2014-04-14 - Rescue The New Year! Part 1/3
|Title: Rescue The New Year! Part 1/3|
The Bad End Kingdom is after the Jewel of Beginnings! Can the heroes withstand the power of party-themed Akanbe?
GMs: Honoka Yukishiro, Mai Tokiha, Juri Arisugawa
| OOC - IC Date:|
December 30th, 2013 - April 14th, 2014
It is the evening of December 30th -- New Years Eve Eve, as it were.
Tokyo is running at fever pitch, in preparation for the New Year, which is the crown jewel of its winter holidays. Many restaurants are closed, so that the families who run them can prepare osechi ryori for themselves -- and many are open, to feed people who've grown tired of slaving away over the stove.
Tokyo /Bay/ is the site of considerable labor and activity -- it swarms with construction workers as though someone had kicked a pyrotechnical anthill, then fled before they could be crushed by the swinging I-beams or burnt to death by the explosions. The structure they're erecting is quite similar to a gigantic, thirty-story hourglass -- and from the looks of the counterweight, it is designed to be able to flip, end over end.
It is covered, from top to toe, with fireworks, and more are being added all the time. The fuses are woven as intricately as any tapestry.
Along the shore, stands have been set up in joyous anticipation of the crowds that will flock here tomorrow night. Some have already begun, and takoyaki, donuts, udon and soba are being sold in copious, delicious quantities. There are also stands selling confetti and flowers to throw, pocket lasers to shine, noisemakers to blow. Children have started purchasing and utilizing the last of these with cacophonous enthusiasm.
Out of nowhere, a clown nose is hurled onto a pile of vuvuzuelas. Another one lands on a truck still full of packed fireworks.
"AAAAKANBE!!" yells the Noisemaker Akanbe, who is now a gigantic, monstrous plastic tube with goofy white arms and legs and angry, beady eyes -- plus a big fat nose. It leaps into the air and lets off a deafening blast, causing people to scream and scatter.
"AAAAKANBE!!" shouts the Fireworks Akanbe, a huge ACME-style rocket with fuses for muscles, attaching smaller roman candles to be its limbs. It has the same face as its comrade, and greets the world by setting off a blinding display that fills the world with light and sound, but not with joy.
Each monster is easily two stories tall. The ground shakes as they march along the boardwalk, wrecking havoc wherever they can reach.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha transforms into Youma Form Noisemaker Akanbe! COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro transforms into Fireworks Akanbe!
It's coincidence, really, that Mami Tomoe is here in time to consider the trouble facing the celebrations at hand. Ordinarily, of course, she would be out on patrol at this hour, carefully working to ensure that the gathering crowds did not attract too many Witches. That work is important, and it will still happen. But, this is not precisely her typical territory. She is here for a /different/ reason, one that is not all duty and business, because even Puella Magi sometimes get to look forward to the new year.
...And besides, she /is/ one of those who's been over a stove most of the day.
"What--" Frowning towards the distant clown nose trouble, Mami hands her shopping bag to her companion. "...Please, Kaname-san, be careful. I'll be back just as soon as I've taken care of this little problem." The blonde absolutely radiates confidence, and immediately ducks towards an alley for a moment, pulling out... a phone?
"...Yes, the celebration is in danger. Oh, by all means, you can miss out if you want, but then I'll just have to deal with both of them myself. And I'm already going to have such a late night." ...She is mostly teasing. All the same, the call is not long.
The joy of light and sound will have to be brought by the people here. And indeed, ethereal music drifts across the crowd as, dressed in black and yellow, one girl leaps from the rooftops, running /towards/ the gigantic monsters. "My," she calls, "Don't you know that everyone hates it when you take your cue too early?" Her hand rises, and ribbons cast out, towards a second-floor window--she /grabs/, and pulls herself upward, swinging from there, to the next, until she's in the air, pointing at her foe. One gun, then another, then a third, and a fourth all appear in hand as she twirls towards the Fireworks Akanbe, one graceful shot after another.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Flourish on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Mami Tomoe's Tiro Flourish, taking 14 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
Rune was among those in the early crowds, simultaneously startled by and enjoying the noise of it all. She's not contributing to the lasers, noise, or litter but is having fun pacing among it and enjoying a donut from one of the stands until...
'Akanbe!' That is a curious thing to suddenly hear. What does that mean? A wide-eyed stare at what just appeared suggests it means 'roughly house-sized monsters'! Forced to hop back several steps to get clear of their quakes, Rune calls out: "Summoning Princess' Tiara!" Silver jewelry appears in one hand, arms meeting at the elbows. "The Line of Succession..." The tiara is passed from one hand to the other, brought to her head in the same motion. "Transform!" A red light engulfs her, and when it fades...
...Princess Runealy is in full magical garb, wand in hand as she jumps atop a food stand; she needs this both in order to have a clear shot on either Akanbe, and in hopes any of their fury sent her way won't catch chunks of the crowd as a result. "Trying to crush an event like this... that could make people afraid to celebrate!" It's a guess at motives and consequences, but a worrying one. Life without celebration would be rather heartless.
So she takes aim at the Fireworks Akanbe. "Rune Blast!" A green magic ball launches from Runealy's wand, aimed high for the monster's chest. If it strikes, the orb will 'explode' into sparkles with white arcane symbols floating around, trying to wrap at fuse-muscles and smaller fireworks.
COMBAT: Princess Runealy has used Rune Blast on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro fails to dodge Princess Runealy's Rune Blast, taking 19 Fatigue damage! Princess Runealy is Psyched!
Cure Peace is here. She is with her mother. To watch the lovely fireworks in the night sky! When she was younger, Dad used to insist these were the results of might robotic warriors fighting off in the distance and these were thier weapons, in an awesome display for everyone to see. She knows better now. But it kinda makes her smile to think about that.....
She has left her mom to go get some exciting fireworks for them to set off together.... 'AKANBE!....'
Her eyes go wide. "Wha--- here!? Ah----!" she looks around frantically...Miyuki... Nao... Akane... Reika... nowhere in sight. They weren't even here. Maybe they'd stayed home. Ah!
But no, the people! These were vicious creatures. This was New Years! The start of a new year! She couldn't let this start with a Bad End right when the new story's begining.
"Ah...I'll do it!" she says with as much confidence as she can muster. She opened her compact, trying her best to look at her own reflection and say to herself 'she can do it!'. "Ah I can do it!--- Pretty Cure, Smile Charge...!
There's a flash of yellow light, a short sequence of transformation.
Rock Paper Scissors!
she says, throwing those scissors out at the Fireworks Akanbe. "Cure Peace!.. Ah... trying to bring a Bad End at the start of the New Year. That's unforgiveable!" she says with a determind tone throwing her arms out in front of her.
COMBAT: Cure Peace has used Pikarin Janken! on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro perfectly dodges Cure Peace's Pikarin Janken!, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Critical Dodge!
Kuniko Saito has had several days of down time to do things other than slave away in a hot kitchen, which of course meant she was starting to get kind of jangley. It was a little relieving when she swung by the Institute and got told 'go out there and perfect your pasta making moves,' even if the reminder of her misfire in the conflict against a titanic cup noodle was a little stinging.
In a traditional sort of outfit, she didn't stand out much from where she's been chopping up fine soba noodles for distribution in 250g, 500g and 1kg bags for taking home and cooking for good new year's luck.
Kuniko looks up, some flour stuck on her cheek. She is frowning.
Substantially cleaner and clad in form-fitting whites with the logo of her school on the right breast, Kuniko marches out of the back of the soba stall. Experienced chef-spotters would see she has evidently abandoned the paper toque in favor of a loose cloth cap, though it's still white. Perhaps this is from dishonor, or perhaps a sign of growing specialization!
She cranes her head upwards - at a 6meter tall creature.
She frowns. Kuniko's face is not one full of fear, so much as dismay - and annoyance. Looking down at her hands, she lets out a frustrated grunt - and then hears new pops, ones that sound more like the downfall of the old samurai than, you know, firecrackers.
"Well, this should work out," she murmurs, before silvery shadows of an espresso press appear in her hands, cups filling, that rich and savory fragrance of coffee filling the air -
"Hey, ladies!" she calls. "Heads up--"
Espresso is served in tiny cups (bearing a black star logo). Each one has its own accenting hint, too.
For Cure Peace, a shake of colored glittering sugar. For Mami, a drop of artisan honey. And for Runealy, a sprig of spearmint.
(Kuniko had some stuff to use up. Shh.)
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Service - Espresso on Cure Peace. COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Service - Espresso on Mami Tomoe. COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Service - Espresso on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Princess Runealy accepts Kuniko Saito's Service - Espresso, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Princess Runealy is Cheered! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe accepts Kuniko Saito's Service - Espresso, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Mami Tomoe is Cheered! COMBAT: Cure Peace accepts Kuniko Saito's Service - Espresso, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cure Peace is Cheered!
There's something to be said for random hunches, it seems; with a couple of errands taking Fuu out to the east side of Tokyo (that had nothing to do with looking for another game, what would ever make you think THAT?), the most efficient route back (given rush hour traffic) was to go through Odaiba. And then holiday traffic forced another detour ...
So Fuu wound up with an excellent view of the two monsters starting a rampage, and just happened to be in a good position to scurry off, find a nice convenient alley to transform in ...
"Imashime no Kaze!!"
And a moment later, the Magic Knight of Wind announces her presence with the Winds of Admonishment, trying to muffle the oversized (and overblown) animate vuvuzela, a green-tinted whirlwind forming with the intent of enfolding and restraining the Noisemaker Akanbe.
"I know New Year's Eve is all about loud and cheerful celebrations," the Wind Knight observes as she lands on a convenient lamppost, "but there's always such a thing as taking it too far."
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Imashime no Kaze on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to brace Fuu Hououji's Imashime no Kaze, taking 16 Fatigue damage! Fuu Hououji is Psyched! Cripple and Trap applied to Mai Tokiha!
On the other end of the phone line, Usagi Tsukino huddles over her phone ten paces away from the dinner table so her parents can't hear.
"Mami-chan, but, but... special dinner!"
Click. Usagi holds onto the phone, slowly turning around to look at the food set out on the table. Her family, true to her father's teasing, has not waited for her. There's steam rising from the plate. Cartoonish amounts of steam. The deliciousness of this dinner can only be expressed by manga shorthand.
"Special dinner," she whispers, forlorn.
A batch of fireworks light up the sky! Before them, a silhouette cuts the multicolored explosions with mysterious darkness! It's a girl--some sort of pretty girl--with a school uniform collar blowing in the wind.
A burst of sparks erupts in the foreground, casting a silvery light over her solemn face and crossed arms.
"Even if your resolution for the new year is ten thousand years of penance... I still wouldn't forgive your wickedness tonight!"
She dashes, leaping off the side of the building, twirling through the air and alighting upon the building that Mami Tomoe has so recently climbed. With a spin and a gesture, she levels the guilt where guilt is due!
"I'm the sailor-suited pretty soldier of love and justice, Sailor Moon! And, in the name of the moon and special dinners that will never be, I will punish you!"
Sailor Moon bounces anxiously on her heels, and then shouts up to her barraging mentor: "Mami-chan, can you teach me how to theme music sometime?!"
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly counters Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Sailor Moon is Psyched! Diversion and Trap applied to Honoka Yukishiro! COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro's counterattack, High Explosives, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Moon!
Shinto priestess also have their place in new year celebrations. Although its usually done with branches and yukatas. Not monsters and vuvuzuelas. That's why she needed to crash down this party in particular. She couldn't let this slide as the new way of celebrating after all. People need to return to their roots and embrace the shrines again! Seriously, why rampaging monsters. That makes no sense.
But its not the priestess that shows up that time, its Sailor Mars. And what's the better way to fight fireworks... than fire itself? A large fireball is shot in the direction of the plastic atrocity "MARS FIRE SOUL!"
Once the fire clears the way, the Senshi is standing atop one of the rapidly abandonned carriages once the panic took hold of the crowd "Why would you want to crash a New Years Eve... Eve party!? In the name of Mars I'll chastise you!" She's a bit too serious to make silly metaphors honestly.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Fireball on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Sailor Mars's Fireball, taking 13 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
After returning from the school trip, Ikiko Hisakata has been spending some time with the various strays around Tokyo. Tonight, she was hanging out with a pack that frequents the bay, talking with them about the upcoming New Year.
"That partial-built-thing will be all bright and loud-flashy tomorrow night," she explains to the pack in the haphazard syntax of canines. "It'll be the source of veryloud-verybright-sky-safe-explosions, so it'll be scary, but not..."
Well, she was going to say "dangerous," but these Akanbe look pretty dangerous. "Run! Stay safe! Friend-Tsukiko will be here to keep these monsters from following you!"
As the dogs run off with the rest of the crowd, Ikiko ducks behind a pile of crates. "Lycan Locket," she whispers, briefly glowing silver.
Cute Wolf Tsukiko darts out and glares at the Noisemaker Akanbe, wincing at the blaring noise. "I don't know what kind of chaos a monstrous vuvuzela can make, and I'm pretty sure I *don't* want to find out," she sighs, moving towards the Noisemaker's flank.
She nods to the Wind Knight, then faces the Akanbe. "Noisemakers should be used to bring happiness and joy, not chaos and destruction!" she calls out. "Our cheerfulness should restore those vuvuzelas in no time!"
COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko has used Bark! on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly braces Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Bark!, taking 1 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cute Wolf Tsukiko is Psyched! Exhausted applied to Mai Tokiha!
Utena's plan /had/ been to watch everyone set up for the festivities, because she thinks that kind of thing can be pretty cool. It's like a magic of its own, in its way. Unfortunately, such things can also be totally ruined by actual magic -- as is the case with this lovely* pair of Akanbe. Slightly crestfallen at the interruption of festivities, Utena brings one hand down to her ring --
-- and in an instant is ready to use the magic inside /her/.
Rushing in with no real plan whatsoever, Utena comes in for a simple, two-step pair of cuts to the vuvuzela Akanbe.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used V-Cut on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's V-Cut, taking 14 Fatigue damage! Utena Tenjou is Psyched! Stun applied to Mai Tokiha!
Mami's shots thud into the Fireworks Akanbe. Its fists clench as sparks fly everywhere -- some of which ignite its fuse-muscles! Hissing and smoking, they burn to their terminus, then explode, sending fireworks in all directions. They are wiggly and pink, and shoot not upwards but to all sides, trailing sparkles in their wake.
Several criss-cross in the Puella Magi's direction, trying to trip her up, while still more rocket towards Princess Runealy, whose blasts knock the Akanbe back but fail to stick any of the entangling runes in their places. "AKAAAANBE!" complains the monster, rearing back with one of its arms--
--only to be faced with Cure Peace's scissors, which chop its hand-bomb off at the source. (It explodes at her feet, this time gloriously blue, and the sound cacophonously out-roars most of Sailor Moon's speech.) Crossing its arms in front of itself, it takes Sailor Mars' fireball front and center -- which sets off another round of explosions.
The Fireworks Akanbe's googly clown-eyes narrow, full of malice, and it charges forward, past, and through the line of magical girls, its target something else entirely: the row of vendors, which is crowded with children. It will take some fast and fancy footwork to get them clear in time!
COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used Sidewinder!! on Mami Tomoe. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used Sidewinder!! on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used Blue Boom! on Cure Peace. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used Sidewinder!! on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used Sidewinder!! on Sailor Mars. COMBAT: Cure Peace narrowly braces Honoka Yukishiro's Blue Boom!, taking 5 Fatigue damage! Stagger and Stun applied to Cure Peace! COMBAT: Sailor Mars narrowly dodges Honoka Yukishiro's Sidewinder!!, taking 7 Fatigue damage! Sailor Mars's Fade ability activates! Sailor Mars's Flash ability activates! Cripple, Tangle, and Trap applied to Sailor Mars! COMBAT: Princess Runealy fails to dodge Honoka Yukishiro's Sidewinder!!, taking 12 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cripple, Tangle, and Trap applied to Princess Runealy! COMBAT: Sailor Moon perfectly dodges Honoka Yukishiro's Sidewinder!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Dodge! Sailor Moon's Flash ability activates! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to counter Honoka Yukishiro's Sidewinder!!, taking 11 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Tangle and Trap applied to Mami Tomoe! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Legare, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Honoka Yukishiro!
The Noisemaker Akanbe trumpets its wrath throughout the streets of Tokyo. White arms extend out, then angle back in for optimum playing position. The giant plastic tube turns swiftly, blaring buzzing offenses to music at passerby individually. One trumpet after another, a never-ending cacophony of cheap plastic horror. When all nearby civilians have fled, it bellows in triumph. "AAAAKANBE!!"
But perhaps, this night, there will be salvation. An emerald whirlwind springs up abruptly - howling winds creating a vacuum to seal away the horrid noise. The bright clown nose dims at Cute Wolf Tsukiko's admonishment, and a sword blade cuts deeply into the tubing - a gash wide enough for air to escape. In such a situation, any instrument would be unplayable...
Fools. Nothing can silence the vuvuzela. Nothing.
A horribly loud blast of noise tears through the whirlwind, the force of the sound ripping up pavement and scattering discarded paper. A horrid noise, the buzzing of a thousand plastic bees, whining through the air - the warped instrument trumpeting its fury at all who stand before it. The vuvuzela plays on.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used It's almost like music! on Fuu Hououji. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used HAPPY EAR DAMAGE on Cute Wolf Tsukiko. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on Utena Tenjou. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used HAPPY EAR DAMAGE on Kuniko Saito. COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko perfectly counters Mai Tokiha's HAPPY EAR DAMAGE, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Counter! COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko's counterattack, Moonlight Growl, bursts all the way through, doing 8 Fatigue damage to Mai Tokiha! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito perfectly counters Mai Tokiha's HAPPY EAR DAMAGE, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Counter! Kuniko Saito's Reverse ability activates! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito's counterattack, With Apologies to Wakaba, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mai Tokiha! COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to counter Mai Tokiha's It's almost like music!, taking 36 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Bind Break! All of Mai Tokiha's debuffs are cleared! COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Trick Arrow Shot, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mai Tokiha! COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Mai Tokiha's Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, taking 11 Fatigue damage! Utena Tenjou's Fade ability activates! Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates! Tangle applied to Utena Tenjou!
It /is/ a lovely scent, and when Mami finds that her free hand is occupied by a star-marked cup of espresso, she looks down towards it. She finds nothing at all unusual about a fine cup of refined beverage in the midst of battle; quite the opposite, while still sailing through the air she sips at it elegantly, letting out a slight sigh as she smiles. The Puella Magi tastes the drop of honey.
"Thank you!" she calls back to Kuniko, "You really have a gift!"
Where's the cup go after she finishes? Well, who knows. Mami Tomoe is sort of an expert on the matter of mid-combat drinking.
...As for special dinners, Mami was merciless and relentless in her call, and now it would seem that Mami's pretty and super-cute backup has arrived on the scene! ...The shout after the speech is a little less expected, of course, but, "A senior magical girl has to keep a /few/ secrets, Sailor Moon!" She sails downward, then, finally losing a bit of altitude, before she adds, "But don't worry--I'll bake you something later to take back for tomorrow!"
But, her cocky talk of /later/ is son rewarded with the wiggly pink display of fireworks before her, and Mami immediately sets loose ribbon to tangle and delay the assault--but it isn't /enough/ ribbon, as they explode right through and knock her rather firmly off-course, spinning towards the ground where she rolls to a stop just before a stall full of celebratory goods. The boxes on top teeter dangerously... and fall, burying the Puella Magi as she gets her bearings.
There's silence from her corner for a few moments.
Then, just as suddenly as the blast that came moments before, a burst of magic crases outwards, brilliant red and yellow fabric exploding from the remnants of the stall; as Mami herself lightly lands on her feet behind, the boxes and planks that had fallen on her now cant directly for the Fireworks Akanbe's face.
"As if I could be stopped so easily!"
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Evadere on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro perfectly dodges Mami Tomoe's Evadere, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Dodge! Bind Break! All of Mami Tomoe's debuffs are cleared!
Cure Peace throws her hands up, eyes wide as the blast explodes at her feet. It blows her backwards. She still manages to SOMEHOW remain on her feet but the blast stuns her a bit.. "Ah--!" she stares up at the Fireworks Akanbe as she looks to it's more noiser friend. Two at once--- this doesn't feel right. But she can't place it.
An expresso appears in her hand. It's sparkling. She glances at Kuniko specualtivly, but she gives it an empowering, daintly sip! She feels like she can take on both of these at once---maybe she will-----
She makes a determined face. "Your loud---- rancor can't be allowed to... drown out the happiness...of the New Year!" she says with just an undercut of 'I have no idea what I am doing, oh gods'. She's sure some of the other Cures knows something is up. She hopes so at least. She huffs and throws up both hands.
"Ah---! Lightning...!" she calls out. Her hands spark and send out a spark of lightning. She attempts to hit the Fireworks Akanbe. If it hits, the lighting would continue on, sparking through the air into the Noisemaker's Akanbe... of course. It could spark off something else for one, or the other. Either way, she's trying to give both a run for thier money!
COMBAT: Cure Peace has used Chain Lightning on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Cure Peace has used Chain Lightning on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly dodges Cure Peace's Chain Lightning, taking 15 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Mai Tokiha's Fade ability activates! Mai Tokiha's Flash ability activates! COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Cure Peace's Chain Lightning, taking 3 Fatigue damage! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
Sailor Mars looks up when Sailor moon does her entrance. She always likes to one up her, doesn't she? She had to go even higher than the upturned coach she was on. Sigh. But then the vuvu-monster charges past her, crashing through the coach and sending her flying away with splinters all around her, cutting through her skin lightly, but otherwise none worse for wear. While airborne, she turns on herself, pulling a handy stack of Ofudas, hoping to use them to curse the monster (or rather cleanse, being opposite and such), as to slow it down enough to get the onlookers back to safety "Everyone get out of here, let us handle this!"
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Evil, Begone! on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly counters Sailor Mars's Evil, Begone!, taking 5 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro's counterattack, This One's Too Close!!, partially gets through, doing 35 Fatigue damage to Sailor Mars! Critical Counterhit!
Princess Runealy quickly takes scope of the situation. There will be people running... that's unavoidable; she just has to keep to high ground for their sake. That's worrying, but there are some encouraging things. Cure Peace is helping, and remembered for her assistance during the school trip. Mami's presence is also reassuring; a glance to her is enough to recall times the Puella Magi has made decisions that seem to value saving lives over any short-sighted interests in tactical advantages. Sailor Moon leaps and announces herself, joined by Mars' similarly dramatic arrival... having a close friend and that friend's own apparent ally here helps bolster the princess' confidence. The Wind Knight, Utena, and Tsukiko seem to have the other half of the problem immediately in hand too. Good. This will still be dangerous, but it looks manageable.
Then... someone in white approaches. Rune does not recognize Kuniko, nor immediately understand the offer being made. Espresso, in the middle of battle? Runealy hesitates, but the scent of spearmint is tempting. She takes the cup into a free hand, just as fireworks sail every which way! Attempts to leap clear of their path succeed only at first... the initial rocket is avoided, but this brings her into the path of two more that detonate in her face and leave her crashing to the ground with a hurt cry! Hurt... yet holding the cup balanced. Blinded and having trouble hearing, she tries the espresso and realizes that even mid-battle it tastes amazing and is making her much more alert. "Thank you!" A call to Kuniko, before rising and carefully setting the cup aside with a mental note on where it was left; she plans to bring it back to its owner.
Then the fireworks akanbe rampages. Rune can only vaguely see this through fireworks-blurred vision, but she sees enough to worry. Hurrying toward the stands, Rune tries to place herself between the children and the akanbe. She has no clever solution to get them all clear in time, but maybe she can buy time... either for them to flee as Sailor Mars is urging, or for someone else to solve this problem. Wand pointed at the monster, Rune prepares to try to push back against its sprint with a disc-shaped, sparkling red forcefield!
COMBAT: Princess Runealy has used Comfort Ward on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Princess Runealy accepts Princess Runealy's Comfort Ward, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Withstand applied to Princess Runealy! Cleanse! All of Princess Runealy's debuffs are cleared!
Despite the noise, she hears want. A stomach growling. The sense of something denied. She curls her hand into a fist, looking downwards. To herself, she says, "That girl up there with Drill Hair, she must've had to skip out on dinner. In this season - pulling people away from their FAMILIES..."
and then comes
"SHUT THE" BZZZZZZZZZ "UP I AM PLANNING A MENU!" Kuniko screams, before pulling a fat yellow Parma onion out of thin air and hurling it right at the nozzle. "THANK YOU AND GO" BZZZblap "YOURSELF!"
The onion does not last long but it gives Kuniko time to prepare her next move, even as she runs forwards, across the bow of the noisemaker. She has to throw several things in the metaphorical, terroir-infused space of her personal Mise en Place together - and cooking takes time, as always. But what she can do NOW is -
She stacks two plates with small rounded objects. On the one, she puts her hand, breathing out as she activates a subtle magic that renders them TICKING TIMEBOMBS. The other, she simply puts spin on. This is a bit of a reach, so she declares an incantation aloud: "En la ventana!"
Fwish! One of these plates goes to Sailor Moon. Kuniko has provided her with a handful of dolmas, suitable for grasping in one hand as she leaps, poses, moon wands, etc. - her reasoning being that utensils might be counterproductive here.
The other flies out to smash into the ground near the Akanbezela's feet, in an eruption of bursting, clinging goop as the activated lemon juice in the filling reacts with the kale-and-grapeleaf wrappings - acid and alkaline, in their purest distilate!
"... unless I got the plates wrong," Kuniko says, before her eyes widen in momentary gut wrenching terror!!
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Yalanci Dolma on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha perfectly braces Kuniko Saito's Yalanci Dolma, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Brace!
Tsukiko's eyes widen as the Noisemaker blares loud enough to shred pavement. She knows that sound can be hard to avoid, especially how it can echo and come at you from nearly any direction. So when you find yourself with a powerful soundwave coming right at you...
Well, if you can't dodge them, beat them at their own game.
The wolfgirl growls loudly, trying to beat the Akanbe with spirit, if not decibels. And it seems to work - the compressed air from the meeting of the sounds seems to push back towards the Noisemaker before it dissipates.
"So, you don't want to pipe down?" she grins, appreciating the challenge. "Maybe you just need some help to be able to make prettier music!" She runs forward, circling clear of Kuniko's food delivery, and leaps at Akanbezela's arm with full intent to gnaw a few holes into it.
COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko has used Silver Fangs on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly dodges Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Silver Fangs, taking 10 Fatigue damage! Mai Tokiha's Fade ability activates! Mai Tokiha's Flash ability activates! Cripple applied to Mai Tokiha!
With her whirlwind binding the Noisemaker Akanbe, the Wind Knight spares a moment to will her bow and quiver to materialize, nocking and drawing back an arrow to try and capitalize on the monster's momentary incapacitation ...
And then it brings the noise a LOT harder than it had been before, which has several simultaneous and comparably-unfortunate effects. Fuu was focusing for her shot; the most immediate and obvious effect is that her archer's focus is *completely* broken, to the point that she falls off her perch with a squawk of surprise, followed by a yelp of pain as she lands ... badly.
Her focus is *also* disrupted so far that it takes the Winds of Admonishment with it - the whirlwind simply vanishes as the Magic Knight of Wind loses her ability to maintain it. Of course, the Akanbe was also exerting itself to shatter the whirlwind on its own ... but Fuu's focus getting smashed certainly didn't help.
And speaking of 'smashed' and 'focus,' when the Wind Knight gets back to her feet, her glasses seem not to have stayed on her face. "That ... was not ..." She can't even muster her usual smile or polite demeanor at the moment; she's in pain, she's disoriented, and she's more than a little ticked off at the moment. And she also can't see clearly enough to be sure of an arrow going into the right target.
So her bow and quiver vanish, replaced by her sword - and with a wordless yell, the Magic Knight charges at the oversized animated vuvuzela, trying to slice it open much as the Ohtori swordswoman did ahead of her.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Sword Strike on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly dodges Fuu Hououji's Sword Strike, taking 6 Fatigue damage! Mai Tokiha's Fade ability activates! Mai Tokiha's Flash ability activates!
There's no getting around the noise, but Utena can at least make an attempt to get out of the path of the raw blast of force that comes with it; it's by inches, and her outfit flaps in the wave of force. When she lands, it takes her a second to collect herself; everything feels off after the blast itself, and she can't quite stand correctly.
Rather than aggress, then, Utena takes a moment to collect herself. It's not much -- just an attempt at getting her head back into the game and regaining her footing. She breathes in and out, looking out toward the twin Akanbe, her /heart/ perfectly ready to dash in but her body only slowly being brought into compliance.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Naked Determination on Utena Tenjou. COMBAT: Utena Tenjou accepts Utena Tenjou's Naked Determination, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Accelerate and Withstand applied to Utena Tenjou!
As Mami lands near her, Sailor Moon cups her face in her palms and kicks one of her feet out so that, unbalanced, she spins in a swooning circle. "Mami-chan's lovely tea sweets, baked with a fond promise? Aaaaaa!"
She stops facing away from the Puella Magi, hunching over to hide her sparkling eyes brimming with tears. "Today's Mami-chan is more adorable than usual!"
Bent over like this, a firework meant for her goes whizzing by. The firework meant for Mami explodes all too close, sending Usagi yelping and scrambling away and coincidentally right off the edge of the building. She plummets several stories down, crashing through the roof of a stall and sliding down a slant-stacked pile of firework tubes.
"Ah, ow ow ow," the pretty soldier hisses, staggering to her feet. "Maybe inelegant things happen to me so Mami-chan can be more graceful," she murmurs, sliding around the corner of the building and back into the fight. "I'm actually kind of okay with that--"
--speaking of elegance, "Mars-chan!" Usagi eagerly waves, smiling with every tooth. She never sees Kuniko's plate coming. Thump. It just kind of rests their upside her head, prompting a total overreaction involving shrieking and flailing because this is probably the world's largest spider.
The plate goes crashing to the ground, and so Sailor Moon freezes. Spiders don't shatter. Probably not, anyway. Mostly sure. Usagi giggles nervously. "I forgot about Rei-chan's share of elegance."
Stuck in a contortion with one leg up and her arms defensively in front of her, she leans over to see what exactly it was.
Oh it was food.
Sailor Moon takes in a sharp breath, and then:
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Supersonic Screaming on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Supersonic Screaming on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Sailor Moon's Supersonic Screaming, taking 7 Fatigue damage! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates! COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly counters Sailor Moon's Supersonic Screaming, taking 11 Fatigue damage! Exhausted applied to Mai Tokiha! COMBAT: Mai Tokiha's counterattack, make it stoooop, partially gets through, doing 6 Fatigue damage to Sailor Moon! Critical Counterhit! Trap applied to Sailor Moon!
"AAAAA! AAAA! AAAAAKANBE!!!"
Yellow and crimson ribbons propel boxes and planks towards the Fireworks Akanbe from all sides! Its eyes roll in terror! How will it ever escape?!?
Its butt-rocket ignites in the nick of time, propelling it upwards into the night sky! Curling into a ball to brace against the worst of Cure Peace's lightning, green sparkles shower downwards in all directions, and they're very painful indeed, burning at tremendous temperatures.
It lands hard, its white fuse-knees flexing with the impact, just in time for Sailor Mars to send ofuda flying its direction. Never one to let an explosion go to waste, it ejects the butt-rocket right in Mars' face, the firework staggering in scope, incinerating most of the sacred scrolls before they can touch it. Using the momentum of this launch, it crashes into Runealy's barrier, slowed but not stopped, momentum arrested further by its having to clap its hands to its ears to screen out Sailor Moon's own wall (of sound). Still, it's enough to buy time for the kids to escape, and when it shatters through the barriers to slam into an udon stand at full force, at least there are no civilians around. Just magical girls. Scalding hot soup goes everywhere, chunks of stew roasted into brutally sharp fragments that slice and dice in the direction of the Sailor Senshi.
COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used The Green Sparkly One on Mami Tomoe. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used The Green Sparkly One on Cure Peace. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used The Green Sparkly One on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used What Goes Up Must Udon on Sailor Mars. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used What Goes Up Must Udon on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Mami Tomoe perfectly dodges Honoka Yukishiro's The Green Sparkly One, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Dodge! Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates! Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates! COMBAT: Princess Runealy fails to dodge Honoka Yukishiro's The Green Sparkly One, taking 26 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Sailor Mars fails to dodge Honoka Yukishiro's What Goes Up Must Udon, taking 30 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Cure Peace fails to dodge Honoka Yukishiro's The Green Sparkly One, taking 26 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to brace Honoka Yukishiro's What Goes Up Must Udon, taking 33 Fatigue damage!
The vuvuzela plays on. Endless buzzing sounds trumpet louder and louder, drowning out heroic speeches and screams of terror. As if held by some hyperactive titan, the vuvuzela dances through the air and keeps making that abominable noise. Occasional blasts of sound echo louder than even the normal for the Noisemaker Akanbe, the air rippling with the buzzing, distant vendor stalls being smashed by sheer sound.
But it does not play unopposed. Lightning sears the white plastic, colouring it an ugly amber color in parts. The wolfgirl tears into the weakened plastic, chipping away at its ability to channel the buzzing noise. The recovered Knight of Wind follows up with a sword strike, widening the gash further.
And yet, the vuvuzela plays on.
A plate lands in front of the monster, which it proceeds to utterly ignore. Vuvuzelas have no need of food. No need of air. No need of talent. There is only the vuvuzela, and the song of incoherent buzzing.
A loud scream echoes above even the buzzing, and the Noisemaker pauses a moment in admiration. A worthy opponent has appeared! "AKANBE!" The buzzing redoubles in volume, power, and ability to be obnoxious. Sailor Moon's screaming wars with the vuvuzela's buzzing in a battle of volume, and the victor may never truly be known. Waves of sound blast out from the wide end, the buzzing loud enough to make the air quake.
The Noisemaker Akanbe has a few tears in its plastic, and the buzzing now has a slight whistle to it...but the vuvuzela. Plays. On.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used please make it stop on Fuu Hououji. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used ...really bad music on Cute Wolf Tsukiko. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on Kuniko Saito. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly braces Mai Tokiha's Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, taking 7 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Sailor Moon's Parry ability activates! Tangle applied to Sailor Moon! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito perfectly counters Mai Tokiha's Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Critical Counter! Kuniko Saito's Reverse ability activates! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito's counterattack, Fresh Slivered Garlic, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mai Tokiha! COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly braces Mai Tokiha's please make it stop, taking 8 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko narrowly dodges Mai Tokiha's ...really bad music, taking 6 Fatigue damage! Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Flash ability activates!
Cure Peace tries to jump out of the way of painful green sparkling fireworks. She fails, as she's hit, it singes a lot. It's painful. She tries to tough through it. She makes wide, moist eyes a bit, but shakes her head.... Her friends may not be here...
But lots of other Magical Girls are still here helping her, and helping all these people...
She looks determinded as she can muster. "Aha---Chef...!" she says to Kuniko. "Don't give up!....Smile...! SMILE! SMILE!" she says urging on the girl who had provided such coffee. "Think of all the coffee and expresso and food you still need to serve!" she says. That's her... thing, right!? "And how happy it makes people...!" she says exasperatedly.
She's not as good as some of the others at this.
COMBAT: Cure Peace has used Smile! Smile! Smile! on Kuniko Saito. COMBAT: Kuniko Saito accepts Cure Peace's Smile! Smile! Smile!, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Empower applied to Kuniko Saito!
Princess Runealy is more than a little surprised to see even a little of what Kuniko can do. A magical chef? It sounds insane at first, but appears to actually work; Rune makes a mental note to try to learn more about this new apparent ally. No time to pursue that question right now though, not when the firework akanbe was just barely deflected and Rune has to leap aside to avoid being crushed along with that udon stand.
She gets clear of that threat just fine, but this drives Runealy into the thick of the green sparkle shower. Too spent to create another barrier, she tries to dart and weave through this but it's just too thick and several tiny scalding sparks land on her! The princess screams at length, wand flailing in a futile attempt to deflect the fireworks... ultimately she's only saved by the barrage itself ending rather than anything she did about it.
Gasping for breath, Runealy decides to run away from the fireworks akanbe in order to pursue the painfully loud noisemaker monster instead. Her mouth opens, trying to say something... perhaps to the Wind Knight who just received a quick look, and Sailor Moon after that, but the vuvuzela and distance combine to drown Runealy's words out. Undaunted by her broken communications, Rune's wand launches a green orb that splits apart in mid-air to become a miniature 'shower' of sparkles... in some ways a smaller, weaker version of what the firework akanbe did moments ago. These pellets fly through the air, attempting to barrage its face!
COMBAT: Princess Runealy has used Scatter Orb on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly dodges Princess Runealy's Scatter Orb, taking 11 Fatigue damage! Mai Tokiha's Fade ability activates! Mai Tokiha's Flash ability activates!
A swiftly-summoned wind barrier forms between Fuu and the noisemaking monster, blunting the force of the Akanbe's sonic assault. It's still painful - EXTREMELY painful - to be this close to it for long ... but the Magic Knight of Wind doesn't plan on sticking around for much longer.
"Kamaitachi no Ranbu!!!" she yells at the top of her lungs, twirling her sword around her as another whirlwind forms - and then she 'slashes' towards the Noisemaker Akanbe as the rending tornado, the Storm-Dance of the Kamaitachi, is unleashed at her foe. Swords were able to open moderate rents in the ensorcelled plastic; what will razor-winds do to the monster?
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Kamaitachi no Ranbu on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly braces Fuu Hououji's Kamaitachi no Ranbu, taking 11 Fatigue damage!
A food promise! Mami is willing enough to go along with putting it that way, though as Usagi turns to her and comments about /today's/ Mami the older girl laughs, softly, a hand at her mouth. "Oh, hardly. It's just been a lovely day, absent the giant monsters." She delivers this line as if 'giant monsters' were roughly as unusual as a bit of extra homework, or the store being out of something she sort of wanted but wasn't really set on.
The part where she is covered in detritus from a ruined new years' eve eve stand is perhap evidence that even experienced magical girls should really take giant clown-face monsters seriously.
The Puella Magi frowns as the Akanbe rockets its butt right out of the range of her counterattack, and /flips/ backward, throwing out another two ribbons to act as a trampoline, stretched between two more buildings, and then leaps upward into the air to avoid the terrible green sparkles. Her ribbons, beneath, melt and fade away as the attack /does/ hit them, and one can only imagine what it might have done to her.
But words ad quips are all being slowly more and more drowned out by the conitnual sounds of that awful noisemaker. She looks towards it, and then back to the fireworks beast before them, who is putting food horrible use as... some sort of assault! ...But there's hardly much for it, at this point. These are too large /not/ to take down quickly. And so..
Mami sets her eyes on where once there was a butt rocket, and in her hand, suddenly, is a length of ribbon that she grips tightly. Still sailing through the air, now she lands on a building and jumps off of that as well, to get more momentum. She drops the length of ribbon, which grows and grows, before tossing a second; only the ends remain in her hand, and she hurls/ them mid-air so that the yellow lengths ripple and seek to surround and trip up the monster--while she keeps sailing right past.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Painting the Target on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly dodges Mami Tomoe's Painting the Target, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Tangle applied to Honoka Yukishiro!
SHE THREW MY FOOD ON THE, Kuniko thinks, before checking herself.
The face of Mieko-san, the woman who brought her into this life of hers, crosses her mind, obscurely. She breathes in through her nose, out through her mouth. "They're fighting giant monsters and our outreach program's kinda bad," she tells herself. "Of course she freaked out."
She recenters herself, closing her eyes momentarily - and her nose twitches, before she opens them again, seeing that streaking firework-creature slam into the udon stand. No innocents are in the area, but the vast sign of waste makes her lip curl upwards. Something throbs in the back of her head, anger. But then she glances at Cure Peace, giving her a warm nod, her face full of determination. "You're right." Her heart rises--
And she pulls out a knife.
The first thing in her hand is garlic. She slices off a clove, peeling it with a delicate whip of the tip and slicing into it, leaning in and distracting herself from the horror of sound with the sheer sulfurous pleasure of that scent! She flicks the spent piece towards the Akanbe at speed, but for all the terroir within it, the piece of highly artisanal garlic is -- a piece of garlic.
That's not the point.
She crushes another clove, squeezing the oil out onto a plate. Red and white shimmer in her hand, and she spreads out the slices of fresh mozarella and tomato. A drizzle of white wine sauce finishes it. She doesn't throw it this time.
She holds it close to her waist as she advances towards the Akanbe - the fireworks one. But first things first.
"Sailor Moon!" she calls out. "This is magical! Eat it and you'll get stronger! Trust me on this!!" THEN she lobs the plate forwards - a glisteningly fresh antipasto. And perhaps the main course has yet to come forth.
And then she whirls, standing in the ruins of the Udon stand, and with the courage of a bichon frise or a Pomeranian defying a housebreaker... she shouts at the Fireworkanbe, "You turn your big sparkling hindparts around and march RIGHT in the other direction or I'm gonna cut off your fuses and use your parts for some ultra-Indian style curry!! You got me?? I got no time for you SCREWING UP KIDS' MEALS, I will SEND YOU BACK TO THE FACTORY!!"
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Mozzarella and Tomato Antipasto on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Kuniko Saito's Mozzarella and Tomato Antipasto, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Withstand applied to Sailor Moon! Cleanse! All of Sailor Moon's debuffs are cleared!
Tsukiko rolls as she lands after her biting attack, spitting out a few fragments of plastic. A slight dip in volume is all the warning she gets before the Noisemaker redoubles its assault, but it's enough to roll once more to get her ears pointed away from the ruckus.
The wolfgirl gets to her feet, sizing up the Akanbe. "My bark seems to have more bite than yours!" she calls at it. "And my *bite* has more bite, too!"
COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko has used Bark! on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to counter Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Bark!, taking 9 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cute Wolf Tsukiko is Psyched! COMBAT: Mai Tokiha's counterattack, Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Cute Wolf Tsukiko!
Being shot fireworks at when you're a wielder of fire usually has disastrous consequences. The explosion sends her flying back, her ofudas apparently not having much of an effect at all, as she lands by the side walk with a crash, and a bit crispy from it too. She grunts in pain too, not really being in a good shape now.
She shakes her head, and decides to keep some distance instead, she can't really get any closer. Instead, she decides to try to support Sailor Moon, since there's power in numbers and all. Her fires might not be the best against this kind of opponent it seems. "Moon!" She lets out, stretching an arm and sending a cloak of red energies around Sailor Moon, to increase her defensive abilities. At least she looks in a better shape than Mars right now.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Flame Veil on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Sailor Mars's Flame Veil, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Withstand applied to Sailor Moon!
Utena gets a brief reprieve, and is much better off for it; she starts to find her footing in earnest again when she's given a second to herself, and as a result, can /much/ more clearly plot a path forward.
Well... 'plot' is a strong word. Utena's plan consists, primarily, of rushing straight in and attacking, because that's how she gets down. Sometimes she comes up with inventive ways to do so, but plot remains something of a misnomer.
Case in point: Now that she's got her footing, Utena leaps straight forward, landing and flicking her blade out in a feint before coming in for a forceful slash that seeks to pierce clean through all defenses. That noise /has/ to stop.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Pump Fake on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Pump Fake, taking 24 Fatigue damage!
Sailor Moon nudges the plate with the toe of her boot, and then chokes back a sob. Why has food forsaken her?
A loud noise catches her attention. She looks up. There are brutally sharp fragments of hot soup flying directly at her.
Why has food forsaken her?
Usagi is already in a shrieking and flailing mood, and so beats a wailing retreat back to the firework stand she just fell through. Throwing herself over the storefront, she finds temporary refuge from the beefy onslaught.
She can't even pity herself over all this noise. How can the healing begin if she can't monologue? If only she had a more commanding battle voice. Everything would become quiet when she spoke! It is the most valuable superhero power, aside from a trademark pose with a recognizable silhouette. If only, if only--
Sailor Moon sits up abruptly. Someone is talking over all this. Someone with authority, experience, and firmness. You could lead a busy kitchen with this voice. She pokes her head up to see who is in possession of this magical gift, just as a plate slides to a stop on the counter top before her.
It disappears behind the stand, dragged down by a tiny, pale hand. Horrifying, soul-devouring noises follow. Mio would be proud, but she'd probably just glance at the camera and smile just a tiny bit.
Erupting from the half-ruined fireworks stand is a beautiful guardian, Sailor Moon! She lands in the thick of battle, posing bravely amongst the fireworks! She is lit dramatically by a gorgeous flame, burning with the intensity of true passion!
Usagi spares a wink at Rei and touches a finger to one of her dimples. With the other hand, she catches a whirling moon-tipped rod from a shower of sparkles. She spins it expertly in her hand, brandishing it bravely against the demonic googly-eyed youma that is shooting all the rockets dangerously near people's faces. A flurry of razor-sharp crescents whirl outward, aiming to pierce through its defenses and leave them bare!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Luna's Inescapable Chastisement on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Sailor Moon's Luna's Inescapable Chastisement, taking 16 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates! Stagger applied to Honoka Yukishiro!
The Noisemaker Akanbe plays on, practically waltzing along. New challengers approach, however - Princess Runealy's barrage of magical sparkles tries to hem it in. It spins, it trumpets, it takes a few blows - and then the Wind Knight's air blade takes a chunk out of the horn end of the instrument. For a moment, the noise stops.
The wolfgirl steps up to the plate, barking in the vuvuzela's face, to which it retorts with a sharp blast of...whistling air? Those last couple of blows seem to have taken the wind out of its tubes, so to speak - something's damaged enough that it's having trouble making noise. There's a glint of light, the instrument turns -
And a section of the horn falls away, sliced off by Utena Tenjou. The whistling is weakened as well, and finally gives out. Merciful silence, at last.
"AAAA....AKANBEEEEEEEE!" The air flow reverses, a sudden gust springing up as air is drawn into that damaged funnel - the Noisemaker Akanbe calling for aid, calling for power. That dread wind howls, and there is an answer - a dozen or more discarded vuvuzelas, accompanied by rattling noisemakers. The entire mass lodges firmly in the broken horn end, save a few pieces to wedge into the cracks.
There's a buzz. Then another, and a rattle, and the Noisemaker Akanbe begins trumpeting with its newly installed vuvuzela orchestra. Quivering cascades of raw noise with no sense of tune or synchronization - just buzzing, more and more of that horrid buzzing, screaming fury and obnoxiousness at those who would impede its glory.
This is a sound that will echo around the world.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used ...really bad music on Utena Tenjou. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used HAPPY EAR DAMAGE on Cute Wolf Tsukiko. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used please make it stop on Fuu Hououji. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used please make it stop on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to dodge Mai Tokiha's please make it stop, taking 22 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cripple applied to Fuu Hououji! COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko narrowly counters Mai Tokiha's HAPPY EAR DAMAGE, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Blind, Diversion, and Stagger applied to Cute Wolf Tsukiko! COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko's counterattack, Soulful Howl, partially gets through, doing 52 Fatigue damage to Mai Tokiha! COMBAT: Princess Runealy fails to brace Mai Tokiha's please make it stop, taking 25 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cripple applied to Princess Runealy! COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Mai Tokiha's ...really bad music, taking 19 Fatigue damage! Utena Tenjou's Fade ability activates! Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
Mami surrounds the Fireworks Akanbe with more ribbons, and this time, there's no escape. She wraps it up like a spider's supper, and even after it wastes valuable time and potent energy freeing itself, she's still got a loop attached to a rocket /somewhere/.
A loop that slows it down as it brings its arms up to protect its face from Sailor Moon's crescent-claws, and around to protect its ears from Chef Kuniko's cruel maledictions. It winds up getting scratched right across the face, and howls even as the sparks that fly -- yet again -- igniting another pile of high explosives.
Today's flavor is gold, which simultaneously provides both magical girls with an effective themed light show even as they threaten to burn them from all sides. Watch out for the sparklies! The last of the civilians scream as they flee, a few forced to take cover beneath a nearby park bench lest they be burned alive... which leaves them uncomfortably close to the Akanbe's stompy feet.
Right about then is when the book shows up.
It soars downwards through the chaos, its covers extended and flapping like a bird's wings, riding the thermals of battle with skill and grace. When it's close to the ground, it flips right-side-up, and the picture in its pages heaves itself out and lands on that self-same park bench.
Visual Aid: http://tinyurl.com/n82fg6m
Pop's voice is low and deadly serious, even as he strives with all his might to out-shout the vuvuzuela and be heard. "You're being played-de gozaru! Look. /Look/-de gozaru!!" He points a lion's paw outwards, over Tokyo Bay, with its crashing waves and roaring tide.
Over -- to the hourglass structure, the one holding the New Years Eve fireworks.
There in its centerpoint, in between the upper and lower bulbs, something once invisible and theoretical is now very physical, very real, and very, very shiny.
Pop is hoarse with horror. "It's the Jewel of Beginnings-de gozaru! They'll bring a Bad End to the New Year before it has even begun-de goza--!!"
There /were/ three voices initially, weren't there, that shouted for the monsters' summoning. And there's the third Akanbe, a clown face atop a gigantic osechi ryori (New Years' Food) box, which is like a bento box only with way more tiers and compartments.
It slams itself around the jewel, closing every door. The effect is felt immediately: a tension in the air, a stillness, a stagnancy. A failure to progress.
The heart knows what the mind may not, filling in knowledge with every painful heartbeat: If the new year starts with things like this, it won't be new at all. It will just... continue. Nothing new. Nothing special. No beginning, and no end but a bad one.
Shrinking down to 'actual reasonable osechi ryori crate' size, the Akanbe's clown nose pops off, and both objects plummet downwards-- to be caught in midair by a shriveled old crone in a green robe.
She slings the crate under her broomstick, and rockets across the Bay, about to buzz the battlefield on her way to freedom! She leads with cobwebs, summoning them from nowhere, green and sticky and clinging and awful.
She follows with fel green fireballs.
COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa transforms into Majorina! COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used High Explosives on Mami Tomoe. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro has used High Explosives on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Sky Full Of Cobwebs on Cute Wolf Tsukiko. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Sky Full Of Cobwebs on Utena Tenjou. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Sky Full Of Cobwebs on Kuniko Saito. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Major Winner on Mami Tomoe. COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko fails to dodge Juri Arisugawa's Sky Full Of Cobwebs, taking 36 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Trap applied to Cute Wolf Tsukiko! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito fails to counter Juri Arisugawa's Sky Full Of Cobwebs, taking 29 Fatigue damage! Tangle and Trap applied to Kuniko Saito! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito's counterattack, Yalanci Dolma, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Juri Arisugawa! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe perfectly dodges Honoka Yukishiro's High Explosives, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Dodge! Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates! Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to counter Juri Arisugawa's Major Winner, taking 20 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro Retort, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Juri Arisugawa! COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Juri Arisugawa's Sky Full Of Cobwebs, taking 17 Fatigue damage! Utena Tenjou's Parry ability activates! Tangle and Trap applied to Utena Tenjou! COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Honoka Yukishiro's High Explosives, taking 24 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit!
The Magic Knight of Wind allows herself a small measure of satisfaction as enough pieces are cut out of the monster - between her spell, the pink-haired swordswoman, and other assaults, the monster is finally silenced. Mostly.
At least until it starts 'inhaling' other stray vuvuzelas. That's the point at which the Wind Knight lets her sword vanish and starts bolting in a not-entirely-random direction, to get away from the monster without plunging into the water. Of course, she still doesn't have her glasses - and that means she doesn't see obstacles until they're already underfoot.
But at least her eardrums are still intact, and even when the world around her is a patchwork of blurs, she can still tell which blobs of color correspond with magical girls she knows. So once she's far enough away to catch her breath, she catches her breath ...
... suppresses some grumbling about a new arrival on the scene ...
... and calls out, "Iyashi no Kaze!" A portion of the Winds of Healing stays around the Wind Knight, helping mend some of the wounds she's taken thus far, offsetting the pain so she won't be slowed down by it ... and then the spell reaches out for the Cute Wolf and Princess Runealy, strengthening them some as well, helping them recover from the more debilitating effects of their injuries.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Iyashi no Kaze on Fuu Hououji. COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Iyashi no Kaze on Cute Wolf Tsukiko. COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Iyashi no Kaze on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Fuu Hououji's Iyashi no Kaze, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Cleanse! All of Fuu Hououji's debuffs are cleared! COMBAT: Princess Runealy accepts Fuu Hououji's Iyashi no Kaze, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Cleanse! All of Princess Runealy's debuffs are cleared!
From afar, Honoka Yukishiro (White) nodnod
COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko accepts Fuu Hououji's Iyashi no Kaze, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Cleanse! All of Cute Wolf Tsukiko's debuffs are cleared!
Tsukiko watches cautiously as the Noisemaker "inhales". As the Akanbe loads up on vuvuzelas, the wolfgirl pauses for breath.
The wall of sound unleashed by the Noisemaker is met by a heartfelt melody. Part song, part soulful howl, it's composed not of words, but of emotions and thoughts:
The beauty of Hokkaido on the recent trip.
The joy of the upcoming New Years celebration.
The thousands of triumphs, both immediate and of long struggles, that friends share when striving for a common goal.
All these, and more, fill the air, drowning the sound of the vuvuzelas to a quiet buzz. She opens her eyes, and rubs her ears - they're not hurt, but they are ringing from the buzz of the Noisemaker's orchestra.
And that's when the cobwebs hit.
Tsukiko briefly disappears under a pile of cobwebs, which are soon blown away by the Wind Knight. The wolfgirl flashes the Wind Knight a smile of thanks, then glares at the newcomer. "So! You thought you could just wait until the last minute, then just fly off?" she jeers. "I still have some fight left in me!"
COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko has used Not Giving Up on Juri Arisugawa. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa narrowly counters Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Not Giving Up, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Juri Arisugawa is Quipped! COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa's counterattack, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, partially gets through, doing 8 Fatigue damage to Cute Wolf Tsukiko! Critical Counterhit! Stun and Tangle applied to Cute Wolf Tsukiko!
Cure Peace looks all worried.....
Then it appears from the sky. The book. She knows this particular book. It's the same book---- "!!!"
Pop's here. That is not good boding. I mean, it's really good to see Pop, the totally manly and powerful fairy from Marchenland, but---
He's all bussiness. This is bussiness. Candy isn't here, luckily for him. (Which means his dreadful message is not ruined halfway with a sister pounce.)
"Pop..ah!? Is this what this is about!?" she says looking over the bay all worriedly. She looks at him with concern. "Pop...the others...they're not here yet!" she says with worry. "But I'm doing my best!" Cure Peace insists to Pop.
She nods fists held high in determination.
She turns to face--
What Majorina!? Well. These Akanbe had to come from somewhere.
She's secretly hoping she's all there is to it.---
She can't handle all the Generals by herself. Even she knows theres a limit. "Ah--watch out, she's really dangerous! You need to stop her! Please!" she tries to warn frantically. She watches the old crone catch objects. She knows what these are---that also confirms another worry...
These things are possibly powered by the Cure Decor tonight. This is another worry. Those are important!
She turns to the Noisemaker and Firework's Akanbe- "Ah---! You won't be allowed to continue! You won't be allowed to help bring a Bad End to the New Year!" she says. "I... The GLITTERING, SPARKLING---SCISSORS OF PEACE!...." she says as confidently as she can muster, but sounds of desperation draws her fingers up and begins to spark and cackle with electricity. "Will help to stop you!" She calls out as Lightning erupts fully at the two Akanbe in some sort of amazing, sparkling show.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Peace has used Lightning Bug on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Peace has used Lightning Bug on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly braces Cure Peace's Finisher, Lightning Bug, taking 21 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Cure Peace's Finisher, Lightning Bug, taking 41 Fatigue damage! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
Princess Runealy continues to rush toward the noisemaker akanbe, not particularly worried about her shot only partially connecting; it was expected at that distance. Yet her sprint is checked by more noise, overwhelming to the point where it forces Rune to stop and encase herself in a bright red dome! Its surface ripples with each shout, trembling and finally cracking to force Rune to endure the full noise anew, driving the princess to her knees!
Wincing, she tries to shout something to Utena and Tsukiko, but it's engulfed in the sounds just as her earlier shouts were. Whether it was attempts at coordination, concerns for their well-being, or something else entirely... Rune finds speech failing her this time.
Winds pick her up, depositing the princess on her feet. They blow against the blaring and buzzing in conjunction with Tsukiko's howl, letting Rune hear Pop's warning. The messenger is cute, but there's no time to bask in that; she looks where the paw indicates. Her gaze traces the bay, slowly realizing what Pop is getting at. "That would mean...!"
That means it's time to quickly wind things down. She can already feel old doubts, ones that had been manageable after the winter trip, rise again in her mind. If they become any more severe, the akanbe running interference might become overwhelming; nevermind any chance of pursuing the one in the green robe.
There is still a window of opportunity though. Fuu's help is very well timed, and leaves Runealy able to aim her wand at the noisemaker. A partially clear, partially white dome forms. "Wardliiight," It grows and grows with the chant. "Epilogue!" That shout sends it flying forth, expanding to a size where it might be large enough to trap the akanbe within! Should it do so, gold light begins spreading within it... holy power that threatens to fill the whole dome and make it burst!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Princess Runealy has used Wardlight Epilogue on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha fails to dodge Princess Runealy's Finisher, Wardlight Epilogue, taking 118 Fatigue damage!
Mami Tomoe has not given up on food--but she is perhaps considering more the main course than dessert, just for the moment. The Akanbe that has her focus now does break through most of the ribbons surrounding it... but in the end it was only a little bit that she actually needed intact for what she intended to do. The screams of civilians still not far off are a good reminder of why this needs to be handled quickly; the efforts of her fellow magical girls enough for her to keep her attention on the one for now. ...And this time, she does pay a bit closer attention.
The beautiful golden light show casts down around her, but the Puella Magi takes the last of the ribbon in her hands and uses it to anchor herself downward, towards a streetlight--and /yanks/ to head in that direction, narrowly but completely avoiding the anger at hand. Indeed, she comes around, spun around her perch to gain momentum on the way back, just as--
Just as she hears the lion come out of the book. She /feels/ the change more than sees it, eyes widening as the monster that captured the jewel disappears, and...
"Not so fast!" she calls, staring at the webs and then the terrible green fireballs. One large hand cannon appears before her, aimed quikly, and she /fires/ straight for the barrage--
But the magic passes right through her shots, slamming her back toward the ground and severing her swinging position.
Now in the ground, she narrows her eyes, and sees--the bay, where the one is retreating, and... here, where there are still people not so far away, and otehr who'v been fighting hard. It's time to end things. "Sailor Moon!" she calls, though her eye cants once to Utena, the familiar-seeming swordswoman who reminds her of another fighting style she knows. "Now!"
Two backflips later and Mami Tomoe is on the second floor of a harbor building, taking aim at the fireworks Akanbe before her. She is distant enough... which is the way she'd rather have it. Before her suddenly springs into existence in brilliant gold, red, and green light a great silverworked cannon, easily a story tall on its own, to say nothing of the framework that springs up to support it from the ground below. It gleams in the light of all the explosions. "TIRO...!"
She /rips/ the firing cord, and a torrent of brilliant light erupts from the gigantic firearm, the golden bullet practically invisible amidst all the energy, "FINALE!"
Mami's eye on her opponent is unblinking as, in the wake of the blast, she gently floats towards the ground, teacup and saucer in hand. She takes a sip, and waits.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Finale on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly dodges Mami Tomoe's Finisher, Tiro Finale, taking 107 Fatigue damage!
Kuniko Saito's meals served count increments. Somewhere, she thinks, a rabbit is proud of her. (Somewhere else, Mio Kuroki has the faint feeling that someone's 'onto' her.)
And then: Kuniko takes a look at what was, just now, in a book. She listens, used to kitchens. Her eyes follow where the paw is pointing, and her brow furrows at this dark revelation. "They'd ruin the entire year...?"
Her eyes bug out again as an osechi ryori pack lunges forwards and wraps around the jewel, compressing itself. Her blood runs cold, even as a shrivelled little gnome of a woman appears and hurls cobwebs down onto her. Her blood runs cold, indeed...
And then hot.
Unfortunately for Kuniko Saito, her arts are not ideal for shooting down a flying target, even as she throws a dolma after the withered crone. She rips partway loose from the cobwebs, snarling as she lunges forwards. A set of three skewers with white cubes on them appear in her hand, like delicious claws - she hurls them up at the fireworks youma, or rather, towards its fuses.
The excellent temperature resistance of the Halloumi cheese, of course, would make a superb temporary insulator for its burning fuses. And all it might take is a single interruption to delay it! Until it can be thrown IN THE BAY, WHERE IT BELONGS
"Using the new years' meal for evil - you little sawed-off bell pepper--!!" Kuniko may be a little angry.
COMBAT: Kuniko Saito has used Service Halloumi Grilled Skewers on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Kuniko Saito's Service Halloumi Grilled Skewers, taking 11 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Kuniko Saito is Psyched! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
Sailor Mars found some sanctuary behind a nearby building fortunately, putting her away from incoming attacks at least. But she can't stay hiding forever either. She needs to help out more. A fire protection for Moon is good, but she always have been ready to put herself on the front line, ahead of Sailor Moon often too. Moon kinda has the bigger cannons when it comes to taking care of the youmas.
Dashing out of the alleyway, she tries to find more cover as she throws another ofuda at the orange firework monster, setting it on fire as it flies off, making a pillar of flame on contact with it "It looks like its slowing down!"
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Youma Taisan! on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly dodges Sailor Mars's Youma Taisan!, taking 12 Fatigue damage! Sailor Mars is Psyched!
Utena cringes at the twofold assault on her person; the sky fills with cobwebs and awful music, and despite her best attempts to shield herself, mostly Utena just sort of folds under it for a moment. The countless lights and sounds of the moment are starting to get the best of her... but she manages to hang on, somehow.
Unfortunately, withering under this assault means all Utena can do is try to keep herself up with very simple, straightforward movements. As the battle begins to become more pitched for many of the others, all Utena manages is a quick step up toward one of the Akanbe -- not the vuvuzelas this time, she's had enough of that for now, thank you -- and a straightforward little slash.
She feels a little bad, giving Mami so little on that mark of 'now!'... but this is really all she can manage. Perhaps in a second she'll have something a little more forceful.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Straight Slash on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Straight Slash, taking 7 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Utena Tenjou is Psyched!
"What?! Aaa, stop, new objectives are confusing!"
Usagi spins around, trying to look at everything at once and as a result seeing almost nothing. There's--and then--wait, but those fireworks--and that sound--and a crystal?! A SILVER CRYSTAL?! No, no, nothing like that, but still pretty important, though you couldn't press her for an answer on the relative importance at the moment because Luna and Ami aren't here, and isn't it sort of silly to measure importance in context like this, especially when you don't know anything about the grand scheme of things, and--
Sailor Moon! Now!
"Present!" Usagi suddenly shouts, looking for teacher. Wait, no. This is a different kind of class. She grips her crescent wand and nods decisively. Eliminate the present enemies, secure the area for the safety of civilians, and then proceed to the next hurdle! It's the Mami Tomoe way!
"I've got it, Mami-chan!"
There's that burning in her chest. At moments like these, it's okay to let herself go. Sailor Moon falls but is caught from Usagi's clumsiness, spinning with otherworldly poise as if twirled by an unseen partner, her raised scepter casting a silvery glow that suffuses the air. In a trance, she lands on grace-kissed feet just as the light turns sharp.
She draws a circle in the air, weaving an opalescent thread of pale fairy-lights. They twinkle with potential, waiting for the final word of a powerful spell. Opening her eyes, Sailor Moon invokes the magic:
It all comes rushing out of her heart, a stream of intense radiance, a kaleidoscope of silvers, blues, reds, and greens. There is no pain to them, no viciousness: they are a warmth that shines upon the youma, shining into the darkest places that Usagi can find. She floats inches off the ground while her soul is shining, breath stopped until she can't take it--and Sailor Moon falls to her knees and gasps for air.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Healing Escalation on Mai Tokiha. COMBAT: Mai Tokiha narrowly braces Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Healing Escalation, taking 78 Fatigue damage! Mai Tokiha is unable to keep fighting!
The symphony of buzzing and rattling and noise - cuts off like a switch has been thrown. Like a hot knife through butter, Tsukiko's howl slices through the cacophony - a song of joy trumping a song of being obnoxious. Hope and joy drown out even the faint whistle of wind through cracked plastic. For a moment, the Noisemaker Akanbe slumps. When Majorina appears, however, the nose shines brighter, and it draws in air for another assault in music-
Lightning. Cure Peace's great scissor blade of lightning smashes into the vuvuzela, scorching white plastic to yellow and brown, causing spiderweb cracks down its length. Just as that light show dies down, Princess Runealy's holy purification settles around it. White light flares, burning away the bulk of its power. Any normal youma would surely be annihilated by the assault...
But the Vuvuzela.
The Akanbe's power is all but gone, but the terror of the vuvuzela remains, the dread instrument gathering air for a buzzing greater than any heard before....but one more champion stands against evil. The Noisemaker Akanbe's eyes turn to the one combatant here who came close to matching its volume, screaming out as a kaleidoscope of light envelops it.
When the light clears, the corruption is gone. The vuvuzela's evil has been wiped from this world...as has the evil magic that was animating it. At long last, there is peaceful silence.
The Fireworks Akanbe nearly disappears within Cure Peace's lightning -- but when the smoke clears, it's still standing, barely. It had to take a knee in order to keep from being pushed back into Tokyo Bay, and it is sparking everywhere, the occasional crackle of energy zipping across its form.
It still has armpit-rockets in reserve, though, and their ignition is all that saves it from Tiro Finale, which still manages to entirely shave off its legs. They're just gone, exploded in a terrible, thundrous instant. They were only that white wiggly Akanbe-stuff, at least, but that still looked very painful.
Oh, and the entire bottom of its torso is now on fire.
It spins in midair to intercept Kuniko's skewers right in its goofy clown mouth. One pokes it in the nose, but it gets the other two, and nomfs down happily, all too glad to be Serviced.
Cheese begins to wend through its innermost core, though, sticking fuses together and making it take that much longer for it to burn, burn, burn...
Still in the air, it manages to grab onto a street lamppost, swirling around Sailor Mars' ofuda and just barely scraping under Utena Tenjou's slash.
It is only /then/ that it detonates in all directions. What remains afterwards is a single, clown-nosed rocket... one large enough to take out an entire city block.
And those people are still under the park bench nearby -- not to mention Pop, standing defiantly atop it.
There is not much time.
When Majorina laughs, it is the sound of crackling paper, withered with age, thick with dust. It is as much a croak as a cackle.
"I did think that, my pretty," she chokes at Tsukiko, whomping the Cute Wolf on the head with her cane as she flies by. "And I still do, heh heh heh..."
The crate of sacred New Years food -- plus one (1) Jewel of Beginnings -- swings beneath her broomstick precariously. It's knotted into a bundle against the handle. She reaches a craggy, spotted hand down into the bundle and pulls out something... else.
It glints red, red as rubies, red as blood, within her palm.
...but it's smoking purple.
It multiplies a thousandfold as she tosses it in her wake, carpet bombing the entire area.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Honoka Yukishiro has used Can't Rain This One Out on Kuniko Saito. COMBAT: FINISHER! Honoka Yukishiro has used Can't Rain This One Out on Cure Peace. COMBAT: FINISHER! Honoka Yukishiro has used Can't Rain This One Out on Cute Wolf Tsukiko. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Kyouko's Bane on Sailor Moon. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Kyouko's Bane on Sailor Mars. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Kyouko's Bane on Mami Tomoe. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Kyouko's Bane on Princess Runealy. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa has used Kyouko's Bane on Fuu Hououji. COMBAT: Cute Wolf Tsukiko narrowly dodges Honoka Yukishiro's Finisher, Can't Rain This One Out, taking 49 Fatigue damage! Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Flash ability activates! COMBAT: Mami Tomoe narrowly dodges Juri Arisugawa's Kyouko's Bane, taking 11 Fatigue damage! Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates! Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates! Cripple, Stagger, and Stun applied to Mami Tomoe! COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly braces Juri Arisugawa's Kyouko's Bane, taking 13 Fatigue damage! Cripple applied to Fuu Hououji! COMBAT: Kuniko Saito narrowly dodges Honoka Yukishiro's Finisher, Can't Rain This One Out, taking 37 Fatigue damage! COMBAT: Cure Peace narrowly braces Honoka Yukishiro's Finisher, Can't Rain This One Out, taking 54 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly braces Juri Arisugawa's Kyouko's Bane, taking 17 Fatigue damage! Sailor Moon's Parry ability activates! Cripple and Stun applied to Sailor Moon! COMBAT: Princess Runealy fails to counter Juri Arisugawa's Kyouko's Bane, taking 38 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Princess Runealy is unable to keep fighting! Cripple, Stagger, and Stun applied to Princess Runealy! COMBAT: Princess Runealy's counterattack, Aegis Burst, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Juri Arisugawa! COMBAT: Sailor Mars narrowly dodges Juri Arisugawa's Kyouko's Bane, taking 26 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Sailor Mars's Fade ability activates! Sailor Mars's Flash ability activates! Stagger and Stun applied to Sailor Mars!
Tsukiko barely dives clear of a direct hit, getting tossed by the massive shockwave of the explosions. She carefully levers herself to her knees, coughing with pain and smoke, and glances at the remaining civilians.
"No," she whispers, then coughs. She pants for a moment, catching what part of her breath she can.
"*NO*!" the wolfgirl yells, a sonic wall of defiance thundering towards the Fireworks Akanbe before she passes out.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Cute Wolf Tsukiko has used Soulful Howl on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Cute Wolf Tsukiko's Finisher, Soulful Howl, taking 18 Fatigue damage! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
The Noisemaker Akanbe is felled, and the Magic Knight of Wind offers a relieved thumbs-up to her allies in the battle against it ... then looks up, squinting. She should probably try to get her spare glasses out or something.
But then, the sudden *sea of explosions* which engulfs the area would probably just have broken those too, all things considered. So it's just as well that she didn't have time. Probably.
The Wind Knight hunkers down, bracing herself with her sword, and minimizing how much of her can be buffeted by the explosions. It's still not fun to endure ... but when the explosions subside, the Wind Knight is still capable of rising to her feet.
Which seems to be more than some of her allies can claim. "I don't know who you are or what your intentions are," she shouts at Majorina, "but you'll go no farther!" She gathers her will and her power ...
"IMASHIME NO KAZE!!"
And with that, she unleashes the Winds of Admonishment once more, trying to ensnare the flying witch (or whatever Majorina counts as) and at least hinder her departure. If we can slow her down long enough to pull her out of the sky ...
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Imashime no Kaze on Juri Arisugawa. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa fails to dodge Fuu Hououji's Imashime no Kaze, taking 22 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Fuu Hououji is Psyched! Cripple applied to Juri Arisugawa!
Cure Peace is beset with massive blasts rocking her in all directions----left....right... she's unable to brace it very good, and she falls to her knees and hands. Ah---! This is-- she can't do this. She's all alone...
She looks up, weakly... Tuskiko puts the last of her power into a powerful move to try to stop it...
She makes another face--she's not alone. She has all these friends here to help. She steadies herself. She looks pained. Tired. But she's standing now. That's all that matters.
"I..won't let you hurt these people!" she throws her hand to the sky... "PEACE......" A bolt hits her finger. It's not as powerful as a 'Thunder', it does not shock her, but it glows at her finger tips.
She does a half spin and throws it out at the single, clown nosed rocket. "LIGHTINING!" she calls out, throwing a purifiying bolt at the nose, putting all her might into it.
COMBAT: Cure Peace has used Peace Lightning on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro fails to dodge Cure Peace's Peace Lightning, taking 35 Fatigue damage!
Princess Runealy takes the time to stare at Sailor Moon's magic and reflect on Tsukiko's howl as the vuvuzela monster falls. One was colorful and impressive to see, the other stirring and important to hear. Both are encouraging; something that is much needed in light of what just happened with the celebrations, the ill feeling lingering over this whole matter.
Gasping for breath as her head quits pounding, Rune looks to them in sequence followed by Cure Peace, Kuniko, and Fuu; silent gazes thanking them for their own vital contributions. Majorina's bombing run cuts off any immediate chance to relax, though. There are too many things falling for Rune to risk trying to leap through them, so she decides to try bringing up another barrier. This helps for a few seconds, knocking a few projectiles away... then Runealy tries to return them to sender.
She detonates the red dome, scattering some of the falling 'sea of red'... but not enough of it. There are far too many coming for this idea to work out quite right, and the blows she did prevent are soon outnumbered by ones that get through. They batter Rune to her knees, then down to all fours, and finally... collapsed on her face, motionless aside from heavy breathing as light warps around her and dismisses her magical garb in favor of more mundane attire.
Sailor Moon takes her cue, and Mami stares through the smoke as it clears. The awful, terribly annoying noise is finally gone, in a flash of light, but the fireworks--
...Well, it's at least halfway gone. Mami frowns, but finishes her tea as she catches her breath, considering her next move carefully. Quickly, though, it is revealed; there /isn't/ much time. Mami can see after its detonation at the hands of those present that there are others. She's far enough from the explosion to avoid it, but the apples--
Those were too far away to consider, and he hurls herself out of their path, the smoke and explosions themselves are hard enough to deal with. A burst of energy goes through her as she rolls on the ground, enough to help her through the dizziness and unsteadiness that came with that.. strange attack, that for some reason seems even more wrong than usual. To use /apples/ in that way...
Her eyes narrow. "You've really overstayed your welcome quite terribly," Mami declares, and starts moving. One gun, two guns, three guns, four guns--a dozen in moments, two in another, each larger than her usual, each aimed carefully for maximum impact.
"But that doesn't mean you can leave without saying goodbye to your hosts!"
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Suppressing Fire on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro perfectly braces Mami Tomoe's Suppressing Fire, taking 0 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit! Critical Brace! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
That soulful howl and the misuse of the apple fills Kuniko with rage!
A red rocket's glare smashes down near her. That fills her with burning.
Nonetheless, even as the fire and flames wash over her, her toque does not fall off. (The real reason for the change in hat!) She grimaces, hissing at the pain despite the sorcerous whites she is wearing providing some measure of protection. She pivots, facing towards that burning storm of incoming rocket destruction.
BUT at long last, everything comes together. The first sign of it is the slice of crusty white bread in her hand, and Kuniko smiles at the rocket as she puts it down in the soup -- which she set to simmering just as she left the soba slicing stall!
She spoons over the mayonnaise that was shaking on her leg as she ran around and threw food at Sailor Moon; included are the smashed pieces of garlic she didn't hurl at the enemy (or Sailor Moon)!
In a side bowl - no, not a bowl - a dish composed out of fried soba noodles, weaved together in imitation of the famous American "bread bowl," is the creamy potato and well-cooked flesh of the various oily and miscellaenous fish which Kuniko so often purchases from pocket petty cash at the famous Tsukuji market! As an added bonus - an infusion of the boldly sweet hairy crab, salvaged from the wreckage of that buffet in Hokkaido!
The sweet fragrance rises, with notes of oil and garlic. For her final step, Kuniko pours in a sake cup's worth of freshly made dashi, explaining to the rampaging rocket as she does, "It's kind of by the seat of my pants, so I had to omit the potato. The soba's not too different, though, and it's rich in thiamine - the wealthy in the old days, you know, needed it, or else they'd get beriberi."
"EAT IT!" she orders, then, flipping the dual-dish finale forwards towards the rocket's mouth. The soothing flavors of the sea, accented by the rich evocation of herb and fish, should be wholly incompatible with flame.
Or maybe it will deny flavor and get exploded onto a course towards the bay -- hey, you never know.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Kuniko Saito has used Service - Bouillabaise au Japon on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro fails to brace Kuniko Saito's Finisher, Service - Bouillabaise au Japon, taking 72 Fatigue damage!
/Now/ Utena has a plan, now that she gets another short moment to herself to figure out what her game plan is. She takes a few moments to prepare herself, dipping into a runner's lunge. It's just like the basketball court -- find the right moment and then break through. Her path forward is once again achingly direct.
As the purple apples rain down toward the assembled magical girls, Utena picks her moment and breaks forward at maximum speed. It's a simple attack, like many of hers -- a running lunge which has no grand subtlety and is all too telegraphed. It's not exactly a technical marvel, but... it's the heart behind it that matters, isn't it?
COMBAT: FINISHER! Utena Tenjou has used Fast Break on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Finisher, Fast Break, taking 30 Fatigue damage!
Her breath is coming back. Sailor Moon lifts her head, watching the continued chaos with growing comprehension. Are they still in danger? The past month has taught her that things do not always turn out alright, that sometimes there are just too many and too much and--
She breaks into a sprint before her thoughts can chain her. Usagi runs like she's only seen one other person ever run before, through the witchly explosions, arms raised to help her burst through. She skids to a four-foot stop behind Mami, sweat on her crowned brow.
"Mami-chan, maybe I can call more magical girls! Jupiter and Mercury should be out patrolling tonight, if they aren't busy they could come--"
Blam, blam, blam. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Usagi winces. What sort of thing can take that much firepower and still stay up? She steps forward to take up a spot next to the Puella Magi, leveling her wand-wielding arm and bracing it with her other hand.
"Don't worry! Prepare to Moon-chan's dramatic backup!"
After an initial flash, the crescent wand explodes with a basketball-sized cannonball of luminescence, glowing gold-warm and shot through with silver.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Usagi Tsukino's Pretending to be Mami Tomoe's Extra Gun on Honoka Yukishiro. COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro narrowly braces Sailor Moon's Usagi Tsukino's Pretending to be Mami Tomoe's Extra Gun, taking 12 Fatigue damage! Honoka Yukishiro is unable to keep fighting! Honoka Yukishiro's Block ability activates! Honoka Yukishiro's Parry ability activates!
Sailor Mars picked up a bad time to come out of hiding it seems. The carpet bombing hurts. She was already battered, and her conciousness is holding by a thread at this time. Tiredness wants to drag her into sweet oblivion, but she won't let it happen. Well, not willingly at least, but its started to feel mightly tempting nonetheless.
She drags herself back to her feel, focusing what she has left of her energies into one last attack. She holds her arms wide, and then brings them together in front of her, charging up the fires that she controls. But every passing moment, the fireball just keeps growing, as shebrings it to its maximum output. Its a mightly large fireball she's holding, at least 2 feet wide at this point, as she focuses it all on a single point, her target "Shall you burn with fires even hotter than lucifer, MARS FIRE SOUL!" The large fireball hurtling toward the youma, so she can burn it so thoroughly that not even ashes would remain.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Mars has used Mars Fire Soul on Juri Arisugawa. COMBAT: Juri Arisugawa fails to dodge Sailor Mars's Finisher, Mars Fire Soul, taking 57 Fatigue damage! Critical Hit!
Three feet left on the Firework (no longer plural) Akanbe's final, destructive fuse.
The Cute Wolf's Soulful Howl rolls into it, cracking its considerable armor -- but Tsukiko herself collapses at its base.
Cure Peace's lightning roars into it once again, and now it has no feet with which to jump away. It wiggles ineffectually, then flashes inside-out with its fuse-and-cheese internal structure momentarily shown, crackling with electric shock.
Two feet left on the fuse.
It does still have arms, but it's given the devil's choice -- to swat Mami Tomoe's incoming fire out of the air, or to try to swat away Chef Kuniko's phenomenal bouillabaise. It chooses the former.
This was a mistake.
"Akanbeeeeee~" it mutters blissfully, as the surf'n'turf fills its fusey stomach.
One foot left on the fuse -- which burns a little bit more slowly, now having to twice-cook Kuniko's meal.
It topples over, hitting the ground, hard, and in so doing avoiding the worst of Utena's attack; but she cleaves off an arm, which falls the the ground and shatters into nothingness, so very unlike a rose.
Now it's facing that park bench directly. Pop, standing atop it, crosses his arms in a warding gesture -- but he's so small.
Until a cannonball of light blasts the rocket from the side, up, up, and away.
It tumbles end over end, and disappears beneath the depths of Tokyo Bay with a hot sizzle.
The Winds of Admonishment slam into Majorina, tumbling her back. Her burden sways precariously on the end of her broomstick -- the other end of which, the broom end, is in short order set on fire by flame's very soul. She glares down at Fuu and Mars and the rest, down her crooked nose, her beady eyes aflame with ... impatience? Furstration?
She makes a gesture, a cruel, vicious one, and it carries with it a terrible curse. It tears through the air and impacts that park bench, which is quickly reduced to splinters?!? No, when the dust clears, it is entirely unharmed...
...but the fairy upon it is face down, totally unmoving.
A crack opens up in the sky. A crack of doom, perhaps. High, high above, two figures, tiny specks of blue and red to the distant eye, gesture frantically.
The evil witch clenches her jaw and rides the whirlwind upwards, exploding out the top. She shoots through the portal, is joined by the other two, and it seals shut behind them with a resounding slam.
That feeling of stagnation, however, remains.
Even as the memories of battle fade instead to a terrible act of vandalism, there is something missing from the eyes of passerby, as they emerge from alleyways, from around the sides of stalls, from beneath the rubble.
After judicious study, Pop is shown to be breathing... shallowly.
Not death, but sleep.
"...have to...tell the Precure..." he murmurs -- but whatever he's going to tell them will clearly have to wait until tomorrow, when he recovers.
Until New Year's Eve.