2017-07-15 - Wabbit Season

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Title: Wabbit Season

Sailor Moon has evaded the Wolkenritter for the last time...

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's continues.


Usagi Tsukino, Makoto Kino, Mami Tomoe, Garnet, Fuu Hououji, Rinji Sakurai, Vita, Signum, and cameos by Haruka Tenoh and Setsuna Meioh


Tokyo, near Infinity Institute

OOC - IC Date:

Sat July 15, 2017 / Mon Feb 2, 2015

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

Many Magical Girls when faced with overwhelming force show some dignity and attempt to stand their ground.

Sailor Moon is not one of those girls. Instead when faced with an angry tiny Cloud Knight with a hammer- she ran. She's not faster than Vita certainly, what she is however is incredibly annoying when she's being evasive.

Every time a decisive blow is about to be struck- she hops out of the way like some hyperactive bunny, more often than not getting /exploded/ out of the way and diving in a heap- and getting up and running again.

Worse yet, she's whining as she hops down from a small building to ground level, and those sure aren't crocodile tears she's sobbing as she tears down that alley and almost trips over garbage. "I TOLD YOU I DON'T WANT TO GIVE YOU MY MAGIC! NO MEANS NO!"

And now she's talking into that watch again as she rounds the corner onto street level. "Luna! Luna! Hellllpppppp!" "Help is on the way Sailor Moon! Jupiter is coming!" "OH THANK-" An explosion cuts her off, "Just hold out for as long as you can!" "EASY FOR YOU TO-" Then it all gets drowned out by the screaming and another forceful detonation.

And then as she runs out of the cloud of smoke- every part of her singed down to the tips of her odangos singed and covered in soot. She's starting to sound hoarse, "Call Mami-chan! Call Mai-chan! Annnnyyyyonnnneeee-!"

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

The red light in the sky shoots around, accompanied by the occasional minor explosion down below - well, more like a magically-empowered steel ball hitting the ground like a cannon shell. It darts and zags and swoops and swings, veering around wildly in desperate attempts to FINALLY CATCH THAT WASCALLY WABBIT

"C'MON!" Vita yells back down, swinging her hammer wildly. "IT ONLY HURTS A LITTLE!" Her hammer bongs at her. "OKAY FINE THAT'S A TOTAL LIE BUT STOP RUNNING ANYWAY!"

She slams down into the ground, her hammer smashing up pavement behind her, but Sailor Moon has already leapt away. Vita, momentarily stationary, raises her hammer-holding arm in frustration, the head swinging wildly. "Who teaches you magical girls to run like that! THERE IS NOBODY IN THIS CITY WHO DOES THIS MUCH CARDIO!"

And then she's off again, steel balls rising up around her; she swings her hammer as she takes off, Swallow Fliers soaring away after their target.

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

'I am so glad that she survived,' Signum thinks to Vita, looking down as the steel ball run moves to encompass and box in Sailor Moon. 'And I begin to see how she accomplished it.'

Signum has not thus far revealed herself for Sailor Moon's perception unless she was paying VERY close attention to a magenta spot in the air overlooking where Vita has originated. This changes suddenly; with a sweep and a trailing sparkle of light, Signum accelerates, doing a wholly unneccessary but personally delightful barrel roll in the air - no, it has a purpose.

Signum comes down a few buildings'-lengths ahead of Sailor Moon, grasping the hilt of her Device in anticipation. She makes no noise. But if Sailor Moon doesn't look out she is going to run right square into an iaijutsu trap.

'Maybe she has mobility spells,' Signum thinks to Vita, thoughtfully (tone-wise, not Swiftily). 'That would be even better, really. Don't you think?'

COMBAT: Signum transforms into Cloud Knight!

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

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a fern? Is it a plane? No!! It's... SAILOR JUPITER!! And while she doesn't notice Signum flying ahead of *her* to set herself up in a trap for Sailor Moon, she *is* focused on the tiny red wrecking hammer that keeps trying to smush her Princess into mochi like a certain bunny on the Moon. The Soldier of Courage leaps off one roof, vaults off another, races down a third, until she homes in on where the screaming and carnage is coming from. It helps that Vita has the subtlety of a demolition derby.

"HIIIIIIYAAAAAHHH!!" she roars, leaping off one last rooftop to vault herself at Vita directly, heel-first, to slam into her with a mighty kick to take her down. The fact that she launches herself the instant after the Swallow Fliers leave is pure coincidence: Jupiter is here to protect Sailor Moon, and she intends to do that by KICKING VITA'S TINY BUTT.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Its not the sound of a bass drum or a band set, but it calls Rinji nevertheless. The quiet woman was returning home from visiting a friend when the commotion blitzed past the block she was walking on. The lightshow gets a bit of a wideeyed scan by Rinji as Vita blasts downwards at Sailor Moon. And then they are gone.

... Well thats something you don't see every day. Rinji contemplates, before her slender shoulders lift and fall. She takes off at a run, feet slapping the sidewalk as she starts to chase after the pair of magical girls in mid-combat. Mostly curiousity, Rinji is interested to see what exactly was going on.

Fortunately, one does not need to be a master tracker to follow the trail left behind. Or trying to, anyway. Vita's not a Wolkenritter for nothing.

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

"I GET A LOT OF IT ON THE JOB!" Sailor Moon shouts back as gleaming projectiles descend upon her. The results are predictable against the hailstorm as she inexpertly avoids the first few before the sequence of detonations carries her forward.

She's running /right into/ Signum's trap- totally heedless of the possibility that Vita has back up when-

That's a really familiar shout. Sailor Moon whirls around while trying to skid to a stop- "JUPITER! OH YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HAPPY I AM TO-"

And then her body impacts something really solid, it feels like a brick wall. The wince on her expression is palpable- and then her neck tilts up. And she's face to face with the leader of the Wolkenritter. Signum may get the pleasure of her seeing Sailor Moon's jaw drop up close, inarticulate noises coming out of her throat as she notes Signum's hand on her device hilt.

Think fast Usagi. Think fast.

"YOUHAVEREALLYPRETTYHAIR!" Sailor Moon finally shouts nerovusly to the stoic General of Raging Fire before attempting to double back- "PLEASEDONT-" A hitching sob as she blubbers, "-CUTMEINHALF!"

She may remember that lamppost that encountered Signum. Poor lamppost.

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

A series of explosions traversing downtown Tokyo can only mean one of a couple of things - and any of those things tend to be a matter which the Magic Knight of Wind is likely to take an interest in, whether to stop it or just to find out what's going on. Getting close enough to hear a relatively familiar voice calling out narrows the possibilities down in a hurry, and adds speed to the Wind Knight's approach.

Well ... that, plus the ability to conjure tailwinds to boost her own leaps from one perch to the next.

The green-clad Magic Knight comes to a halt overlooking Sailor Moon's near-collision with Signum, and her bow and quiver appear with brief flares of magical energy resolving back into matter. An arrow is withdrawn from the quiver, nocked to her bow, and drawn back - but where should it fly? There are two main threats ... and other allies are arriving, starting with Sailor Jupiter launching a flying kick at the petite, pigtailed hammer-wielder.

The Wind Knight's arrow remains drawn, but she refrains from loosing it just yet.

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

It takes time for someone, once called, to make her way over to a given location... But the trail of explosions is definitely noticeable to anyone who can look. That much is just basic truth. However...

The spectacle only grows seconds later, as bursting from a rooftop in a shower of brilliant, golden light is the older of the Chevaliers' leaders, whirling in place over Sailor Moon's location, panic or not.

White sleeves billow as she reaches to her chest and pulls a rifle, letting it drop into her hands and then suddenly burst into being six of them all at once with brilliant bright sparks.

They fire down, more and more, precisely between Sailor Moon and Signum and indeed in a great circle around Sailor Moon to prevent attacks long enough, before Mami alights onto the ground beside her.

"You do have lovely hair," Mami admits, her own golden and bouncing with her movements. A rifle is in her hands, pointed at Signum.

"So there are two," she says to Sailor Moon, warily. No... she says it to Luna. "That's fine. We're going to get you out of here." beat, "I apologize," she says with a dip of her head to Signum, full of bravado with her hatpin gleaming gold and black.

<Pose Tracker> Rinji Sakurai [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9khT_IUXUk&feature=youtu.be&t=1737

Rinji runs and runs and runs. It feels like way too long for her to be running, and by the time she is pulling up to the engagement of Magical Girls Rinji is a little out of breath. Sweat has mussed her well maintained hair, and she pauses with her back to a building as she pants and rubs a stitch on her side.

Cardio, Rinji! Cardio! Kasagami would thwap her if she could see her now. This thought brings a faint smile to the Muse' lips.

Once she has her breath suitably back, she reaches up with her jade necklace, and 'strums' the air. From behind the building where Rinji had been tucked away, the squealing sound of an electric guitar riff can be heard, then stage smoke billows away from a flash of green light as the Muse Terpsichore emerges. Her hands are plying her electric guitar, the magical amp blasting a track across the street for all to hear as she puts on background music.

And The Muse strolls forwards, playing with a grin on her black painted lips. There it a slight uptick of her chin towards the fiery haired Vita, with her goth-loli attire, though it likely goes unnoticed in the commotion.

There is appreciation in Rinjis eyes for the appearance of Mami in the rain of gunfire. That was quite the display of showmanship!

The Muse on the other hand, doesn't seem to have picked a side... yet.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Leader of the Crystal Gems, and Squaremom to one Steven Universe are both titles she treasures, but Garnet is also a proud member of the Chevaliers, a group of virtuous magical girls who might as well have "Do something about those Wascally Wolkenritter!" written in heavy red marker, and underlined twice, frowning faces drawn around it on notepad stuck to their clubhouse refrigerator.

So when its co-leader Mami Tomoe puts in a call to the Gem Temple for her assistance, she tries to make her way to the scene as quickly as she can.

Luckily, it's not incredibly hard to miss, the cartoonish levels of violence in the wake of the pursuit as Vita tries to pin down the swiftly scampering Sailor Moon, and Garnet realizes instantly why there was no time to group or brief the operation ahead of time.

They arrive seperately, Garnet thinks to land on the roof of a nearby building, taking the highest ground possible against what she knows will be flying foes, but from that vantage point. the Gem can easily make out the golden brilliance of Mami engaging Signum, attempting to hold her at gunpoint perhaps to negotiate a surrender, and Garnet nods her approval.

Vita of course is the more relentlessly dynamic of the two, and from her vantage point she attempts a similar "Subdue but not harm" approach, and fires off gauntlets along Vita's flight path, careful to distract and disrupt, but not damage the Great Red Scare or the intercepting Sailor Jupiter. Garnet suspects the two cloud knights may not afford them the same courtesy.

She hopes for the best, but begins mentally preparing for the worst.

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

'I kept telling you, there was no way she was dead. I only dropped a city block on her, they deal with that every weekend around here.'

And thus thinking, the other person Vita attempted to murder with a hammer and also a good tenth of a district that day, comes crashing down toward Vita like the lightning she harnesses so well. Vita's arcing away, but a good solid INAZUMA KIIIIIKU slams into her and sends her crashing back down. She bounces off the sound with a grunt that sounds somewhere on the spectrum of a squeak toy, flips mid-air with her magic air control, and comes down on her greaved feet, skidding to a halt on the pavement. Her eyes cut, half-away from Jupiter, as the sound of other magical girls crashing in to the rescue becomes clearer. Take stock. 'Got the muscly green one....not seeing any of the other Senshi,' she thinks to Signum. 'And...one, two, three...' She grimaces. at the clatter of bullets from Mami. '....four....'

'Well, we've done worse than 6 on two.' Maybe they should call for Shamal, though...beating ALL these people WHILE they're focused on escaping....they won't be able to just trash everyone, and they can't keep wastefully failing. They have to keep moving...

So she holds up her hands, blips of red light forming into the cold metallic balls of her Swallow Flyers. She glares at Jupiter. "Shame it's just you two. I wanted to fight your whole gang, you know? Then I wouldn't have to deal with you anymore!" Then she throws the orbs up and slams her hammer into them all as they rise, and they fire away from her hammer like guided rockets; magic energy boiling around them as they start to swerve and juke, chasing Sailor Jupiter to slam into her. Except...no? They scatter around her as they approach, whipping away and upwards, coming crashing down seconds later on Garnet and Sailor Moon, streaking spheres trying to snake through those guarding the Pretty Guardian of the Moon! As for Jupiter...

The scatter of Swallow Flyers sees her confronted by a much bigger red blur, as the Knight of the Iron Hammer charges straight at her with hammer already swinging.

COMBAT: Vita transforms into Cloud Knight!
COMBAT: Vita has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 3 opponents!
COMBAT: Rinji Sakurai transforms into Muse Terpsichore!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe transforms into Puella Mami!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Vita has used Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung on Garnet.
COMBAT: Vita has used Ambush Tactics on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly braces Vita's Ambush Tactics, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Vita is Psyched!  Sailor Jupiter's Block ability activates!  Sailor Jupiter's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Garnet narrowly braces Vita's Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Garnet!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly counters Vita's Schwalbefliegen Ausbreitung, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon's Reverse ability activates!  Sailor Moon's Tactician ability activates!  Stagger applied to Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon's counterattack, Playground Tactics, partially gets through, doing 19 Fatigue damage to Vita!

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

The mixture of honor and the fact that she may, perhaps, not actually want to chop up some Hasenlunar for lunch, stays Signum's hand when Sailor Moon twists around to address the incoming - Sailor Jupiter? Oh good, she thinks to herself. Both have survived.

The lack of a crushing blow from her blade means that Sailor Moon impacts Signum with such immense and great force that she leans back a fraction of a single degree. From Sailor Moon's perspective, it /is/ like a brick wall, especially since the redhead behind it is tall.

"... Thank you," Signum says as Sailor Moon praises her. "Just relax," she says, raising one hand and reaching forwards -- STRAIGHT towards Sailor Moon's core, both anatomically and, no doubt, spiritually. There is a brief presaging of some kind of horrible pain when --

Mami announces her presence. Signum looks dead at that rifle, right down the barrel, and tilts her head, before another round lands nearby and Signum opts to yield the field a pace or so, hand going back to Laevatein's hilt before Mami leaps down and faces her.

"I understand," Signum tells Mami, looking directly at her. "I also apologize."

There is an eruption of sorcery, a feeling like God just opened up His oven to take out the cake he was baking for the visiting Buddhas, and a searing slash up and along the diagonal to try and bisect Mami's rifle and perhaps, thence, Mami herself!

One step forwards and Signum says "Issen!" while swinging the blade down in a single stone-carving strike at the side of Sailor Moon. (Side-hits are fine.) The afterwake leaves a seared, cracked streak along the pavement, impact or no.

One more step as Signum raises up her weapon and turns her head to look at the Magic Knight on the roof. "Bogenform," she says where Mami and Sailor Moon can hear it as the sword ripples and changes its configuration. Shifting, warping, forming the shape of a long bow - Signum hooks a string and pulls it back, a blue arrow forming with a plump frog-catcher tip that Signum does not even seem to /aim/ so much as... point.

"Youganyajirushi!" Signum declares. The arrow flies; but maddeningly, three meters short of the target it erupts into a flechette storm of searing magical darts. The target: Magic Knight Fuu Hououji!

COMBAT: Signum has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 3 opponents!
COMBAT: Signum has used Shiden Issen! on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Signum has used Shiden Issen! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Signum has used Youganyajirushi on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly dodges Signum's Shiden Issen!, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Signum is Psyched!  Sailor Moon's Fade ability activates!  Sailor Moon's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly braces Signum's Youganyajirushi, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji's Block ability activates!  Fuu Hououji's Parry ability activates!  Blind and Cripple applied to Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to dodge Signum's Shiden Issen!, taking 46 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!

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

For a critical fraction of a second, the Wind Knight can only stare at the attacks being unleashed by Vita and Signum. Particularly at the latter, whose sword just TURNED INTO a bow, how is --

She cuts that train of thought off as unhelpful; she can try to figure it out later but the 'swordswoman's' arrow is already flying up at the Wind Knight's perch. "Winds of Protec--" she begins ...

And doesn't quite get to finish due to the sudden storm of darts, hot enough to tear through the half-conjured barrier of wind. She manages not to loose her arrow by accident, but the flare from those darts has left her dazzled, and enough of them got past her defenses that she's not sure how well she'll be able to move. "Magical archery contest it is, then," the Wind Knight murmurs, gathering her power anew. She doesn't have anything *nearly* that lfashy or defense-countering, but what she does have is the magic of the wind itself - and as an archer, that's often enough to help quite a lot. If she could just see Signum well enough to be sure of where she's aiming ...

Yeah. She needs to do somethign about *that* first - and to hope that 'shoot the healer first' isn't in the hostile women's playbook. "Winds of Healing!" she calls out, the soothing, sparkling breeze swirling around her, particularly around the Wind Knight's eyes, before she extends the restorative magic to Garnet and Sailor Moon as well.

And once her healing spell has done its work, the Wind Knight vacates her perch in a hurry, angling for what she hopes will be a better vantage point for a sustained duel at range ...

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Garnet.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Fuu Hououji's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Sailor Moon's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Garnet accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Garnet's debuffs are cleared!

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

Jupiter rebounds off of Vita, foot-first, then back-flips in the air to land on her feet, arms raised in a karate stance as she glares right back at her with green eyes narrowed. "You'd better be THANKFUL the others aren't here! If we had our whole team here, you'd see just how strong we REALLY are!" she shouts back. "For now, I'm more than enough to deal with the likes of you! I won't let you lay a finger on--" 'YOURHAIRISBEAUTIFULPLEASEDONTCUTMEINHALF' "--Sailor Moon!" she gasps, half-turning to see her companion being menaced by Signum. Thankfully, it's not just the two of them--several others arrive on site, with Mami taking point on Signum and Fuu lending her and Sailor Moon her support, while Garnet fires off a gauntlet to ram Vita. Jupiter relaxes, but only slightly, flashing Garnet a grateful smile and thumbs up before she focuses back on Vita with a scowl.

The tiny Cloud Knight flies in towards her. Without flinching, Jupiter crosses her arms in front of her and solifidies her stance. Vita's hammers ram into her, but doesn't send her flying; she just endures the attack, her footing sliding back a fraction on an inch. The ferocity of her glare meets Vita's for a moment; then, with a roar of defiance, she shoves her weight forward to force Vita back and away. Then she spreads her arms and begins to twirl, magical flower petals whooshing into existence all around her. "FLOWER--" she calls, snapping to a halt with arms spread at her sides. "HURRICANE!!" The petal storm rushes forward towards Vita, seeking to envelope her in its beautiful fragrance, slice her petal by petal, and potentially slow her down by clinging onto her.

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Flower Hurricane on Vita.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.

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

If Sailor Moon was frightened before- now she's terrified at that feeling that Signum leaves from that brief touch which causes such horrible pain. She barely gets even a moment to express relief at Mami Tomoe's covering fire- "Mami-chan you came!" Moments before Signum tries to cleave her side.

Fumbling to the side as that cleaving strike glances across her flank in a wave of flame- there's a sob as her side is blackened and the pavement is pulverized into a scorched crater.

Spun around by the blow she finds herself knocked straight into the path of one of Vita's swallow fliers. Her eyes become dots as she flails out the Spiral Heart Moon Rod, punctuated by a shriek of terror- like a child caught by a surprise ambush on a playground. The spinning momentum catches the Swallow Flier straight in it's path as it sticks briefly to the Rod, the harsh impact jarring her arm. The Senshi Princess whirls around once before it's released like some lacrosse stick passing a ball back.

The result is predictable to everyone but Sailor Moon who totally did not plan to do that. It just sort of happened.

Scrambling back upright she fights back the terror, feeling a swell of courage as she sees Sailor Jupiter engaging Vita, and she shouts back at the tiny Wolkenritter- "There's no way! Maybe I'm not that strong- but there's no way you could beat all five of us working together as proud Sailor Senshi!"

Perhaps Jupiter will feel a swell of pride from that too.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Senshi Pride on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter accepts Sailor Moon's Senshi Pride, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Jupiter is Cheered!

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

It seems that quickly, Mami and Signum begin to have an understanding, a commonality after Signum reaches for the core of Mami's friend and Mami fires straight through in her efforts to give Sailor Moon some space. On the ground, she smiles when Sailor Moon answers her. "I did," she agrees.

But Signum apologizes too; Signum has a look in her eyes, as she says she understands, and Mami dips her head just the barest amount. But Signum starts moving, even faster than she is. Brilliant flame of some kind rushes towards her... and much stronger. "No--!" Her gun is cut in half, and starts to clatter to the ground before it fades, but in the space that her weapon is hanging in the air, Mami has that slash still moving for her. It /bites/ first into her side and then her front, so quick that for a instant it doesn't even hurt.

The instant fades as Mami tumbles to the group, eyes squeezed shut despite herself. "S-some superior body..."

She winces again, bleeding, and then throws out a hand, golden ribbons to slow and stop and weaken by clinging onto the General.

Mami is a general now, too. "Is that all you have?" she asks, forcing the bravado, but she feels cold already, burned and cut and trying to roll backwards out of immediate melee range. "Sayaka-chan wouldn't even be slowed down by this, General. Why don't we all stop and go for tea?" A beat, "Or not." She's still working on standing a moment later; she'll get there eventually, though the pain is clear in her eyes.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Parete on Signum.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum narrowly braces Mami Tomoe's Parete, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Signum's Block ability activates!  Signum's Parry ability activates!  Diversion and Exhausted applied to Signum!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

As expected, Vita's retaliation is swift and fierce, showing little of the restraint Garnet herself had attempted, but perhaps it was beyond their power to be used precisely. Vita seems to almost wholly embody the very concept of momentum, and these orbs follow their creator's example with what in a living creature could be called zeal. They thump against Garnet's armored gauntlets, inching her back with each hit!

The combined effect is staggering, but Garnet only just registers the pain and confusion when a green wind envelopes her, and instead of settling in, the lingering pains find themselves gently evicted from her form.

Garnet looks around for Fuu, the only magical girl she knows who would be responsible for such a feat, and sends a thumbsup her way. She brings her hand back down to a fist and rather than close in now, Garnet decides to respond in kind with a more targeted missile assault. She sends a pair of rocket gauntlets out with force and purpose, this time glad to follow Vita's lead herself, and let the momentum carry her rocket gauntlets to their red target, unrestrained.

COMBAT: Garnet has used Rocket Gauntlet Buster on Vita.
COMBAT: Garnet has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita fails to brace Sailor Jupiter's Flower Hurricane, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Jupiter is Psyched!
COMBAT: Vita perfectly dodges Garnet's Rocket Gauntlet Buster, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita clashes fiercely with Jupiter, but in the end, the main strength of the mighty Senshi sends Vita tumbling backwards. Again, she touches down, head whips up, and--

Her own Swallow Flyer boomerangs back and slams into the back of her skull, sending her eyes bugging out in what might look comical if not for the fateful battle going around it. She might just collapse righ there, but...

Her foot slams down, and her lip curls up, and her eyes widen in less shock and more fury. Her eyes creak around to glare wildly in Sailor Moon's direction, with the Moon Rod still out with the follow-through. She does not appear to be pleased by her words, either. She doesn't get much further before Jupiter's petal storm washes across her, slicing at her Barrier Jacket. She all but vanishes within the cloud, a flurry of razor petals carving her apart! But when Garnet's gauntlets rip in, the cloud scatters, and for a heartbeat, it looks like Vita's just /not there/.

Up. "Yeah. Maybe you'er right. MAYBE I OUGHTA TAKE YOU MORE SERIOUSLY!" Vita screams. "EISEN! Access the reserves!" The Iron Count pongs at her, inquisitive. "That doesn't matter. We got enough for this. And..." Her eyes turn down on Jupiter, lip curling. "We're too close. We're /so/ close. I want...."

She doesn't have to finish. The iron hammer in her hand releases a mighty bellow. <<EXPLOSION!>>

And 'explosion' it is, as the hammerhead pistons one, two, three, four times, each a sudden eruption of magic pulsing into and through Vita. She fairly shines with power when her eyes reopen, clear crystal blue shining down at Sailor Jupiter.

And then she's charging - blitzing across the distance at Jupiter, with her hammer back, the same old move as alw-- "FLAMMESCHLAG!" she screams, and her hammer drives down. Normally her special hammer moves are accompanied by invisible force, concussive power that rips away.

This time, the impact point explodes like a literal bomb going off, a massive, overwhelming release of flame and iron might.

While the fire burns, her hammerhead shifts, and the rocket forms; and Vita sails off toward Garnet, eyes set hard on the Gem. She doesn't even call an attack; she just swings, the rocket-propelled, chisel-tipped hammer swinging down to smash into Garnet. It's good at breaking things. Things like rocks, and stones, and gems.

And then she whirls; and she produces another of her Swallow Flyers, and swats it in Sailor Moon's direction; but as her hammer hits it... <<KOMETFLIEGEN!>> ...it erupts, like the atmosphere, the /world/ igniting around it, crashing down toward Sailor Moon as a flaming bullet of power.

COMBAT: Vita transforms into Crimson Iron Rider!
COMBAT: Vita has used Flammeschlag on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Vita has used Raketenfangen on Garnet.

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

Unfortunately for Fuu: It is.

Signum nocks several more chromatic streaks of light and sends the arrow-like attack spell patterns at Fuu, steadily zeroing inwards. They are, at least, rigged to erupt concussively, so the head shot she is clearly bracketing for will not be fatal, merely... well, concussive.

But this seems to be as far as she can go with others in the area. Perhaps confident that she has suppressed Fuu, her attention snaps back to Sailor Moon. "Perhaps," she tells her, "but we would not engage you thus, for we are not fools -"

At which point Mami restrains her with those golden ribbons. Signum's eyes flash towards her with a clear expression of respect on her rather impassive face. "No," she tells her. "I hope you will understand when I must decline your offer for now."

For now! That's hopeful. Many things are only for now.

Laevatein turns from a bow into a whip - no, something more jagged than that, as Signum lashes it around herself, spinning it almost like a delightful ribbon of a rhythmic gymnast. Perhaps that would be a warm final memory for Mami Tomoe, except that Signum - out of either mercy or a simple desire to flaunt her power - aims more to wrap Mami up.

Sailor Moon is different. She aims to catch -The Rabbit.-

COMBAT: Signum has used Ashram Askew on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Signum has used Schlanbaisen Angriff on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Signum has used Schlanbaisen Angriff on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter fails to counter Vita's Flammeschlag, taking 60 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter's counterattack, Jupiter Thunderbolt, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Vita!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe narrowly dodges Signum's Schlanbaisen Angriff, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates!  Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates!  Stagger and Tangle applied to Mami Tomoe!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to dodge Signum's Ashram Askew, taking 40 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly counters Signum's Schlanbaisen Angriff, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon's Reverse ability activates!  Sailor Moon's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon's counterattack, Supersonic Screaming, partially gets through, doing 39 Fatigue damage to Signum!  Critical Counterhit!

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

'Suppressed' is an interesting choice of words for what Signum's barrage does to the Wind Knight; with the next storm of 'arrows' headed her way, she pours on the speed, trying to get ahead of the bracketing radius. But either she miscalculates or Signum anticipated it, and the explosions of impact send the Magic Knight flying through the window of a nearby skyscraper.

On the plus side, that means she *doesn't* go plummeting to the ground ... but getting put through plate glass isn't anyone's idea of a fun time, unless it's that special glass they use for movie stunts, and even then, stuntmen and -women are trained professionals who do things like that for a living, none of which applies to most of the magical girls known to the Magic Knight of Wind. In short, yes, it still hurts an awful lot.


But it doesn't hurt so much that the Wind Knight can't *finally* return fire - and she does, with an arrow wrapped in magical wind which both accelerates the shaft far faster than the bowstring itself could, and lends stability - and, she hopes, accuracy - to its flight.

She doesn't even wait to see if her shot hits the intended target before the Wind Knight vacates that now-open window, casting a quick healing spell behind her in the hopes of reducing the damage ... whether it works or not, she doesn't linger to see *that* either. Mobility may or may not be her best defense, but she has to keep moving either way.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Signum.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum narrowly braces Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  Signum's Block ability activates!  Signum's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Vita has used Comet Flyer on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.

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

Feeling a rush of vigor from a refreshing breeze of wind- Sailor Moon's eyes become dots anew as Vita decides to take them seriously, "H-Hey it's okay you really don't have to-" Which is when a literal bomb goes off next to Jupiter from the newfound might the Crimson Iron Rider wields. "JUPITER!"

Sailor Moon screams in complete primal terror- she's trying to run towards her fellow Inner Senshi, when Vita whirls upon her, and a Swallow Flyer the size of a volleyball is launched at her. She has no hope of hitting this one back.

She hadn't even planned on that to begin with.

Instead with this one, she flings her Spiral Heart Moon Rod at it. It spins end over end, and makes contact with it in mid-air.

The explosion still fills her world with fire. She explodes, and the rod is sent spinning across the street.

Gurgling, sobbing with pain from her position, she's treated to the sight of a segmented blade beginning to coil around her. And right now Jupiter is hurt, and she wants to get to her

The cry of terror and sorrow and fear combines, and the supersonic shockwaves of her scream smashes the bars of her cage apart before erupting towards the Wolkenritter leader with almost shocking force. Blubbering as she scrambles across the street towards her fallen rod- she picks it up, and spins as she tries to catch a bead on Vita. "MOON TWILIGHT-" Power flashes from its tip, twilit colors wrapped in in all the feelings of terror for herself and the other Inner Senshi's safety, "-FLASH!"

They erupt forth, cascading one after another at the tiny Cloud Knight before detonating into a sparkling event horizon.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Twilight Flash on Vita.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has finished attacking.

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

Sailor Jupiter grins at Sailor Moon's encouraging shout that the Sailor Senshi together would never lose to the likes of her. "You're absolutely right, Sailor Moon!" she shouts, clenching a determined fist, pumped up by her friend's faith in them. To Vita, she says, "You'll see for yourself, one day!!"

But that just makes the little redhead madder. "Just the way I want it!!" Jupiter roars back when Vita says she ought to start taking her seriously. She's made to eat those words when Vita busts out an *enormous* amount of power. Her eyes widen in shock, and she lifts an arm in reaction, lightning sparking in her palm, shouting, "JUPITER THUNDERBO--" She never gets to finish her counterattack. Vita crashes into her with fire and concussive might, and Jupiter is SLAMMED well away, screaming in pain as she goes flying and *crashes* into a brick wall. It leaves a spiderweb impact in her wake. Slowly, she falls down to the ground, snow cushioning her fall.

"Ugh..." she groans. She spits out a line of blood, then staggers up to her feet. Her skin is scorched bright red in several places, and her body is screaming with pain. Does she have some broken bones? Maybe some internal bleeding? Who knows. What she *does* know is that she can't afford to fall here--or to let Vita go after Sailor Moon. She's moving too fast for Jupiter to catch her on foot--good thing that even the Cloud Knight can't hope to outrun a bolt of lightning.

Crossing her arms, pinky and index fingers extended, Jupiter concentrates. Lightning strikes the rod of her tiara, then crackles around her in an orb. "SUPREME..." she calls, then lashes her arms out towards Vita's back. "THUNDER!!"

Distantly, she hopes Garnet's all right. She thinks Vita went after her too...? For right now, it's all she can do focus on the enemy--and on protecting her best friend. (It's a good thing she didn't see what Signum did to Mami, or else... /yikes/.)

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Supreme Thunder! on Vita.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.

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

Mami worries for Jupiter at that explosion, sees Sailor Moon and hears her scream. But she has her own opponent right now, and by keeping her busy, she can keep her off of Moon's back.

Mami watches Signum's eyes as the swordswoman turns around, though not only her eyes. Her golden face off and she has to admit to showing respect on her face, too. It's present, obvious. Even if she's not happy with her. But...

"I thought not," Mami answers, and dips her head. "I understand completely. But I want to be the sort of girl who asks."

She gears up, "If you change your mind, I do a mean tea service."

But Sailor Moon is hit while she's talking, and Mami's eyes widen. "No!" She's distracted, in the next moment, but Sailor Moon without her rod, calling out her attack. She needs to be looking--

She should have been looking. She is looking, as the weapon changes, and it's a /beautiful/ maneuver. Mami's eyes have tiny stars in them, metaphorically, as she rises up to try to ready herself. It would be a warm memory regardless, but that bladed whip wraps around her, pushing into her wound that even now bleeds more heavily than a girl has a right to bleed. It's as if past a certain point down her body, that's just that, and wounds take over.

"Aah--" Mami was already in pain, and can't stay silent from this. But she grits her teeth. "I won't..." The ribbon at her collar snakes loose and starts to slip down through the whip before expanding rapidly to free her arms, if not the rest of her. "Sailor Moon!" Mami calls, and rushes out with her hands, a dozen rifles spinning into existence before her straight at Signum. "Is Jupiter all right!?"

She fires, in a torrent of golden energy, and the answer to her question is incredible lightning.

"This might be uncivilized," Mami breathes, in pain, "But if you could let me go I'd greatly appreciate it."

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Circle on Signum.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita fails to counter Sailor Jupiter's Supreme Thunder!, taking 56 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Vita's counterattack, Kometfliegen Claymore, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Jupiter!
COMBAT: Vita fails to dodge Sailor Moon's Moon Twilight Flash, taking 54 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Signum fails to dodge Mami Tomoe's Tiro Circle, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is Psyched!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Chisel Hammer meets Gem.

Luckily Chisel Hammer meets Magical Projected Body and not GEM.

So instead of being half-to-totally obliterated (and possibly having to seek a support group afterwards) Garnet is "merely" sent hurtling back several dozens of feet with force, to crash through an entire curb and sidewalk and partially into the building it surrounds!

There is a stillness for several moments, before a backwards prone Garnet pulls herself out of her custom-made trench.

She crouches on the ground without a word, and launches herself back directly at Vita, a roundhousing fist pulled back and glowing intensely, flame-like trails of light wafting off of it, as if visibily burning with her inner fury.

COMBAT: Garnet has used Gem Grinder on Vita.
COMBAT: Garnet has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita narrowly braces Garnet's Gem Grinder, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Vita's Block ability activates!  Vita's Parry ability activates!

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

The screaming hurts Signum.

Physically, yes - but that's maybe ten points worth. The remainder comes from the fact that Sailor Moon, ridiculous as she may be in her cries and her leaps and some of her word choices, is screaming in sheer and honest fear and agony. She's afraid, Signum can tell. She has heard enough screams to tell that this one is laden with fear for her friends, primarily.

Signum realizes in a single inner blow what that says about her. Her eyes close.

And deep in that momentary pit of self loathing, Signum hits something hard as steel.

She wouldn't scream, Signum knows. She would simply one day find it too hard to speak. And later, to breathe... and soon after that...

An arrow hits her right square in her side. It actually sinks in. Fuu may not be used to that. Signum twitches -

And her eyes open wide. "Hhhhhh," she exhales, reaching down and snapping the arrow's shaft with one hand even as she sees the rifles form a circle around her. Mami's words ring out, but Signum can recognize bravado when she hears it. "Laevatein," she states, but the Armed Device's retraction into sword form is only partially in time. A good half-dozen rounds strike home against her armor, against her beneath it, before the sword can be deployed.

The golden light shines around her.

Signum has one hand upraised.

Her fingers tighten... four of Mami's musket rounds glow, gold and only slightly tarnished by impact, between Signum's fingers and thumb.

"There is no option... for failure...!!"

The words are eerie, almost robotic, but they are said with a quaking passion that does not seem appropriate to such a cool-hearted station.

'I am borrowing your technique,' Signum thinks to Vita, even as her head turns and her eyes gleam as she catches direct sight of Fuu up there on the roof. Signum's breathing hitches for a moment, draws in deep enough to make her chest puff up slightly, and then she shouts, "The storm itself cannot stop me! Horah!"

And then Signum snaps her wrist forwards with a red flash of expended mana and with a narrow quartet of explosions THE STOLEN MUSKETBALLS FLY, ripping towards Fuu. No, not towards Fuu - they're curved slightly - anticipating her Winds of Protection, /which Signum has seen many times/, and should they encounter it they will instead be whipped towards her with renewed force!

By comparison what Signum does to Sailor Moon is almost prosaic! "Kouga!" she shouts, slashing down hard with the long blade of her Device; the streak of magenta that aims towards the senshi of justice is remorseless, wracked with guilt but nonetheless aimed without flinching.

After this Signum is still for a moment. She raises her blade then, just as a mechanism on it does something that may augur poorly for the future - it slides back as a voice states, <CARTRIDGE LOAD> and Signum turns her head to look towards Mami.

The good news is she's sweating slightly and seems a bit pale. The bad news is that her eyes are like steel.

"Your wish is granted. Will you interfere further?" she says to Mami Tomoe, voice more guttural than before.

COMBAT: Signum has used Secret Hope on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Signum has used Kouga! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Signum has used Cartridge Load on Signum.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum accepts Signum's Cartridge Load, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Empower and Surge applied to Signum!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji narrowly dodges Signum's Secret Hope, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Signum is Psyched!  Fuu Hououji's Fade ability activates!  Fuu Hououji's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Signum's Kouga!, taking 29 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita blasts apart Jupiter's counterfire and carries on her merry way, ripping through the line of defenders and trying to keep the pressure on Sailor Moon, as well. And when she's done zooming around, she...calms. Breathes. And her eyes cut up, just as Jupiter's power releases. She screams, "EISEN!" and throws her hammer up in a cross-bar block; a thick red shield, like invincible iron, forms before her, a glimmering light that the lightning crashes and cracks against--

And then Sailor Moon cries out, and Vita knows /that/ attack. She's too busy; too engaged, she can't defend...!

The blast of light crashes against her and explodes into awful radiance, and the lightning pierces through a second later, amid a sound that might just be the sound of the attacks going off, high and piercing...but no.

That's Vita, screaming.

But when Garnet charges into that light, she doesn't pass through harmlessly, this time; she slams into another crossbar block, and the light whirls away like clouds dispelled by fire. Vita remains, eyes blazing, glaring bright and directly into Garnet. Her crimson uniform damp and redder than before; sticky with her own blood. Her face contorts, anger, and frustration. She doesn't rebuke Garnet, she just SCREAMS, whips her hammer back, and slams it into the Gem's side, releasing a blast of force to send her tumbling.

Afterward, she touches down; stumbling on the mere weight of her body on her own legs. Her hand goes to her side, briefly, touching and compressing the wound. She sucks in air. "This," she croaks. "This doesn't....hurt." Her teeth grind like continents, her face twisted in five emotions at once, only one of them agony. "This doesn't...HURT," she repeats. "Compared....compared to what she's going through....THIS DOESN'T HURT AT ALL!"

And then she explodes with light and magic. She's off; bulleting at Sailor Jupiter like a runaway train, trying to TACKLE her bodily and just SLAM her into one of the standing walls around them. Perhaps hoping to take her out of the fight for a few, needed seconds.

COMBAT: Vita has used Tödlichschlag on Garnet.
COMBAT: Vita has used Iron Tackle on Sailor Jupiter.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Garnet fails to dodge Vita's Tödlichschlag, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Stun applied to Garnet!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter narrowly braces Vita's Iron Tackle, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Vita is Psyched!  Sailor Jupiter's Block ability activates!  Sailor Jupiter's Parry ability activates!

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

When her lightning shreds into Vita after Sailor Moon weakens her with her terrified crying, when Garnet pounds into her and sends her flying and bleeding, Jupiter... winces. For all that she doesn't like Vita, for all that she knows intellectually that this is no child, in her heart, she looks just like a little girl. She can't help but feel guilty. Like a bully. Like, somehow, even though Vita and Signum are the ones who bought this fight, she's the one in the wrong somehow.

"S-Sailor Moon, are you all right?!" she calls, voice rasping--she's still in a lot of pain after all the flames Vita dealt with her. But hopefully, if the Cloud Knight can just stay *down*--

Nope. No such luck. "Garnet, watch out!!" she shouts, just before Vita hurls her hammer at her. But then Jupiter pauses, staring at her when she claims this doesn't hurt. Just what is she made of...?! But--/no/. She means something else entirely. "Her...?" she echoes, face screwing up in confusion. And then Vita launches.

It's all Jupiter can do to *catch* the Cloud Knight, grappling with her with all her strength, at first pushed backwards but then digging her heels into the snowy ground, slowing, slowing, until inch by inch, the two warriors vibrate against each other furiously.

"Who... are you talking about?" she growls, her eyes locked on Vita's. "Who's 'her'?!" And, whether Vita answers or not, she'll then attempt to SLAM her head onto Vita's, lightning still crackling dangerously from her tiara rod.

COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has used Jupiter Punch on Vita.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Vita narrowly dodges Sailor Jupiter's Jupiter Punch, taking 7 Fatigue damage!

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

Mami can hear Vita's voice with the others, obvious by the way she grimaes at what and when she says rather than just at what Signum does. But what Signum does soon gets a reaction regardless; Mami watches the difficulty the stoic woman has, if she can be sure of it, and watches movements, tries to hurt Signum in more conventional means.

But it only partly works. Mami's eyes widen as that hand lifts with her bullets. "You--" She stares, wide-eyed, in shock at this level of skill and speed. Even those she can't beat can't do /that/. She doesn't watch the senshi still fighting, but she does call out, "Hououji!" to get her to hopefully look out. Signum is still moving, firing on Sailor Moon, doing that... cartridge.

Mami can see her pale, but that doesn't help. Instead she stares for a moment and dips her head. "Ah, so it is. Thank you, General." She responds with the utmost politeness. "However..." Well, not entirely utmost. "I will interfere. I won't abandon those girls. ...Even if not for my beliefs... I wouldn't. So if you want me to stop interfering, you'll have to stop me."

The way Mami talks, she imagines that's very, very possible at this point. Mami is bloody and unsteady, but finally standing again. "So please prepare yourself."

Suddenly Mami is holding a gigantic hand cannon propped against her shoulder, a barrel larger than the width of her head as she takes aim over the scope at Signum--

Mami fires, and there's a column of golden light with a great explosion.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Retort on Signum.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum fails to counter Mami Tomoe's Tiro Retort, taking 63 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Signum's counterattack, Panzergeist, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mami Tomoe!

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

Normally, when she shoots an arrow at somebody - or more often, some*thing* - the Wind Knight does indeed expect it to hit and pierce. That may be one reason why she doesn't like fighting other people, magical girls or otherwise. But more often, she's fighting monsters that were either created to wreak havoc, or are decidedly non-human and vicious - and she *does* have magic to fall back on when she's fighting someone whom she doesn't wish to see bleeding.

At this particular moment, though, the Wind Knight is a little too preoccupied with trying to minimize her *own* current and near-future bleeding, and doesn't pay that much attention to what her arrow does to Signum. Besides, there are a series of bullets flying very very fast in her direction, and she doesn't even have *time* to cast Winds of Protection. even with Mami's oh-so-timely (and appreciated) shout of warning.

So she just tries, in spite of all logic, to try falling faster - tucking her arms and legs in so she's as close to streamlined as a teenaged girl in armor can get and letting gravity do the thing, fighting the urge to conjure an updraft until right when she *has* to brake her fall.

She still gets a musket ball in the arm for her troubles, and a second ball hitting her breastplate hard enough to twist her around in mid-air - but she manages to land without breaking her legs, so ... there's that. Kind of.

For at least a moment, she saw a parley in progress - and whatever the Wind Knight's other thoughts, interrupting what appeared to be a conversation that had Signum's attention seems like a *terrible* idea. She could take advantage of it - and risk interrupting a fragile, tentative moment of calm and an opportunity of possible safety, and in the process, likely generating still more aggro, from foe or from friend; either one would be very bad indeed. Or she could hold back, let Mami escape (if that was her intention), and then resume the fight.

In the time it takes her to evaluate her decision, though, Mami recovers and launches an attack of her own on Signum. And just like that, the impasse is resolved. A brief look of relief flickers across the Wind Knight's face before she raises her arm and calls out, "Winds of Admonishment!!" - conjuring a whirlwind which the Wolkenritter are surely familiar with by now, and trying to bind Signum in place, or at least hinder her movements *some*. Any advantage she can gain for her fellow magical girls.

Now if she could just make enough of an opening to offer healing magic to Mami, who REALLY looks like she needs it ...

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Signum.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.

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

There's a flash of magenta in Sailor Moon's vision. It's the only warning she has before it strikes her in the back. Her eyes dilate from the pain of Signum's Arrow. There's nothing poetic about her fall to the ground that's already rupturing from the arrow which passed through her.

In the haze of pain she eyes the other girl- the smaller girl that had been pursuing her so relentlessly screaming. Why was she screaming? She can't comprehend her pain. She can't comprehend denying pain. That's her world right now. The girl hiccups between the tears and moves up onto her elbows, her lever to get her off the ground.

Even that motion causes her feel like swooning, as she gets up onto her knees. How she makes it to her feet she can't even imagine. Her vision is blurring as she staggers forward. One step at a time. She's not Vita. Her determination can't compare to that girl's resolve. She can't deny pain. Everything is pain.

Unconsciousness would be a blessing that she wants right now but Jupiter is right over there, still fighting. She can see her still in her vision as Vita smashes her into a wall. How long will she last with the Cloud Knight acting that desperate, that angry, that berserk? Another step. Another.

And then she can't step forward anymore because she just bumped into something that looms larger than her...

No not- not something. Some-/one/. Familiarity grips her, and instantly she makes a croaking plea, fighting a sudden urge to collapse against them. Hope lit up in her eyes. They had a chance after all. They all did.

"Puh-please... help her... help Jupiter..."

All you had to do is ask.

And then it sounds even smaller as she adds an additional request, "...help me..."

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet looking up at the empty sky, takes a moment to replay the preceding moment back in her head. The look of pain and fury in Vita's eyes. It looks so real, so genuine. Is she really a servitor program? Like a holo pearl? She tries to remind herself of that, and since that is failing her, of the seriousness of Vita's actions. Vita's resemblence to a human child in pain was lowering her emotional guards in a way she knows is unwise in this situation. She can't let her guard down... Garnet groans to herself. Not that she needs the help, or maybe it's already been happening this whole fight... Garnet feels a lingering of the massive force she was hit with twice now, and tries to... get her head together.

She slowly pulls herself out of the second of what she hopes is not an accumulating collection of Garnet-width trenches, and shakily pulls herself to her feet.

Garnet... decides to stay put... for now... she needs a moment.

But she raises her gauntlets and blasts a globe of corsucating red ball lightning back towards Vita.

She how strong Vita's defenses have been, she doesn't expect a miracle, but maybe it will divert her attention enough for Sailor Jupiter to maybe knock the Wolkenritter off of her game

COMBAT: Garnet has used Adamantine Spark on Vita.
COMBAT: Garnet has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Signum narrowly braces Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  Signum's Block ability activates!  Signum's Parry ability activates!  Cripple and Trap applied to Signum!
Haruka Tenoh has arrived.
COMBAT: Haruka Tenoh transforms into Sailor Uranus!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Kovacs - My Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzxh8owukUg

Sailor Moon rests against a human tower. The diminuitive senshi's sagging weight makes no impression at all on the adamant body she has slumped against. So broad a breast has she encountered that the full width of her shoulders fits neatly within its bounds. White gloves grasp Sailor Moon's upper arms and compress them upward, stealing weight from weakened legs so that she is left standing and floating all at once, her bootheels raised just enough to pass a sheet of paper between them and the pavement.

Gold hair half-bleached by moonlight, Sailor Uranus stares right over Sailor Moon's head, without impediment, to bear witness to the plight of the most stalwart of the Inner Senshi, peeling herself off of a wall to reengage Vita. The childlike appearance of that barbarian means nothing to Sailor Uranus, particularly when that hammer of hers is raised against servants of the Queen. But for now, she relies on the human wall of Jupiter, and turns her burnishing gaze fully upon the girl propped up between her palms.

"You're trembling." Uranus takes a hand from Sailor Moon's arm--which may require the shorter girl to put a hand out against hers instead--and smooths Moon's bangs back tenderly, baring her forehead and tiara. In turn, this raises the blonde curtain of the shorter girls vision, opening up a cityscape behind Uranus as if by magic. Buildings sprout like unmatched pairs of concrete wings from her muscular shoulders, the lights of distant windows clustered like a captive starscape. Those squares of yellow are pale and dim, but Uranus's are the blue of cobalt vapor, as handsome as an unexpected present and as vivid as a newly discovered fear.

"You hate this, don't you? No matter how many times you fight, it never gets easier for you. It's all right."

Her voice has something of the clean heroism of the Tuxedo Mask that once played this role, but there is a smokey knowing to it.

"I'll save you" she says. And one of Sailor Moon's wrists is lifted to the level of her shoulder, and there is a hand behind the small of her back. It feels like the air in her lungs is being drawn directly through her ribcage and up into Sailor Uranus's through the portentious gap between them. Sailor Moon cannot inhale enough to replace it.

And then she cannot inhale at all.

Sailor Uranus remains bent over the diminuitive Inner Senshi for a short time, her shoulders spread shieldlike. She holds the kiss down until the first explosive hissing fully disperses. She does not pull away, then, but instead lets up on Sailor Moon's back so that she simply drops back onto her heels and their lips separate. She's bold enough to maintain eye contact throughout that whole process, and her expression is an odd mixture of innocent pride and the smugness of a thief.

"Don't fight," Uranus whispers. Planting a hand against Sailor Moon's chest, she shoves suddenly, violently, pushing her back towards Vita. There is a cold professionalism in her eyes as she folds her arms expectantly.

"That's our job now."

COMBAT: Vita narrowly braces Garnet's Adamantine Spark, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Vita's Block ability activates!  Vita's Parry ability activates!  Diversion applied to Vita!

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Jupiter tries to stop her. But when their eyes meet, when Jupiter replies to Vita's cries, what the small child screams back, her voice hoarse and ragged, is, "YOU WON'T STOP US! WE'RE TOO CLOSE! I WON'T LET YOU GET IN OUR WAY ANY MORE!!"

And then she releases the clash and shoots away; Jupiter's headbutt thumps into her shoulder roughly as she flees, and Vita grunts in reply, but she still soars off. She can't just be leaving, that wouldn't really match what she's doing here. No....

No, she's just buying room. She hooks a leg around her hammer, as she sees what's going on below. Right now, she doesn't process it. Another Senshi, and she prepares to annihilate her and Sailor Moon both, but....she pushes Sailor Moon back in? Everything else about the moment, implications and possibilities, bounces off of her, before one, shining light of a fact.

The way is clear.

"EISEN!" she shrieks, piercing, and the Armed Device roars, <<JAWOHL! RAKETENFORM!>> as its hammerhead transmutes anew with little more than a spark of light like molten iron. And then Vita's off; the chaotic swirls of the rocket hammer burying Vita's clear and unwavering intent. Garnet's blast pings into her, but the Barrier Jacket's magic is so thickly applied by now that even this assault scatters against her hammer.

She comes toward Sailor Moon, eyes wide. "Finally. FINALLY! /YOU'RE MINE/!" she screams, and releases her leglock on the hammer, shifting in a moment to a two-handed grip, forcing the rocket-propelled spike directly toward Sailor Moon - the core, the heart of the Senshi, the point where all that power resides. The Brooch.

Hoping to shatter it and her transformation both.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Vita has used Raketenhammer on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Vita has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter covers Sailor Moon for Vita's attack, Raketenhammer, taking it upon themselves instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Jupiter fails to brace Vita's Finisher, Raketenhammer, taking 125 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Jupiter is unable to keep fighting!

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

It's no big shock that Jupiter doesn't get an answer to her question. What does shock her is how *desperate* Vita seems, how she doesn't even try to fight Jupiter back, she just zips off as best she can towards Sailor Moon. And when Jupiter chases after her, looking ahead to her friend, she sees something that nearly stops her heart--even if it just makes her feet beat faster.

Because when Uranus forces a kiss on Sailor Moon, something in Jupiter snaps. It doesn't matter how handsome the Soldier of Heavens otherwise is (and when she has time to look back on it, she'll find it galling that she would even consider looks a mitigating factor given what *else* Uranus has done, something she'll have to muse on further for herself and all her friends in the future); Jupiter will never forgive her for /sexually assaulting/ her Princess, then literally throwing her to the wolves to be devoured. She's finally, fully, utterly convinced now: Uranus is pure evil. If she were a man as equally handsome, Jupiter's wrath would be no less fierce, her hatred no less intense and all-encompassing.

And were the situation even the slightest bit less devastatingly dangerous, she would destroy Uranus on the spot.

As it stands, Uranus is merely hateful scum, beneath even the worms in the earth, which at least give something good back to society. *Vita* is attacking Sailor Moon in an even more violent fashion, aiming her hammer for Sailor Moon's compact. Sailor Jupiter understands what will happen if she makes contact. "SAILOR MOON!!" she screams, racing as fast as her feet will take her, faster, faster, faster faster fasterfasterFASTER--

She leaps forward, in between Vita and her Princess, just as the hammer falls. There is no way for her to brace herself against the impact. She screams, or at least she thinks she does; the pain is so overwhelming, so all-consuming, that her eyes roll to the back of her head, and she slumps to her knees against the girl she swore over two lifetimes to protect.

To ACTUALLY protect. Not this twisted, selfish, disgusting thing that Uranus dares call 'saving.'

"Sailor Moon... please... run..." she croaks. "Save yourself... for... me..."

And Jupiter slumps off of Sailor Moon and into the snow, complexion ashen, thoroughly unconscious.

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

The courage of Mami Tomoe moves Signum profoundly. Sadly her face does not give good sign of it, though she says, "I understand," followed by erupting in a shimmering field of prismatic protective crystal planes which SMASH APART as Mami's massive cannon fires, staggering Signum back -

Well, it did buffer it somewhat. So there's that.

Signum exhales with great force. She looks towards the incoming Magic Knight, sucking in a deep breath. The wind snaps her forwards and Signum leans her head in, her hair caught up and whipping violently as she grits her teeth. "Hhhhh," Signum breathes, her side burning.

Perhaps there will be no forgiveness in the face of a situation like this one.

Signum's grip tightens. Focus, she thinks. Don't worry about the future. You have to save her. The only way to do that stands in front of you!!

Her attention turns ahead to where Sailor Moon has been... gathered. Sailor Uranus is a complete novelty to Signum, who frowns slightly at the presence of another Sailor soldier - there is obvious resemblance. Her elder sister? No, Signum thinks, probably not: no, now Signum is confused in completeness. She glances at Sailor Uranus with a furrowed, bruised brow.

Signum crouches slightly, Laevatein raised up - in a salute? No. Though it is possible that Mami, if she looks, or Fuu, will see that Signum has turned the blade around so that the flat end is facing forwards instead of the sharp one.

Energy rises around Signum as she lets out another "horaAAH" that makes the arrowhead wedged in her torso cramp but which she pushes thhrough because the blood is as nothing to the spit and mucus in which she will drown if she does not prevail --

There is no rage in Signum's eyes as she sails forwards with blinding speed, sufficient in its passage to send litter and garbage flying as if the shinkansen was just routed through town. Her blows, blindingly fast, are in their way kind: aimed first at the abdomen, then towards the sternum, then sensitive zones on bare arms and bare legs.

In Signum's mind it is a mercy. If she swoons from pain then she will not have to feel what comes after.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Signum has used Kouga Shiden Issen on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Signum has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon narrowly braces Signum's Finisher, Kouga Shiden Issen, taking 79 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon is unable to keep fighting!

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

Sailor Moon's hand feels so small against the tower that is Uranus, as it's shifted against her. Everything is agony, from there Uranus can feel the tremors and the aftershocks which register on the lower end of the seismic scale. The way she stares at Uranus, hope in her crystalline blue eyes which are still wet. It's like she feels everything is alright. It's so easy to put her faith in her when she stands against the city-scape.

She has no concept of what's happening though her cheeks have become flushed from the closeness. Just caught somewhere between pain and faith. And- she nods so hesitantly, this dip of her chin which shows fear of commitment to what she was acknowledging.

She presses a little further against the taller Sailor Senshi, she must feel so soft right now, pulverized between the two Wolkenritter into mush, soft to begin with. Uranus takes her wrist and but it's more like she gave it to her. The hand on her back hurts and she doesn't care as she's drawn up on her tip toes and the heels of her slim-heeled moonboot feel like they're floating in the air.

Distantly she knows the danger of Uranus and yet she feels so safe right now, in this-

And then she doesn't know what to feel. The air is stolen from her lungs, and she bleats through her nose instead. Taken flat-footed, she doesn't know what it is, but she wants to- she wants to press forward. The battle whirls around her and in this moment she's forgotten everything. Forgotten the stakes as her first kiss is stolen by a clever thief and she doesn't even realize it.

Pain and hunger and desire in equal measure. When the pressure is released on her back, her eyes are hazy, dreamlike, her cheeks flushed. Her eyes are making contact with those which are so blue that she could get lost in them, get lost those rippling muscles... get lost.

And then there's a whisper in her ear and she's falling. She's hardly even began to realize that that was a /kiss/. She can't even begin to comprehend the betrayal and on how many levels it exists. Her arms make one last effort to reach for Uranus because she doesn't want to move further away. She doesn't. She wants to feel safe again.

And then she impacts with the ground and her cry is as pathetic as a lamb toppling over their own feet. She's still staring at her. Uranus gets to watch that hope die slowly. That faith die slowly in her blue eyes. Replaced by... it's hard to say by looking at her.

And then there's a streak of crimson in her vision, and she tries to scramble to her feet as the Cloud Knight descends upon her like a comet. It's only then that Uranus words truly sink in.

Don't fight. That's our job now.

Why can't she stop thinking about how that felt?


The shriek of fright that comes from Sailor Moon as Vita descends carries a new sort of terror- as she tries to push up with her hands, tries to get up. She has to get up. She has to run. And she's so close, instead she huddles with her hands over her head like a child in an Earthquake drill and her only response is a sob for the inevitable.

But the pain doesn't come when it was supposed to. Instead there's a scream and she starts like a timid bunny. And that's when her mind catches up, "No-nononononono-" The sight of her friend so hurt is a splash of cold water to the senses. She scrambles up and over towards her in a staggering gait.

She'd heard the same request from the Senshi in Red, to leave her behind and walk into the bowels of D-Point alone. She'd heard the same from a Prince not so long ago- to leave them to this very thing. To hear it again from Jupiter who came to save her. Who's given her so much in this life and the last. She can't bear it.

She can't do it again even if every cell in her body screams that she must, even if it the request of a friend she loved so much. Not again. Not this time.

And that is why she runs towards her rather than away. And so when Signum comes and cuts her off, she doesn't submit. It would be easier to give in but she doesn't. The rod she wields is such a feeble imposition- with every battering blow though she attempts to put it in the way as she's knocked around by one after another of the lightning quick ones- more than she can possibly defend against. She only cries out once for every half a dozen blows the General of Raging Fire brings to bear against her

Eventually the blunt of Laevateinn lays her flat on the ground and she rolls a moment or two before she stops. Her eyes half lidded. Her hand feebly reaches towards Jupiter's fallen hand even now. Her last thought before blessed unconsciousness takes her and she falls limp on the ground is that she's glad, this time she isn't alone.

That'd be too terrifying.

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Vita's eyes widen a shade as Sailor Jupiter dashes in front of the rocket hammer (AGAIN WITH THE DASHING IN FROM BEHIND HER ROCKET-PROPELLED CHARGE (WHAT DO THESE GIRLS /EAT/)) and desperately covers the blow. It's not a flush hit to the power core. It will....hurt more.

She can't do much to avert the blow now. She rides it through; that drill ripping through Jupiter's defenses until at last she slams through the last, and Jupiter ragdolls backward while Vita hits the ground hard, herself. But Vita is rapidly cooling and Jupiter is just...technically, still alive. Sizzling from the power of magic she's brought to bear, Vita slowly turns to look at Sailor Jupiter, and then up again as Signum belts past toward Sailor Moon and eliminates her, as well. It's hard to imagine it finally happened...at the hands of another Senshi, no less. Vita's eyes linger on Uranus, a bit away from where it all ended up, and cut to where the few who remain stand as well. "Cover me," she says to Signum, and the meaning is clear enough.

She approaches the two fallen Senshi, close by each other; heavy footfalls of armored feet. She stands before them.

"...if it means anything," she says to them, quiet, as the Book of Darkness appears in her hands with a blip of nightmare light, "...we'll be done soon. The book is almost complete. And then you won't have to worry about us anymore."

The book swings open on its own, rifles through pages on its own, page after page after page. It's almost painfully long before it gets to an open one; well over five hundred pages full. So very close to the finish line....

Vita sucks in a breath and says, "Book of Darkness. Absorb."


The lights that come out of Sailors Moon and Jupiter are no dimmer for their suffering today. Indeed, perhaps taht makes them all the brighter...as the Book of Darkness drinks deeply, greedily, of their energy.

Vita watches it happen, a flat expression on her face.

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

Mami /does/ look terrible, all the moreso when Fuu actually looks at her, but somehow it doesn't stop her from standing, from staying mobile. The Puella Magi has lost sight of Garnet for the moment. She has lost sight of Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter. She's called out to someone she's still angry with.

And the cold, winter winds breeze past her face, cooling her cheeks against the warmth of exertion. Her hatpin still shines, still tarnished in places in the brass. And Mami's golden eyes watch her target. That barrier eerupts as Signum mentions that she understands, but Mami's attack blasts through.

Vita and Signum's work happens shortly after, with even Sailor Uranus here apparently, Uranus who shoves Moon forward at Vita and who is too strong for Mami to do more than impotently rage at, heart in her throat, as she bleeds over where she is. She's that strong, and still...

"No," she says softly, her shoulders slumping. She's so tired. If she keeps trying to press this assault, she will probably die. But she can't look away either.

"I'm sorry," she says too quietly for the senshi to hear, and drags herself forward, forcing herself to stand up straight. If neither of them attack her, Mami Tomoe can do something for the Senshi. But one...

She drags herself closer to Uranus, wary, preparing to try to escape. "How could you? You know her, don't you? You have to know Sailor Moon, even with what you try to do. You know how trusting she is." And now...

Her shoulders sink. She's vulnerable herself, doesn't even try to touch or strike Uranus this time. She holds no weapon. She just stares, not wanting to believe it.

When the draining begins, Mami makes herself look over at it, her jaw set, miserable.

[OOC] Setsuna Meioh is no longer set as an observer.
COMBAT: Setsuna Meioh transforms into Sailor Pluto!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Complication (Live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0_yhS0oFI8

A series of explosions bloom like tiger lilies on fast forward, dotting a trail that leads away from Meioh Tower, directly in its monolithic shadow. Its most prominent tenant -- and its most mysterious -- leans against the icy railing of her balcony and watches, skyscraper altitude winds whipping her hair out like a shining evergreen banner and tearing at the black pleats of her skirt. The stinging temperatures barely register against dark skin that refuses to pebble.

That's the way Rinji said she was going. What's more, Sailor Pluto is restless. She has been too long recovering, and her freshly-knit back muscles ache for a good stretch. Finally, and most importantly, her spacious penthouse floor is far too quiet for her busy head of a sudden. A welcome distraction beckons from her doorstep.

Pluto doesn't bother locking up behind her, just... leaps. The rooftops are her highway and she feels like a speed demon, this night.


As it turns out Sailor Pluto is chasing one hell of a distraction, full of familiar faces. Throughout the battle, a crouching gargoyle shaped like a senshi observes, her hair the only thing about her that moves. She trusts to her elevation and the all-consuming offensive of the Wolkenritter to keep eyes from her, and waits.

Signum's magenta missile drills through the luminescent moon princess, and Sailor Pluto immediately rises to her full height, gloved hand sliding up the irregular Garnet Rod's haft. Garnet eyes follow that ungainly crumple and note the cracks that cobweb out beyond Sailor Moon in the pavement.

Pluto waits, and watches. As a result, she observes everything that happens next. She sees the unheralded appearance of her fellow soldier of the furthest reaches, watches Sailor Moon stagger back into the solidity that is Uranus. The Senshi of Time just tightens her grip on her sacred weapon and lets the outrush of air displaced by battle carry those pleas to her ears. Situated at the very eaves of the building nearest the unexpected, handsome pair, Sailor Pluto is in a unique position to view that kiss. Unseen, her jaw drops. In a night dark enough to steal all color, dusky cheeks redden. Wide garnet eyes made for observation miss little.

At least she manages to hang onto the Garnet Rod. If it clattered down next to them on the pavement, that would be awfully embarrassing. The next events test her grip further. It's all she can do to stay where she is, to hold to the plan that has been forming over her vigil, but she manages.

Then it happens, the moment the eternally patient woman has awaited. Her new crouch presages action. She stands by as her future Queen falls, struck down by the General of the Wolkenritter. In that moment, all Sailor Pluto can think is how she has practice at this sort of thing. A thorn turns inward, puncturing the delicate membrane that thins around her innermost heart. Beneath it a red pool deepens.

Instead of clutching at her chest she descends, hair streaming like a comet's tail behind her. A floor before the ground Pluto catches her bootheels in a ranma carved like a stylized tree above the building's entrance and she flips over all three of her fellow senshi below to land not ten yards from the Book of Darkness.

The night darkens, deepens, as if the space between the stars descends with her. The Soldier of the Underworld inhales.

"Dead... Scream...!"

When she exhales, the very bottom of her breath dredges up the souls of the dead and expels them alongside carbon dioxide. A sphere of fervid violet rockets directly at the thirsty artifact, detonating with all the shrieking agony of every person who has ever and will ever die in this exact spot, dragged across Time Itself to push back one of the coming Apocalypses, if only just a bit.

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

Ever since three middle-school girls were whisked away from a Sister Schools field trip to Tokyo Tower by the voice of an otherworldly princess; ever since they were given their mission by a young-looking archmage, and sent to fetch the unique mineral that their swords needed to be crafted from, there's been a whimsical corner of Fuu Hououji's mind which privately considers their return to Earth, newly-empowered and able to fight monsters from the world's shadows, as wholly necessary 'level grinding'. Alcyone, the first of Zagato's lieutenants to attack the Magic Knights, was a terrifying opponent - but eventually they were strong enough to face her and beat her.

But Zagato has other servants. There are other monsters in the world, and from beyond it. And Zagato himself remains orders of magnitude more powerful and dangerous than Alcyone, or Ascot, or any of the unknown others who serve him.

In the moment of shock which accompanies the sight of Vita and Signum pouring on the speed and striking down two Sailor Senshi, that corner of Fuu's mind remembers how RPGs are always set up so you have to get stronger before you can handle this boss fight or that dungeon. Not that she'd ever openly refer to any enemy in those terms - not without an audibly generous dose of tongue in cheek, because reality just doesn't work that way, even the fantastic reality of Cephiro.

The Wolkenritter are too powerful to fight directly. Maybe they always will be. But those thoughts, fueled by whimsy or terror as they may be, pale to faint wisps next to one fact which the Wind Knight can't ignore:

Her allies - girls she *wants* to call 'friends,' when she doesn't already do so - are getting beaten into helplessness, and worse, and she can't move fast enough or certainly enough to help them. *Maybe* her healing magic will help them - if she can muster the chance to try, she has to do what she can - but she can't stop what's happening right now in front of her eyes, and all the willpower in the world won't give her the strength to change what's already happened to lead into this terrible moment.

And then another Sailor Senshi descends upon the scene, unleashing an attack which forces the Wind Knight to shield her face with an arm, averting her gaze from whatever that attack will do. Will it save Sailor Moon? Force the Wolkenritter to flee with their task unfinished?

The equation may have changed yet again, but one variable remains constant: there's nothing the Wind Knight can do. And that realization hurts no less for repetition.

<Pose Tracker> Vita [None] has posed.

Pluto's arrival may be silent as the whisper of wind through the graves, but Vita's eyes cut to her immediately, and widen just the same. She opens her mouth as if to say something, but the attack is away before she can even speak.

It doesn't matter.

A bolt of blue rockets down from the rooftops; slams into the pavement inches from the book, intersecting the path of the Dead Scream.

"Zafira!" Vita calls, as the swarthy man in blue strains to contain the awesome power of Pluto's sudden assault. He's screaming as the triangular Belkan mystic diagram in front of him holds back that wave, hands thrust forward, gauntleted palms struggling. "Did you....think us FOOL enough....TO RELY ON THE KINDNESS OF TRAITORS?!" he screams, apparently under the impression this was coordinated. "I AM ZAFIRA! THE WOLKENRITTER'S GUARDIAN BEAST OF THE SHIELD, ZAFIRA! AND THE TREACHERIES OF VILLAINS....!"

Then he screams louder, the light from his shield bursting brighter, and finally an immense explosion of Plutonian magenta and Belkan white explode, blocking out all sight for some several seconds. The windows shatter; a bus stop half a mile away is ripped out of the ground by the forces released.

And when it's gone, Zafira still stands there, glaring; wheezing; but standing. Unbowed. "Will never pierce my shield," he says.

Behind him, the book slams shut, and Vita reaches out to claim it and tuck it under her arm. She looks at him, some silent communication passing between their eyes.

>>Good timing. >>So was our enemy's. We must depart. I cannot take another attack of that caliber. >>Yeah. Signum! Let's move!

Vita pulls on what little strength she has left, holding out her hammer. "EISENGEHEUL!" she screams, as Eisen's head rapidly gathers together shining power, and then suddenly releases it. The light from before was certainly calamitous; this is merely blinding, as an explosion of light and sound and wind erupts from Graf Eisen's hammerhead, disrupting all attempts to get a sense of the Wolkenritter as they depart.

<Pose Tracker> Signum [None] has posed.

When her work is done, Signum sheathes Laevatein. She exhales. This arrowhead, she thinks: it's really digging in.

And then comes the surprise. The arrival of Sailor Pluto takes Signum aback and a silent thought flies from her when the green-haired woman arrives. >>Zafira!

Lo: He comes. Signum's hand goes to press at her injury and Zafira speaks. Her face tightens and she makes no verbal response, though if any are alert they could see more of that emotional tightness in her face.

The burst of the Dead Scream washes over her, whipping her hair to near-parallel status with the road, until it fades. Soon thereafter, she streaks up as Vita drops the hammer to cover a swift departure.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Uranus's face is as still as a statue's. The Wolkenritter do what they do best, coming on as reavers. Heroic Jupiter takes the blow for her princess, and falls. The hatred on her face as she charged up to sacrifice herself was difficult to mistake. In for a penny, perhaps. Uranus accepted the risk that Sailor Moon would not forgive being betrayed. Sailor Jupiter might as well join.

A ghost of a smile breaks Uranus's stoic silence as Vita sets Signum's vigilance upon her. She keeps her arms folded as Vita walks forward. "It doesn't mean anything," she answers Vita in the Inners' stead. "Don't mistake feeling shame for taking responsibility."

The howl of Dead Scream whips the air in the street, and the evacuation of the Wolkenritter is forceful and efficient. Sailor Uranus is left standing next to an emotionally broken Mami, and she feels no more will to fight her than she did to chase the Wolkenritter. "I got the idea from you, you know," Uranus tells Mami lightly. "So I appreciate your help, though not enough to let you do the same to Kyouko-san and Eri-chan. Sailor Pluto!"

The senshi of time appears silently, her rod glowing like old lead in the dim streetlight.

"Let's go." Sailor Uranus turns away from Mami and the approaching Fuu, without a glance back at Sailor Moon.