2016-09-24 - Kill The Wabbit

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Title: Kill The Wabbit

Chibi-Usa literally runs into Koan, who provides a spectacular introduction to the goals and means of the Black Moon Clan.


Chibi-Usa Tsukino, Iona Hikawa, Hikaru Shidou, Fuu Hououji, Makoto Kino, Usagi Tsukino, Michiru Kaioh, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Adrien Agreste, Garnet, Saki Hyuuga, Mai Mishou

GM: Utena Tenjou


Asakusa Traditional District

OOC - IC Date:

09-24-2016 - 11-23-2014

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

The colorful, crowded streets of Asakusa shine all the more brightly in the midday sun. It's a cool day not far from the temple districts of this part of town, and storefronts spilling into the street war with more traditional street stalls the closer one gets. They sprawl on either side of the streets, always another thing to see.

The smells of fresh-cooked street food fill the air in conflict with one another to make an altogether sweet harmony, while the sounds of people talking and calling drown one another out. ...And, as always, the people here on this Sunday, businesspeople and students and everything in-between with a lot else besides.

The sky is clear and the day is cold, and the sun glints off of metal in pans, charms, and even watches or jewelry. But not everyone is enjoying it in the same way. Or, well, /was/. But that gets ahead of the problem.

Moments ago, Chibi-Usa Tsukino--a small, pink-haired girl in a white coat--was running. Shouted words and two faces ran through her mind even then, melding with something else, older memories that she tried to push down. She was running through the crowds, pushing into a more open space, and then suddenly she was stopped, running into something that knocked her right down on her bottom. Her chest felt tight and her red eyes were squeezed shut before she looked up, but opened quickly to take in the sight of what she ran into. Her mouth opened to start to say something--to shout something.

It died on her lips, and now her blood runs cold. She looks further up, and she stops /breathing/ with the terror of what she sees. She looks up, and up, not towards the sky but towards something else entirely, and tries to scoot back on her hands, and finds she can barely even move. Her eyes widen in obvious fear, pupils becoming pinpricks.

With the next breath comes a choked sob, her vision swimming with tears. "M-Mama..." It's half a whisper to start, but there's a soft hum from her. She isn't only calling for help. "MAMA!"

She wails, in terror and in need, and a light begins to radiate from her. It coalesces on her forehead first, a golden crescent moon--and then admidst her cries, it explodes outward all around her, becoming a column of towering golden light that stretches up towards the heavens. The nearest stall crashes backwards away from her; litter and pieces of that stall begin to float upward, as does her hair and slowly, Chibi-Usa herself.

She's actively sobbing now, crying her eyes out, but that light can be seen for miles around.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

There's a woman looming over Chibi-Usa.

It isn't the woman's weird clothes that made Chibi-Usa cry, though the pink, pinstriped fabric that sheathes her from neck to wrists to toes is unusual, and the layers of shimmering petals of her black tutu are moreso. But really, in combination with her ultra-high heels, black crystal earrings, and the black rose corsages that adorn supple neck and slender wrist alike, she looks like a lady of high fashion, if a rather otherworldly one.

And her weird hairstyle is, if anything, familiar; though much of her thick and luscious purple hair is left free to cascade down to her waist, she is crowned by a pair of pointy odangos just like Chibi-Usa herself. Perhaps they're related!

The massive violet jewel that surmounts her forehead is something of a bad sign, perhaps, but what sits right below it is all wrong. That crescent is unmistakably similar to the one that declares Princess Serenity's birthright -- but instead of glorious gold, this emblem's all in black, and inverted, its sharp points facing downwards towards Hell, instead of up towards the endless skies.

Even that, by itself, could have wrung tears from Chibi-Usa like dishwater from a sponge, but it didn't. No -- it's the cruel light in her purple eyes, the savage smile that slashes across her lips like a knife in the dark. Faced with the unbelievable power coruscating off of the child, she has no inclination to appreciate its beauty, its wonder. Chibi-Usa does not represent the hinge of a crucial question, no.

To Koan, Chibi-Usa is a door. A staircase. /Her/ staircase, her path upwards. And it's one she walks to without hesitation, a black aura pouring off of her, parting the veils of light to let her darkness through.

She leans forward, and her sharpened fingernails reach out to close upon the child's neck, to hold her in place.

"You've been a very naughty Rabbit," she purrs, "Running away, leading us all the way back here. And for what?" Her eyes trace the flush on Chibi-Usa's cheeks, the scuffs on her knees. "It looks like you've been having a /horrid/ time."

Her grin widens, hungry for victory. "But fear not -- it's all over now. Say your prayers, Rabbit! It's a beautiful day... for you to die!"

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou transforms into Koan!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 12 opponents!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.


'Mama! Mama!'

Mai Mishou's head swings, as she walks down the street only a few blocks away. Her eyes widen for a moment as they meet the familiar brown eyes of her best friend. Then, she looks down at her belt. "Choppy!" she says. "Is it...?"

"I don't sense the same evil presence-chopi..." The little fairy trails off, then stops. "I think we need to help her-chopi!"

Mai nods. "Saki...!"


The pillar of light in the sky blocks out two bolts of white and gold, respectively. They come swinging around, then slam into the ground with a shower of sparks and dust. Cure Egret stands up, finger pointed directly at Koan. She arrived in time to hear the very tail end of that threat. Her violet eyes dart down, to look at Chibi-Usa, and then back at her.

"You'll leave her alone!" she says. "Threatening this poor girl with such things... it's truly unforgivable!"

COMBAT: Mai Mishou transforms into Cure Egret!
COMBAT: Cure Egret has used We Are... on Saki Hyuuga.
<Pose Tracker> Adrien Agreste [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Adrien gave the fifth forced smile today as the photographer took and shot of him leaning against the stall.

"That's it! That's it! Make it look like you're searching for your heart's desire!" the photographer cried.

"I rather be looking for it near the arcade," Adrien muttered. He desperately wished he could have joined Nino's offer of spending a day at the arcade, rather than being stuff looking over painted statues and homemade bracelets.

Truthfully, they were impressive pieces of works, Adrien doubted he be capable of making anything half as good, but the joy of admiring was quickly sucked up dry when he spent the last couple of hours leaning and staring into the camera.

Suddenly, a bright light was seen off in the distance. Adrien jumped, making the photographer scowl until he too saw the light.

"Did someone set off some fireworks?" his assistance asked.

Adrien seriously doubted, and right now he didn't care the reason if he gotten out of it...although. "Yeah, looks like fireworks! And we can't be working near fire hazards! My father wouldn't allow it!"

The photographer barely said a word before Adrien rushed off. "I'll go and inspect it! Uh..and give them a good scolding! Be right back!"

"Wait, no! That wouldn't matter-Adrien come back here!"

Adrien didn't stop until he duck behind a tree and looked into his shirt pocket. "I really do have to check it out since it could be Hawkmoth."

Plagg pouted like a small child as hovered upside down. "Must we? I was have a nice nap."


"Fine, fine."

Adrien grinned as he held out his ring. "Plagg, claws out!"

Plagg was instantly sucked into the ring and Adrien felt the magic wash over. Adrien gleefully summoned his mask and his claws, and felt like laughing as the rest of his costume appeared.

Within seconds, Adrien was gone and Chat Noir was here to save the day. "Time to see if curiousity really did kill the cat!"

Chat Noir jumped and raced among the stalls heading straight where he saw the light come from.

He was rather taken a back by what he found. A small girl and being threatened by..another cat theme woman?!

"Well, well look what the cat dragged in!" he taunted as he jumped near them. "I think someone should trim your claws lady!"

COMBAT: Adrien Agreste transforms into Chat Noir!
COMBAT: Chat Noir has used Cat's Got Your Tongue on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.


Saki is cheerfully annihilating a melon pan from a convenience store (the two she brought from home heroically sacrificed themselves hours ago) with Mai at her side when she catches a worried, terrified scream!! The staggering pillar of light also helps, and Saki's eyes widen immediately. "The heck...!? Flappy!?"

"I don't know for sure-lapi!" the fairy attached to her bag squawks. "But I don't think we should ignore it-lapi!"

She nods, and looks to Mai, her shoulders half-consciously squaring. "Right. Mai! Let's go!"

She undermines the moment slightly by hastily shoving the entire rest of her snack into her mouth over the next ten meters.


Sparks of gold light spray upward from the arrival of Cure Bloom, her shoes hitting with a sharp CLACK that seems like it should be far harsher; yet, the ground does not break under the Pretty Cure of Earth. Her hands move on their own, jabbing a finger at Koan defiantly in mirror to Mai. "We won't let you just hurt a kid like that!" she agrees, sweeping her stern jab of a finger into an open-palmed threat. "Stop this right now!"

...Saki always feels like she missed a step when they skip the intro speech.

COMBAT: Saki Hyuuga accepts Cure Egret's We Are..., taking 0 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Saki Hyuuga transforms into Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used ...Pretty Cure! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Cure Egret accepts Cure Bloom's ...Pretty Cure!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret is Cheered!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Not long ago~

There are things that can easily frustrate small responsible children about Usagi Tsukino. One example would be her dropping by the Sanja-sama shrine in Asakusa to make a show of praying that she'd pass her high school entrance exams- only to purchase a small cell strap love charm to match the Hikawa shrine one hanging from her purse.

She doesn't own a single study charm.

Soon after, she was tipping back a bowl of miso ramen so high that her mid-riff partially uncovered, slurping down the broth with a rapidity that only typically starving could match. A happy smile, as it was lowered, rubbing her stomach. "Delicious! Ah that was really what I needed to warm me up~"

And then her expression changes a little. A glance is given to the pink-haired smaller girl as she shoulders her purse, before addressing Makoto Kino, a finger pointed in the direction of certain facilities. "I'll just- be right back."

She was in the middle of washing her hands when Makoto entered a little while after, almost raising her hand for a friendly wave out of the running water, but just grinning instead as she turned it off, then used the air dryer on her hands, giving them a tiny pat on skirt fabric when they just weren't quite dry enough.

The door is pushed open as she makes her way back towards the counter and she stops midway obviously confused- but then confusion changes to an expression of righteous anger as she storms over to the table and grabs her wrist.


Her shout might have shaken the small shop- because she just caught the smaller girl digging through her friend's purse. "Were you thinking I wouldn't get back so soon? Too bad for you! How could you!? Watching another girl's purse is a sacred trust! I won't forgive you for violating Mako-chan's!"

Was it really a surprise to her that under these circumstances- a rabbit's only thought would be to bolt?


They'd been chasing her ever since, after hastily paying for the meal. Not being the most athletic, that meant Usagi was out of breath, hands on her knees. A small child in these crowds definitely had the advantage. "Mom will definitely never forgive me if-" She pants, "-we lose her."

Fear of punishment right now that was her biggest concern. She'd just begun to warm up to Chibi-Usa and now the girl had fallen right back into type...

But there's a sight of a glimpse of pink hair- on a background of pink pinstripes not far away. "There she is-" But was she really crying for 'Mama'? Despite her misgivings, that really kicked Usagi's protective instincts into high gear. There was nothing more human than a child crying for their mother.

But what happens next, nearly bowls her over, as a column of heaven piercing light erupts out of the girl. With a yelp, she covers her eyes, staggers backwards to the side, and gapes at it. Her hand clasps her brooch as she feels the dark aura pour off the lady menacing her. She really doesn't need to tell her friend what this means. If anything Makoto Kino had better instincts than her about this sort of thing. So instead a nod is issued her way and-

"Moon Cosmic Power - Make Up!"

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.


In this, their final year of middle school, Makoto and Usagi don't have just regular homework and tests to worry about: they also have to contend with the dreaded High School Entrance Exams. Ami has been working herself to the bone trying to get not just herself but all of them ready and prepared for that, but, well... Makoto doesn't really have a lot of faith in her ability to study. Along with a love charm, she has two study charms. ...It can't hurt to try asking the gods for help, right?

"You really should get at least *one* study charm, Usagi-chan," Makoto replies as she finishes off her kitsune udon. "If you're out of allowance, I could give you one of mine. We both need all the help we can get..." She drinks up the last of her udon broth with a contented sigh, then sets down the bowl. Her purse, a hand-sewn pink floral pattern, rests on the chair next to hers, separating her and Chibiusa.

Usagi indicates that she needs to use the bathroom, and, well--Makoto's not going to be gross about it. She gets up too. "Chibiusa-chan! I'm going to go into the bathroom with Usagi-chan. Watch my purse for me, okay?" she tells the tiny pink-haired girl with a friendly wink. It seems to say 'I'm counting on you to handle this very important task!' Honestly, it's not like Makoto expects someone to snatch it right off the table anyway, or come up and harass a little girl in the five, maybe ten minutes tops that she and Usagi will be away. And it might make an out-of-place girl feel better if she's trusted. Who knows? Maybe the reason she's been wrecking Usagi's room is as a cry for attention.

It doesn't occur to her until after she leaves the bathroom with Usagi, drying her hands with a paper towel, that Chibiusa might well ransack her purse for similar reasons.

Before she can get mad, though, Usagi's charging like a bull at the little girl, and Makoto hurries along after her. "Hold it, Usagi-chan!" she says urgently as her friend grabs the girl's wrist. "Chibiusa-chan, why were you--"

But she can't even get a single sentence out before the frightened girl bolts.


Makoto's not out of breath, so much, but even someone as tall as her has trouble finding someone so short in a crowd. She scans around, hand over her eyes, trying to spot those pink pointed buns. "I can't believe she would do that," she says, upset but not angry. "If she needed a bandaid or wanted a caramel, she just needed to ask!"

But there's no more time for discussion. When Usagi sees a flash of pink, a column of light *explodes* up from the crowd, right over in the direction they'd last seen Chibiusa, so close they could practically reach out and touch it. Makoto's seen some shit in her day, but she still rears back, eyes narrowed, mouth agape. "Chibiusa-chan!!" she roars. The little girl is calling for her mother... Her fists clench as she sees the strange woman with the dark purple hair and the wicked aura, and she shares a decisive nod with Usagi. The two of them duck for cover, and...

"Jupiter Star Power, Make-Up!"

COMBAT: Makoto Kino transforms into Sailor Jupiter!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou transforms into Fire Knight!
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Wordlessly, she beheld the unearthly column of light.

Wordless still, she arrives to the grim scene.

A second sight reveals a small child in danger... and a cry for help!

A cry answered, in a blur of action and purpose as a large form slams into the unknown assailant of the young.

Brilliant red light gleams.

An armored fist strikes out in protective anger.

Enter Garnet, leader of the Crystal Gems.

Here, as her own child would sing, "To Save The Day."

COMBAT: Garnet transforms into Garnet's Got Gauntlets!
COMBAT: Garnet has used Leaping Smash! on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Marinette Dupain-Cheng [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"I can't believe I'm here and I can't believe you talked me into this and what if he doesn't like it and-" Marinette Dupain-Cheng, a student at Juuban, is babbling helplessly - or was, rather, until firmly cut off by an elbow to the side. She's hiding behind the corner of a rather elaborate bit of topiary, switching gears from rambling to catching her breath - and whirls to face the girl beside her. "Alya! What were you-"

"Oh come on, Marinette, you were babbling. Besides, you know that you love that I sniffed out this little scoop, right? Let's face it, would you rather be rewriting that lovely little poem for the seventeenth time, or out here at one of Adrien's photo shoots to get a chance to actually hand it to him?" Alya is grinning like a fox, and Marinette starts fidgeting again in response - which gets a hand on her wrist. "Hey! It's no good if you crumple it, you know!"

"I don't know about this - I mean, it's enough to just be out here to see the shoot, right?" Marinette stomps her foot as her plea is met with a head-shaking. "Oh come on, I mean look at this!"

She pokes her head out from behind the topiary to take in the photo shoot a moment longer - briefly catching Adrien's attempt at a lovestruck expression, her heart skipping a beat - and then everything is cut short as a pillar of distressed light shines in the distance. The shoot is in disarray, but that's the least of anyone's concerns-

"Sorry, Marinette, but that's all kinds of suspicious - imagine what kind of scoop this could be! Who knows, they might even show up - you coming?"

A moment. "No, Alya, I think I'd rather stay here, just in case...and she's already gone." Marinette breathes a sigh of relief. "But she's not wrong, is she? That is kind of suspicious...do you think it's..."

From within her handbag, a little red bug-fairy flits out, shaking her head. "I don't sense any Akuma, Marinette...but that light does mean something is happening. Even if Papillon isn't involved, we should definitely try to help!"

Marinette nods in response, glancing around furtively - but she's alone behind this bush. "Sounds like a plan. Tikki, transform me~"

Earrings twinkle, and a Kwami is drawn in - and with flourishes of red light, Marinette Dupain-Cheng becomes a heroine. Red with black spots, head to toe, a mask to hide her identity and a yo-yo in hand. The miraculous heroine Ladybug stands proud for a moment - and then throws a quick Flying Saucer to cast her weapon out into the air. Somewhere, there's a helpful protrusion on a roof - and with a pull, she hauls herself through the air to rush to the scene.

Somehow, luckily, she arrives just as Chat Noir does - landing on a stall near the black-clad hero. A moment's seriousness to evaluate the scene - and then she doesn't even try to hide her groan. "I'm half-surprised you didn't claim this was a purr-fect match, Chat Noir. But at least your heart's in the right place - whatever evil you have planned, madamoiselle, I think you should..." She tosses her yo-yo with a smirk. "...keep your eye on the birdie!"

She throws it in a direction. And then it rebounds and loops and who even knows where it's going by the time it actually closes in on Koan...

COMBAT: Marinette Dupain-Cheng transforms into Ladybug!
COMBAT: Ladybug has used Lindy Loop on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Michiru Kaioh [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Things were changing, quickly.

The cat hunts the rabbit - and the shapes in the mirror showed her no further clues as to the evil that haunts Infinity. The Silence was coming - it always had been, always would be. But for now - clues towards that end of everything had eluded her.

Michiru Kaioh was troubled.

But such a disturbance in this park. A park that Michiru lingered in, sheltered from the sun by a parasol and a hummed song on her lips, the troubles that flowed through the woman's mind not reaching her features - said features passive - gentle. Serene, some might call them. One would have to look into her eyes to see the trouble that lay within her.

But the ocean carried so many secrets, and these secrets were buried deeply.

So many people lashing out at a figure, and Michiru glances that way, lips pursing just so. Senshi were there as well. Jupiter and... Moon. This must be important. Michiru steps behind one of the trees in the park - and in a flash of light and rose petals, Michiru was gone.

Sailor Neptune remains. Remains to execute a flip up onto one of the nearby lightposts - and announce her presence with a snap of energy that arches towards the poor Koan, leaving the scent of seawater in its wake. And, Michiru always thought - the sound of violins.

COMBAT: Michiru Kaioh transforms into Sailor Neptune!
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Harsh Harsh Neptune on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

In the backlight of Chibi-Usa's eruption, the silhouette- there are two Senshi gradually coming into view. A diminutive one with her hands on her hips, and the other standing tall and proud with her arms crossed.

"No matter how ill-behaved children can be, there's no excuse for threatening to kill them!" Sailor Moon announces.

"How dare you harass this poor little girl and make her cry?!" Sailor Jupiter demands.

"In the name of the Moon--"

"In the name of Jupiter--"


COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Chat Noir's Cat's Got Your Tongue, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Utena Tenjou is Quipped!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Garnet's Leaping Smash!, taking 9 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Ladybug's Lindy Loop, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!  Stagger applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has started a combo targeting Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly counters Sailor Neptune's Harsh Harsh Neptune, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Counter!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Dark Firewall!, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Neptune!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has joined the combo started by Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: COMBO! Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter have used Combo: Oshioki Taimu!, composed of In The Name Of The Moon and In The Name Of Jupiter, on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

There were a few things Fuu wanted to pick up at the 'market' in Asakusa in preparation for Labor Thanksgiving Day, and it's always a good place to wander through for StreetPass tags and the like, so she's been taking advantage of the fairly mild weather to do exactly that. She's also been starting to look more attentively at clothing stores; she has her Akai Mirai membership card, she may as well look for good chances to use it ... but Asakusa probably isn't the best place for clothes shopping, particularly in that vein.

Especially when there's a sudden pillar of light and a little girl crying out in terror; those are usually very bad omens for a pleasant shopping trip. The rush of justifiably freaked-out civilians actually carries Fuu back out of the temple grounds for a while, but she can handle that - it's easier to find a good spot to hide away for a moment, and once the crush of the crowd lets up, she does exactly that.

Moments later, the Magic Knight of Wind alights on a lantern post, bow in hand, quiver across her back, and nocks an arrow to the string. "Even for the forces of darkness, terrorizing an innocent child is a new low point," she remarks. "Kindly set the little girl down, if you intend to keep using that arm for anything."

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gentle Chiding on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly braces Fuu Hououji's Gentle Chiding, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Brace!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly counters Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter's Combo: Oshioki Taimu!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter are Psyched!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Dark Fire!, partially gets through, doing 21 Fatigue damage to Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The sounds of a little girl crying for her mother is more than enough to trigger Hikaru Shidou's danger senses to high alert. The sound of the desperation, the urgency in the voice, all of it, it's obvious that there's something going on around here, and when it involves an innocent child (from the sound of things anyway,) it's up to Hikaru and anyone else she can count upon to assist in saving the day! "I don't know who you are," Hikaru comments as she ducks into a nearby alleyway and reaches into her pocket. "But hold on, I'm coming!" Her hand comes out with her glove-jewel, which she slips onto her hand. And with that, she calls out her incantation...

"Belief becomes power! Flames guide me!"

And then a fiery illusion appears all around the red-head, obscuring her as she changes from her usual schoolgirl self into the Magic Knight of Fire. Once the transformation is changed, the Magic Knight rushes in the direction of where the distress cry came from. It only takes a short amount of time for her to get there, and when she does, there's a fierce scowl on her face that only gets bigger than ever when she sees what's going on. Her sword is drawn and pointed at the evil woman threatening Chibi-Usa. "I don't care whether you think you're human or not, anyone who attempts to harm an innocent child like this is worse than any monster I have ever dealt with!"

Upon hearing the reprimand from nearby, the Fire Knight looks and sees the Wind Knight there, and she smiles a little, knowing one of her personal allies is nearby. Then she scowls once again as she faces the enemy. Unlike the Wind Knight, who used her voice but not her bow, the Fire Knight is about to show what happens when someone makes her angry as she summons forth a fiery arrow shaped projectile and shoots it off at the evil woman.

"Fire Arrow!"

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Fire Arrow on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Iona Hikawa [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Iona Hikawa isn't around Asakusa today. Which is both a good and bad thing. The good thing is that she's not close to ground zero when everything happens, and this allows Iona to gather her thoughts about the sudden beam of light that she could see from across Tokyo. Even she knew it was better than just rushing off to fight immediately. But, the bad thing about not being nearby is that she has to go a great distance to get there. So, Iona pulls out her mirror.

A few moments later, Cure Fortune arrives over Asakusa, her flight-providing wings in action, and she spots Koan. Dark purple hair is nice, of course, but when she spots the black crescent moon on the woman's face, Iona decides to go into action.

Thus, probably the first thing anyone sees out of Cure Fortune is her streaking out of the sky, feet first and crackling with Pretty Cure energies as she targets Koan in order to give her a swift dropkick. If it's avoided, though, it's going to cause such a dent in the district's streets.

COMBAT: Iona Hikawa transforms into Cure Fortune!
COMBAT: Cure Fortune has used Fortune Star Kick on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Cure Fortune's Fortune Star Kick, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cure Fortune is Psyched!  Stun applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly counters Hikaru Shidou's Fire Arrow, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Dark Fire!, partially gets through, doing 16 Fatigue damage to Hikaru Shidou!  Critical Counterhit!
<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Most of the passerby in Asakusa are, wisely, running for their lives -- that beam of light may be beautiful but it's also very destructive, and no one wants to be in the explosion if it detonates completely, rather than merely chewing the scenery as it advances outwards. Koan nods to see this; she respects the survival instincts of modern humanity. Indeed, she's heard her boss' boss rant about how dilapidated it is within their own time.

There are some, however, who seem to lack self-preservation.

Koan doesn't want to dirty her fingertips touching Chibi-Usa any longer than she has to, and flings the girl away as her first reaction when hordes of would-be interferers arrive. Her second reaction is to leap away from Chat Noir in the same jump that takes her out of the path of Ladybug's yo-yo; Garnet finds her in midair, and discovers that this lady, despite her model's physique, is quite tough, taking the bodyslam head on with little more than a soft grunt -- and Cure Fortune's dropkick with the same. Laughing, she swirls somehow and manages to adjust the cluster's momentum such that, suddenly the two good-doers will find themselves crashing into each other if they're not careful!

Koan herself lands safely elsewhere, just in time for Sailor Neptune's water, and the Fire Knight's arrow, to come at her from both sides. She responds in kind by igniting her fists with sickening blue flames, not just the blue at the core of a bonfire but bluer still, tainted, corruptive, and first swats the water blast out of the air, then sends her own fire blast straight back at both of them.

"DARK FIRE!" is her invocation, and it rolls off the tongue with a certain grim pleasure as she sends it towards Sailors Jupiter and Moon, as well.

By now, MANY and sundry people have threatened, chastised, and otherwise judged her, and Koan tosses her head and laughs.

"My~! Rubeus-sama wasn't joking about the /density/ of you all! Please, allow me to embellish my resume with your defeats! For I, Koan, Youngest and Best of the Four Ayakashi Sisters, scion of the Black Moon Clan, will be your opponent -- come at me, all of you, if you think you can take the heat!"

She hasn't forgotten her actual mission -- as more fire erupts from her hands, burns away all earthly restraints upon her, and is flung high into the air to shower the area and many within it, there's an especially deadly burst just for Chibi-Usa.

"So many champions... but do you /deserve/ them, really?"

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Gem-On-Cure Action on Garnet.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Gem-On-Cure Action on Cure Fortune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used In The Name Of The Black Moon! on Hikaru Shidou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireworks! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireworks! on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used In The Name Of The Black Moon! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireworks! on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used In The Name Of The Black Moon! on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used In The Name Of The Black Moon! on Chat Noir.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireworks! on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireworks! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Firewalker! on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune narrowly braces Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireworks!, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Neptune's Block ability activates!  Blind and Diversion applied to Sailor Neptune!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's In The Name Of The Black Moon!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon is Quipped!  Sailor Moon is Taunted!
COMBAT: Cure Egret narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireworks!, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret's Fade ability activates!  Cure Egret's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Fortune narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Gem-On-Cure Action, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Cure Fortune's Fade ability activates!  Cure Fortune's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireworks!, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade ability activates!  Fuu Hououji's Flash ability activates!  Blind and Diversion applied to Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Ladybug fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's In The Name Of The Black Moon!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Ladybug is Quipped!
COMBAT: Chat Noir narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's In The Name Of The Black Moon!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Chat Noir is Quipped!  Chat Noir is Taunted!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireworks!, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Blind and Diversion applied to Sailor Jupiter!
COMBAT: Garnet narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Gem-On-Cure Action, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Garnet's Fade ability activates!  Garnet's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireworks!, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Diversion applied to Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Utena Tenjou's attack, Dark Firewalker!, taking it upon themselves instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly braces Utena Tenjou's Dark Firewalker!, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Bind Break! All of Utena Tenjou's debuffs are cleared!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

It's true that her knees are scuffed. Running wasn't a pretty thing when you don't look where you're going, involves a lot of tripping. But Chibi-Usa can't think about her knees, can't think about her cheeks. She can only think about those fingernails at her throat, that awful look in Koan's eyes.

She tries, but she can barely see her; her hands slip up towards her throat, towards Koan's arm. The light is so brilliant but that aura of darkness is so close to her. Koan tells her to 'fear not'.

She fears more. Is this really how it's going to end? She can't do anything. She /couldn't/ do anything. She cries harder. But then...

'Unforgivable!' 'You'll stop this right now!' in Pretty Cure voices Egret and Bloom she doesn't recognize. She sees Chat Noir appear, and then feels herself being moved, thrown out of the way where she hits the ground and rolls. She doesn't even take the time to feel at her own throat before she scurries out of the way, hiding behind a stall that hadn't been destroyed amidst all the blasts.

The column of light flickers twice, and then winks out of existence.

Everything being said is said too quickly for Chibi-Usa to understand it, dazed as she still is, but what she can't hear and understand she can /see/. Garnet leaping in with a strike; two knights in the battle, the legendary warriors named Pretty Cure, /three/ of them. A Ladybug, and the boy she saw a moment ago.

All of them are so sparkling, so dazzling. But what she sees most of all are Sailors Neptune, Jupiter... and Moon. She stares from her perch--

But she shouldn't have looked away from Koan. That fire crashes towards her, and she knows the answer to Koan's question, can't even move from her spot under that answer's weight. Chibi-Usa screams again in terror and lifts her hands to try to shield herself.

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou narrowly braces Utena Tenjou's In The Name Of The Black Moon!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Hikaru Shidou is Quipped!  Hikaru Shidou's Block ability activates!  Hikaru Shidou's Parry ability activates!  Hikaru Shidou is Taunted!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Wind Knight leaps - and her leap carries her right into the shower of dark fire being unleashed by Koan. To be fair, that wasn't the intended result, but getting a literal faceful of dark fire means that the Wind Knight isn't evaluating what she did wrong when she hits the ground again, landing on her side and getting the breath knocked out of at least one lung by the impact. The landing also jarred her glasses off of her face, but she recovers them and puts them on, scrambling back to her feet.

'Black Moon Clan'. And Sailor Moon herself is here. Is that a coincidence, or ...

She'll have to ask later, if the opportunity presents itself. Of course, she doesn't know Sailor Moon *that* well yet - something she would like to remedy - and the Sailors might be at just as much of a loss as to who this new enemy is.

Either way, the much more pressing concern is to stop the woman who's attacking that little pink-haired girl and the gathered magical girls. The Wind Knight reaches for her quiver again, then stops; while she prides herself on her archery skills, her vision is far too wobbly - even with her glasses on - to make a reliable shot, and a quick glance around suggests that some of her allies aren't faring much better. That, at least, she can do something about.

"Winds of Healing!"

And she does so, conjuring the soothing, restorative breeze first about herself, then sending it towards Cure Bloom and Sailor Jupiter - patching up the most debilitating of their injuries, helping steady them on their feet and focus a little better on the battle. That also lets the Wind Knight's eyes focus properly again - and NOW she draws a fresh arrow, to replace the one that was lost without shooting.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Cure Bloom.
<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Chat grins delighted at the sight of Ladybug and Koan dodging her attacks. "Purrfect pun, my Lady, You're becoming a Master at this!"

However, Chat becomes more serious upon seeing the small girl and narrows his eyes.

No one harmed children when he was around. "Harming a small child? You're more of a rat than a cat!"

Suddenly, others shows up and he blinks slightly. Well, this was certainly more than he thought, but was glad for the helpl.

Then Koan attacks with her fire circle and taunts, which Chat Noir managed to evade quite flawlessly.

"See, if you were a real cat, you would avoid hot tin roofs!"

He brought out his baton and swung it in the air. "Excuse me ladies," he called out to the crowd. "But I think we should teach this cat imposter why you shouldn't play with fire!" Chat Noir had his baton extend as long as it could, ran to the top and then launched himself off to strike at Koan directly. "Hey, think you'll land on your feet?" he called out.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Fuu Hououji's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Chat Noir has used Cat Up A Tree on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Sailor Jupiter's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Chat Noir's Cat Up A Tree, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

With the signature whirr of string, the magical little yo-yo comes rebounding back from where Koan leapt out of its web - exactly how a single trick throw wove all that string into a web might be a mystery for the ages. As it's returning, Ladybug has a chance to take in everyone else's rapid arrivals - the Sailor Senshi accusing directly, the Cures backing each other up, the Knights menacing a touch more directly.

Ladybug's gaze hardens as the pink-clad woman flings the child away - fortunate, at least, that the small girl is able to flee. But that yo-yo has only just returned when the dark fire erupts -

- and if anyone is close at hand, they might hear Ladybug murmur to herself. "You're sure she isn't one? Bet you a cookie she calls herself 'Hot Neon' or something..."

Ladybug immediately loses her bet with her earrings, as Koan formally introduces herself - and in the same breath, hurls dark flames in all direction, throwing harsh commentary at the 'champions' who had rushed in. To be fair, she doesn't really know what's going on...

...but even so! "'Youngest and Best'? Whatever sibling rivalry you have going on, that doesn't justify menacing children or setting the district on fire!" She starts dashing closer to Koan, ducking and weaving through the shower of flames - having seemingly lucked into a relatively fire-free path - before finally sliding under the cover of a half-wrecked stall. Hmm, maybe-

There's a moment, while she just closes her eyes and seethes at Chat's joke.

And then she's darting in, something trailing in her wake. Fabric from the stall's cover, it seems - and as Chat makes his landing, she hurls it forward to try to engulf one of those fire-conjuring hands. "Well, can you blame her for lashing out, Chat? In my experience, cats tend to think they're hot stuff."

COMBAT: Ladybug has used Shock And Awning on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The Fire Knight has less injury to deal with against the mysterious woman, but in doing so, she finds herself feeling mocked at the same time for some reason. "No... I won't... I won't let her win!" She says, gripping her sword with both hands. "We will triumph!" She narrows her eyes and stares at the woman again. "She may be tough but we're tougher!"

The Fire Knight advances on the mysterious woman, moving around with her sword spinning and twirling almost like it's a dancing technique of some kind. And in fact it does look like the Fire Knight is dancing. In reality, this is all part of her plan, to be able to move around and try to catch this woman off-guard. It's all part of the Fire Knight's plan to launch a surprise attack from seemingly nowhere.

When the Fire Knight is close enough, she spins around and attempts to strike the woman with her blade. "I'll teach you to hurt innocent little girls!" She cries out.

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Dancing Blade on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly counters Ladybug's Shock And Awning, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Exhausted applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Hope On Fire, partially gets through, doing 12 Fatigue damage to Ladybug!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to brace Hikaru Shidou's Dancing Blade, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  Hikaru Shidou is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.


It was something Neptune was used to dealing with. What bothered her greatly was that no matter the density of the soldiers arrayed against the dark forces, they always seemed to stand on their own - to be stronger and more powerful than any one of them put together. Neptune needed power such as that for the coming nights. But that fire that casts aside the pure waters of Neptune causes her eyes to widen.

"Black Moon," she says to herself - her eyes narrowing.

Just in time, she calls upon the waters of Neptune again - those glistening waters lifting up in a wave in front of herself as she pirouettes, catching the fire as it erupts towards her. Some of the flames leak through those waters, to lick at her skin. But in the midst of that turn, her eyes flicker towards Chibi-Usa, and she frowns. And frowns deeply, her confused gaze upon the young woman in that moment. Perhaps it was an admirer. Perhaps it was something else.

Either way, it was a mystery.

But there were new faces here - Ladybug? Chat Noir? Curiouser and curiouser. Hopefully, they would not get in the way as well.

The wave she summoned to protect herself, what didn't dissolve into steam and dream remains, and Neptune brings her gloves forward, plunging them into the waters - and the waters redirect, twisting and crossing in three thin streams that coalesce upon one target - Koan.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Current Crossing on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet is taken aback by the unknown woman's unexpected resilience, but before she has time to process the scope of this revelation, the momentum of the fight has... changed(?) and she finds herself hurtling into Cure Fortune!

A look of surprise, then concentration crosses her face, and Garnet makes no attempt to arrest her own motion, instead she rides its funky flow and she reaches out to Cure Fortune and grabs her by the wrist!

She uses the residual momentum to swing Fortune back around and launches her with a swing back towards Koan!

Garnet smiles and wishes Fortune luck, as she flys backwards the rest of the way, crashing into a pained-looking back-roll.

COMBAT: Garnet has started a combo targeting Utena Tenjou!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Azure flames spiral her way mid-speech, a gout of it, as Sailor Moon holds up a hand with a shriek, "HOLD ON! I wasn't-!" Passing through her, she's left one singed Senshi. Wisps of smoke rising off of her Sailor Fuku, skin now the color of soot in certain places. She coughs once, "-finished." Weakly.

Until she realizes that one of her shoulders is still on fire, and she pats that out rapidly.

But the fire is only proof of the danger behind her words. Fortunately there are so many magical girls here like- "Neptune! You came!" Despite all that's happened, she can't help but find some joy in her presence. But there's also a black cat that- 'Snrk'. Yes Sailor Moon just put two hands over her mouth mid-battle at the exchange between the heroic girl in red and the black cat.

In Koan's words however there's the pronouncement of- "The Black Moon Clan? I don't know who you all think you are but-" Something rises in her throat as she realizes that they might be a new enemy.

She wasn't even quite certain who their current enemy was. The one who sent the creature to Tokyo Tower- the witch Eudial. And now there was, the pronouncement of a new one. Another front in this war.

Another thing that might steal her peaceful days, her happiness away. And even if she'd fight with it with all of her heart, it still sends a chill through her as a contrast to the flames, "-but we won't let you have your-"

So many Champions, but do you deserve them? There's a gout of flame spiraling towards Chibi-Usa. And despite everything she's done. She's a little girl. A little girl calling for her Mama. It would be easy to say that Sailor Moon's legs began to act of their own accord, but that's understating her nature really.

She's not that fast- but adrenaline gives her the swiftness to beat the flames. She's not that strong- but she scoops Chibi-Usa up against her chest with a single arm. Within her other is the Spiral Heart Moon Rod. She pivots with Chibi-Usa away from the flames, simultaneously as her arm bearing the rod arcs out, parting them- rejecting them.

But it's hard to reject so much darkness. They wash over her, sear her back even as she holds the child close and endures. Tears in her eyes. It takes her a few moments to open her eyes and- "Don't listen to her. Don't even think about it." Her breath rasps as if her throat itself has been seared by hot air. "It's never about what someone deserves. You're in need of help- so we'll all protect you, and that's that."

She wishes she could say more, so much she could ask this child about her mysteries and whatever link this woman represents, but instead her arm unlatches from around her and she lets her hit the ground. "Find cover! We'll hold her off!"

Seeing Neptune here, she wishes she could come up with an elegant solution. Something that would deal with it with the Veteran Senshi's finesse but- she doesn't have that. What she need is a distraction the kind Mercury would create if she were here... and what she finds is one right beside her in a bright red fire hydrant, and one of the valves is pointed right Koan's way.

Without thinking on it much Sailor Moon slams her foot against it. She's not so strong so maybe she underestimates the effect she's going to have, as she follows up banging her rod on the end of it. There's nothing for a moment, and then as if releasing a floodgate, an enormous gout of water that belies the size of the hydrant streams out in Koan's general direction, a cloud of steam rising all about...

She hadn't thought about it too much, just fire evaporating water will cause steam right? Well as it streams out she gets a better idea of what water goes with and- "Jupiter-chan!"

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has started a combo targeting Utena Tenjou!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Fortune [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Cure Fortune also grunts once she manages to hit the purple haired woman, though the surprise comes when Garnet comes hurtling at her! She holds up her arms and her wings try to adjust to avoid the large Crystal Gem, but what's even more surprising is when the Gem grabs her by the wrist and throws the Cure back at the Black Moon interloper. But Fortune does catch what Garnet is doing, though, and a small smile emerges on Fortune's face.

As Garnet flings her towards Koan, she turns and flips again to re-orient herself to point her feet at the enemy once again, and she tries to kick Koan right in the chest once, and twice, before she tries to kick the woman in her side to knock her away.

After this, she jets away to try and get some space from the crazy black moon lady who can fling entire Gems at her, landing a few meters away.

COMBAT: Cure Fortune has joined the combo started by Garnet!
COMBAT: COMBO! Garnet and Cure Fortune have used Combo: Wheeling of Fortune, composed of Heavyweight Clamping-on and Bringing Good Fortune, on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Not just Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter have arrived to aid Chibi-Usa. Magical girls and boys of all colors and stripes have shown up too--including a couple she's never seen before--which does Jupiter's heart good. You can always count on the magical warriors of Tokyo to have everyone else's back! ...Or that's what she thinks until she sees Sailor Neptune atop of that light post. Her eyes narrow and her fists clench. She doesn't think that Neptune's *evil*, and Sailor Moon is happy to see her, but--can she really trust her to keep a little girl's well-being a priority?

If Jupiter catches Neptune's eye, she'll point two fingers at her own eyes, then point them at Neptune. SHE'S GOT HER EYE ON YOU.

That's a mistake, though. Jupiter might not trust Neptune, but she DEFINITELY can't trust Koan, and in putting her eyes on her fellow Sailor Senshi, she's taking them *off* the member of the Black Moon Clan. That burst of bruise-colored fire whorls down at the Soldier of Protection, catching her off-guard and enveloping her in flame. She yelps, life-long lessons taking hold to make her immediately stop, drop, and roll, even if that's maybe not the best reaction to *magical* fire; it doesn't exactly make her look good, especially with an impressionable kid looking on.

But then, that's not exactly her chief concern right now, anyway.

"Chibiusa!!" she shouts, seeing Koan fire off another blast at her. She surges back to her feet--but Sailor Moon is already there, leaping directly in the way of the attack to protect the little girl. Jupiter smiles with pride at the sight--she knows Usagi was furious with her earlier, but you can always count on Sailor Moon to protect the innocent when it matters! That smile doesn't last long, though. Koan is not just attacking a little girl, which is already unforgivable; she's also attacking Jupiter's best friend and Princess. As a guardian, she can't let either of these things stand.

"Of course she deserves us!" Jupiter shouts at Koan, getting to her feet and clenching her fists. "Any innocent kid in this town deserves to be protected! Who are *you* to say otherwise?!" Never mind that Koan literally just introduced herself; Sailor Jupiter doesn't care about that, either. Whatever this Black Moon Clan is, as long as they're causing evil and chaos in this town, the Sailor Senshi will rise up to stop them! ...That said, if she were *smart*, she'd at least *try* asking about this 'Rubeus' guy. He sounds important.

As Fuu's healing winds whorl up around her, soothing some of the burns that Koan's dark fire had left on her, Jupiter flashes her a quick thumb's up and then charges over--not at Koan, but at the space between her and Sailor Moon and Chibi-usa, ready to protect the two at a moment's notice. She looks up briefly when Chat Noir addresses the crowd of magical girls with a series of puns about why they should stop Koan. Jupiter grimaces despite herself. He's handsome, or at least he seems like it with those muscles under that catsuit, and he's helping protect a kid, and he seems maybe even reliable, but... WHY. SO MANY PUNS. HE'S WORSE THAN MINAKO. IT'S SUCH A WASTE OF A HANDSOME FACE.

That girl in the red-and-black suit seems to know him. Jupiter looks over at Ladybug and points at Chat. "Is he your friend? Can you tell him to rein it in on the puns?" she asks.

But then Sailor Moon kicks at a nearby fire hydrant, then hits it repeatedly with her rod (THAT'S A HOLY ARTIFACT SAILOR MOON, PLEASE DON'T BANG IT LIKE A HAMMER), unleashing a stream of water Koan's way. Good thinking--not only will it put out her flame, but there's nothing cats hate more than a icy bath! Jupiter grins and pumps her fist at the sight, but then Sailor Moon calls her name--and her eyes widen in realization.

"Right!" she calls, twisting her hands up as the lightning rod emerges from her tiara. A bolt of lightning sears down from the blue, cracking around her fists, and she coils it around as she pulls one hand back to grip it tight. "JUPITER THUNDERBOLT!" she shouts, unleashing the magic and hurling it down... not at Koan, but at the stream of water hopefully soaking her and making her the purrfect electricity magnet.

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to brace Sailor Neptune's Current Crossing, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Neptune is Psyched!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Garnet and Cure Fortune's Combo: Wheeling of Fortune, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has joined the combo started by Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Saki always feels stronger with Mai at her side. She doesn't look to acknowledge Egret; doesn't need to. The whole battle feels like it's in sharper focus with that presence at her back.

Cure Bloom's glare for Koan is also focused, gold light slowly rising up around her as the earth below answers her anger. She briefly spies Chibi-Usa scurrying away. Saki's not sure what to make of it. That sounded familiar. Cure Bloom knows all about dark generals who want to hurt one specific person. At this point it's pretty much her life. But why would it be someone so young...?

Then again, why would it be innocent fairies like Flappy and Choppy?

She shakes her head of it when Koan's defiance turns into waves of flame. Egret easily leaps away, but Bloom throws up her arms, a thin field of golden motes flashing up in front of her palms. It holds for a few seconds against the wave of fire before shattering, sending Bloom flying backward. She comes down hard, but a soft pah! of light at her landing bounces her gently back up, so she can land comfortably on the second, similarly illuminated bounce.

She elbows up, dazed, and sees the wave of flame burning toward Chibi-Usa. She echoes Egret: "No! Stop!"

It doesn't stop, though. Bloom forces herself up, and when she's only half-upright, she suddenly hurls herself forward in a half-controlled leap. She slams into the ground, takes two awkward, dashing steps as she aligns herself to hit Koan, and then bounds forward again, ungainly, as she pulls back in mid-air. Light flashes around her fingertips. "Nobody deserves what you're trying to do!" she cries back, and then cries a kiai as she thrusts her hand out, fingertips pressing light into Koan that singes as surely as her own flame, and propels her away as surely as any Pretty Cure punch.

COMBAT: Cure Bloom accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Cure Bloom's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Fistful of Flowers on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Mai, conversely, doesn't flinch when they skip the intro speech. There is a definite sense of purpose, knowing that Saki is here; having fought without her, she can appreciate the difference. However, something does make her flinch: the flash of dark flames, black and blue, and somehow still bright. She winces, doubling backward, as she leaps. The fireworks whip through an arc of silver sparkles left in her wake.

She turns in midair, teeth gritted together, having thrown herself far higher than she meant to in order to escape that attack. Her violet eyes narrow -- and she looks down at Koan, in time to see the blast of fire hurtling at the pink-haired girl.

Suddenly, having all of these allies and Bloom here is cold comfort. "No...!" she cries out. She's too far away to do much. She twists 'round, swinging down her foot, and silvery light erupts along it. She comes crashing down, heeled foot striking at the side of Koan's head -- and punctuated by a starburst of silvery light.

She rebounds backward, landing and skidding over the ground. Her head turns to the side, long purple hair bobbing, to immediately look at Chibi-Usa. She sees Sailor Moon take them. Her eyes widen, then shakes her head quickly, with a glance at Bloom. Then, back to Sailor Moon. "Are you all right!?" she cries after her and Jupiter, as they leap into the fray.

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used Sky Dancer's Kick on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: COMBO! Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter have used Combo: Don't try to *Bolt* on us or else!, composed of Putting Out Fires and Jupiter Thunderbolt, on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly counters Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter's Combo: Don't try to *Bolt* on us or else!, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Diversion applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Dark Firewall!, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to dodge Cure Bloom's Fistful of Flowers, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cure Bloom is Psyched!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Cure Egret's Sky Dancer's Kick, taking 1 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret is Psyched!  Stun and Trap applied to Utena Tenjou!
<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

A mottled blush of rage crosses Koan's cheeks as Sailor Moon rescues Chibi-Usa from a fiery demise, but there's no time to complain, because here comes Chat Noir, staff-propelled, and Ladybug, awning-wielding. The latter does manage to wrap the fabric around her hand, so she promptly sets it all on fire, tossing burning scraps away with a flick of her wrist... while the former bounces straight off her chest. It was a solid contact, but doesn't seem to have done lasting damage.

Hikaru's sword, though, opens up a scratch on one of Koan's lovely Grecian cheekbones. And that's when what's left of her cool professionalism disappears. "YOU! YOU DAMAGED MY BEAUTIFUL FACE -- I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU ALL!!"

She and the nearby Wind Knight -- and the Miraculous-users, for their trouble -- are, in short order, engulfed in purgatorial flame. This is an ideal moment of distraction, though, for Sailor Neptune to douse her with magical water, and Sailor Moon to soak her with the more mundane kind.

Cosmetics drip down her face, dampening her black rose choker.



Jupiter's thunderbolt could have finished her then and there, if she hadn't just detonated in an immense burst of blue flame, one which carries forth, beyond her, to chase all three senshi back to the roots of their own hair.

Through the fading explosion comes Pretty Cure; Fortune lands several good hits on her chest, Bloom punches her right in the gut, and Egret gets a glancing blow on her head.

"UGH!" she groans, running her fingers through her rapidly-dampened-and-then-heat-dried hair. Sparks come forth, gathering under her fingernails, then flicked at point blank, growing to the size of peaches to badger and char her assailants. This gives her the breathing room to leap away, up onto a lamppost.

She glances at her nails, hands spread, then opens a mirror, surveys the damage to her face. It's not as bad as she'd feared.

And from this height she can see Chibi-Usa, cowering. Given a moment to recollect herself, she smiles. Today can still be salvaged. "Think they'll keep looking out for you once they know what you've done, /innocent little girl/?"

An immense gout of flame comes forth, enormous pressure propelling it towards the child, frothing and licking not just at her but at everything around her. Asakusa may burn to the ground at this rate.

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Firebug! on Cure Fortune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Hikaru Shidou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Chat Noir.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Firebug! on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Firebug! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Firewalker! on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Campfire! on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou accepts Utena Tenjou's Dark Campfire!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Empower and Surge applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 44 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 42 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade ability activates!  Fuu Hououji's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Fortune fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Firebug!, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Utena Tenjou is Psyched!  Stagger and Trap applied to Cure Fortune!
COMBAT: Cure Egret narrowly braces Utena Tenjou's Dark Firebug!, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret's Block ability activates!  Cure Egret's Parry ability activates!  Cripple, Stagger, and Trap applied to Cure Egret!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 50 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Utena Tenjou's attack, Dark Firewalker!, taking it upon themselves instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly braces Utena Tenjou's Dark Firewalker!, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Jupiter's Block ability activates!  Sailor Jupiter's Parry ability activates!  Bind Break! All of Utena Tenjou's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 37 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Chat Noir fails to counter Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 68 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Chat Noir's counterattack, Nine Lives, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Ladybug fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 52 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom narrowly counters Utena Tenjou's Dark Firebug!, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Cure Bloom's Reverse ability activates!  Cure Bloom's Tactician ability activates!  Cripple, Stagger, and Trap applied to Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom's counterattack, Petal Flash, partially gets through, doing 3 Fatigue damage to Utena Tenjou!  Diversion applied to Utena Tenjou!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa expects, in that moment, to die. It hits her heart again. But suddenly she's picked up, suddenly she's not in flames and still aware, and she blinks her red eyes to look up at "Sailor Moon...?"

She can tell it hurts her. She can tell the attack is still painful, looks up with worry and guilt at Sailor Moon even as she tells her not to listen to her. Her eyes are still teary. "I-I--But you just got hurt for me, and I don't..."

Her feet touch the ground. It snaps into her mind suddenly, at the same time she's set down. Sailor Jupiter just called her name--her name here, no less. How? She wonders that while she feels what she does about 'innocent', and with a half-second's delay says, "I will! T-thank you!"

She darts behind another stall first, but it doesn't feel safe enough. She can however make more sense of the world than she could moments ago, breathing hard and searching around for better places to hide even as others get themselves hurt for her. One of the things she sees and hears is Chat Noir, with his endless assault of puns. She's still too afraid, too jagged-nerved to actually laugh, but it hits something in her heart, something other than fear. She clings to her new hiding place as she peers out at Ladybug darting in with him, shining and brilliant. Her gaze meanwhile darts right back to Koan again, not willing to press her luck.

More fighting, more talking occurs as she darts back to another stall, one that might hide her better, her eyes and hair popping back out from the side as she keeps looking at the battle. She looks up and watches Sailor Neptune turning, watches her move towards the battle itself, watches the sheer elegance with which she moves. ...Whatever else she is, Chibi-Usa is an admirer.

And there she cowers, even as she watches; she can't keep track of everyone, but she hopes desperately that each attack can do it. They don't, though. Koan leaps upward, and when Koan smiles, Chibi-Usa sees it. "I--"

She doesn't think it. "I--" A shriek, as Chibi-Usa cowers beneath her stall and tries not to look as the fire comes down.

<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Chat Noir strikes Koan, but to his annoyance the woman seems barely fazed by the attack. He lands perfectly back on his feet in time to hear Sailor Jupiter's question.

"What do you mean? My puns are on fire tonight! I can't cool it down!"

However, there are no more time for puns as he watches Hikaru strike and manage to cut Koan's face. The rage on her face indicates something bad was about to happen and it was right.

Koan leapt on a lamppost and shot fire directly at him.

Chat Noir took his baton and rapidly spun it around. "Careful, Ladybug!" he called out.

Yet, he should have been paying attention to his own safety. The fire struck, it exploded him in his face and found himself being flung back like a leaf but landed with a hard thud. He winced as he slowly climbed to his feet feeling quite sore.

"My lady, you alright?" Chat Noir said as he looked over to Ladybug.

He held up the baton. "I'm ready when you are."

<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The energy blasts slam into Cure Egret -- her arms cross at the last second, silver light flaring about her, but not quite making a barrier -- and throw her backward, slamming her into a wall. Part of it cracks and collapses around her. She slumps down, then, and in the cacophany, she loses track of the battle. She groans, before she stands, and shakes her head quickly. Her ears ring with the impact. She forces herself up, before she looks at Koan.

"Stop trying to hurt her! There is far more at stake than your reputation or your appearance! It isn't worth an innocent life!" she cries out.

Then, she kicks off the wall, and goes flying back towards Koan. Her teeth grit together, wind blowing her bangs back. She rockets at Koan--

--and then below her. Mai kicks into the street lamp, and then runs straight up the pole. She leaps at the end, shooting directly in front of Koan. She throws a hard punch, right for her midsection, before she spins in midair. An arc of silvery light follows. Her roundhouse ends with a hefty kick at her torso -- and then a bright starburst.

It means to send her flying off the lamp, and directly into the path of Cure Bloom. Mai doesn't need to make a comment -- she simply nods, once, with a soft "Mm!" that may not be heard -- while she lands on the ground.

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used White Wing Flurry on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly dodges Cure Egret's White Wing Flurry, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

This Koan woman has a lot of fire on her side - Ladybug leaps back in an impromptu backflip as flames burn through her borrowed awning to avoid being speared by the woman's fury. She falls back to Chat's side as Jupiter makes her plea - and her partner's response instantly brings her hand to her forehead in exasperation.

"I really am sorry about this, but as you can tell...strays aren't exactly known for attending obedience training." She gives Chat a smirk as she says this, and calls over to Jupiter - and whoever else is getting exasperated. "Just let him work it out of his system, I'm sure he'll run out someday..."

The battle rages on. Sailor Moon finding an impromptu use for a legendary artifact brings a satisfied thumbs-up from Ladybug; Garnet swinging a Cure around for a ranged assault is noteworthy; the knights are darting in to deal some damage-

A little too much damage. Her eyes widen as Koan goes berserk - she glances over as Chat calls out to her at precisely the wrong time, and a fiery blast sends her hurtling through the air to land quite some distance away. For a moment, she doesn't get up...

But there are calls of despair all around, Chat is offering a hand up, and Koan just won't stop ranting. She gives the catboy a small, Vinci-style smile. "About as well as I can be - right. Whatever you do, don't stop - we can't even give her a moment to think." Her eyes dart around the area...nothing better comes to mind.

Koan might notice something when a yo-yo winds itself around the lamppost she's using as a perch - and then the toy's owner reels herself in, descending from above. "You can count on it - we're the kind of people who will look out for a -spoiled rich brat- when she's part to blame for problems - do explain how this child is supposed to be worse than that!" She swings in feet-first - and abruptly rebounds to swing -herself- around the lamppost to pop up from the other side.

There'd certainly be a moment to stop her - except that's just when Chat would be launching himself in, riding an extended staff. So it goes, each covering for the other as they harry Koan from every side imaginable at once...

COMBAT: Ladybug has started a combo targeting Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Chat Noir has joined the combo started by Ladybug!
COMBAT: COMBO! Ladybug and Chat Noir have used Crazy Mixed-Up Love on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

In spite of herself, Neptune had to smile thinly at Sailor Moon's words.

Eyes flash that way in the midst of her water manipulation - and Neptune's eyes, as cold as the sea - linger there. "I was in the area, Sailor Moon," she says. "Do you think you can finish her on your own?" she asks. The tone was light - airy. Almost playful. It did not mesh that look in her eyes, however. Jupiter's gesture draws her attention that way. The smile and her gaze linger there. Perhaps a bit too long.

As the fire from Koan streaks her way. Dismounting from the post, Neptune hoped to be as the water and dodge around the fire this time - but it was too late. The flames catch her mid-air, twist about her, and dump her to the ground. Powerful, this one was. Neptune lifts up to a stand now. "Is the girl..." says Michiru, her eyes drifting to Chibi-Usa, "...a friend of yours?" she inquires.

Fingers lift, tickling through the air - and more of that water sprays out towards Koan, lancing across the way to try to strike her with a brisk little blow.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Gentle Undertow on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to counter Ladybug and Chat Noir's Combo: Crazy Mixed-Up Love, taking 60 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Ladybug and Chat Noir are Psyched!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Dark Firewall!, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Ladybug!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Sailor Neptune's Gentle Undertow, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The snaking bolts of fire flash toward Cure Bloom, and she gathers her own sparks of light into her fingertips. She swings both arms forward, creating a wave of golden motes that scatters the oncoming fire. It splashes around her, singing her distractingly, but at least the impact is lessened and a bit of the fire might wash back up at Koan. She huffs a breath.

And looks directly at Chat Noir with a look of existential horror. "Oh," she breathes, "no..." And then, a plea to the universe: "Please. Don't be Kenta. Please." PLEASE DON'T BE KENTA. SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT SHE'D DO IF SHE HAD TO DEAL WITH A GUY WHO THINKS BAD PUNS ARE THE ONLY PUNS IN COMBAT, TOO

The moment of levity is broken when the sheer scale of Koan's destruction becomes more obvious to her, and she squares her stance with a hard glare. "I almost thought I could understand you," Cure Bloom breathes. "I've seen a lot of people like you who want to hurt somebody. Makes a lot more sense than some of the people who try to hurt everyone. But you...! Any life is more important than your looks!"

She sets herself and then LEAPS, a powerful, explosive jump that sails her up toward Koan - or rather, slightly past her, so that when Egret's done with Koan, she'll be right in position for Cure Bloom to bash her back to the ground!

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Bloom Strikes on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly counters Cure Bloom's Bloom Strikes, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Counter!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou's counterattack, Dark Firewall!, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Cure Bloom!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun," is about all the Wind Knight can think to mutter as she tries to dodge more of Koan's black-burning flamethrower magic - assuming it IS magic; for all the Wind Knight knows, it might be ki like in some of those fighting games she's seen others playing. But then, there are as many where fighters actually do use magic, so -

She REALLY should stop woolgathering in mid-combat, shouldn't she?

Momentarily aflame, the Magic Knight of Wind drops to the ground, rolling vigorously to smother the flames. This is hardly an ideal tactic for personal incendiary management in the middle of a big fight, but she makes it work despite that, and scrambles back to her feet, patting out the last of the residual embers clinging to her clothes and armor. She'll need to abuse Winds of Healing later ... when the fighting is over. She has to help put a halt to the fighting first, though.

"I would think that, if you did any research at all about Japan, you'd find that we hold to the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'!" the Wind Knight calls out to Koan. "So seeing a little girl being attacked by an older woman, naturally we would rally to protect her!" She gathers up her magic once again, and then launches a spell straight at the Black Moon Clanswoman, calling out, "WINDS OF ADMONISHENT!!" And in response to her invocation, the wind gathers, a whirlwind forming to try and bind Koan in place - or at the very least to try and hinder her movements. The magical girls and their impromptu protectee need all the help they can get, after all.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Another bit of dark fire, albeit more powerful than before. This really gets the Fire Knight and knocks her back, despite her attempts to avoid it. She tries not to cry out as it hits her, as she wants to try to show how tough she is to the little girl. But even for a Magic Knight like the Fire Knight, it's not easy. She squeezes her eyes shut and grits her teeth tightly, trying not to let the pain show too much. Of course, once the attack is done, she drops to one knee and gasps for air. "I won't take this... No! I will triumph!"

Drawing her sword once again, the Fire Knight glares at Koan. "You were merely lucky, but good luck does not last forever!" She narrows her eyes again. "We will defeat you and prove the err of your ways by picking on this young child!" Rushing in as best as she can, the Fire Knight swings her sword at Koan, attempting to use a simpler technique this time.

COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Sword Slash on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to dodge Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  Cripple applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly braces Hikaru Shidou's Sword Slash, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Brace!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Fortune [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Cure Fortune watches Koan as she lands, especially the woman's tantrum about damaging her face. But she doesn't give much thought to that at the moment, instead watching Koan for the woman's next attack, and attack she does!

Sparks come flying at Fortune, and while she holds up her crossed arms in order to try and block the blow, though the force of the fire doesn't care and sears both her arms and her body, leaving large scorch marks everywhere.

But then Fortune has a thought. If she's really angry about people hurting her face, that seems like as good a weakpoint as any. So Cure Fortune leaps at Koan again, wings expanding to grant her flight, as she tries to rise up and swing both her fists at her opponent as many times as possible, each strike leading to another strike a scant moment later.

COMBAT: Cure Fortune has used Fortune Flurry on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Cure Fortune's Fortune Flurry, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sailor Jupiter heaves a sigh when Chat Noir not only puns even *more* at her complaints, but Ladybug apologizes but admits he's totally unmanageable. "It's okay, I get it," she reassures her. She makes another face, thinking of Minako's horrible, horrible puns. "Ohhh, do I *get it*." There really is no stopping their type.

When Neptune meets Jupiter's eyes, letting that faint smile linger--boy, that really rubs her the wrong way. Neptune's voice is light, but that look in her eyes is dead serious, and it just-- "D'you think this is a joke?!" she demands of the soldier of the seas. In truth, Neptune is the last person to think of combat as a joke, but Jupiter doesn't think of that. She just looks so *smug*!

Is Chibiusa a friend of theirs, though? Or, rather... despite how Neptune's eyes turn to Chibiusa, Jupiter can't actually tell if Neptune is talking about Koan and Chibiusa, or Chibiusa and Jupiter and Moon, or any combination of the three, and if she's talking to Chibiusa or one of *them*, and that's ANOTHER reason why Sailor Neptune is infuriating, but Jupiter doesn't hesitate to respond: "We're friends to anyone who needs protecting!"

Meanwhile: wow, rage much, Koan? The sheer fury with which she responds to a scratch on the face takes Sailor Jupiter aback. She'd think of it as a potential weakness, except there's nothing weak about a woman whose painstaking efforts in the pursuit of beauty have been damaged. In the same way, when Neptune and Moon's water attacks collide with her, and Jupiter's electricity lights her up--she really should have seen that explosive flame coming, but she didn't. Not even for a second. Jupiter's grinning back at Moon's V-sign when the plume of flame bursts forward. Jupiter's lifted off her feet and slammed into a nearby building, where she leaves an impact crater at least half a foot deep. She thinks she might have lost consciousness for a second. Hell hath no wrath...

Even so--even so, there's still a little girl who needs protecting. When Sailor Jupiter peels off and begins to fall as if she might collapse, she instead shoots a foot out, catching herself. She stumbles, carrying herself a few steps forward. Panting and heaving, she clutches her arm and looks up, scanning the area for Chibi-Usa. She sees Koan looking at her. She sees the Black Moon Clan member speak, though Jupiter has no ears for her words; sees her unleash another enormous column of flame. A part of her, as the rest leaps into motion, thinks that it's a shame Mars isn't here. An eye for an eye, fire for fire. The two of them locked in battle would really... heat things up.


Just as the whorling blue flames would reach Chibi-Usa and engulf her life, Sailor Jupiter is there. There's no time for anything elegant or savvy. One minute, Chibi-Usa has naught but her stall; the next, Sailor Jupiter curls over her, exposing her back to Koan's attack, gritting her teeth against the attack to come. She manages not to scream, either--she doesn't want Chibi-Usa getting even more frightened than she is. But *god*, it *hurts*--did dying hurt this much? It's hard to remember with the immediacy of *this* pain.

Her green eyes crack open, and she manages a smile at the girl she's curled over protectively.

"Don't listen to that witch," she whispers. "I promise we'll protect you, Chibiusa-chan. No matter what."

A long breath in; a long breath out. Then, battered, beaten, braised, but not broken, Jupiter stands up again, glaring at Koan, fists clenched. Even if the very next hit takes her down, she won't stop fighting until the very end. This little girl is depending on her, and she *won't* let her down. Not if she can help it.

"You think you can just stroll into our town, terrorize this poor kid, and do whatever you want...?" she calls to Koan, voice low and threatening. She snaps her head up, eyes narrowed dangerously. "There's no way we'll let you!" She shoots her head to one side. "Sailor Moon!!"

With only that much set-up between the two of them, she raises both hands to the skies, index and pinky fingers extended. Slowly, her hair begins to billow up around her as she chants:

"My guardian Jupiter! Brew a storm! Call the clouds! Bring down the lightning!!"

A mass of electricity stirs in the thunderheads formed above her, then shoot down onto the lightning rod tiara. The bolts crackle around her, and she draws them in. "SUPREME..."

Then, once Sailor Moon unleashes her own attack, Jupiter whips her arms out to have it join as one. "THUNDER!!"

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet rights herself and goes to rush back into the fray... when there is a flash, and before her, all is dark fire.

It's simply... everywhere.

Garnet delays her rush to battle, and instead... watches, trying to get a hold on what's happened so far, what is happening, and... further.

Beyond that.

Garnet scans the rivers of possibility, her body readied for drastic action, though her sight seems distant. She searches Koan's future actions and reactions for a gap in her defenses. She searches for the path that leads them all to victory. Or at least, by the looks of things so far, she searches for a future where they all survive.

COMBAT: Garnet has used Future Vision on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

There's so much she wants to say to that girl right now, so much she wants to ask. To reassure her. She looks so distraught over the fact that she got hurt for her- it's easy enough to temporarily forget that she's looking to steal the Silver Crystal.

She covers her mouth again, cheeks puffing up as she giggles under another punslaught of Chat Noir. Even if it wasn't the best pun, Usagi thinks it's /hilarious/.

Neptune's question brights her out of that as she grins and raises a hand to the nape of her neck, "Well I'm glad that you decided to drop in! Because-" A quick glance at Koan, then back at Neptune, she looks kind of terrified at the prospect, "-Uhhh-" Sailor Moon points at Koan, while looking at Neptune, "-maybe? I'd rather not find out if we can. I mean, I'd really appreciate it if you kept giving us a hand!"

But as their attack succeeds she raises a V at Jupiter with a grin, since she isn't close enough for the high five. Thinking this is over, but then the dark flames rise and those thoughts are dashed away like the grin on her face- Usagi can understand vanity. After all she wanted to look good. Was rather petty and insecure about the way she looked in fact- but Sailor Moon's face contorts in an 'eugh' and she recoils when Koan starts threatening to kill them all just for damaging her face in a fight. Which perhaps makes it all the worse that she just drenched her.

She can feel the revenge coming, the power rising off of Koan's fingers as sparks rise. But that's not the attack aimed her way. She misjudges, leaps into the air too soon, and the massive gout of flames directed at the district washes over her, the pressure wave of the flashover sending her clean across the block with a scream.

She skips like a stone across the block, then rolls once. This is fortunate as it aids in putting out the flames that lim her Fuku like dark fairy lights.

It takes her a while to get up. One arm first, than the other. It feels like the tears have been evaporated from her eyes, as she gets back to her feet. "It doesn't matter what she's done."

Her mind flashes to a gun pointed to her forehead, right between her eyes, the terror of the moment. To coming home and finding her room being trashed. To having Chibi-Usa lie to her family to get her in trouble. To her hand in her friend's purse.

But she also remembers a girl admiring Makoto Kino. She remembers a little girl crying for her mother. She remembers a little girl upset that she got hurt for her- those images were even more fresh in her mind, "We'll still protect her."

Jupiter calls for her aid, while calling upon her guardian planet for a storm. "Got it!" Sailor Moon puts a hand to her forehead, to her sacred tiara, grasping it within her fingers it begins to glow gleaming silver as she crooks that arm back, "Moon Tiara-" She flings it forward, "-ACTION!"

The gleaming tiara cuts across the space struck by heavenly lightning, becoming a crackling discus mid-flight. The holy energy within conducts it as an even better vessel than the metal. It arcs forward towards Koan, trying to slash through her- complete the circuit, and deliver divine reckoning in the form of light and supreme thunder.

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has started a combo targeting Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has joined the combo started by Sailor Jupiter!
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Garnet's Future Vision, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Analysis performed by Garnet!  Cripple applied to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: COMBO! Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Moon have used All-Star Senshi! on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to dodge Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Moon's Combo: All-Star Senshi!, taking 107 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Ladybug and Chat Noir's wolfpack tactics miraculously succeed; Koan tries to fend them off with blasts of gorgeous, awful flame, but is always just a second too late. Their fists and feet open up tears up and down the woman's body, laying waste to her cute pink onesie -- or at least, leaving it a bit scarred on the arms and legs.

By the time Pretty Cure have arrived to do the same, Koan's had enough; she's out of there. Egret finds nothing but air at the top of the pole, and Bloom gets the business end of her freshly conjured wall of flames, as she hits the peak of her leap and comes back down.

She lands neatly atop a nearby roof, her ultra-high heels going clack-clack! But Sailor Neptune is ready for her, and Koan has to fall back further, immediately, lest she suffer a watery grave. She walks straight into the Wind Knight's trap, and cannot break free of the whirlwind, no matter which way she turns.

So -- time to hold her ground. The Fire Knight follows up, and she meets that sword with both palms extended, "I don't care--", claps them on either side of the blade, "--about your opinion--", and chucks the girl aside. She bobs and weaves in place, "--or your esteem!", to evade Cure Fortune, making her face a difficult target, indeed.

There's no getting out of the way of the supremely thundrous Moon tiara, though. It takes her in the back, forces her spread-eagled, shock and holy power coursing through her. She screams.

Just then, Garnet sees a future all in flames, and it's coming fast.


Igniting her palms, she summons so much dark energy that it can no more be snuffed out than a breath hopes to extinguish a forest fire... and sends it into the whirlwind, infecting it -- it becomes a torrential firestorm.

As the heat disperses its strength, Koan steps through it like a curtain, laughing...

...and as she brings down her arms, the flames follow her, a tsunami of imminent defeat. Never mind avoiding being burned -- in an instant, the oxygen levels in the area have dropped precipitiously. It's getting hard to /breathe/.

Koan doesn't seem to need much air, though -- her cruel laughter echoes across the wasteland she's created.

"Now, where was that rabbit... come out, come out...!"

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Garnet.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Cure Fortune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Hikaru Shidou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Chat Noir.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fireball! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Cure Fortune perfectly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Cure Fortune's Fade ability activates!  Cure Fortune's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 46 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 50 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Jupiter is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 50 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Chat Noir narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 37 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Chat Noir is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Garnet fails to brace Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 66 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Ladybug narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Ladybug's Fade ability activates!  Ladybug's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Moon's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Hikaru Shidou is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to counter Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 52 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Cure Egret fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Dark Fireball!, taking 56 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

It's with wide eyes that Chibi-Usa spots the awful attacks that Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter take. It's with closed eyes that she awaits the column of flame, shut tight. So the pink-haired girl feels Sailor Jupiter's presence as she cowers behing her stall, how cowering behind Sailor Jupiter herself. She watches those gritted teeth, worry dancing on her frayed nerves and in her red eyes, on her tear-streaked face. And Jupiter /smiles/. Smiles, after everything, and whispers to her. "S-Sailor Jupiter...!" There are more tears in her eyes at that. "B-But I--it's..."

So much of it comes together. The awful battle already, the toll it's taken on her guardians, and on the landscape itself. 'An innocent life,' Cure Egret says. She says that even as, to Chibi-Usa's eyes, she sees another city catching flames, again because of /her/. Koan's words echo in her mind. Labdybug's words float across her ears too, the talk of the kind of girl they'd protect. Worse than that...?

There's so /much/ fire. Chibi-Usa sniffles again. Neptune asks if she's Sailor Moon's friend, and she can't even look up at the elegant Guardian anymore. She looks down, and sees ruined stalls, wares scattered along the ground. Destruction. She only looks up again when she hears the call of attacks, when she sees Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter working together, Ladybug and Chat Noir pressing the attack, Sailor Neptune pushing her back. She hears a scream and flinches. She hears Koan's voice, and it's /worse/.

She's lucky not to be caught up in the blast, but it's still hard to breathe, and the heat in what air there is choke her. The coughing is loud amidst the wasteland that now exists, as Chibi-Usa lifts her eyes. She hadn't seen destruction today before. She sees it now. She sees it now and she sees it in memory, and hugs her legs closer to herself, shaking.

"I-I'm sorry," she rasps out, "It's--It's my fault. It's all my fault..."

It's too much. There's nothing she can do. There's...

There's one thing.

Scrabbling along the ground, the Chibi-Usa forces herself to stand up, and /bolts/, fleeing as fast as she can in the opposite direction of Koan's reminder of every reason they all shouldn't be helping. Her lungs burn, but not as badly as her eyes and her heart.

<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Chat Noir grins as he and Ladybug combine their power for the ultimate attack. In perfect unison, they strike Koan with punches and kicks. Chat Noir feels triumph as they land and see the damage they caused.

"We really left a mark, eh, Ladybug?" he joked and turned his back, but it proves a foolish choice as Koan chooses then to throw more fire at them.

"You could say we pressed a hot button issue-"

Thus, Chat Noir was cut off as the ball of fire hit him straight on and knocked him across the floor. Chat Noir landed and tried to lift his head, only for it to drop face first into the ground. Was it caused by the enemy or perhaps the world deciding it was enough puns for that night...the world may never know.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Egret slams into the ground, heels skating along the concrete; she whirls to face where Koan landed. When she sees the fire, her eyes widen. She tries to leap -- and it's too little, too late. Before she can jump away, the air is sucked away, and then the fire hits her. She gets thrown backward, tumbling unceremoniously, and singed black; when she lands, her white outfit is half-blackened, and it's only through Pretty Cure's magic that she isn't seriously burnt.

"+pink,Ch-chopiiiii...)" The little voice at her side rings in panic. Egret breathes hard, her eyes turning to the side where she landed, to meet her partner's. "Bloom..."

Then, she looks back at Koan. She closes her eyes; she sucks in a breath. Then, she forces herself to her feet, but it's shaky, when she does. She has to keep fighting, even if her legs tremble with the pain from that last blow.

"You won't find her!" Mai cries out. Then, she jumps. She flies in the air, rushing at Koan -- and silver sparkles trail after her. Allies have fallen -- and that scares her -- but she keeps moving, right back in the Black Moon enforcer's face. Her foot whips out, a roundhouse aimed at the side of her head.

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used White Wing Kick on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Cure Egret's White Wing Kick, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Jupiter [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sailor Jupiter would, and will, give her all to protect someone who needs protecting. And she does. She doesn't back down, she doesn't run, she keeps herself between Koan and Chibi-Usa, letting her tall form mask whatever Chibi-Usa does to get away. When her Supreme Thunder merges with Sailor Moon's Tiara Action, electrifying it and Koan once they impact together, she doesn't smile; there's too much on the line to smile at this point. The tidal wave of fire bursts out, and she attempts to get out of the way--but even getting clipped by it, it's like getting hit by a flamethrower that explodes on contact. She jerks back. Distantly, she hears Chibi-Usa crying, and apologizing, and little footsteps running away. Good--good... let her get out of here. While she can. But--

"I... can't... fall here... I have--to pro..."

But her voice falters and fails, and Sailor Jupiter, quite against her will, finds herself sagging to her knees. She hates it--she hates it--but she has to accept the inevitable. At least Sailor Moon is still standing. She knows her best friend won't let her, or Chibi-Usa, down.

"I'm sorry... Sailor Moon..." she chokes out. It's hard to breathe, now, thanks to all these flames. "The rest... is up... to you..."

Then she collapses face-down in the scorched streets and is still.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Bloom's fingertips sear on Koan's flames, and Saki calls out in pain and surprise. She doesn't quite notice the light at her feet as she leaps in mid-air, back and away, coming down on the ground with a flash of gold sparks. She prepares to surge back up, but...the tornado. And the flames. Bloom's eyes widen, horror growing. "No, no way! C'mon, you'll burn down the whole city!"

But it's already happening, an explosion of flame ripping up the sky. Light burns under Bloom's feet, and it takes a moment before she bolts skyward again, trying to outpace the curtain of fire. It works, sort of; the flames engulf her, washing across the glittering film of light that is the Earth's protection. It hurts to breathe that searing air before she pushes all the way through it; bursting out into the sky overhead by sheer main force. She greedily gulps deep breaths of the clearer air in the sky but as she rises, she looks down, catching Cure Egret's eyes despite the distance between them.

No words. She nods.

Cure Bloom somewhat laboriously flips upside-down, the sky stretching below her and the city spread above. Light flashes under Cure Bloom's feet, and she suddenly bullets downward.

Perhaps Koan hears a dopplering scream coming toward her in the moments before Cure Bloom arrives, crashing toward Koan with one hand out, aiming to slam into the Youngest and Burniest and tackle her straight into the ground.

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Fistful of Flowers on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Cure Bloom's Fistful of Flowers, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Cure Bloom is Psyched!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.


Wind may feed flames, but it can also *steer* them; in this case, the Wind Knight is trying - desperately - to corral Koan's dark fire and keep it from engulfing her. The key word in all of that, sadly, is 'trying' - and as a certain alien sage observed, it's not about trying; it's about *doing*. Or not doing. 'Trying' is nowhere near enough, and the Wind Knight is engulfed by the dark flames.

Her screams of pain are PROBABLY inaudible over the firestorm; by the time it abates, the Magic Knight of Wind is only barely still on her feet. The local depletion of oxygen doesn't help matters; nor does the sight of felled allies around her - only a few, perhaps, but that's still a few too many ... particularly when one of them is the Magic Knight of Fire.

So. Wind magic is less than advisable, it seems. That rules out most of her options, given her elemental affinity. But her bow and her quiver are still fairly intact - and a fresh arrow is pulled out, nocked, and drawn back, long-practiced movements guiding her despite the pain all over her body. Despite how poorly her wind magic has served her tonight, she gathers it once more, her hair and clothes ruffled by the breeze that rises around her ...

"Gale Arrow!!"

And as she looses, the wind magic wraps around the arrow leaving her bowstring, speeding the arrow's flight, steadying its path through the air, and pushing it towards Koan as quickly as the Wind Knight's magic can push it.

Normally, the Wind Knight wouldn't resort to her weapons against a human-appearing opponent - but Koan has presented herself as too much of a danger to play gently with.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to brace Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

The fire comes.

And at the end of it - after the scorch of the fire's kiss passes - Neptune yet stands.

She had tried - had tried to raise another wave to protect herself against the flame, trusting in the pure waters of Neptune to protect herself - but this fire had turned it to steam - boiling steam that hurt, perhaps, more than the flames that punched through the wave to impact her directly.

Neptune's cry leaves her - a ragged, pained sound.

But she stands, regardless.

Eyes flicker - she spares a brie glance to look towards the Senshi - look towards the others. The fire had taken a toll on their numbers. Lips purse tighter, and her hand clenches. Perhaps elegance will have to be saved for another day. Children.

The little pink haired girl was talking about it being her fault - Neptune stores that bit of information at the back of her mind. "No," she says, simply - finding in herself the strength to dart to one side, again tossing those little darts of purest water at the fiery fiend. Their fires were hot, but perhaps, perhaps - if she kept up the pressure!

She could douse her with it.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Aquatic Allemande on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Sailor Neptune's Aquatic Allemande, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Neptune is Psyched!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Unlike her ally, the Fire Knight takes too much damage this time. She is caught and goes down to the ground hard. And she doesn't try to get up either. She struggles as best as she can, but it's no use. She drops down to the ground and sighs in defeat and frustration. "No... I can't.... I can't fail... I must..."

Despite her best efforts, the Fire Knight cannot get back up. "Fuu-chan..... take care..... please...." Her eyes lower and then they close. She's not dead, but she's definitely not rejoining this fight anytime soon.

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

Fire, fire, everywhere - and somehow, Chat Noir and Ladybug keep dancing around the flames. 'Infuriating' is sure to be an operative word for their joint tactics - it's only when the heat's getting too great that the pair break off, yo-yo landing back in Ladybug's hand with a smack.

Wind, and thunder, and a shining tiara all strike home as Ladybug tosses her yo-yo again - no direction this time, she was actually just playing with it for a moment. Chat Noir's comment gets a dirty look, swiftly betrayed by a smirk. "All right, all right, that one was actually pretty good-"

And then Koan's temper explodes. Suddenly all of Ladybug's attention is taken by the firestorm - a veritable tsunami of heat and darkness. Ladybug tumbles, rolling law as the flames wash by - lucking into a natural divot in the ground, so that she's just a little safer from the flames than Chat is.

It's not much difference...but it's just enough that she's able to get up while he's down for the count. Her eyes flit around the area, as she rises, grip on her yo-yo tight...

...but in this scorched wasteland, there's almost nothing left she can use. No sudden inspiration is coming to mind, even the debris is little more than crumbling ashes. Only a few things catch her eye - the handful of girls still standing, Chat Noir's fallen form, and that small pink-haired girl running away as quickly as she can.

She takes a breath - coughs, because that air is thin and -hot- - and does two things. First, moves Chat - by his tail-belt-thing - to the divot she'd had as cover, just in case. And second...

...sprints directly towards Koan. There's little cleverness to be had here - her yo-yo darts out again and again, peppering Koan as the girl wielding it closes in, and then it's just a tiny bundle of speed and fury, desperately trying to keep the girl's attention a few moments more while that child gets away. "Don't expect us...to join you in attacking that child! You've burnt a few too many bridges for that!"

...what, someone had to and Chat's not awake enough to hear her.

COMBAT: Ladybug has used Breakaway on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Ladybug's Breakaway, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The bright tiara is caught upon it's return path, and is replaced upon it's brow. But- she's summoning a dark tornado of power. A firestorm. It's sucking the very oxygen out of the air, and a hand reaches to her throat. What safe haven could there be from this? The only answer is elsewhere.

Everything is burning, the air is burning, her muscles are burning as her legs pound the pavement and- she leaps, dives desperately behind a low wall just as the flames light the top of it on fire. She waits until she can breathe again. Then takes a few seconds longer, gulping in air, devouring oxygen.

And up she is again, stumbling out from behind cover. "That was close..." She says wearily. But Jupiter isn't up-

Her eyes meet hers as she sees her upon the ground. "Jupiter-chan- JUPITER-CHAN!" She remembers the last time she fell. She remembers- knowing she wouldn't get back up.

Everything in her heart screams to go to Jupiter right now. To get her out of here. To make sure she's okay. To take care of her in all the ways Jupiter took care of her, protected her but- sometimes duty is harder. She knows what Jupiter would want her to do.

Koan is after Chibi-Usa. And Chibi-Usa is bolting. There's only one thing to do now-

-and that's to cover her escape. With tears in her eyes, she casts off weariness, casts off fatigue to make a short bunny hop towards Chibi-Usa's position, moonboots skidding upon the pavement as she interposes herself, facing down Koan. "This was going to be a special day for us." For herself, for Makoto Kino, for Chibi-Usa. As much as she regarded her as an interloper in some ways, she wasn't going to deny that she added something to the outing.

And even after what happened, it wouldn't have ruined that. They'd have found her and- somehow it would have been right again. Somehow.

Sailor Moon whispers hoarsely, tears sparkling in her eyes, "I won't forgive you. I won't forgive the Black Moon Clan - for taking that away and hurting my precious friend!" The sacred rod is pointed Koan's way, as she spins on one foot, "Moon Twilight-" The foot is pressed down, the tip of the scepter shines, "-FLASH!"

Spheres alit with all the myriad colors of twilight blossom from the tip, detonating into a blindingly bright of purifying brilliance.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Twilight Flash on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly dodges Sailor Moon's Moon Twilight Flash, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Fortune [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Cure Fortune watches Koan fall down from the overwhelming force of the good team's attacks, and she herself lands gently on the ground as well. Then Koan summons more flames, and turns the whirlwind into a flaming inferno. Cure Fortune's eyes go wide and she leaps into the air again to try and avoid it. She even rises as fast as she can. It's probable that rising high won't avoid the tornado.

But, soon, Koan unleashes a complete torrent of flames, which just pursuades Fortune to fly higher faster, and the very tip of the flames washes over Fortune, scoring the edges of her dress and her shoes, but thankfully not much else. The air turns light from the lick of the flames, which causes her to breath harder to make sure she gets the oxygen she needs to continue.

Fortune looks back down at the fight, and everyone else underneath her that aren't quite as lucky. Fortune's face turns stony, as she looks over at Kaon. But, she can't stop fighting now. She has to keep going, even if she's the only one standing.

She spins the dial on her PreBrace for a moment, before raising her arm above her. "Fortune..." Five stars suddenly form above her, moments before turning into rings. "Star Ring!" She throws them back down at the battle, hurtling towards Koan to try and bind her, possibly to help the others land harder hits.

COMBAT: Cure Fortune has used Fortune Star Ring on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou fails to brace Cure Fortune's Fortune Star Ring, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Tangle applied to Utena Tenjou!
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

is one of the lucky ones.

Since she had been hurled away from the main battle, she was spared many of the earlier fiery attacks.

Not needing to breathe is also ideal, since the holocaust wave of dark fire vaporizes all the oxygen in its path before hitting her. Garnet tends to forget what it's like to be burned, since nonmagical fire, even lava can't harm her, but she'll remember this. And more than fire, it's a magic suffused with a darkness that howls to extinguish her light.

She'll remember that too, though she'll try to forget.

But even against such a fierce onslaught, her light ultimately prevails, and Garnet remains, though she is visibly stunned in the aftermath. The unfamiliar pains of fire and darkness bring her to her knees, and doesn't move, but appears to be speaking.

Garnet whispers to herself intermittantly, the words only coming out in pieces, perhaps wholly unintelligible to anyone listening closely, but as if anyone would be near enough to her, or have the luxury in times like this:

"Wait, don't...

...even more reason to be careful...

...did it the careful way and look how...

...show her an eternal flame...!"

Garnet stumbles to her feet, and rushes towards Koan as fast as she can with abandon! She jumps and weaves through the flames and when within reach of the villain, pistons an armored fist straight for her jaw!
COMBAT: Garnet has used Jawbreaker! on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou perfectly braces Garnet's Jawbreaker!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Brace!
<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Koan doesn't seem surprised that some of her opponents survived that cataclysm, though her lower lip swells, just a little bit, in a soft pouting mou. She's ready for them when they come for her, though, Queen of the Hill atop the roof.

She matches them step for step. One step forwards, turning Cure Egret's kick aside with her hands; one step backwards, sending Cure Bloom's flying tackle straight past her.

She doesn't even flinch from the Wind Knight's arrow, which opens up a matching scratch on the opposite cheekbone from the one the Fire Knight wounded -- this makes her hiss, but little more than murder rises in her eyes.

Another step, this one a swirl to the side, away from those darts of water, which toss her frizzled hair to and fro but make no contact with her flesh; her next step takes her past the fallen form of Chat Noir on her way to meet Ladybug head-on, pushing her back with an outstretched hand, and she makes sure to press a heel into his back on her way across, just to add insult to injury in a far crueler way than he ever did.

She walks straight past Sailor Moon's grief-fueled, vengeful flash of holy light, shielding her eyes from the glare, and in that moment, she thinks about investing in some of those 20th century fashion mirrored shades that seem to be so popular -- and straight into Cure Fortune's Star Rings, which rattle around her like hula hoops.

Koan looks down at them, lip curled with distaste, then up... at their wielder. It's with her jaw beautifully extended as a target when Garnet comes for her, and she takes that gauntlet right there, takes it and smiles, takes it and lets the force drive her back, shattering the rings that had contained her.

And that's the last of it.

She closes her hand into a fist, and all the flames sweeping Asakusa instantly extinguish with a hiss that matches her own. She squints through the smoke, looking for--


Glancing around her, the Black Moon scion weighs the pros and cons of murdering Chibi-Usa while her back is turned, with all of these almost-but-not-quite-out girls surrounding her with their fury and their desperation.

Eh. The Rabbit can wait another thirty seconds.

Koan intones two words that everyone is probably getting /really tired/ of:


Here it comes, beautiful in its intricacy, an individual branch of the blue-green candalabra for everyone, more than enough to send a girl sprawling, to blast her back through some smoking debris, to introduce her face to the sizzling concrete.

As girls contend with it, they may see the puzzling contradiction of their tormenter not even bothering to watch; instead her eyes have unfocused, her head tilted to one side, as though she's taking a call on a Bluetooth. It's a moment of distraction -- an opening?

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Garnet.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Cure Fortune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou has used Dark Fire! on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Cure Egret perfectly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Cure Egret's Fade ability activates!  Cure Egret's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Fortune fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 33 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Garnet fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 40 Fatigue damage!  Garnet is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune narrowly counters Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Neptune is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Neptune's counterattack, Deep Submerge!, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to counter Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 48 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon's counterattack, Supersonic Screaming, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Utena Tenjou!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom narrowly braces Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Cure Bloom's Block ability activates!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly dodges Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is unable to keep fighting!  Fuu Hououji's Fade ability activates!  Fuu Hououji's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Ladybug fails to dodge Utena Tenjou's Dark Fire!, taking 36 Fatigue damage!  Ladybug is unable to keep fighting!

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Behind Chibi-Usa as she runs, there is only fire. There's only the same destruction that she can see in her mind's eye. Except..

Except there isn't only that. There's shouting from the girls still standing, a certain male voice absent from the others. There's a call for Jupiter, the same Jupiter who hurt herself trying to protect her and smiled at her, from the same Moon who protected her and told her not to listen. All of them tried to defend her. All of them were hurt because Koan was looking for her.

She keeps running on small legs, but there she hears it. 'DARK. FIRE.' The small pink-haired girl stumbles, crashes to the ground and skins up her bare knees worse than before against the asphalt. She hisses with the pain of it, of her hands hitting rock, and finally looks over her shoulder. She sees devastation, still more fire, and Koan over it all. "...I'm sorry..." This time it's a whisper as she forces herself back up again, stumbles a few steps and starts running again, a little Rabbit trying again to escape her hunters. She skids towards another street. She tells herself if she can only make it a little farther away...!

Maybe she'll live. Maybe she can still do what she has to do.

...Maybe Koan won't hurt these people more.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Well, the Wind Knight in particular is rapidly tiring of Koan's attack phrase, but she doesn't have the leisure to comment on it; she just tries to scramble out of the way, to not get roasted yet again - or worse, incinerated entirely.

She ... *sort of* achieves that goal, to the extent that she's still in something generally resembling a single, more-or-less intact piece when she gets hurled against a wooden pillar. The impact itself could have been far worse; her armor absorbs much of the impact, and she's fairly vertical, so instead of potentially wrapping around the pillar, that impact is more or less evenly spread out.

More or less. She'll be a little surprised if she doesn't wake up with a concussion ... and possibly more surprised to wake up in the first place, after this catastrophic showing.

There are a few people still standing, at any rate - or at least, she thinks there are a few. They'd better still be standing when Koan is finally driven off the premises ... if only to ensure that the girl Koan was picking on doesn't have anything else to worry about.

Even as shadows close around her awareness, the Wnid Knight is still making a fitful attempt to pull out one more arrow. She just can't ... *quite* ... get her fingers to grasp properly ...

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

To the left. To the right. There's ashes and ruin and the melted remnants of a fire hydrant - as Ldaybug rebounds off of the indomitable Ayakashi Sister, her mind is whirling with ideas. Dark fires hot enough to blast through water, in seemingly endless quantity - a rainstorm wouldn't cut it.

Maybe sand? Something less liquid used for smothering fires, that can't simply be blasted to smithereens with more heat. Or perhaps something that fire would interact with poorly - if she had a bag of flour, maybe. Even better if the woman could be entrapped briefly - maybe if Chat did something to the ground...

There's a chirp of alarm, like distant shouting in one ear, and Ladybug looks up with a weary, exhausted expression as even more dark flames close in from three sides. One she could do something about, but this...

"...I really hope she isn't filming this." She tries to leap out of the way at the last second - but for today, Ladybug's luck has just run out. There's an explosion as her branch of the candelabra strikes home, and Ladybug is hurled out of the woman's path once and for all. Somewhere through the smoke, through the ashes, she'll come to a halt...

But right now, she's in no shape to put any of her ideas in motion.

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

Sailor Moon's eyes are wide as Koan walks past her attack. But on the bright side- she's not pursuing Chibi-Usa. She seems thoroughly distracted by the idea of murdering all of them.

The murdering all of them is the downside.

A blue-green blast of fire makes her scream with the realization, and already in the throes of grief, the jewels covering her odangos resonate and- it doesn't matter. The fire cannot be stopped by a shriek of desperation, no matter how piercing. The blast knocks her into a wall. And she's not quite senseless right away.

Instead her eyes through the wet and her fading vision to focus upon a blur of green- looking for a glimpse of aquamarine to stand out-

'Oh.' Her mind goes, because her lips aren't quite forming words.

'Well at least- I'm not alone.'

For her at least the thought of blacking out when there was noone with her-

-that was too scary to comprehend. So as her consciousness starts to slip away into a void of thought... she's at least grateful for that.

However her last thought- her very last one- is worry about how that little girl must feel right now. Running away feeling terrified, and alone. And that snatches that small kernel of comfort away at the last moment.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The turn throws Cure Egret backward, throwing her into the air -- and she bicycle kicks off the side of a building, then flies down to the ground. Her eyes widen as she sees the fire come rushing in. Burning strands of blue and black fly in and Mai's jaw clenches -- and with telltale quiet, she weaves and bobs through them. Streamers of fire break through bursts of silver light, but none manage to touch the Pretty Cure.

Who comes flying down towards the ground, but not towards Koan. Her eyes fall, instead, to her friend.

Cure Bloom all but withers under Koan's continued bombardment. The light around her flickers as she forces more and more of the world's magic through her body, out into sprays of golden motes to try and disperse the assault. It works, sort of, but at the end of it, Cure Bloom is on her knees, wheezing.

But she rises, shaking at the knees and shudering in the chest. "All this...this fire and anger..." she croaks. "What's it for...? Your own glory? Some promotion? I can't..." She falters, a little, half-way up, but forces herself to stay up, eyes burning with a different kind of flame. "There's so many people here...you hurt that guy with the dumb jokes...and the Sailor Senshi...I won't..."

Her eyes snap up, and she makes her feet square. "We won't! We will not fall to you!!"

Cure Egret lands next to Cure Bloom, violet eyes turning towards her. She isn't the one who speaks. That, instead, is Choppy; the little fairy talks from her side. They have a precious opening, and she sees that. "Egret! Bloom! We have to do it now-chopi!"

"Yes! Come on, Bloom! We'll protect her!" Egret cries out, before she throws her hand out towards Cure Bloom. Their fingers entwine, wrapping around one another, and then both of them throw their hands up into the air. Around Bloom, golden lights swirl up from the ground. "O Spirits of the Earth!"

Egret's hand raises to the heavens -- and silver light rains down, another hundred drops of pouring down like a gentle rain, to join those golden ones rising, as if from a field of verdant flowers. "O Spirits of the Sky!"

They swirl around the girls, in streams that move like rivers and eddies, all about them, before they draw into their open hands. Those gloved hands swing down, pointing towards Koan. "Now... together with Pretty Cure!"

"Release the power of miracles!"

All of the spiritual energy flows into their hands, and the two swirl their hands, each making a spiral. Then, their free hands collide together, as they cry out, as one: "Pretty Cure Twin Stream!"

And, finally, they stop holding hands -- to thrust both their hands outward. Two beams of sacred purifying water, one golden and one silver, fly out. They crash together, spinning around each other over and over, and then hurtle together.They wind around Koan, and then crash together in an explosion of light and water.


COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Egret has started a combo targeting Utena Tenjou!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Neptune was running swiftly out of options.

Jaw clenching, she stares levelly at Koan, her eyes filled with determination. As that fireball begins, Neptune lifts her arms - waves crashing behind her - but the fire reaches her first. Washes over her, and she feels something give in the back of her mind. The waves fall to the ground, pooling before they diminish in a sea of sparkles.

There were very few options left.

Neptune turns away. What she knew above all else that she could not black out here. Clutching her belly - she gives one last look towards the magical girls around - and then springs away, a lock of her hair falling in her eyes.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Bloom has joined the combo started by Cure Egret!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Cure Egret and Cure Bloom have used Pretty Cure Twin Stream Splash on Utena Tenjou.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Fortune [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Cure Fortune lands a few moments later, having escaped the complete destruction moments before. She looks around at everything that's happened, and looks at Koan. She could ask the enemy why she's attacking a small child. She could ask why she was attacking everyone who came to that child's defense.

But, Fortune concludes that talking really won't solve annything, not now, and there's nothing the Purple Cure can do about it. Not that she was the type for words, anyway.

She spins the dial on her PreBrace again. "Pretty Cure..." She sweeps her hand above her again, glittering stars forming around her. "Star Streaaaam!" She points her hands forward, and a veritable onrush of these stars stream forward, in an attempt to smother the woman with the black moon insignia, hopefully filling her with happiness and relaxation! As the stars stream forward, a part of Cure Fortune hopes that this will work.

Even if it doesn't, hopefully it will make her feel better!

COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly dodges Cure Egret and Cure Bloom's Finisher, Combo: Pretty Cure Twin Stream Splash, taking 109 Fatigue damage!  Utena Tenjou's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Fortune has used Pretty Cure Star Stream on Utena Tenjou.
COMBAT: Utena Tenjou narrowly braces Cure Fortune's Finisher, Pretty Cure Star Stream, taking 21 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet falls.

The second gout of flame comes on so quickly, watching its invocation, even a flash of prescience was no help in avoiding it.

Garnet is hurled back into a pile of ash and smokes: darkness and smog rising off of her burned and battered form.

Face-down, she growls, and twitches, as though somewhere deep inside, she's trying to get up again and rush punishment again onto the Black Moon Clan scion, but after an crawling inch of movement forward .

Searing fire.

Piercing darkness.


She can't move beyond that one inch, and she finally goes slack.

Alive, but exhausted.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.


No one else can hear what Koan's hearing, but they can see what happens -- her face lights up, like those two scratches were nothing. "My lord!"

"It's getting too dangerous out there. You should withdraw."

"But -- but Rubeus-sama! I've all but won the day!"

"I insist. I would hate for anything to happen... to your pretty face."

Koan's pretty face is turning red with surprise and pleasure. She watches the Rabbit get further and further into the distance.

"W-well... if you insist... I'll return right now!"

A wall of magical, luminous water advances on her -- with stars converging from all sides.

They all impact each other with a mighty crash...

...but Koan is gone.



Koan didn't manage to avoid a good drenching, while the black moon on her forehead is now at the center of a bright pink star-shaped impact mark, and she reaches up to squeeze out her tresses, dragging them over her shoulder.


"Rubeus-sama!" she trills, "Please, I'll be just a minute! I need to fix my makeu--"

She's reaching out for the lipstick next to her mystical mirror, but a strong, tanned hand catches her by the wrist... and closes like a vice.

She freezes.

"Why did you abandon your mission?"


"You had them dead to rights. The Rabbit was within your grasp. Did you... hesitate?"

"N-No! My lord! I would never waver in my devotion to y-- our cause!!"

She can feel his eyes narrow to slits behind and above her.

"...good." His absence is felt as strongly as his presence, a moment later.

There's tittering from the shadows -- Berthier is slipping something into her purse. Koan storms over, rips it out of her hands -- a microphone? She speaks into it, but it's Rubeus' voice that declaims:

"Big sis... how COULD you?!"