2014-08-19 - Charged Emotions! Jupiter's Challenge

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Title: Charged Emotions! Jupiter's Challenge

Sailor Jupiter has been searching for leads on Mobius and Labyrinth. Although she's already made a heap of trouble for herself in the process, it hasn't brought her any closer to finding the people who corrupted Sailor Mercury... until now.


Eas, Sailor Jupiter


Shitamachi Low City, near Game Center Crown

OOC - IC Date:

2 March 2014 - 8/19/2014

<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

Evening unfurls over the block on which Game Center Crown sits, the streetlights having already largely flickered to life as the sun set earlier. There's still a little glow on the horizon that suggests it's only just finishing, but most of the people roaming this part of the city are too busy to stop and consider it. There are many still at work, there are some on their way home, and of course, the arcade is pretty popular.

But Eas, denizen of Labyrinth and faithful servant of its Supreme Ruler Mobius-sama, is not in the arcade. While she's also too busy to care about the golden glow at the bottom of the deep blue sky off in the distance, it is not because she is on her way somewhere but because she is already there; clad in black leather and pale red, her white hair waving slightly in the breeze of her location, she stands on the roof of a building opposite the arcade, frowning into the cafe above it. Few are likely to notice her, because few are likely to bother looking up. She is, of course, wearing the diamond pattern familiar to those who have seen other agents of Labyrinth.

But she isn't making her attack... yet.

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

Patrols are one of the bigger drawbacks to being a Sailor Senshi, to Makoto's way of thinking - time-consuming, frequently uncomfortable when the weather declines to cooperate, and more often than not pretty boring. Today more than ever, still sore and aching from the disastrous symphony outing, she'd seriously considered staying home for once and calling it the better part of valor.

Then, feeling ashamed of herself for thinking it, Makoto had transformed and gone out to do her duty as one of Tokyo's protectors.

She's compromising a little by keeping it close to home, which is why the evening finds her on the roof of the familiar Crown building, looking out over the streets and rooftops of the neighborhood as people go on about their business unaware of the guardian watching over them.

When a flutter of white hair catches Sailor Jupiter's eye from the top of the building across the street, she frowns.

Some short while later a wind picks up, sweeping over Eas' rooftop perch - a wind that carries with it a fluttering of pale pink flower petals that have no business being in the air at this particular end of the neighborhood. In the next moment, Sailor Jupiter makes the last hop onto the edge of the roof, on the other side of the building from where Eas has been standing. Drawing herself up to her full height, she crosses her arms in front of her and gives Eas a hard-eyed stare. It was nothing more than caution and curiosity that brought her across the street to investigate who else might be lurking on rooftops at this time of the evening, but--

She's seen this woman before.

"You're from Labyrinth, aren't you?" No preamble, no pleasantries: it's a clipped, blunt question, a demand for an answer.

<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

Eas, of course, is quite in thought; what she's thinking she isn't sharing with the world as a whole, but her expression certainly doesn't suggest much of anything kind. The movements of the people on the other side don't even qualify for a flicker in her expression.

The delicate petals casting through her peripheral vision, however, do--she has grown familiar enough with this place to know what doesn't belong... though flower petals would be strange regardless. From where she'd had one foot on the edge, he brings it to meet her other, turning around with her arms at her side and her expression unchanged, uncaring, frankly kind of dour. Red eyes flick up and down the girl before her, and what may be strangest up close is not that her eyes are stony like Jupiter's expression, but the strange, hollow quality they have een when focused.

There's no contest in their heights; even in her heeled boots, Eas is shorter than Sailor Jupiter. So, she's obligated to look up.

"That's correct," she answers simply, in the same blunt sort of tone. She isn't offended by efficiency. "I am Eas. And you're one of the sailor soldiers."

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

The answer confirms what Sailor Jupiter already more or less knew. As soon as she got a good look at Eas, she remembered this woman with her white hair and her red-and-black clothing from the battle outside the hospital some time back. And even if she hadn't, there's no way she could've failed to recognize that diamond insignia - not now.

So her only visible reaction to Eas' introduction is a lift of her chin, a subtle tightening at the corners of her mouth. "Sailor Jupiter," she states flatly, and then dropping her hands to her sides she takes a step towards Eas. Spine straight, shoulders squared. A stance of unmistakable challenge.

"What did you do to Sailor Mercury?"

<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

Eas's diamond is different from Dark Mercury's, of couse; red, rather than blue. But the shape remains the same. And, while she hasn't summoned a monster here, this is indeed the very same woman who was at the hospital that day.

Eas's eyes remain focused on Jupiter, red locked onto the other young woman's face as she makes her introduction. While she makes no movement or reaction about the step forward, her own unyielding gaze suggests that she sees the challenge.

...Though she does not rise to meet it otherwise, yet. Instead, she lifts an eyebrow at the question.

"Why do you care?" she asks simply, as if the very idea is somehow bizarre. "She was weak. She was holding you back, a liability; you should be glad your cause has lost the dead weight."

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

"She's not weak," Jupiter snaps back immediately, eyes bright with a fierce anger. "She's brilliant! And she's my friend." Two more steps close a little more of the space between Sailor Jupiter and Eas. Jupiter's hands have closed into fists at her sides. "It has nothing to do with a 'cause' or anything like that. I care about what happens to her because she's important to me."

She stops again, lifts a hand to point an accusatory finger at Eas. "And I know she'd never really want to help you guys make people miserable, so whatever you did to her, undo it."

<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

Eas studies Jupiter's expression amidst that anger. Despite the fierceness and obvious resolve on the part of the sailor soldier before her, she does not recoil or change her stance as Jupiter moves forward. Maybe it would be wiser, but part of Eas's own intimidation factor is maintaining the illusion that she doesn't really care what her opponent is up to.

...Though in this case, Jupiter has gotten onto a note more important to the agent of Labyrinth than she'd admit. "She /was/ weak, regardless of what she is now. Her brilliance is worthless if it isn't applied. It doesn't matter whether you /could/ have won--only whether you did." Scoffing, she rolls her eyes a moment, in a move more appropriate to her age than would be expected for her demeanor. "Friends. You humans always talk about 'friends', as if that's a word that means something worthwhile. You'd be stronger if you forgot about 'friends' and focused on your goals. What do you get from worrying about such things?"

The accusation, implied more than spoken, sinks her way. Eas actually lets herself glance down at that one finger, before almost lazily returning her gaze to Jupiter's face. "She's under the control of Mobius-sama now, like all worlds will be when we complete our task. Even if I could undo it--why would I?"

She does not smile, but her gaze intensifies to finally begin to match Sailor Jupiter's presence. "Give up. It's useless."

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

Jupiter meets Eas' gaze unflinchingly, intensity for intensity. The air around her seems almost to tingle with it, dry and crackling like the charge that precedes a lightning strike. "You don't understand anything. My friends give me strength that I'd never have on my own. If they weren't there, then my goals wouldn't mean anything anyway!"

She moves again, crossing the remaining space of the rooftop in a few long, quick strides that bring her right in front of Eas, looming over the white-haired woman like a tower of fury. "That's why I'll never give up on Mercury," Jupiter declares. "If you won't let her go... I'll just have to make you."

<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

So, this /is/ another of the guardians of this world. Though the only effect the storm seeming to rise in the air has on Eas visibly is that the loose leather of her sleeveless jacket and the fur trim of her collar are rustled harder by the wind, she can feel the change more than see it. The hair on the back of her neck stands on end, slightly.

But her expression finally turns, eyes narrow, mouth shifting into a scowl as Jupiter speaks about her friends.

There is then the powerfully-built Jupiter standing right before her, forcing her to look that much farther upward to meet her expression. "This is that important to you," she notes.

"...Then, you're a fool. Your friends will only leave you, one way or another. The only thing you can count on is yourself." A beat, "But if you believe so strongly... why don't you show me?"

Suddenly, she is in motion; spinning backward, she does not strike Jupiter, as might be expected. Instead, she moves to the barrier marking the edge of the roof, and drops down into a spinning kick that shatters concrete and kicks up a cloud of dust to obscure her motions. One chunk--one large brick--does remain intact, white and jagged with mortar. It sails upward.

"NAKEWAMEKE!" Eas calls, separating her hands that have come together in a smooth motion, revealing a red Data Diamond. She hurls it, one handed, straight at the rock, without so much as turning back before she sees it strike. There's a flash of light...

"Do my bidding!"

From the dust crashes onto the roof a creature twice Jupiter's height, made up of disjointed pieces of construction material, broken in places but with a recognizable face. Eas, now, is standing on what's left of the railing, arms crossed, smirking. "Show me the power your friends grant you when you're here alone, Sailor Jupiter! If you fail, you'll only send the Sorrow Gauge higher!"

COMBAT: Eas transforms into Nakewameke!
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly braces Eas's Cry More! Wail More!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Eas is Psyched!  Sailor Jupiter's Block ability activates!  Sailor Jupiter's Parry ability activates!  Tangle applied to Sailor Jupiter!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

When Eas whirls into motion, Sailor Jupiter is ready; she springs backwards, arms coming up before her to brace for an attack. She was not at all expecting Eas' strike to be directed elsewhere, and for a startled moment she watches the Nakewameke take shape...

...then her face sets into a look of determination, and her stance shifts to orient her towards the monster. "Fine!" she replies. "I'll prove it to you - whether they're here with me or not, my friends are always giving me strength!"

Her arms reach upward, both hands stretching open towards the sky, summoning a wind that swirls around her, kicking up a flurry of petals as it gains steadily in strength and speed. "Flower Hurricane!" With a shout, Sailor Jupiter sends the wind raging towards the Nakewameke, a full-blown blizzard of dizzying fragrance and blinding pink and white.

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Flower Hurricane on Eas.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas narrowly braces Sailor Jupiter's Flower Hurricane, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Eas's Block ability activates!  Eas's Parry ability activates!  Trap applied to Eas!  
<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

The monster, too, sets its stance towards Jupiter, though it doesn't have the manners to bow. Eas herself stays in her perch for the moment, eyes intent upon the battle before her, between her monster and its new opponent.

"We'll see," Eas says darkly, crossing her arms in her usual defiant posture to watch.

The wind crashes forward, kicking up more of the dust from a moment ago along with it, the fragrant blast collides full-on with the creature, who can only bring forth its craggy arms in an 'X' to shield itself. For a moment, there is nothing.

Then, now with petals and broken wall stuck to it slowing it down, the creature is still standing. "NAAAAKEWAMAKE!" it calls back, and puts one rocky foot down, then the next, picking up speed as it charges. If Jupiter doesn't act quickly, it may crush her outright with sheer weight.

"You humans always talk about your way of living, but I just see unfocused, meandering fools!"

COMBAT: Eas has used Nakewameke! Direct Approach!! on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter perfectly counters Eas's Nakewameke! Direct Approach!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Counter!  
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter's counterattack, Supreme Suplex, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Eas!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"That's because--"

The roof shakes with each step that carries the Nakewameke forward, but Sailor Jupiter holds her ground as it bears down on her, poised and ready and bright-eyed with intent. Just as the massive blunt object is about to slam into her, she springs--

--and planting both hands on the wide, rough surface of the monster's shoulder she vaults up and over, using the momentum of its charge to swing her legs around so that she's sitting astride its shoulders, unscathed. "--you're a jerk!"

Perched atop the Nakewameke as she is, Jupiter plunges both hands at what passes for the thing's head, fingers alive with sparks of searing electricity.

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Jupiter Thunderbolt on Eas.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas fails to dodge Sailor Jupiter's Jupiter Thunderbolt, taking 10 fatigue damage! Eas is Quipped!
<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

Eas frowns.

It is hard to say whether it's because she's just been called a /jerk/, of all things, or because Jupiter is now riding her Nakewameke around as if that's an entirely natural thing to do.

But it's less important to say it than it is to say a few other things just now--such as how the monster lifts its blocky arms, each segment dragging across the other with a shaky rumble, and flails them upward as Jupiter swings in. The blast stops it short for a moment, lighting up the night with the force of the electricity. "Nonconductivityyyy," it complains in a droning voice.

"You're annoying," Eas snaps, "And green is a terrible color! Nakewameke, stop fooling around and /crush her/!"

Finally getting its bearings, it manages to move again--and while it flails around to try to hold its foe in place, starts its rumbling steps, bending at the waist (or what passes for the waist) in an effort to crash its head--and Jupiter--right into a nearby wall.

COMBAT: Eas has used The Other Kind Of Crush on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly braces Eas's The Other Kind Of Crush, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Jupiter's Block ability activates!  Sailor Jupiter's Parry ability activates! 
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

She sees the wall looming fast, but when Sailor Jupiter tries to leap clear of the Nakewameke before it makes impact she quickly finds her legs pinned, too entangled by the creature's flailing to let her get free.

This could suck.

No help for it; she hunkers down and steels herself, gritting her teeth against what she knows is coming. Monster and sailor soldier ram into the wall together with a fantastic CRUNCH.

When the Nakewameke reels back from the damage it's done to the wall, however, Jupiter is still clinging gamely to it - bruised, covered in dust, feeling a chorus of protesting aches all over her body, but grinning fiercely in spite of it all. "Is that the best you can do...?"

Voltage arcs between her fingers, snapping sparks into the air as she hauls back a clenched fist and brings it slamming down at the monster's head. "Our goals--" her other fist comes down, "--don't mean anything--" and again, "--if we don't--" and again, punctuating each phrase with another electrified punch, "--choose them ourselves!"

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Lightning Fist on Eas.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas fails to brace Sailor Jupiter's Lightning Fist, taking 30 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Jupiter is Psyched! 
<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

As her monster crashes towards the wall, Eas watches, cold-eyed. She hears the ugly noise of a person bashed between two hard places, sees the spiderwebbing cracks in the wall that come with it--...

"Tch," the sound of annoyance from the agent of Labyrinth comes up as Jupiter hangs on--and even starts to keep up the assault. Eas takes step along the edge, moving to keep a good eye on the battle at hand, scanning to see here her creature could bet get advantage.

But the fists crash down, punctuated by the sailor soldier's words, and this Nakewameke is staggered for the moment by the impacts. Her hand bring up clouds of powdered concrete, cracks forming in the back of the thing's head as a result of the devastating impacts, little craters left as it grunts its complaint.

But when it has a moment, it takes it; seeing before it a rain gutter, the creature rips it off and /tears/ the piece of metal free, swinging for its shoulders like a giant using a backscratcher.

...Which, as it tries to crush Jupiter, it more or less is.

"Ridiculous!" Eas shouts from her vantage point. "Why should that matter?"

COMBAT: Eas has used Public Property on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter fails to dodge Eas's Public Property, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Eas is Psyched! 
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

When the creature grabs for the rain gutter, it frees Jupiter's legs, letting her push herself off of the thing's back - not fast enough to avoid the improvised bludgeon, unfortunately, and she ends up dangling for a few moments, hanging onto the Nakewameke's shoulders as the gutter slams into her back. "Nnh--!"

The gutter comes up and Jupiter takes the chance to drop clear, half hopping and half stumbling backwards for a step or two before she catches herself and regains her footing. "...because," she answers Eas, breathing a bit more heavily now, "if you're following a path that you set for yourself, with people who care about you to support you..." She springs into motion again, whirling at the Nakewamake with a kick aimed at the back of what passes for its knee. "...you can work much harder!"

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Jupiter Smash! on Eas.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas fails to brace Sailor Jupiter's Jupiter Smash!, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

The gutter rings in the air after it impacts the Nakewameke's rocky back, Jupiter's escape speedy enough to avoid its next blow. "NAAAKEEWAMEKEEE," it proclaims in triumph, turning one earth-shaking step at a time towards its opponent, a slow process that's still in motion as Jupiter answers Eas and then makes her next charge.

Thus, the shorter of the two sees the kick impact, hears the cracking of concrete that marks its knee suddenly going out from beneath it, sends it tumbling downward--though it does not disappear. And she can still hear that response. Work harder...

Her scowl is angrier now, than it was, her red eyes flashing despite that hollow quality. "Worthless crutches for those too weak to do it on their own!" he counts. "/I/ do't need anything like that!" She lifts her arm to point, and her monster lifts its head again.

Rising, it whirls faster than it's been able to move before. A black aura surrounds its ruined knee as it rushes, swinging at Jupiter once, twice, three times, again--aiming to send her straight off the roof entirely.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Eas has used All-Out Misery on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly braces Eas's Finisher, All-Out Misery, taking 76 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Jupiter's Block ability activates!  Sailor Jupiter's Parry ability activates!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

The hulk of brick and concrete and rebar comes at her in a mad rush, and Sailor Jupiter stands her ground, planting her feet and bracing her stance as though one girl can stop that animate battering ram in its tracks. As it swings at her she brings up her hands--

--and catches the blow in midair.

The Nakewameke swings again, and again, and it's clear that the effort of standing against it is taking absolutely everything that Jupiter has. Her arms and shoulders shudder as the heavy arms come down again; it drives her back, boots grinding against the surface of the roof, arms and back and hips screaming with fresh pain at each new shock. Her face contorts with it, teeth bared in a grimace.

...but she doesn't bend.

When the third blow comes down, she catches and holds it, fingers digging into the cracked concrete. There's that tingle in the air again, the dry static crackle of a building charge, and now overhead the clouds are growing heavy and dark and rumbling with a low growl of thunder.

"...You wanted to see... the difference between my power and yours..." Jupiter's voice comes out breathlessly, rough in her throat. "Well, this is it--"

A slim metal rod extends upwards from the center of her tiara, already sparking with energy.


The skies open, the clouds split by a column of blazing electricity that crashes down towards the Nakewameke in a resounding clap of "--THUNDER!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Jupiter has used Supreme Thunder on Eas.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas fails to brace Sailor Jupiter's Finisher, Supreme Thunder, taking 79 Fatigue damage!  Eas is unable to keep fighting!  
<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

Apparently, one girl /can/ stop this giant in its tracks.

Eas watches, unblinking, as her monster swings its gigantic arms again and again towards Sailor Jupiter, and as she catches each blow. It drives her backwards, but none break through the line of her defense. Eas watches this, noting Jupiter's expression and bearing through each swing, right up until she catches /hold/ of it--and she can feel that heat in the air, that humidity, that...


Even the unflappable Eas, agent of Labyrinth, is forced to avert her eyes in the moment, turning her head to the side to spare her vision against the column of heavenly power that crashes down into her monster. The power crackles all around it, its aura remaining for moments still.

"...schwa schwaaaaa," it calls mournfully, before it fades into darkness. A single white brick hits the ground at Jupiter's feet, the data diamond embedded in its side. Black smoke hisses off of it as the diamond disappears, burning away all at once.

"Hmph," Eas answers, from her perch away, now that she turns to look at Jupiter once again. "So, you do have some power." She lets her arms fall to her sides, but her gaze remains on the victorious guardian only a few yards away, on this roof. "But there's no reason to believe that it comes from your 'friends' instead of your own resolve. When I fought Sailor Mercury, it was like she wasn't even trying. Not like you at all."

"She didn't have resolve. But I do. Remember that, if we meet again." The white-haired girl turns, as if to leave directly from the roof to the ground.

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

Somehow, Sailor Jupiter stays on her feet in the wake of the lightning strike... although she's panting for breath, clearly spent, and it's probably only by virtue of the solid and braced stance she'd already assumed that she manages to remain upright.

She wants to go after Eas - to stop her, to insist that they're not through yet and demand once more that the woman release her hold on Ami. But in the state that she's in now, even Makoto knows how that will end.

She's made her point, as much as she can. It'll have to be enough.

For now.

So Jupiter just stands where she is, watching Eas turn away with a hard, steady stare. "She thought she couldn't count on us." The answer is quiet, hoarse, but firm. "That was our fault. But you took advantage of it."

She draws in a breath to steady herself. Her muscles quiver with effort. Just a little bit longer...

"I won't stop until you let her go."

<Pose Tracker> Eas [None] has posed.

For now. ...Especially since Eas herself is still in top form, having allowed her monster to handle all the fighting for her. At least, all the direct fighting--there's a change in her expression now that the battle is over, a different sort of assessment in her eyes.

Whether or not Sailor Jupiter has made the point she wanted, it seems she's given the denizen of Labyrinth something to consider. One way or another.

But now, she only stops when she hears that quiet, firm answer. "So I did," she agrees. "That much is true. But you can't hesitate when it's time to strike."

She takes a step, opening her stance, to partially face Jupiter again when she says she won't stop, to look her over once more. "That's fine," she answers. "I'm not holding her anywhere. If she decided to leave, it wouldn't be my place to stop her. I don't have any orders concerning that at all. If her resolve fails again, it means she wasn't strong enough."

"But if she's that important to you, you should know; you have the right target. I brought her to Mobius-sama."

Eas turns the rest of the way, and steps off the ledge.

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

In the wake of Eas' departure, the rooftop is still, quiet save for the city noises all around. A wind sweeps over the rooftops, clearing away the last lingering dust kicked up by the battle. Sailor Jupiter holds her stance for a little while longer, until she's sure that Eas is gone.

Then, at last, she lets her knees buckle, dropping down in a barely-controlled fall to sit amidst the roof grit and breathe out a shaky sigh.

"Eas..." She says the name out loud to herself, eyes still fixed on the edge of the rooftop where the woman disappeared, even though by now she's long gone. "...We'll definitely meet again."