2017-02-25 - Chevaliers versus Wolkenritter

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Title: Chevaliers versus Wolkenritter

The Chevaliers stage a fake battle amongst themselves in order to lure the Wolkenritter into an attack.


Eri Shimanouchi, Garnet, Mami Tomoe, Endo Naoki, Signum, Vita, Endo Naoki, Lera Camry, Madoka Kaname, Sayaka Miki, Fate Testarossa


Shinjuku Capital Ward

OOC - IC Date:

02-25-2017 - 12-30-2014

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Push It to the Limit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ektanpH6NMQ

"The Chevaliers have endured your sins for too long, Fate Testarossa! Your heart is as black as your hair is adorable!" Sayaka tucks into a flip before landing on her heel at the top corner of a gazebo. The park by the grand hotel in Shinjuku is the perfect place for this; little chance for collateral damage to the city here, but central enough to attract a lot of attention.

As Mami swings in to join her on the gazebo roof, Sayaka presses back to back with her for a moment, then reverses sides with her. The agile motion is meant to look effortless, but those who have seen how the two enter in previous engagements know it's not part of their henshin or anything; it must have taken some practice. As she turns together with Mami and presents her other shoulder to Fate, she unfurls a silver sword, pointing it at the foe even as Mami presents her rifle.

"Junior partner in Tokyo's premiere Puella Magi konbi, Blue Puella Magi Sayaka! Here to do what's right!"

She allows Mami to fill in her half of the introduction, then they pose together, Sayaka's heroic blue against Mami's elegant gold. Sayaka is beaming irrepessibly despite her rhetoric.

"Lera Camry! Never did we think you would fall so far as to protect such an evildoer! We can see you won't turn back from your dark path, so prepare to battle! Cute swordsgirl Sayaka is on the attack!"

Springing from the gazebo, Sayaka lands next to Lera, flourishing her sword in wide, slow, dramatic swipes to force her backwards. "It's painful to fight my old allies! But a Chevalier must always stand up for justice!" Twirling, she starts tossing swords at (well, past) Lera, most of them ending up lodged in the nearby trees. The pond nearby reflects her advance as she engages.

"Give up! You'll never defeat both of us on your own!"

[OOC] Global: Sayaka Miki has set the Scene Pose.
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Senior partner in Tokyo's premiere Puella Magi konbi, Yellow Puella Magi Mami! Here to protect what's good!" They /have/ to have practiced; Mami's motions are perfectly timed with ayaka's, down to her shoulder against the other shoulder. She levels her rifle at her 'foes', a bright look in her amber eyes.

There's obviou drama in her expression, a face that says wounding under Lera's betrayal. A hand cants up to her forehead, back of her hand to skin as if swooning. "Sayaka-han! I know that you can defeat my old friend, and so I...!"

Mami points her rifle at Fate. "My old foe, here once again! But tonight is the end of your destruction of virtue! Elegant riflewoman Mami, on the attack!"

She starts firing shots, bang bang bang in quick succession, twirling forward as she does in beauifully chorographed gunplay. ...The ones aimed directly for Fate are blanks, of course.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

Fate Testarossa was understandably anxious. First and foremost because Signum and the other girl with the Hammer Device had crushed them in the past without much trouble. But also just as importantly, because the upgrades on Bardiche had just been finished. Given the difficulty of working with ancient technology, Amy had only managed that and the creation of a handful of cartridges before they'd been needed.

Given the volatile magic involved in this new system- when they turned him on, is it possible that he'd just explode and her with it? The thought had occurred more than once or twice. But- he wanted this. She puts her faith in that.

"My sins?" For a moment, she forgot it was just an act, before she shakes those adorable twintails once, "Oh! Hai! Uh-" She thrusts out her hand, holding that Golden Triangle that is Bardiche, "Well- if that's the way you want it- Sayaka Miki- then I'll put everything on the line- Bardiche Assaulto-"

There's a moment's hesitation. "-set up!"

Spirals of runes erupt from Bardiche, lifting her off the ground to eye level of the gazebo, <Order of Set Up was Accepted. Operating Check of New System Initiated. Exchanged Parts Are in Good Condition. Main System Set Up. Condition All Green. Get set.> "Welcome back." She whispers- feeling something in her eyes, <Thank you Sir.> A momentary pause then- <Drive Ignition.>

The runic spiral of gold twists out of Bardiche like an unfurling ribbon, arcs of violet electricity striking in spherical sequence with the girl in the epicenter of the storm. And when it fades, she looks much the same as she had before, a black leotard, a belted half skirt of white and stockings, black ribbons in her hair, the differences understated in her barrier jacket. Flexible armor plating of silver adorns both gauntlets and boots, with bands of rectangular shining gold.

The most striking change is to the polearm she holds in her hands, his namesake. Below the axe head just over the upper metallic haft an extra layer of asymmetrical obsidian plating.

Flourishing him as if it were a training exercise, she briefly crosses it with Lera's as a gesture of soldarity and comraderie against the forces of goodness.

"Mami Tomoe. This time I will- I will- smash you to pieces!"

You can tell Fate was former Dark Fall, right?

She flinches, even at the blanks, continuing to twirl Bardiche in a display of deflecting them, while others ping uselessly off a golden layer of energy. She then surges forward in a golden streak, swinging a telegraphed blow at their back to back ankles, giving them ample time to dodge. "You may be fast- and gorgeous! But- I'll catch up to you eventually and ruin your tea party!"

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

<<Ready to put on a light show, buddy?>> Lera Camry asks her Armed Device with a little telepathy, as she looks out -- sternly, her face halfway between anger and forced calm -- at the approaching magical girls. They dart from Sayaka to Mami, amber eyes finally locking onto the other pair approaching on a ribbon.

<<Of course. I always liked fireworks,>> Soaring Sky answers with telepathy. A slight smirk crosses Lera's lips, before she shakes her head.

"She isn't an evildoer!" Lera cries out. "I'll stand by Fate, no matter what might happen, y'know? I--" This, she reflects quietly, is maybe a little too real for her. Her eyes widen a moment, before she jumps from a sword -- not that it would have hit her, but it adds to that look.

Then, the Armed Device speaks aloud: <Feuersturm!>

The Belkan incantations are new. So are the triangles. They spin and swirl -- and then lances of fire come crashing down all around them all!

...entirely... illusory lances of fire. They pass through harmlessly, save for a vague warm tickle.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo is likewise around to be assaulted by Sayaka's swords. He stands upon a tree branch, balanced precariously, flinching briefly when the wood nearby gets pin cushioned. Still, he remains upright, prepared to deliver his address:

"Fate's my friend, and if you want to fight her, I'm fighting too!" And, furthermore: "Endo!" Just so the other side is aware.

Today his device isn't in its usual form, but shaped like a massive crossbow. The knight hefts it, braces, and fires. Not in any direction really, and the beams of energy that shoot forth come raining down in hap-hazard patterns, tiny explosions ripping into the ground in a scattershot-and harmless-mess.

"Good shot, Stern."

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"Mami-senpai! The soul of my sword is faith in you!" Sayaka (who likes fantasy video games) calls to her senior as she assaults the two Device-users. She can't exactly summon a fake sword, but can summon lots of real ones and feather the snowy grass with them for maximum flash, and so that's what she does. She's pitching a no-hitter on swords today, in the sense that none of them hit, but she keeps chucking them at Lera and Endo's feet, or behind them when they move, never seeming to lead them enough.

Fate's transformation makes her pause briefly. "Whoa, that looks... that looks different this time."

Reminding herself to take this seriously, Sayaka runs along the ground rapidly, manuevering back and forth between Endo's exploding crossbow shots and the rain of beams from Lera. "Two versus one, huh? That's not fair... and the soul of justice is fairness! Get ready for the special attack! Garnet, just like we practiced!"

At top speed, Sayaka leaps suddenly, tucking her knees as she sails towards the forest, trying to make herself small enough for Garnet to catch. "Here it comes!" she warns. "Fastball Sayaka!"

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami starts to call back to Lera immediately, "I should've known you'd say so!" But that one gets a little too real for her, too. ...Only a little though, because Sayaka calls to her about the soul of her sword, and the older girl's heart just entirely /melts/ for a fraction of a second. "Oh, Sayaka-chan..."

Ah, right, dramatics. Mami hops up over Fate's scythe with the motion telegraphed to her, and lets herself think a moment about how Fate's transformation looks. It's impressive.

"Stand by her if you must, but you'll fall! All three of you!"

Mami looks up at the crossbow bolts raining down, making a show of firing some of them out of the sky where they 'might' have hit her. (Would not have hit her.)

"I see how fast you are, Fate Testarossa... but this isn't the end yet, either!" Mami starts firing shots all around Fate, all around where she will be, rather than where she is.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet rises to the occasion at Sayaka's rally, and just like they practiced, Garnet transforms one of her gauntlets, increasing its size by four times and closing the fingers into a baseball mitt. She raises her mitt catches, rushes to catch Sayaka and in the brief half second between launch, checks her Future Vision for wind direction, movement and other considerations. Confident she's decided on the best possible play, Garnet rolls the mitt with a very Fastball Special girl inside back, winds back her other armored fist, and with a blur, sends Sayaka flying forward with a powerful overhand throw towards her adversaries!


COMBAT: Endo Naoki transforms into Barrier Jacket Aufprall!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe transforms into Puella Mami!
COMBAT: Garnet transforms into Garnet's Got Gauntlets!
COMBAT: Signum transforms into Cloud Knight!
COMBAT: Lera Camry transforms into Barrier Jacket Perihelion!
<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Knowing what the Wolkenritter want - the magic of magical girls - makes it a little easier to predict ways to get them to show up. They've been a mysterious presence for months, now, but perhaps now, finally, they can be...addressed. Whatever that may need to be.

A big, showy brawl is the method of choice, and flashes of magic light up the Tokyo night. Not so far away, a girl watches, standing on nothing as her long skirt whips in the aerial breeze. The hammer in her hand releases a hollow note. "Two we've already got, but the rest are fair game. Wonder if we can make 'em scatter."

Her eyes watch Fate, most especially. New form. New posture. ...also, she's here, which she hasn't been for a while. Damn. She grunts. 'I'm goin'.' she transmits to her compatriot.

And so, the easiest of the several ways to tell the Wolkenritter are coming appears in the sky, a streak of red light, blasting at full speed across the night, then arcing down to get lost amid the scenery...

Until it blasts /directly through/ the supports of a tasteful gazebo, and a redhead in a crimson dress shoots past the melee, and...

Hooks her arms under Endo's and attempts to fly off with him like a bird.

COMBAT: Vita transforms into Cloud Knight!
COMBAT: Vita has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 3 opponents!
COMBAT: Vita has used Cue David Attenborough Narration on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.

COMBAT: Signum has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 3 opponents!

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

The wind ruffles the hair of a taller figure, standing near the smaller of the Wolkenritter. As she feels the wind blow, Signum says, thoughtfully, "That would be simpler... There would be less risk of their mutual reinforcement, then."

'Understood,' is the wordless reply after Vita streaks off. And then...

Why, surely there's only one light coming towards them. This is because Signum is flying low on a slightly alternate route, barrelling at ten meters' altitude through the city streets in a magenta streak that from some views would be shockingly AESTHETIC, but this is not that day. Pitching through a ninety-degree angle, Signum approaches the park and its warriors, holding out her blade. As the wind ruffles through her red hair, the sword extends slightly - before it breaks into chevrons of steel, whipping forwards as Signum lashes her wrist forwards.

They snake ahead, carving pristine wedges out of the icy soil as they precede Signum herself. Mami Tomoe can see them move past her, before the 'serpent' of this blade rises up, undulates, and snaps round to try and capture Garnet around the waist. A figure-eight forms as the loop tightens, razor-sharp and with a sorcerously-reinforced connection between all of them.

With two disabled, Signum reasons, the rest will have less chance to support each other.

Thus far, she has nothing to say to anyone present.

COMBAT: Signum has used Schlanbaisen Angriff on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Signum has used Schlanbaisen Angriff on Garnet.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa tries to cover Mami Tomoe for Signum's attack, Schlanbaisen Angriff, but cannot get there in time!
COMBAT: Garnet fails to dodge Signum's Schlanbaisen Angriff, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Stagger and Tangle applied to Garnet!  
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa covers Mami Tomoe for Signum's attack, Schlanbaisen Angriff, taking it upon themselves instead!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to counter Signum's Schlanbaisen Angriff, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Fate Testarossa!  
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Rush, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Signum!  
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Vita's Cue David Attenborough Narration, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki's Block ability activates!  Endo Naoki's Parry ability activates!  
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo's eyes widen as Garnet steps up for the assist, and then hurts Sayaka forward. His post is abandoned as he makes a scramble to get out of anything that could be considered near the incoming Sakayaball.

In the process he misses the split second he might have had to react to the streak of red light coming for him. "Waaa-" Off his feet he goes, flailing back and forth.


"I know!" Endo twists and turns, shouting, "Let me go!" He swings, one arm flailing up at the knight that's captured him, the other twisting and wrenching around to attempt to break the grip. He hasn't figured out what he'll do after that, but not being in the air seems to be what he's focused on right now.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Shake shake shake!! on Vita.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Good timing as ever, Endo-san!" Lera calls out to her friend. And then she glances at Fate and flashes her a grin. Her eyes dart forward, then, and--

'Fastball Sayaka!'

"What," she demands of existence itself.

And then their quarry appears. Lera gasps, as she sees the dash of red -- and the way that Vita tries to grab onto Endo, and simply barrel away with him. She lets out a sharp gasp, before she shakes her head. "ENDO-SAN!" she calls out, before she bolts after. "Hang on! Sky, can you get us in there!"

<Them again...>

It makes Lera's blood run cold, at first. This was how -- why -- Sky malfunctioned before. But then, he speaks: <...Yes. I have some questions.>

She bolts off after Endo and Vita alike. Lera swings back Soaring Sky; he glints, and then a trio of angry, red-orange arcs of light appear in the air in front of her. They fire, swinging out towards Vita's back in a rush.

<Crescent Fangs!>

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Crescent Fangs on Vita.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

Despite the fact that this fight is play-acting. Fate is still extremely touched by the fact that Lera and Endo would say such things, would defend her But then- "Fairness has nothing to do with this. A heart like mine knows only unfairness, and injustice- and-" Her eyes screw up as if she hit a dead end, "-not- goodness. Tonight my true colors are revealed and my plan- my plan- is to pet every puppy in Tokyo!"

She spent a lot of time with Labyrinth. You can tell.

Sayaka leaps towards Garnet's arms however and- "Oh- Oh! Baseball!" Fate gets it." But then she remembers just how serious it is. "Do you think I can't stop your fastball- starting pitcher of Crystal Gems?" She flourishes Bardiche like he's a baseball bat, holding him at the ready in a backswing.

But Garnet pitches her into the air and Mami starts firing, Fate flashing into the air as a gleaming blur- but then Vita shoots past her. "She's- Endo!"

And she's about ready to descend upon her to help but- she sees a gleam of pink, a glittering of metal upon segmented sword. She's quite familiar with this attack- it once almost killed her.

And she knows they need unique targets as the curves of the blade whip around the ground towards Mami and Garnet.

<Blitz Rush>

A Golden Blur streaks, leaving flickering after-images, reappearing in front of the veteran Puella Magi. The segmented blade rips across the side of her barrier jacket, and the girl spins out, end over end, until she's down on all fours on the ground, carving a second furrow, gauntleted hand at her side. She casts a glance at Mami, "Ah. Good. She's okay." She exhales once raggedly before looking up at the Cloud Knight. <Sir. Call for Cartridge Load.>

They had so few though! Only a handful total, but against such an opponent she'd need it to even keep it up... "Bardiche. Cartridge Load!" <Load Cartridge>

The armor plating on Bardiche's haft slides down, revealing a revolver cylinder, which rolls to the next cartridge over, before the armor plating slams into place.

Instantly she's suffused with golden mana that boils off of her, and she soars back into the sky, across from her. "We've fought twice, but I've never sensed any ill intent from you Signum." There's a short pause, "But you won't talk to us- to tell us why you need to do this- and we can't let you have your way any longer. The Chevaliers will make our words reach you-"

Suddenly she sails forward- mindful of the ever shifting coils of the Knight, completing a full rotation in mid-air before following through with a diagonal slash upon Signum, "-with all our strength!"

Upon clashing with the Cloud Knight- even if it doesn't make contact, there's a thunderous clap of power that lights up the sky.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Thunderous Clash on Signum.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita narrowly braces Lera Camry's Crescent Fangs, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Vita's Block ability activates!  Vita's Parry ability activates!  Trap applied to Vita!  
COMBAT: Vita narrowly counters Endo Naoki's Shake shake shake!!, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Endo Naoki is Psyched!  Vita's Reverse ability activates!  Vita's Tactician ability activates!  
COMBAT: Vita's counterattack, Tödlichschlag, partially gets through, doing 7 Fatigue damage to Endo Naoki!  
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet had known better than to be so enthralled in the energy of the fighting show.

But... everyone's wonderful posturing, Sayaka's Fastball Special plan. Fate's charmingly "villainous" retorts, made it challenging. Still, she was ready for the attack regardless, she thought.

Unfortunately, dealing with a completely unknown foe, attacks can come from any direction, or in this case, seemingly every direction!

Garnet tries to dodge the unfamiliar whiplike sword before it tightens around her waist, but there's no time and she's caught as intended. The impact is severe enough to make her cry out in pain, and she struggles, but it only makes the pain worse, and for now, the blades don't budge! She stops and slumps to conserve her energy for now, and takes stock of the rest of the battlefield so far: Endo captured?! Fate routed, Lera in pursuit of Endo at least...

Maybe it will buy her enough time to deal with... this.

Garnet channels her magic through her body, sending a current of electricity back through the sword, hopefully to hit its unseen wielder, wherever he or she might be!

COMBAT: Garnet has used Geofeedback! on Signum.
COMBAT: Garnet has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami's vision is more than good enough to catch the streak of red light crashing towards them, but sh doesn't have to /force/ herself to keep setting the trap when Vita crashes towards Endo. Vita's /fast/. "Endo!"

He's in the air, and Mami immediately lifts another conjured rifle--this one not loaded with glorious blanks--and is interrupted in her next shot by Signum's sudden arrival. Her amber eyes widen as a bladed whip crashes towards her, far too fast and far too close for her to defend against in any amount of time that would be enough. But there's Fate, Fate who she once hurt, who's been a part of the Chevaliers now, defending her. For another half-instant Mami starts, and then manages a small smile. "Thank you," she breathes, heartfelt. A moment later she's back almost to business, "I'll go after Endo-san!"

She would love to be talking about happy plans and silly dramas... but instead she's looking at the imposing Vita and slamming rifle barrels into the waiting ground. One eye closes as she takes aim and--

It's almost musical in its rhythm, the sudden number of rifles going off all at once, syncopated with golden flashes as she aims around Endo and where Vita will be, at everything on her foe /except/ her hat.

She's not touching the hat if she can help it.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Flourish on Vita.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Garnet's huge glove envelopes Sayaka easily, and then she's off in the other direction, hooting with laughter. She's en route to Endo, ready to knock him into the cold pond, grinning like a demon, when suddenly...

"Hey!" Sayaka zips past where Endo just was, and only has a moment to grab a quick breath before she is the one who dunks into the pond instead. Coming up to the surface sputtering, she looks after the departing red figure. "Anko! This isn't your business!" she shouts. "That stupid girl is back..." Sloshing her way to the shallows, Sayaka looks to Signum first, then off to the departing "Kyouko," eyes widening when she realizes they have hooked their intended quarry after all.

"Wolkenritter!" she shouts a warning. Hurrying after the fleeing Vita, she hesitates as Signum engages and injures her friends. "Staying here, senpai!" she calls to Mami, then rounds on Signum, tossing her first sword of the day that's actually intended to land, a quick underhand that has her cape slash up like a spout of tidewater.

"Glad you showed up!" she calls as she advances, drawing a new sword. "The Wolkenritter, is that right? You really hurt Utena..." She swirls her wrist, sword whistling. "Care to tell us what you're after? You look like magical girls, just like us... maybe there's a way we can help."

COMBAT: Sayaka Miki has used Perfect Pitch on Signum.
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum narrowly dodges Garnet's Geofeedback!, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Signum's Fade ability activates!  Signum's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Signum narrowly counters Fate Testarossa's Thunderous Clash, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fate Testarossa is Psyched!  Signum's Reverse ability activates!  Signum's Tactician ability activates!  Stun applied to Signum!  
COMBAT: Signum's counterattack, Iaijutsu Is Magic, partially gets through, doing 6 Fatigue damage to Fate Testarossa!  Critical Counterhit!  Stagger applied to Fate Testarossa!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami's vision is more than good enough to catch the streak of red light crashing towards them, but sh doesn't have to /force/ herself to keep setting the trap when Vita crashes towards Endo. Vita's /fast/. "Endo!"

He's in the air, and Mami immediately lifts another conjured rifle--this one not loaded with glorious blanks--and is interrupted in her next shot by Signum's sudden arrival. Her amber eyes widen as a bladed whip crashes towards her, far too fast and far too close for her to defend against in any amount of time that would be enough. But there's Fate, Fate who she once hurt, who's been a part of the Chevaliers now, defending her. For another half-instant Mami starts, and then manages a small smile. "Thank you," she breathes, heartfelt. A moment later she's back almost to business, "I'll go after Endo-san!"

She would love to be talking about happy plans and silly dramas... but instead she's looking at the imposing Vita and slamming rifle barrels into the waiting ground. One eye closes as she takes aim and--

It's almost musical in its rhythm, the sudden number of rifles going off all at once, syncopated with golden flashes as she aims around Endo and where Vita will be, at everything on her foe /except/ her hat.

She's not touching the hat if she can help it.

"What is it you want?" Mami shouts, glancing at Lera and looking back up as she remembers the plan beyond protecting this boy. "You've hurt many magical girls by now, including Tenjou-san, but not given any reason or ambition! You must care about something!"

COMBAT: Signum fails to dodge Sayaka Miki's Perfect Pitch, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Sayaka Miki is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Vita narrowly braces Mami Tomoe's Tiro Flourish, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Vita's Block ability activates!  Vita's Parry ability activates!  Stagger applied to Vita!  
<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita does in fact appear fully intent on just LEAVING with Endo, presumably to pick him apart for his precious magical nutrients back at her nest. But she's prevented from doing so; Endo shakes and twists in an attempt to break free, and then Lera secures his escape by slamming Vita in the back with her arcs. Endo soon finds himself free! Free-falling.

That's brief, though, as Vita sees him, hates him, and assaults him in the same few seconds; exploding out of the cloud of smoke created by Lera's impact to SLAM her hammer into him, a blast wave of magic bulleting him down to the pavement below.

"Do I interrupt your job!?" Vita snaps at Lera, swinging her hammer angrily, for punctuation. "Weren't you doing some idiot turf war or something!? Go--"

The bullets slam home. One strikes her barriet jacket; the next two, a swiftly-rising wave of light. Vita's eyes widen. They were DEFINITELY just fighting. She's not that blind. Which means...

"Trap," she spits, eyes shrinking. Shit. Shit! Signum! It's a trap!

She produces a wave of swallow flyers with a few pings between her fingers, and the hammer sends them careening chaotically; barraging down on Endo below and swerving to smash into Lera besides, and several of them curving and weaving to seek out Mami Tomoe. "You wanna talk to me, and you start off by shooting!? Gimme a break!" Vita snaps.

COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbenflug on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbenflug on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbenflug on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.
COIN FLIP: Signum flips a coin. It lands on tails!
COMBAT: Lera Camry perfectly counters Vita's Schwalbenflug, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Counter!  Lera Camry's Reverse ability activates!  Lera Camry's Tactician ability activates!  
COMBAT: Lera Camry's counterattack, Guardian Burst, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Vita!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe narrowly counters Vita's Schwalbenflug, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Vita is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro Retort, partially gets through, doing 18 Fatigue damage to Vita!  Critical Counterhit!  
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly counters Vita's Schwalbenflug, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki's Reverse ability activates!  
COMBAT: Endo Naoki's counterattack, Asteroid Eilen, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Vita!  
<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

As Fate smashes inwards in defense of Mami Tomoe, Signum's brow has time to furrow slightly.

"... Horsemen? No, I understand," Signum answers Fate, finally. "A novel idiom." She straightens as her feet come to rest on the cold soil of Japan in winter, eyes narrowed slightly. "But I know the concept. And I have heard what you have said... Fate."

Of course then an arc of electric power surges through Laevatein, the Armed Device conducting the blast in towards Signum, who lets out a hiss of pained surprise as the Device snaps out of its tangling form, surging its way back into a glittering swordlike form. Sheathing it, Signum looks up -- and the blade snaps outwards like a streak of flame, held with a reversed grip as Fate closes the distance. Blade clashes with blade - thunder impacts screaming metal, like steel fresh from a stellar forge - the thunder sending Signum's hair back in a red fan for a moment, even as she ends up staggered back, baring her teeth.

Laevatein is sheathed again. Making her breath flow, Signum answers Fate, "Then... you have allied with others. Was this your plan...?"

And as if on cue, Sayaka bursts in with a song in her heart. Her blade makes contact on Signum's side, though the layered enchantments on her coat prevent Sayaka from drawing blood -- even as she receives the full brunt of Signum's attention.

"... Those are simple words for you to say. Do you mean them?" Signum asks. And she is kind enough to give Sayaka the opportunity to compose a reply. This is accomplished by the fact that she blurs forwards with streaking energy towards Fate. She moves with ruthless intent, Laevatein snapping out at the last moment in an eruption of ultraheated red mana that scorches the sere grass of the winter park and flash-evaporates snow in a fan behind her, even as four sharp strokes are painted like calligraphy against her.

Lest Sayaka feel neglected, Signum side-steps, pivoting and twisting her blade around. "Kouga!" Signum shouts as another magenta streak of energy lashes out - this time a sheer compressed spell, magic alone guided by pure intent. It lacks malice, perhaps, but that doesn't mean it might not ruin Sayaka's day.

And then Signum leaps into the air, as if to somersault. "Bogenform," she states as she tumbles, getting an electronic reply from the Armed Device. By the time she reaches the apex of her loop, she can aim herself from a perfectly inverted position towards Garnet, declaiming as her descent halts abruptly, "Youganyajirushi." A streak of green forms - drawn back - loosed! Garnet would do well to dodge it, but in a sense it almost does not matter, for at about three meter's distance it erupts into a hail of shimmeringly jagged shards of light.

'They have organized, Vita,' Signum thinks to her comrade, which of course may have notes of stating the obvious.

COMBAT: Signum has used Shiden Issen! on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Signum has used Kouga! on Sayaka Miki.
COMBAT: Signum has used Youganyajirushi on Garnet.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa narrowly dodges Signum's Shiden Issen!, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Signum is Psyched!  Fate Testarossa's Fade ability activates!  Fate Testarossa's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Garnet narrowly counters Signum's Youganyajirushi, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Garnet's Tactician ability activates!  Blind and Cripple applied to Garnet!  
COMBAT: Garnet's counterattack, War Never Changes, partially gets through, doing 33 Fatigue damage to Signum!  Critical Counterhit!  
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki narrowly braces Signum's Kouga!, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Sayaka Miki's Block ability activates!  Sayaka Miki's Parry ability activates!  
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

The thanks from Mami warms her soul, in more ways than one. In contrast- the impact against Signum's blade drawing is jarring. The cloud that erupts after the blow sends her spinning backwards until she rights herself. Even so the results are amazing- before, Signum had demolished her, almost without a fight. And the Knight's Device-blade is already sheathed. "It was. You won't talk to us- won't tell us why you're doing this. I know from experience yourself in a strong resolve like your own- it's difficult for words to reach you. Our only choice is to meet you with all of our strength." She replies mildly, but with obvious determination.

But when the Cloud Knight tries to speak to Sayaka, Fate calls out to defend her, "Of course she means them! Sayaka formed the Chevalier to help Magical Girls so that they wouldn't have to do things like this." But just as she's replying, Signum is already blurring towards her, blade of red mana leading. The smaller girl's eyes widen, as she swoops down, and rolls around other in an arc, as the red mana sears away at her cape- scorching one part of it white.

"That was close- Sayaka! Garnet, don't let up! I'll try to give you an opening!"

Jutting out her open hand- a trio of runic rings form around spheres of electricity, gold and crackling with violet form over each of her shoulders. <Plasma Lancer> Sweeping Bardiche in front of her she shouts, "Fire!" Each sphere becomes an arrowhead as they dart straight at their target.

The Cloud Knight's guard is nigh impenetrable, so it's doubtful that they make contact on the first pass- either swept away or evaded, they look ready to disperse until the girl sweeps her arm to the side and cries out "Turn!" Rings form about them anew as if they'd returned to their original position, becoming spheres anew then they reverse direction becoming arrowheads of energy- lancing straight back at her.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Plasma Lancer on Signum.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

For a brief moment, a grin spreads across Lera's face. "Surprise!" she calls out to Vita. "Why are you doing this!? What--you have to have some reason for this, for hurting people!"

<Guardian Burst!> Soaring Sky calls out.

There are some differences from the last time Lera and Vita fought. For one, Lera wielded a hammer of her own, then -- a clockwork thing. The other is that her spells had the spinning, rune-filled circles of Midchildan magic. Today, a red-orange triangle traces in the air, and then red-orange lights fly out, slamming up at the swallow flyers. They explode in bright bursts of light and hold them at bay.

Then, she launches forward, right for Vita's side, and swings Soaring Sky back. The two-toned silver and gold blade flashes, plasma shimmering up the side of the weapon. <Inferno Slasher!>

Another Belkan triangle erupts behind Lera -- and then she twists in midair. The sword chops for the Cloud Knight's side, and a fang of fire explodes off it, ahead of the slash.

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Inferno Slasher on Vita.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo is free! So begins phase two of his plan: the phase he did not consider very carefully. Endo's arms windmill in the air, attempting flight through sheer will when he drops from Vita's grasp. It doesn't work. Partly because the cloud night helps send him back to earth with her hammer, a blow that he makes futile attempt to ward off before going spiraling back toward the ground.

He comes to earth like a meteorite, barrier and barrier jacket helping take some of the impact as he plants into the ground. The volley that follows hammers into him again, making the boy cringle with the impact.

But it's not enough to keep him down. His hand falters for just a moment before he's reaching out to grasp the massive crossbow that's fallen next to him. When his fingers circle around it the device pulses in sympathy, shifting its form to the more familiar greatsword.

"Aaaow-I don't think she wants to talk." Endo groans as he hauls himself to his feet. He concentrates, finding his balance, beginning to form a spell. <ZERSTORUNG DRANG.> Steam hisses from vents spread across the device, gears click, and lurid purple-black light begins to pulse across the blade. Belkan triangles trace the surface, burning angrily as the mass of dark metal is lit up with energy.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Zerstorung Drang on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki accepts Endo Naoki's Zerstorung Drang, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Empower and Surge applied to Endo Naoki!  
<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Sayaka lifts her sword to parry the magenta energy, which splits around her sword and sizzles across her skin on both arms, severing one of the blue bands on her bicept to hang loose. "A-cha-cha," she hisses, dancing back and forth on her feet as the energy sizzles out on her skin.

"If there's a way you can go back to using your powers to protect innocent people, instead of attacking them, of course we'll help you find it!" Sayaka scolds. Her face brightens in a big grin, though. "All of us here are friends, after all. You like our trap~?"

Advancing on Signum, Sayaka keeps walking into her range, trying to provoke a fencing engagement from her. She swipes and lashes through as she moves, forcing Signum to either give ground or retaliate. "Garnet, Fate!" she calls. "She seems pretty tough! We might have to talk to her after we win!" Wryly, she sneaks a glance at Garnet. "You want to try that trick again, but for real this time?"

COMBAT: Sayaka Miki has used Caprice on Signum.
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami's answer to Vita's attack on her is itself just shooting; a number of rifles conjured all at once, firing over and over to blast through a number of the things coming at her. It works... in a manner of speaking, save that there's more than enough shrapnel to crash back through Mami's defenses, forcing her stumbling back with new wounds.

'Why are you doing this!?' 'I don't think she wants to talk.'

'You wanna talk to me, and...'

"Yes, because carrying off Endo-san was very friendly," Mami answers Vita's question, with all the raised eyebrows she can muster. Somehow, despite the fact that this is only two raised eyebrows, it manages to seem like an awful lot to watch and look at her.

"But our last meeting wasn't exactly peaceful." Mami lifts up a hand and twirls her finger down, as she starts to spin in place, "And you hurting our friends wasn't very polite, either." She hops at the end like from a figure skating move, one leg lifting with toes pointed up--before in time with her own spin, golden ribbons burst into being around Vita's trunk, arms, and legs all at once, coiling with long one connected to Mami's hands.


COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Legare on Vita.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita fails to dodge Mami Tomoe's Legare, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Tangle and Trap applied to Vita!  
COMBAT: Signum perfectly braces Sayaka Miki's Caprice, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Brace!  Signum's Block ability activates!  Signum's Parry ability activates!  
COMBAT: Vita narrowly braces Lera Camry's Inferno Slasher, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry is Psyched!  Vita's Block ability activates!  Vita's Parry ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita's face says she does not like Lera's surprise. "Thought I made myself pretty clear," she sneers. "I'm already done with you! Get lost and I don't have to pound you again!"

She gets counter-bombarded from several sides; having spiked Endo, he stays down for the moment, but that doesn't really protect her from volleying with Mami, or from Lera roaring--

A hollow tone, and Vita's eyes cut to the side, and snap wider. "Belkan--!"

Which is when she gets buried in bullets and blasts. She emerges from it, swooping away at top speed. Signum! We should leave! They were ready for us!

Vita's never really been much of one for the better part of valor. She's usually more of a...smash everyone who annoys her, kind of person. But the fear is deep in her. If these people catch them...she doesn't trust them. Not one bit. Not even with Sayaka's boasting.

"No!" Vita snarls at Mami, frustration mounting. "It wasn't! If I wanted to be your dang friend I'd go have a muffin, wouldn't I!" She swings her hammer. "You're one thing to me! And that's--!"

And then the ribbons cinch up around her, dragging her body apart, a Vitruvian Vita. She screams in frustration, ripping and pulling, but they are mighty ribbons indeed. For a second it looks like she's not going anywhere. "....a /pain/!" Vita finishes. She probably changed that mid-run.

"EISEN!!!" Vita shrieks.


A massive burst of magic, and a blazing beacon of red around Vita...and then she /bullets/ at Mami. Swallow Flyers rip away from her, struck in some heartbeat-quick move and sent careening after Lera and Endo. Mami, on the other hand, quickly discovers Vita's ploy:

If she flies /right at/ the source of the ribbons, she gets some slack.

And if she has slack, she can swing a rocket hammer.

COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Vita has used Raketenfangen on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Vita has used Explosion on Vita.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita accepts Vita's Explosion, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Empower and Surge applied to Vita!  
COMBAT: Lera Camry narrowly dodges Vita's Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lera Camry's Fade ability activates!  Lera 
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to dodge Vita's Raketenfangen, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Endo Naoki narrowly braces Vita's Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki's Block ability activates!  Endo Naoki's Parry 
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Though the blade itself has receded from her form, the pain and disorientation of Signum's surprise attack remains a weight on the Leader of the Crystal gems. Her electric rebuke succeeded in freeing her, but beyond that Garnet doesn't rush from her position with her usual battle fervor. She looks up and Signum has already revealed herself, and Garnet watches with disbelief and pained trepadation as the Cloud Knight deftly engages Fate and Sayaka, the light and fury of all their attacks reflecting themselves in Garnet's mirrored visor shades. When at last the swordswoman focuses her attention on the Crystal Gem, Garnet thinks to Fate's words to her just now. Even against such a glorious and intimidating display of power, Garnet can't let up!

The Gem raises both of her gauntlets towards the unfurling aurora of power, and they glow with light. They grow four times their normal size, but where the light would normally fade, it intensifies, and crackles, as Garnet channels her magic, infusing the gauntlets with electricity. They pulse with energy and she grits her teeth and charges, and then lets them fly! 
Both fists rocket off of her arms, leaving trails of "exhaust" and electricity behind them as they pierce through the green energy towards Signum! 
However, her bravado is not without consequence, despite her eye protection the Gem is blinded by its brilliance, and when she attempts to roll away from any fallout, she overestimates her ability to do so, and the shards that hit her as she does, upgrades her pain from "staggering" to "crippling" 

. She fires off a quick globe of energy at Signum to follow up the opening her gauntlets made, and rolls again. At the end of this roll, she ends up close enough to Sayaka to hear the girl's plan.

Garnet shoots Sayaka a somewhat wobbly thumbsup.

COMBAT: Signum perfectly counters Fate Testarossa's Plasma Lancer, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Counter!  Signum's Reverse ability activates!  Signum's Tactician ability activates!  
COMBAT: Signum's counterattack, Panzergeist, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Fate Testarossa!  
COMBAT: Garnet has used Adamantine Spark on Signum.
COMBAT: Garnet has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum narrowly dodges Garnet's Adamantine Spark, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Signum's Fade ability activates!  Signum's Flash ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I'm not simply running away, y'know! It's about more than draining me! It's--" The massive explosion blows her hair backward. Lera yelps, before she dives backward, and manages to bob around the first swallow flyer. Then, she twists, and narrowly escapes the second, but it still flows her backward, and she gasps again. Her eyes dart to the side.

To one of the people she works with most closely: Endo.

They've cooperated for over a year now. Longer than she has fought with Fate, even. They know a few things -- and sometimes, all it takes is a glance. She nods at him, before she points Sky directly at Vita, while judging her distance and position. "Raid...!"

Light crackles up and down the length of Sky. The blade shudders, before six crescent arcs of plasma explode off it, and fly out. They criss-cross and slash, before they come together -- but make only one leg of the formation attack with Endo:

<Cross!> Sky finishes.

COMBAT: Lera Camry has started a combo targeting Vita!

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo, now bathed in the ugly purple light coming off his blade, winces again when another barrage of missiles crash against his barrier jacket. These he's at least ready to weather, standing tall afterward and dragging his weapon forward.

He catches Lera's look, and there's a nod given in return. That's all it takes, sometimes, to know what to do.

<Let's go!> Triangles spin into existence around his Device, burning into the air as he hefts it high. Then, he cuts. As the blade slashes through the air it throws off a sheet of purple energy, an arc-shaped blast that flashes toward Vita at lightning speed. <Raid!>

<CROSS.> Adds Fallen Stern.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has joined the combo started by Lera Camry!
COMBAT: COMBO! Lera Camry and Endo Naoki have used Raid Cross on Vita.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

"I am not a Magical Girl," Signum replies to Fate, mid-somersault.

As she reaches the apex of her arc and comes on downwards, Garnet's counterstrike slams into the side of the Cloud Knight. The arcing shock of force around her body makes her tighten, grit her teeth, and keeps her from replying immediately. Her head snaps towards the Crystal Gem, who is perhaps the greatest novelty on this field to her.

Sayaka's incoming sword barrage is met as Signum descends. Having the high ground and perhaps longer arms, she is at something of an innate advantage even before skill gets in the equation - and even so, Laevatein doesn't crush past the defenses of that slim and darting sword, Signum reaching the ground and twisting several times before opting to yield that ground, leaping with great force backwards --

Just as Fate reveals that she was not just flooding the area with Touhou cosplay light accessories. "!" As the Plasma Lances, Signum twists her grip on Laevatein and is suddenly surrounded by platonic solid light, faceted and impervious to her assault. Mostly impervious, anyway: the pristine crimson light barrier is significantly strained and far more translucent before Signum drops it.

Signum exhales with force. Her thoughts return to Vita. 'We must hurt them before we retreat, or kill them in their pursuit.' In other words: She's not leaving just yet.

"Fate, I know... but you other two... We have not met," Signum says, both hands still gripping her Device's hilt in its blade-down position. Yet her posture lacks any vulnerabilities or openings, held taut as a crossbow string. "My name is Signum, of the Wolkenritter. It is a shame that we have met like this... Elsewhere, perhaps we would be allies."

"But-- We do fight for the innocent," Signum concludes, before she stabs the ground with Laevatein.

Well. That's anticlimax for you. Laevatein glows an evil shade of red but nothing else happens. Signum closes her eyes.


DECISIVE ANTI-SWARM SPELL - "Ashram Askew," Signum intones.

The ground rises up in hemispherical mounds, rapidly swelling to the size of basketballs. Several dozen of them, clustering in threaded lines towards where Fate floats, where Sayaka stands, where Garnet... .... also stands, before erupting out in intense ring-like bursts of intense mana -- razor sharp, superheated!

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum has used Ashram Askew on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Signum has used Ashram Askew on Garnet.
COMBAT: Signum has used Ashram Askew on Sayaka Miki.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to counter Signum's Ashram Askew, taking 37 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Rush, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Signum!  
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki fails to counter Signum's Ashram Askew, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki's counterattack, Disjunct Chord, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Signum!  
COMBAT: Garnet perfectly braces Signum's Ashram Askew, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Brace!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Well, of course Vita doesn't want to be /Mami's/ friend. Sayaka is the one who's any good at recruiting in the older girl's mind. ...Truth be told there's a twinge in the back of Mami's heart of hurt feelings that she immediately steps around as she handles her ribbons.

"I generally prefer cake," Mami calls back to Vita, as if entirely unruffled. It's not even an obvious lie.

But there's magic quick, and Vita coming towards her; Mami spools in the ribbon quickly, forcing Vita close, except Vita gets a little too close a little too fast.

Vita's ploy works, and Mami's attempt at condescension is met with a more successful attempt at hammer to the chest. The veteran Puella Magi is swept from her feet and hammered straight down into the ground, the concrete cracking beneath her, even if the ribbon is still attached to her wrist. It leaves her not even coughing at first in the ground, just dazed and faintly smoking. "You..."

She's fighting.

Mami throws up her hands and fans out her fingers, yanking back on what she has on her ribbon. The ten guns that appear as Vita comes into firing range erupt into gunshots immediately thereafter, a semicircle tilted just so to hit her properly.

Mami will need the blast's confusion to try to peel herself out of the ground.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Circle on Vita.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"I really can't get used to that," she says queasily as she watches Garnet's disembodied hands lock back on. Watching Signum struggle to deal with someone punching her from many meters away, though, gets a nod of appreciation from her. "/That/ I can get used to, though."

Sayaka blinks down at the sword Signum has sheathed in the ground. She knows at once that she needs to react quickly, and as the ground begins to boil up with buried spheres of energy, she scoops her sword up high to the sky in both hands, as though preparing to swing a baseball bat vertically towards the ground. "Did you drop this?" she shouts boldly. Sure would be nice if Madoka were here to see this.

"Then why don't I give it BACK?!"

Swinging down hard, Sayaka swipes her sword through the globe of energy, nailing it right at the center, seeking to launch it back at its creator. Instead, it explodes instantly when struck, the sword rupturing its surface tension and causing it to go off like a landmine at Sayaka's feet. Swallowed by the destructive energy for a moment, she tumbles out end-over-end, rolling along the snowy ground with the bottom of her cloak singed and in tatters.

Come to think of it, vertical baseball swings are just golf swings. Sayaka has never even tried golf.

Maybe it's best that Madoka isn't here, after all.

Lumbering up to her feet with the aid of all four limbs and thumping her own chest with a fist to assist a smokey cough, Sayaka nods blearily to Garnet, returning the thumbs up.

"Okay, same way as before, but faster! Ready, aaaand..." The singed magical girl hesitates. "Wait, make sure your hand is, um, locked on or whatever! So it doesn't fly off with me and squish me--ah, you know, I'm sure you know more about that then I do. Never mind! Fate-chan, hold her off a sec!"

Backing up, Sayaka takes a running start and tucks her knees again, leaping up into Garnet's embiggened mitt just as before. "Courtesy of the muscley arms of Crystal Gem Garnet, a special attack unlike any you've ever seen!" she boasts at Signum. "It's called Fastball Sayaka, and it doesn't matter how ready you /think/ you are when it--"

It's as though someone yanked the lever on a catapult, and suddenly Sayaka's stomach is in her hips and her words are trailing behind her in a long yowl. Tossing her impeding cape to flutter wildly behind her, Sayaka brandishes her sword with a flash of silver. Knowing her healing makes battles of attrition go her way, and with little option but to fly in headfirst, Sayaka impacts hard and with full aggression, trying to grapple on, strike fast, swing low. "Fate-chan!" she calls out. "Garnet! Let's finish this and find out why they stole everyone's powers!"

COMBAT: Sayaka Miki has started a combo targeting Signum!
COMBAT: Vita fails to dodge Mami Tomoe's Tiro Circle, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami Tomoe is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Vita fails to counter Lera Camry and Endo Naoki's Combo: Raid Cross, taking 99 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lera Camry and Endo Naoki are Psyched!  
COMBAT: Vita's counterattack, Tödlichschlag, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Lera Camry!  

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

Not a magical girl? She doesn't get it. Was she underestimating Signum's age or something? But she doesn't comment, silent in her intense concentration of keeping her spell afloat.

Her small chest is heaving, one foggy breath after another in the chill winter night. "I know you think you can't talk about it- but that doesn't mean it's true. If elsewhere we'd be our allies- then give us a chance-"

Sayaka turns out to be correct though. Which Signum proves quite vividly.

But Signum intones a spell and the ground rises up in chunks, "Bardiche-" <Blitz Rush> The child becomes a blur, but only just as the burst of razor sharp mana makes contact.

Where she reappears, she's descending, being driven in the ground. She crashes through several maples in the park, each tree blown to stumps as the remainder of them crashes down to the Earth, her barrier jacket a tatter of cuts.

On the ground, the child opens her eyes once more, spotting Lera and Endo- and the Chevaliers still fighting. "Bardiche we can't- rest yet- Cartridge Load." What the Wolkenritter used to get ahead, she had to use to even keep up. She raises him in the air as he chimes- <Load Cartridge.> Again it happens as the plating shifts, the cylinder revolves, and the plating slams back into place.

A burst of mana flows throughout her, as she shoots forward off the ground to dart right at Signum. Sayaka has asked her to hold her off- "I'll do my best."

On the way- <Haken Form> The axe head shifts back into a wicked obsidian hook, a scythe blade of golden mana erupting from it. She arcs upward in order to flank from above, trying to put Signum between herself, Garnet and Sayaka- to keep her guessing on the angle.

"Right- together-" Stopping to float in the air, she spins Bardiche over his head and- <Haken Saber> "-we'll definitely win!"

The blade detaches, spinning outward like a boomerang shifting form side to side in a serpentine arc. It moves towards Signum, to try to drive against her guard and- "Saber Explode."

The detached scythe blade crackles, then detonates into a tremendous explosion, filling the space which the cloud knight occupied with smoke- and possibly giving the Crystal Gem and Puella Magi the opening they need.

She still wants to know how stealing magic is fighting for the innocent. But right now, actions must speak where words have failed.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Haken Saber on Signum.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum fails to brace Fate Testarossa's Haken Saber, taking 40 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita's too close to dodge Mami's reply. Vita forced it back to violence and she pays for it immediately, the weapons exploding in her face and sending her arcing harmlessly away; wrapped in ribbons, though the bullets may have tattered them.

She whips around as if to smash into Lera and Endo's combination move but THAT doesn't go very well either, leading to Vita screaming and arcing through the air, her Barrier Jacket absorbing that massive hit and sending her collapsing to the ground.

She should be insensate from that.

But she jams Graf Eisen into the ground; her whole body shaking.

Her jacket is slightly discolored. Blood. "What I want...what I'm after..." Her eyes swim but she forces herself to her feet. "You think I don't know what you do? You end people like me. Not this time. I finally have something worth protecting!"

"So fine!" she spits. "You wanna hear my story, how about I give you the short one."

She holds her hammer up high. "I'm Vita! The Wolkenritter's Knight of the Iron Hammer, Vita!"

The hammer goes CHUNK, loading one, two, three cartridges, the head growing beyond all proportion, rapidly outpacing all trace of logic.

"And this is the Iron Count, Graf Eisen! And together!"



Vita brings the hammer down. She doesn't particularly need to aim it, because by the time it hits the ground, it's the size of half the battlefield.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Vita has used Gigantschlag on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Vita has used Gigantschlag on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Vita has used Gigantschlag on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Lera Camry narrowly dodges Vita's Finisher, Gigantschlag, taking 53 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry's Fade ability activates!  Lera Camry's Flash ability activates!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to dodge Vita's Finisher, Gigantschlag, taking 196 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!  
<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet waits for Sayaka and watches Signum carefully as the woman introduces herself, she might've replied immediately, if not for Signum's anticlimax interrupt, and Garnet disappears, obscured from sight by the pillar of red superheated mana that erupts beneath her feet!

When it recedes, Garnet remains, standing, arms crossed in a defensive brace glowing red-orange, nearly white from the heat.

Her pose, though defensive, is no longer pained. Normally immune to nonmagical heat, even from the fiercest volcanos, Garnet had braced and reinforced herself enough with her magic to empower that resistance briefly, and endure the Wolfenkritter's fearsome ultrablast of heat.

"I am Garnet, leader of the Crystal Gems!"

She uncrosses her arms and clangs her gauntlets against each other, they ring against each other with a wave force that sends the residual heat out of her body in a burst of steam. "The people whose magic you're trying to steal... They have families, and loved ones at home that they use their powers to protect!"

Garnet points at Signum now, only slightly like some kind of promo-ing wrestler. Her pointing hand glows with transformative light and grows into a baseball mitt. She quickly catches the flying Miki (Mantle?) and tosses her to her other gauntlet, which glows and expands to accomodate the girl!

Garnet swings her Sayaka arm in a few concentric circles, and it begins to spark with electricity, that arcs into Sayaka's sword! Then with an overhand heave accented with a sonic boom as small as its cargo, Garnet sends the Puella flying, with a trail of lightning towards Signum!

"You'll not be taking anyone today."

COMBAT: Garnet has joined the combo started by Sayaka Miki!
COMBAT: COMBO! Sayaka Miki and Garnet have used Combo: Fastball Sayaka, composed of Furioso and Strike The Earth!, on Signum.
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Garnet has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki fails to brace Vita's Finisher, Gigantschlag, taking 215 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Endo Naoki is unable to keep fighting!  
COMBAT: Signum fails to counter Sayaka Miki and Garnet's Combo: Fastball Sayaka, taking 52 Fatigue damage!  Sayaka Miki drains 21 fatigue from Signum!
COMBAT: Signum's counterattack, Panzergeist, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sayaka Miki!  
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The hammer smashes down into the ground, larger than half the battlefield, and perilously hard to dodge. Lera lets out a panicked shout, then there is a blast of light from her feet. The Midchildan girl soars ahead of the descending hammer -- and just barely. It hits, and the shockwave slams into her. She goes flying, hits the ground, and rolls a couple of times, before she throws a hand out. A Belkan triangle appears.

Lera's feet kick into it, and she looks at Mami. Her face screws up, with worry, before she looks up at Vita, and her eyes widen for a moment. "Something worth protecting?" she asks. "What... what is it?"

She bites her lip, before she shoots up into the air, kicking off the magical triangle, and swings Sky out. "Because--"

Soaring Sky gleams -- and Lera flies in at Vita from the side, slashing hard, and becomes a blur. "--we're trying to protect people, too, y'know? I want to protect Fate--and Endo-san--and everyone else! We know what it's like--"

She slams into a second triangle, then kicks off it, too, and comes at Vita from a diagonal. She slashes again, leaving a fiery red streak in the air. "--and that's why we'll keep fighting you, to protect the people we love! IMPULSE DIVE!"

And she flies again, and again, and again, kicking off rapidly appearing magical triangles, one after the other, until there are just slashes of red-orange one after the other, all centered on Vita. Lera lands on a final spinning magical triangle, breathing hard.

<Reiztauchen!> Soaring Sky shouts, in Belkan.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Lera Camry has used Reiztauchen on Vita.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita fails to brace Lera Camry's Finisher, Reiztauchen, taking 95 Fatigue damage!  Vita is unable to keep fighting!  

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Endo makes an attempt to prevent the hammer from crashing down into him, raising his own weapon up in a defensive guard. The gigantic sword seems comically small in the face of Vita's enlarged hammer, and proves as ineffective as their size difference might indicate.

Purple light flares as the weapon takes the brunt of the blow, Endo's arms giving way almost immediately as he's slammed back into the earth. And he goes out.

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami watches Vita shake, listens to what she has to say, and even watches the blood on her jacket before she looks to the Cloud Knight before her, now standing again, if with some difficulty, her feet dug in to keep hold of the ribbon and her hand out towards her side in case she needs a rifle.

"What you know--" Vita keeps talking, and Mami stops when she keeps going. She looks with widened eyes at the answer Vita gives them--

And tenses, breath caught in her throat, at this short 'story'. The hammer goes up, the hammer goes CHUNK....


There's nothing they can't destroy. And, it seems, that may include Mami Tomoe, because the hammer hits her hard, her attempt to dodge marred by a twisted ankle in the attempt. When the hammer is gone, her ribbon is completely unravelled. Her body is splayed out, on her back, her arms hurled over her face--over her head. ...Over her hatpin.

There is not even the pretense that Mami Tomoe might be conscious after a crushing blow like that; where once there was one crater, now there's a larger one beneath her, ground cracked.

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

"I do not have the privilege to 'take a chance' upon this matter, Fate," Signum informs her. She speaks in tones of somber gravity; there is no snap in this reply.

And then Fate loads a cartridge. Signum's eyebrows raise. She steps back on one foot, raising up her blade as she says, "That remains to be seen--" In she comes, twisting as her blade comes round. Signum seems entirely willing to yield ground to Fate now; she is, after all, only here with one other precious person, and Vita is capable of self care, as the rising hammer behind her reveals. But then the blade that Fate threw erupts --


Garnet speaks to her with a tone of introduction. This gives Signum intelligence on where Garnet is. Her body shifts, raising up Laevatein but not drawing him from his sheath as she stays prepared, ready. Something's coming towards her. She can't suss out what Sayaka was saying - but they were planning something...

Where are they? Signum speaks the opening word to her barrier spell when she hears a sonic boom and the hell of such things, of course, is that even as that modest sonic boom dissipates much of the smoke around her, Signum finds that her reflexes have saved her from impalement... but not from the cruel fate of having Sayaka's head ram straight into her gut. Her abdomen sinks in four centimeters as she's pushed backwards, the air shoved out of her lungs.

Electricity arcs through her, the ferocious propelled form of Sayaka making her heave and grind her teeth, looking down and getting slashed across the torso for her trouble, finally resorting to a burst of magic purely to throw herself away from the blue girl, a line of bloody specks on her neck and slashes visible in her armored coat.

"Hh," Signum says, struggling not to bend forwards. Laevatein glows and then does nothing further as she lowers the weapon in front of her, still in its sheath, as if to use as a blocking stick.

"... You've found allies, Fate... and strength in them. Chevaliers... Crystal Gems. I will remember these names." Her gaze rests momentarily on Sayaka.

And then she performs an iaijutsu strike from above, at thin air. Sayaka might expect her to close ground or to shoot another of those razored bursts, but nothing of the sort happens. Laevatein seems to come apart into shards as she flings the blade forwards, glowing uncontrollably... oh, perhaps this is familiar. But this snaking blade does not go straight for Sayaka, instead looping round. Forming an arc, curving once more and rising up like a spiral.

As she does this, Signum's head turns -- and Garnet, shades or no, will certainly have the feeling that she is being gazed upon. Seen. Acknowledged, even if Signum has no words for it.

The Schlangeform Device erupts upwards in a sudden shriek of flaming violet, only narrowly avoiding igniting several of the winter-slumbrous trees. And then all those overlapping coils collapse inwards-- as if to force the Chevaliers together.

For ease of perforation, perhaps.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Signum has used Hiryu Issen on Sayaka Miki.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Signum has used Hiryu Issen on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Signum has used Hiryu Issen on Garnet.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sayaka Miki narrowly braces Signum's Finisher, Hiryu Issen, taking 32 Fatigue damage!  Sayaka Miki's Block ability activates!  Sayaka Miki's Parry ability activates!  
COMBAT: Garnet fails to brace Signum's Finisher, Hiryu Issen, taking 104 Fatigue damage!  Garnet is unable to keep fighting!  
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa narrowly braces Signum's Finisher, Hiryu Issen, taking 36 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa is unable to keep fighting!  Fate Testarossa's Block ability activates!  Fate Testarossa's Parry ability activates!  

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita gives them a few morsels - so little, before trying to crush them.

This isn't something they can negotiate. If they knew the truth, none of them would be trying this. She's sure of that. There's one way forward for them...

She has all the friends she needs. Hayate is waiting for them. She looks down, the rage draining from her at the sight of Mami and Endo flattened. She feels hollowed out.

But then Eisen chimes at her, and her eyes cut aside in a glare. She's exhausted. She hurts everywhere. She fell for their stupid trap and they /followed them to another world/ and Hayate's not /getting any better/, and--

"YOU DON'T KNOW A DAMN THING!" she suddenly screams, magic ripping out of her in waves as Eisen loads a cartridge with no command. But even that is weak now; she's exhausted in every possible way. She charges Lera, bulleting at her with what little magic she still has...and right into the trap. When it comes to a clash like that, they've weakened Vita enough that Lera wins the first, and therefore catches her with a seemingly endless barrage of slashes.

The final sends Vita careening away; crashing into the grass and skipping like a stone before she slams into a bench, shatters its bolts and tips unceremoniously into the snow behind it, rolling like an inert log.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

The blade reforms after a moment with a 'kathunk' from the gem near the head of Bardiche- creating the hooked scythe again but- for a moment she doesn't breathe, her eyes upon the cloud of smoke. Because- Sayaka flies at Signum, buoyed by the strength of the Crystal Gem. Blade nearly sinking into Signum's belly- an outcome she didn't really desire, but- definitely wouldn't blame either of them for.

In a battle against someone like Signum, if you held back, you might not make it.

But the other girl in Red gives her name- her hammer becoming gigantic enough to consume the other half of the battlefield- "No!" And in it's wake, Mami has fallen, Endo has fallen and Lera- despite the grave situation she feels a swell of pride as Lera is still up, still fighting- still delivering that blow.

But her head snaps back to Signum- "Signum- we'll-" But then Signum's impeccable sword drawing technique erupts into the segmented sword as before and- she swings Bardiche to intercept the violet flames. It crashes against the Scythe head- and herds her down, as she strikes at it again and again in a desperate effort to ward it off. It pins them in together- the lengths coming in to perforate her barrier jacket.

It was so similar to before.

<Defenser Plus>

The pulsing shield of yellow forms where it does, sparks flying against the circles- violet flames roaring over her as it presses her further and further, down to the ground of the park. It's cracking like glass- it's not going to be enough- "Cartridge... Load." <Cartridge Load.>

Bardiche slides his head down, the cylinder slides across. Yet another precious cartridge- of which Amy could only create so few, slides up into it. Biting down on her lip, she focuses the surge of mana into it. The cracks form more slowly- still looking like a windshield that just took some great serpent to it.

And at the end, she falls down on all fours, panting in the cold- too exhausted to keep going and Garnet is in similar straits but Lera had actually brought Vita crashing into a park bench and the blue Puella Magi. She could heal a lot couldn't she? But maybe she needed something else too. "Go Sayaka-"

She swallows, sounding even smaller as she shivers in the cold. "-make your words reach her."

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Shinjuku was her territory. It's an expansive territory though, so it's easy enough for things- people to slip through the cracks. As long as people aren't touching familiars or witches- one might not even know they're there.

Not so tonight. The thunderous explosions in the park while monitoring a familiar drew her there- to stand atop the Park Hotel, the wind causing her hair to gently sway. She'd heard rumors down the Tuner Grapevine- people getting drained of their magic, but left alive.

That sounds dangerous for Sayaka and Mami, but why should she care if they're so reckless as to pick this kind of fight in the midst of waging war?

And yet- her eyes fall upon the distant shapes Knights, Red and Pink- Hammer and Sword Wielding- she considers this turn of events of the Chevaliers picking a fight with them- giving even this impressive pair a hard time- despite the high cost to themselves. She leans against the side of the building, clicking her tongue as she measured this information- and the conclusion of this battle.

"Now, what exactly should senpai and I do with this?"

BGM Start: [1]

Down at the Restaurant Tribek across the street- a swirl of white and black on pink floats off the roof with a pitter patter away into the shadows of the steaming alley. It's carrying it's current patient- a wheel of Caciocavallo Podolico, purloined from the pantry.

The girl flicks her gaze in that direction briefly as that subtle pulsation of its presence grows more distant. It's what brought her here in the first place- before the battle drew her away, but she let's it depart unhindered. All that mattered was that it was left unperturbed until it was ripe and ready for harvest...

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

The purple light is indeed reflected in her shades as Garnet attempts to defend herself against the purple flames. They're coming from all sides, can't dodge them, have to just hold out a moment longer and.... her guard breaks! The flames come in, and overwhelm the Gem in their fury.

They press the Gem down, and down she goes, curling into a squatting crouch. The flames rage and drill her into the ground. When they finally dissapate, the crater smokes. She's tall enough that anyone looking can see the barest edge of her hair peeking up just over the edge to show that the gem is still *there*...

But in this immediate aftermath, there's no sound, and no motion. Just smoke.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Head down, ribbons bouncing, Madoka watches her feet as she plants them one in front of the next in a stilted speedwalk. Her breathing is fast and light, the exact opposite of how she's feeling. Bodies are often contradictory that way.

No one is picking up their cell phone, and she's heartsick. Anxieties weigh on her more heavily than stones. A thousand thousand spears pierce Sayaka's white cloak, and she isn't there. Bullets speed towards Mami, and she isn't there.

For that matter, heavy gauntlets bludgeon Eri, swords dice up Kyouko, and musket shot perforates Homura, and she's not there for that, either.

She doesn't want to be there for any of it. She wants to be there for all of it. She wants there to be none of it. Being there won't prevent any of it...

Overcome with worry, she stumbles to a stop and scrubs these visions from her eyes with tiny, shaking fists. The dull red EMERGENCY lights from the nearby hospital fall across her at an angle, making her shadow taller than she is by far, and it penetrates her fingers, too. She knows what it is -- a bad omen.

Gulping back tears, she returns her hands to her jacket pockets... and freezes at the sight of the strange figure approaching her. Who is that?


Not who, but what...

[OOC] Mami Tomoe says, "chills" [OOC] Eri Shimanouchi kisses hand, blows it at the Chevaliers- turns to leave, then sneezes, rubs nose- then freezes, "Uh- oh." [OOC] Eri Shimanouchi says, "Madoka. :(" [OOC] <GM> Vita says, "Y O U D I E D" [OOC] <GM> Signum says, "uh oh" [OOC] Garnet gasp! Madoka! My tiny-pink-themed-child senses, they've failed me .:'( [OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "It's because you're in the proximity of Fate's tiny hands. I'm so sorry Garnet. :(" [OOC] Lera Camry D: [OOC] Garnet says, "aha!" [OOC] Garnet says, "They are my only weakness." [OOC] Mami Tomoe says, "But those were great, both of you" [OOC] Mami Tomoe says, "and I liked yours too Garnet <3" [OOC] Garnet <3 [OOC] Lera Camry says, "Madoka D:"

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Sayaka's arm comes down again and again upon Signum, her ferocity temporarily making up for the difference in their skills. When they separate, she's panting, sweaty despite the snow.

The great thump of an impact further away is so powerful that Sayaka's feet lift from the ground, and she catches her balance with her fingers against the grass as she lands again. "Senpai," she breathes her worry, and immediately feels guilty. Isn't it Lera and Endo she should worry most for? Those who do not owe Sayaka and Mami anything, yet have come together to fight anyway?

Still, it is the crater in which Mami lies that Sayaka's tremulous blue eye falls first.

A swirling tornado of blade-shards lifts around Sayaka as Signum unleashes her own final wrath, less brutal but no less destructive than that of Vita's Graf Eisen. Sayaka is forced to leave her allies to Signum's rampage as she withdraws a second sword, crossing them and pressing them together into the ripping whirlpool of steel around her, cuts opening everywhere, over and over. The pain rises until Sayaka screams of it, but she knows this sort of injury is the kind she is best at. One day perhaps Sayaka will fall, but probably not of a thousand cuts.

When at last she shoves her way free of the attack, Sayaka's cloak is nothing but a ripped up little bib on her back, and red cuts mark every limb. Tossing aside both her swords in exhaustion, letting their chipped edges thump down in the snow, she draws a fresh, clean blade, and rotates it a few times as she falls into a deep stance.

"Garnet," she gasps softly, catching sight of the fallen Gem.

"Fate-chan," she responds, a little heartbroken over such injuries on such a small girl. She makes a brave smile for Fate's sake. "No problem. Everybody says I'm too noisy, after all."

Sayaka's exhalation is long, smooth, and as it continues the sound of it grows resonant, until a few bubbles slip from her lips. When she opens her eyes it's with the strange, open-eyelashed look of a girl underwater, and her hair ripples freely about her ears and scalp. The glow of a wide aquamarine spell circle dissolves into strains of music all about her.

"Signum, right?" she says distantly. There's a small smile on her face. "I've never actually won a sword fight. But Fate-chan asked me to win this time. So please don't take me lightly."

<Pose Tracker> Sayaka Miki [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Terror Adhaerens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce7StFIoaOs


A nurse stands opposite Madoka. She is much taller than Madoka (but who isn't?), with a high prim white collar and a pink uniform. She has a tremulous, crayon-drawn abstraction to her outline, and an unnatural wobble to her gait. Her featureless white limbs sit strangely; one hand holds a syringe, thumb on the plunger. Even as she and Madoka stare at one another, the needle is dripping, and each drip is a wildly different color than the one prior, dropping into a pastel rainbow puddle that is beginning to grow beside the nurse's low heels. Along the darkened sidewalk, for nearly a block, the faint luminescence of a drip trail is visible, each of different size and placement along the nurse's previous path.

She has no face. Growing from her neck is a flat disk, rounded like the bottom of a spoon, white and blue rings concentric. Atop this lean, leaning disk of inhumanity rests a neat little paper nurse hat, the cross a faded blue.

Taking a step towards Madoka, the nurse pauses with a knee bent, her face somehow staring. The strangeness of staring at a wild animal from across a gape of civilization as well as distance is nothing compared to this alien confrontation. The nurse seems shy from it as well. But she takes another step, and then another. When she's directly in front of Madoka, she lifts the syringe.

Slowly, warily, she turns her head to face the wall of the hospital. With a lurch as though she ripped her arm from her socket, the nurse jams the syringe into the wall itself.


Another sound seethes through Sayaka's song, souring the notes as it passes. It's like the noise a million mad, whispered giggles would make when sucked down through the gullet of an eyeless whale, straining through the baleen, tittering their way down into the leviathan. Shuddering with instinctive revulsion, Sayaka turns slowly, one of her hands leaving the grip of her weapon as she seeks across the city skyline for the source of the sound.

There is a building, far from the park but within sight, that burns with the red cross symbol of a hospital, warm in the dark. From its roof rises a swirl of multicolored pastel motes, each an irregularly shaped circle of color. They stir together like a cloud of bottle flies, simmering moistly through every every window and crevice of the building, as though from an impossibly rotten corpse. Their coloration, though, has more than a hint of sickly cheer, bright yet faded, like vintage candies.

As the remaining conscious magical girls in the park watch, the red cross atop the hospital begins to fill with a pale blue color. It's like watching poison fill a bloodstream.

Sayaka can feel her teeth chattering. Slowly, she drops one palm from double-handed grip on her sword, and looks back to Signum, shaking her head in disbelief. The words she chooses to reach the great warrior are different than those she planned, and it's horror that adds force to them, not violence. But perhaps Sayaka has filled her promise to Fate after all, because she speaks them singleminded and desperate.

"Go," she urges. "Just... go."

(New BB message (4/364) posted to 'Scene Announcements' by Global Commands Object - General: Charlotte's Web 1)
(New BB message (4/365) posted to 'Scene Announcements' by Global Commands Object - General: Charlotte's Web 2)

[OOC] Mami Tomoe says, "Wow"
[OOC] Garnet wearily punch the ground of her crater until it becomes a warp pad somehow linked to that Labyrinth.
[OOC] Sayaka Miki says, "Garnet is already ready to save us..."
[OOC] Lera Camry :o
Eri Shimanouchi has arrived.
[OOC] Eri Shimanouchi says, "I just want you to know that while this is totally my fault- yeah I've got nothing."
Eri Shimanouchi has left.
[OOC] Sayaka Miki says, "There's fault to go around..."
[OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "I don't think any of us are going to try to stop you two from getting away with- uh- that... thing forming... at the hospital."
[OOC] Sayaka Miki says, "Note that Witches shouldn't be visible like that, it's the first time it's happened on BF"
[OOC] Madoka Kaname says, "Yeah, something is very wrong"
[OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "Yeahhhh"
[OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "So Sayaka- Mami- you're loaded up on grief seeds right?"
[OOC] Mami Tomoe says, "define... loaded up"
[OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "Like do I need to call the Nanoha cast to carpet bomb every Labyrinth in Nishitama?"
[OOC] Sayaka Miki says, "Oh yeah we've got 1,000. Just replace the comma with a decimal point..."
[OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "Well."
[OOC] Fate Testarossa says, "That's a thing."

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

Something quivers in Signum as she makes herself breath steadily. As Laevatein retreats and she sheathes the blade with a spark of light, her attention rests on Sayaka.

Who is now introduced to her, through Fate's intervention. Signum's gaze doesn't waver.

In her gut, though, a small part of her proposes: Why not stop all of this? Why not take them up on their offer? But they would never do what needs to be done, Signum thinks moments later. The slim chance that they might find some solution or hold some secret, compared to the certainty of Hayate's decline.

Now Signum's gaze does waver, slightly, downwards. Just a moment, but perhaps it's a critical one. The worst, Signum reflects to herself - is that Hayate would embrace it. She would no doubt welcome all of these girls. She would make a half-dozen new friends. She would spend time with them, do what she could, until her body gave out.

AND THEN SHE WOULD DIE, Signum's mind tells her, as her face tightens. She'd strangle in her own flesh!! Her breath hitches once as her head comes back up --

Signum can see the cross changing its color. It is alien to her. This happens to Signum rarely, and so the sensation of flesh creeping up her spine is alien in its own right. It is small, perhaps. Nonetheless it is there. When Sayaka's voice echoes that feeling, that same counterpointing chord in Signum's heart wants - despite the recent brutal assault visited upon her by that self-same Sayaka - to strike down whatever dark mystery lays in that distortion.

But that was long ago and far away that such things could be. Here, now, on the cold ground of Tokyo, Signum speaks: "... Good fortune to you, and your Chevaliers."

With that she turns and bursts into flying speed. With fultonic speed Vita's stunned body is snatched from its snowbank and she streaks into the canyon.

Her thoughts sing ahead of her, to an unassuming home.

'Zahira. We have gained nothing. It was a trap. An incident may be forming. Is Hayate sleeping still?'

If there is an answer it does not come where any save Signum can hear it.