along, and vice versa. Closing her eyes, she refuses to watch as Madoka acts as the pink bumper in their bumper car, and halts their momentum by smacking into Akemi Tsukiyama from behind.

Remorse aside, there's a race to finish. "Sorry," she tells the Akemi's, and starts limping along again, this time dragged by Madoka's enthusiasm. "So fassed!" she praises. They hit a new, worse obstacle however. "Oog! Whad are dey thinging? Hag on."

Switching the spoon so it faces downward, Sayaka leans in and hooks the egg from the top (or discovers, for the first time, that it's gone), so that there's a spoon both above and below it. "Livd your leg," she instructs, and raises her free leg high, stepping carefully over the obstacle, holding Madoka up under the armpits if need be so she can clear it too. Now they just need their shared leg over.

"Mmph," she worries, glancing back, straddling the obstacle while facing Madoka, spoonlocking the egg still. Now it really is like dancing. This is going to be very dangerous. "Aw ride. Go!" She tries to drag the shared leg up and over, to reach the final stretch.

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

They might be a bit behind thanks to that brief stop, but that doesn't mean they're out! "Ah ah?" Wait, did someone put a -wall- there? Are they supposed to climb it or something? If it was a hurdle, maybe they could go under it! But that definitely looks solid..

They'll just have to go around, which means bottleneck, which means more chances for collision. Which, after seeing that look in Nadeshiko's eyes, means more chances for her partner to Chara Change. Not good. "'aa. 'ihi. Huu'." Her three Charas look at each other, then to Amu. "Roger!"

One by one, the trio floats up around Temari. "Temari, why don't we watch the rest of the race from over -here-?" Maybe they can herd the elegant Chara somewhere she can't interfere!

...Yeah, no. Not even that can distract from the horrors of Temari Unchained. Or, perhaps, of Nadeshiko with a bit of dirty water on her. Looks like the Charas should have been watching out for Nadeshiko, not Temari.

"Uhhh... N'dehko?" She might appreciate the wind more if she weren't staring into the face of impending doom. "Waaaaa'!" It's about all she can do to keep her teeth clamped down on the spoon as she's dragged along for several steps. She manages not to fall, at least, but there's no way she'll be able to keep up this pace for... very long at all, really. "ei'! Ei'!" Step step stumble.


First, Amu trips over her own two feet. Then, connected as she is to Nadeshiko, she falls into her friend. In some effort to attempt to avoid faceplanting onto the track, Amu swings her hand down when her body pitches forward, but instead of catching herself, she pushes a little -too- hard... and her tied leg yanks back. If there's anything worse than one girl faceplanting on the track, it's two!

That's why Amu twists and reaches over, grabbing Nadeshiko around the waist and -pulling-. Better to fall to the side than fall straight down! The end result is something of an odd game of leapfrog, as Amu, legs briefly planted, swings Nadeshiko over and around her to the other side... which pulls Amu's let out from under her, since they're tied together!

The end of the 'save' results in both of them sprawled on the ground, Amu diagonally crossed over Nadeshiko, with her arms splayed forward and her free leg kicked up.

"Saaaaafe..." says Miki, wiping imaginary sweat from her brow. Ran is just cheering for the entertaining maneuver. Suu, though, looks down at them. "But where's the egg-desu?"

And that's when the egg falls down, landing perfectly in the spoon still sticking out of Amu's mouth, and somehow not breaking. They may be out, but the egg is safe!

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.


This....this is why being nice is stupid, Syaoran thinks with a long sigh.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

What were the organizers thinking?

Why, they were thinking of audience entertainment, of course.

And, indeed, the crowds are hooting and hollaring, their enthusiasm for the bedraggled three-legged racers, who have more or less unexpectedly been forced to navigate the most treacherous course ever, palpable, vibrant, even radiant. The energy of the crowd is almost visible, the combined sparkle from everyone's wide eyes.


"sa saarree," chokes Madoka as she frantically tries to soften the bump; there are tears of desperation in the corners of her eyes. In the end, her sheer effort to save Akemi and Akemi from a deleterious end at her hands sacrifices her own end -- the egg, abused by her contortions, wobbles and falls, falls, falls...

...only to be saved by Sayaka at the last second.

Kyouko would be proud.

Madoka is halfhearted, now, still caught up in the shame and ignominy of hindering the Akemis; her knee knocks painfully against the barrier as they get their legs over it. Still, that egg, the egg matters, they mustn't waste food, and with a gritting of her teeth, she manages to find enough energy and enthusiasm to clear the final obstacle and hurry towards the finish line.


The white ribbon waits, pristine and taut, eager to be broken by a pair of proud winners. And that pair is... Sakana and Nikki, who are greeted with much cheering, especially by Infinity Institute members! WINNERS!

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

It almost ends with someone /other/ than Sakana and Nikki breaking the ribbon, because when Nikki sees that they're in front, she tries to speed up and nearly falls over.

But she doesn't; she recovers from her stumble and instead matches Sakana's pace along with a "F'str!". Even if it hurts her legs a little to stretch as far as Sakana's can go, she's going to push herself right until the end!

Only when she actually /does/ get past it does she remove the spoon, holding it triumphantly up overhead (the egg is still on it, though it threatens to tip while she's holding it overhead for all of Infinity, and everyone else, to see.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

After recovering from the impact with Team MadoSaya, Team Akemi will likely continue on with the race after Homura does what she can to help keep the egg form falling off Guma's spoon. The two struggle forward and past the final obstacle to the finish line. Unfortunately though ... they didn't manage to win.

Once she makes it across the finish line with Akemi, Homura will take the spoon (and perhaps the egg) from her mouth. She looks over toward where Madoka and Sayaka are standing with a slight frown on her face before turning back to look at Akemi. "Thank you for the race." She says softly, and leans down to undo the bindings around their ankle. "You were a good partner. I wish you luck with the other events."

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Nadeshiko almost seems like she COULD haul Amu the rest of the way to the finish line, except as it turns out, no.

Amu trips over her own feet, then performs an elegant, graceful total failure, catching Nadeshiko, tossing her to the side, they are practically pireoutting with nega-grace at this point, and then WHUMP.



Nadeshiko, blushing from the exertion and heavy-breathed from taking the fall, takes stock of her surroundings as though they were new.

"Nice...save, Amu-chan," she says, winded. "I...I think I got too into it..."

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Telling me faster?! I've been holding back! Ha ha ha!! Your impetuousness is firing me up!" Sakana grins widely. Her devotion to soccer turns out to be an advantage as it is a game that requires both team play and speed! She charges forth, punching through the ribbon--though one could swear she bent her head forward a bit near the end, as if she were intending to headbutt the thing.

"Yosh!!" She says because her player hears that in anime a lot despite not actually knowing what it means but they usually say it at times like this. "We've done it!" She cheers reaching out and--

noogie noogie noogie. "You were great!! Ha ha ha, told you. Three legs is in our blood!"

She pauses for a moment as she said that a little loudly. "I mean metaphorically. Grandpa won three legged races all the time. Eheh...heh.."

<Pose Tracker> Amu Hinamori [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

"Mh...hh..hhh." Amu gives a nervous laugh before reaching to take the spoon from her mouth. "That's okay, Nadeshiko. It was fun!" For a given definition of fun. "Here we... go." The pink-haired girl pushes herself up , then reaches down to lend her friend a hand as well. "Let's go get cleaned up though."

<Pose Tracker> Akemi Tsukiyama [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"No thanks needed," Guma says, beaming with excitement as Homura looks back at her. "I appreciate anyone who rises to a challenge like that. It was my pleasure to work with you." Noticing the two girls behind Homura, something in Guma's eyes soften. "Were those the two that landed into us? Are they alright?"

They seem to be, by the way one is nooging the other.

This dark-haired girl may not be as distant as she appears to be- otherwise, she wouldn't have placed their safety first over winning a race. "Maybe I'll cross paths with you again, sometime." Guma grins, slightly.

And just like that, the light seems to change in Akemi's eyes. "... eh?" Her breath hitches, like someone suddenly realizing they're being filmed, and she quickly does a courtesy bow. "It was very fun, Akemi-san!" It seems so odd, to say it like that!

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama gets noogied.

This also gets her to flail again, though she remembers not to because she /is/ in fact still holding the egg. "Aah, quit it!" she yelps, though there's not a lot she can actually do to stop the bigger girl from... well, nooging her.

<Pose Tracker> Nadeshiko Fujisaki [Ohtori Academy (5)] has posed.

Nadeshiko's spoon fell out somewhere around the 270 degrees point.

She lies there a few seconds more, looking up when Amu pushes herself up and just sort of watching, red-faced, after that hand is offered. Wow, that tumble stunned her a bit!

But after a few moments more, she takes the hand, and with Amu's help, starts wandering off to clean up.

<Pose Tracker> Dark Precure [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Somewhere in the stands sits Yami Fukaki, a second year high schooler from Infinity. She's in her normal school uniform, not a gym outfit, but there's an excuse from a doctor in her pocket. That doctor is a professor, so you know it's extra-official.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka's energy seems to desert her after the Akemi incident, and Sayaka has to shake her shoulder a little with one hand to help encourage her. When they get past the finish line, she immediately snatches the egg off her spoon and spits the silverwear out, panting. "Madoka-chan!" she cheers. "We did it!" Just finishing this race is a feat, after all; a lot of eggs are splattered around back there.

Sayaka hugs Madoka with viking heartiness, slapping her frail back a few times. "Madoka-chan is a great egg holder! And she says she has no talents!" The loudspeaker catches her attention. "Oops, we better get free. It's time to do battle. Do you have the samurai spirit, Madoka-chan?" Seating herself, she starts working on the straps.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka is gasping like a landed fish by the time they reach the finish line, the spoon wobbling precariously with each breath of sweet, sweet air she tries to inhale, sharp knives gashing her lungs with each attempt.

Once they're across, she reaches up with her hands and tenderly extracts the spoon from her mouth. "We... we did it... good job... Sayaka-chan..."

As far as she's concerned, simply FINISHING that race is a huge victory; she's with her friend on that one hundred percent.

Glancing back over at Akemi and Akemi, she happens to notice Homura look her way and bows her head contritely.

Meanwhile, the PA goes off with Yuriko's enthusiastic voice. It couldn't be more different from the light, gentle tones of earlier. "Attention, attention, one! And! All! Nnnnnnnnnnnnext up! We have! The cavalry battle on Field A!"

Conveniently, that's where the three-legged race was.

Less conveniently, that means the cavalry battlefield is covered in egg yolk.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov looks out at the field where the calvalry battle is meant to happen, starting to walk onto it. "But it's-- Oh!" She almost slips on a splat of eggyolk, and she hasn't even got anyone on top of her yet. "Oh dear," she moans under her breath, lifting up her shoe to look at the sole, which is now smeared with yellow and snot-coloured goo.

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Calvary Battol?! Sign Aisha right up! After the insanity that was that race a second ago, Aisha comes down out of the stands, all cleaned up from the Tug of War, and is ready to take her place as a brave 'steed' to some lucky competitor. She'll be milling about until someone decides that, hey, an older student would probably be good for this kind of thing.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki heads towards field A, he dusts his hands off. He stands at the edges and waits for his team up!....

Who is that anyways?

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori Ankou had come here to ride cavalry and chew bubblegum... and chewing bubblegum is unladylike and would rot your teeth right out of your head.

And so the hour has come. She has been reserving her strength, and has even eaten a meat bun to prepare for this fine event. She is wearing a headband already (she chose black, with a pink rose emblem and some hand-embroidered (and thus wobbly) kanji) to go with her gym clothing.

She approaches Azyana, even as their two supporting 'horses' come together, and folds her arms loosely, looking down at that goo-clad sole. Wrinkling her nose, and sighing, she intones, "As an affiliated representative of the student council of our school..."

She shares a momentary glance with Lilie, one of their two supporters. Then she produces a fluffy light blue towel, offering it forwards. "Please be sure your shoes are in the best condition!" Afterwards, Nori gestures forwards - one of the two puts down a folding chair, and Nori steps up in order to get a better angle to put herself on Azyana's stern, resilient Russian shoulders! (Nori, though of average height, is a bit below average in weight, thankfully.)

"For the honor and pure heart of our school...!" she declares, without irony.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme is that team-up. He's been having fun this festival, mostly with his fellows in the Softball club. But here's another event to involve himself in and apparently he's being paired up with an upperclassman, no less. He looks up at Kinzo and offers the taller boy a grin. "So how do you want to do this?"

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.


Okay, cavalry battle sounds way better than whatever the hell that cosplay thing was, and so Syaoran Li runs back onto the field, tying the requisite blue headband around his forehead. Well now, the young man thinks. This shouldn't be too bad, he assures himself. It's cooperation, sure, but so long as he isn't with a bunch of...which is when he looks up and sees that he's teamed up with a bunch of middle school girls.


He represses a sigh, and looks up. "Who are we carrying?" asks the ten-year-old, with complete seriousness.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Homura lets her guard down for four seconds.

And then a pair of hands are around her head, neatly and efficiently tying a fairly elaborately-knotted headband onto Homura's head.

Meanwhile, before she can object, there is a force at her shoulders, and she is rather abruptly picked up.

"Hey, kid, we found the girl you wanted!" one Aoi Senou calls out.

"And you're really gonna make this worth it, right?" Chie Harada adds, glasses glinting ominously.

Then Chao emerges from out of vision, like some kind of Bond villain, and waves her hand cheerfully. "Yes, yes, you'll both get your pay day. A free meal at Chao Bao Zi, on me~" she says, and plants hands on her hips, looking up at Homura. "Ni hao, Akemi-san!" Chao says, cheerfully. "I knew you wouldn't really say yes if I asked, so I thought I'd take a little initiative. We're team mates now, so make sure to do your best, OK? I know we're going to be great friends!"

And then she turns around, presenting her back for Homura to be planted on it by a pair of high school gossips. But in this circumstance, being high school means you're hired muscle.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki thinks a little. "Well.... I don't think you should carry me." he says with an almost joking smirk. Because he is taller. and older to boot!

"So...you on me, and...." he looks around. Is anyone else helping in on this? (Otherwise, NPCsssss!).

He goes ahead and hunches down so Naota can get on!

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Of... of course," says Azyana, more than a little mortified as she takes the towel and wipes her shoe. Setting the towel with the eggy part folded away, she plants her feet securely on the turf, tossing her head a little so the fluffy cloud-mass of her white hair is out of the way as Nori steps up onto her shoulders. She herself is petite, but... but well, the word sturdy comes to mind, so she had to know this was coming. And to her credit, while her knees tremble a little bit (holding up another human being is no small thing!), she holds up marvelously, which only goes to prove that if you're going to have a scandalously foriegn father, you might as well have come from the sourcream-and-potatoes-and-bears part of Europe.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme blushes. "W-well all right. But only because you insisted!" he adds, quickly, climbing on top of the taller boy and trying to keep stable.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana beams at Nikki a bit longer before Cavalry Battle. That was the SECOND MOST desired event of hers. She approaches Li (and YUmiko and Kuri) and cracks her knuckles, grinning down at Li. "You're the smallest, so I think you should be on top. I'll support you-- and the others can keep us up. Sound good? Your youthful exuberance and hot blood will surely lead us to victory!" She punches her palm before looking down.

>:| She sees.

D She offers.



"We can do this." She promises. "And I'll make sure to keep you steady." She offers a thumbsup. "You ready, squirt?!"

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka chuckles nervously at Sayaka's enthusiasm. "Um, that is, I'm not much of a samurai..." She would never deny her friend the opportunity for glory here that she so clearly craves, though her face is already screwed up tight in anticipation of the tragedy about to take place.

"Listen, listen, listen!" chimes in another figure, this one in a Juuban gym uniform, her auburn hair held out of her face in two low ponytails. "There are two of you and two of us, so why don't we team up!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah!" echoes her partner; both of them wear green lacrosse skirts over their gym shorts, sporting their team pride for the world to see. "Together, we'll take the battlefield by storm!!"

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.


"Very well," Syaoran says seriously. "I will depend on your support." The young fourth-grader takes a step forward, and then hops up onto Sakana's hands; she will notice two things fairly quickly. The first is that he is really quite light. And the second is that his balance is really very, very good.

Syaoran surveys the field from atop his perch, and briefly considers summoning another bit of wind just to make his headband flutter. He eventually decides it's probably not worth it.


...yeah, probably not.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meanwhile, two starting lines are forming, facing each other, one in white headbands, the other in red. There are easily two hundred people on the field, in groups of four; a rider, a horse, and two more for support. Marching up and down the middle of the field is no less a personage as the Juuban Middle School Principal, a ponderous older man who's put on a little extra weight to make up for his deficit of hair. He seems friendly and kind, and perhaps a little bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of the battle about to take place on his field.

"Now remember! If someone pulls your headband off, your team is out! If you are out, walk -- do not run, walk -- off the field, and out of the way! Good luck to everyone!"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

This was definitely not part of Fuu's plans for the sports festival ... but once again, she's been roped in without expectation, and now she's trying to keep her balance atop Aisha and two other girls. "Here we go ... are you ready?" she asks Aisha and the other two.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

There are things that even Homura Akemi seems unable to predict. One of those things are the movements and machinations of a girl named Chao Lingshen. To most she may seem like a simple, if brilliant and industrious, girl. To Homura she is an enigma, and an uncontrolled variable.

And that variable has just put a hit out on her head.

... or more accurately she has decided to forcefully include Homura in a game of Calvary Battle. Homura's eyes shoot open when hands suddenly appear around her head and neatly tie a headband within seconds! She was about to object, for of course she must, when suddenly she is lifted abruptly into the air like a sack of potatoes. And just about as capable of defending herself in this circumstance!!

"What is the meaning of this?" Homura's voice soaks with indignant fury. After all she had just been thinking, moments ago, of trying to join Madoka's team. Even if she hadn't managed to get the three legged race together surely the two of them would be able to be together in a four person team? That way she could ensure that the foolish and headstrong Sayaka Miki wouldn't be able to so easily thrust Madoka into harm's way again. But ... as she watches from where she is sitting (above the crowd) she can already see a party forming around Madoka. Disappointing.

And then the source of her current woes makes her appearance. "Chao Lingshen." Homura's voice has returned, begrudgingly, to its normal neutral tone. 'I know we're going to be great friends!' Chao declares. Homura hmphs, and gives another glance toward where Madoka is before sighing. "Fine." After all, Chao couldn't be planning anything exceptionally devious in the middle of a Sports Festival, could she?

Aoi Senou, Chie Harada, Chao Lingshen and Homura Akemi. Truly an unlikely team has formed. As Homura is planted atop of Chao's back she rests one head atop Chao's head for balance while the other two girl assume their positions to either side. Homura uses her free hand to give her hair a flick, the raven dark tresses falling down her back and flowing in the breeze like some sort of black cape.

"For now we will work together, but don't try anything underhanded." And don't think for a second that Homura won't remember how she was press ganged into this. She takes her free arm and gestures forward to the starting lines, red and white. "Let's go!"

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki has Naota on his back! He gets up, and two other members of the JPS Computer club join him.

They all have a Computer Club logo on thier back of thier T-shirts----they're REALLY trying to drive up recruitment! REALLY hard.

"Alright, we're ready!" he exlaims!

"I don't know...... are you sure we can do this?" the boy on his right says. "Of course!" says the girl on Kinzo's left. "This'll be easy, ready?" she asks up to Naota.

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

NEIGH! Well at least Aisha had enthusiasm when it came to competition, and this wasn't going to be any different, "Yeah! Lets show'm what we got!" She's just itching to rush out there and let Fuu get some headbands and what not! Hopefully the two 'supporters' can keep up, but it really seems like Aisha's managing it on her own pretty well.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme grins. The boy has a wolfish little grin that goes well with his unruly hair. "We're going to do great, everybody!" He laughs a laugh which has on at least one occasion led to his classmates scooting their desks away from his.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"You need to find your samurai spirit! You're Japanese, right? With hair as pink as the sakura blossom. I'm sure you have samurai strength." Sayaka nods affirmatively. "But okay, this time, I'll do battle, and you will be my faithful steed. Along with..."

The lacrosse club, apparently. "Hey, you two," Sayaka greets vaguely recognizing them. "Don't you want to team up with that other one?"

"She's always late for these things..." Shiho sighs.

"Really, really, really late," Rina affirms.

"Then we're a team!" Sayaka agrees. "I'm Sayaka Miki. Okay, let's get ready." Rina squats down; shorter but sturdier than Shiho, and much sturdier than Madoka, she's the obvious choice.

"Wait," Shiho says. "Our teamwork will be better if we're the supports, right?"

"But, but, but..." Rina objects, looking worriedly at Madoka.

"Do you trust in your teamwork?" Sayaka says, like an old sage.

"Well, yes," Rina sighs.

And so it is that Sayaka sits astride Madoka, proudly, headband fluttering in the wind. "Who do you want to take on, Madoka-chan?" she asks. "That creepy new girl? The huge American? I'm ready for action!"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori wiggles around to settle onto her 'steed', looking around with evident pleasure. She is just happy to be here, folks! Well, for a certain value of 'happy'. To be here... and to loom over other people! She folds her arms then as they steer into position, awaiting the final word.

She wriggles again, and tosses her hair. "Uuuuh... hm," she says, studying the field. "Maybe... the boy there, on the Juuban student - do you see me, Azyana-san?" Going with the digestible first name rather than the surname, perhaps, or simply assuming that riding someone means friendship.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Sakana hefts Li up. This actually isn't too hard at all--Li is pretty light. This will be good, she thinks, because it will afford them some mobility and they won't run out of stamina as easily as people carrying heavier individuals--Sakana explicitely avoids looking at anybody in particular when she thinks that.

"Steady?" She asks of Li even as she's guided up by the other two. "Once they blow the whistle it'll be too late to reposition!"

It has yet to occur to her that Li hasn't smiled once.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao's balance is pretty great, and they have high schoolers as stabilizers! Homura could be falling-down drunk and they'd probably be OK!

Chao titters. "Underhanded? Like what? Gosh, you have a pretty scary idea of what I get up to, Akemi-san..."

But then, when ordered, she shouts, "Alright then, we're off!" and trots off at a merry pace. She's an alright runner! off to the starting lines!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"U-uuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm," is all that Madoka can stammer out as her knees lock beneath the weight of her taller, stronger friend. She's doing her best to let Rina and Shiho take as much of the weight as possible, but this is rough on her -- despite being quick as a brown fox, now and again, she's also as frail as any of the more delicate Ohtori flowers. "How about you just tell me which way to go," she finally gasps, breathlessly, starting to shake and sweat.

"Okay, okay, okay!" Rina affirms, giving a thumbs-up, which is a terrible idea, as the whole team careens towards Shiho. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Riiina-chan, careful!"


Red Teams: Chao and Homura, Azyana and Nori, Fuu and Aisha

White Teams: Sakana and Li, Sayaka and Madoka, Kinzo and Naota

"Now, let's not have any injuries!" What a terrible piece of advice from the principal; this game couldn't be more designed to be unsafe, really. Especially with all that yolk on the ground.

"Three! Two! One!"


<Pose Tracker> Dark Precure [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Meanwhile, still on the sidelines, Yami Fukaki waves a little Infinity penant that someone gave her. It's about two inches long and stuck on the end of a toothpick. "Sports festivals seem to be events meant to release violent tendencies in the student body." She'll make a note of that and report it back.

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

"I am ready," Syaoran says to Sakana. "When the star--"

  • BANG*

"Just take us forward!" he calls out, his tone imperial enough that Tadase might start getting offended. "My arms are shorter than some of theirs, so we'll need to get close."

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

With a mighty cry of battle Natoa leads his followers into the fray! ...by which we mean that he waits for them to get moving. "Straight! Forward! Let's show them what we can do!" He rubs his hands together in anticipation.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana is pink in the cheeks. Her knees wiggle as she focuses on going in one direction, one foot in front of the other! Repeat! Little tears stand out in the corners of her eyes and her voice sounds a little pinched. The two extra helpers-- Pique and Lilie, who look like the devil's own shoulder angels with an evil smile on one's face and a determined purse on the other-- are already shouting hellos and encouragement to one another, filling poor Aza's ears with ringing.

"Of course, Miss Nori," she says, "I see him. Let's g-go!" And assuming 'can you see me' meant 'do you see what I mean' (because she is embarrassed enough as it is without a liason to the student council asking her if she can see her while she's currently riding on her like a horse), she heads in that direction, barreling forward with the help of Pique and Lilie, who squawk and hurry to keep up with the half-russian Ohtori student. "Get his bandana, miss Nori!" PLEASE LET THIS BE OVER SOON.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Straight ahead!" Fuu instructs her 'steeds,' and she loosens up her shoulders as they begin their 'charge'. She's not entirely clear what the rules are about defending against grabs for one's own headband ... but as long as nobody gets hurt, it should be all right.

She thinks.

... this is going to end badly, isn't it?

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki begins running forward..."Alright...let's go.... into the right, see the purple shirts? Let's screw them up!" he yells..."Get ready!" he yells at Naota as the two stablizers keep him steady as they race at the purple shirted team! Why the purple shirted team? It's JPS's Drama Club. The NATURAL ENEMY of the computer club.

The two aim to collide, to get close, to have Naota hopefully reach out and grab the headband of the other team.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Look," John Jefferson Flagman says. "Just because we're in the same club together, doesn't mean we have to be on the same team for this." He wraps the headband around his forehead, looking down at the club president hefting him up.

"Don't worry, don't worry." The club president assures him with a smile. "Just make sure not to lose! The pride of the Midnight Investigation Association (Club) is in your hands!"

Sakana is nothing if not a team player, it's one of the traits that sets her apart from her heritage. She says, "Will do!" She takes this stuff super seriously even if she's loud about it. She looks down to the two hefting them up. "Spot a mark--Ready...go!"

They charge forward, hesitantly at first, before Sakana's gung ho attitude ends up pushing the team quicker forward--sending the two marching right for the MIA's team! "Those guys from the occult club!" She suggests to Li. "They're always getting into trouble. Let's teach them proper discipline!"

Yes, she's been looking forward to this one all day.

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

This won't end badly! It will end in AWESOME! That's, at least, what Aisha would say to such a question. As led by her worthy Samurai, Aisha and the supports charge straight on into the fray! "Get those arms out and make some grabs!" she hollars up!

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

With the veteran Puella Magi at the lead, two high schoolers as stabilizers and the strategic Chao Lingshen as the legs it seems that Chao-Homura is going to be a pretty tough team to beat. Perhaps the only weakness they really have is a lack of camaraderie. Will Chao listen to Homura? Will Homura listen to Chao? And will anyone listen to Chie and Aoi? Stay tuned.

"Our foes are directly ahead." States Homura, perhaps playing a bit at captain obvious. "Take them at an angle if you can. Force them to have to turn and face us." And all of this strategizing will likely fly out the window once the battle is joined. "Whenver you're ready, Chao Lingshen."

Homura balances pretty well upon Chao's back. Far from being falling down drunk she is capable of maintaining an upright posture with nary a wobble. As the two approach an opponent she uses both hands to fight. Both hands are used at first to deflect blows and fight off attempted grabs. As soon as they get within optimum bandana grabbing range one of those same hands will lance upwards with snake like speed and precision to seize and rip the bandana free!!

That is assuming, of course, Chao and the others do their part to keep this victory from becoming a tragedy.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme is the veteran of more schoolyard scraps than he'd care to admit: his instincts for this competition are good and it isn't long before the Drama Club finds their representative sans headband, although he's also pretty wriggly, perhaps to the point of being hard to stabilize. He laughs aloud again. "Perfect! Let's go after them next!" he says, indicating some students he recognizes from the soccer team. Known delinquents, them.

MAIL: Mailbox purged.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Forward!!" Nori says, and then squeals as the ride begins!

This, she decides, is nothing like a horse ride really should be. The enemy with the short kid seems to be tacking for someone else - the occasional declared statement of "Left, left!" then "faster!" is enough to get them ON TRACK.

And she leans forwards, stretching out, borne up by a stray hand of Lilie's in order to keep her from toppling over - to grab at Li's bandanna, using the power of a languidly elongated arm!

(Lilie smirks up at Li, perhaps savoring his discomfort.)

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

"Understood," Syaoran says, flexing his fingers as his steeds carry him forward toward the occult team. But as they approach, Nori and co. attempt to intercept them, intent on snagging the prize away from this foolish team that placed an elementary schooler on their shoulders. Nori's arm reaches forward, and Syaoran's face hardens. His left hand comes up, wrist touching wrist, and...

Stuff happens.

The stuff - which nearby martial artists and time-manipulating magical girls would undoubtedly see clearly, and which others might be hard-pressed to notice - involves a ten-year-old boy engaging in a picture-perfect silk reel block, rolling his wrist around Nori's, pressing downward, and then twisting his body to bring his right hand around in a grasp for the older girl's bandana, which misses by half an inch or so.

It takes about a third of a second.

"Tch," Syaoran grunts, somewhat negligently liberating the occult president's headband on his way past. "Circle around - that one we missed is actually half-decent," he advises Sakana.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka windmills her arms as Rina makes her error. "Careful! Okay, White Team! We're as pure as the snow, or a virgin's cheek! We will drive these red demons from our lands!"

Shiho sighs a little, wondering what she's gotten herself into, but when she tries to look to Rina for support in this, she finds her friend nodding along enthusiastically.

"Okay," Sayaka agrees to Madoka. "Our direction is... forward! Ramming speed!" Sayaka bounces as they run, but finds herself surprisingly stable, due to the teamwork provided by the two lacrosse club members. A team of four Infinity boys steers at her, and with a stroke of inspiration, Sayaka covers Madoka's eyes with her hands.

"Keep going straight! Go go go!" she tells Madoka, playing chicken with the boys. If Madoka can't even tell she's playing chicken, how can she lose?

The boys charge on, seeing the challenge for what it is. Shiho and Rina nod to each other, and commit to the charge. The Infinity boys trample almost into them... and then their horse stops dead, wanting no part of this disaster. Their supports accidentally launch the rider off to the side, and split to avoid Madoka's blind advance. Sayaka lets Madoka see again, laughing joyously.

"It worked!" she says, as the Infinity boys grumble and dust themselves off behind her, disqualified without losing their headband. "Okay. Let's help our teammates!" she tells Madoka. "Head over there!" She points to where Li and Sakana are under assault by Nori and Azyana. Charging the latter team from the rear, Sayaka tries to go for Nori's headband, or at least make them retreat.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"That's a good idea, Homura Akemi~" Chao replies, cheerfully keeping up Homura's studious emotional distance. "You've got some strategy to you, I see!"

"So did one of these two, like, kick the other's dog, or something?" Aoi muses, helplessly.

Chao laughs, carefree, waiting for the signal. And then...BANG!!

"CHARGE!" Chao calls, and takes off at a dash, held back somewhat by the high schoolers. "There! That stance!" Chao suddenly yells. "You can't possibly stand up right!"

And thus Chao dashes dead at a young Ohtori man, eyes flashing with a wide grin - and catches his shoulder with hers, holding him in place. She smiles at him, a little too wide to be innocent. "Go, Akemi!" she shouts.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The field erupts into chaos like someone just kicked an anthill, if flailing, sprinting, shouting students are ants and the slick grassy field is a hill. The battle is viciously fought, even though there's far more laughter than tears; the outs come very quickly, punctuated by sharp blasts of the whistle from various PE teachers, who are stationed here and there as referee.

Madoka screams like a blood-raged demon as Sayaka covers her eyes, putting all the force into her staggering sprint that she can muster. Her friend's name is her battlecry, although it's more of a battlecomplaint -- she does not like this strategy, not one bit, even though it's apparently extremely effective.

Obediently she turns -- a complex motion that involves that teamwork that Shiho and Rina promised, "Left, left, left!" "Right, right, right!" "What? No, left!" "I know! I said I agree!!" -- puts her head down, and, pigtails flying, charges again. Her face is as red as her ribbons, blood all in her head. She can't keep this pace for long.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov can't see behind her, so intent upon matching Sakana's footwork and bearing up under her classmate. Fortunately, the two supports, Lilie and Pique, can turn their heads quite freely!

"Uh oh, watch out!" says Pique.

"It would just be a SHAME if we were to fail so easily, what with all miss Nori's hopes riding on us and miss Azyana!" Lilie sings with stars in her eyes.

So Azyana tries to surge them all uot of the way-- but Lilie isn't really interested in that--

--Which does not in any way stop Azyana from actually just pushing her, despite the trunicated, angelic 'oh nooo!' that she starts to give, only to be more or less bullied into teamwork again by momentum and not wanting to be squashed under Ohtori shoes, hand caught in Azyana's fingers.

With a desperate surge, Azyana digs her heels into the dirt and turns bringing Nori to the best position she can while taking directions from her.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki ahas as the headbands of the drama club is stolen, TAKE THAT FINE ARTS, Science and Logic triumph once again!

And then Naota points at some socccer team members, so they heads towards that to handle that.

Kinzo looks to his right..."Hey.....! We're right close to someone else....grab it!" he yells as they pass by the Nori and Azyana team!

He hopes Naota can reach out in time! If not, they can come around for another pass!

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme growls, fairly growls in frustration at being denied his chance to go after some bullies, but turns and makes a lunge for the headband being presented to him. It's too aggressive a lunge, however, causing him to lean out to the point of nearly losing balance, leading to a minute of frantic backpedaling as he tries to stabilize again.

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.


"Actually, on second thought," Syaoran says, pointing at the wailing Madoka, "Let's go take their headband. They look sort of vulnerable."


<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Yeah, Fuu kind of sucks at mounted "combat". Staying balanced atop Aisha and the other two is tricky enough; coordinating her balance with grabbing for other riders' headbands amplifies the challenge by an order of magnitude or two.

She still manages to reach out for Naota's headband as he's recovering from his bout of overbalancing ... she may or may not manage to grab hold of it, and even if she does, who knows if she'll manage to tug it free? Especially with her own headband potentially being at stake.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

As one of those time manipulating magical girls, Homura does notice Li's astonishing abilities. It's a careful reminder that one should not judge a book by its cover nor consider size the only important trait for a person in this competition. He's going to be dangerous especially if she tries to face him head on. Fortunately Chao seems to not be aiming her group directly toward him at the moment. But eventually...

Homura hmphs softly at Chao's response. Sincere? Insincere? Homura doesn't really care at this moment. The snide comment from the High Schoolers doesn't help matters. Still teeth clenched teamwork doesn't seem to stop them for long. Chao, Chie, and Aoi, leads Homura straight into a confrontation with a group of Ohtori students. She actually shoulder checks him to hold him into place, leaving his Samurai vulnerable. Panicked by the sudden brutalness of the assault he reaches toward her headband.

In a flash of movement Homura's hand slaps away the young man's. He is shocked, but only even more so by how quickly her other hand comes and snatches the headband from his scalp. "It's finished!" She declares to Chao, displaying the headband for the others.

Fate loves irony. And just as Homura had thought moments earlier that she was fortunate Chao wasn't going to take her group toward Li to face his martial arts prowess ... it seems that's just the direction she's heading.

... and then.

Pointing at the wailing Madoka, 'Let's go take their headband. They look sort of vulnerable.'


"Let's take out the little one." Homura states resolutely, "No mercy." She rests her hand upon Chao's head as if she'd pull on her hair if she didn't charge fast enough. Then with... an impressive amount of emotion, given who it is, Homura raises her voice: "CHARGE!!"

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Aisha Ayries is nothing, if not loyal! When Fuu starts to go for a headband Aisha's eyes are straight up and locked, trying to do the whole dance of defense so she can try to keep Fuu balanced, get that arm out to yank the headband, while trying to pull back if someone goes for Fuu's. "C'mon! You almost got it! Just a little more!"

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Seems like they're already busy. We go into that kettle of fish and we'll end up bitten." Sakana agrees, using fish metaphors to show the audience that she--and sister six--are one and the same! And just so they know for sure. "We'll GO TO it which sort of sounds like Goat. Anyway.

Her eyes lock with Chao, eyes narrowing. "Meat buns... I missed yesterday because I was intending to visit someone... But for now...!" She charges for Madoka. "ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!!" she cries out, making their intent clear. "Your band...will be ours!"

Her eyes narrow dangerously. Will a time traveler save/ruin the day?!

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme, still flailing to reclaim balance, loses his headband to the lovely miss Hououji with a final tug that causes him to fall from his perch with a 'wah!' of surprise and alarm. He lands on his backside, laughing. "Well," he says, picking himself up, "that was fun. Sorry: I guess I got a bit carried away."

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka pats Madoka's head; she isn't within range to do any less maternal gesture. "Be strong, Madoka-chan! You can do it! Can you feeel Akane-san's takoyaki in your belly, making you strong? We just need to get a little closer."

"Akane-senpai's takoyaki?" Rina enthuses. "Tasty, tasty, tasty!"

"That's a flag I'll fight for!" Shiho agrees.

Unbeknownst to Sayaka, her doom has been chosen by dark forces, and her salvation orchestrated by darker ones. "NoooRI Ankou-dono!" Sayaka says, with the half-wailing tone of a kabuki samurai, pointing her finger in challenge. "Your sword has grown dull, and your wits duller! Let me teach you the ways of bushido once mooooaaaah!" She is nearly tilted off her seat by Shiho's indiscreet choice of agreement. And then the charge, Madoka's hooves pounding, taiko drums seeming to beat to them in rhythm, Sayaka's eyes narrowing even as the light itself narrows around them, reducing them to a bladelike slice of determined blue.

"IIIII..." Sayaka roars, drawing back both arms as Madoka approaches, Azyana's scary gaijin aura not even drawing hesitation. "...TTTTE!" As she passes Nori, her arms lash forward with a sound like a bullwhip, and just before Madoka speeds past, Sayaka's eyes meet Nori's, with a duellist's smugness.

Sayaka encourages Madoka to slow with her heels, and raises her hand high above her head, Nori's headband fluttering around her palm. "You're dead," she says, grim, without satisfaction, her eyes primly closed.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki ack! Kinzo and team have to work had to keep Naota balanced, and they do!.....until Naota gets his headband snatched away! "Ugh!....." he says with a slightly annoyed tone. "Oh well....at least we got the Drama club...." he grumbles. The team goes ahead and retires to the side lines, and get Naota off his back. "Thanks!" he says down to Naota. "At least we got a few people on our way out!" he smiles.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"H, hey!" Nori says, hearing words that make her think sinkingly of - of herself? Is she being shown up by this little girl?! The ojou du jour is kept from providing much feedback as she teeters, spreading her arms out to avoid tumbling ignobly into the mud.

Her face is starting to burn. Not just from unwonted sunlight on a fair complexion, though there IS a little of that (she should've brought a sunhat, but...)


"Free hat!" Nanami - or a creature resembling Nanami - says, putting on the black cap that had been part of Nori Ankou's trousseau.


(... it wasn't possible!)

Feeling a strange sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach, Nori looks towards the approaching Sayaka, saying with wide, shocked eyes, "What - Miki, what are you saying!? Don't -"



Her own eyes well with tears. "Aaa, aaah---"

She slumps forwards, as if she's had every bone in her body removed.

"I... I've lost...?"

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao hears 'It's finished!' and grins at her victim. "Pleasure doing business!" she chimes, and jukes away, carrying on on her merry horse rampage. Her eyes dart around, taking in the carnage. This is a blood bath! Or, well, no, but it's pretty brutal out here. On the other hand...

She's having fun, so it's still better than some other brutal team conflicts she can think of.

Chao's scanning around for a new victim, when Homura tells her, 'let's take out the little one,' and somewhat alarmingly sets her hands on Chao's head. You know, Chao thinks, maybe putting her in optimal neck-snapping position wasn't a great idea? But she can't help but grin when Homura cries out. "Now you're getting into it! C'mon, Akemi-san, Ohtori-sans!"

"'ey, the shrimp's Ohtori too!"

"D, did she just use an English plural on us..."

Her eyes lock on Sakana, grinning like fire as she takes off at a run. "SORRY!" she laughs. "You can have a bun later! But you're not getting anyone's band today!!"

She charges into position, trying to slide /between/ Sakana and her two support on the lefthand side - can she give Homura a reach advantage over Li by coming at an angle!?

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"H, hey!" Nori says, hearing words that make her think sinkingly of - of herself? Is she being shown up by this little girl?! The ojou du jour is kept from providing much feedback as she teeters, spreading her arms out to avoid tumbling ignobly into the mud.

Her face is starting to burn. Not just from unwonted sunlight on a fair complexion, though there IS a little of that (she should've brought a sunhat, but...)


"Free hat!" Nanami - or a creature resembling Nanami - says, putting on the black cap that had been part of Nori Ankou's trousseau.


(... it wasn't possible!)

Feeling a strange sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach, Nori looks towards the approaching Sayaka, saying with wide, shocked eyes, "What - Miki, what are you saying!? Don't -"


"My sword may be fading," she says without really thinking about the matter, her eyes filling with tears, her flailing arms borderline noodly but still surprisingly agile. "But to confront your betters in such a way, even if I perish --" And she leans FORWARDS, into that whiplashing crack.

But her hand, which has a certain long-fingered elegance to it which is perhaps why she attempted to take up the piano, snaps out at the same time. She grips the edge of Sayaka's bandanna's knot. She topples forwards, squeezing as she does. "You will join me...!"

"Wait the ground's muddy, no! No--!!"

Lilie, at this point, almost certainly has just let go completely.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov squeaks as Lilie lets go of Nori's foot on the one side, dropping behind the running trio, and, of course, at the very same instant, Pique encounters an egg-yolk. What happens is that two lithe students fall over on either side of her and she's left holding up the other Ohtori girl, who is drooping dramatically and unbalanced. "M-- miss Nori please straighten up!! I can't hold you up like that!" She cries, but it's too late. FAREWELL SWEET OHTORI UNIFORM STANDARDS! For her shaking knees and aching legs finally give up the fight, and she pitches onto the grass, hitting it with an 'Aakpth!'

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka screws up her face, which is increasingly resembling a tomato, as she overhears 'Let's go take their headband. They look sort of vulnerable.' So even as Sayaka is having them charge, she's kind of bearing a little bit to the right, away from those pursuers.

She lacks the breath to make another battlecry so instead she just huffs and puffs and hopes that they can blow the house down. And so they do -- but not without Sayaka...?

The horse cannot actually tell the status of the rider. But she can tell that the extra weight dragging her down, as Nori topples, is far more than her stick-like legs can bear.


"Oh no, oh no, oh no!"

"Look out, look out, look out!"

Face first in the muuuud.

Naota Uneme's last pose:

Naota Uneme, still flailing to reclaim balance, loses his headband to the lovely miss Hououji with a final tug that causes him to fall from his perch with a 'wah!' of surprise and alarm. He lands on his backside, laughing. "Well," he says, picking himself up, "that was fun. Sorry: I guess I got a bit carried away."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori herself skids off Azyana, skinning her knee and landing in the puddle next to Madoka. She lays there, quivering, trying not to sob.

But you can't compete at this level if you're not willing to get dirty, Nori, you goose. And being mud_OK... is suffering.

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka opens one eye suspiciously, then both of them in disbelief. Swiveling her head, she sees her headband, suspending in the breeze, slowly fluttering to the ground, wriggling like an eel through water. "Impossible," she breathes.

As if the loss of the headband deprived her very horse of its life, Madoka topples, and Sayaka is thrown to the ground facefirst, splooshing into a muddy puddle. She doesn't struggle, or attempt to get up, though half her face is stained. The mud ebbs with her fading strength as she watches the final battle--such pretension, such illusion of significance, how could she have failed to see it until now?--and pants slower and slower.

"My truest friend... Madoka-chan...?" But her horse is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she has gone ahead, to parts unknown. Rather than lift her head, she closes her eyes in an odd satisfaction, and speaks a few lines from her soul or perhaps her textbook:

i am not worthy

of this crimson carpet

autumn maple leaves

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"- got it!" exclaims Fuu as she manages to secure Naota's headband in her grasp, and straightens up - or rather, tries to. But between reaching out to grab a headband and regaining her balance again afterwards, she's wide open, and may have reaped a point only to be eliminated ...

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme, not far from the stricken warrior, offers Sayaka a hand up. "You did good, Miki-san." He's grinning again, but Sayaka seems to bring that out in him.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka blows mud bubbles for a few seconds, then rolls over just in time for her ears to be clear -- she can hear Sayaka's dying haiku. And, in the highest tradition of their trio, she moves her wobbly-noodle arms up to trace tear tracks in the mud mask where her face used to be, and declaims:

autumn maple leaves

nori, let's go get cleaned up

mud is in my hair

Haiku shiratori is /on/, baby.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme clears his throat.

"Mud is in my hair

No warrior's lament is this

but the juice is on me."

Naota grins a little. "Sorry, I couldn't resist."

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Syaoran Li's fingers flex as he begins envisioning his ambush on Madoka's group...only to discover he is being taken in a slightly different direction. "Hey, what?" he asks. "Where are you---"

My precious secret

The weight of eternity

Is borne by the heart

The young magus's eyes narrow as he begins to close on Homura. The sensation...he's felt it before. It's an odd feeling of pressure combined with déja vu, foreknowledge and familiarity. He's felt this girl before, when they were both under the veil. But now...


Syaoran's hands snake up as Sakana brings him in close, hands snapping up in an intricate, weaving technique that should end in two chances to grab Homura's bandana. The young man's smile is smug as he attacks - the dark-haired girl may have power of some sort, but she would have to be a master martial artist herself to completely counter his technique.

Or, y'know, have seen it dozens of times fighting against and alongside him in other lives and timelines. But that would be silly.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

mud is in my hair

defeated in front of all

I want to vanish...

Nori doesn't seem very responsive to immediate recovery. She may have to be towed off the field.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The Calvary Battle is becoming, in a way, a microcosm for something much larger and far more real to Homura Akemi. Though it is not a true battle for life and death it is still a fight. A fight where Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are involved. One of whom she has sworn to protect no matter the enemy. One supposes then in this metaphor that Li himself takes on the aspect of Walpurgisnacht. A dreadful witch of immense power. ... represented by a 4th grader.

Don't worry. It's fairly unlikely Homura's going to go completely off the deep end and start dropping bombs in the middle of the field.

Syaoran Li. Had they encountered each other before? Well of course. At Ohtori, while he was 'seifuku kamen' and she was a Puella Magi. But there seems to be something more, isn't there? Something just out of grasp in the corner of memory. At least ... for someone who isn't Homura herself.

The 4th year student has been trained well in the many forms of martial arts. His hands moving as ambitious serpents. For someone who has not been trained just trying to follow those arms, moving in independent ways but with a single determined purpose, would just confuse and confound you. The trick is not to try and to follow the hands. Instead you must keep your mind on their single purple.

Homura's hands rise up lashing forward from the the bandana around her head to intercept Syaoran's hands with equal and opposite force and attempting to throw them both aside! The sudden force of her motion causes her hair to flow in the breeze as she makes good use of Chao's attempt to bring her in as close as she can to Li. There is no escape there is only...

"It's finished!" Homura declares as she rips the bandana from Syaoran's head. She did it. She protected Madoka! She...

The world goes into slow motion as she watches Nori drag Sayaka and Madoka down into the mud. Homura's eyes widen slightly. She... lost? After all. After how hard she tried? Is there really any point to this now? After all an event like this will come again. Maybe that time it would be better. Maybe that time she would be able to...

Wait. This event wasn't about protecting Madoka. It was about proving she was competent and capable. Someone who Madoka and Sayaka could entrust the protection of this world to. She can't allow herself get distracted now when victory is so close to her grasp.

Her gaze sweeps the battlefield and then settles upon Fuu and Aisha's team. They look off balance. An opportunity. "Quick! Run them down!!" Homura sweeps her hand toward the final opposing team.

She's really getting into it, it seems!

<Pose Tracker> Syaoran Li [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Syaoran Li...blinks.


It's not that he's annoyed that he got beat by a girl. It's that he's annoyed he got beat /at all/.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov picks herself up and brushes clumps of mud off of her sports uniform. After helping Pique and Lilie up, she goes and finds Nori. Facedown in eggy mud. She looks up at the sky (checking for escaping souls?) and then down at her schoolmate.

"We should probably go recover, eh, our pride and um..." Azyana tries to remember what it was Nori said at the start of the contest.

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

HUZZAH! "GOT ONE! WOO!" Without really thinking, Aisha turns to have the pair off for more GLORIOUS VICTORY. Problem is when she goes to turn she turns just a little to quickly for everyone else to keep up. She slips! "YIKES!" and that comes out in english, too. The supporters are doing their best to keep everything together but its quite like Homura believes, the team is off balance! OH NOES!

Azyana Konstantinov says, "Pure Heart."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu finds herself tilting, almost literally, as Aisha slips and the supporters struggle to keep 'horse' and 'rider' upright. As it is, Fuu is flailing helplessly now.

Feel free to imagine that this part is animated with Fuu, Aisha, and Hidari and Migi all drawn Super-Deformed style.

<Pose Tracker> Sakana Yagijima [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Ha! Don't worry. We can handle them!" Sakana says. "And then I'll get plenty of meat buns later--!" But then--Chao does SOME SHIT Sakana doesn't immediately understand,how the heck did she get there? She tries to turn around but ends up a bit uneven--allowing for an easy grab. "C--crap..." She says before glancing up. "Er I mean. Crud. You know." She shrugs her shoulders vaguely.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao grins up at Li, winking, and then over at Sakana, who receives an eerily bright smile, and then...

'It's finished!' she hears, and manages not to leap back because that would confuse the help. Chao does dash back a few steps, though, winking cheerfully even as she sets hands on Homura's knees. "Thank you for your business!" she says. "Zaijian!"

And with that, she's charging off, whille Chie and Aoi mutter among themselves, "Wasn't that Chinese?" "I think it means like, 'until we meet again!'" "Oh, so she was smarting at them to say she was looking forward to beating them in the future?" "Something like that!"

"Stop explaining the joke, back there!!" Chao yells back, and then picks up the pace. Homura's called the next target - and she's off at it. "They're weak! We've got them!" she calls to Homura. "Get ready, Akemi-san! If you can't at least keep your balance...you'll never stand tall! This is the end for you!"

(from Chie and Aoi: "was that a proverb?" "I think she thinks it was...")

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Here it comes, in one final moment! Two forces will move toward each other in a violent clash full of the energy of youth or ... something. Well really it's just Chao and Homura with Statler and Wal...err, Chie and Aoi all working together to take advantage of a single opening.

Resting one hand atop Chao's head again, Homura uses it to provide leverage so that she can push herself up higher and forward. Her intention is to get as much length to her reach as possible right before impact! And then, in a blink, rip the bandana from Fuu's forehead. Possibly they will continue running by as would often be the case in epic calvary battles of old: Two foes striking as they run past each other with one falling from their wounds.

Or it's just as possible that the two groups will collide in a big ugly mess until someone comes out a victor.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

One moment, Fuu is struggling to retain some passing semblance of her precarious balance.

Then the headband gets plucked off her head, the remnants of her balance disappear with that gentle tug, and

Fuu topples from her perch, inadvertantly dragging Aisha, Hidari, and Migi down into the mud with her. *CRASH* *SPLAT*

Well, it was nice while it lasted. And now Fuu's glasses are muddy. As is the rest of her. <I-Ohtori> Eri Shimanouchi changes status to: Mud Elemental

<Pose Tracker> Aisha Ayries [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

This is the sound made by Aisha, once again, planting into the mud. "AGAIN!?" She's amused, but seriously, she just had cleaned up and how she's going to do it again! Alas. When she goes to get up she'll offer a hand to Fuu, Hidari, and Migi, "It was a valiant effort!" She grins all the while. It was all in good fun, after all! Then she turns to those that took their headband, "You better win if you stole ours!"

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

When the dust clears, Chao Lingshen and Homura Akemi are, incredibly, the only people left standing on the field. "WINNER! RED TEAM!" shouts one of the PE-teachers-cum-referees, and then there's fresh chaos as everyone else who had a red headband starts chanting and yelling in a moment of solidarity for their ephemeral team that lasted for about a minute and a half.


Over the PA system, that original sweet soprano chimes a series of bells, then announces, "Attention: we will now have a one hour lunch break. Please be back for the next round of events at 1pm!"


Madoka also gets to her feet, less brushing off mud than sloughing it off in great wads. She giggles at Naota's contribution to their haiku chain, then smiles, brightly through all the brown, at everyone around her. "Uwaaaa, I'm so tiiired," she complains, stretching her shoulders. "But that was really fun! Mouu, Nori-chan, please get up, let's go get clean clothes and let Naota-chan buy us juice."

She offers a muddy hand; apparently exhaustion, or exhileration, has just elevated two people several stages through the familiarity categories. First names /and/ chans! Well, they are bonded by blood, now, sisters of the battlefield.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Wah?" Nori says -

Before taking that hand.

  • sparkle*

Nori steps up, still dripping and looking miserable. This may alter certain projections of a certain observing otter... or will it?

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov smiles a little tiny bit at Nori as if to encourage her, like the mud wasn't there, despite being covered in it herself, with grass in her fluffy white hair.

"Thank you everyone," she says, and bows politely before hurrying off to go wash the yuck off.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao comes to a stop on the far side of Aisha and Fuu, because of course she did the cool samurai lunge. She comes to a halt, and without turning back, dares to attempt to be cool: "How fortunate for you...it is your defeat that ensured our victory!"

And then everyone's going bonkers because WINNER: READ TEAM!! And Chao grins widely squeezing Homura's knees in something resembling an actual gesture of friendship rather than just Bond villainy disguised as it. "Good work," she says, attempting to crane her neck a little to make eye contact. "You're pretty sharp on those jabs. Wanna come back to Chao Bao Zi? The cart's still set up for the lunch crowd, we can get some buns!"

"Did she just forget that they were like, openly menacing each other, earlier?" Chie asides at full volume.

"I think she's ignoring it."

"Is that how that works!?"

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sayaka lies with her eyes closed for a few seconds, even after spoken to. Finally, a white eye opens in that mask of mud. "You aren't supposed to speak to the dead," she sighs. "It's a bad omen."

Rolling on her side, she takes the offered hand at last, muddying it a bit. She simply doesn't have anyplace clean to wipe it, at least without stretching to wipe at her own back. Pulling, she stumbles up to her feet and lets her hand drop. "Thanks. Looks like we both lost today, huh, Juuban-san? Well, since we were on the same team, it wasn't a good competition. Maybe later I'll have a chance to show you the determination of the Ohtori Girls' Softball Team."

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme grins his wolfish little grin. "I'm looking forward to it, and I'll show you that the Juuban Boy's Team can match you for spirit."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.


Within that span of time following the calvary battle it seems that Homura and Chao both have become heroes of a sort. Heroes of the Red Team members at least. They did, after all, save the day. But after so much exercise another concern comes immediately to the fore: Nourishment. As the excitement dies down some and the students begin filtering away to their respective dining options Homura decides she has had enough of being carted around everywhere. She pushes herself up to as close as a standing height as she can get while riding atop Chao's back and having her legs supported by Chie and Aoi. After that she will basically performing something like a leaping dismount. Despite the eggs and mud making the ground a risky prospect for landing on she sticks it well. So well, in fact, that she takes a moment to luxuriously run her hand back through her hair for another hair flip.

"No thank you." Homura states quietly, "I have other plans. Besides." Chao can't see since Homura has her back turned, but she narrows her eyes slightly: "I haven't forgotten how you decided to start this team up. I suggest you don't try something similar in the future."

Friendship: DENIED!!

Afterwards, Homura begins to wander off. As she does though she comes across the figure of a girl sitting in the shade of a nearby tree. She is little more than a shadow to Homura's eyes, and completely invisible to all others, but if you could see it you could tell the girl had a pair of long braids and perhaps even glasses. She sits alone, watching the festivities with a cold towel over her head. She wanted to compete with her friends ... but in the end...

A second figure steps into view. This one has a pair of pigtails tied up with ribbons. She comes to the first shadow, takes her hand, and soon the pair walk off together.

Homura sighs to herself and shakes her head before continuing on her way.

OOC: A new log begins here, directly before the scavenger race!

<Pose Tracker> Oriko Mikuni [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Cream, some dirt, definitely exhausted. But she got a sticky roll and now there's refreshments! It could have gone a lot worse, Oriko's sure. The political daughter makes her way to Meimi and Utena, smiling gently. "Congratulations on your victory, you two~." It was close enough she can call them both winners, really; gotta be nice and polite. "Ohtori sure has no shortage of runners this year."

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi gets a little help with her towel from Seira. She manages to clean herself up a little, with some water too. She looks at Oriko and smiles. "Thank you! Though I'm surprised! I think the scavenger hunt ... should be my best event..."

"Isn't that next?" Seira asks.

"...Already?" Meimi almost chokes. "But I'm not even cleaned up yet..."

Her hair feels so gunky. The problem of long hair. Seira hands her a brush, and she works on it furiously. "Well may the best student win!"

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The PA triggers with its usual pleasant voice. "May I have your attention, please: the scavenger race is beginning at Track C. I repeat, the scavenger race is beginning at Track C." Track C is notable for being especially close to the bleachers, and one of the edges of school grounds; there are lots of /things/ in close proximity to it, given easy access to the field, the crowds, and the carts by the safely roped-off streets. It's something of a block party today!

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa bounds over the finish line and immediately puts both hands on her chocolate bread, chomps down hard, and tears off a great cocoa-y hank of it, mauling it wih her teeth until she can toss her head back and let gravity assist her in chewing it down her hungry throat. She sends a smile, lips coated in and surrounded by a ring of chocolate, over to the announcer's box, along with a victory sign.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Track C? Track C is all the way over /there/. Nikki groans, halfway through wiping foam off with a towel, and decides to do it at double speed, while walking. Somehow, she manages to not fall on her face while doing that. (Maybe she would if she also had gum.)

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay has long since finished his bao, because Chao's bao are damned tasty. As the announcement crackles over the PA, the young man turns and jogs on over, refreshed from the muddy events of earlier today.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota, about to perhaps try saying hello to Utena, hears instead that the next event is starting and runs to go join it. "Good work, Misumi-senpai!" he says as he passes the girl.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

- and there's the scavenger race. Fuu finishes toweling off, polishes off her juice and discards the cup properly, and heads over to Track C at a fairly quick trot.

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

That's her event! Yukimi Amane stands up from where she's nervously hanging with her class, heart thudding rapidly in her chest, and jogs on over to Track C for the scavenger hunt.

/I'm not asking for much. I just don't want to embarrass myself,/ she thinks.

(You'll do just fine. We'll do this together,) Ruet reassures her from within her head.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sitting on the edge of the bleachers, surrounded by some of her friends, is Madoka Kaname; she's mostly done for the day, since her major events were all sprinting-based. She's all smiles and laughter as she hands Hitomi Shizuki a towel to wash off all that shaving cream; she's also quick with water bottles and other supplies, to help those with bumps and scrapes with tender, if moderately clumsy, hands.

When the PA triggers, she jerks her head up curiously, pink twintails bouncing around her shoulders; she happens to be nearby enough to observe this event, it seems! She slings an arm around Hitomi fondly, hooks her feet at the ankle, and leans back to enjoy the show.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

When Lera heard there was a race, she had to enter. However, she misunderstood the word "relay." She knew what a relay race was -- she ran them on Mid-Childa, after all! -- but she thought it was a race with a relay. She thus participated in an entirely different competition then. A competition that only she has been playing in. She starts jogging, running close to Track C, breathing hard and panting.

The reason is because she is /helping/! That is what counts.

Unfortunately, where she found a fifty-five pound satellite relay dish, with a steel tripod, which she is balancing over her shoulder, is a mystery. The cable is trailing after, though, and her face is a brighter red than her hair from all of her huffing and puffing.

"HELLO FRIENDS!" she screams in English. "I have our race's relay!"

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

The Scavenger Hunt Race is about to begin!

There aren't straightforward tracks here, but there are a great deal of strange objects scattered around the field, in the bleachers, and even in some of the concession stands. There's a table in the center.

"Attention race participants! We're going to need you in teams of two," the announcer says cheerfully. "Once you're teamed up, stand behind the red line." There is indeed a line across from the table, which has notecards on it.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao isn't QUITE able to pull it out at the end! But she pushes hard just the same! HUP HUP HUP HUP!!

And when it's all over, she huffs a little, leaning over on her knees to catch her breath.

She lost, but she got a free bao, and that's even better than winning. She gives a friendly thumbs up around, and then...Oh, it's time for the next race already?? GOSH.

She takes one hit from someone's hose to get the worst of the shaving cream off, and then apparently it's off to the other races! She has a big grin on her face, despite it all. This...this is pretty great, she thinks.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Pairs, huh? Fuu looks around, her gaze alighting briefly on Nikki - who seems to be looking for someone else - and then Meimi ... up until she spots Chao. "Lingshen-san! Shall we pair up for the scavenger race?" she asks the Chinese girl, smiling.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama looks around immediately. Hmm. Teams...

She is distracted by Lera showing up. With a relay. "THAT'S NEXT RACE!" she yells at her, waving her arms. "Put it down somewhere!" Yeah, she's going to try to stick someone else carrying that thing around. If she even enters the relay. She might not. She's impressed, though. Even her powers of gathering are not that extreme.

And then she has to find a teammate. Jay Dawson may be surprised when there is rather abruptly a girl next to him: a small girl with an Infinity gym uniform that is still kind of spotty from shaving cream. "You're going to be my teammate," she declares. Her tone does not suggest arguing as an option.

You are now marked as an observer in +pot and +odds.

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay stares at Lera, his eyes flicking between the satellite dish and her face. After a few moments, he decides this is some actual American thing that he just doesn't get, and leaves it at that. Hopefully Lera doesn't call him on it, she'll see right through his disguise!

Suddenly, Nikki. Jay blinks at her. "Uh, okay," he says. "I'm Jay, who're you?"

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama grins broadly. This shows teeth. She remembers Jay, even if it's not mutual. He's ...interesting. Even if she can't say why. (Well, she could, but it would be rude.)

"Nikki Akiyama! I'm from Infinity."

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi didn't realize they needed a team, but... there's another Ohtori girl here, right? She's friendly enough, so she bows to the other girl and then pulls her over into a team. "Hi, I'm Meimi, would you like to team up?" She did win the last event, so... that's good.

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Yukimi hears her friend's voice and turns around to see Lera--dragging a satellite relay along with her. The look on her face states plainly that she doesn't know whether to laugh or die of secondhand embarrassment, and for a moment, her expression switches between these two emotions before she has to bury it in her hands, face burning.

"O-oh, right, right, I'm coming!" she says, startling for where everyone's gathered. Partners? Wait, there were supposed to be partners? Yukimi panics for a moment, looking around quickly for another Juuban student. The first one she sees is Naota, and she rushes up to him.

"Hey! Want to team up?!" she blurts out.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori looks ill tempered, because she had to take an emergency shower, and her proper Ohtori uniform du gymnastique has been soaked in mud. This also means she's lost her eyeliner - wait, o, that's just her face. However, helpful local sisterly sorts have given her a set of sweats to wear, and she has rehabilitated her rose-iconed headband to continue representation.

"Um?" she says, blinking at Meimi. "-- Alright... Wait, what event is it...?"

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Good to meet you, Nikki," Jay says, though there's something in her smile that puts him on edge. "You ready to do this?"

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme blinks at the sudden question but nods. "Uh, s-sure thing, senpai!" He's not going to tell a high school student 'no,' after all, at least not over something like this. "I'll give it my best."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera sees Yukimi, still not realizing what she has done, and removes one hand from the expensive equipment to wave eagerly. She thus promptly drops the satellite relay. It falls over onto the dish, which cracks, and she withers visibly and falls to her knees. "That... that must be expensive, especially here," she says with a defeated sigh. She hangs her head down.

Then she looks up. "The scavenger hunt!" she calls, before she bobs up to her feet, and jogs up next to Chao. She looks sideways at her, vaguely recognizing her, and then she looks at Fuu, who she knows better.

At least she bounces back.

"I will assist you in hunting for scavenged items, of course!" she says. "For the sake of our school and oh God I think I threw out my back."

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

"Alright!" The announcer grins and points at the starting line. "The rules are as follows: Only objects within the Track C area count for the purposes of the scavenger hunt! No stealing another team's object! After the race starts, you'll find a piece of paper on the table telling you just what you need to find! Everyone line up now!"

As soon as the participants have lined up, an air gun goes off. "Round one, GO!"

The teams will find notecards on the table. They read:

"Something soft, fuzzy and round, but not a tennis ball."

There are any number of weird objects scattered all over the field, in the bleachers, and everywhere else. What will they find?

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi takes up the card, and shows it to Nori. "Let's search for something!!" She looks around the field. Well, she didn't bring Ruby, but a hedge isn't exactly fuzzy and round so much as... sharp and round.

Maybe a ... fruit? She races from place to place until she finds a slightly dented, but mostly clean-looking, peach. Maybe Nori did better, though.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme wastes no time in running when he hears the gun go off, although it takes him a moment to remember that he should be looking for something. Soft, fuzzy and round? He looks around, trying to find something that fits the bill: banjo, rollerskates, chopsticks, one of his classmates... no, he's just plump, not round... here we go! After a minute of dithering he runs back for the goal with a pair of earmuffs in his hand. Those count, right?

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu snags the card for her trio, reading the clue and then showing it to her teammates. "Soft, fuzzy and round, not a tennis ball ..." She looks around, trying to think of something else that qualifies. This is harder than she expected it would be already - wait, is there a ball of yarn or twine lying around? She hands the card off to Chao and goes looking, glad her glasses are clean ...

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori gets the idea, and looks at the card with a frown. "Very well," she says with a petulant sigh, being perhaps a less than optimal team member.

She hustles after Meimi... for a couple of tries and then sort of loses oomph, letting out a sigh and casting her eyes down into the various puddles and mucky places wherein she was, herself, soiled and defiled. (Her hair is hanging wetly and flatly; she will have to re-up her ojou curls. Fortunately, the look is not damning... yet.)

That's when she spots - "Oh," she says. She has to dig out a handkerchief in order to gather it up, which fortunately she still had. And so she has found --

An orange!! That has been soaking in the mud for the day, and which is starting to go... fuzzy.

Later, of course, Nori will blame 'shame and delirium.' If it didn't win, obviously.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao looks up as she's beckoned. Honestly, she still prefers Chao...but, she holds up a hand, waving back in Fuu's direction. "You're...Hououji? Sure!" Grin! "C'mon, we gotta get movin'!"

And then Lera shows up, and Chao looks at her for about three seconds before grinning. "Nihao~" she chimes, cheerful enough. "If you want, I can help you with your back later! I am in the Eastern Medicine club, I know all sorts of techniques for that!"


Chao tosses the towel she got from somewhere off to somewhere else, where it will presumably be handled by Juuban students.

She lets Fuu grab the card, though. "Soft, fuzzy and round?" she mutters.

She hems, one knuckle put to her lips in thought. "But it takes days for a nikuman to get moldy..."

Is...is that all she thinks about

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Ha! Your fruit is funnier, let's go with that one," says Meimi, running back with Nori.

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Yukimi winces again when Lera waving her way enthusiastically makes her drop that satellite, instantly breaking it. "Oh my god, I hope I don't get in trouble for that," she murmurs, nonetheless waving back at her friend.

(Don't you mean *she* doesn't get in trouble?)

/W-well--yeah, but--ooh, Ruet, don't distract me right now!!/

"Right! Let's go!" she tells Naota firmly, running up and getting a scrap of paper. She shows it to him, staring at the words. "Soft, fuzzy, and round... Let's look for something cute! C'mon!!" she demands, grabbing Naota by the wrist (assuming he lets her) and all but dragging him along with her in her *epic quest* for something suitably adorable and potentially mascot-ish!

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama is not at all being creepy. Nope. Maybe a little. She's kind of a weird kid.

Nikki grabs the notecard as soon as she's allowed to and holds it up high so that Jay can read it too. Fuzzy, round, soft, not a tennis ball... does she have anything in her bags like that?

Yes! But it's Umbra and Nikki cannot use Umbra as a hand-in. But... hmm. Okay, what if... no. Maybe they could... "I got it!" Nikki says, and tears off further toward the athletics department.

She comes back about two minutes later with a balled-up sock, which she is holding at arms' length; apparently it was one of the ones that got muddy and then was abandoned after the tug of war. That leaves only one question.

Whose sock /was/ it? Nikki still has both of hers on.

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay eyes the notecard, frowning thoughtfully; where is he supposed to find something like that? He ends up left behind as Nikki tears across the field, and before he can manage a "hey, wait up!" she's gone. Jay huffs indignantly, and hurries off across the field; round and fuzzy, round and fuzzy, where is he going to--oh, hey.

Lying on the field is a plush doll, a certain bread-mascot with a big round head. Jay looks back and forth, picks up the doll, and--


A moment later, he dashes back towards the table, carrying the doll's head.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Oh!" Lera looks at Chao for a moment. She is a foreigner. She does not know what country that is. She stares, for a moment, and then nods seriously. "I would love to see how they heal people in Mexico!"


She makes a face at the statement, before she looks at Fuu and Chao for a most. "Soft, fuzzy, and round, um--" She looks around hastily, before she looks back at them. "We should find a Pikachu!"

No one told her that isn't real.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama looks at the doll's head as she returns, sock still in hand.

"I don't think I want to hand in a head," she eventually says. "Plus, I'm not sure it /counts/. Is it soft enough...? I thought doll heads usually weren't..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu comes jogging back up to Chao and Lera, clutching a ball of yarn. "This ought to do the trick for the first clue," she says to the other two girls, holding it up. It's bright fluorescent yellow-green, probably what they'd use for marking off a field when they don't want to put that colored chalk down to mark something out - either for rainy conditions, or just to be faster than the chalkbarrow thing.

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

--Wait, Yukimi, but Naota already went off ahead of you! There's another moment of panic as she attempts to run after him, and then ends up trailing back behind him as he carries back a pair of earmuffs. Th-they count, right...?

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay looks at the sock. It's fuzzy. It's round, provided you ball it up, and... "I guess you're right," he says, dropping the doll's head off to the side. "Let's go turn that in!"

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao manages not to actually bite Lera's neck like a vampire in response. "Mexico is south from America," she points out, helpfully. "And East from here is China! And China has /great/ medical techniques for handling imbalances of the body and spirit. And we still don't have anything soft, fuzzy, and round." Hmmmm. Really though they don't have any nikuman that o--

...She looks at Lera. "There might be a plushy around?"

Then Fuu shows up, and Chao looks at the yarnball. "Oh, that works! Go hand it in!" BIG GRIN!! Chao is always happy to not have to speed-mold a nikuman. Or...probably behead a small child's toy.

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

The judges murmur among one another. They all look a bit disgusted as some of the choices, but those do...qualify.

"Nori's team got theirs in first, so the first point goes to Nori! Round two is go!"

The cards have been switched out! How did they do that so quickly? This time, they read:

"Something you'd give a person you have a crush on as a gift."

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi looks at the card, and at the field. She shrugs at Nori. "Ah... do you... have a crush, Nori?" Because MEIMI CERTAINLY DOES NOT NO SIR she has no idea what you give a crush. She starts looking around again.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

"Boo," Nikki says, when the sock doesn't win or even pass mention. She looks at Jay a little sadly. They'll have to pick up the pace! Maybe he should WORK HARDER (because clearly she is doing perfectly).

Something they'd give someone with a crush as for a gift... "I know this one," Nikki says, "it's chocolate!" And thus she tears off again, being just as bad a team player the second time as the first. Why did she pick Jay again?? (It was because he's interesting. There was no other reason. She wanted his name, and she has that at least, so it's at least a half success!)

This time, Nikki is given a huge conundrum. It takes all her willpower to actually bring the item back without just eating it. By the time she returns, her hand is actually shaking with the exertion to not waste it.

She is holding a single chocolate cornet. She is looking at it with wistful eyes, because she just bought it and she has to GIVE IT AWAY and NOT EAT IT and this is HORRIBLE.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The yarn did not work!

Lera pauses at the other one. She makes a face at the announcement, then looks between her two teammates. She turns bright red again, this time not with embarrassment. "U-Um," she declares. "I don't know. I guess, um.... Hououji-san?"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu reads 'person you have a crush on' and .... blushes. Not quite 'tomato,' but definitely a bright tint of red on her cheeks. One may surmise that she actually has a crush on somebody. "See what you guys can come up with, let's each get something for this," she suggests to Chao and Lera, and she hurries off. She knows Hikaru's family runs a kendo dojo, but does Juuban have a kendo team? If so, there should be a shinai lying around somewhere ...

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Wahaha!" Nori exults at this triumph. But then:

Nori turns red at the card.

She answers Meimi, vaguely, "N-no, a crush would be unseemly, these are such, such cruel categories!" Miki? she thinks, before getting an inner half-shrug handwobble 'maybe'.

"Ummm... let's see... As girls, we should be the ones getting the - Oh! Is there a way we can find /expectations/?" she reasons aloud to Meimi, who hopefully is not going to pick fun of her face.

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay stares at the paper like it's a koan and not a scavenger-hunt question. "What," he says, "I don't--" But apparently Nikki does, and he tears off after her. "Don't eat it," he insists, as she returns with the cornet.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

"I'm not eating it!" Nikki says, firmly, as she hands it in.


"When this round is over," Nikki says to the judge, "can I have that back?"

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi gives Nori a look.

Okay, well. Um, if she had a crush, she would ... make him a lunch. So she has to find a lunch. Fortunately there's a food table over there with box lunches, so she runs over to get one of those. She presents it to Nori with a little shrug. "Boys always like food."

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

A present you'd give to your crush.

Oh god.


Ruet, on this point, is deadly silent, and Yukimi, still in a panic, turns around desperately, stares at Naota. What she'd give her crush... All of a sudden, she knows what the answer is, and while she knows she's going to regret it, she sucks in a deep breath.

"R-right! Leave this to me!" she tells him. And then sprints back to the finish line with... apparently nothing in hand. Did she just flake out or give up or something? When the judges give her a quizzical look, her face starts to burn.

"I-it might not be very much, a-and he might not be happy with it--but I'd give him myself!!" she declares, a little too high-pitched. Her face promptly explodes bright red, and she buries it in her hands. How she does that without burning herself is a mystery.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme is just staring at the card. "Wait, I don't understand... what kind of crush?"

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao mostly looks thoughtful, cupping her chin with obvious consideration. "Something you give to a person you have a crush on," she says out loud. "Something...you give to a person...you have a crush on. As a gift..." Her eyes slowly narrow, her entire galactic intellect crushing in on this one insignificant speck of a problem.

"...but I don't have time to develop and construct a nikuman delivery rocket..." she says, considering. "So it'll have to be...!"

Off she goes!! When she returns, she has...

Yeah it's a nikuman box. They are arranged in an artful heart. "Nikuman is for every occasion!" she says, cheerfully.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori hairtosses defensively at that look.

"Well, alright," she tells Meimi, "but you get to hand it over this time."

She may already be planning her excuse.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi hands the boxed lunch in hoping that it will count. Apparently a lot of other people had the same thought, though. ... but if I did have a crush, she thinks, it's... probably what I would do.

She looks out into the stands, but for no reason.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"I suppose if you have a crush, um..." Lera scratches at the back of her head. "...I guess you could give them a hug, but I like yours better, Lingshen-san."

She nods at her, then she looks back at Fuu. She slumps her shoulders; she doesn't have a good one, here. This is hard!

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu is back with a shinai. And still blushing.

Yyyeah she's probably got an actual crush on someone.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka Kaname claps and cheers for all the contestants, but perhaps loudest and hardest for Nori and Meimi's team. Meimi may be riding high on her recent victory, but Madoka wants to make sure Nori can forget their ignominous defeat on the cavalry battlefield earlier that day. "You can do it, Nori-chan, Haneoka-san!!" she shouts, pumping her fist.

<Pose Tracker> Azyana Konstantinov [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Azyana Konstantinov watches with a certain glumness, as if really really thinking about something. Her chin is in her hands and she leans her elbows on her knees as she watches, sitting in the bleachers.

"Watching this, and the bread race..." She sighs, scrunching her face up a little jealously, muttering under her breath. "Now I want red bean bread."

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

The judges stare at all the delicious food. They also stare at Yukimi. And Fuu bringing a shinai.

There's a bit of murmuring, during which one of the judges wolfs down the chocolate cornet. (Sorry, Nikki!)

After a few moments, they announce Fuu as the winner, because they're a little afraid she's threatening them with that thing.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama looks approximately heartbroken. She was going to eat that!

Or possibly give it to Jay. She'd been about 50/50 on it.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Nikuman are like hugs for the stomach," Chao informs Lera, with gravity.

And then they award the point to Fuu. Chao considers whether to be sad about this. But at least the judges got meat buns, which is good enough for her.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera tiptoes over, pats Yukimi on the shoulder, and then promptly slides back over to her group. They are her team, after all. She realizes that they won a moment later, then she turns and looks at Fuu and grins. "Your shinai was the right choice! Good job, Hououji-san!"

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi laughs. "Well, it's not fair if you have a specific crush, is it?" she says to Nori. "... We'll still get the last one!" she says.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu sweatdrops, grinning sheepishly. "I'm not entirely sure it carried the right message, but I can't complain about us winning the point ..."

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

"And now, the third and final round! Everyone who wins a round gets a ribbon!" The announcer's a little muffled because she's talking through a mouthful of nikuman.

What's on the table this time? It's a card with very nice handwriting! And it reads...

"Something really slimy."

This was probably a bad idea on someone's part, but one of the members of the committee was bribed into including it through chocolate.

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Yukimi continues to look mortified, on top of the humiliation of having lost out to a shinai. Lera stopping by to comfort her with a pat on the shoulder at least makes it a little better, and she slumps over, breathing a heavy sigh.

/I guess it wasn't a good gift after all, huh?/ she thinks to her partner.

(Love is a complicated thing. For what it's worth, offering yourself is a very sweet gesture. Though you would want to do that for someone to whom you were committed, rather than a mere crush,) Ruet tells her gently. (If you must love someone, you should do so carefully as well as wholeheartedly.)

A small smile creeps up back onto her lips. /...Thanks, Ruet./

Then she looks back at Naota, still staring in befuddlement at the card. "Oh my gosh, what kind of crush do you *think*? Boys are so clueless," she grumps, unfairly venting her frustrations on someone else.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme blushes anew. "What? No! I mean, what kind of person are they? Who would I even fall in love with? Intellectual? Athletic? Playful? It matters, doesn't it?"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Something... slimy?" Lera asks. She stares for a moment. She realizes, suddenly, that she knows this one. She looks at Fuu, then at Chao, and nods seriously. "Give me one moment! I will win this for us!"

She bolts off.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu grimaces. It has to be within the Track C area, according to the rules stated earlier - which rules out her first thought for 'something slimy' - the slip-and-slides from the obstacle course would have been perfect for this. She looks around the more immediate area for possibilities ...

She's also pretty sure none of the other competitors count - it would be rude, for one thing, and easily argued that it had to be physically slimy, not morally.

Lera seems to have something in mind, though, so Fuu nods to her departing back and keeps looking around for possibilities.

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Aaaahhh, never mind, never mind, it doesn't even matter now!" Yukimi protests, waving her arms. "Anyway, there's a new card! Let's see, let's see..."

'Something really slimy.'

Blue lines form down one side of Yukimi's face. Then she looks back at Naota and shows him the card. "Something slimy, something slimy, something slimy... I-I can do this! We can do this! Probably!" She nods once, fiercely. "You find something and I'll find something and we'll both run back here, all right?! Right!"

And with that, she's off like a shot. At least she seems to have learned her lesson from the previous rounds.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao frowns, direly. "Slimy..." She considers slowly, and then, with gravity, she hits it: She pops her hand into her palm and says, "Nikum--"

She looks over when Lera pipes up, blinking. "Oh, OK!"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Mmm..." Nori looks at the stands as they're judged. Madoka stands out in them for whatever reason - she raises a hand of acknowledgement, if not a profound one. Little queenly wave. "I think we have a good chance, at least, Haneoka..."

Then the last one. Slimy, she thinks. "Oh, this is easy, I j-"

Nori stops, for complex reasons.


A miniature la Sirene roots around in the Black Mirror, pulls out a giant sea cucumber, ties a ribbon to part of it and leads it in, leading to victory. BUT...

BATSU MARK: The Sea of Tears is not on campus!

BATSU MARK: She has to transform, or at least use the mirror!

BATSU MARK: She locked the Black Mirror up because her gym outfit didn't have pockets and she didn't want to lose it and fall into despair!


Nori looks pale. (Paler.) "I... I just have no idea... I... u, uum... What do you think...? A jellyfish??"

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Nikki Akiyama still did not get to eat it /or/ give it away. She's at a loss.

She looks at Jay a little helplessly, because she can only think of one thing slimy that she is allowed to get. "I'll, uh, be right back," she says. Hopefully it comes out good. "But look around! There's probably something real good around here!"

Nikki trots off. This is probably a really bad sign. And, in fact, it is - because she is heading right toward Field B! That's an awfully long way to go, isn't it? But she doesn't get all the way there, as she's stopped right at the boundaries, near a bare patch of ground, and she's pulled a bottle of water out of her bag...

Some time after that, Nikki reappears with a double handful of squelchy mud and a grin best described as :D - which is probably not the expression you want on someone holding a double handful of mud.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi looks at the card, and says, importantly: "Ew!" before showing it to Nori. She doesn't really want to touch something slimy. She just survived the obstacle course and the shaving cream. She thinks... it's too bad she's not on that guy Jay's team, she would just present him to the judges.

She starts looking around the field. "Let's dig for a worm. There should be worms on the field!" She starts looking through the mud for one... though it's pretty gross.

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota nods to his senpai and runs off in a different direction than she does. "Slimy, slimy, slimy..." he repeats to himself, looking around and then stopping when his shoe lands in something damp and squelchy. It's a rag, one apparently just used to clean out the pool. "...that works," he says, grabbing it and running off.

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay peers at the card. Oh great, he thinks--

And then, Nikki's gone again. At least she'll have to touch the slimy thing. Jay just kind of hangs out at the judge's table, an irritating feeling settling between his eyes, and then--


Jay just barely manages to get a kleenex there in time. He pulls it away, and after an initial moment of disgust (Darkness, corporeal bodies are /so gross/), he gives it a thoughtful look. "Nikki, I--" Oh wait, she's got mud. Jay's look turns sour. "I... think we can use that, I guess."

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

"Enter them both!" Nikki says, cheerfully. "It worked for the other teams!"

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Okay," Jay says. He drops the used tissue on the judge's booth. It makes a 'squelch' noise.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera bolts to her bag, which she dropped earlier by some benches. She fishes around in it, and then she pulls out a small plastic case. She stands up, half-turns, and looks at the sun. There is a dramatic glint of light. Then, she turns, and she starts running forward again. In her pocket, Soaring Sky makes an annoyed noise, before he speaks. <THIS DOES NOT COUNT. YOU KNOW THAT.>

"It /so/ counts," Lera says.

She bolts in -- waves at her teammates -- and then runs up to the judges' table. She whips out the object; a plastic Nintendo DS case. Then, triumphantly, she declares:


<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Yukimi runs across the grounds, looking every which way, trying to search for something really outstandingly slimy. Her mind's a blank, though, after that stunt she pulled last round. Isn't there something--anything--?!

Meanwhile, nearby, the Juuban Principal, a short, rotund man in glasses and a less than impressed expression, stands next to the Juuban Vice Principal, a taller, seedy-looking, unctuous man rubbing his hands together, as the second man says, "Oh, but these events are really proceeding very smoothly, Mr. Principal! If only our school could have won more events, eh? Eh??"

"Our students are trying very hard, Mr. Vice Principal," the Principal says with a poorly masked impatience. "Oh, speaking of which, good day, Amane-kun. Good luck on your search!"

"Yes, good luck indeed! We want to make the Juuban district look its very best, don't we, Mr. Principal?" the Vice Principal simpers.

Yukimi stares at him.

And then rushes up and grabs the Vice Principal by the wrist. "Excuse me, please come with me, sensei!!" she says, voice pleading, before dragging the very confused man off to the finish line. The principal, likewise befuddled, nonetheless does nothing to stop her, seeming just glad to be rid of the man. Those from the middle school section, particularly Nagisa and Honoka, would recognize him; after all, he's the vice principal of specifically Juuban Junior High. Yukimi remembers him well from her middle school days...!

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"D, dig for a worm?!" Nori says, more in horror at the muddiness than anything else. Yet somehow it doesn't seem terribly convincing, perhaps she's tired or something.

She helps, if mostly by scraping up some turf with the back of her shoe. She produces another handkerchief, perhaps to bear the worm in glory.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Meimi digs up a worm, and almost throws it at Nori; she doesn't want to touch it for very long! Hopefully it lands in the handkerchief. It's still moving! She makes a face and wipes her hands off on her uniform, but... she thinks it should work.

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

The judges are all appropriately disgusted at piles of mud, worms, a snotrag and...well, no, they're not at all disgusted by Rocket Slime! Just a little confused.

But then Yukimi brings up the Vice Principal.

The judges confer and whisper amongst one another. "We've...we've decided Yukimi wins this round!" They're trying very hard NOT to say what the round was /for/, as none of them want detention.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

R...Rocket Slime... "...that's brilliant!" Chao declares.

But it loses. Womp womp. Chao gives Lera a consoling little grin. "There is no shame in losing to a superior opponent," she says.

<Pose Tracker> Nikki Akiyama [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Boo. Again.

Nikki looks down at her (very muddy) hands. She lets the majority of the mud fall to the ground (it goes blorp) but she's still kind of half-coated to the wrist. "Well, we tried," she says, with a shrug. "Right?"

She sticks out her hand for Jay to shake. She may have forgotten (or 'forgotten') about the mud.

<Pose Tracker> Jay Dawson [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Jay looks crestfallen. "Yeah, we did." He takes her hand and shakes, the mud squelching and squishing between his fingers. "Thanks!" Stupid human games. Why do they make no sense?

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Yukimi, having exacted revenge for her spectacular failure last round, pumps both hands into the air in mildly frenzied delight. "I win!!"

"I'm so glad I could help you win, Amane-kun!" the Vice Principal beams. "What was the hunt for? Someone intelligent? Someone respectable? Someone you admire, perhaps?"

Yukimi freezes in place, grin in rictor mortis mode, begging with her eyes for someone, anyone, to come rescue her.

(That was *incredibly* bold of you. You'll have to save yourself from this one,) Ruet tells her, not entirely approving but not entirely unamused either.

"A-ah, it was something... very special! Very special indeed, sensei! Now please go back and tell Principal-sensei about what a great help you were! Please!!"

"Oh, I absolutely *must*! You've done our school proud, Amane-kun!" the Vice Principal beams before beelining back to the principal, who is already disgruntled that his respite has been so brief.

"/Whew/," Yukimi breathes once he's gone. Then she looks at Naota and gives him a weak smile. "That was a close one, huh?"

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

It's time for a LIGHTNING ROUND.

This time, all three winning teams are positioned in a triangular pattern around the field, an equal distance from the table! There are NEW objects everywhere! And there's an annoucement:

"Once you have read your card, all participants are required to go blindfolded! When you have your object, hold it up and shout for the judges to see!"

And WHAT are the participants to find blindfolded?

"Something that smells nice."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Aw..." Lera murmurs. But she can't be that mad. She lost to Yukimi; better to lose to a friend. She does bite her lip, though, because that's just funny. She doesn't know if it was meant to be funny.

"Good job, Yukimi!" she calls out.

Then she makes a face. Blind-folded? That's hard. She frowns, before she nods and ties the blindfold around her head, blocking her sight. She sighs, looks around, and announces loudly. "Come on, Hououji-san, Lingshen-san! We can do this!"

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Yukimi brightens further when Lera congratulates her. They've both won a round now, haven't they? "Thanks, Lera-chan!" she calls, waving enthusiastically her way.

And now Yukimi and her partner are blindfolded, directed to find something that smells nice. "That's not vague at all," she remarks to Naota nervously. Well, no, but they've all been vague so far, haven't they?? Still, she offers her hand to him, bumping touches together, trying not to think too hard about the implications of Holding Hands With A //Boy//. "C-c'mon, this is the last round! Let's win this one!"

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota Uneme feels strange wearing the blindfold but starts groping around for something. Awful. Terrible. Bland. Oh hey, this is nice! Grabbing something small but reasonably heavy, he makes his way back to the judges table, the proud bearer of a jar of Jam!

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"...huh? Wait? Uh, where'd you go?" Yukimi wonders, groping at empty air, not realizing that Naota already left to find a jar of jam. "O-okay, I'll just keep looking, then!" And off she goes!!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka Kaname cheers happily from the sidelines, pumping Hitomi's fist in the air with her as she bounces up and down enthusiastically, kicking her feet against the bleachers -- they don't quite touch the ground. "Do your best, everyone!"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Ummm," Nori says, flat-eyed at this challenge. "Ummm... seaweed...??"

Not a perfume expert, here.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu blindfolds herself as well, making sure her nose isn't obstructed. Somethign that smells nice ... that actually isn't such a difficult objective, particularly given that there are some flowers growing around the area ... now, if she can remember the right direction while blindfolded.

She needs to get down on her hands and knees, though - partly for finding her way better, partly to help her keep her nose closer to the ground.

"Daffodils!" she calls out a moment later, holding a late-blooming daffodil up with both hands.

... assuming she actually got a daffodil, and not a tulip or something.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Blindfolded! Meimi knows she can handle this... but she first grabs onto Nori's hand just to steady her. Oops, awkward. She coughs, and then rights herself. "Um. Let's head for the food, okay? But not seaweed."

Remembering where it is, she stumbles back in the general direction of the food table. There should be something there that smells nice. She grabs at a few cups near the drinks. There's tea... and, ah, an ice coffee. Coffee always smells nice. She just has to take the bottle back without spilling it and give it to the judges.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera starts walking towards the table, sniffing at the air a few times. Finally, she leans down over one particular thing. She squeezes it, once, and lifts it up. She takes a long sniff of it, and then sighs. "Oh, this smells very nice," she says. "I can't... tell what it is, though..."

She hefts it up. It feels like it's shaking?

She walks over and holds it out towards the judging table. It is a tiny toy purse dog, belonging to one of the wealthy students' mothers. It is shampooed everyday. It starts snarling and barking; Lera promptly yelps and drops it.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Wah!" Nori stumbles as she's led along, but gets a sense of footing, letting Meimi take the lead as she's tugged along. She's kind of - soft-feeling; like her flesh has too much water in it, though it doesn't seem particularly weak.

Her nose twitches as they pass by things, but the final achievement is located and Nori is limited to saying, "What, what are you reaching for?? This is the refresh - OH!" That wasn't just because she stuck her hand in an open cup of lemonade, either.

"I think we just have to shout it out," she says, even as she flicks lemonade off her hand (and sort of towards the stands.) "... If that's easier, at least..."

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao frowns a little. Blindfolded, but... "How do you find nikuman blindfolded, though..."

Chao has very specific tastes, alright

But she accepts the blindfold and ties it on. And then uses her KEEN CHI SENSES TO actually she doesn't have those. But with her /advanced martian ears/ she can --not actually have those either.

She just sort of bumbles around sniffing at things. "But I used all my nikuman...and my aromatherapy vials are back at the dorm! Hmmm...!"

She sniffs around for a while, scenting quietly off in one direction. "Wait, I've got something...I like this! It's perfect!"

Chao Lingshen has acquired Shop Class's Spare Machine Oil (x1).

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Something nice, something nice, something nice... Yukimi lets her nose lead her around, which leads to a *lot* of stumbling around until Ruet, who has better three-dimensional awareness, starts helping her out. There's a lot of good scents around, made noticeable over all the bad scents like smelly sweaty sports festival kids, but there's one in particular that catches her nose--something fruity, something *fresh*...

She hears three girls cheering and chatting and talking together, and she hurries up to approach them. "U-um! I'm very sorry to bother you, but do one of you have a perfume bottle or something like that on you? If so, can I please borrow it? I need something that smells nice!"

"Huh? A perfume bottle?"

"We don't have a bottle, but..."

A rustling sound, and Yukimi senses that someone's holding something out to her. "We've been wearing these perfume charms! If you wanna borrow mine, go ahead!"

"Th-thanks so much!" Yukimi cries, accepting the fragrant pendant. "I'll do my best!"

"Yeah! Go get your happiness!" the girl who gave her her perfume charm cheers.

"I believe you can win!" calls the second girl.

"Your choice is perfect!" cheers the third, as Yukimi races back to the finish line.

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

The items are taken from the players and given to the judging table. The judges are also blindfolded, to make sure they're not tricked by their other senses. Well, one of their other senses. They love the daffodils, the iced coffee, and the jam. They also adore the scent of the lovely perfumes. But there's just something about that strange, fluffy-scented, shampoo thing that they really have to agree is the best. Clearly it's some kind of pompom, isn't it?

"The winner is this one," the judgespokesperson declares, right before the dog bites her finger.

"EEEEEHHH?!" She whips off her blindfold and screams. The angry little dog lets go of the girl's finger and starts drinking up some of the iced coffee after it spills it. The rich woman who's dog was taken is furious, shouting at the judges and threatening all manners of consequences if ONE HAIR is harmed on her precious Chanel!

Still, Lera has been declared the winner fair and square, which means the Lera/Chao/Fuu have won the event! They get a nice blue ribbon, or will once the chaos dies down.

Meanwhile, Chanel is running off across the field, carrying perfume charms in her mouth. She has jam on her nose and someone somewhere put a daffodil in her ear.

<Pose Tracker> Miki Kaoru [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

The machine oil, meanwhile, was conspicuously left alone...

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Aw," Yukimi says disappointedly, pushing up her blindfold when Lera's submission is declared the winner. Still, she smiles, feeling a lot better now. After all, it was a friend of hers who won? So she can still feel good about that! "Heehee--this was a lot of fun!" she declares, before jogging up to her friend. "Congratulations, Lera-chan! You really deserved to win!"

Never mind the chaos with the dog and its owner and oh boy it's running away with those charms she borrowed isn't it. Cue Yukimi chasing after it and missing the rest of the sports festival; those don't belong to her, after all, and she needs to give them back!!

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

No hard feelings from Meimi, especially since she already got one ribbon. "Congratulations!" she shouts to the winners, clapping her hands. She looks at Nori and laughs. "Well, we got one round, so we didn't do so bad. I'll see you in class, okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"I won!" Lera says cheerfully, catching the dog taking off with a brief awkward glance. At least the owner is chasing it; she tilts her head to the side, briefly disturbed that she didn't realize it was a dog. Still, she won, and she feels proud of that. She basks in it for a moment, before she turns and looks at Yukimi. She positively beams. "Thank you! Me and my team did it! Without Hououji-san's hard work..."

Picking a Shinai counts. She grins -- and then catches what the dog has in its mouth. "Um--be careful, Yukimi! I think that dog is angry and--oh, gosh...!"

<Pose Tracker> Naota Uneme [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Naota smiles at Yukimi uncertainly, trying to look less threatening than usual. "Well, we tried! I hope you had fun too."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu removes her blindfold only when she hears the commotion breaking loose, and just .. quietly observes the chaos that erupts. Part of it would prompt her to giggle, or have to resist same, but there's enough that isn't *that* funny that she manages to keep a straight face.

She does, however, smile and congratulate Lera on bringing in the winning item when it's established that it was in fact Lera who racked that up. "Camry-san, Lingshen-san, thank you for being my teammates for this!" she says, then steps up to receive her ribbon when the judges have a free half-moment to award them.

She's still a little blushy about the shinai thing, too, but *oh well*. She'll deal with rumors as they cross her path.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nori seems crestfallen. "... sure... thanks for your help, Haneoka," she half-mumbles, before hugging herself and sidling towards the stands. It hasn't been her best year, though she /did/ get at least some points there.

Erika Inagawa, meanwhile, drifts into the area from over where they were having some other competition. She smells wonderful - how ironic.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"May I have your attention, please," chimes the PA, "The final event of the day, the relay race, will be beginning presently on Track B." That's still quite nearby, so non-participants will easily be able to watch. Already the teams are starting to form up; this is always a popular event. They're designated by paper headband color; pink, white, red, blue, green, yellow and purple are all being handed out by a variety of teachers, who are checking names against lists on their printouts.

Juuban 'volunteers' hurry, helter-skelter, to clear the track of some of the obstacles of the last few events, while competitors begin stretching and warming up.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera takes her ribbon, proudly, and then she blinks. The relay race! The reason she came!

"Oh, no," she yells, before she grabs the broken satellite relay. Maybe they can use it? She grunts, huffs, and rests the huge piece of machinery on her shoulder. Then she starts running forward, carrying the broken satellite dish bodily over to Track B. "I have our relay, everyone! It's broken but we can still use it for the race!"

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sakura Akagi is not the sportiest, but she volunteered to do at least one team event to cheer on her friends. This turned out to be the relay. She realizes of course that Erika is going to be on her team, and... augh, so amazing, Erika is a much better athlete. Maybe she'll be able to carry the race where Sakura is sure she really can't. But all she has to do is her best... right?

She ends up with a red headband ribbon. That's good, she hopes.

<Pose Tracker> Chao Lingshen [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao at last removes her blindfold, and finds her machine oil was not approved of. HMPH. /She/ thinks it smells nice...

But they won anyway, thanks to Lera, so Chao grins brightly at them. "You're welcome!" she says. "Good work out there! Oh hey she's leaving." She waves after Lera. "Good luck!"

Pause. Lera just wandered off with a big piece of equipment that Chao identifies instantly. Asides toward Fuu, "I do not think she knows what a relay race is."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu nods to Chao, "I don't think so either, but I imagine she's going to find out ..." ^^' She moves towards the bleachers to watch the relay race.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Mmch," Nagisa grunts, in the middle of drinking from a can of juice she purchased from a vending machine. It's a multi-juice day, what can she say? She throws her head back and chugs, not wanting to waste any, and when she's ulp'ed enough times to empty it, she drops it from one hand and punts it at the trash bin, sprinting off to join the race.

A few seconds later, she hurries back, picks up the can from where it bounced off the bin, and deposits it shamefacedly in the bin.

"Nagisa-chan!" a loud, friendly voice calls, and though she's already feeling late, she swerves over to the bleachers, where her family is waiting. Her father, tall and smiling, her mother, beaming with hands in her lap, and Ryouta, her little brother, perched on her father's shoulders.

"Sorry, I'm late..." Nagisa flusters, jogging in place.

"Then just give your mother a kiss," her father suggests, and Nagisa accedes, getting on tiptoes to kiss her mother's cheek. "And Ryouta-kun!" he adds, to which Ryouta folds his arms and looks away.

"As if!" he says. A vein sticks out on Nagisa's forehead.

"Oh, papa made a bad suggestion again, huh?" her father laughs. "Well, go get 'em, Nagisa-chan!"

Perhaps wasting more of her energy than she should, Nagisa arrives at the starting line panting, and receives a purple ribbon. Fastening it, she happens to glance up and spot a very enthusiastic girl charging up with a sattelite slung over one shoulder. And that strange girl's ribbon...

Her ribbon is purple.

"I can't believe it..." Nagisa sighs, deflating like a stuck balloon.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Hey, Akagi," Erika says as she ambles up to join with her fellow secret comrade. "What's up?" She seems, at least, at ease with all of this, but that's not too surprising. "Before we get rolling, do you want to know a good way to stretch?"

At this she crouches down, as if about to sit on her heels, but instead extends one leg out - sweeps it carefully while balancing in a full arc - and then switches to do the other one. Sakura gets offered a balancing hand on the shoulder if desired, too, since the slightly unorthodox stretch may be a bit much.

She also observes, "Oh, red, lucky us. Thirty percent faster!"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Hello, fellow competitor!" Lera says, waving a hand at Nagisa as she approaches. She drops the satellite dish again; this time, the dish cracks in half entirely, and she makes a whining noise of concern and terror, before she jumps. "How will we run it without a rela--no one else is carrying a satellite."

She just realizes this.

She looks back at Nagisa, smiles, and adjusts her purple ribbon. "I'm Lera Camry, a ninth grader at Infinity. It's nice to meet you!"

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Erika and Sakura are approached by a couple of members of the Infinity Track Team, sporting red ribbons as well. "It looks like we're first and second," announce Pique and Lilie, who are apparently back for more punishment after the various indignities suffered on the cavalry battlefield. "Don't worry, we're faster than we look!" announces Pique, pumping a fist. "And if we're not, we'll fail gloriously!!" chimes in Lilie, stars in her eyes.

Nagisa and Lera, meanwhile, are joined by two more purple-ribboned competitors from Juuban. "Yo, Nagisa-senpai," greets Yumiko of the 8th grade class. Little Kumi, her shadow, is bent over, tightening up her laces, but she peeks up to regard Lera with some curiosity. "Have you never run a relay before? We each take turns running up to each other and passing the baton, and whichever team gets the baton across wins. Here, go stand over there where it's marked with a 3," she points, "Then when I run up and hand you the baton, run as fast as you can to Nagisa-senpai, along the track, okay?"

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Is it?" Sakura asks, not too familiar with that line of thinking. But it seems reasonable! "Like a red car. Okay. Well... I'll try to run faster and catch up to you." She looks at the Infinity girls, and gives them a bow. "Okay. Very nice to meet you. Let's all... do what we can." She's not the fastest either, but maybe the Infinity girls are faster. And Erika will totally be amazing - she hopes.

She gets ready at the third position, waving to Pique and Lilie.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Well that's what my dad says," Erika says.


Erika's father cries out, in the middle of the night, "MATILDA SAAAAAAAAAAAN!" He is then hit with a pillow.


Erika frowns at the strange little girls, but shrugs a shoulder. "You'll be great," she tells Sakura, "but I'm worried about those two weird girls."

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sakura tightens on her headband, and takes a breath. She steadies herself. Waiting is hard because it's scary. What if she drops the baton? What if she fails? Well... it's probably not harder than the running part, but if she tells herself that will be even worse, she'll chicken out. So she tries to blank out her mind and wait for the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Yumiko-chan, Kuri-chan," Nagisa greets gratefully. She's not sure if they're particularly athletic, but they're fun people, and both actually have heard of a relay before.

"Nice to meet you, Camry-san. I'm Nagisa Misumi... this is Ruri-chan, and here's Yumiko-chan. Just watch what they do, I'm sure you'll catch on quick! Everyone at Infinity is really smart."

Assigned to the last spot, Nagisa has just a little more time, so she steps off to the side and starts doing lunges. "Here, do you want to stretch out with me?" she offers to Lera. Maybe she hasn't heard of that either.

You are no longer marked as an observer in +pot or +odds.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Oh, /that/ kind of relay race," Lera says to Yumiko. She nods. "Yes, I did those. In America. Leave it to me! I will get the baton there"

She reaches her arms out in font of her and cracks her knuckles. She nods her head. "I understand, Misumi-san. I've done this before! I just didn't understand. Ah, but yes, let's stretch out!"

She knows /that/ at least.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Much as he officiated the cavalry battle, the final event before lunch, the Juuban Junior High School principal makes another appearance at the starting line of the relay race. He's got a loudspeaker, which makes a couple of awkward feedback squawks before he gets it under control. "I'd like to take a moment to thank all the students and parents who volunteered their time to make this year's sports festival a great success," he declaims. "And of course to thank Infinity Institute and Ohtori Academy for joining us in celebrating the cream of our youth."

That is perhaps a slightly unfortunate turn of phrase, but he barrels on nonetheless, after appropriate applause all around. "And now, without further delay, we will begin the final event of the Sports Festival, the relay race! This race has an ancient role in history, used to train message-bearers in..."


"...and that's why it holds so much importance to us today."

There's more applause, more bored and scattered this time.

"On your marks!"

Hope they've been paying attention.

"Get set!"

Students who haven't been frantically get into position, kneeling down on the track, baton clasped loosely behind them, for maximum initial rush.


And they're off like shots, a veritable rainbow of ribboned students charging across the track. Already some teams are probably hopelessly far behind, but some others are displaying real athleticism. Pique is, amazingly, first to hand her baton to Lilie, and it's a good thing too since that means Lilie gets her baton to Lera, panting and wheezing, at around the same time that Yumiko and Kuri have rather more normally gotten the job done.

Lera and Sakura are both faced with handoffs more or less in the middle of the pack -- it's time to make up for their merely average setup and go the distance! The track glitters with heat in the late afternoon sun; the autumn breeze has slacked off to almost nothing.

There's no boredom left on in the crowd, either, who are electrified by the excitement of the race. "Fight, Sakura-chan!!" shouts someone she knows from school; three or four more take up the chant. "Fight -- OH! Fight -- OH!" Lera gets similar treatment; the new transfer student is certanly a well known face. "Put it in drive, Camry, go go go! Go, go, Camry! Go, go, Camry!"

Their nearest opponent is the blue-ribboned team, whose current runner is Nanami Kiryuu. Why would she lower herself to something as sweaty and demeaning as track and field? Maybe she lost a bet. More likely, she's emulating someone very dear to her, with all the excellence and grace required!

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Someone is shouting... for her? Sakura blushes a little as she hears it. Of course people know her, but... she hates being in the spotlight...

Oh, suddenly a hand-off! That means she has to go! She grabs onto the baton tightly and runs as fast as she can. She's not the best sports star, by far. But she's doing her best anyway, because she knows someone out there is counting on her. Her friends, too, and Erika up ahead! She looks over and sees the blue-ribboned runner beside her. If she can just try to beat one other runner... that hopefully will be enough to make a difference.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Erika gets in position, straightening up to jog in place for a moment and stay loose. She sorts at the sight of the long trailing locks of some rich girl, observing to her neighbor, Chao, "She's got no form, man, I've seen cows run better than that."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera has been paying attention. She followed the whole speech. It seemed so impassioned and determined! Spacing out would be rude and she likes that about Earth. This may have a lot more to do with her personality than the quality of the speech. She waits, turning, staring as the other two girls go running. She opens her mouth up, surprised, and watches them. The chant makes her grin.

She nods when Kuri comes in, then she grabs it, and takes off running. The crowd's cheering feels nice, actually, but she doesn't wave or anything yet. She turns her head, looking briefly at Sakura, and then she starts jogging harder. Just a little faster...!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The girls eat up the track with their pounding feet, consuming it hungrily. Together, matching each other stride for stride, the three of them passing the Green runner, the Pink runner...

Pouring on the energy, Nanami issues a frustrated "Mouuu," as Lera Camry and Sakura Akagi begin pulling away from her! Thrusting out her chest and lowering her head, she charges with all her might, the least of her energy, holding out the blue baton desperately towards her team's anchor, Saionji Kyouichi! But she definitely won't get there sooner than her competition...

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"America? Neat." Nagisa is genuinely interested in this, though her smile is a bit frozen, because it seems like Americans, or anyway this American, thinks Japan is a very strange place. Nagisa finishes her stretches quickly, ending by windmilling her arms a few times forward and back, and gets into position right after Lera runs off with Kuri's passed-off baton. That Ohtori version of the Madonna at first seemed like she'd overtake Lera, but somehow the American pulls ahead of her! Maybe she really did do relay races. Nagisa can't spare the breath to cheer, but quietly she's pulling for her strange teammate.

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sakura runs to Erika as fast as she can. She realizes she has to keep running during the hand-off, and almost trips with the excitement of it. She holds out her hand, shaking a little, to pass the baton off to Erika. As soon as it's handed off, she keeps running a little just to slow herself down... the sprint really took a lot out of her, though, and she jogs to a stop and leans on her thighs to catch her breath. ... Determination seemed to take it! She didn't do half bad... she thinks. But it's up to Erika now! She doesn't have the strength to even shout.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Get ready, Misumi-san!" Lera yells ahead.

She keeps running; she never quite manages to pull ahead of Sakura, though she runs as hard as she can. She bolts the last few steps and sticks the baton out, thrusting it towards Nagisa's hands as she gets in closer; she goes tearing past as she does, slowing partway into the fourth leg. She takes a few deep breaths, then turns and looks at Nanami as she catches up.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Nanami collapses on the track after weakly placing the baton in Saionji's fingertips; she's towed away for palm frond fanning by Tsuwabuki and offerings of five different kinds of juice by Keiko, Aiko and Yuuko.

Saionji, meanwhile, has a distinct advantage over much of the rest of the competition: size. He is a tall high school student, after all, and his legs are considerably longer than many other peoples'! He tosses his green hair, a single tear floating along with those ringlets to explode into tiny diamonds in midair as he thinks of how this mighty expression of his love will sway the heart of the surely watching Anthy Himemiya.

...then he realizes he hasn't actually started running yet.

To the screams of his legions of fans, he takes off--!

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Erika sinks back on her heels, looking at Sakura with a grin. When the pass comes, she is already hurling herself forwards. She grabs the baton and cradles it to her chest, leaning forwards and letting out a wordless cry, something like "WAHAAAAAH" as she sprints ahead...!

She also tied her hair back. This provides vital reduction in air resistance!

<Pose Tracker> Yukimi Amane [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Meanwhile, in the rafters:

"Would you like more juice, Utena-sama?" Anthy asks her fiancee pleasantly, holding out a thermos as she pays not even a little bit of attention to the relay.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa starts jogging slowly, head cast back over one shoulder, arm outstretched with fingers wide. The less she has to accelerate, the better, but despite her assurances, Nagisa isn't entirely certain Lera will know what to do, so she wants to keep an eye on her. As it turns out, Lera executes it perfectly, and Nagisa launches off like a slingshot. In the bleachers, Ryouta is being bounced on papa's shoulders, and his shouts of "oneechan!" reach her better than any other.

Nagisa doesn't look behind her, but she does look to the side of her, seeing Erika as her initial rival. However, she has a lot more students to pass if she wants to win this--and she wants to win this, she's more competitive than her fellow Cure. Fortunately, she's quite a sprinter. But can her endurance hold out? She takes a corner without slowing, leaning into it.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Erika and Nagisa have a long track to run to get into the lead, but they seem to do it, one sprinter at a time! Left, right, left, right, separated by one lane's worth of space, they accelerate their way down the track like a pair of rocket-propelled superwomen.

They even pass yellow, whose anchor had a several stride advantage! And the blue team seems determined to catch up, but can't even come close -- after taking a few ground-eating strides, Saionji glances into the bleachers and sees Anthy smiling at Utena, and his pace slows to that of a snail.

He blinks away another tear...

But one thing is for sure: there are only two contenders left for first place, and they're right next to each other, with the finish line straight ahead. "Go, go, Nagisa, fight-oh, Nagisa!" shout Rina and Shiho, along with much of the Juuban lacrosse team, but the 8th grade Juuban class is just as loud, especially that of the karate club. "EH! RI! KA~! GOOOOO!"

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sakura catches another breath, and shouts: "Come on, Erika!" toward her friend. She then walks off the side... she's done her part so that's all she can do! But if they get second place that's still pretty impressive, right?

She watches Nagisa run. She's a strong competitor too. They're neck and neck. She can barely watch!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Come on!" Lera yells after Nagisa. "You can do it! You're almost there!"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Erika keeps going forwards, breathing steadily to keep herself from collapsing too quickly. She looks towards Nagisa, flashing her a momentary grin of triumph - or is it competitive spirit? - and leans forwards, just a bit. She leans in as well, pumping her arms as she takes the turn, letting that pace stay steady and fast. The sprint, she reasons with clear optimism, will fail - and then she can put on her /own/ last burst and make it to the end!

Seems like a plan to her, at least.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa can't help but beam, the lacrosse team's support buoying her. Her family's out there, too, waving their hands off, shouting. And just when she's pouring it all on, setting her legs on fire as her lungs set to flame, she sees her newest friend, Honoka Yukishiro, cheering happily from near the finish line.

This nearly makes her lose her stride, her next pace skipping a bit; first the juice, and now this? Honoka is way too nice. But the flash of eyes from Erika draws her gaze, and lights a fire in her chest. She knows the fleet, determined Erika will definitely win if she flags even a little, and she resolves not to.

"Leave..." she pants to Lera, and everyone else, "it... to... me!"

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Now Nagisa and Erika have left everyone in the dust; individual chants dissolve into a single roar, a scream, exhileration and expectation all bound up in a few seconds of athleticism as purely expressed as it can be by anyone.

They hit the ribbon very nearly simultaneously, and it has to be confirmed by the watches, presumably being wielded by expert timekeepers, some of whom may even have blue hair. It's purple team, Nagisa and Lera and Kuri and Yumiko, but by less than half a pace -- there's more than enough celebration for all as both teams are mobbed, mostly by enthusiastic Juuban and Infinity students, since, in that respect, this was a shutout, in stark contrast to the obstacle course earlier where Ohtori took both first and second place.

Over the chaos of cheering parents, screaming siblings and adoring fans, the principal calls, "Congratulations to everyone! This concludes the Sports Festival! Have a safe trip home, and a very good night!"

<Pose Tracker> Meimi Haneoka [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sakura isn't used to having done well at a sport, so... she's okay with second place. She cheers and gives Erika a hug. Then she also bows to Nagisa if she gets a chance. "Nice job. You all did so well. Thank you for a very good race!"

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Erika puts on the last bit of oomph - and it falls short, but only just.

A HORRIBLE DARKNESS RISES - no, wait, that was a cloud. Erika stumbles into Sakura's hug, saying as she gasps for some breath, "Heh, I nearly - ran down someone a year up--!"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Lera cheers and thrusts a hand up into the air, when the announces are called out. She grins, brightly, and then she waves at Erika and Sakura. "Good job, both of you!" she says, before she turns and looks at Nagisa. "And great running, Misumi-san!"

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Nagisa knows before most that she's won; she can feel the ribbon go taut against her chest, tear away from its supports. Her smile stretches ear to ear, and she can only permit herself a few gasped breaths with her hands on her knees before she jogs, much more slowly, back to Lera, Kuri, and Yumiko. The other two Juuban girls are both already going for a hug, and between the three of them they trap Lera in a square of a hug, arms around each other's shoulders.

"Great job, guys!" Nagisa cheers, still red-faced and panting hard. "American relays must be pretty competitive," she praises Lera.

Breaking from purple team, Nagisa bows back at Meimi (and, by extension, Erika, who is in her arms). "You too! You're all really fast."

Takeshi Misumi sits down in the bleachers, well-satisfied, careful not to dislodge his son from his shoulders. "You don't stay that young very long, do you?" he asks his wife, wistfully, as he watches his daughter celebrate.

Rie threads her fingers with his. "I'm not sure you ever got older than that," she tells him, also watching Nagisa.

"Ouch," Takeshi laughs, and then, more quietly, asks, "ouch?" as if to see whether that's a bad thing or not.

"No. No ouch," Rie tells him, and leans into him.

"Eww! DaaaAad, no kissing when I'm on your shoulders!"