2014-03-19 - The Dark Hour

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Title: The Dark Hour

Sailor Moon hasn't been able to transform for a while. That's not great. That's REALLY not great when the DD Girls show up and try to take ALL THE ENERGY IN TOKYO. All of it. Warning: this is an AWESOME SCENE.

Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor V, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Vega, Tuxedo Kamen, Mami Tomoe, Mesozoic Maiden Lucy, Anthy Himemiya
Honoka Yukishiro as the terrifying DD Girls!

Tokyo Tower

OOC - IC Date:

3/19/2014 - 17 Dec 2013

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

There's really only one place for this sort of thing to go down.

The Sailor Senshi and their allies can feel it before they see it: a tug, from the bottom of their hearts, towards Tokyo Tower. It seems to be yanking at everyone else, too, but normal people are much less prepared to deal with it -- from the bottom of their wellspring of emotion, energy is being inexorably drawn towards that famous spire, leaving people weak, drained.

Already some have collapsed; car horns blare at every intersection, but some drivers are unconscious over their steering wheels. A fire has started in many a house, where mothers and fathers preparing meals for their family have fainted, leaving the stove unattended. Emergency services are unable to respond, as equally paralyzed by their own staff beginning to succumb as they are the completely impassable roads.

And the many other -- not necessarily lesser, though some are -- monsters that constantly strive to consume Tokyo from the inside out are taking full adavantage; Witches, Kissing exhausted victims by the busfull. Orphans, attacking weakened prey. Noise, filling the void where feelings usually cry out loud and joyfully. X Chara, busting out all over. Whole bouquets worth of Desertrians rising out of wilted heart flowers.

It is a disaster on every level, and it has only just begun. Many people are strong of heart enough to not have fallen, and those who have are still breathing, though with a slackening pulse every minute. They can still be saved.

They can still be saved, and magical girls throughout Tokyo are rising to the fore to come to the rescue: beating back every monster, overcoming each challenge, bringing the Noise into Tune, bringing smiles to the faces of those who feel like they've already lost everything. There will be a thousand battles tonight, each one worth nothing less than the entire world.

But in the end, the source of it all is obvious, and no less horrifying for its predictability: energy crackles and bursts along the grand spire's length, firing off deliberately into the sky to parts unknown every minute or so in an eruption of power that shakes the Earth itself.

And, hung from the very tip top of Tokyo Tower, strung like crucified marionettes, their faces bruised and bloodied, their clothing torn to shreds, are too-familiar faces: Motoki Furuhata. Naru Osaka. Shingo Tsukino. Anthy Himemiya. Madoka Kaname.

The next time energy is torn through them and from them, on its way up to the sky, their screams are so weak that they cannot be heard.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Finally with a chance to study, Mamoru Chiba's been sitting in his apartment, slouched with his Sociology text, comparing class notes with the book text.

Has been. Had been. Isn't anymore; he lurches forward with a look of shock, eyes wide behind his glasses, guts clenched: it's almost like he can hear a voice in that tugging sense of urgency. Problem is there are too many things pulling at him. Mamoru stands up and slams his books down on the table, looks out the window, then clatters out of his room and takes the building stairs practically a landing per leap because it's faster than the elevator.

And then, uniform jacket and tie flapping behind him, he goes for Tokyo Tower at a dead run. They'll be there. They'll definitely be there. Clatter up a fire escape, and by the time Mamoru's vaulted over the edge, he's Tuxedo Mask and his cape billows behind him with every lightly running step of his dress shoes.

The rooftop view offers a better idea of the big picture going on-- and while Tokyo Tower's too tall for him to really see who's up there, the rooftop view will provide him with the knowledge that there are people up there and the energy's going through them. (The rooftops also mean, in general, a lot less monster fights to plow through on his way. So sorry! Didn't mean to interrupt! Here this youma needs a rose in this face, right? Here you go, gotta go bye!)

As Tuxedo Mask gets to the edge of the plaza surrounding the tower, looking down at the pavement and scanning for anyone he knows being here already, he keeps occasionally glancing back in a specific direction, mild worry thinning his lips. They'll be here. They'll all get here.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

In a secret facility underneath Game Center Crown, a cat from space finishes installing the faceplate on her degeneracy radar. Her name is Luna, and she once was a very important person.

She gently drops her screwdriver into the to-be-sterilized tray. The ideal level of thoroughness in completing this practice is something other species never mastered. Granted, they have the excuse of not using their mouths quite so often. She pads away to celebrate, because more work can wait. No one's watching.

Behind her, the radar clunks loudly. Luna doesn't turn around. She knows the noise is the start-up cycle. There's only one reason it would come on.

BONG, BONG, BONG goes the alarm. Click, click, click goes Luna, already at the keyboard. The message is simple and swiftly sent. THE ENEMY IS MOVING. CENTER: TOKYO TOWER.

Usagi Tsukino received the message. This time, she has not forgotten her transformation brooch. It's right there in front of her, alone on her desk. She places hands flat on the surface so that they frame it. Brooch and hands. Sailor Moon and Usagi. Sailor Moon and the enemy. Usagi and a city-wide emergency bulletin. She slides her hands off the desk and into her jacket pocket, where her disguise pen hides.

Later, probably later than everyone else anyway, pretty policewoman Usagi Tsukino careens through the streets with sirens blaring. It's not so different. Not as different as she'd like. There is some small solace in pretending to be an officer of justice. Monsters outside her window, monsters hurting people, monsters who could hurt her--but she's got a mission. Tokyo Tower. She doesn't have to make any decisions until Tokyo Tower. A little piece of her heart stays behind with every scene of victimization she passes.

The squad car turns sharply within sight of the tower, squealing hard on its tires and likely wrecking the suspension. A flash of light, and there's no more policewoman. Usagi Tsukino, wearing a pink hoodie with a bunny stenciled on the front, steps out and stares up. Up and up, at the frankenstein not-tower-but-fortress intruding into her city. Madoka's city. Everyone's city, like her same-height sister said.

She wipes the tears from her eyes and grasps her brooch tight.

"Moon Prism Power--MAKE UP!"

The sirens keep wailing in the distance. Someone shouts from inside one of the restaurants with darkened windows. There's no ribbons. No light. No Sailor Moon. The brooch is cold.

She knew it.

<Pose Tracker> Mesozoic Maiden Lucy [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Imagine Lucy's surprise when she received an emergency message from none other than Sailor Moon. She didn't stop to wonder where exactly the sailor senshi had obtained her cell phone number, as the cry for help of a friend in need was all it took for the Mesozoic Maiden to come running. She sent out a few calls of her own as she did, but who knows if her other friends can make it in time. Luckily, she was in the area herself already, at least.

She first rides in on her T-Rex companion, Didi the Dinosaur. Although the massive carnivore looks fearsome, his main task is to carry people /away/ from the scene. Not everyone, but at least the elderly, the children and the injured are piggybacked to safety. Cars pileups are leapt over, and creatures of darkness big and small get chomped, stomped and clubbed without a second thought. Tomorrow (/if/ there is a tomorrow, Lucy grimly thinks), this will likely be chalked up to a mass hallucination, so there's no real point in being subtle now.

But the loyal dinosaur companion remaining in his giant form eventually takes its toll on him. "Rest, Didi, you deserve it," Lucy says as she lets a brave child carry /him/ to safety, back in tiny mascot size. Her voice is compassionate, but a tone of desperation cracks through, despite her best efforts.

This crisis is one the sheer scope of which Lucy has never experienced before, but now isn't the time to fear or despair, or even think. She feels as if her energy, magical or otherwise, has already bottomed out three times over, but every time it has so far, she's managed to find a new wellspring deep within herself, though each seemed more short-lived than the last.

As she joins the assembled group of magical girls and takes the fight back to the Youma, she finally gets a good look at the Tokyo Tower's spire, and the grim arrangement of hostages on top of it. To her horror, several of those faces are not anonymous civilians, but people familiar to her. There's that Himemiya girl, who she's met once back when Earth was still so confusing to her... None other than Usagi's brother, who she's seen a few times as she visited her friend... And Furuhata, the ever-smiling young man from Game Center Crown, where she's made such precious memories.

"They did NOT deserve this!" she shrieks out to the skies, in spite of herself, to no one she can see just yet, "YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT!" Her face is dirtied, her fur clothes torn in places and tears are welling up in her eyes as she looks up. The worst part is, it looks like this long evening has only just begun.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The shrine priestess knew. Well, she felt it before the alarm went off. The communicator's use was telling her the exact location of where its happening. Which is a boon, no less, but she was already rushing out of the temple before the alarm went off. Good thing it wasn't in school anyway, how would she explain that one?

But disregarding that, the darkness around the Tokyo Tower is a bit of a surprise. She expected the enemies to attack more subtly, not a full frontal attack like this, where everyone can see. Yet, she didn't need to hear where Usagi was to find her either. She pops up behind Usagi, frowning "No time to waste, transform now!" She tells the 'leader' of her group, even if she doesn't really acknowledge Usagi being mature enough for this, she still admits that they need her power, which seems to surpass the others in her group.

If only she could be more serious about it.

She doesn't realize that Usagi has troubles though, as she pulls out her henshin pen, and transforms into Sailor Mars, where only Usagi could see her. She runs up ahead, expecting Moon to follow behind as she rushes toward the tower. Where are the others anyway?

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

It's a strange feeling that drew Mami Tomoe to prepare to leave her apartment even after the long day she'd had--her patrols were cut short because of finals, as even she couldn't balance sitting exams all day with staying at full with her recent recovery. But while that feeling tugged her towards the tower, it was the message that gave her an amount of guidance on the matter. She didn't even bother with the stairs; the Puella Magi brought out her Soul Gem and prepared for battle right in her living room, taking the window outward to hop to the next building over and start at the rooftops.

She can't let herself be bogged down in any one conflict on her way. The sound of gunfire trails her, all the same, as bullets go for a monster here, to free a person in danger there. But she can only offer minimal help to each. If she stops for the one...

Then she won't make it to the source, and many more will be hurt. She'll just have to hurry.

And hurry she does. She arrives on the scene, her feet touching down on a landing only to see the tower itself, the energy crackling, and--

There are five there, but two faces she knows. Her eyes widen, and she moves briefly to a halt. "No--"

There is a jar of rose jam still on her shelf at home. There is the image of a smiling face, pink hair bouncing along and time more precious than she can say.

Mami leaps forward, and is in motion without stopping for any of the others. Her aim is the tip of the tower, and where there are no places to jump she swings from ribbon conjured from nowhere.

She has to get there in time.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Study later," Orpheus tell Asagao Uekawa, very intently, in her room.

"But you're the one who told me to study *no--"

"SHHH! Don't you feel it? Something is *wrong* and you have to go and help *right now."

Opening her bedroom window to look outside, hair blowing in the late-night breeze.... she DOES feel it. That tug at her heart, the inexplicable feeling of trouble.

In a flash of late-night sun, she is Sailor Vega and she is on the move, Orpheus riding along curled into her collar at the back of her neck.

The scope of the danger as she nears Tokyo Tower is almost mind-bending in scope and complexity. The Magical Girls are out in force, doing what they can to keep things contained - any one of them she'd stop to help, but the pull of the tower draws her inexorably onward.

The people she can see atop the Tower, but not good enough to identify. Stopping at the edge of the plaza as the others also arrive, she looks up, shielding her eyes a bit to try and get a better look.

"Be careful, Asagao, it could be a trap!" Orpheus tells her worriedly, as he leaps down from her neck to find safer areas to shout and potentially be helpful from.

Sailor Vega doesn't answer him - only nodding worriedly.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

This is too much. As Ami looks out across the devastation caused by Tokyo Tower's inexorable pull on all the hearts of the city and gets her message from the world's most important cat, that's all she can think. This seems like something that would require hundreds, if not thousands, of magical girls to handle. While it doesn't drag her down into hopelessness -- not yet, anyway -- it does make her heart sink a little. It's that little bit more difficult to figure out how to help, courtesy of the sheer amount that needs to be done.

Then again, everything's about breaking big problems into their component small problems, right?

Without the luxury of a disguise pen, Sailor Mercury has had a little more trouble reaching Tokyo Tower; she's had to take to the rooftops, flitting across them like a fairy; more than once she has to surround herself with bubbles and weave through a crowd of monsters. Her heart sinks as she leaves scene after scene of devastation behind... but this, too, is part of being a soldier of love, isn't it? Not just helping -- but making sure that that help will matter, will /stick/.

She draws closer to Usagi, unaware -- as yet -- that something has gone so very wrong.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Devastation. Destruction. It was as if all the biblical seals had opened in a single stark moment, and ice seizes Michiru's heart. The day had been restless for her so far. It was the sense that something big was going to happen, and that anxiety fueled her and stole her sleep - turned the songs she played on the violin to mad jigs, and brought a certain sense of the surreal to the paintings she created.

And there was that tug, the paintbrush falling from Michiru's hand unto the floor of her studio as she stands - to go to the window as that ice in her heart spread to her limbs - her very being. Was it the end, was it everything? Was she too late?

With shaking hands, Michiru picks up the cell phone on the table, drawing her fingertips over the case of the phone. The message she types into the phone was simple, and Michiru dips her head over it as she hits send, letting the phone slip from her hands to join the brush on the floor, the faceplate of the smartphone cracking, showing the message last sent.

'You know what to do'.

It would be slow going to get to the tower - but Sailor Neptune - teal hair blowing in the unnatural wind - made her way through the throng of monsters to get to the tower proper. People who she could save - people who she could save without halting her path to the tower overmuch, she would.

But for the most part, she was simply trying to dodge around monsters, avoiding getting into trouble and generally saving her strength.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor V [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Minako Aino was actually studying for once, too. But like a fish caught at the end of a hook, that sudden pull was enough to sharply divert her attention from her studies - and only a glance was needed to show that Artemis felt it as well.

She'd headed downstairs to leave like a normal girl, where she found her parents slumped over in the kitchen, and at least was able to make sure they were safe - and turn the stove off! - before heading off into the city and finding a safe spot to transform into Sailor V.

Between her home and Tokyo Tower, the masked guardian found plenty of people in need of help, stopping to help those in the greatest danger while still rushing to her final destination. Once she was about there she stopped, crouching down to address her feline companion.

"Artemis, there are people who still need help. I need you to take care of them while I'm up there." "Minako, I don't think it's a good idea--" "How many times have I proven myself to you over the last year? I think Sailor V can take care of herself by now." "...I don't like it. But if you need me..." "You'll know. I have to go now."

And so, leaving Artemis behind, the pretty guardian code-named Sailor V turns to run towards Tokyo Tower, desperate to get there before it's too late.

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

With a cacophonous crash, energy is drawn into, builds up within, and is emitted from Tokyo Tower yet again. So very much courses through the area that it makes hair stand on the backs of everyone's necks, rising towards the sky, attracted to where the majority of the action is: the pinnacle of the spire.

Mami is closest by far, ahead by a few leaps and bounds, but with the keen senses of a magical girl in general or a senshi in particular, anyone can sense their feelings as the energy passes through them, straight from the Tower's base.


Truly exquisite agony. It howls like a corrupted, dark violin in the palms of the hands, screams behind the eyes, twisted the gut as though it was a serrated knife.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Usagi steps backward, until she's against the police car. When Rei shows up, there's nowhere left for her to flinch away to. She still tries, quickly lowering her hand from her brooch.

"Rei-chan, I--"

She'll get mad. She'll rightfully get mad. Everyone will. Usagi sharply looks up when Ami approaches. Today's Usagi's eyes are red, and her smile is fragile. "Ami-chan."

Ami's never been angry. How terrifying she must be. It wouldn't be the heat of her anger, like Rei, but the depths of disappointing her. Energy breaks upon the tower. Usagi reaches for her brooch again.

"Moon Prism Power--MAKE UP!"

No lights. No Sailor Moon. The crackle and thrum of the tower fades, leaving only the sound of people in agony.

She's still Usagi.

The blonde girl exhales, shuddering even under the lazy folds of her hoodie. With the screams dying in the air behind her, she rushes to Ami, desperately grasping her by the shoulders. "Ami-chan, please transform and take me to the top of the tower!"

<Pose Tracker> Mesozoic Maiden Lucy [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

As Lucy runs towards the base of the tower, another wave of energy is emitted, drawn out from those innocents, and the feeling that runs through her is it does causes her to scream out, as if those people's pain were their own, and almost stumble to the ground before catching herself at the last second. For these people, she can't stop here! She's got to go find and help Sailor Moon!

She doesn't actually notice Usagi amidst all the chaos, her precious friend tragically just another face lost in the crowd, someone she can't rescue just yet. She does, however, catch a glimpse of Sailor Mars running towards the tower herself, and reasons that Moon and her friends might already be on the scene. No time to waste, then...

Lucy ties up the handle of her magical club to a strap of fur dangling from her clothing, roughly where her belt would be if she had one, letting it hang there for now. She starts to quickly climb up the Tokyo Tower's structure, barehanded and barefooted. She may not be King Kong, but she's a VERY good climber.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

When Usagi can't transform, Ami seems... not angry -- just... worried. Usagi can't transform? How? Why? There's a little bit of squirminess, there; Usagi is someone she's thought, since meeting her, that she could lean on. Seeing that there's something wrong with her leaves her uneasy. "Usagi-chan..." she says, quietly, as she's held by the shoulders. For an instant, she looks like a deer in the headlights -- paralyzed by something she doesn't /quite/ comprehend.

Nevertheless, she recognizes that now is a time for action, and Usagi is giving her a particularly clear course of it. Nodding firmly, Ami takes her henshin stick in hand, calling out, "Mercury Power -- Make Up!" There's a swirl of blue-white light, and in moments, sure enough, there stands the sailor-suited soldier.

Gently collecting Usagi into her arms without hesitation, Sailor Mercury says, "Hang on, Usagi-chan," bounding and climbing as fast as she can.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

And-- that's Mami. That's Mami going up by herself. Tuxedo Mask's looking down in the plaza, watches Usagi come up close-- try and transform--

And then Rei's there. The others'll show up soon. But Mami just went up there alone.

And-- Usagi has her friends. They're already taking care of her: that's the way it works, should always work.

That next wave of agony actually doubles him over for a second, up on the roof, and he-- there's too much to do to let it overwhelm. It needs to be stopped. The young man's eyes narrow behind his glimmering mask, and he takes off his hat, then makes a running leap toward the dry fountain in the plaza, uses his momentum to push off the middle of that and leap ever higher; he hooks on to a protrusion of the building with the cane he produces from the folds of his cape, then disappears out of sight as he swings inward and around. He might not have grappling hooks or anything, but damn if he's going to leave Mami Tomoe without any backup. He'll probably make it to the top a second or two after the Puella Magi.

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

And like a knife, it cuts at Mami, landing deep beneath her composed exterior. How could she have let this happen?

She's unaware of the trouble that Sailor Moon is having below. Indeed, while it was Luna's message that directed her here, the Puella Magi has gone it alone, as she usually does. Thus far she's not even particularly the worse for wear for it, to all appearances, but her leaps and bounds continue to take her upward, towards the source of the pulsing energy and the pain that she can feel from here.

There is no time for anything but moving--moving, gathering herself up to prepare for whatever must await. Thse preparations though, come to a pause as she reaches the top of the tower, her boots clicking against metal and her hair blowing in the wind. "Kaname-san!" she calls, and while her efforts will soon move to Anthy, too--the first she moves towards is the pink-haired girl. She has vision for nothing else at the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor V [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

If there is one benefit to the widespread energy draining in the city, it's that it makes sneaking into the Tower base a heck of a lot easier. With no magical ribbons to ferry her upwards, Sailor V instead... goes into the Tower through the front doors, running, once she gets inside, to the elevators at the center.

With no guards to stop her, she takes an elevator to the top, fretting the entire way up - and when she finally spies the people hanging precariously, particularly Motoki-san, that only serves to fuel her concern.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Gasping in pain from the surge of energy drain, Vega's stance falters... but then Tuxedo Mask goes bounding off overhead, and she watches him disappear on his way upwards.

"All right," Vega tells... herself, mostly. "You can do this!"

And then there goes ... ANOTHER Senshi? Who's that? And Usagi!

"Wait for me!" she calls after them, leaping and bounding her way up as best she can, high-heeled boots clicking loudly from each purchase until she reaches the top.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

By the time Sailor Neptune reaches the base of the tower - she is on the tail end of seeing the various Senshi - and Mami - start their ascent of the tower. Jaw clenching - brow furrowing - Neptune flicks her eyes towards the front door, seeing it fall shut.

Sailor V had taken the way she she must take as well. So it is following after V that Neptune bursts through the front door after her.

V would not ascend alone. Even if Neptune herself was not in the mood for conversation - there was a silent challenge in her eyes as she takes her position on the very same elevator that V did - crossing her arms and leaning against the side of it - seeming as nonchalant and calm as possible as she watches Tokyo fall away.

Even if the wind was screaming at the back of her mind.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sailor Mars doesn't know what's wrong with Usagi either, but she's focused on the task at hand. Yes, the street are filled with people fighting and rioting over, but they can't handle every individual scuffle right now. They need to strike at the heart of it to shut it off.

She has to jump over the various attackers around, but at least not too many are going for her. She's too fast for them. The inside of hte tower is not much safer, but she's opening the way for the others to follow behind her. Ofudas are a non-lethal way of calming the bad spirits, and the way up the tower gets littered with paralyzed people thanks to Ofuda applications, leaving them twitching on the side. That'll wear off in a bit. At least they aren't stopping or slowing everyone down as much.

She looks behind her when Mercury and Usagi catch up to her.. Usagi? Why hasn't she transformed yet? "What's going on?" She asks the two, as she slaps another would-be attacker with an ofuda on the forehead.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Usagi clings tightly to Mercury. She's so much more slight than Tuxedo Mask, but stronger somehow. Maybe not stronger. Strong in a different way, maybe. Tuxedo Mask is Tuxedo Mask. Mercury, the soldier of intelligence, is a girl just like her.

She forces herself to look away from her friend's face, and instead at the top of the tower. With a leap, they reach a new vantage point, and the bodies come into view.

There's a 'no' in her scream, but it's hidden in the noise of shrieking her throat raw. Usagi squirms and kicks, reaching out, reaching for all of them at once, reaching with such need that she threatens to slip from Mercury's arms before they're on solid footing.

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

As they're approached, Shingo sniffs, liquid snot rolling down his shirt, trying to reach for his sister but too battered to even flex his pinky. Anthy stares forward, dull-eyed, as though she's been pushed beyond her capacity to feel anything. Motoki whimpers quietly, his eyes squeezed shut. Naru sobs brokenly. Tears roll down Madoka's face without surcease, dripping to rain down on the city below. If they can even hear their loved ones calling out to them, they give no sign.

And then cords explode out of all five torsos, wrapping viciously around anyone they can reach with an adamantine grip, to grasp and choke and tear and rend.

The illusion melts away all at once, vivacious teenage (and pre-teen) flesh literally dripping from the bone.

Red, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Green are their respective skins, with hair ranging from black to blond with everything in between. Their calves are serrated, and their matching tiaras, though feathered, do not make the delicate, translucent wings on their backs any less insectoid in evocation.

Power rolls off of them in tangible black waves, consuming and perverting the energy of Tokyo as it pours through their conduit. Any one of them could easily be more than a match for the Sailor Team, and instead there are five.

(Visual Reference)

One of them speaks. Their leader, perhaps. "We have been waiting, Sailor Senshi," says the one with long, blond hair. Of course it is. "You will die tonight."

Five sets of eyes, which have no lids per se, transform from black to burning crimson, their equivalent of snapping open.

"You will fall!"

COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro transforms into The DD Girls!
COMBAT: The DD Girls has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 9 opponents!
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Usagi Tsukino.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Sailor Vega.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Sailor V.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Tuxedo Mask.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Sailor Mercury.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has used The End of Illusion on Mesozoic Maiden Lucy.
COMBAT: The DD Girls has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars accepts The DD Girls's The End of Illusion, taking 41 Fatigue damage!  Stun applied to Sailor Mars!  
COMBAT: Sailor Vega narrowly braces The DD Girls's The End of Illusion, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  The DD Girls is Psyched!  Stun applied to Sailor Vega!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe narrowly dodges The DD Girls's The End of Illusion, taking 37 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates!  Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates!  Stun applied to Mami Tomoe!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury narrowly dodges DeeDee's The End of Illusion, taking 34 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mercury's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Mercury's Flash ability activates!  Stun applied to Sailor Mercury!  
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy narrowly dodges DeeDee's The End of Illusion, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Fade ability activates!  Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune perfectly dodges DeeDee's The End of Illusion, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  
COMBAT: Sailor V narrowly dodges DeeDee's The End of Illusion, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor V's Flash ability activates!  Stun applied to Sailor V!  
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask narrowly dodges DeeDee's The End of Illusion, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Tuxedo Mask's Flash ability activates!  Stun applied to Tuxedo Mask!  
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask covers Usagi Tsukino for DeeDee's attack, The End of Illusion, taking it upon themselves instead!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor V [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Between Sailor Neptune's general silence and her own preoccupation, V almost didn't even notice the second senshi enter the elevator after her. And when she does, she's just as silent herself at first, turning away almost shyly, with the light hitting her mask at just the right angle to shield her eyes.

"I know you, don't I? Aren't you a Tuner?" V faces away from Neptune as she asks this, her voice uncertain. But it seems for now, at least, her question isn't going to be answered - for suddenly those cords come crashing through the elevator window, and V only barely manages to jump out of the way, letting out a sharp cry of surprise as she looks out the window to see the five victims replaced by five youma. Frantically, she turns to hit the top floor button on the elevator, trying to will it to rise faster.

Once it does finally hit the top, she rushes out of the now somewhat /damaged/ elevator, running for a point where she can see the enemy more clearly - and once she does, she pulls out her Crescent Moon Compact, hurling it with a cry of, "Crescent Boomerang!"

COMBAT: Sailor V has used Crescent Boomerang on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor V has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to brace Sailor V's Crescent Boomerang, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Bind Break! All of Sailor V's debuffs are cleared!  

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mami very nearly does not see anything other than Madoka crying. The illusion takes in her senses completely; it's a blind spot in her defenses, a sort of attack pattern she so rarely has to even consider, since long ago. And this one is one that is so very hard /not/ to believe.

And then the sneak attack happens, and Mami, mid-leap, has less than moments to react. Her weapons flash in an instant, firing downward hard in a deafening roar to change her momentum, and as she drops the rifles, her shoulder /wrenches/ to spin out of the way. She hits the ground solidly, already taking injuries that would render a normal girl out of the competition.

She lets herself stay down only a moment, rolling back upward and getting to her feet in short order. Her ruffles unruffled, her hat perfectly in place, the Puella Magi stares at her opponents--

"No one cares for liars," she snaps back coldly, and leaps forward again--and then to the side--and then to the other side, as if dodging attacks that aren't even there. Except that there is a faint glinting in the light, in the sapce between where she was, as Mami lifts her hand.

She /tugs/, and the nearly invisibly-thin layers of ribbon she just laid down slice across her foes like razors.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tagliare on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly dodges Mami Tomoe's Tagliare, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami Tomoe is Psyched!  DeeDee's Fade ability activates!  DeeDee's Flash ability activates!  Cripple applied to DeeDee!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Mercury keeps Usagi close, even as she sees the bodies herself; she feels like she could slip and fall herself the instant she sees it, even though in that moment her footing is almost perfectly solid. She begins to sag a little, but quickly gathers Usagi up and carries her the rest of the way. She has to be strong -- for Usagi's sake. Usagi needs her to fight, because right now, Usagi herself seems unable to.

Up close, the horror of seeing their friends hurting makes Ami's grip all the tighter -- perhaps even too tight... and sure enough, that tightness makes it harder to hold Usagi. She attempts to duck to the side, but a cord snags her leg and she loses her footing...

... and her grasp on Usagi.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

A landing, a threat, and suddenly - buffeted by a cascading wave of dark energy that comes too quickly for Sailor Vega to think to move, though she does have sense enough to cover her face with her frearms and sort of huddle.

Visibly dazed, Sailor Vega tries to catch her breath and regain her cool - luckily the 5 'Ladies' have provided motivation. Madoka, her fellow Ohtori Crafts Club enthusiast is up there!

Closing her eyes and touching the brooch on her bow with one hand, Vega intones "COMPASSIONATE..." Her other hand held outstretched towards the DD Girls, "WING..." Her eyes snap open - minor regret reading as clearly as the focus and determination, "CANNONAAAADE!"

From the area of her heart, a gout of energy shaped like many birds and feathers forms and sails in a contained cloud of manic magpie screeches towards the nefarious female insectoids!

COMBAT: Sailor Vega has used Compassionate Wing Cannonade on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Vega has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly braces Sailor Vega's Compassionate Wing Cannonade, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Block ability activates!  DeeDee's Parry ability activates!  Diversion and Exhausted applied to DeeDee!  

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's like lightning. The terrible strands reach out to ensnare and hurt the gathered Senshi and their allies, and they're all getting hit; Tuxedo Mask has to move faster than he can to avoid the one aimed at him from trapping him, but it hits him hard in the process. He lands rolling and jumps up in front of Usagi and Ami, scuffed and a little stiff of movement, and catches the falling Usagi in his billowing cloak. His other hand comes up spinning his cane blindingly fast, between himself and the intrusive protrusion, smacking it away just in case. "You can do this," he whispers to Usagi, "you know you can do this. I believe in you. You're the one who can save the rest of us."

COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has used Inspirational Monologuing! on Usagi Tsukino.
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino accepts Tuxedo Mask's Inspirational Monologuing!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Usagi Tsukino is Cheered!  Cleanse! All of Usagi Tsukino's debuffs are cleared!  

<Pose Tracker> Mesozoic Maiden Lucy [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Lucy's climb up the tower is quick but desperate. Hold on, she thinks as she looks up, she's coming, and she's not alone!

She gets up to the last particularly platform-like place she can, so close to the top. The hostages are right there, waiting to be freed, and there isn't a second to waste, they look like they're in so much pain! But as she's about to, she sees Mercury bounding up in the corner of her eye, and in her hands... Wait. Is that--?

Pure reflex kicks in, as her brain just about stopped there, and every last bit of it is necessary. The five youma girls reveal their cruel deception, and Lucy has to leap, bat away, dance and wheel out of the way of the cords flying towards her. She loses her footing, and almost falls off the tower outright before she catches the edge of it, by pure luck sparing her the rest of the cord onslaught. Only as she climbs back can she process the sheer horror of what's going on.

Were those five hostages even there at all? Lucy doesn't know, but she did see-- Yes, that's definitely Usagi! "Why did you bring her here?!" she asks in Mercury's direction, horror in her voice as she finds herself unable to come up with even a single reason why this might be.

This single moment looking away from the DD Girls is all she can spare, however, as the youma quintet is playing for keeps, and she can't afford to go on the defensive. Likely before anyone can articulate an answer to her question, she's charging towards them, club in hand, screaming her throat raw with a primal cry at the absurdity of it all, knowing she's lost if she stops for even one moment.

COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has used Bamm Bamm Bamm on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee perfectly dodges Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Bamm Bamm Bamm, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  DeeDee's Fade ability activates!  DeeDee's Flash ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Neptune kept her eyes away from V - but when the other woman speaks, Neptune still does not respond at first, instead... her eyes draw down and to one side, to look over her shoulder at the other woman, letting the silence linger. Another moment, and Neptune draws a breath...

Only to have whatever she might say interrupted by the appearance of the cords. Neptune avoids a cry of her own, ducking quickly underneath the lash of one, leaping through the now broken window to grasp a girder - and with a sense of gymnastics she might never possess outside of the Senshi suit, swing herself up to the top of the tower then, twisting her eyes towards the DD Girls.

Neptune felt naked here, without Uranus. But there were other things to be done, and as it appeared - things that needed to be done /right here/. Casting eyes towards Usagi briefly, Neptune lets her head lift up, eyes closing as she sends her mind to times far gone, to places long destroyed. Mind's eye swimming with the image of an intergalactic ocean, Neptune decides to make her introduction to the DD Girls with two sizable bolts of water, sent scything into their midst.

"You /will/ not succeed!" she cries out, her features growing fierce.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Harsh Harsh Neptune on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has finished attacking.

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

It might be difficult for the incoming magical girls to realize at first, but just because Anthy Himemiya and the others who'd been crucified turned out to be youma doesn't mean the ones whose forms had been stolen aren't actually /there/.

As they burst in, some of them might notice that there are unconscious bodies slumped on the ground. Each of them is the body of one of the five people who'd been part of the illusion; each of them would have been impossible to see, based on the angle at which they've been dumped, until the incoming soldiers actually got there. The one plus is that, though Motoki, Shingo, and Naru have all clearly had their energy thoroughly drained, they're alive and otherwise relatively unharmed. ...Mind you, "completely energy-drained" is a serious enough condition all on its own.

Madoka and Anthy are in a similar condition and in particular are close to one another, but where the girl with the pink pigtails seems to be out like a light, the Indian girl stirs slightly, then, with the aching slowness of someone whose limbs have turned to lead, she lifts her head just in time for Mami to initiate her ribbon slice on the DD Girls. That means that she also sees Usagi, and Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Mercury protecting her.

Her mouth works, but no noise actually seems to come out. Her glasses are askew and possibly broken.

COMBAT: DeeDee fails to counter Sailor Neptune's Harsh Harsh Neptune, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: DeeDee's counterattack, Dial D for Destruction, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Neptune!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

There's only a moment of notice when she arrives at the top of the tower. DD Girls... like evil magical girls it seems. It all looks familiar somehow, considering her team. Colors and such.

But as bad luck has it, some kid had followed her up the tower too, with the path she had dug up it was easy for him too. The kid wanted to pester her of course. But the DD GIrls aren't really taking aim, they are just attacking everything in sight at this point. So Mars does the only thing she should do. She shields the kid. She turns her back to the attack, taking the full force of it, making her grunt out in pain. The kid gets ofuda-ed afterwards before he can do anything else, and pushes aside in the elevator so he'd be relatively safe... safer than outside of it anyway.

She turns back toward the DD Girls, forgetting about Usagi's state right now, but moving up to side with Mercury and Venus, ready to bring out the offense "I don't know what you want or do here, but you're on our turf, and you're not going to be here long around to make yourself home!" She pulls out more ofudas from nowhere, and throws them at the girl-band of misfits, lighting them on fire as they fly toward them.

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Youma Taisan! on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to counter Sailor Mars's Youma Taisan!, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Mars is Psyched!  
COMBAT: DeeDee's counterattack, The End of Illusion, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Mars!  

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Usagi still reaches, and then feels nothing beneath her. The world tumbles and turns, and then she is somewhere else. It's familiar. Maybe just familiar for his real counterpart, Sailor Moon. Usagi hides in the cloak like she once did, because it worked so well last time.

"Tuxedo-sama," she murmurs, wide eyes locked on the unfolding battle. "Why do people keep saying that to me?"

Even this close to the danger, she feels safer than she did wearing the uniform and blasting the sirens. She can think.

They were just illusions. They weren't real. They're all safe.

Mami is here, reassuring and wise. Lucy also, who is twice her friend. Rei and Ami, who understand her like few others. Sailor V again, whoever she is. Neptune, the mysterious soldier who hints at danger that she might herself be behind. And another--a girl with a collar, just days after Tuxedo spoke of another soldier who is so very kind.

And, beyond them, Anthy Himemiya, who might be someone that is the most important. No, she's surrounded by people. Usagi shrinks backward in horror as she recognizes the shapes. Madoka's hair, bright as it is. In her mind, Sailor Moon dashes through the battlefield, right to their side.

"I can't transform. I can't--"


"Usa-chan," Madoka whispers, rubbing at her face with little fists, before sitting back to lock eyes with her directly, pink and blue exactly the same height, "I'm really scared. I'm afraid that... that terrible things will happen to everyone I c-care about," she stiffens her jaw, refusing to fall apart more than she already has, "And that I, that I'll, be too much of a c-coward to be able to help them..."


Closing her eyes, she reopens them with something like gravitas. Solemnity. And once again, she can look Usagi in the eye. She is totally at a loss as to what to say, what could possibly match this show of support -- so she borrows from her major role model (other than Mami and Sailor Moon). "Mama says that you can't be brave, if you're not scared."


Usagi locks eyes with Anthy, who might be the moon princess herself. It feels like she is, or at least Usagi feels like a child near her. The way she--


Anthy turns back to her book castle, picking up the text that Usagi had been clutching and finding a spot where it can fit in. It takes her some time, with many careful adjustments. "People are not such simple creatures that they can be defined in just one or two words. It's natural, if you find yourself in over your head, faced with responsibilities beyond what you expected when you accepted them, to want to give up and run away. It doesn't make you a good or bad person; all it means is that you are a person."


Usagi closes her eyes tight.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Even though Tuxedo Mask's there to save her from her mistake, Ami feels a little miserable at having lost control of Usagi here. Surprise or not, she should've been prepared, she should've...

She looks over to Usagi and Tuxedo Mask, forcing herself to smile even though she feels like she's failed her. Drawing herself back to her feet, she looks to the DD Girls, taking a deep breath. No matter how bad it is... it's still her duty. No matter how bad it gets -- she has to fight.

As bubbles roll off of her in waves she announces, forcing pride, "In the name of Mercury -- I will punish you! Douse your head in cold water and repent!" It's as much for her own sake as anything else; the bubbles rolling off of her help introduce some confusion into the DD Girls' side of the battlefield, but saying the words is for her.

COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has used In The Name Of Mercury on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to dodge Sailor Mercury's In The Name Of Mercury, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mercury is Psyched!  Stagger and Tangle applied to DeeDee!  

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

It rapidly becomes complete chaos, of course.

Sailor V's crescent boomerang raises sparks, rather than sparkles, as it slices through Red's chords; their stumps retract into her torso, which quickly folds over with normal (crimson) flesh, and she takes to the air -- joined by Green, who has emerged from Mami's razor web with a few scratches to show for the experience, but mostly intact. One is on her cheek, and her eyes glow hatefully at the Puella Magi. The two of them rush downward, trying to first gang up on Mami, and then on V, by the simple expedient of attempting to grab the former and hurl her into the latter. Considering where they are, it will take fancy footwork on the part of both to avoid a fatal plunge.

Cyan tosses her hair as she fluidly moves around the Mezosoic Maiden, taking Magenta's hands as they swirl and spin away from that club swung at such terrible speeds. The air itself is not so lucky, soft booms echoing in its wake. The two of them explode forward, trailing a sickly green mist in their wake, which stings and burns and chokes anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in the cloud, including Lucy, Sailor Mercury, Tuxedo Mask, and, naturally, Usagi.

Blue tries to answer those torrential, tremendous gouts of Neptunian ocean with her own watery grave, crossing her arms in front of her as Vegan magpies flutter and claw and peck, but ultimately gasps and sputters as she's totally overwhelmed, driven up against one of the metal support structure's pillars. Finally the water freezes solid around her, not by the will of any senshi but by the youma herself sucking all of the energy out of the liquid. She shatters it from within just as Sailor Mars throws her ofuda, and more's the pity, as that ice might have shielded her. Instead, cracking her jaw from one side to the other, click, click, she beckons Cyan and Magenta back over and the three of them do a flyover of both senshi, slicing at Mars, Neptune and Vega with the impossibly sharp edges of their wings.

Sailor Mercury's speech, her challenge, is perhaps what finally prompts them to speak once again.

"We do not fear you, fools." "Look out across your 'territory'." "And look closer, still." "Tokyo has already fallen."

"You have already failed," finishes their leader with a contemptuous smirk. "And your leader seems to have abandoned you in this time of crisis... where is the one called Sailor Moon?"

Another cataclysm's worth of energy pours upwards through the tower, and from all over the city come the sounds of death. Some go out with screams; others with whimpers. Thousands of people, the first to succumb to the energy drain, are now the first to die. Millions remain, collapsed, the silence of unnaturally still traincars ominous -- there hardly seems to be a soul left standing in Tokyo, other than the magical girls at the Tower and elsewhere frantically fighting off what seems to be the wholesale invasion of Murphy's Law.

They don't have much time left.

COMBAT: DeeDee has used Ganging Up on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Ganging Up on Sailor V.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Deeting on Mesozoic Maiden Lucy.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Deeting on Tuxedo Mask.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Deeting on Usagi Tsukino.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Ganging Up on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Ganging Up on Sailor Vega.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Deeting on Sailor Mercury.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used DD Girl Power on DeeDee.
COMBAT: DeeDee has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee accepts DeeDee's DD Girl Power, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Accelerate and Empower applied to DeeDee!  
COMBAT: Sailor Vega narrowly dodges DeeDee's Ganging Up, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Vega is Quipped!  Sailor Vega's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Vega's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to counter DeeDee's Ganging Up, taking 36 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is Quipped!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro Retort, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to DeeDee!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mars narrowly braces DeeDee's Ganging Up, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mars is Quipped!  
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy fails to brace DeeDee's Deeting, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee is Psyched!  Stagger applied to Mesozoic Maiden Lucy!  
COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino narrowly dodges DeeDee's Deeting, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Usagi Tsukino's Flash ability activates!  Stagger applied to Usagi Tsukino!  
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask fails to brace DeeDee's Deeting, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Tuxedo Mask!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury narrowly dodges DeeDee's Deeting, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mercury's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Mercury's Flash ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Flash! Shriek! Slash! Shriek! Sailor Vega moves as much as she can to stay out of the way of the gang-up of DD Girls - cut to a gash torn on the flare of her coat/skirt here, another cut to a slash along the outside of her glove, the ribbon on her chest.

It's almost impossible, and the strain and effort reads clearly on her face each time another attack is only narrowly escaped by the thinnest of margins... and by the time it's done, though Vega remains standing, she is gasping for breath.

But those captured, those dead and dying - they're depending on the people gathered here!

"VEEEEEGA..." she shouts raising her arms, then extends them towards one of the harrowing insect-lady youma! "BOLIDE!"

COMBAT: Sailor Vega has used Vega Bolide on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Vega has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor V narrowly dodges DeeDee's Ganging Up, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor V is Quipped!  Sailor V's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly dodges Sailor Vega's Vega Bolide, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Fade ability activates!  DeeDee's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Ganging Up on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: DeeDee has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune fails to brace DeeDee's Ganging Up, taking 44 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Neptune is Quipped!  

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

She's not changing. They're calling her out and she's not changing. And she's still behind him. Tuxedo Mask whips up his cape to shield them from the spray of insecticide, but it gets through, it leaks through, it's spraying /everywhere/ and it *burns*. And she's not behind him anymore-- he knows she's not, without looking-- but he has to, he has to protect her; if he can just make enough of a diversion for her friends to step in--

Eyes burning and face a twisted mask of pain, hat god knows where, Tuxedo Mask flings open his cape and sends an inexplicable barrage of roses winging toward the DD Girl focusing in their direction. "COWARDS!" he yells. "Using lies and trickery to bring us here, making us think our friends are in pain--" his voice is a rasp because of the chemicals "and spitting upon the love we have for them! It's UNFORGIVABLE!"

COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has used Too Many Roses on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly braces Tuxedo Mask's Too Many Roses, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Block ability activates!  DeeDee's Parry ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mami Tomoe, for one, does not at first see Anthy and the others, not their real versions. The possibility that they're here hasn't left her in the least--but the target that's appeared has her attention now, an anger in her that she won't voice and can't entirely admit to, anyway. It's more than just the deception. It's...

It's smething that fuels Mami's movements as Green seems to shrug off her attack. The hateful glow is met by a firce stare, and Mami prepares for their arrival, seeing both charge down at once. Her weapons spin into existence, and she waits until the last moment, firing to deflect where she can't dodge--

But they're too fast.

Her aim misses completely and Mami is hurled through the air, sailing right towards Sailor V, someone she thinks she hasn't seen in a while but really hasn't met at all.

It's a near thing, but Tuxedo Mask's 'UNFORGIVABLE' bellows out as Mami slams into the spire, rolling a few steps longer and... off the side.

Only her hand gripping the edge saves her from the fall. The other joins it; the Puella Magi is forced to drag herself up, and when she stands, breathing heavily, she can't stop. Another gun comes out, from nowhere, and then two more as she spins around, from behind; she starts firing, advancing on her opponents and throwing away her guns as fast as she can draw them, one with each flourishing step.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Flourish on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to dodge Mami Tomoe's Tiro Flourish, taking 35 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Stagger applied to DeeDee!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor V [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The sudden rush of Red and Green makes it so that V is really in no position to try to keep up with everything else that's going on. When Mami is grabbed and thrown at her, Sailor V just barely manages to get out of the way, but when the other girl continues sailing past, she turns and lets out a gasped, "No--!"

She runs for the edge when the Puella Magi tumbles over it, at first unwilling to even look over the edge, but then she sees that Mami is actually okay, and when the other girl climbs back up onto the platform, V lets out a sigh of relief.

And she then turns to Red and Green with ferocity in her eyes, gritting her teeth as she launches into her speech-- "Tokyo Tower is a symbol of the heart of the Japanese people, reaching out to spread joy to everyone within its reach! In its 56 year history, nobody has committed so foul a deed as you've done here today! In the name of the spirit of Tachuu Naitou, I, Sailor V, won't let this atrocity continue!"

Here, she holds her Crescent Moon Compact high above her head, so that it can catch the light of the moon. "Crescent Super Beam!" With that cry, a strong beam of bright light is shined at Red and Green.

COMBAT: Sailor V has used Crescent Super Beam on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor V has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sailor Mars doesn't want to give away Moon's identity of course, but she's starting to wonder what's going on with Usagi. She knows she can be a scaredy cat and whiner, but never to abandon people, and even less stand there to watch it happen rather than run away to hide. And Tuxedo Mask, that she still knows nothing about, trying to shield her. Well, she'll take any ally in this kind of storm.

Her fires spread some of the attack thrown her away, enough to limit the damage at least, as she readies the next attack "Mercury! Keep an eye on Usagi, I'll take the front!" She pulls more more Ofudas, this time aiming to slap them on the DeeDee's foreheads to stun them with her spiritual energies. "Evil, begone!" She seems to be stepping up to be leader, since Moon is unable to act right now. There's Sailor V there too, but she doesn't know what's her deal yet. But more Sailors... She's met Neptune before, she's glad to count on her as an ally too.

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Evil, Begone! on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly dodges Sailor V's Crescent Super Beam, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Fade ability activates!  DeeDee's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: DeeDee perfectly counters Sailor Mars's Evil, Begone!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Counter!  DeeDee's Reverse ability activates!  DeeDee's Tactician ability activates!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mars is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: DeeDee's counterattack, The End of Illusion, bursts all the way through, doing 46 Fatigue damage to Sailor Mars!  Sailor Mars is unable to keep fighting!  Stun applied to Sailor Mars!  

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

As the DD Girls unleash their assaults on the magical girls present, it's understandable that the tucked-out-of-the-way civilians wouldn't be noticed. The one gaze that Anthy draws is the gaze of the one other ostensible civilian here.

But when Usagi stares at her, she stares back, looking exhausted and weak--but still struggling to pull herself upright.

Her breathing is labored, pained. It would be easier, simpler, to give in to the energy drain and pass out. But she is there.

And Usagi closes her eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Mesozoic Maiden Lucy [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The Mesozoic Maiden's charge was not the smartest move she could make, considering, and soon two of the girls are almost literally dancing around her, dodging every single one of her blows with disconcerting ease. Then they let out this foul, green gas. Managing at least this bit of quick thinking, Lucy tears off a strip of the fur dangling from her dress and uses it to cover her mouth... but her moves are too slow, and soon she's inhaled the foul gas. A coughing fit later, she's left herself open to the DD Girls' blows, and leaping away from them is all she can manage at this point.

She lands not very far from the hostages, which confirms some of her fears, but at least they seem to be alive. Anthy is stirring, even. "Don't worry," she manages to steady her voice to say to the Ohtori girl, "we'll stop them, and then you'll all be safe!" And Usagi, too. That question, again, nags at her: /Why/?

The youma girls' words, and the sounds of so many screams, cause Lucy's heart to sink in spite of herself. It sounds like the battle is already lost, and as they point out, /where/ is Sailor Moon? She sees several of the Senshi, most of whom she's fought alongside in the past, but their leader isn't there, is she? Normally, she'd expect Sailor Moon to show up out of nowhere, fashionably late, and make a cool speech then singlehandedly turn the tides, just like she did for her back at the arcade, it seemed so long ago, but now...

No, she has to keep hoping.

She doesn't scream this time, in large part because her throat has gone raw from her earlier shouting coupled with the chemicals, but since she's trying to catch the multicolored youma offguard, doing so would be ill-advised anyway. For a second, she literally runs away from the melee, and up the spire. Then, she kicks herself off it and, sailing through the Tokyo sky, lands amidst the DD Girls. Her goal is to catch them off-guard using her unexpected attack angle, knocking a few skulls together as she flies. It's not her brightest trick ever, and maybe they'll catch on, but it's the best one she can come up with right now.

COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has used Triassic Trick on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to dodge Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Triassic Trick, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mesozoic Maiden Lucy is Psyched!  Tangle applied to DeeDee!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Continuing to try to stay light on her feet even as things start to turn a little -- well, maybe a /lot/ -- miserable, and the drain of Tokyo's energy becomes so dreadfully apparent, Ami does her best to weave back away from the nasty green cloud. She chokes on it a little, though, just the same; it's hard to avoid breathing in something like that.

As she finishes moving backward, she takes a second to breathe... and then Sailor Mars barks at her, and she in turn gives a nod back, and a small, faint, "Right!"

And sure enough, she /does/ keep her eyes on Usagi, even as she presses forward. Spreading her arms before raising them high into the sky, she calls out, "Twisting a treasured landmark like this is unforgivable! And using the faces of those we love to hurt us...!" She spins quickly, thrusting her hands outward and calling, "Mercury Aqua Mist!" as a spray of ice-cold water splashes the DD Girls.

COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has used Mercury Aqua Mist on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to dodge Sailor Mercury's Mercury Aqua Mist, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Sailor Neptune was focused. She really couldn't fail here. Most of the Senshi here... it was vital, at least in her own mind that this must be stopped. This has to be stopped.

And she could not trust anyone else here to do it. They had their strengths, their vitalities of their own, but they lacked the knowledge that she did.

Even Neptune lacked the knowledge she needed to. But if this was that moment? That moment that everything needed to be given to stop the world being destroyed? She had to. She must. Flickering her eyes towards Usagi - there was a moment of gentling in her features as she recognizes the girl - why was she here? Certainly in the very wrong place, at the worst time in the world.

Neptune stiffens up, drawing a finger over the center of her form, again calling out to those oceans far away.

The tide comes in. Comes in to batter against the DD girls that she can see, while the ones she cannot swoop in past her, and... slice into her with their wings.

Neptune topples backwards, falling off the edge of the roof, her eyes opening wide.

She had never made the time, never found that chance to teach Usagi the things she asked for.

As gravity takes her, however, she falls - end over end, at least until she reaches out an arm to catch herself, several meters below the platform, looping an elbow around a girder to prevent further falling.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Unrelenting Tide on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to dodge Sailor Neptune's Unrelenting Tide, taking 55 Fatigue damage!  Stun applied to DeeDee!  

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.


Mami speaks softly, "We can die if everything goes right, too, Sailor Moon. Sometimes, there /is/ no easy answer; there is no good path. I've seen it happen; a magical girl finds something so important, so vital, that she's willing to die for it. ...And sometimes that's the right choice to make. Much as it might be nice otherwise... The world isn't fair. That's why it needs protectors. That's why it needs people to fight for the people who can't protect themselves."


Naru opens her lunch, positioning it between herself and Usagi because Usagi forgot hers. "She'll definitely give you a discount if I ask. What's the point of being lucky enough to have a mom that's a famous jeweler if I don't do something with it? 'Making the most of a situation' applies everywhere, you know!"


"Ah, thanks," Lucy blushes a bit at being called nice, "You did do something, though. I'm new to this place-- this country." She balls up her fists. "And sometimes... Sometimes I'm in situations where I don't know what to do, you know? I guess it wasn't much, but it meant a lot to me. So thank you."


"You'll never win, Usagi! I'm the cool schoolboy superhero, Sneakers Shingo!" Shingo poses in front of the TV, where he has just destroyed Usagi's aspirations of being as good at fighting games as Juri. "In the name of the moon, you've been punished, you dork!"


Motoki leans over Usagi's shoulder, grinning at her progress. "Hey, you've gotten further this time. The trick is, if you go too slow, you won't beat the level. It's a little scary to just charge in, but if it's the only way to win, then you have to try.


"I think," Mio murmurs, "that we all have a destiny. And it is our responsibility to pursue that destiny - whether we like it or not."


Luna presses the switch to release the hidden catch in the wall. It's time for Sailor Moon to accept her charge, though only because there may not be another. It slides apart, revealing an empty glass case. Luna gapes. How could it be gone?


Usagi breaks from Tuxedo Mask, running into the fray. She's heedless of the poison descending upon her. It's her friends that are hurting. She screams up at the flitting youma, hands balled into fists and warmth swelling in her chest.

"I won't let you! I'm--"

Usagi grasps her for her transformation brooch. She pauses, lips parting in shock as it's not there. In its place, there's something--shaped like a crescent--and--

The poison never touches her. It's burned away by the halation of white light surrounding her body. At her chest, where her brooch is, the light is so bright that it obscures everything. It's white as the moon on the clearest of nights. Usagi looks down, reaching curiously into the light, and is then consumed by red ribbons.


A hand reaches out from brightness, now kaleidoscoping in blues and oranges and reds and greens. The ribbons circle round, starting at the fingers, becoming a glove still grasping a gleaming crescent wand. The silken strands continue to swirl downward, gathering up the light as they go, turning it all into sleek boots, a pretty suit and skirt, and a sailor collar as blue as a starry sky.


Sailor Moon twirls her wand, standing tall like Makoto taught her, expression as fierce as Rei's, and gaze as sharp as Ami's. "I'll never forgive monsters who don't fear those who defend the helpless when everything looks hopeless! I'm the sailor-suited pretty soldier of love and justice, Sailor Moon! And, in the name of the moon, I will punish you!"

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee perfectly dodges Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  DeeDee's Fade ability activates!  DeeDee's Flash ability activates!  

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

Magenta dives out of the way of Sailor Vega's sparkling beam, shedding sparkles of her own on her way to the floor -- sweat. That was far too close. Red leaps in front of her, shielding them both with her wings against the worst of Tuxedo Mask's roses, but some thorns do find purchase, wounding her cruelly.

Then Mami fills them both with beautifully carved golden musket rounds, and they fall back, keening.

The enormous and gorgeous Crescent Super Beam nearly fries Green on the spot; Blue literally tackles her out of the way. Cyan, meanwhile, is wholly unimpressed by Mars' attempt to slap an ofuda on her; lifting an eyebrow as the paper approaches her through the air, she pierces it a half dozen times with the steel cords that re-erupt from chest, carrying them further still to wrap and crush Sailor Mars with great prejudice.

That's when the Mezosoic Maiden falls out of the sky and brains her. The other four rush to Cyan's aid just in time to eat Mercury's gout of water in the face, then simply get washed away by Neptune's tide like so much weird, grasshopper-esque flotsam and jetsom.

Unfortunately, they have wings. Spreading them to slow their fall, they catch an updraft in unison like the world's most bizarre squadron, and remain hovering, gossamer blurs at their backs, as they survey the magical girls assembled to oppose them.

They are chastised sorely, especially by Tuxedo Mask, and then, at long last, by Sailor Moon, whose holy explosion forces them to huddle together momentarily for protection in a bubble of wings. When they emerge, though... where they had seemed to be starting to feel the battle, her appearance seems to give them a second wind. Magenta flips her hair, and the others are quick to chime in, in word and in deed.


"You think we seek your forgiveness?"

"We don't even care about your permission."

"Die, arrogant fools!"

"Suffer the wrath of the Power of D!"

Grasping each others' hands in a five-girl circle, dark energy explodes from the center, a beam that seems to rend reality itself even as it passes, in slow motion, towards Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Mercury, and Sailor Vega. It is an attack so massive in both scope and intensity that tendrils or pure darkness cannot help but break off as it passes, break off and solidify once more into those terrible rending rods, now purple instead of gray, which try to tighten around Lucy, around V, around Mami and Sailor Moon. Some even drift down to attempt to catch and pin Neptune, who is gone but not forgotten, hanging there below.

COMBAT: DeeDee has used Darkness Falls on Mesozoic Maiden Lucy.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Darkness Falls on Sailor V.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Darkness Falls on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Darkness Falls on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Darkness Falls on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: FINISHER! DeeDee has used The Power of Point D on Sailor Mercury.
COMBAT: FINISHER! DeeDee has used The Power of Point D on Tuxedo Mask.
COMBAT: FINISHER! DeeDee has used The Power of Point D on Sailor Vega.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used DD Girl Power on DeeDee.
COMBAT: DeeDee has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee accepts DeeDee's DD Girl Power, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Accelerate and Empower applied to DeeDee!  
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune narrowly braces DeeDee's Darkness Falls, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Neptune's Block ability activates!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to brace DeeDee's Darkness Falls, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!  
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to brace DeeDee's Darkness Falls, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sailor V fails to dodge DeeDee's Darkness Falls, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy perfectly dodges DeeDee's Darkness Falls, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Fade ability activates!  Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Sailor Vega narrowly dodges DeeDee's Finisher, The Power of Point D, taking 54 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Vega's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Vega's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury narrowly braces DeeDee's Finisher, The Power of Point D, taking 55 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask perfectly dodges DeeDee's Finisher, The Power of Point D, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Tuxedo Mask's Flash ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sailor Mars put up a stronger front than she should have it seems. Her ofudas never get to their mark, instead getting ripped away, and the aftershocks of the attack reaches all the way to her even, slicing at her skin and sailor fuku. The pain is too strong at that point, and she falls to her knees, and face first unto the grating of the ground.

As her conciousness fades, her opens eyes register Sailor Moon's transformation. Its different than before. She registers that much, but she has no energy to move or act upon it, as her conciousness start slipping away into darkness. She couldn't do more than this, all she hopes is that the others can bring this to an end before everything is swallowed into darkness with her.

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mami can offer Sailor V no more than a smile in return, meant to reassure--and it is nice, that someone checked. But there's no time for her to stop and be friendly. She keeps moving, firing onward through her fatigue. Getting here alone was an ordeal, but she won't--can't--give up. Especially not as...

The ones they were looking for /are/ here.

So many here she recognizes, has seen work before, seen work /together/, but she told Tuxedo Mask already: she doesn't seem to work well with others. Every time she tries, it's something. And this is too important to risk. So, Mami keeps going, now closer to the pile of people who need rescuing, as finally Sailor Moon enters her field of vision. What they've all called out is what she feels; what can she add? And yet...

"It doesn't matter what power you send at us!" Mami challenges. "You--" The explosion of darkness rending reality, that's one thing; Mami is used to the disorientation of being somewhere that isn't entirely sensible or actual. But the tendrils, violet and violent, crash around her, and Mami's voice is choked off as they pass through. "I--" she manages, as she's squuezed. "No! I have... to..."

Desperation enters her tone as Mami trails off. Her eyes roll back and she slumps, just by the hostages she was trying to protect, in a heap. Blood pools around her, though she's still breathing. The unused rifles she was about to fire remain at her feet.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

As the reality-rending beam of pure darkness envelops and explodes around them, Sailor Vega tries to move; but she's taken so much punishment it's all she can do to 'ride the wave.' Being blown backwards with explosive force, bouncing on and rolling across the tower platform... Vega stops with a small moan, taking stock of her remaining stores of energy. She can feel it - she's nearly done, but there's a spark of... something.

Looking across to Sailor Mercury, Vega brings herself to a crouch, and then move to the other Senshi. She can sense it in her, too.

She doesn't know her at all. Never, as far as she knows, laid eyes on her until tonight. But Vega reaches to touch the other girl's shoulder.

"Let's show those Harpies what friendship can do, hey?"

Keeping one hand on Mercury, Vega raises her other one. Her voice is weak in volume, but powerful in intent as she fixes the DD Girls with her eyes and her fingers in the air.

"Twilight... Bolide... CRESCENDO!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Vega has started a combo targeting DeeDee!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor V [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Seeing her attack almost completely miss the DD Girls isn't the best feeling, but at least she almost damaged Green. Still, there's little time for celebration before the baddies are charging up their latest attack, and no time to check after the girl who toppled over the edge; she'll just have to hope that Neptune is okay.

Those taunts are enough to get her blood boiling, though, and she replies harshly, "Evil like you can never win! The allies of justice will always be there to stop you!"

This would, of course, sound more impressive if not for the fact that her assertion is punctuated by a sharp gasp as the girl is entangled by one of those violet tendrils, unable to break free despite struggling - and the sight of Mami lying in a pool of blood has her all but screaming, "No! This can't happen again!"

She doesn't even know the other girl, but apparently having already almost witnessed Mami's death once in this fight is enough to have Sailor V feeling protective of her. And she just looks frantic for a moment as she struggles against the tendril, before she's finally able to break free, rushing forward to crouch in front of Mami, and once again holding up her Compact as she cries, "Crescent Super Beam!", firing another beam of light at the DD Girls.

COMBAT: Sailor V has used Crescent Super Beam on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor V has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly braces Sailor V's Crescent Super Beam, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Block ability activates!  DeeDee's Parry ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

The DD Girls answer. Sailor Moon grits her teeth. She'll convince them.

There's a flash of red in the corner of her eye. Usagi glances away from the snakes in front of her. When she breaks to run toward Mars instead, she's not abandoning her battle plan. It was always to save everyone.

She bursts through the rending rods, putting her gloves before her. They suffer, and she is cut, but she is also now at Rei's side. Usagi slides her hands under her shoulders, lifting her up with a strength that is and is not her own. "Mars-chan," she murmurs, getting herself to her feet, "you worked so hard while I was doing nothing--let me do something now."

Sailor Moon turns to look over her shoulder, her brow knit in concern. The sinking feeling in her stomach is Mami, who risks her life in more ways than one by being here. "Tuxedo-sama! Please save Mami!"

Then, she disappears in a blur of blue, leaping to an elevator. She deposits Mars inside the waiting doors, somewhat inelegantly because she is still Usagi, and hits the ground floor button. Ding. Rei saved. Usagi tightens her grip on her wand, then runs back to the fight.

"Return everything you've stolen! What's worth the lives you're taking?!"

She makes the wand dance in her hand, spinning in an elliptical arc. It catches a glint of the moon, and then the tower is filled with innumerable rays of piercing, pale light.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used My Crescent Wand the Only Light on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

After one last glance back to Usagi as she finally manages to transform into Sailor Moon, Ami turns her eyes forward, bracing for the impact of the power of D. It's that image that she holds in her heart as she presses slightly forward into it, trying to weather the full might of the DD Girls. For a minute, it looks like it's too much, but when the dust clears...

... there's Mercury, barely standing -- but standing. Alive. Teeth clenched, fists balled up... and at the ready, even still.

Weaving backward, she glances to Sailor Vega as her shoulder's touched... and nods, firmly. "You've got it." As Sailor Vega hangs onto her, raising that hand into the air, Mercury tenses up her legs. Somehow, instinctively, she knows what she's doing here. "MERCURY --" she starts, giving one last nod to Sailor Vega before leaping up into the air, legs wreathed in swirling, ice-cold water, already readying herself for the upcoming impact.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Mercury has joined the combo started by Sailor Vega!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Neptune was not finished - not by a long shot. Rolling her neck, the woman brings up a foot to brace against one of the girders - and she begins to climb. Bit by bit. Step by step - a certain determination touching her features.

She was not dead yet.

That beam of darkness strikes the back of her mind, an affront to her soul as much as her senses. And that was even before she saw those lashes hope to whip around her and pin her down. They do lash around her middle - the darkness ice cold to the touch as she feels those things snake tighter around her, constricting her breath.

With her free hand, she lifts herself another meter - and just clings there. Holding on.

Hope was dwindling.

But the light of the moon began to shine, lifting her eyes up towards the top of the tower to watch.

COMBAT: DeeDee fails to brace Sailor Moon's My Crescent Wand the Only Light, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Mesozoic Maiden Lucy [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Lucy lands and skids to a halt after she manages to brain Cyan with her club. It's not much, but at least it's /something/, and that feels more satisfying to her than it has any right to.

She's about to consider her next move when she hears Usagi shout something, something rather unexpected, and then radiant light bursts out, ribbons encircle her body, and...

Oh. Oh, of /course/.

In any other circumstance, she might have been mad at Usagi for keeping secrets from her even when she'd revealed hers, or at the very least she might have a million questions to ask her. It's already looking obvious in hindsight, but to reconcile her friend Usagi Tsukino and her admired ally Sailor Moon's identities is a shock in so many ways, and emotions are churning within the Maiden's heart, some good, some less so.

But right now, most of all? She's so, so happy to see her.

"Sailor Moon!" Lucy shouts, despite her throat's condition, tiny tears of joy forming at the sight of her punish-you pose. /Now,/ they can truly do anything, she feels.

But the DD Girls are quick to bring her and the rest back to reality with such a massive onslaught of energy. Even though she's physically away from the full force of the blast those tendrils home in towards her. Sailor Moon's reveal has lifted her spirits such that it barely surprises her when her next bound above the tendrils has her soaring as lightly a bird, well out of their reach.

But below her, the situation is still desperate. Sailor Mars has fallen, and so has the Puella Magi in yellow. Sailor Moon or not, they're still running out of time. Lucy's expression hardens as her resolve does. Arms open, she maneuvers through the air as best as she can (she cannot /literally/ fly), and then drops right above one of the five sisters, swinging into her club strength from every single one of her muscles, not to mention the true power of gravity. "Earth's protectors will ALWAYS stand against you!" she manages to croak out as she falls, defiantly.

COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has used Cretaceous Clobber on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly counters Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Cretaceous Clobber, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Reverse ability activates!  DeeDee's Tactician ability activates!  
COMBAT: DeeDee's counterattack, Ganging Up, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mesozoic Maiden Lucy!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

As Vega reaches and Mercury leaps into the sky, the night seems to close in - a glint of gold, catching as the golden comet of love rapidly approaches Earth. Swirling and swining, the giant golden bolide picks up clots of ice and dust as it guides itself from origin point towards Mercury's closing phrasing...

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

The DD girls are dealt waves of punishing power, and they return the favor with waves of darkness, hand-in-hand, crushing some of the girls and scattering others. Anthy, along with the other passed-out civilians, are mercifully ignored, but if their protectors fall, will that truly last?


Waves of light flow out from Usagi as she calls out a certain phrase, and Anthy's green eyes widen. "Sailor... Moon..." she murmurs, finally pushing herself upright, perhaps due to inspiration from finding out that this girl is the Sailor Senshi she professed to admire. While the DD Girls may not be impressed by her, there is something in the Ohtori student's eyes...

Her attention is stolen by when the DD Girls strike down Mami, sending her crashing to the floor in a pool of her own blood. Anthy gasps, almost theatrically, at the gory sight--and then slowly, slowly pulls herself over to her.

By the time Mami passes out, her head rests on Anthy's lap as her skirt, socks and shows are stained bright red. A hand closes around hers. Anthy gazes down at her upperclasswoman--and then over at the remaining magical girls. At Tuxedo Mask, who rushes to their side to protect the Puella Magi at Sailor Moon's behest. She says nothing; she only gazes up at him with an inscrutable expression, lips slightly parted.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Stinging and burning face, having trouble staying upright, hair and cape both loose now and waving in the wind, Tuxedo Mask's eyes are so bright. And he's grinning like the cat that ate the canary.

She did it.

She's back.

When those battering rams of wicked darkness and pain blast toward them, all, he flips up into the air and does a somersault, coming to his feet with the vanished hat in his hand.

He rolls it up on top of his head, yelling "Tuxedo!"

Then he produces his cane from in the cape, too, and baton-twirls it to his left hand, continuing and raising his voice further, "la Smoking--"

The so-called petty thief, the masked mystery man in search of the Silver Crystal, raises his right hand.

Then Sailor Moon tells him to get Mami, GET MAMI-- and he sees that Mami's down-- and his eyes are suddenly bright with fury. He gives Sailor Moon a sharp nod.

His arm's out ramrod straight and a ball of incandescent energy is beginning to glow in front, and as he yells the final word, it rockets toward the dancing circle of insect youma. "BOMBER!!!"

With the ball in the air, he totally does a James Bond duck, run, side-somersault, and sliiiiide toward where the Puella Magi's fallen. Except Sailor Moon totally just yoinked the elevator. Best he can do is shield her, or try to. And hope the others finish off the monster before it finds him, and his new charge. And the hostages. And Anthy, oh, god, Anthy-- his eyes, so blue, are so apologetic behind the gleaming white mask. Maybe this wasn't the best plan. His part of it, anyway.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Tuxedo Mask has used Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Trajectory nearly perfectly aligned with the comet's, Ami drives herself downward, wreathed in ice and golden light, her own cold magic mixing with the warm, lovely light of Vega's comet. She finishes, forcefully, "-- WATER BULLET!" as her legs -- and the comet -- speed forward toward the DD Girls.

COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Sailor Vega and Sailor Mercury have used Twilight Bolide Crescendo and Mercury Water Bullet on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Vega has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee narrowly dodges Sailor Vega and Sailor Mercury's Finisher, Combo: Twilight Bolide Crescendo, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee's Fade ability activates!  DeeDee's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to dodge Tuxedo Mask's Finisher, Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber, taking 76 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  DeeDee is Quipped!  

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

The top of Tokyo Tower can be seen from China for a few seconds, as it explodes with light. Light, light, so much light.

The light of love: Sailor V's Crescent Super Beam ripping along the tendril that had bound her to a pillar, tearing straight through the darkness, opening a path.

The light of the Moon: Sailor Moon's wand, not seen since the Silver Millennium, glows with a softer light than that of Venus', but an encompasing one, that envelops the DD Girls, embracing them, binding them. Smoke begins to rise off of their wings. Blue screams.

The light of the Earth: Tuxedo Mask's attack roars into the youma's ring, exploding in their midst alongside another world's Maiden, who uses their distraction to lay about fiercely with her weapon. Green takes the worst of it, reeling.

The twin lights of distant stars: Sailor Mercury might argue the term, but there's no denying the effect, as she comes riding in on the summoned holy determination of Sailor Vega's meteor, the two of them forcing the chain of hands to break, driving Magenta off course, causing her to bend a metal girder with her impact.

Red and Cyan glare downwards, the only two left unscathed by this combined assault. "Bold words," mocks the latter. "And ignorant as well." The moonlight glints off of their narrowed crimson eyes. "You did not listen." "You will not see."

In unison, they sweep their arms outwards, across all Tokyo, which lies beneath them.

Which lies... dead, save for those other rare lights of hope in the streets.

All of them.

Men and women, children and the elderly. Ami's mother. Rei's grandfather. Madoka's little brother. Over thirteen million souls, extinguished in the span of half an hour: the greatest act of murder the world has ever known, or, at least, that it remembers.

"Gone," chokes Blue, spitting viscous black ichor instead of blood out of the corner of her mouth.

"Gone," agrees Magenta.

"Just lay down and die like the rest of your pathetic city," finishes Green, perhaps less eloquent than her sisters. All five of them punctuate this final remark, however, with an equally final blast from their hands, more of that violet, violent energy coursing forth to finish what has long since begun.

COMBAT: DeeDee has used Many Truths on Sailor Mercury.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Dial D for Destruction on Tuxedo Mask.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Many Truths on Sailor Vega.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Dial D for Destruction on Mesozoic Maiden Lucy.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Dial D for Destruction on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used The End of Illusion on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: DeeDee has used Many Truths on Sailor V.
COMBAT: DeeDee has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Vega narrowly braces DeeDee's Many Truths, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Tangle and Trap applied to Sailor Vega!  
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune fails to brace DeeDee's Dial D for Destruction, taking 48 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury narrowly dodges DeeDee's Many Truths, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mercury is unable to keep fighting!  Sailor Mercury's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Mercury's Flash ability activates!  Trap applied to Sailor Mercury!  
COMBAT: Sailor V fails to brace DeeDee's Many Truths, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor V is unable to keep fighting!  Tangle applied to Sailor V!  
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy fails to brace DeeDee's Dial D for Destruction, taking 54 Fatigue damage!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor V [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The enemy is too strong. You rushed into a situation you couldn't handle, Minako, and look where it's gotten you.

When her last Crescent Beam fails to do much damage against the DD Girls, Sailor V falls to her knees, shaking her head quietly and whispering something to herself. And instead of taking the offense, she does the last thing she can think to do, and holds her arms out to guard Mami's unconscious form.

When the DD Girls' next attack comes at her, she doesn't dodge, but instead just leans forward, gritting her teeth as she takes the full force of it; the cry she lets out this time is less one of shock, more of pain, but even still she withstands it. It's the last thing she can think to do with the strength she has left.

And that's when Sailor V finally falls. Once fierce, but now broken and battered, she manages to land with her head in Mami's lap, and only then does she notice Anthy for the first time, between eyelids that slowly fall closed. "I couldn't save your friend," she whispers, assuming at the relationship between Anthy and Mami. "I guess I was doomed to fail before I even really got started. I'm sorry, Artemis..."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

As that violent, forceful energy comes forth, Ami does her best to stay on her feet... but she just can't. Seeing the light go out of Tokyo makes fighting seem so pointless; why bother pushing forward when there's nothing left to protect? Her graceful slide away turns into a much less graceful tip forward, and her body hits the ground with a hard thud.

She lies there for a long while, staring up at the lights in the sky -- and more importantly, at the lights much closer to home. At Usagi -- at Sailor Moon, striving so hard for a future that seems so bleak.

She wants so desperately to keep looking -- to let herself enjoy that radiance for one last moment -- but all she can do is sag a little further, and let her eyes flutter shut.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Vega [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Sailor Vega has nothing left to give to the fight, not physically. She can't move quick enough to dodge, she can only, once again, hide herself behind her forearms. As the dark energy surrounds her - engulfs her - tears at her - somehow... she endures. Though she screams, she remains.

Memories come unbidden. Making popsicle stick shrines with Madoka. Finding a calico cat on her way home. Her battle against a Ramen Monster. Being teased by Tuxedo Mask, and then also treated to ice cream. Studying at the Ohtori Library, dragging Usagi through the stacks while Mamoru laughed. Meeting Sailor V... And tonight.

Struggling to remain conscious, let alone living, Sailor Vega fixes Sailor Moon in her gaze - big blue eyes to big blue eyes.

"You can do it, Sailor Moon. We're all with you!"

COMBAT: Sailor Vega has used Our Hope Is With You, Sailor Moon on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Vega has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly dodges DeeDee's The End of Illusion, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  DeeDee is Psyched!  Sailor Moon's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Sailor Vega's Our Hope Is With You, Sailor Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!  

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

His cape, he whirls off-- it's silk, but sometimes it does what he wants it to-- sometimes it works with him!-- and Tuxedo Mask's in the process of trying to hide Anthy and Mami and Venus and Madoka and the others, now, make himself more visible. He even puts his hat on Anthy's head--

--and that's when the newest bolt of black evil energy slams into him, and he stands there between the monsters and the fallen soldiers and hostages and Anthy, oh, Anthy, and arms flung up in front of him, he weathers it.

Everything goes dark around him, but he can still hear-- he's still standing--

Tuxedo Mask falls to one knee, arms still up in front of him. But then his voice sounds, quiet but so crystal clear to Usagi. "It's up to you, Sailor Moon. We trust you-- because you're always you." Still braced; he can't see what's going on but he's not going to get out of the way. And then he takes a deep breath and just yells, "KICK THEIR BUTTS!"

COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has used Inspirational Monologuing! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Tuxedo Mask has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Tuxedo Mask's Inspirational Monologuing!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!  Cleanse! All of Sailor Moon's debuffs are cleared!  

<Pose Tracker> Mesozoic Maiden Lucy [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Lucy manages to catch Green on her way down, and give her a good taste of the Rock of Ages. She lands back onto the platform, and although she and the Senshi are finally able to dish back what they've been taking, the two who still stand have yet another cruel taunt to throw at them, but their words alone can't shake her, not now at least.

What does, however, is the silence.

A shiver courses through her entire body, and her eyes go wide, as she realizes the implication and desperately, absolutely wants the sirens and the screams to come back. Instead, what there is is so much silence.

"No!" she squeaks out, falling to her knees. The massive blast of purple energy headed their way somehow feels secondary, and although she raises her club to defend herself, and the Rock of Ages has shielded her from so much before, the light of hope flickering within is not nearly enough to protect her. She shrieks until she doesn't have the breath to do so anymore, and falls to the cold, metallic surface, unconscious.

...But a moment later, she stirs. No, the light of hope is still burning, she sees it now. Summoning every single meager ounce of strength she can, she staggers back to her feet, and stumbles, every single step causing her nerves to burn like magma, towards Sailor Moon. She has a very special kind of magic trick still in store, one she'd been saving up for a special occasion-- if tonight does not qualify, nothing does.

She plucks the white flower of her hair, and with a few green sparkles, it turns into a tiny, flowery spritz bottle. It may look trivial, but the magic within is anything but. Lucy raises her arm to point it at Sailor Moon, and soon her friend is bathed in green, sparkly mesozoic magic much like Lucy's own, giving her the very last of the strength Lucy can muster.

"Usagi..." is also she can manage to say, with a smile, before collapsing again.

COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has used Flower of Life on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Mesozoic Maiden Lucy has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Mesozoic Maiden Lucy's Flower of Life, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Surge applied to Sailor Moon!  Cleanse! All of Sailor Moon's debuffs are cleared!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

A flexing of her arms as she hangs off of the side of the tower, and Neptune feels the tendrils weaken and shatter, the woman getting both of her arms back. Hand over hand, end over end, she climbs to the edge of tower and... finally... finally, pulls herself back up to safety. At least - safety from falling. Standing up straight, standing up tall, Sailor Neptune glances over - "Sailor Moon!" she calls out... just in time for the blasts of the monsters to thud down into her.

Neptune is driven to her knees, a certain light starting to flee her eyes. For a moment there, she just sits, and she finally takes in the sight of the... devastation of the Inner Senshi. She knew that they were not ready. Did not have the...

Neptune tries to stand, and could not summon the energy.

She did not have anything. She was not ready.

Eyes lift again to Sailor Moon, and Neptune just breathes out, a momentary smile touching her lips. "If you are going to be the last of us," says Neptune, a certain wryness that might belong more to Michiru touching the edges of her features. "Please..." Neptune does not finish what she was going to say. But there was a certain intensity to her stare that she gives the Moon Princess. Not quite chiding, but encouraging. Perhaps even firmly.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Act With Elegance on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Sailor Neptune's Act With Elegance, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Empower and Surge applied to Sailor Moon!  

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

Anthy Himemiya is a fortunate young woman... relatively speaking. The energy drain on the city might cause the death of literal millions, and even not too far away from her she sees the visages of her fellow hostages turn gray and lifeless. Down in the city, the bodies litter the streets. Even if the Sailor Senshi and friends win here, is there any coming back from this? ...Anthy's expression doesn't flicker, though. Perhaps she's numb.

Sailor V and Tuxedo Mask both rush to their side to protect her and Mami, with Sailor V taking the brunt of the attack and collapsing as a result, her head landing in Mami's lap. The masked blonde whispers apologies to her, and Anthy stares down at her. Then she lifts her gaze to Sailor Moon, her Moon Stick radiating light, before returning it to Sailor V.

"It's all right," she reassures her benefactor. "You did your best. I couldn't expect anything more."

Tuxedo Mask, meanwhile, removes his top hat and sets it on top of Anthy's head, which actually nets him a surprised look as V passes out. Nonetheless, the caped protector holds up, taking the brunt of what Sailor V no longer can, ensuring that the masked Senshi's sacrifice isn't in vain--shouting encouragements to Sailor Moon, the bastion of light to stand up against the darkness.

Should Sailor Moon turn then to see the people she's trying to protect, she may well meet Anthy's green gaze, calm in spite of all of the death and destruction. Why? Why would this one girl, who herself has been injured tonight, seem so confident in face of all of this overwhelming force?

When their eyes meet, Anthy smiles at Sailor Moon and gives her a single nod.

COMBAT: Anthy Himemiya has used Royal Blessing on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Anthy Himemiya has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Anthy Himemiya's Royal Blessing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!  

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.


Her breath goes out of her, and the most she can manage is to shape a little of it into a sound. Usagi looks out across the city. She's never it seen it so dark before. The lights meant people, tucked away in their homes like she had once been. It makes sense that so many went out. They're going out up here, too.

She's given up in better times than this. Her face is numb. Her hands tingle. She is vividly aware of the weight of the wand in her palm. It's heavier than anything she can remember holding.

'You can do it, Sailor Moon. We're all with you!'

Vega's voice guides her away from her darkness of the city. A soldier from another star system, but she's already so familiar. She fights the same as they do. The same as Neptune, who is now undoubtedly a soldier, crawling up from the shadows. Usagi, a slim figure alone on the tower floor, watches her struggle but remains petrified. The doom Neptune once whispered of is perhaps here, and she leaves it to Sailor Moon. If someone as strong as her can't stop it, why could she?

A green light bathes her, and a smiling face springs to mind: "Lucy-chan," she murmurs. Lucy, from another world, bravely fighting and dying for this one. She didn't know Usagi and Sailor Moon were one and the same until tonight. She could have died never knowing.

Looking over her shoulder, Usagi finds the huddled mass of Tuxedo, V, Mami, and Anthy. Some of the strongest people in her life, clinging together in the face of this. They're dedicated, wise, experienced, and completely helpless.

"I can't stop you," Sailor Moon says. Her voice is small, but it is so quiet now that there is nothing else left to hear.

Usagi lowers her gaze to meet the crescent shape of her wand. It can help. She's sure of it. A flicker of thought catches her first, some fantasy logic from a game. That's not it, though. It's a feeling the catches deep inside, a place where she waits in the hospital for her brother to be born, or hobbles home crying with a skinned knee so her mother can fix her. The emotion of what has happened here comes rushing upward like a dull roar, coming to sweep her away forever.

Not yet. Even someone like her can do something in a situation like this.

Sailor Moon takes her wand in both hands, raising it above her head. The white of her uniform glows white in the light of the moon, the only light left tonight. It suffuses the air, growing and growing until it is a silvery-white aura shining brightly from her. Looking up at the crescent in her hands, it is aligned just so it frames the real moon in the sky. She knows this is the right choice.

"Moon Healing!"

She feels like she's falling, but grace catches her. Sailor Moon dances under the night sky, animated by something familiar but ultimately unknown, weaving a patterned circle through the air with the gold and pink of her lunar scepter.

The glowing outline she's drawn hovers before her, vibrating with potential. She admires it, because it's not for this world. With one word, it explodes into a shower of iridescent light.


The glow erupts from her body, spreading through the tower, through the air, through the district, rushing toward the horizon. It shines through dark windows and into dark hearts. It illuminates everything it touches, dusting all of the city with the light it was missing.

Usagi went with it. She is no longer in her body, but with the light, because the light is her: her energy, her desperation, her wish. She shines on those who can no longer breath for themselves and breathes for them. There's so many, and they all need so much help, that she can't spare anything for herself.

The radiance stops when Sailor Moon falls. Whatever strength holding her up has left, leaving a collapsed girl face down in the now-dimming light.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Healing Escalation on DeeDee.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.
COMBAT: DeeDee fails to brace Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Healing Escalation, taking 160 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  DeeDee is unable to keep fighting!  
COMBAT: Sailor Moon is unable to keep fighting!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Sailor Uranus can run. She needs to run, she needs to move, there's a place she must be other than where she is. This is true always, but it is especially true at the moment, because she received a message of some urgency. Just because your souls remained linked through death, void, and rebirth doesn't mean you can throw away your signal watch. And signal watches don't work as well when all the energy of Tokyo turns the tower into one great Faraday cage.

The rooftops don't slow her down much, but they do slow her down, so tonight, she runs along the ground. It's a quiet night, a night all to herself. The streets and edifices of Tokyo are drenched blue from a velvet sky, the windows breathe yellow. She hasn't seen another human being for miles. If she let herself, these lights would become stars, the cold night an endless void. She does her best not to.

The first break she allows herself is when she clears the corner that permits her a direct, close-up line of sight to the tower. Her shoulders lift with tension. There's some sort of light up there that isn't to keep planes from crashing into the red-orange tower. Battle is still going on.

Surging back into a run, Uranus just as quickly drags to a stop again, shielding her face as a heedless radiance erupts from the tower. It doesn't leak from between metal girders and struts, it blasts through them, and for a moment she fears the tower has been destroyed. But the light catches her eyes like a match catches wick, and slowly, she lowers her arm, lips parting. Her heart knows this light. It's a glittering wind at her back. It's the memory of warmth that taught her of cold. It's a hearth of silver, a home she swore never to return to.

Uranus can't move for a few more seconds, because she can't breathe. Her throat is closed, and loosens but slowly, as the light dies but gradually. When it releases her at last, she sets to running again, but finds no comfort in motion. Like most things that fuel her resolve, the light did so with pain.

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

And then there was light--

It's a lot to take in, for those rare few who still have the eyes to see.

Illumination pours into everyone, everywhere, but it's more than mere radiation -- people begin to luminesce from within, their hearts shining not with externally offered spirit, but their own inner strength, coaxed from ashes to coals, then from coals to brilliant flame. Rather than outshine them, making faces seem pale and pitiful in the path of such astonishing, otherwordly beauty, it makes everything it touches as gorgeous as the Moon itself.

Celestial beings, one and all.

The deathly still air of Tokyo shudders with the sound of broken silence, a single inhalation... as thirteen million chests that had fallen for the final time slowly, slowly rise.

The DD Girls do not stay to watch. They leave only one thing behind of themsleves: the black mark of a delicate, intricate, gigantic insect wing, melted into Tokyo Tower itself.

It will remain for all time, even after mothers awaken to hold their daughters close to their breast, the firefighters, police, and millions of the right people at the right time finish containing the various calamities of the evening that arise when everyone collapses at once, and this entire event is reported in the news as a tragic hallucinogenic chemical leak from a plant that will take such a fall as to never rise again.

The people will forget, thanks to a miracle that guards their innocence through blissful ignorance, a wish that echoes beyond time itself.

But it was not the only miracle present today. And the proud spire, at least, will remember.


<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

He can hear it-- he can hear it and the healing light breaks through the darkness as much as through the youma, as much as through the deathly pallor of those whose energies have been stolen, and then-- then he can see it, Tuxedo Mask can see the brilliant light emanating from Sailor Moon, from the crescent wand she holds, from the moon she drew in the air, and if his eyes are over-bright behind his white mask, who could fault him? He staggers to his feet, bracing against the frame, and watches, breathless, as the city returns to light, to life.

The glow begins to flicker, and afterimages and outlines are superimposed in his mind's eye with endlessly infuriating almosts as Sailor Moon wavers. All of a sudden, the tall masked boy's focus snaps to attention on Usagi, and heedless of anything else going on, heart engulfed in wonder and mind sharp with concern, he darts out with his cape snapping behind him and crouches next to the fallen Sailor Moon.

He moves to start to help her up, or even pull her up to sitting, examining her face. "Hang in there. You used up all your energy, didn't you?" he half-whispers, only loud enough for Usagi to hear, and his voice is affectionate and endlessly proud all at once. "Saving everyone. You saved everyone. You did it."

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sailor Moon is dead weight. Tuxedo Mask pulls her into his lap, but she cannot sit up without support. Her eyes flutter open, but stay near-closed.

"Is the city okay?"

She listens to the answer with no change in expression.

"Oh, good. I guess they didn't need... all... my energy..."

Usagi is silent for a long moment, managing to look up at the masked man and not much else. Finally, she breathes again: "Hey, Tuxedo-sama..." and then clumsily reaches up to remove his mask. Clumsy enough that it's a slap, knocking the white domino from his face.

Her lips curl in a faint smile. Her chest shakes, but the laughter doesn't make a sound. "H-hey, you're not cool enough to be Tuxedo-...sama..."

Then, she's asleep again.

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

The life-giving, all-encompassing light of Moon Healing Escalation floods the city, bringing millions of lives back from the jealous grip of Death. One day, their lives will run out, as all that which lives must one day do, but it won't be today. Anthy Himemiya beholds this radiation of power, sees the miracle it works, and gazes upon Sailor Moon with an expression remarkably similar to wonder.

Thanks to that light, the others who had been stripped of their energy are well again, from Madoka and the other civilians, to Mami and Sailor V who fell so that others could survive. Anthy shuts her eyes briefly to bathe in it as the DD Girls are driven away.

Then, re-energize, she gracefully slips away from Mami from where she now rests, stands up, and begins to quietly walk towards Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon. She lifts the top hat from her head, cradling it gently between both hands, and comes to a stop next to the two--

Just in time for the sailor-suited soldier to knock the tuxedoed jewel thief's mask off.

A flood of recognition surges through Anthy Himemiya as she looks upon Mamoru Chiba's face. Her green eyes widen, and her breath catches in her throat. That expression lingers several seconds longer than most.

Then, quietly, solemnly, she offers him his hat.

"Thank you for protecting me," she murmurs, green eyes locked on his blue.

<Pose Tracker> Tuxedo Mask [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mask in the hand not cradling the Sailor who just unmasked and dissed him in one amazing asleep-falling go, Mamoru's a little unsettled already. He's in the process of putting it back on when he looks up at Anthy, and catches her expression.

A lingering expression that's not just a n_n, that is.

All of a sudden the mask's back on his face, and he solemnly takes the hat and puts it on his head, and he lifts his finger to his lips, fixing Anthy's wide green eyes with his very, very intent blue ones.

"Thank you," he answers her, slowly getting to his feet and pulling Usagi with him, then carrying her in his arms--

--only, of course, until he spies Sailor Mercury. And then the gangly bundle of arms and legs and twintails and odango and spirit is gently passed off to the blue-haired Sailor Soldier. "I know," he tells her, "you'll take good care of her."

A quick grin and a wink, and then hat, mask, and cape sail off the side of the tower in a tremendous fluttering leap; Tuxedo Mask vanishes into the dark.

Miracles shed light...

...even on secrets.


*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+(( IC News ))+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
Message: 10/28                     Posted        Author
The Dark Hour                      Thu Mar 20    Pink Moon Stick

In the mundane news, the evening of December 17th is described as the perfect storm of local disasters in Tokyo: a chemical plant had a spill of a hallucinogenic compound that dispersed as an aerosol; it was a terrible night for fires; there were power blackouts all over the city, perhaps because of the seemingly continuous lightning storm, even though there was no rain.

Incredibly, no one was killed, or even injured, and the whole thing is being heralded as a triumph of Tokyo citizenship, as a great many volunteers in the right place at the right time assisted the emergency response teams in helping with the fires and accidents.

Everyone not afflicted by Recognition Inhibition remembers something else entirely.

An absolutely unprecedented amount of energy was drawn, remotely, from the hearts of every person in Tokyo into Tokyo Tower. From there, it was corrupted and detonated, into the sky towards parts unknown. Normal people began to collapse on the spot (though magical girls had more resistance), which caused many traffic accidents and house fires, but that was just the beginning.

The many other -- not necessarily lesser, though some were -- monsters that constantly strive to consume Tokyo from the inside out took full adavantage of the mass debilitation of thirteen million Tokyo citizens; Witches Kissed exhausted victims by the busfull. Orphans attacked weakened prey. Noise filled the void where feelings usually cry out loud and joyfully. X Chara busted out all over. Whole bouquets worth of Desertrians rose out of wilted heart flowers.

But light shines all the brighter in the dark.

Magical girls from across Tokyo mobilized to rescue people from all of these monsters, with enormous success.

However, the energy draining continued unabated, and ultimately drained everyone but the magical girls (whose resistance saved them)... to death. For a few minutes, Tokyo was almost totally silent. Thirteen million people, gone in but an hour. It was the largest single act of murder remembered in Earth's history.

Then an explosion of gorgeous, glorious silvery illumination poured from the top of Tokyo Tower, the likes of which have never been seen before or since. It poured into everyone and everything, not merely filling them with pure radiance but nurturing the ashes of their souls into coals, then into brilliant flame.

Everyone knows magic cannot bring someone back from the dead.

Last night, it brought almost /everyone/ back from the dead: a true miracle.

OOC: Congrats to the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon cast for getting to one of their first arc's major milestones! If you weren't at last night's scene, which was closed to the cast and a couple cast invitees, you were almost certainly fighting many monsters and saving many lives -- feel free to do backdated roleplay of your own adventures during that terrible hour, or refer to them in future scenes. While everyone felt the tug of energy being pulled out of them and towards Tokyo Tower, so many other monsters were either created by or attracted to this event that each and every magical girl was needed to stem the tide and hold the line while the events at the spire took place. Non-magical girl PCs (eg, the occasional civilian PC) who might have been susceptible to this effect are welcome to consent, or not, to have briefly died and come back with a warm feeling in their chests; if they didn't, they presumably resisted its effects for long enough to not die outright, with the exceptional strength of their hearts.