2017-10-04 - Showdown in Shibuya

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Title: Showdown in Shibuya

In which a long-awaited rematch occurs between Chevalier and Shepherd


Mami Tomoe, Setsuna Meioh, and Hotaru Tomoe



OOC - IC Date:

Weds Oct 4, 2017 / Sun Feb 23, 2015

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> The Observer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkQ_3dV4utU

Square-bottomed bags occupy Setsuna Meioh's right forearm as if it was a closet rod and they, clothes hangers -- and that is not so inaccurate an impression, because the bags are stuffed with high end garments shopped up in Shibuya's plentiful boutiques. The slippery plastic they're made of makes strange whispery rustling sounds as she strides down a side street and away from nightlife igniting like human fireworks along Dogenzaka.

She seeks a place dark, and quiet, and secluded -- a place away from prying mortal eyes and ears. In due time, she finds such a place, and then finds her way inside, but not before pausing to audibly "tch" at the slogan on the half-legible sign of the defunct business.

- broken signARAKE -

Within, Sailor Pluto ascends through a series of tight-wound stairs and the floors between, arranged so the long-gone customers would need to pass all the merchandise on their way up. Most items have long since been cleared out, but emptied glass cases remain, displaying nothing but accumulated dust. Several layers of posters plaster the stairwells, and make it painfully obvious where bookshelves once were by the way they edge around the blank spaces along each floor's walls.

From them stare the pure-souled protagonists of yesterseason's anime and manga series, bright blue-green-pink-etc eyes winking from beneath hairstyles of various colors and complexities. All of them seem to be looking right at Pluto, their accumulated cheerfulness an accusation against the dark senshi and her dark task. She keeps climbing.

Three stories up seems good enough to her, she sets her shopping bags down in a corner and takes the center of the room as her own: squaring shoulders, she brings the tall silver column of the Garnet Rod up before her and closes her eyes. The radiance of the Orb shines strange through glass and dust, casting a rippling flare of violet-purple-red across posters and glinting through the occasional window.

The Orb floats free of its Rod, still captured in silvery loops, and Sailor Pluto sends her consciousness deep into it, leaving her body to stand tall and still and empty. Within the depths of its magics, she seeks a thing missing, a presence absent from the dissonantly-chiming artifacts chained to her waist.

She seeks her Key, and Hotaru Tomoe.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Hotaru's Sorrow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrjoTTH165E

Hotaru Tomoe is on her bed, a slender black shadow cast in contrast across a coffin's white sheet, seizing. Breathing comes to her only with difficulty, in short, sharp wheezes that stab like knives to the eardrum. One can only imagine what they're like to experience from within. Sweat pours down her forehead, dripping into her eyelashes -- though her eyes are shut tightly, forcefully even, as though the little girl has to fight to keep them that way. Curled up on her side, knees to her chest, she keeps the whole of her body centered around one thing; the tiny, sparkling gift given to her by her best and truest friend. The gorgeous silver key that, even now, is creating a bright pink impression on the palm of the fist that clutches it.

Each gasp comes more slowly than the last, until, finally, there is a gap so long and so painful -- in its absense of labor, in the silence that descends upon the room -- that it is possible that that breath was her last. She is all but indistinguishable from a corpse at the best of times, but on her bed, at least, she could almost be sleeping. This is a reprieve from the agony, surely. A blessing. The kindness of all outcomes, especially for those who seek her death.

Not even those who seek her awakening come to her side, however. This silence is of more than one part; there is the silence of her sinking demise, yes, but also the silence from the lack of a father's concern. There is no mother to place a cool hand on her brow and murmur soothingly. Not even the steady beeping of the hospital equipment that, in a happier story, might have been able to save her life.

She is utterly and absolutely alone, with only Pluto's distant sight for company.

With all the abruptness of a newly risen zombie, Hotaru's eyes fly open, and stare directly at her observer.

They are a dark and horrible crimson.

Red light fills the room, washing away everything, the vision lost.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

The slenderest and strongest of threads, like silvery spider silk woven of soulstuff, connects Pluto-the-essence to Pluto-the-body, and across it passes a shudder. Otherwise unchanging and unmoving, her physical frame yet shows signs of strain. Its breathing slows, hitches...

Holds, as one, with the girl she observes. A single drop of sweat appears on an otherwise clear brow, gleaming like a crystal.

When Hotaru's wracked little body finally hitches free of that breathless gap to glare up and into the sentinel spirit of Sailor Pluto, the senshi's frame drags in a ragged gasp, too. Was she hoping the girl would just slip into the night, with only one of those who sought that death as witness to the final sorrowful moments of a thin life abandoned? Or was she hoping... Which hope was worse?

Any vestige of violet in the light emitted by the Garnet Orb briefly burns away, flooded out by pure vivid crimson -- it bursts from the Orb, it bursts from Sailor Pluto's eyes, and she shouts without a word before sagging against the Garnet Rod. The Orb sinks back into place without a sound. She stays there a while, just because she does not wish to move.

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

At home, not far away, there is the promise of a friend's presence. Someone will probably want to be there, if only for a little while. It's a feeling that makes hunting altogether different than it used to be, altogther brighter. When she walks through the streets, she considers a shopping list for dinner, something for two or perhaps three.

Mami Tomoe has no such shopping bags now, however. Having chosen to patrol alone today, she has been admittedly faster than usual, but also had the chance to center herself somewhat. Or that /was/ what she was doing, at least. Eventually, long into her patrol after school...

Golden eyes, keen from long riflework, spot light from a building that she /knows/ to be abandoned. The high schooler narrows her eyes, looking for any further pulse... And slips around towards one of the doors, casually conjuring a ribbon to slice through what remains of the lock. She steps inside, and the light is still going; it's effortless to add to the light from the bottom of the stairwell, holding her partially murky Soul Gem and allowing the warmth of its light to envelop her, adopting a dance position in silence, in flashes as if from still image to still image.

Dressed for battle, the Queen of Shibuya steps up. Posters are all around her, stories she would love to have read. ...She's used this building before as a respite, in the rain and in the cold on long nights.

She reaches the top in silence, and stares at Sailor Pluto working her magic, narrowing her eyes as if she can understand it. Pluto's presence in her territory is an unavoidable fact, not worth fighting over, /unless/...

The light floods out and Mami watches that shout. As Sailor Pluto settles, laying there, Mami lifts a hand in silence.

"Legare," she intones, and from all around Sailor Pluto come golden ribbons, seeking to bind and entwine and pull right up to face her. Mami's expression is not angry; it is thoughtful.

"What magic are you working in my territory, Sailor Pluto?"

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe transforms into Puella Mami!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has fully healed herself.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Legare on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto narrowly braces Mami Tomoe's Legare, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto's Block ability activates!  Sailor Pluto's Parry ability activates!  Trap applied to Sailor Pluto!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

She's usually more alert, this sentinel of the outermost reaches of the galaxy, but sought this place for solitude and some modicum of security. When "Legare" breaks the silence the startlement shows in how her head snaps up, how garnet eyes widen and show their whites as she locks onto her wartime opponent. Pluto is not quick enough to avoid those ribbons, and so snaps her arms out to meet them instead, hoping to at least gain some last-second control over where they hit and bind.

Every little advantage counts, especially in a solitary battle. There's no backup nearby; Sailor Pluto has no allies around the corner, and no one even expecting her for some time. She is alone (Like Hotaru Tomoe, the thought rises unbidden, and she pushes it down again) against a foe she knows to be deadly.

Well; she has fought alone many times before.

From wide and white to narrowed those garnet eyes go, and if sorrow lingers, that is nothing new with the Guardian of Time. "Nothing I intend to share with you, Tomoe-san."

Wrists wrapped in bands of yellow silk, she wrenches the Rod up overhead against her bindings and it flares, its violet tint reclaimed -- the senshi continues, "Does it matter? You would not trust my answer, I would not expect you to. Nor will I ask you to get out of our way, because you won't. I'll just move you myself!"

The gathered energy, rumbling like eldritch thunder around the flickering Orb, looses as she shouts those last words: directly at Mami Tomoe, a streak of plutonic energy with a charging senshi chasing in its wake! The sailor scout has fought Mami before and wants to close if she can.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Garnet Blast on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe perfectly dodges Sailor Pluto's Garnet Blast, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates!  Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates!

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

Mami has no illusions that she didn't get lucky in catching Sailor Pluto unawares. This is an area she knows better than she will ever know the faces and natures of her classmates, and that's a knowledge she's paid for time and time ago.

The blonde keeps limber--long-time veteran though she might be, she has never once had the feeling that her experience compares to Sailor Pluto's. So she won't fall into complacency. After all...

She didn't bring Sayaka today. Her backup isn't anywhere close.

In the face of that sorrow Mami brings no anger. She just stares back, honeyed in the darkness. She listens, hearing Pluto's answer, and...

"You're right," Mami admits. But already she is watching the great power of the Orb crackling at Pluto's Rod, and she is moving when the shout comes, shifting to the side in a pirouette that launches her up into the upper part of this room, sending her spinning to reach the floor again with guns trailing in her wake, one two three eight and more.

"I wouldn't believe you. ...But you're sounding more like Uranus, Pluto-san. It doesn't suit you."

Glancing to the window, marking her escape route, Mami fans out both hands and all of the guns blast their report in an instant, golden light blinding.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Circle on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto narrowly braces Mami Tomoe's Tiro Circle, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is Psyched!  Sailor Pluto's Block ability activates!  Sailor Pluto's Parry ability activates!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

The trailing tugging cuffs of yellow drag at Sailor Pluto, slowing her reactions still. As she runs toward Mami Tomoe she catches flashes of a big-smiling Sailor V, fingers held up in her trademark cheerful pose, repeated and half-scraped as a line of posters along the wall -- another cheerful face watching two mahou shoujo fight over the death of a little girl. She keeps running.

A series of guns pop up, a familiar sight when in battle against Mami, and Pluto's bracing internally for the pain even as she brings up the unbreakable Rod between them. Bursting golden afterimages are a small pain in her retinas, compared to the thudding impacts of all those magical bullets. Little flutters of white trail the rushing senshi, bits of silk blasted from her senshi suit, each speaking of a bruise to bloom later.

Sailor Pluto might not be hummingbird-quick, but she does one thing very well indeed: she endures, and she does so again under this barrage as she comes for the puella magi.

"Good," comes her curt acceptance of Mami's charge.

The Rod leads, as it so often does, and Pluto rushes to be there as the downward-fluttering girl touches the floor. She kicks off of a nearby metal-framed display case, sending the whole thing skittering to crash with an earshattering explosion of glass, to come careening in a sidelong attack at the other girl -- the silvery haft of the Rod angling down in a snakestrike of a blow, using all the leveraged oncoming power Sailor Pluto can muster.

"The stakes are everything, Tomoe-san. Bigger than you, bigger than me, than all of us. All of your good intentions won't even get a grave marker if you get your way!"

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Aoristic Fulcrum on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe narrowly counters Sailor Pluto's Aoristic Fulcrum, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami Tomoe is Quipped!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro Retort, partially gets through, doing 64 Fatigue damage to Sailor Pluto!  Critical Counterhit!

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

Inevitably, movement tears and rips at the ribbons. They're a temporary measure when Mami can't afford to fully entrap her foe. Pluto is too canny for that. But Mami hits floorboards and is staring out at Pluto.

Silk. White. Mami sees it, the signs of hurting another living person, someone she respects. Is it right? Mami's drills bounce as she moves, and her guns bursting into bright lights as they fade away, getting out of /her/ way.

Pluto is inevitable; she will move towards Mami eventually, and Mami sets her jaw at Pluto's acceptance. The rod comes, and Mami tries to recall the last time they spoke. The display case makes a great noise and debris, and it means that Mami is turning to look in time to see the Rod coming straight at her. "Pluto--" It swings for her head. Mami raises her hand instantly, and the ribbon at her wrist curls up and turns into what can only be described as an ornate hand cannon, which Mami fires point-blank at her opponent hard enough to drive the Puella Magi back into the wall, slamming into a display case with the force of her retort, pushing her out of the way of the attack.

She huffs, standing. "I understand that you believe that, Sailor Pluto. ...But I don't. What problem requires the murder of a little girl? There /is/ another way."

She throws out her hand and this time it is not guns but more ribbons, curling from above, from below, from all sides to rush and weigh and slow, not even to bind but to wear down.

"Unless you want to share your sources. Tell me why you're so sure. Because I just see a murder, and I've done too many of those already."

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Parete on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto narrowly braces Mami Tomoe's Parete, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Pluto's Block ability activates!  Sailor Pluto's Parry ability activates!  Diversion and Exhausted applied to Sailor Pluto!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Ribbons curl, shape, solidify, and Sailor Pluto stares down the barrel of a gun.

There is nothing novel about the sensation that coils in her gut and slides through her veins, cool like worms in cemetary earth. The senshi of time has had a gun pointed at her before. She has just enough time to remember the thing she tries not to remember, forcibly, before its reminder blasts her full-on.

The recoil sent Mami Tomoe back against a wall; the applied force of that hammerblow of a shot wallops Sailor Pluto directly in the chest, and her mystical senshi nature just manages to keep her intact. She doesn't feel very whole, though, she feels like a great jagged crater got punched straight through her, like she'll never be able to drag a full breath into bruised lungs again. The pretty dark ribbon at the v-neck of her sailor suit explodes into silken bits.

She picks herself up out of the crunched wreckage of a display case, its flimsy metal caved in around her from the force of her impact against it -- it clatters and falls apart entirely as Pluto exits it, causing further pops like gunfire as pieces of glass break against the floor. The senshi coughs, a harsh wheeze of a thing, against the back of her hand.

The ribbons come and the solitary guardian endures, as she always does and always will, tallying more wickedly-edged bruises and bloodblisters. They wear Sailor Pluto down. She keeps standing.

Draws herself up, even, the implacable nobility of her unwillingness to surrender present in every stiffly held limb and the way the senshi lifts a chin that feels made of lead. "Share my sources?" The Guardian of Time's voice has a hollow quality to it, an echoing one. Not as if it is empty, but rather as if it fills the building around them rather than her lungs and throat.

"I AM the source! I know what she brings because I have seen it!" There is something terrible in her eyes. Perhaps it has been there since she stared down that gunbarrel; perhaps it is older yet. "You, In all your youth and the endless /wisdom/ that comes with it, are so sure you know better than those who have sought other answers since long before your birth?"

Even though the tall woman can barely stand, now she is running, her boot-tips dragging a bit with every step but she doesn't let that slow her, just drags them all the harder for it. And the Rod, the Rod is whirling in her grip, soon more audible than visible: a menacing WHRRRRR of ghostly metal, sacred and deadly in the grasp of its keeper.

It's clear the Guardian of Time will not stop coming, not Here and Now, and not in this war.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Pendulum Blitz on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe narrowly dodges Sailor Pluto's Pendulum Blitz, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto is Psyched!  Mami Tomoe's Fade ability activates!  Mami Tomoe's Flash ability activates!

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

There is a difference in Mami and others who have pointed guns at Pluto. One among many, this difference is that Mami has no orders to wait for, no need to hesitate except for her own justice. She acts as soon as she sees it fit, dispassionate, distant.

And now that she is out of the wreckage, somehow her outfit is still clean, still solid... Though the gem at her hat remains murky. She stares into Pluto's cough, shows no remorse for harming this woman.

But always she remembers faces, those she killed in Pluto's presence when they were working together. She puts the memory to the back of her mind, focusing on angles and probabilities, on what she can do next. And she will have to do next because her opponent will not surrender.

Not yet anyway.

Pluto's voice fills the room though, and Mami feels it in her skin, feels it rustle her hair. Her eyes widen at that /weight/, at something old there, at being reminded of her youth, that for all of her long years in this battle some have been at it for far longer. She takes a half-step back.

She's a high schooler again suddenly, rather than only the Puella Magi who has claimed this territory, and as a high schooler she finds Pluto running straight for her. That staff hits her quickly, one-two-three even as she starts moving out of the way, lunges backward and pulls a rifle as she goes, another, another, juggling them to toss them up above her and start catching and firing, one by one, twirling the whole way, pulling more as she dances round her opponent.

"...Yes, I'm young compared to you," Mami answers as she does, coldly but for something in her stomach that infuses her words. "I believe you've seen something awful. ...But I /do/ know."

Her last gun for now fires as she tries to keep circling, "We don't live in a world where atrocity is the only answer. I /refuse/. I won't!" Her guns fade. She's still moving, smarting from wounds physical and otherwise.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Flourish on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto perfectly counters Mami Tomoe's Tiro Flourish, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Counter!  Sailor Pluto's Reverse ability activates!  Sailor Pluto's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto's counterattack, Garnet Ball, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mami Tomoe!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Just as she observed the shuddering of the young girl she intends to see the death of, Sailor Pluto watches the effect her intonations have on the blonde-drilled puella magi. The widening eyes and awed retreat are things she has seen before, and will see again: the reaction of a mortal confronted with something eternal and unknowable, another piece of distance between the Soldier of Revolution and the world she protects. No sorrow shows in her expression, and the sadness in her eyes, well, that has always been there.

Her blows connect and she takes no pleasure in that, no satisfaction, and stumbles forward a bit when Mami finally lunges out of range. For all that her titanium will pushes it on, this battered body of Pluto's is approaching certain physical limits, and she can feel it. She keeps pushing.

Like a dancing golden flower blooming death around her, the puella magi twirls about Sailor Pluto with rifles and their brilliant reports, bang! bang! bang! and there is no withstanding that barrage, nor evading it. Instead of calling on her body, she calls on her mind.

Bullets travel quickly, but the consciousness is swifter still, and the violet spark that is Sailor Pluto descends into the heart of the Garnet Orb within a fraction of an eyeblink. Garnet flares -- the Orb blows outward, a single silent pulse that washes over Sailor Pluto without so much as ruffling the tattered collar of her senshi suit.

Everything around her blasts outward, shoved by the expanding magic shell: a glittering ball of garnet, off which Mami's rifle shots ricochet, harmless to the senshi but perhaps not to the remaining displays which get rocked and aerated by bullets pinging at strange angles. The force of the expansion crunches into a heavy display cabinet and smashes it out into the windows along one wall, busting them outward and sending the whole thing crashing to the pavement outside a few seconds later in a truly raucous explosion of sound.

The outside wind whips in through the ragged hole left behind, drawing Pluto's long evergreen mane up and out like a shining flag. She pants, leaning a bit more visibly on her sacred weapon than she would like, and glares at Mami Tomoe.

"You don't get to choose the kind of world you live in. You just get to live in it. Unless you Chevaliers have your way." She grinds it out, and those words sound more personal, lack that thrumming echo of moments before. "Then there won't be a world for anyone, not Now, not Ever."

She isn't sure how her tortured sinews will respond if she asks too much of them, and rather than risk betraying physical weakness, Pluto opts to call on her sacred weapon once more. The coalescing remnants of dissipating energy wrap to her, on her command, adhere to the Rod as she lifts it, and with a silvery downward arc she slings another roiling cloud of plutonic energy at the puella magi. "You first struck me as a person who understood necessity, Tomoe-san. Maybe that has changed, or maybe you choose blind hope because of the company you keep. Think about whether you're protecting your friends, or joining them in chasing doom."

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Garnet Blast on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to dodge Sailor Pluto's Garnet Blast, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto is Psyched!

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Credens Justitiam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqQ3hP_q7Ns

Time has a way of intimidating those who know theirs can be short. The eternity that Mami wants to grasp is a different kind than the Soldier's, though. She is used to confronting the unknowable, for putting herself where she needs to be or that.

When Pluto stumbles, Mami takes the opportunity to move as best she can, but... In this case, it finally fails to work. That Orb blowing outward in a pulse crashes Mami's bullets into the walls, breaking open a wall. Mami eyes it for a potential escape route if she has to. Her eyes narrow at Pluto regardless. This...

Mami stares, jaw set, at Pluto's words. They're ground out, and Mami keeps her ground against them...

She does not against the Rod, in this case. The cloud slams straight into her, sparking about her arms and knocking her backward into a wall aain, which cracks behind her.

"And how can you find the best parts of that world without trying for it? Without believing in them?" Mami shakes her head, as she starts to pull ribbons from her wrists.

"I understand what you're saying. I do. ...But I've come too far in this direction, done too much, to stop now. I'll have to believe that the world is better than the one I've been shown."

The ribbons grow, until Mami hurls one out like a whip straight at Pluto, and then another, as more coalesce from everywhere around, so many that for an instant nothing else can be seen. Mami takes the first and starts running about the room, spinning to bind Pluto with more and more magical silk.

There is always more of it, and it tightens so much as to make it hard to move, hard to /breathe/, all without a single blade.

"Which is why I'm doing this right now." Her stinging wounds, her cloudy soul gem, her feelings about Pluto...

Mami keeps twirling her ribbons.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mami Tomoe has used Concludere on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto fails to dodge Mami Tomoe's Finisher, Concludere, taking 68 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto is unable to keep fighting!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

When the ribbons come, Pluto knows she can't withstand them -- in all truth, she suspects she could barely withstand a good hard shove, though that shows as little as she allows -- and she's pretty sure she can't get out of their way, either. But she has to try, and does so with a hitching half-step back away, toward that chunked-out hole in the third story wall. Maybe she can get out that way, before-

Then the ribbons hit, winding around limbs and torso until her shredded senshi silks nearly disappear beneath them. Sailor Pluto struggles, but at the same time dimly realizes that the tension of all those drawn yellow strands is the only thing keeping her upright any more.

"You're- you're wrong, and you'll--"

Inward-hitching, constricting, Mami's magical ribbons begin to oh so casually squeeze the very consciousness from the senshi she's caught. Words cut off with the forced hsssing of the rest of the air from her chest, Pluto can only glare at Mami, filling her eyes with as much conviction as she can muster.

Black stars burst in her vision, and the senshi fights it, sends what waning strength remains to limbs that are far too heavy to move. The oxygen strangles from her bloodstream, denied by compressed lungs that have no space to fill. She keeps struggling.

Even as she sags against the ribbons she's fighting it, and the last thought she has is a muzzy "...no" that echoes into nothingness as the stoic senshi finally, finally succumbs. Her head droops, bangs obscuring eyes that empty of consciousness and then close in forced sleep. Even then one hand clings to the Garnet Rod, keeping it from clattering to the floor.

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

It is an old move of Mami's, this one. She remembers when it was her main tool against Witches, and how hard that was. ...But for better or worse, Mami isn't that little girl that she used to be anymore.

Mami is the girl who watches Pluto struggle, as she keeps her magic tightly binding the ancient and powerful woman before her. That sense of age doesn't abate; that sense of... Sadness, doesn't abate either.

Pluto says that she's wrong, and Mami shakes her head. "I don't think I am." She says it quietly, no longer moving as she waits. She just has the main ribbon tight in her hand, her eyes waiting for Pluto to find a way to escape, to find a way to counter her. But this time, she does not. Mami thinks she can hear a murmur.

She waits, for a few moments. She has to be sure, ...But Mami walks up after that, gently checking Sailor Pluto's face for consciousness. "...I really don't think I am."

With a snap of her fingers, Mami dismisses her ribbons, catching the unconscious form of her foe and lowering her gently to the floor.

When Sailor Pluto awakens, later, her things are where she left them. She is covered in a yellow blanket, with a note beside her head. In perfect, feminine, elegant script it reads the following:

'Please do not work such magic in my territory again.'

Mami Tomoe is long gone.