2018-05-12 - SPACE JAIL: The Battle In Space

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The Battle In Space

Sailor Moon, Chibi-Usa, and friends enter the Black Moon UFO in order to save their friends, who have themselves broken out of prison and are staging an escape. It takes everyone to confront Rubeus and Jasper -- and rescue the last of the prisoners, held in the innermost sanctum.


Usagi Tsukino, Chibi-Usa Tsukino, Rubeus, Jasper, Garnet, Pearl, Shigure Shiratsuyu, Mai Mishou, Mai Tokiha, Takeo Akamizu, Ren Aizawa, Steven Universe, Ami Mizuno, Niramo Umokeshi, Mikoto Minagi, Setsuna Meioh, Nori Ankou, Kasagami Araki, Saki Hyuuga



OOC - IC Date:

05-12-2018 - 04-17-2015


<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"You recovered it? Ah - thank goodness! How'd you manage that anyhow?"

On screen in front of Luna and Artemis below the Game Center Crown was Usagi Tsukino's tired looking face through her communicator.

"Um - Don't worry about that! I'll tell you all about it later."

"Got it. You look tired - why don't you take a nap and we'll contact you soon. Luna and I are coming up with a plan on how to infiltrate the enemy's base as we speak."

"Right - I definitely feel like we could use one - just for a little while."

Luna signed off the screen and turned on her swivel seat to Artemis who had a pensive face before saying.

"Are you sure we can't just ask Madoka-chan to help? She does look a little like her after all."

"For the last time no! We'll come up with something!"


~One hour later~

The table in front of the two cats has a singular idea jotted down on paper. It shows cat legs sticking out of the bottom of a Juuban elementary uniform - and a wig in Chibi-Usa's hairstyle.

"This won't work... maybe if we..."


~34 minutes later~

It's the same idea, but it now has two cats sticking out of the same uniform. One balancing on top of another. Speech bubbles have been drawn which read. 'I'm the rabbit!"

The two cats are slumped in despair, sighing.

"Maybe we really should ask Madoka-chan for help after all."

"No - no you were right. Let's just wrack our brains a little harder..."



BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3o5YtTPvJ0

The girl never took a nap. Instead she's leaning over the railing at a train station. The light pollution of the city bleeds out over the horizon unto the dark clouds looming overhead - but still there's the faint silvery outline of the moon behind it.

Despite being faint it's comforting in it's own way

"Haruka-san... really thinks I'm..." Her eyes look tired, but there's this faint smile on her expression. Subdued in how it seems as she clicks open her compact to look at the heart-shaped crystalline treasure within. Something wet wells up in the bottom of her eyelids. "I guess I have to go alone after all. I can't expose Chibi-Usa or anyone else to danger. I said all those things before but... now that I really can do it... I can feel my old self making excuses again. 'I'm sleepy!' 'I'm scared!' 'I don't want to go there by myself!"

Wiping her eyes on the back of her denim jacket - she clicks her compact shut and tips her chin up - she looks at the sky. To some spot where she imagines everyone must be.

She's thinking of all of her friends that are up there. She's also thinking of Madoka who must be suffering so hard - from everything as of late. And about Chibi-Usa who feels so guilty - hoping she's still napping at that home. Getting that moment of quiet and peace in her stead. And she's thinking of someone on a park bench and the girl she'd like to be.

But finally she thinks of a dignified - elegant magical girl with ringlets of gold who always inspired her to push a little harder rather than to make those excuses of her past self. That image of her inspires her to say the same thing she'd told him she'd want to say.

"Please wait for me everyone - I'll be there to rescue you soon."


BGM Change: Silence.

Sailor Moon arrives at Ueno Park in the utter pitch of night. There's no sense of triumph in her reappearance. Her slim-heeled moonboots making only the lightest imprints at her passing from sidewalk to grass.

She's girded for battle - holding the Spiral Moon Heart Rod but to outside observers it might have a sense of solemnity. Because she's a girl who hasn't even reached her sixteenth birthday walking to her execution.

That's not what it really is. She has every intention of fighting. No matter how one-sided it may seem - no matter how many advantages her foes have over her and how hopeless that makes it.

All the same, she'd rather be walking to have that kind of sentence carried out upon her - than to the funeral of any of her friends.

But since she's walking alone - does it matter what she's planning? The grim reality is that these are likely her final minutes on this mortal coil.

Despite her slow pace - she's breathing hard - by the time she reaches the pond in the center she's all but panting from the pronounced anxiety.

She doesn't need to announce her presence - she doesn't need to wait long at all.

The colossal vessel of black and green crystal dips below the thick cloud cover. A ring of lights shining from the bottom. A hatch disappears at the bottom.

And then everything becomes strange as the laws of reality are bent. It's first noticed by how the lilies on the water start to strain against their roots - how the leaves and blossoms of the trees begin to fall upwards as if gripped by a strange wind.

And then gravity inverts. Sailor Moon's boots leave the ground, and while at first she flails a bit under this feeling - she doesn't fight it further.

She knows it's her way inside.

It carries her onward and upward at terrifying speed all the way inside the craft. Until she's deposited down on a crystalline floor of a lightless room. The sound of her heels clicking down sounds strangely distorted in how it reverberates. Like the impact and the sound were being absorbed.

And while she doesn't yet see anyone - she announces. "Rubeus! I'm here! But I won't give you the Rabbit until you send everyone back to Earth!"

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The cocoa is warm and sweet, perfect for cheering someone up, for getting a little energy... And it is good. But Chibi-Usa, after it's finished, finds herself looking down, pensive. "...Madoka-chan," she says, after a few moments, now that they're alone in the room. Her hands fold together, she fidgets.

"What... should I do?" she asks the older girl, without looking up at her. "Everyone... Everyone's going to get hurt because of me, again..."

"It's not your fault. Even if you messed up, you're not the one who hurt anyone. Put the blame where it belongs, with the jerky jerk red guy whose head is so big it could only fit in the sky."

"With him..."

Chibi-Usa looks into nothing for a little while, thinking, near this gentle older girl. ...And the other one, who was her friend...

"...I'm... gonna go to the bathroom, okay...?"


"Chibi-Usa-chan! Chibi-Usa-chan!"

Small Lady feels a pang of guilt as she turns to look back at Madoka, peering around a bush as the other girl starts looking for her. ...But she doesn't go back. She turns, and takes off running, running until she's far enough that she won't go back. She has somewhere she has to be.

"Put the blame where it belongs..." She trails off, and then nods firmly, "...Like that girl... I won't give up, either!"

But it's a long trip on small legs. The cat orb Luna-P bobbles along behind her...


Pink hair could announce the presence of a young girl, if only Sailor Moon looked back around the corner. ...As Sailor Moon moves forward, Chibi-Usa watches--and scoots closer, rushing along to a new set of cover as fast as she can. The vessel comes down, and Chibi-Usa looks in shock as gravity starts to invert. Her eyes widen, watching Sailor Moon be brought upward. "That's--"


'Rubeus! I'm here! But I won't give you the Rabbit until you send everyone back to Earth!'


A small girl's voice carries as the Rabbit herself steps forward, in light jeans and red jacket, her trademark odango properly done up again. Her chin is high as she moves to stand beside Sailor Moon... betrayed mostly by the shake of her legs.

<Pose Tracker> Rubeus [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Black Moon Plotting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZe_Lx29LA8

The Black Moon UFO is cold.

It's cold on the outside, where sneaky rescuers land upon its spikes; they have a tiny bit of give to them, a curious flexibility that one does not associate with the brittleness of crystal. It's easy to get inside; there is a secondary opening, other than the one that gaped wide to draw in Sailor Moon, off to the left along the side, and it's easy to spot because of the eerie purplish light leaking out of it. There's a sort of energy field across it, but it provides no more resistance to entrance than a curtain of beads, with a similarly weird feeling on the skin along the way.

It's colder on the inside.

The air is clammy, crawling with a sort of super-saturated weight that is instantly recognizable as that of the terrible power that created a black hole in Jindai, and more recently, flattened a small army of of magical girls into the beach for easy capturing.

The walls and floors are very cold and very smooth and very dark. There isn't much of a high-tech vibe here; it is, if anything, arcane in feel. Occasionally, a series of ultraviolet runes glow in sequence along a wall or above a door or around someone's footsteps. Illumination comes from black-light torches, creating bizarre distortions of color and an endlessly shifting dance of radiance and umbra as the shadows flicker and flow.


The silence was terrible, as Sailor Moon arrived, ostensibly alone, in the park; as the apeture opened smoothly; as the beam emerged to encompass her, to draw her upwards.

But now that she -- as they -- are inside -- the floor closes beneath them -- and, at long last, Rubeus makes himself heard.

Not seen, though. His laughter, as it spills through the ship like a cup overflowing with wine, arrives without distortion. It's not like an intercom at all; more like somehow his lips hover just above every individual ear. Powerful technology -- powerful magic.

"How foolish, to bring both the Silver Crystal and Rabbit... by accident. Accidental wisdom to surrender fully, however. How very typical of you, Sailor Moon... you really are useless without your friends. And -- welcome aboard, Rabbit. I promise you, your trip will be very... short."


Echoing through the corridors, there's the distinct ten-hut noise of dozens and dozens of feet stepping forward as one into a readied position.

Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa discover, as the lights come up, that they are in a massive space -- and share it with a small army of droids. Droid, here, being the technical term for the shock troopers of the Black Moon Clan; monstrous creatures, featureless gray-green but for the inverted celestial sigil on their foreheads. They are taller and stronger than any man, and capable of great feats of transformation, suitable for any scheme.

There's no need for subterfuge here, however. Their inhumanity is on full display, and they possess no particular theme (examples: chess, frozen yogurt, professional wrestling, cosmetics). Now, those smooth faces are their own horror.

Cure Egret, Ren, Mai, Lancelot and Solais see them too, at the end of their own corridor, which terminates into the same vast chamber. Only -- from their angle of approach, they see the droids' backs.

And, past them, they see the massive green Hand Ship that started everything -- with, distantly, the tiny figures of their friends, blinking as the lights switch on abruptly, having emerged from a silvery airlock...

...right into that same waiting army of droids who have in fact assembled in what turns out to be the docking bay. Mouths form on those creepy blank heads, lips first, and then teeth, smiling with anticipation, then gaping impossibly, jawlessly wide. A rising sense of power indicates that they are about to ambush the escapees as one.

COMBAT: Rubeus transforms into Small Army Of Droids!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

When Shigure Shiratsuyu acquired the Relic of the Claiomh Solais, she had no idea what to expect of the world of magic before her, but...


This is probably not one of the things she expected to have to do.

Out on one of the highest skyscrapers of Tokyo -- the Municipal Building where there's an open balcony serving as an outlook for tourists, there's...

...a suspicious-looking young lady with a ski mask and a black jumpsuit carrying a fun-size trampoline with her suddenly superhuman-endowed strength, courtesy of the Symphogear Relic.

She promised Nanoha-chan she'd do something, and while it wasn't going to NASA to find a space rocket to fly up there to Rubeus' UFO, this was approximately the next best plan she could muster up on the record.

(Why is she in a ski mask, you ask? Because she doesn't even want to be recognised as being possibly the only one, to her knowledge, silly enough to jump off the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to try to climb onto a UFO...)

"Hang in there, Sailor Moon... I'll help however I can..." Shigure murmurs underneath her mask, and stares up towards the UFO. Wait for it, wait for it, and...


Five seconds later, the Maiden of Solais is pinwheeling through the air as she thinks:



Fortunately, fortunately, Solais' jump is true, and she winds up rolling onto the side of the Black Moon UFO and keeps rolling until she goes 'thwak' along the side of one of the arcane, runic walls.

For a moment groggy, she rips her mask off with a gasp as she stares and peers towards the army of Black Moon shocktrooper droids, scowling. She clenches her fists for a moment as she looks to the others-- and knows what they need to do. Her friends need her. There's no time for her to be hesitant!

"Claiomh Solais, I beseech of thee..."

She sings--

The knell of the bell that rings at the end of the world...

When, oh when did we appear?

The massive greatsword begins to separate behind her, floating up into the air as she holds her palms outspread. A glyph of holy lights erupts at the base of her feet.

Can no one recall our true memories?

I'm certain it is engraved in one of our body's cells...

Her eyes light with a reverberant power as she holds it forward -- and the image of eight ringing bells erupts ethereally around the pillars that form the apex of the power she can manifest upon the Relic now.

This world accelerates, with unchanging speed

To its certain gravity of destruction...

Ah, when the world announces its end

The Eight Bells of Heaven shall resonate...

The bells each ring, resonantly, in harmony. They shimmer, and from within them -- a reverberating noise echoes out with a pulsating light that ensconces the members of the Droid Army closest to her.

It feels... strange. Harrowing. But she's never been so sure in the Relic she's viewed skepetically as a weapon of destruction than ever before, now, when her path is laid out in front of her like this...

Like a hymn to the purity of my love...

If you truly are listening...

We will definitely be able to...

Listen to its knell...

The final bell of the Eight tolls.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Shigure Shiratsuyu has used Eight Ringing Bells of Heaven on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

It is not in Cure Egret's nature to emote much, when she panics. Her panic is a quiet, private thing. A stare longer than it needs to be; a shuffle to her fingers, subtly curling and uncurling by her side; a tension in her neck and forehead that could go easily missed. This is true of Mai Mishou in many ways: she is an understated sort, who does not show a lot of what she feels in outward movements and words. To be understated, though, is not the same as a failure to feel.

Yes, she thinks, as she stands atop the roof of a skyscraper -- atop the very antenna, perched with perfection precision on it -- with her arms folded. She feels panic right now.

She looks at the UFO hovering over Tokyo and she knows. Saki Hyuuga is somewhere inside that thing. Her best friend, the person she is closest to in the world, is locked within and undergone whatever fate awaits. Mai Mishou has a very good reason to panic.

She can be Cure Egret today, though, and push that panic back -- and funnel it into something useful.

So she leaps. She springs off the antenna top into a tight spiral, sparkles of brilliant white light trailing after her. Her feet slam into a hatch and punch through it. There is no unified plan; there is no grand scheme to enter the UFO and save everyone. She lands, slamming into the floor in a three-point stance. She looks up, in time to see and hear the ringing of bells. She moves, a silent silver dart, that rushes past the Symphogear candidate and slams into the first drone. Cure Egret kicks off it, light bursting out, and rises into the air.

She crashes down into the midst of the army of drones -- not touched by them, not landing on one, but on her hands. She does a wide sweeping kick, and silver light trails off that too, trying to knock them over. Then, she swings back her fist. Silver glows along it, surges across it. She has to get to Bloom.

She can rescue her, then tell her. She punches into the ground, and a shockwave made of motes of silvery light blasts outward, hurling back another wave of Rubeus's army. Cure Egret was silent.

She looks up, purple hair whipping upward, bangs bouncing against her ears, and then she breaks the silence.

"Bloom! Where are you?"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Egret has used Sky Feather Cross on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

In the dead of night, hidden atop a skyscraper, a girl stares at the feeble illumination of a cellphone screen. There's a number of conversations there, ranging wildly in the most recent part of the conversation - in most cases, the other party having gotten the last word. 'You too, Sis. Don't stay up too late.' 'Don't be an idiot, Tokiha.' 'On my way!'

But Mai's eyes are locked on her own words, an offer of help, helpfully tagged with the network information of 'message not read'.

With a weary sigh, she puts the device to sleep, tucking it into her jacket pocket. There's the slightest crunch as she does, as there was something in that pocket - but better this one than the pocket containing a bottle of water. She looks up at the looming spires of black crystal, taking a deep breath to steel her nerves. It's a terrifying force, and there's a slumbering fury that wants to fact it...but there's someone precious to her inside.

Footfalls behind her give her pause, but the clank of armor is familiar enough that a faint smile finds its way onto her face in spite of everything. Turning, she chuckles mirthlessly. "And here I thought your plan was going to be a motorcycle and a big enough ramp. I guess I could give you a lift..."

Fire flashes in the night, coalescing into rings of gold as solemn determination returns her gaze to the approaching ship. "...and hopefully, Mikoto is..." A sigh. "...thanks."


It's cold. It's April, it's supposedly spring, it shouldn't be this cold - but the flames burning around her Elements are the only heat Mai can feel in this place as she gently touches down from a hover through the air. Shivering a moment, she looks to the looming corridor ahead as she sets Lancelot down from his bridal carry. "I have to confess, I have no idea what's in there...but they have Mikoto. I don't know where she is, but they have her - let's be as quiet as we can until we can't..." Shivering, glancing at the cityscape behind her for hopefully not the last time, Mai starts to make her way inside...

Then there's laughter. Laughter, and mockery, and the voice of the mastermind who -took Mikoto away- helps Mai shove down the fear. In spite of her words to Lancelot moments ago, she starts advancing at an increasing pace - a walk turning to a jog to loping half-leaps to simply giving up contact with the floor entirely. She's aware that she's not alone, but-

Mai Tokiha comes to a screeching halt, shoes skidding along the floor, as the passage opens into a chamber. Lancelot's footsteps are with her as the army of droids looms - faceless, countless, a menace without number. Beyond that army, beyond everything, a gleaming green hand-

And emerging from that, a small group, including a small figure she can recognize from here. "MIKOTO!"

Mai-HiME shouts, forgetting any hope of stealth, rings burning bright enough to illuminate the droids before her. It is indeed time to be loud - as lightning roars out, as silver light shines, as an ominous bell tolls. She rushes forward, heedless, rings clashing against and burning against the first droid. There's an army between her and someone precious, and she doesn't care.

The droids are legion. Mai has only struck against one - but the rings pressed against that first droid are spinning faster, burning brighter.

Kagutsuchi's wielder raises her voice louder as blazing flames gather before her, a miniature shining star forming inside this one droid. "Don't you dare touch her!" And then - it blazes forth. Through the droid, through its nearest companion, a burning star shooting through the army. It incinerates, it batters aside, it tears through everything that stands in Mai's way.

In its wake, the HiME stumbles a moment - but stumbles forward, walking among the flames.

<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Video Games hold a certain importance to the male youth. One could say they are so important that one, who is magically inclined, might miss the frantic wavings of his magical companion Merlin trying to inform him of impending doom and gloom, and perhaps alien invasion. So much so that this boy in question, finally picked up the rabbit and put him in his lap with c arrot thinking that his magical companion merely wanted to be warm again, and possibly wanted a carrot.

So it is occuring while Takeo desperately tries to beat the new Sailor V game while hopped up on copius amounts of Mt. Dew and cheese snacks, that the ONLY thing that ccould break him out of his Video Game mantra is recieving a text message. (To this custom notification: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7lmAc3LKWM ) He blinks, pausing the game and reads the message outloud; "Mikoto's been captured, I'm going after her, food's in the fridge if I don't make it back - Mai." He blinks and looks at Merlin, "Oh man. I gotta go .... "

A quick transformation later and Lancelot is standing on a Skyscraper looking for the tell tale signs of Mai Tokiha. Usually a Dragon, or spinning disks of fire. He pants slightly but once Mai gets there he stcks out a thumb. "Um. Going my way?"

A Mai asks about what insane plan he came up with THIS time, he resists the urge to tell her: Charge in there and blow everything up. Instead he says, "I mean. I was going to use a motorcycle, but I literally just bought a new one." He nods once and looks up at the looming thing. "Right. Let's do this."

Some careful arrangements later, and Lancelot finds himself being carried bridal style by Mai up to the UFO. He blushes slightly, and looks to Mai, careful not to put his face too close to her's, "Are we going loud or being sneaky?" However once they land and inside, he blinks at the Army of droid. "LOUD, Go loud!" He draws in every ounce of power he can possibly draw into him and screams out, "ANIMA TEMESTAS!"

The power he just drew in is vast and it is unleashed like the the mother of all llightning storms. Especially with so many metal droids in the blast radius. The beam of lighting whips and cracks blowing limbs, heads and bodies apart in a swath of electric destruction. The lighting flickers and throws shadows on the walls and ceilings and floors, and makes everything inside the side's hold appear to be in hues of blue and white. He walks forward unleashing this torrent of power. Trying to get the maximum amount of carnage and destruction on the bad guys. When he finishes he pants again, the twin baldes of Arondight glowing white hot and steaming in the air.

He looks to Mai and says between breaths, "Looks like Plan A after all ... "

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mai Tokiha has used Ardent Splendour on Rubeus.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Lancelot has used Anima Tempestas on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

While the other rescuers might have met up and discussed plans amongst themselves on how to best approach this situation, Ren opted for remaining solo regarding her approach to the UFO. Her eyes were utterly focused on it in the sky, the distance between it and her closing steadily. Her body language was tense, Heraut gripped tightly in her hand. The device pinged softly, though said nothing. Once she was close enough it became readily apparent that getting in would not be too difficult given the fact that there was an actual side-entrance for one to hop on through. So, she did just that.

Although... the ease of access to the ship was suspicious. Ren was only able to figure that those responsible for the kidnapping were more than confident in their own capabilities. Afterall, they did manage to thoroughly trump and capture a group of typically not-so-easily beaten magical combatants. That took skill and formidable power. Even now she could feel some of that aforementioned power in the cold, alien interior, eyes adjusting soon enough to reveal the backs of several droid minions which had assembled. She could see a bit past them, too, eyes falling on the Hand Ship, then to a group of people who had just emerged from it.

"Endo." Ren says softly. Is he among them? She searches as best she can from her position, growing panicked when it doesn't seem like he is. Pretty quickly, however, desperation turns to anger.

"Heraut." Is all she says as she levels him at the backs of the drones. Even as others show up and start attacking, she pays them no mind, jaw clenched as a Midchildan runic circle springs to life beneath her feet. The lance-device begins to shift with accompanying clicks and whirrs. Once the transformation is finished, a barrel similar to that of a cannon extends forth from the very tip and begins to gather energy. Simulatenously, several pairs of effulgent, bronze-colored-and-wing-shaped energy constructs unfurl themselves from the length of Heraut's new form -- gleaming -- humming -- with power. Ren stands still for a moment, lips parting to only say one thing.

"Eos Fracture."

And with all the poise she can muster, Ren falls into a forward thrust akin to what an accomplished fencer would execute. The wings jutting out from Heraut rocket forward at the same time, and when they reach the end of the barrel they join the energy there to form an absolute conflagration that unleashes outward and through the intervening space where it rips through several of the droids as if they were made of simple paper mache. They're left as nothing more than ashes... as they should be.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Ren Aizawa has used Eos Fracture on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

'Right!' "See! She even agrees with me!" Sailor Moon says without realization of who actually said it for a moment or that she's supposed to be alone. At least until Rubeus makes his announcement by sinister magic and they mention the Rabbit. For just a moment she seems lost to why that might be until she sees a little tuft of pink hair and double takes as she realizes who she was responding to and cries out - "CHIBI-USA!?"

There's something genuine - pure in her startlement. It can't be feigned at all. Which is why it may be unconvincing when a moment later she starts patting the other girl roughly on the head, before announcing it to everyone.

He may not even hear it given how he was speaking - and yet... if he can. This may be her only chance to act to preserve her life. "Ha! You fell for it Rubeus! She's not the Rabbit - she's my cousin Chibi-Usa! Did you really think I'd hand over the Rabbit so easily!? What an idiot! You totally fell for it!"

This seems unwise, insulting Rubeus in any way - and especially trying to con him with such a bad bluff. And yet she's trying to think of her feet, to recover from the unexpected and the blunder. People often give her little credit for her intelligence - but the fact she's coming up with this so quickly on the fly may still be impressive.

While Chibi-Usa may be less impressed with the sudden rough pat, Sailor Moon suddenly leans over to her and whispers, "I'll try to keep him distracted away from you - while you try and hide. Don't take any unnecessary risks but if you think there's something you can do..." There's a smile there that might remind Chibi-Usa just briefly of her mother's smiles. "... I trust you."

It might seem so strange to say that. To the girl who has been keeping secrets from her for so long - who infiltrated her family, and has been making her life more difficult with every turn. So soon after she stole the Silver Crystal - she's saying she trusts her. And trusts her judgement.

Yet there's absolutely no hint of a lie in it.

And then the lights come on. Sailor Moon looks away from the girl and any confidence in her expression fades in the face of the small army of inhuman droids.

However there's also the hand ship ahead of her - and with it there's hope that those abducted are still alive - and there are also magical girls on the other side of that Droid army. that must have snuck on when it dropped down. "Everyone you're..." They say many things. A few say they're with her. Many call out to their loved ones. Others just attack in this rousing call to arms. But the message she receives causes her to choke up mid-sentence - because what she hears is that she's absolutely not alone - though she knew that before. It's easy to forget sometimes - but as her wish in D-Point taught her, the words resound in her head again.

I am never alone!

Facing the droid army, there's a look of fierce resolve on her expression as she grips the Spiral Moon Heart Rod and raises it high before beginning the motions of a spell she's become well known for - beginning a breath-taking spin that's faster and faster- heralding what's coming long before it takes shape


Sailor Moon becomes the epicenter of ground zero. A heart of intense luminescence begins to shine like a bomb, growing and growing outward in a full three hundred and sixty degrees around her. Expanding unto the Droid army. All that touch it scream 'Lovely!' soundlessly from their grotesque mouths as they're disintegrated in scores. The heart's sacred brightness rejecting them on all sides.

Once the bright storm of power fades - she dashes forward out of it towards the ship - arms pumping as she breathlessly shouts in the hopes the abductees hear them. "Everyone! I'm here-!" But then she corrects herself - because while correct - there's something much more correct. "We're here!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Of course it's cold--but then, Chibi-Usa would find herself chilled here even if it were hot. Rubeus speaks up, and she looks up and around, trying to find him--but he's not there. It's just...


But before Chibi-Usa can say anything, Sailor Moon is talking and the smaller girl does get jarred a little by the rough pat on her head. "H-hey--" She starts to complain, except that with that whisper... Chibi-Usa blinks, looks up at Sailor Moon in surprise. That smile--she doesn't recognize it, but it feels right. "...Got it," she whispers back, and looks forward.


"Where is--" Chibi-Usa's voice cuts out very abrubtly as she hears the sound, as the light comes up... and as the army of scary monsters is reveal. "Aaah..." As short as she is, she can't see the others opposite the army, only Sailor Moon beside her and a whole lot of trouble. Her eyes are wide. But Sailor Moon--Sailor Moon sees them, sees those beyond, and talks about everyone. Once she can see that look--she knows. She knows, and she can see them over there.

Brilliant light; blazing flames. Energy, ringing bells... an old familiar music....

"C-come on!" Chibi-Usa calls to everyone, hopping in place once, looking up with hope. "We're here! You can do it!!"

So bright... "I know it!"

COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace Shigure Shiratsuyu's Finisher, Eight Ringing Bells of Heaven, taking 134 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace Cure Egret's Finisher, Sky Feather Cross, taking 56 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace Mai Tokiha's Finisher, Ardent Splendour, taking 152 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace Lancelot's Finisher, Anima Tempestas, taking 149 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 51 Fatigue damage from Ren Aizawa's Finisher, Eos Fracture, taking 76 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 112 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 92 Fatigue damage!  Rubeus
is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Once all the hugging stops, Sailor Mercury's eyes light up when Garnet says she knows where the missing senshi and Pearl may be. "Really? Where are they? The normally calm and cool girl is feeling anxious to find her friends as soon as possible. With what just transpired, she can't help but feel like they're in even greater danger.

Just like that, Garnet opens a portal and Sailor Mercury glances at the panel with the realization that they could have been searching forever for a way out. In some ways though, it makes her feel better for not having figured it out herself. Mercury looks into the hole and follows the others through, emerging on the other side, uncertain of what to expect.

What greets her is both a terrible and welcome sight. Terrible because there are a lot of droids attacking but welcome because they are once again surrounded by allies, maybe not all allies in the traditional sense but allies in that they all seem to have a singular objective in mind right now.

In the midst of all the fighting, a familiar voice carries out across the battlefied, as it were, and Sailor Mercury immediately runs towards her, arms outstretched, trampling through broken droids as she moves. "Sailor Moooooooooon!" She wails and then embraces her in the warmest bear hug imaginable. "Thank goodness... thank goodness you're okay." Her voice quivers at little, hints of the exhaustion of the last few days evident in her eyes.

Then she turns to see the familiar pink hair, "Chibi-Usa!" Mercury pulls her into an embrace too, whether she likes it or not. "Are you guys okay?" She takes a hard look at both of them. "You have no idea how glad I am to see you again!" There is a slight sparkle in her eyes as Mercury sniffles a little, trying to keep herself together.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

His family is almost rescued. Just one more remains, no less important than the first two. Steven wishes the motherly embrace shared with his family would never end. As long as he holds them, everything will be alright, and nothing has to change-- But alas, it must. Others need them. Jasper is still out there. Peridot could come back. That Rubeus fellow is still around. The fight is far from over.

A gentle kiss from a caretake bestows unparalleled vision of the paths thay lay before, its possibilities of where they lead, and the one that is correct among them becomes clear. Well, somewhat clear. Everything moves so fast, it is hard to tell. But in the end, a glimpse of a large chamber is shown to him in his mind. He can sense them in there. It is far though. Hopefully he is able to see through the blur and tell the correct directions! "We better go."

Steven looks to folks assembled. Some here are tearing up as much as he was. Garnet really has influenced many people. It is uplifting to see. The boy looks down to Batiste, the adorable little mister otter. "Y-Yeah! They all can! It is really neat to see. They merge and change shape and do different, cool things!" GOD he wants to pet him so badly. But it will have to wait. The dramatic escape is afoot.

The bounce, much like Batiste, is back in Steven's step as well. Or at least his voice. Hope has taken hold once more. He looks to Amethyst. "You knew?!" He throws his hands up in the air. He wouldn't have been so downtrodden and freaking out if...! "Ah, it's fine I guess! At least she's back!"

"Wait, bigger ship?!" Realization sets in. There was a second, much larger ship on the beach. It would explain the darkness through the windows rather than the starry sky. "Well, guess I better lead!" the boy states, running out the hatch.

He doesn't get far before he sees it. An army stationed just outside, waiting for any sort of commotion. And they ran right into it. "Uh." A gulp tries to force a heart in a throat back down to where it belongs. It only helps marginally. "Guys. We got company. A lot of it!" Each droid looks so creepy. Mouths and teeth are the only discernable feature on these robot things other than their creepy mannequin like bodies. "What do we do?!"

His answer comes much quicker than he anticipated. Blasts of energy resound around them, as familiar forms of energy pour out. From flames, to sounds, to flame, to a familiar heart motif attack. "AH! We've been rescued! I knew we would get out! I just knew it!" The damage is so fierce and widespread, there is no tiem to jump to their aid. The obliteration is focused and resounding. in the chamber they are in.

The boy even sees a familiar pink haired girl calling out to them. "Coming!" he says, sandals padding the walkway. "We gotta save the others though! I know the way! Garnet showed me! Sorta." The Future Vision granted that way doesn't last long though, so they gotta beat feet.

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

Despite the overwhelming relief that she feels from Garnet being alive, though some sort of power of being a Gem, Sourisi knows it's much too early to celebrate yet. Even still, with the miraculous return of Garnet, things are finally looking right for them all. It's easy to smile, to celebrate a small victory, to know they can stop the plans of the Gems and their mysterious cohorts in evil.

Hearing Garnet explain that they were actually inside another ship explains why it was so dark out of the windows on the Handship. No matter where they are in space, surely there would be even the faintest glimmer of light to be seen, right? But that also asks the question on who would actually keep their own spaceship so dark inside, especially in a hanger. Not a question that the mouse Miraculous user can answer, unfortunately, but perhaps Sailor Pluto could provide one later.

Following after Garnet into the dark void outside the Gem Handship, Sourisi tightens her grip on her tonfa, preparing herself once more for the upcoming conflict. Sourisi honestly thought she would be happy to see some other color besides green and yellow.

This all-consuming darkness that makes up everything around them makes her wish she wasn't so hasty with 'some other color'.

Turning to look towards Sailor Pluto to ask if she might know the answers, she is completely unprepared as light returns to the hanger bay, blinding the Miraculous user. Eyes clenched closed as light returns to the world, and it takes Sourisi several minutes before she can finally see what the light reveals for them all.

Countless rows upon rows of pale inhuman faces stare at her, their jaws widening with jaged teeth and ready to tear limb from limb from the escapees. Sailor Moon and a pink-haired child that she vaugely remembers from the beach stand in the middle of this massive hoard of monsters.

Gasping in shock, then clenching her teeth in determination, the mouse girl raises her tonfa in a ready position, muscles tensing up as she can feel the drones about to crash upon the gathered magical warriors like a monstrous tidal wave.

That's when lights flairs up on the other side of the Drone army, and Moon unleashes a massive blast upon the very center of the massed drones. Bursts of energy, bright flames, cleansing light, ringing bells and...singing? The familiar voice rising in beautiful song has Sourisi smile, for she was not expecting her to be here.

As the bursts of magic die off and the drones of the Black Moon are the only remnants of the great hoard, Sourisi is already charging outwards, heading straight for a certain Symphogear. "Solais! It's...how...when did everyone...?!"

Not listening to any answers that might be forecoming, Sourisi only stops once she's hugging the Maiden of Solais, not caring if the giant claymore she wields she is included in the hug. "Thank you."

Two words doesn't seem like it should be enough to encompass all the emotions that are being felt.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

... Garnet's glad everyone is okay. She's glad Mikoto is okay.

Mikoto looks to Yumi, and it is not harsh at all, but hopelessly lost. "I..." And the word is uncertainty and vulnerability and for such a brief moment it is so plain that this frightens her, in entirely a different way to the overwhelming terror of the destabiliser.

This isn't how it's supposed to be. They've fought, they're enemies, even if they have to grit their teeth and work together she shouldn't be concerned, shouldn't be happy about her wellbeing...

It would be easy to say she's just talking to her allies. Easy to say Mikoto is just beneath her notice. Easy - and yet so hard, because that doesn't feel like the truth at all.

The truth is more complicated, and Mikoto has always struggled so much with complicated things.

But before Mikoto can swallow down that lump which stubbornly sticks in her throat, before she can hope to order her thoughts, Garnet is taking charge of the situation. She shakes her head, fiercely, and grips her sword again.

... it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what her enemies think of her at all. They have to escape, and if Garnet knows how to do that - fine. She'll follow Garnet, with grit teeth.

The idea of her taking care of Jasper rankles her, the part of her which so desperately desires revenge, but... as shameful as it is, she has to admit to herself as her gaze lowers, it's also relieving. Mikoto hasn't forgotten the terror of Jasper's counterattack, pleading in a heap, unable to hear Miroku or... it's... it's scary.

Monsters have so many things to be afraid of, and yet she can show none of it, because monsters are not supposed to be afraid, are they, Endo Naoki? So be it - her expression is all sharp edges when she looks up again. She grunts a wordless affirmation, with a firm nod.

(She does glance to Yumi again, briefly, because she is worried for her in the clutches of Chevaliers, but Yumi has always been kind and good and surely not even they would hurt her. Surely.)

So she steps out, into the darkness Garnet has opened for them. Her senses are sharp, eyesight included - they ought to shine in the low light provided to them by the door of the gem ship. But there is nothing, because they can see nothing. The darkness is all-consuming, and Mikoto bristles. "Not natural," she snarls, because she should be able to see, and yet she can't. The chill, the pressure - they're too oppressive, even for her.

And then the lights come on.

Mikoto snarls an instant warning because there are enemies, subtly alien and unsettling and wrong in their construction, as if the Black Moon Clan had perhaps heard a human described once and made their best effort to recreate it.

They are acting as a unit. She can see it so clearly, in the way they act so synchronised. It means that if she were to charge - if she were to leap into them - the word she's looking for here is 'disadvantaged'. And Mikoto normally cares nothing, for disadvantage, but she is tired and terrorised and hungry and wounded and -

- and she promised she'd come back home.

In this moment all Mikoto can think to do is position herself beside Steven, that boy who saved her and saved her and saved her again. She can protect him; she can do this much. She can meet them with her obsidian edges, and cut, and cut, and...


They're not alone. There is the ringing of bells, the vibration of punches, the arc of lightning, and...


BGM Change: Homestuck - Nine Lives One Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woprOPxAOAE

Mikoto gasps, chin lifting at the flames, at the sound of her name. Her whole chest tightens and then she feels so light despite the pressure, as she realises she hasn't been abandoned, that Mai is here, that Mai came for her, that Mai put herself in such danger for her, that Mai - that Mai - Mai cares enough to burn them all away -

"Mai," Mikoto whispers, and it is relief and it is joy and it is adoration, and then she finds her voice, and she calls out, desperation cracking at the edges of her voice: "MAAAIII!"

'Don't you dare touch her!'

She hasn't been able to cry around any of the other prisoners on this ship, all this time, and now suddenly there are tears there, and though Mikoto should be ready to fight she cannot help but lift a hand to reach out to her roommate. Her breath catches in a sob, and that brief moment of vulnerability isn't so brief, any more.

"Mai," Mikoto cries out, and her voice wavers with grief and with fear and with pain. That inexorable warrior, that obsidian monster all made of sharp edges - she is a girl, a girl who is lost and hurt and afraid and who desperately, desperately needs her. "Mai, HELP ME..!"

And there is familiar friendly lightning and a fencer who would fill her with dread and hatred at any other moment, there are tolling bells and earth-shattering fists and and expanding bomb of a heart, and they flow over her and into her subconscious because there is only one thing which matters to Mikoto Minagi in this moment.

It's the blazing fury of Mai Tokiha, burning through droid after droid after droid.

The might of them all tears the army to shreds, and for a moment, Mikoto is frozen, reaching out, tears streaming down her cheeks.

For a moment.

"Mai!" Mikoto cries her name, again, leaping down, Miroku trailing sparks as she rushes forward to meet her. She slams into her, taking care only to avoid Miroku's edge; the sword is held by their side as her other hand wraps around Mai, clinging to her. She trembles. Her shoulders shake.

"Mai," Mikoto hiccups, against tears which just won't stop. She presses herself into her, as if she could lose herself in the other girl's precious warmth in this cold and unforgiving place. She is scared. She is truly, properly scared. "Mai..!"

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

Garnet, joyfully reconstituted, offers all of the assembled a hug and a way out of the green alien ship. Sailor Pluto stays where she is, content in Kasagami's arms, for the former. The latter she is eager to take the Gem up on, no matter how she aches from the exhaustion of confinement and repeated desperate battles.

She leans into the swordswoman a second longer before stepping away and setting weary muscles to readiness once more. "If that is where the other Inner Senshi are," with a glance toward Mercury, "then by all means. Lead us to them."

The Guardian of Time follows into the black that waits outside of the green Gem ship. It may be a kind of relief to leave those twisting halls, so synonymous now with confinement, behind, but such is fleeting. She looks to the ruddy gleam of the Garnet Rod, subtle in the dark, and presses on.

Discipline and a certain familiarity with the deep freeze of space keep the senshi from outright shivers. Pluto does give the black crystal surface beneath their feet a curious glance for its tensile nature, and another goes to the energy field they pass through. All the fine hairs at the back of her neck prickle to the pull of gravity.

'Rubeus! I'm here!...' Sailor Pluto hears that declaration -- more, recognizes who is making it -- and spins in place, searching even as the rest of what Sailor Moon has to say echoes out into the docking bay.

'Right!' She freezes in place, eyes wide. That high sweet voice, Puu would know anywhere, any time, she would know in her dreams. Her everything becomes finding its source. Did... Sailor Moon really bring her here? Nothing's right, but it's happening too quickly, no time to wonder-- But Rubeus soon makes all terribly clear, as does Sailor Moon's own reaction.

The lights go up and droids are all around them, extruding horrific smiles.

The green ship escapees are surrounded, and are so obviously overwhelmed before combat can even join. She remembers commenting to Fate, of all people, about how well-planned this whole operation has seemed. Pluto bumps shoulders with Kassie, the set of her features grim. Her fingers find their familiar grips along the irregular length of the sacred weapon entrusted by her Queen and settle in, firm.

That is when the singing begins.

Light erupts and she sees bells, ethereal bells... Flame, too, bursts forth like a star of violence birthing in the hangar bay. Blue-white lightning arcs through the army, bursting from droid to droid in so many bright metallic detonations. Other droids lift and smash back down in ripples, driven by a shockwave or simply by the impact of whirlwind kicks. Midchildan runes flare and then a great conflagration follows. It is rescue, and it is a chance for survival.

When Sailor Moon begins to spin it is like Pluto feels the movement in her heart before she sees the motion. Shining and lovely, the light spills forth from the girl she knows will someday be Queen and all her loyal subject can do is watch, garnet eyes brightened by the reflection of that brilliance.

The last of the robot army disintegrates before the intensity and purity of all that love, and Sailor Pluto's own heart pulls her feet into desperate motion. Over crumbled and blasted metal parts she runs, her pace barely broken by the terrain. It's between her and the girl with the pink odango and pigtails, and so is a thing to be overcome at all haste.

Then it is not and she's skidding to a kneeling halt near Sailor Mercury, sending a robot limb flying out of the way with a clang. "Small Lady...! You're here, you're safe..." Do those two things go together? They are still in terrible danger. But... "How frightening this all is. And still, you came." One knee down to black crystal, the other foot planted before her, she looks to Chibi-Usa with steady belief and warm love and opens her arms to her very best friend. They will close tight, and promise all the safety a Guardian can offer.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Batiste says to Steven, "How amazing! But we should talk about it later, unless 'fusion' can teleport us to Earth or something like that!" He pauses, as if hoping for an answer along the lines of 'actually, yes it can, and it will also produce complementary clam strips.'

La Sirene de Diamant's weeping has faded, and she has pulled her way loose of the last of the goop. She and Batiste blink in unison. "Bigger ship?"

Then comes the droids.

What ill fortune, la Sirene thinks as she gazes at them. And I am already weary. She breathes in deeply. Please, she thinks, someone -

-- and someone answers.

Holy light shines outwards. La Sirene's mouth hangs slightly open as she is revealed, stepping forwards afterwards as Batiste scampers forwards. "Sailor Moon," the siren of diamonds says, her voice quavering and echoing.

"Thank you so much - how did you get here?!" Batiste, more focused, says. La Sirene draws nearer to the shining princess, her arms folding before her, hands on her own shoulders, teeth biting her lower lip into her mouth. I got taller than her, la Sirene thinks, but somehow I don't feel it this moment.

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa finds herself pulled up as it all fades, blinks--sees, "A--Sailor Mercury! You're okay!" She spots the sniffle, hugs back in surprise once--but there is someone else she can see, over Mercury's shoulder. Someone else who calls to her too--and she looks to the Senshi beside her, nods, and then moves to run the short distance to Sailor Pluto. "I didn't know--"

She bites her lip, hugs Pluto, "...I won't run away. This is something I have to do."

She says that, though, and she hugs her oldest friend tight, here beside two other protectors amidst all the others.


...But it'll take her a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Solais' lips are stolen of breath as she winds down from an attack she actively feels like she's going to burn from -- such an extension of the Relic is something she's never reached out for before... and she can feel the reserves of her own power waning--

--but it's all worth it when Sourisi charges towards her, her eyes widening as she-- feels her own eyes dampening. "Sourisi... oh my goodness--"

For this moment, she feels she can let go of it, and throws herself back in turn. "I'm so glad you're safe."

The words aren't enough, but they don't need to let the words speak for their moment.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami Araki is, for once in her life, both confused and a bit shellshocked. Garnet is alive. She saw the Gem shattered. But from two Gems, becomes one. Sure, the Gem is her enemy technically, but she's also someone important to a dear friend. Also she is alive. It takes a good ten seconds for Kasagami to pull herself together, stop trying to think about a miracle, and then she actually hears what Garnet is saying.

The wisdom of that plan isn't to be reproached, and with only a little tightening of the jaw she gives a swift nod. Limbering up her arms, she too drops into the hole towards the darkness of the ship beyond the Gem Hand one that they were imprisoned on.

A rescue mission. Not exactly Kasagami's forte. But it needs to be done.

"We can do this, Pluto." She asides to her love. If anything, they all likely need encouragement right now. She very, very reluctantly lets go of her love's arms. A swift nod again. At least she seems confident in Mercury at this point, given their experiences in and out of henshin. Knowing she has so many allies at her back helps, when she's exhausted and cold and the stress eating at her of imprisonment and escape despite her best efforts to keep her eye on the prize.

Steven shows them the way, Kasagami's heart increasingly warmed even if her feet are now ice cold. She follows the young man's lead until they come face to face with that massive army. Kasagami Araki pauses, hands grip her sword, and she realizes that once again she's facing her imminent death straight in the face.

Will she die now, killed by these faceless teeming synchronized droids, destroyed like her parents? Will all of them be killed, lives cut short senselessly? Sweat drips down Kassie's brow.

A shoulder bumps hers, and she looks to Pluto. That look is filled with desperate love. It may be the last look she gets to give her dear Pluto, and by God does it shine with love.

But she needn't have worry, as an explosion of magic wipes away the army of droids. Lightning coated blades. Fire. Musical motes in silver. Holy bells ringing, and so many other attacks joining to obliterate the opposition.

The last sparkle of hearts focuses Kasagami's attention as she realizes she's alive. She finds herself on one knee. Slowly, she gets up as Pluto runs to embrace the Small Lady. Her own good eye casts over assembled enemies and allies that have gathered here. She uses her sword to push herself up, and then forward as she strides over to where Sailor Mercury has blazed a trail. She won't join in upon that particular celebration. She does, however, catch her breath near the vague assembly of inner senshi and a single Outer. She peers at Moon. And laughs. It's a weak, exhausted thing, utterly lacking in any of her usual arrogance. She's smiling.

"I never thought...hah. How times change." What is she talking about?

"It looks like I owe you, Sailor Moon." Then she turns to peer at their rescuers at large.

"A lot of people, in fact." Her gaze looks unfocused for a moment, as if she's pondering something inward, even as she takes refuge in the fact they're all still breathing.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Cure Bloom breathes to herself. Another fight. They can't just escape back to their homes. There's people still in danger. Part of her quails, worried. Their enemies are so strong, and have had a weapont hey've never seen before. The black crystals don't worry her near as much as those destabilizers. She sets a hand over the tie of her chest ribbon, breathing deeply, giving her a moment to calm her fluttering heart. Can she do this...

It's strange, maybe. It's not like stopping is something that even occurs to her. It's not the fear of an inevitable, oncoming wall. Unavoidable, but all the more pressing for it. Cure Bloom cannot be herself and choose not to advance. But can she break through?

Garnet summons the exit. Cure Bloom squares herself with one last long suck of air, and steps out.

Right into an ambush. Her eyes widen immediately, and she sets her feet hard. "Nuts! Of course they'd have something like this out here!" she hisses. She had trouble fighting one of these things before! This is...!

Not....that much....of a problem, she realizes dully, as the glorious, annihilating fury of Tokyo's magical girls land on the Droid army in quantity. Exploding sparklers of light and power, crashing and shattering, and--

Her eyes find silver amid the splashing lights, and she can't look away. Her worried lips turn into a megawatt smile, and she's off; less leaping or running than simply hurling herself via her legs, legs and arms pumping mid-flight, so that as she comes down - "I'm here! Egret!" she calls - she can hit the ground running in the most literal sense, barely missing a stride between contact with crystal and throwing herself at Cure Egret, latching to her in a swift, hard embrace, slipping back only seconds later, a near manic smile splitting her face. "You came," she whispers.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

The last time Sailor Moon saw Sailor Mercury - she was crucified on a crystalline cross. It was an image of her - of all of her best friends in intense pain. Upon sight of her - she doesn't even doubt her eyes. As Sailor Mercury runs, Sailor Moon picks up the pace. "Mercury-chan! MERCURY-CHAN!"

The two girls meet and at that moment she clings to her fiercely. Tears welling up. "I was so worried that..." Her shoulders quiver and shake in that moment of sorrow changed to joy.

It may be so easy to tell what she was scared about too. After all... it wasn't so long ago, on the North Pole.

"... that was really dumb of me wasn't it? I should have known nothing here could be a match for your genius."

She says as her arms tighten around her - before she suddenly puts her hands on her shoulders, "So where are the others?" She says peaking over her shoulder as if hoping they're just a few steps behind. "Mars - Jupiter - Venus!?"

But her frantic hope that the other Senshi are coming coming is interrupted by a more immediate need - "Sirene-chan!" As she slides over to her and gives her a fierce hug too. The tip tops of her odangos now only barely coming up to her nose "Were you scared? I'm so sorry... everything must have been really scary after... after..."

She doesn't say it. But it's still on the edge of her mind. "But it's going to be okay now! It's going to be okay!" It's a promise she can't be making. She shouldn't be making. They're not out of danger - but right now she just wants to tell her it's okay.

She answers Batiste quickly enough. "Well it was pretty easy... um... he kinda just brought me here."

Oh that doesn't sound good. In fact it sounds downright ominous.

"I'm sure it'll all work out though!"

It already seems to be working out swimmingly!

Finally she says lightly to Pluto as she watches her with Chibi-Usa - "Sailor Pluto... you're... you're here..." She kinda lightly bonks her fist to her head, "Oh what am I saying you're here all the time... you were with all of them on the beach... it just feels like you're more with us than usual and... and..."

Words seem to be failing her, like she doesn't know what to say to express her joy, and suddenly she just steps forward and embraces her from the side. She doesn't charge into her like Mercury. For a hug there's still some distance... but not much. And what she says next is full of warmth, "... I'm really glad you're with us right now."

When she breaks contact - she rubs the nape of her neck at Kasagami's statement - laughing lightly, "Don't worry about it! It's not like I'm keeping track on who owes who or something!"

And then she takes a step back and just enjoys watching Sourisi and Solais hugging - Bloom and Egret - Mai and Mikoto. It feels like an eye of the storm. This brief moment of relief from all the sadness that has gripped them as of late.

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

"Heh. We'll see about that," Rubeus replied to Sailor Moon before everything blew up, as to the veracity of this little pink girl as the Rabbit.

His smirk was audible.


In the aftermath, Garnet hops down from the Hand Ship, gives those who have just rescued them a grave salute, then puts some distance between herself and the smaller UFO, stepping backwards with complete confidence across the remains of the droids on the floor.

They aren't messy. Corpses of putty, the worst they're doing is dissolving -- and, somewhat unsettlingly, those liquid remains are running into subtle gutters engraved in the docking bay floor, gutters which terminate in a gurgling drain.

Garnet isn't looking at them; she's studying the Hand Ship itself, thoughtfully. There is, indeed, something to see: the tips of its fingers appear to be connected to the Black Moon UFO's hull by crackling streams of dark lightning. "Tractor beam," she grunts. "Until we destroy the power source at the heart of this ship, we're not going anywhere."

There's a dry chuckle from still another entrance to the docking bay.

It can barely contain the massive warrior who stands inside it, bracketed by the threshhold like a gemstone in her setting. She strikes a dramatic figure, with the cords in her arms exploding like ammunition as she folds her arms, and the smirk on her face widening with excitement -- with eagerness -- with hunger.

She tosses her head, shaking out that huge mane of white hair behind her.

BGM START: Jasper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocpJOripaVk&t=47

"You're not going anywhere," Jasper announces, drawing her destabilizer out of her Gem and activating it.

It looks like the reason she left the Hand Ship was to get a little upgrade -- because now its crackling energy is black.

Despite this, Garnet approaches her fearlessly, and her voice booms through the docking bay in tones that will not brook argument. Her hand, however, is pointing in another direction completely, out the last, as-yet unexplored exit to the room. "EVERYBODY, I'LL HOLD HER OFF! FOLLOW STEVEN, HE KNOWS THE WAY TO THE OTHERS! Oh, and Steven..."

Her voice drops as tenderly as any proud mother's. She makes a little heart shape with her hands, smiling sweetly.

"...be careful, okay?"

Jasper growls at her, narrowing her viciously yellow eyes, and takes a single step forwards. Her weight -- and the force behind it -- creates a spiderweb of cracks on the black crystal floor, cracks which ultraviolet runes rush to mend.

At last Garnet turns her back on the group, and thus towards Jasper completely, and shifts her weight downwards, settling her hips and bringing up her fists into a readied position. She hasn't even summoned her gauntlets... her bare fingers flexing... yet she seems serene. In balance.


Jasper's smile twists with distaste.

"Yes," Rubeus' disembodied voice agrees, invitingly, whispering into each and every individual's left ear. Somehow it even stirs your hair. "Come on up... and see what's become of your friends."

The shining path in Steven's mind leads through that archway Garnet pointed at... and into a claustrophobic labyrinth of dark, narrow corridors, cut only by the occasional viewport of space -- and Earth.

This spaceship sure rose again quickly, and nobody could even feel it.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

It's only a moment after Egret cried out that her violet eyes find who she cried out for, breaking through the crowd of rescued. She rises from the half-kneeling stance she was in, her legs standing strong as she lifts herself up. She is surprised, despite that she shouldn't be, when Bloom launches into a half-flying, half-leaping lunge for her. Arms come around her, and she spins backward on a foot. If she weren't transformed, she would topple over.

But, she is Cure Egret, and she does a perfect spin on a heeled boot -- white light sparks up behind it, as the heel digs into the floor of the UFO. She laughs, softly.

Then she hugs Bloom back, tighter than she usually would.

"Of course I did," she answers, quietly. "I was... terribly worried. Bloom, I..."

A half-choked sob erupts from her belt, where the little pink fairy -- with floppy bunny ears bouncing -- cries out: "I MISSED YOU SO MUCH-CHOPIIIIII!" Mai's smile shifts, for a moment. Something faintly like irritation enters her expression. Then, Choppy (cluelessly) appends: "Oh and I'm glad you're okay too Flappy."

After that, Egret giggles into her hand.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

"Good job, everyone!" Steven says towards the rescuers. Without them, he is unsure if they would have made it far. Taking on legions of robonoids is one thing, but these droids have actual builds to them. Weapons. And teeth. The stout little boy looks to Sailor Moon. "I... Um. Thank you, Sailor Moon!" The boy gives two big thumbs up to Lancelot, and nods to the rest of the saving party.

Beofre the boy can point out anywhere to go though, a voice rings out, imperious in nature. It makes Steven freeze in place. "Jasper!" What will they do?! The boy eyes that Destabilizer. "I-I don't think I can do that one!" he alerts everyone here. It looks so much more powerful. The boy turns to the leader of the Crystal Gems, and one of the best three moms in the universe. "Will you be okay all by yourself?" he asks worriedly.

The steps in front of him are clear to take, but the ones ahead are distorted and fuzzy. Having felt this before once, he knows that, for the way forward to become clear, he has to move forward. It becomes clearer as he nears the edges of what he can perceive.

"Everyone! This way!" he says, heading for that arch. "Garnet, be careful!" he calls back.

He doesn't want to lose her again.

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

"Don't worry, Steven," Garnet calls after her brave son. "I'm never alone."

Jasper rolls her eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As Mikoto goes flying past him to hug Mai, Lancelot steps aside. He was there for her, but he knows where he stands. He clears his throat, and looks up at the ceiling. "Glad you're okay kid." He says clearing his throat again. Which is of course when Jasper show sup. He spins, ready to dive at her and help Garnet, but when he's told to leave he pauses. His eyes narrow, not wanting to leave, wanting to stay. To fight. But instead he ndos to her as she turns her back, ready to take on this warrior form another planet.

He moves with the others following Steven. His blades glowing, but much cooler after giving off all that power earlier. His eyes scan as they move, his body appearing ready to pounce. To say he's a touch wound up is an understatement.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

La Sirene is given a fierce embrace. She tilts her head down, getting tears on one blonde dango. "Yes," she answers Sailor Moon faintly, "but I didn't have time to be, so..." She trembles, like she's about to melt into jelly!

... it passes. She exhales then, sniffles once, and unfolds her arms to return the hug. After disengaging, that faint aura round her seems cleaner, simpler. "... He?" she says.

Batiste dry-washes his paws. "That's... good...?" he says, before the both of them turn their heads towards Jasper.

La Sirene starts to breathe rapidly, baring her teeth. It stops when Batiste puts a paw on her knee. The tension doesn't vanish but it stops growing. The otter free-climbs up la Sirene's side, explaining as he reaches his shoulder perch, "I think she will be fine."

"Do you know?" la Sirene asks him, voice low.

Batiste gazes at Garnet for a moment, then says; "Yes. Come on!"

She moves, then. With haste, following Steven.

As she goes, la Sirene asks a question of Sailor Mercury. "This man... do you have any idea what his weakness might be? You don't need to say it now, of course."

"Best if you don't," Batiste concurs. "He might not know it himself." The otter gives Mercury a glance over la Sirene's head, resting his paws on her hairline, which seems to trouble la Sirene not at all.

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

Sourisi doesn't want to pull away, but the fact remains that all of them are still within an enemy stronghold, and she lets go reluctantly of the Maiden of Solais. Wiping away tears from her eyemask, she nods at Solais and smiles. There's more she wants to say, but she can't, not until everyone is safe. There are other Sailor Senshi that need help.

Jasper's voice raises up in the massive hanger bay, and Sourisi turns around and stares at the huge Gem, at the destabilizer held in her hand. Garnet walks forward to challenge Jasper alone, the reunited Gem show showing no fear as she strides to the one who broke her apart not so long ago. Those words of authority, just like Sourisi's own mother, has her spine straightening instinctively and gives a quick nod. Before she follows after Steven, she takes the time to call out to this woman, this warrior, this Gem she has never met before. "Ma'am...go get her!"

With Steven somehow knowing the way to lead, Sourisi's mind can focus on those who are with them all, and those who are needing their rescue. She does not stride far from Solais's side, her heart feeling lighter than ever as she remembers the bells that toll and the song that cries out for an end.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Yeah," Bloom says, quietly. She doesn't step back far. Splash Star Pretty Cure is two people, united. "I was so worried. I didn't know what to do with myself. I couldn't stop thinking about you and everyone back home." She nearly says something else, but then Choppy squawks in helpless happiness, and Saki laughs. "I missed you too, Choppy!"

"Choppy-lapi! I'm OK too-lapi! It was scary, but I met an otter, and a cat, but I was so wor--"

'Oh, and I'm glad you're okay too, Flappy.'

Flappy gurgles like a man who's been shot, and Saki snorts a laugh into her fist.

Sadly, the levity passes soon enough, and the booming voice of Jasper causes her to pale. She half-turns, staring at the monumental Gem. "...that's the one who beat us, on the beach," she asides. "Stay with me, OK?"

She might not normally feel the need to direct Egret so, but today...maybe she wants just that slight bit of reassurance. Fortunately it's not going to be needed quite as-such.

Garnet will handle it. Cure Bloom draws in a new breath. "We should follow Steven," she says. "Garnet gave him some kind of...map, somehow. Idunno, it's rock magic." Flappy is too busy having been executed in cold blood to correct her. The sense of Rubeus' presence - his voice in her ear, uncomfortably near, sends a shiver down her spine. But she still rushes off. She'd normally bullet onward - gather her magic beneath her, and take to the air with Egret. That's not an option today for several reasons.

But as Steven runs, she follows, sparkling lights and wine-colored shoes gobbling up distance. The darkness can't close around her anymore.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

The captured magical girls are reunited with their loved ones. Ren stands off aside, steam vening from Heraut as he cools down from the hefty attack she delivered. It's great, she tells herself. It's great that they've found them. but she can't really belive her own thoughts when Endo is nowhere to be found. And when Jasper is revealed, it takes all she has not to spring forward and attack her. Instead, she takes a deep breath. Fighting her won't help her get to Endo any faster. And Steven, apparently, knew where everyone else captured was.

'Breathe in. Breathe out. Follow him.'

Steven takes off along with the other rescuers, and Ren follows behind briskly. 'Hang tight Endo... please...'

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto looks up from Mai, to smile shakily to Lancelot. "Thanks," she says, to him and Mai both. "... thanks..."

The moment doesn't last. Looking around Mai's side, Mikoto's eyes narrow and sharpen as she sees the now-familiar hulking frame of Jasper. She snarls -

- and the sound is cut off, abruptly, by a gasp, as thar warrior pulls out a destabiliser crackling with black energy. She stiffens in an instant, her breath shallowing, all the blood draining from her face.

No. It's not possible. They can't have made it worse. They can't have - they can't have -

There is terror in her wide eyes, sheer and unadulterated, and for a moment she clutches Mai even more tightly, as if she were her only comfort in the world. She's not looking at the woman holding that weapon at all - only at the dark crackle of destabilising energy.

Garnet says she'll handle it, and Mikoto's eyes dart to her, her breath catching in her throat. Even an enemy - even an enemy, against that -

But she can't fight it. She can't. She quivers and shakes and feels as if she can't move at all. It's only after a terrified moment that she straightens away from Mai, one last desperate look up at her, silently begging her to follow before she follows the path Steven has set.

Her movements are, perhaps, a little too quick. Her grip on Miroku, a little too tight. She has to get away from that thing.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Amid the flames, there's a voice. As raging fire burns around her until no fuel remains, Mai looks up. It was...

...a cry for help?

And then, so quickly, so very quickly, she's here. Mai stumbles back, backstepping until the momentum from that tackle is finally gone, and her arms are around Mikoto and it's all...

"I'm here, Mikoto. I'm here. I'm here..." Her precious person is -shaking-, and what kind of thing could terrify Mikoto like this boggles Mai's mind...

But it's fine. She's here. She's okay. There's a crinkle as Mai's hug tightens around Mikoto; a well-intentioned package of ramen might be getting a little crushed and dampened by tears. But it's fine.

She looks up as Sailor Moon speaks, and for a moment there's a spiteful smile on her face. "Check your d- your phone next time, Sailor Moon. Do you think we wouldn't come?"

...and then.

And then there's a looming figure, a massive warrior, wielding a strange fork that crackles with black power. Unfamiliar, both, but from her words...this would be one of those who captured Mikoto. Mai begins to straighten up, to retort to the woman, but-

Mikoto's snarl of fury turns to a gasp, turns to a sudden stiffness, turns to a deathgrip on Mai's jacket. Mai was ready to hold back a berserk charge, but to instead keep a comforting hold through sheer terror?

It's alien. It's unknowable. It's an unthinkable situation...

But if nothing else, Mai knows that Mikoto's instincts can be trusted. A step back, then another, and then...not truly understanding the situation, but understanding that Mikoto is filled with terror, Mai turns to follow little Steven through the arch, Rubeus's taunts echoing in her ear...

<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

There's an almost dazed looking face as everything happens-- at once. Jasper emerges with her destabiliser, and how it shrouds itself in dark energy... and Garnet offers to hold her off. To follow Steven.

She's so glad he's safe -- Nanoha would be glad if she were here...

She nods to Sourisi as she expresses, "We'll keep him safe!" as she follows along, grabbing at her tracksuit and unzipping her jacket to throw it off to reveal the costume of the Maiden of Solais underneath.

please please please don't ask why i was dressed for an armed robbery, Shigure thinks to herself.

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

The love in Kassie's eyes shines through the darkness and finds its mate in garnet. They are neither of them alone. With doom averted Pluto will still hold that moment close, as dear as it is grim.

Small Lady tells Puu this is something she has to do, and Pluto looks proud and sad all at once, to see her princess moved to such bravery by such need. "I know you won't run from it," she says, and smiles.

Rising, the Outer Senshi looks Sailor Moon's way. "I am here," she says, a statement simple and profound, "with you." Like she is discovering this with the blonde girl. Before she can say anything more, though, she's getting hugged. The tall young woman blinks a few times rapidly, and then an arm lightly drops around the shorter girl's shoulders. Sailor Pluto looks up, at the black crystal ceiling -- or perhaps beyond it -- for a long moment.

When Sailor Moon says she's glad and releases her, Pluto looks back down again to round blue eyes. There is something distant in her eyes, just like there was in Sailor Moon's hug. Then, ever truthful, she drops her chin and nods back. She looks grateful, and she looks like she is a thousand miles away.

Kassie saying she owes Sailor Moon definitely earns a thoughtful glance, though. She steps to the swordswoman's side, after, with a second and more formal nod to Sailor Moon and Mercury and a final small smile in Small Lady's direction.

Garnet and Jasper face off, and while Pluto cannot stay to watch, she cannot help but wonder how things will fall out. Her respect for Garnet has only grown, this last day, and it started rather high. But Jasper, and that beefed-up Destabilizer...

It's time to go. Staying close to Kasagami, Pluto takes off running after Steven. The Garnet Rod gleams in her hands, and she pushes through the growing exhaustion with long practice. The night is not yet done, and she will go until it is.

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

One thing still crosses Sourisi's mind, however. "Um...Solais-san? Why are you dressed up like you were going skiing?"

At least she didn't think of the other obvious question. She thinks too highly of Solais for that.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Egret turns her head, eyes widening for a moment. "Garnet..."

She shakes her head quickly, and then she looks back at Bloom. Her expression becomes more neutral, as the seriousness of the situation settles in -- and the realization that she has something important to tell her. Something that, she realizes, has to wait.

"I will," she says. She looks at Steven -- and Egret's eyes narrow, and she quickly runs after her.

<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Solais's face turns dead white as her lips thin. The obvious excuse comes to her conscious thoughts. She goes with it.

"I... I thought-- outer space would be cold."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Sailor Moon laughs too, and Kasagami lets out a big sigh. "Debts are important! You...don't want to know what happens when you rack up too many of them." That sigh gets a bit depressed for a moment, then she rubs her temple. The hug between Moon and Pluto has her brow twitching, and she looks upon the moment with something between annoyance and confusion. Why is the blonde senshi so important? More questions in the mystery that is her loving Pluto-chan. She puts them out of mind.

The massive Jasper arrives, drawing out that black crackling destabilizer, a device she may well hate more than any other that she's seen in her life. Even a flamethrower has less loathing in Kasagami's heart! Garnet motions to an exit. Tells them to follow Steven. Teeth grit, and then that whisper invites her on. Kasagami's hair flutters, and she rubs her ear as if trying to dislodge a hornet that snuck in somehow. Twitch.

A glance back to Garnet. "Don't die twice." Mutters Kassie to herself, and then Steven's running off towards that arch. The Duelist sucks in another breath, and levers her long, already acheing legs pushes her forward. She'll take up running alongside Pluto.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Mercury looks away from Sailor Moon, trying to hide the sense of guilt that she feels but finally she quietly speaks, "I-I don't know..." A pause. "Steven..." She looks over to him. "I think he saw where they are...somehow." With Steven having led the charge and all the bravery he has shown so far, Mercury feels no reason to disbelive he and Garnet could help.

As the reunions happen around her, Mercury gets a sense of momentary relief. Smiling as Chibi-Usa breaks away from her and runs to Pluto. That relief though is soon disturbed by the return of Jasper with an even darker form of the destabilizer. "..." Mercury eyes it with both worry and a touch of anger. Garnet's calm, confident voice breaks through her thoughts. She blinks a couple times as Steven speaks to the reformed gem lady.

Before she can think about anything else, she cringes as she hears Rubeus' voice in her ear. The words make her blood run cold and she shivers as the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Even worse that the voice itself is the message being conveyed. "Noooo..." She breathes out and her eyes sparkle at Sailor Moon, "Sailor Moon...I..." Mercury can't continue. She can't bring herself to speak the thoughts that have run over and over in her mind. The thought that something terrible has happened to her closest friends.

Thankfully, Steven begins to lead the charge further to their goal and Mercury nods. "Let's go." She looks back over to Pluto, Chibi-Usa and Kasagami. "You guys...be careful okay?" She braves a smile for them before passing through the archway and into the darkened labryinth with the others.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I'm known all throughout Ohtori for just how careful I am, Mercury-chan!" That...that is quite possibly a lie.

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa can hear that promise made that can't be kept so easily. She can hear it, through everything else, the way Sailor Moon says it--and it sinks into her. She knows...

But before any of that happens, Puu is here. Puu is here, and for once she and Mercury and Moon are all... together, near her. It's nice. Puu's pride and sadness both--Chibi-Usa returns that look with one resolute... if worried. She can't conceal that much, the fear and anxiety behind her action. ...But there's conversations going on without her, and when Chibi-Usa finally pulls back, she looks to Kasagami.

"Sailor Moon's too nice for her own good," Chibi-Usa says, chin rising in stubbornness or pride. "She's not worried about it, but I'll collect for her!" A firm nod.

"...But later!"

Her eyes linger on Garnet--another Guardian holding everything off...

But she'll run with the othrs, run with all her little legs can manage.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"That's a lie," Batiste murmurs, though perhaps only la Sirene or Sailor Mercury could hear.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Steven! I'm just glad you're okay!" She knows the boy can handle himself. But still that image of him floating in the cold black void as she leapt after him that one time - it was a haunting one. An odango sops up Sirene's tears in these moments - and she's glad for it. "I'm sure we'll both have time enough to be later." She murmurs. It's no secret that Sailor Moon is frightened all the time to those who know her. "You must have been so brave to hold out for so long."

But then Mai scolds her a little and she looks like she got caught with her hand in a cookie jar. "Ahahaha... I... left it behind while I was doing... something important. Sorry Mai-chan!" That important thing may have involved cocoa and tears - before going to get the Silver Crystal. But hopefully Chibi-Usa doesn't call her out on this. Hopefully.

"Really it's fine-!" As Kasagami insists that debts are important - but Chibi-Usa takes it for her. "Chibi-Usa!" At first she sounds indignant but... then thinking about it... she changes her mind as she smiles at Kasagami - waving them off, "That's fine! I don't mind you owing her instead~" Wait is she giggling a little? That doesn't sound... good.

Garnet hops down - and announces what's needed. But... Jasper. Sailor Moon's expression looks wracked by a sudden fear and anxiety. "H-Hey hold on for a second let's... let's... talk..." And then she flips on the now scary black energy destabilizer and Sailor Moon makes this strangled little squeak. Thankfully Garnet stays calm. "You're sure? You're... alright. Alright. You take care of her then catch up to us! Alright? Promise you'll catch up to us!" Whenever Sailor Moon went with the Crystal Gems. Garnet always knew what to do - it seemed like she could handle it. But all the same... on D-Point Venus said she'd hold them off. And she trusted that Venus would catch up.


It takes an intense effort to tear her eyes away and follow Steven.

Then something speaks in her left ear - and Sailor Moon literally takes a short hop to her right. It feels like something is crawling in her ear. It feels like her twintail is lowering as if it were lifted. It may be an illusion, but it creeps her out.

Suddenly intensely afraid - her skin crawling. Mercury says her name - which can't fail to draw her back. And in that moment she realizes what Mercury is already thinking. Those thoughts and insecurities. She said she didn't know earlier - but it didn't really settle in until now. Right after Rubeus said that - seeing her expression. "You really don't... they're... not with you..."

As if she was stunned by that. It's not an accusation at all. Just a realization that her own assumptions were wrong. She breaks into a jog. And then runs faster - and faster.

It may soon become really obvious why she's picking up her own pace. Rubeus' words grow louder - and louder. They seem to echo in her ears as she keeps on barreling forward. Her desperate need to see the others on her lips in a single word - "Minna-!"

She needs to see them. She needs to see them right now. No matter what state they're in... it feels like there's no force in the world that could slow her down as Steven leads them onward.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Once they're in the corridor, once they're out of sight of that - that thing, something occurs to Mikoto Minagi.

Endo Naoki is on the bridge. That... girl, the one who showed up out of nowhere... her enemy, whose wounds she still bears...

... she's here.

Mikoto looks up to Mai, swallowing against fading fear. "Mai, one moment," and she ducks away, briefly, slowing - or quickening - to catch up to Ren.

Her approach is cautious. Her grip is tight. "You," she calls out, and her voice is guarded. "Here for Endo, right?"

Mikoto takes a breath. She is trying her hardest not to show her fear, behind those sharp eyes. "... Endo's okay. Guarding bridge. Guarding escape with others."

She grits her teeth. "... that's all," she says, after a moment's pause to allow for her response. She breaks off to return to Mai's side, unwilling to converse with the enemy for long.

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

Small Lady says she'll collect on that debt to Sailor Moon and after a moment, it actually pulls an amused smile to the senshi's face. Kassie's comment about how careful she is, however, earns a corner-of-the-eye Look from the senshi racing alongside her.

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

"I promise," Garnet's voice echoes back, as to the many concerned for her safety and wanting to know that she'll be all right. And that should be the last anyone hears of her for a while... but...

Improbably, the perfect matte blackness of the ship's hull seems to be infected by reflections -- they slice across lengths of wall, or ceiling, or floor, flashing for a single instant, then vanishing.

Like light caught in a pair of mirrored shades.

The vision -- of Garnet facing Jasper -- carries sound, too, as if the crystal composing this place cannot help but resonate with the feelings of the two Gems preparing to throw down at its base.

"Oh great," Jasper spits at her foe. "You're both out? And you're fused again? Why?" There's total incomprehension in her face, bafflement -- and, beneath it, resentment. "Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak Gems stronger," she continues, hatred heating up her voice like a bed of coals.

"Quit embarrassing yourselves! I've seen what you really are."

Garnet's grin is tiny, but its sass is outside.

"No, you haven't," she corrects the Homeworld Gem, taking another step forwards.


Back and forth, left and right, up and down. It's so easy to imagine getting lost in this black maze, never to emerge, or save anyone, much less return.

But Steven's steps are flawless and the group makes it through to the central core of the spaceship in record time.

Nobody has to be told that this is that place -- it's just very obvious. It is even bigger than the docking bay, with strange mirrors -- also a true black -- spaced around at intervals, creating a sort of octogonal room within the larger space, which itself doesn't seem to have any exterior walls. There's just a black mist.

A mist that seems to be emanating dankly from the immense Black Crystal to the rear of the chamber. Sure, everything in here is made out of the stuff, but intuition screams that those are alloys, or lesser cuts, or something, because this -- this is another breed of threat entirely.

It is reminiscent of the piece that Peridot threatened Sapphire with back on the Hand Ship, times a hundred, or the shard used by Rubeus to summon that black hole at Jindai, times a thousand.

Malevolence rolls off of it in heavy, sloshing waves, like the surf pounding the shore, only the surf is ephemeral and the shore is all proximate souls.

It isn't even the worst thing here, or the most attention-grabbing, heart-wrenching, or soul-crushing.

Not -- even -- close.

That honor goes to something quite distant from the great Crystal (it's a vast, vast room, space, whatever): the display of black crystal crosses off to the left. There are four of them, each about ten feet tall at their highest point. Their prisoners are encased, consumed below the ankle and above the wrists, as though the crystal has been allowed to grow over their hands and feet, leaving them hanging, arms spread wide.

Their apparent limpness is the only kindness in this tableau; it appears that Sailors Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Crystal Gem Pearl, have all withdrawn to the dubious safety of unconsciousness. Their chests still rise and fall, very slightly, with shallow, hitched breaths -- even now, they are clearly, on some level, in agony.

In between, Rubeus awaits his company. In his dark vest and green cargo pants, he's always had an odd sense of near-normality compared to the outlandishness of his kin. But madness dances in his eyes, plays about the corners of his mouth, as he smiles and smiles at the group's approach. Desperation and arrogance have birthed an abomination, indeed.

In the horrible lighting of this place, his fiery hair looks like something straight out of the pits of hell. The shard earrings dangling beneath all but buzz with nascent power. Even the Black Moon on his head seems to shed it, lightly, easily, in little awful wisps.

"So," he smirks -- it's not better in person, that voice, since it takes the smirk in timbre and actualizes it, DOUBLE SMIRKING. "Here you all are, having delivered me the Silver Crystal and Rabbit," he nods to Sailor Moon, to Chibi-Usa, the gesture possessive.

One palm is laid faintly across his cheek. "And there are so many of you... and only one of me. That isn't very... sporting."

Spiky-haired silhouettes spread outwards from Rubeus as he spreads his arms wide, like a set of paper dolls, then fill with color and mass. He is immediately lost among them.

The only thing worse than Rubeus' voice is Rubeus in person and the only thing worse than that is Rubeus' voice and person multiplied by a half dozen or more. They speak in unison. They smirk in unison.

"Come, now, and bring me what is mine," he beckons, from every direction.


COMBAT: Rubeus transforms into Rubies? Rubeuses? Rube-i?!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa's red eyes focus not on the space beyond, not on the jewel of Earth, not on the crystal--but on the four crosses holding three she knows and one she does not, all apparently unconscious, all trapped in clear pain. "Everyone!" she calls in dismay, and shoots forward, a little red-and-pink bolt that shoots out of the crowd towards all of them, head down and odango bobbing.

She pumps her arms and legs as she goes, and then abrubtly, before she can reach them--

"Aaaah!" A shout of pain echoes from the little girl as she's caught mid-air by a crackling field of black, feet twitching and limbs frozen at her sides for moments until she falls back and the field surrounding the others is invisible again. Thud, she falls right on her bottom, blinking up in shock with her hands twitching for an instant. "Uh?" ...so of course, pushing herself back up, she scrambles forward and runs straight for it again.


This time she bounces back after a few ugly, trapped moments to land on her side, curled on the ground. "Ah..." She's blinking back tears, shakes her head. "I--I can't get to them--" From the ground she looks, afraid, to Sailor Moon, looks around the room in worry. What can she do...?

She scampers back up, standing unsteadily, unsure of the answer to that.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

This place was a maze. Black and featureless, devoid of emotion. The hallways blur together, but an instinctual feeling drives him forward thanks to the Future Vision. Please be okay, please be okay...!" he says aloud as he senses the approach of the destination. "What is that?!" Steven says upon breaching the room in earnest. Mist and malevolence and infernal purpose coalesces all around them. What kinda of people would make something like this...?

And then Steven sees it. Tears fall. Anger rises. A shield springs to roseate existence, floating just in front of Steven's forearm.


The boy calls out, heart and desperation in his voice. His eyes dart to Rubeus. That man from the beach. The halls. Steven, for once in the many times some folks have seen him, looks like he could choke a guy out right here, right now.

"YOU." Steven clenches a fist so hard his knuckles turn white. "How... COULD YOU. What have you done to her?!" Every break Pearl takes attached to that cross enrages the boy more and more. What kind of sick person would do such a thing. Worse yet, he multiplies. Oh, this guy. THIS. GUY.

"GRAH!" The boy clutches the side of his head. "You are going to PAY for everything you did to them! IN SPADES!"

"I hope you like shield, because I'm gonna force feed you mine!!!" Steven, in his tearful rage, launches toward the nearest Rubeus and throws vicious shield swings. He is so tired, so exhausted, but he cannot give up now! All the effort putting into freeing everyone, all the teamwork against Peridot... it would be all for nothing if they didn't succeed now, and this crucial moment...!

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It's a good thing Steven is here - because Sailor Moon is infamous for getting lost in places that aren't really all that difficult to navigate. TV stations for example. But tearing down corridor after corridor. They enter unto the control core. And she skids to a stop upon her first sight of her friends on the Crystal Crosses. Her eyes grow wide - frozen with shock - it's like her face is glass - on the precipice of shattering from the sights she sees.

And then she sees their chests moving - it's a subtle movement at this distance. But it's there. And all at once the tension - the impacting trauma that might have done it anew recedes. Having never come.

All she wants to do is get to them. To take them down from here and away from this place. She wants to argue with Rei over nothing - just because of who she is and who Usagi is. She wants to eat Makoto's lovingly prepared snacks. She wants to sing karaoke with Minako and show Ami a good time away from her books.

She wants those precious ordinary moments of ordinary happiness back - that Rubeus is threatening to take away from her.

But Chibi-Usa beats her to it - Chibi-Usa who sends herself forward into the field - as she cries out - "Chibi-Usa! It's okay! It's okay! Just keep yourself safe!"

But Rubeus - what does she feel as he shows himself. She suddenly has a target for one feeling - and right now it is anger. Anger as Rubeus rises up - smirking at her doubly. "You're... unforgivable..."

It may sound almost pathetic - broken at first. But then it boils out of her like a simmering cauldron. It's not easy to truly make her angry - but he's hit every single button. "YOU'RE UNFORGIVABLE! Where do you get off treating everyone's lives as if they were nothing to you-! Trying to sacrifice your subordinates' lives - hounding that girl and turning her life into a living nightmare - and kidnapping and torturing my precious friends just to get what you want! Guys like you are the absolute worst!"

BGM Change: Moonlight Densetsu(Momoiro Clover Z version.) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KACXp5UPcVQ

As he splits - into a half-dozen or more - it's an act that's intensely intimidating. It almost sets her back on her heels, but balling up her fist around her scepter she announces, "I don't care how many of you there are! I'm the Pretty Soldier of Love and Justice - Sailor Moon! And In the Name of the Moon-"

Even though the situation may be dire - she still strikes a fierce pose. "-I WILL PUNISH YOU!"

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Slam on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53HZ7LoqhSQ&t=1m57s

The room reeks and pulsates with a living undeath, one that touches the Siren and the otter as much as anyone else. If they dwell on the other side of a mirror, this is the barred door that you never enter. The black mirrors roil la Sirene to see - the pressing malevolence added by an impotent choking of blasphemy. Her fingers curl, fingernails digging into her palms.

The four crucified people - they breathe shallowly. Batiste gazes on them in alarm. He knows little of Pearl, but the three sailor soldiers look poorly to him. He moves to a shoulder-mounted posture even as la Sirene breathes in deeper, lips pulling back from her teeth.

"You," she says. "You" she tries again, the limning corona around her snuggling in deeper again. Her fingers tighten closer.

"Not sporting? You steal the innocent, you threaten, you kill, you lock us up to starve and you dare to complain here upon the hill of Gorgoroth in the middle of your vast ark of the stars that it is not sporting of us??"

La Sirene throws her hands out as if in disbelief, the light in her gems sparkling. The reflection of black in them comes alive, with tiny motes of that cold flame glimpsed previously. "You want what is yours? Here it is!" And she draws back her right hand, eyes widening. In fact, she crouches slightly.

Steven comes forth. Sailor Moon declaims matters. La Sirene, acting with less elegance perhaps, says, "Horah!" Her arm snaps forwards as if she is backhanding the air.

The light spills out from her, spreading out towards each Rubeus, rising up in a biological fractal, toppling backwards as if it was the shadow of la Sirene. While the image does not truly form, being nothing more than an impression, a shadow, each of the mimics of her action sparkle with that light that never warms at the critical point. That point is aimed at each reflection's face.

"And plenty more if you're still hungry!"

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Shine On Through The Night on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

It didn't, in the end, matter whether or not the maze was pitch-black in its way that sucks all thoughts of hope or not. She hurries along with the others, not stopping for a moment as she trusts in Steven and follows in his directions. "It'll be okay..."

Her eyes widen as they come to the chamber, the sight of Sailor Moon's friends -- and what she can only know is someone really important to Steven -- hung on their crosses.

Her face contorts into a scowl... but she looks to Chibi-Usa and Usagi, and then towards Rubeus.

"Your plan has failed... you are not owed anything. And you will learn that the hard way, when we bring it all tumbling down around you."

Her intonation is firm as much as it is concentrated, but she knows that she's perhaps outmatched here. But she can still do something. She nods at Sourisi, then turns to Moon.

"Sailor Moon, go! I'll help clear the way for you -- I know you have this! Save your fellow senshi!"

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used I Know You Can Do This! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Shigure Shiratsuyu's I Know You Can Do This!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon is
Cheered!  Empower applied to Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Cure Egret charges along after the others -- but side by side with Cure Bloom. She doesnt clasp her hand as they run, only because such a thing would have been nigh impossible through the twists and turns of the UFO's walls. She skids to a stop, and then she gets a good look at the four crosses of black crystal. She doesn't know the poor girls held upon them; she still stares with terror and revulsion to see them like that, and lifts her gloved hands up in front of her.

"This is..."

This is what she feared, when Saki vanished. Maybe it isn't Cure Bloom up there, but that empathy sends a sharp pang of fear and anger through her, and her eyes lift to Rubeus -- to the swarm of the Rubeuses -- and her eyes narrow, sharply. "This is horrible!"

She agrees, suffice to say, with Steven and Sailor Moon both. Egret rushes -- breaking away from Cure Bloom. She leaps, doing a flip, and comes down on a handstand, and then pushes off the floor -- and slams her booted foot right for the neck of the closest version of Rubeus.

COMBAT: Cure Egret has used Sky Dancer's Kick on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Sailor Moon races off in front of her and Mercury quickens her pace, trying to keep up. Every twist and turn, her heart beats faster. She feels a lot like a mouse in a maze right now or maybe a hamster turning in a wheel but getting nowhere. Even if they're covering ground, it seems like it will never end. That is... until it does...

Mercury's eyes widen at the spacious room filled with that same black energy as before and the mirrors which somehow seem to make the room appear bigger and more menacing. As her eyes follow the growing mist they finally land on the large crystal in the back corner of the room. Her heart sinks.

Something feels uncomfortably familiar about this place. It's the same darkness that filled her dreams when she was unconscious on the ship. It's the same sense of dread, of hopelessness, of death that she hasn't been able to shake since then.

When the crosses come into view, Mercury gasps outloud, bringing a hand to her mouth. Her friends...those she loved the most...bound.. alive but how much so? How long had they been like this? "Noooo... it can't be..." Everything within her is driving her to run to the crosses, to try and help her friends NOW.

Chibi-Usa, trying to help, runs in before anyone can stop her and Mercury gasps as the small girl is caught in black energy. "Chibi-Usa! Stop! Let us he-" But the girl is caught, unable to reach the crosses. Mercury frowns, she is more unsure of herself than ever but still tries to offer some comfort to the smaller girl. "We will take care of it!"

Rubeus' voice is beyond menacing when there are multiple copies of him, it echoes within her very mind and soul. It angers her and frightens her all at once. She has promises to keep though and not one nor a hundred Rubeus' would keep her from doing everything within her power to save her friends.

"You are not going to get our friends so easily Rubeus! They mean more to me than you could ever know! In the name of Mercury!" She smiles a little at Sailor Moon, winking as she adds, "We will punish you!" Yes, she totally used Moon's tagline.

COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has used In The Name Of Mercury on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus decisively counters 15 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Shield Slam, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe
is Psyched!  Rubeus's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Rubeus's counterattack, I Think I'm A Clone Now, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is
Psyched!  Rubeus's Block ability activates!  Cripple and Diversion applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus neatly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mercury's In The Name Of Mercury, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor
Mercury is Psyched!  Rubeus's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Exhausted and Stagger applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 9 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Shine On Through The Night, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  La
Sirene de Diamant is Psyched!  Rubeus's Block ability activates!  Diversion applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus dodges 3 Fatigue damage from Cure Egret's Sky Dancer's Kick, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret is Psyched!
Rubeus's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stun and Trap applied to Rubeus!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto follows Steven, close to Mai - close to Lancelot, surely, as well. This place is a black maze, but it is not her purple-black obsidian; this is crystal, dark and malevolent.

(That Miroku, too, is malevolent is not a thought which occurs to her, as she thinks of the unpleasantness of the ship they're on.)

It's not long, before they come to the source, led by Steven's unerring steps. And what they find there is a new horror, one more unthinkable thing in this spectacle of misery - crucifixion. Mikoto growls, chin ducking as those terrible golden eyes behold just what this madman has wrought. She cannot deny how awful the sight is. She cannot deny how her heart clenches, to hear Steven and Sailor Moon's pain.

The first time Mikoto heard Rubeus's voice, she was too terrified to think of how unsettling it was, too terrified to dwell on why she was hearing it.

Now -

It makes her distinctly uncomfortable.

"Negative energy," she speaks in low warning to Mai and Lancelot, as the others cry out for retribution. There are horrors in front of her, yes, but there are things her beloved allies need to know, more important than speaking with an enemy who won't hear them through his madness. "Reflects." As Chibi-Usa so handily demonstrates. "Consumes." Eats away at green and yellow the same way it threatened to eat away at Sapphire. "... it's strong. Denied me." Even when she threw all her weight into destroying the ship which started all this. She sums up the approach to breaking anyone who uses it in a word: "Together."

Sharp yellow eyes scan the group of Rubeus, and she inclines her head towards one in particular.

They'll punish him. His plan has failed. It's horrible. He dares to complain.

How could he?

He's unforgivable.

There are so many words of passion, shared between the magical girls and boys, and Rubeus. And, amongst them all, a snarl which turns into a scream, wordless and bloodthirsty and terrible as she marks an enemy for the others to follow.

She's so clearly done with the effort of talking in the midst of battle.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As they traverse the maze, Mikoto breaks off to talk; Mai waits patiently, still worried about whatever it is that terrified her so much. Still, through it all... Even though everything around them is filled with ominous dread, even though it's a deadly situation, Mai is surrounded by people doing what's right. Surrounded by friends.

She tries to give a comforting smile, even as Mikoto returns and they continue on their way.

That smile fades, though, upon seeing Sailor Moon's haste - a haste that is far too easy to understand. She just - all the rescuers just had the relief of finding their loved ones alive and well, but Sailor Moon's friends are still in peril.

That smile is obliterated by the sight in the next room. Mai's run trails off into dawning horror at the sight of the Black Crystal, at the horror of the crosses, at the torment and malevolence seeped into a single room. Rubeus himself is...in all honesty, not someone Mai had encountered before...

But frankly his smirk is horrible enough that even without the day's events, Mai might just hate him immediately.

The twin convictions and furies of Sailor Moon and Steven Universe resound in the air, and Mai finds herself nodding along. "What is yours? All right, then. You've done so much to earn it, after all. We'll happily give you everything you deserve." The ghost of a smirk gives way to a fierce glare, and Mai's rings burst into flame. She crouches as the burning rings begin to spin, ready to rush forward like she did with the droids-

-but Mikoto has warning words, and Mai pauses for a long moment. A solemn nod acknowledging the caution and the plan, and she spins on the spot. Flames arc out, but not directly at the nearest Rubeus, or even directly at any of them. A path of flame, carving along the ground, snaking between them, partitioning and separating...

Erupting into blazing heat, a burning cordon intended to sear, to trap one or a handful of Rubeuses in a burning ring with her and her companions. As the wall rises, as fire-light reflects in Mai's eye, she gives Lancelot and Mikoto a trusting nod.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has started a combo targeting Rubeus!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Horror waits at the end of their Steven-led journey through an unwelcoming labyrinth, surrounded by and encased in black crystal. That perfect and singular monolith to malevolence first demands Pluto's attention, but then there is the spectacle of torture splayed out across four black crystal crosses. Mars and Venus and Jupiter, the other Inners, located in the most terrible of ways. Pluto wonders, has the universe decided that every one of them must suffer before the day is done? The Gem Pearl hangs among them, less known but under no lesser agony.

Rubeus waits for them there, a dangerous and vile flame amidst all that black crystal.

That voice... Sailor Pluto's eyes narrow, cheeks twitching upward with distaste and enmity combined. She's moved to a rare open grimace as one Rubeus becomes many, a chorus of smirking villainy and power. "Tch," she expresses with a single clockwise rotation of the Rod by her side. Nearby she feels the presence of Kasagami, still close after their run through the labyrinth. She glances over-shoulder to her love.

One of them is paying Rubeus himself no attention at all, though. By the bare edge of Sailor Pluto's distracted gaze she catches a flash of red-and-pink. It whips her head around to follow, evergreen hair flying with the motion.

Small Lady bounces off a crackling black barrier with a cry of pain that pierces through Pluto's chest and the senshi shouts, wordlessly, helplessly. Small Lady rises and Pluto cannot look away. She throws herself at it again and it is all she can do not to run directly into the duplicitous mass of Rubeii.

But they are between her and Small Lady. And she hears again the bravery in her Princess's voice.

'This is something I have to do.'

Small Lady gathers herself again after two painful attempts and as she stands back up, Sailor Pluto's heart swells, and pride and love lodge hard in her throat. "You can do this, Small Lady! And you are never alone!" she cries, before turning to the many men with hair of flame and inverted black crescents upon their foreheads.

One, she selects from the crowd of himself. "Rubeus!" Her voice has lost all warmth, baring the steely resolve beneath. "You'll never touch a single pink hair on her head, I PROMISE you that! Never!" Onward she rushes, the Rod angled low and forward, and at the last moment lashes out with its haft for the legs of her target. It's a vicious strike meant to catch him behind the knees.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Aoristic Fulcrum on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has joined the combo started by Mikoto Minagi!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As Rubeus takes multiple forms and gestures for them to come at him, Lancelot crouches ready to leap into action, power drawing once agian to the twin baldes of Arondight that crackle with energy and lightning along their edges. He's about to launch into an attack when Mikoto warns them to attack together, and them Mai tells him and Mikoto to more or less Sic em with that nod of her's. With a roguish grin on his features he says in French, "As you command my lady."

Like a spring uncoiling Lancelot launches when Mikoto does. The pair rush through the fire created by Mai, Arondight flashing with lightning even while the steel white blades reflet the light form the fire. As he closes with one of the Rubeus' he cries outm "LIGHTNING IMPACT!" and swings for the fences with both swords in concert with Mikoto's black blade.

While Mikoto's attacks are deadly, brutal, efficient in sweeping arcs of that massive no-dachi, Lancelot's are fast, and furious, exploding with power with every swing. Lightning crackles and explodes in white hot tendrils. He dances in and around with Mikoto, creating a dance that only two masters of the sword could perform when they work in concert. He slides to a stop in a crouch, eyes searching, waiting for the next attack oppening, or Rubeus's counter attack.

COMBAT: Lancelot has joined the combo started by Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: COMBO! Mikoto Minagi, Mai Tokiha, and Lancelot have used Combo: Obsidian Electrical Burn, composed of Obsidian Blade:
Devastation, Infernal Embrace, and Lightning Impact, on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sourisi nods, the explanation making sense to her. After all, she doesn't know where the Black Moon spire is currently located at. "It is absolute zero out there. Coming this way to help us...it means a lot."

Steven knows the way better than she could have possibly imagine through this spire of crystallized darkness, and it's yet another question to add to the growing list she wants to ask the boy. The mirror-like walls around them somehow shows the standoff going on between Garnet and Jasper back down far below them, and she wants to cheer on the Gem (Gems?) on, but even if they can hear her, she couldn't likely hear the group of magical warriors. Thoughts focus once more towards the upcoming fight, and fingers tightening on darken hardwood causes the magical weapons to creak.

As Sourisi charges in with the others into the the central chamber of this ship, her thoughts are not on the layout of the interior, the mirrors or just how ominous and evil this control room is. It's the Black Crystal, and the four crosses displayed before it like a set of morbid trophies. Three Sailor Senshi and one Gem, entrapped in crystals and looking as if they were on the cusp of death, helpless and unable to attempt the slightest resistance to Rubeus.

Yes, the man who buried a small army of magical warriors into the sands of Tokyo Bay stands before them now, dressed as if he was about to go shopping in Shibuya. Not exactly the picture of an evil overlord, but it is a false facade barely hiding the fact that the man before them has power.

As he looks upon them like a king down upon ants, and how unfair it was that he was simply outnumbered, Sourisi could feel the hairs on the back of her neck rise. He sounded so bored, so disinterested in them all, it was clear he was up to something. That proves true as he somehow makes exact duplicates of himself, the eerie effect of seeing mirrored clones of a person giving Sourisi flashbacks to another scene, her own face snarling at her.

With a determined look on her face, Sourisi charges towards the closest clone and starts jabbing with her tonfa wildly, the speed of the assault disturbing the low fog that consumes the floor of the chamber. "Our friends and allies come to help us in our darkest hour, and so we will do the same for them, protecting them when they can't protect themselves! You, who know nothing of the bonds we bear, will know this. We won't leave anyone behind!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Mouse Flurry on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kassie is now in debt to a little girl. Twitch. She'll grouse on their way, but says nothing for now. Grumble!

She manages to grin, however, when she feels Pluto's look for just a moment. Wink!

The moment passes and they're all in a headlong rush. Steven's guidance rings true, and then it's a massive chamber with Rubeus. Kasagami pauses, struck speechless by what she sees. Three senshi, and a Gem hung upon crosses, clearly in agony. The massive black crystal that lashes into her very soul with it's black emissions that make her want to vomit is nothing against that image of cruelty and naked sadism. Her eyes are wide. His smirking, arrogant voice carves into her ear, and Kasagami Araki rounds upon the Black Moon Clan member as something stirrs in her chest that she hasn't felt for a while.

Righteous indignation. This is the exact opposite of what someone in command should do. What royalty or nobility would do. What a King would do.

The worst part is? When Rubeus becomes many, and she peers at the nearest one? She doesn't quite see him, not entirely. She sees something familiar.

A hawk-cloaked young woman, with sword inset with an emerald and a rose.

She blinks, and it's gone. Her own mind's projections only make her response that much swifter. Her arms and legs feel like jelly from the effects of the Black Crystal, the many fights and escapes she's had, and the power radiating from that moon symbol on the man's forehead.

Steven's anger flows, Moon's and Mercury's love for their friends overflows. Kasagami Araki finds herself growing more furious by the second, and as she stares down her chosen Rubeus clone? She finds all of that ache evaporating as she comes to a realization.

"You have this entire ship to command. You have so much power! And yet you resort to...to that to get what you want!?" This man, with power she can only envy, has stooped so low in her eyes. Perhaps, just maybe, she's projecting. But Rubeus is grating on the soul, maybe he deserves it.

"Know the justice of one who will become King!"

She doesn't know what a King should be right now. Only what it should not. And Rubeus, his crimes laid before them all after so many have been captured and now tortured? Are many.

Kasagami makes for a swift, shallow feinting strike before she turns and pivots at her hips, aiming her strong foot at the man's neck with the hopes of that kick being as painful as possible should it land.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Kassie Kick on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Cure Bloom surges onward, and when they come to a stop, it's with a solid CLAP-CLAP of two powerful feet.

Which is the first time she learns about the crosses of crystal. "The Sailor Senshi...and I think that must be Pearl?" Name helpfully provided by Steven mere seconds earlier. "You..."

Her eyes cut to Egret. Just briefly. Some horrible terror crashing over her like a dousing wave. But she sucks it up with a breath, and her eyes turn to Rubeus as he splits manifold.

"We won't let you get away with this," she says, with something colder than her usual fire.

Egret pulled away from her, but they are still Pretty Cure. Shortly after Egret collides with Rubeus, Bloom swoops up behind her, crashing in for the exact same creation. She doesn't jump, this time. She slides in under Egret, sweeping in along a line of sparkling light, and while Egret kicks high, Bloom swings her hands under her and shoves off the ground, pushing both feet into that same Rubeus' chest.

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Fistful of Flowers on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus cleanly braces 40 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Mouse Flurry, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sourisi is
Psyched!  Rubeus's Block ability activates!
COMBAT: Rubeus perfectly dodges 22 Fatigue damage from Cure Bloom's Fistful of Flowers, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Rubeus's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace Mikoto Minagi, Mai Tokiha, and Lancelot's Combo: Obsidian Electrical Burn, taking 70 Fatigue damage!
Mikoto Minagi, Mai Tokiha, and Lancelot are Psyched!  Diversion and Stun applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to dodge Sailor Pluto's Aoristic Fulcrum, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Rubeus is Quipped!  Trap
applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 33 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Kassie Kick, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Rubeus's
Block ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Rubeus [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> STRONGER THAN YOU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i-Yqsnhngo

Now the mirrors hanging in a circle around this space are starting to pick up the frequency of the fight in the Docking Bay. The two Gems there are still talking, but one gets the keen sense, from the rising tension in their stances, that that won't be true for long.

"This is Garnet," she announces rhythmically -- she raps?!, placing a hand on her chest, "Back together. And I'm never going down at the hands of the likes of you," she points at Jasper, then at herself, "Because I'm so much better."

Jasper raises an eyebrow, and the two of them begin to circle. They are small within the docking bay, but their presences seem to fill it to bursting.

Garnet continues, threat less infecting her cool tones as it just wafts within it, like food coloring in a glass of water: "And every part of me is saying go get 'er."

Jasper clenches a fist and narrows her eyes, but doesn't interrupt.

"The two of us ain't gonna follow your rules -- come at me without any of your fancy tools!"

That is obviously not going to happen; the black energy crackling around Jasper's boosted destabilizer is currently the strongest color in the room by a vast margin, muting all others. She spins it threateningly.

"Let's go, just me and you--"

Breaking into another grin, Jasper begins to charge.

"Let's go--" Garnet's just standing there, just waiting, as her terrible foe closes with that terrible weapon, her confidence absolute, "--just one on two!"



Steven tries to feed the nearest Rubeus his shield, but he just smirks and splits in two where he's been hit. Humor dances in his eyes; he's clearly aware of how incredibly unfair that is.

Then, at point blank, the Rubeuses inflict a crossfire of black energy beams, while not even deigning to look at their target; they respond to Shigure, Sailor Moon, and Sailor Mercury instead.

"Our plan has succeeded," Rube-A contradicts, patronization rank in his tone. "We did get your friends so easily, Sailor Mercury, and you as well." With his free hand, he backhands the air, once, twice, and black power translates the force violently between them.

"Oh, please. Like you haven't done everything possible to get what you want, Sailor Moon," Ru-B asides. "Like you wouldn't do anything it took, right now. We all have conviction. That isn't the difference between us." He seems to be hoping she'll ask him what is. Also that she's too busy listening to him to move when he leaps forward, delivering an axe-kick right towards her face.


Mai rings another Rubeus, who we'll call Ru-C-us, in flame; reflexively he swings his arm in front of his eyes to block the flash, and just as planned, that leaves him wide open to the incursion of Mikoto and Lancelot.

He tries to take it.

He fails, and goes crashing through the flames to slam against one of the mirrors, which cracks.

But then he gets up, and pops his jaw. Left, right.

"Yes," he purrs at Mikoto. "The energy of my people reflects. It consumes." He's healing before their very eyes, gashes they opened up flickering with black lightning, then disappearing to fresh untouched skin. "It is strong."

Slamming his fists out, he sends a massive black beam wide enough to engulf all three of them.


Pretty Cure surround RUDEous, who, with infuriating calm, first sidesteps Egret's foot, then both of Bloom's.

"You won't?" he asks. "I'm not really convinced. You two seem to be a little... out of sync."

Reaching out with both his hands, he tries to CLAP! them around one of Bloom's still-in-midair legs, then swings her with full force straight at Egret. Anticipating a run of the bases, he drops his bat midswing, releasing it to let momentum take its course.


Throwing back his head, RubEus barks a vicious lack at Sailor Pluto's declaration of protection, but her staff brings him to his knees. He, in turn, brings up his hands in time to place them between Kasagami's boot and his neck -- and then he pushes. Hard. With black crystal force behind it.

In the space that this gives him, he windmills his legs, driving them both back further, and returns to his feet.

"You might want to worry a little bit more about someone else's hair," he whispers to Pluto, before letting another one of those person-high black blasts go, point blank, at Kasagami's face.

"And as for you -- there's only one who will become King. Your trite howling pales in comparison to the majesty of my Prince."


La Sirene's shards scrape precisely along the faces of every Rubeus in the room. He's obviously inhumanly tough (no surprise there), as the laser raises black sparks, and then a thin pink line across his right-hand lovely high cheekbone. It's a dashing dueling scar.

"It wasn't a complaint," he corrects; "This will make my victory all the more glorious."

One of them, Fabeus, breaks off to deal with her, popping his knuckles, but Sourisi gets to him first. "Hup-hup-hup-hup-hup," he grunts, drawing his palms apart and creating some kind of black energy chain between them to catch most of the force of each of the strikes with equally blinding speed.

Once it's all the way out, it transpires that this is a black energy nunchuck. He starts flipping it about with worrisome expertise.

"You think I know nothing of bonds? Everything I do is for another!"

He thwackathwackathwackas at her, and for his finale, sends the weapon whirling across the room at La Sirene, to impact hard, then entangle as the separation between the two sticks lengthens, then tightens.

COMBAT: Rubeus has used Pretty Cure Villainy on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Pretty Cure Villainy on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used By A Hair on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used thwackathwackathwackathwacka on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Tightening Chain on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Crossfire on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Backhand on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Backhand on Sailor Mercury.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Rubeus Kick on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Beam on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Beam on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Beam on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Beam on Kasagami Araki.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Myrana's hands find the weight of a book, going through the dirt as if the ground were but air. When she pulls it out it looks as if it was penned yesterday. No title on the front of the book just a red leather covering. On the inside are the words in Old Tongue, "To help you learn. I hope these techniques help. Love. Daddy." The woman, Creation smiles fondly at Myrana before she says, "It will take time. But you might need the skills Darius wrote about in that book."

As Ramius speaks, Creation gives a sad smile. "You, and three others wielded that blade before it was sealed in Lightsilver by the last wielder, to try and stem the curse." She shakes her head. "It didn't work. All of you eventually come here." She gestures to the tree. "To me. We're tied. So close, yet never to be together." She puts a hand to her face, to try and stem the tears. "To hear you ... To hear you still have some memories of ... Possibly us." She wipes a hand away. "I don't have much more time. The Eye of Darius was a gem that he used for a time as an eye. It gave him true sight and he could see the horrors that hid behind masks."

COMBAT: Rubeus has used Black Crystal Power on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus accepts Rubeus's Black Crystal Power, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Rubeus is Reinforced by Rubeus!
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Backhand, taking 3 Fatigue damage!
Shigure Shiratsuyu's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Backhand, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Sailor
Mercury's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Sailor Mercury!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 16 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Crossfire, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon perfectly dodges 27 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Rubeus Kick, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Sailor Moon's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

'Just keep yourself safe!' 'We will take care of it!'

Chibi-Usa turns back, her face marred by anxiety, by frustration, as she looks to Sailor Moon--Sailor Moon, facing them down, just like the others, as there are so many. Sailor Mercury, with her, right at her side. And everyone else starts talking, starts fighting--

Small Lady looks down, biting her lip, trying to think what she can do--But as the battle starts to rage with Rubeus and Rubeus and so many of them everywhere--Her feet skid along the ground as she turns, runs across the strange floor and takes cover behind an installment, pink hair peeking over her cover as she looks around worriedly to the battles starting everywhere. Quietly she murmurs, "Everyone..."

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki perfectly dodges 34 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Beam, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Kasagami Araki's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi neatly dodges 40 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Beam, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha dodges 24 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Beam, taking 16 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sourisi braces 19 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's thwackathwackathwackathwacka, taking 8 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant fails to brace Rubeus's Tightening Chain, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Trap applied to La Sirene de
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto fails to dodge Rubeus's By A Hair, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Pluto is Quipped!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom perfectly counters 16 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Pretty Cure Villainy, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Cure Bloom's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom's counterattack, Petal Flash, bursts all the way through, doing 11 Fatigue damage to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Lancelot cleanly braces 34 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Black Crystal Beam, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Egret braces 9 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Pretty Cure Villainy, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Cure Egret's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

There's an agonised wince as Shigure gets blown back by the crossfire of black beams--

--and within the moment, the Symphogear Relic moves by her side; she finds refuge behind the solid wall of metal that forms the Claiomh Solais, as its shimmering light reflects the beam and disperses it harmlessly around her.

"... I've been neglecting you, haven't I...?"

She whispers it quietly towards the Relic, as if she can understand it. "I'll try better... to not disappoint you..."

She comes to a soft skid as the beam subsides, and looks towards Sourisi as she charges the closest of the clones with her tonfa, in a speed of combat she can scarce follow.

"That's right. You may be powerful, but that arrogance..."

She narrows her eyes.

"... it's an arrogance that blinds you from risks that will undo your plans. Sourisi is right. We won't leave anyone behind!"

COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu has used I Know You Can Do This! on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Sourisi accepts Shigure Shiratsuyu's I Know You Can Do This!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sourisi is Cheered!  Empower
applied to Sourisi!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"You don't have us yet Rubeus and we are not going down without a fight!" Even as he raises a hand, the Sailor Guardian is prepared and increases the distance between them, enough so that the force she feels is only minimal, a slight sting aginst her.

"Sailor Moon,look out!" She cries out as their Rubeus leaps towards her friend. Mercury makes no comment against the words spoken. "Stay focused Sailor Moon. We can handle this!" There is a growing sense of confidence in her words.

Watching the others fight their own copies of Rubeus, she sighs. There are entirely too many of him for Sailor Mercury's liking. A thought occurs to her in the heat of the battle. If they could figure out where the original disappeared off to, then that could give them a place to focus all of their attacks and fury. Having their damage spread out like this is definitely not the most effective way of dealing with this threat.

With a quick touch of the hand to her ear, Mercury looks to Sailor Moon and those closest to her. "Keep at it guys! I am going to try and find the original Rubeus!" The blue visor appears over her eyes and Mercury spends the next few moments trying to get a read on the area, stepping away from the influx of attacks as she does so. The wait for the analysis is agonizing but there is determination in the sailor guardians eyes.

COMBAT: Sailor Mercury has used Mercury Goggle on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The beam comes right at them and Lancelot crosses his blades in front of him. The energy washes over those blade,s the black and white swirling around each other. The fore of the blast sliding his planted feet alonng the floor a good two feet. He twists and sends the blast at him into the ground and then rushes forward, "Mikoto! Mai! Plan B! Also known as Hit him harder!"

To put action to words Lancelot charges in a very straight line at the man the second he sees Mikoto move toward Rubeus C. "Heal from this - " He swings his balde in a rotating X-Pattern timed with Mikoto's and Mai's attack, "BLAZING ZEPHYR!" Arondight flashes and sends waves of lighting with each slash. They're not the explosive thunderous crashes of the previous onslaught, but are instead a quick and rapid assult of blades unleashing blasts of lighting with each swing.

COMBAT: Lancelot has started a combo targeting Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus partially dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mercury's Mercury Goggle, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Rubeus's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Analysis performed by Sailor Mercury!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

A clean hit turns into a dire situation, as Rubeus splits after the impact! "NNNNH!" Steven growls out. The retaliation comes, and the boy brings up that rose shield to block it. It hedges out most of the blast, but the boy gets clipped in the shoulder. Pain, Agony, most types of negative emotion strike him at once.

But he has to stay strong.

The boy stands from his position in time to see something play out in the mirrors of the room. Garnet is beginning to square off against Jasper. If he could cheer and know she could hear him, he would. But his eyes also cross toward Chibi-Usa.

She's not fighting...? Was she just an innocent caught up in this? He will have to keep an eye out toward her. But for now. "Tired of your dumb splitting tactics! Why don't you cut the 'us' out of this fight and just be a rube!"

Yeah, take that.

The boy summons a section of a Bubble Shield, expands it, and sends it careening outward, attempting to push a clone away as he turns and surges toward the other! "I'm coming Pearl! I promise!"

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Repelling Shield on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 12 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Repelling Shield, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Rubeus's Block ability activates!  Cripple applied to Rubeus!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

As Shigure calls to her - it feels so good to have so many at her back - because frankly despite her anger this guy is super frightening and she has no idea if she could do this on her own. But as she saw from Chibi-Usa's attempt. "I don't think... I don't think we can get to them right now!"

She'd like nothing more. If she could do what Shigure said - let them handle it - she absolutely would just for a chance to feel her hand in each of their palms again. Just for a chance to embrace them and tell them it's all going to be okay.

But right now - she doesn't know what it will take to blast through that field. And that energy thus seems better suited for... "If I see an opening I'll try to go for them - but until then let's beat him!"

And in the background - she hears Garnet. She wasn't here to witness her reunion. So she doesn't understand the truth behind her song. But all the same, hearing her so confident against such a scary customer as Jasper... it almost makes her believe everything is going to be alright.

Herss someone said recently... Usagi isn't weak... she's...

Her gaze snaps back up to Rubeus caught somewhere between surprise and indignation at being compared to him - but then his heel is being brought to bear against her face. It's only because of Mercury's warning that she manages to react in time. Twisting, she dives into a roll - striking the crystal with her shoulder just as the axe clips a blonde twin-tail.

The sheer force of his kick still bowls her over as it swishes past - his strength every bit what she would expect of someone in the upper echelon of their enemies. And yet - this is only one of him out of six. Rolling up to a crouch - "That was really close! Thanks Mercury." She presses down with her fingers to snap herself back up and over in a flip to face Ru-B directly.

Blurting out only then what she's thinking about her own conviction- "You're wrong! I tried to come here alone - I would never sacrifice any of them - even if it meant getting my friends back!" And yet - that unsettling feeling that he might have a point she's just not getting sticks with her. After all - she's never been considered that smart. "... Tell me then - what's the difference between us?"

In that moment however - she sideeyes to Mercury as she declares she needs some time. Right now she's not really sure how to beat him - or how to save their friends... but perhaps her fellow Senshi might but perhaps if she gives her time to work it out.

So clambering to her feet - she breaks into a run. It's like she's going to head straight for the crucified Senshi - she's running in that direction a few paces to try to draw his eye to Moon rather than to Mercury and Chibi-Usa. But that's a feint. Because before she even gets far enough - before she even makes it a few steps - she whirls around with a hand to her brow - an arm cocked back. Her tiara instantly shining with bright radiance. "Moon Tiara-"

And then she flings it forward with all of her might, "-ACTION!" It swiftly slices through the air - tracing a path as it flips end over end towards him.

And all the while she wishes she could record Garnet singing that for her phone - but that's a more distant thought given the situation at hand.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Tiara Action on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Obsidian claymore and electric longswords work so well in concert, surrounded by flames; in their own ways, Mikoto and Lancelot are both so terribly overwhelming. The styles are different, of course - dual-wielded blades will necessarily be a little smaller, a little lighter - but the intent is the same.

And, of course, there are few who don't know the might brought to bear by Mai Tokiha.

But as Ru-C-us slams into the mirror, as the cracks spider out, he doesn't stay down. He gets right back up, back into the fight, and -

- worse -

- he's talking to her. To Mikoto, in those unsettling tones. Responding to words never meant for him, as if he were worth speaking with.

Mikoto's hateful eyes widen, then narrow, as she hisses in a breath through clenched teeth. She growls in reply, lip curling up to show teeth in warning. She doesn't tell him to stop in so many words - but her meaning is quite obvious.

He summons that overwhelming black energy, and she leaps. If she were well, if she were whole, if Fallen Stern and the Sovereign had not devastated her - perhaps she would not have been touched at all. But there is that little hint of slowness, of weakness, and the edge of the beam snipes her, dark energy catching at her, interrupting her acrobatics. She lands more heavily than she'd like, leaning down into the impact.

... it's not a pleasant feeling.

Lancelot calls to hit him harder, and Mikoto nods, with a wordless affirmative grunt. These words, words from an ally - these she can listen to without bristling. She screams, again, as she charges forward, Miroku swinging in a wide spinning arc before she plants her feet and brings it up in a diagonal strike.

He can't get to her like that. She won't allow it!

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has joined the combo started by Lancelot!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to dodge Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Action, taking 54 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The only regret, in Mai's eyes, is that the blades of steel-white and obsidian didn't quite go through Ru-C-us. It's still cathartic to see the smirking man get slammed through a wall of flame. For all that he gets up, healing quickly, the impact looked like it hurt.

Good. After what he's done, Mai doesn't have a great deal of sympathy to give.

That voice, though - that purring, smug tone - gets Mai to step forward with a ferocious glare. "Leave her alone. I don't care how strong you're cl-" She screeches in shock as Ru-C-us unleashes the black beam, diving to one side.

She almost makes it out of the way.

Almost isn't quite enough, and the force of the beam - that terrible black energy - engulfs one leg for a moment. It's enough to make Mai tumble, rolling along the ground, and it's a few moments before she's back on her feet. She's lost for words-

But the song reflected in the mirror is heartening. Encouraging. Inspiring.

Mai steps forward, nodding at Lancelot's words. "Right. However strong you might be...that strength isn't a right to do whatever you please." Her rings spin into a brilliant blaze, and this time she charges in alongside the swords. In between waves of lightning, as Mikoto's blade starts to swing up from below, Mai leaps up to come in from above...and smash white-hot flames into this creep's face.

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has joined the combo started by Lancelot!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Batiste attends to the words of Rubeus as best he can, but the one nearest, more or less, is his primary target. He speaks of bonds and the small mascot wishes fervently in his heart that these things were sometimes a little less complex. He also leaps off la Sirene's shoulder because la Sirene is going for it.

Stalking towards the Fabius, she says, "Glorious? GLORIOUS? Are you performing for God or for your own imagination!" Sourisi is moving closer and is engaged with a whipping set of nunchaku. La Sirene keeps closing, but not swiftly.

She is thrown from her fury fantasia when the weapon is thrown at her. They elongate and wrap round her - the chain throws sparks at the gems on her top, but the wrapping around is crushing, forcing breath from her in a wet 'ghhh' as she staggers, eyes watering, vision blurring for a moment. She struggles to breathe back in.

come on, she thinks

it's not much different from a

red thread

Her fingers had formed emphatic claws. One hand comes up to toss her hair as she makes herself speak in reply. "This person who you do it for... they want you to torture soldiers? Pfah - I have had to deal with people who do horrid things - but even they - have had the courtesy not to - GLOAT -"

La Sirene's eyes flick in the general direction of Kasagami as if in consideration, but it's brief, and she doesn't call out to her.

In fact she says nothing at all now; some of this is a lack of a snappy retort to this revelation, but a lot of it is also the chain round her waist. However, a struggle for breath and a binding chain do not prevent the movement of light and shadow; a sudden spiralling helix rises for the one who confronts Sourisi, aiming to wrap round him in darkling and coruscant chains, as if poured from living opal.

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Weavery of the Abyss on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

In the heartbeat between Rubeus' words and grabbing Bloom's ankles, Bloom's face flushes with a sudden anger at the mere implication that she and Egret are off their beat. And then he attempts to bash one with the other.

Bloom controls it, in her way. Rather than resist properly, as she comes careening down at Egret, she lashes out with her arms, picking her up in the same turn as she's been lifted, cradling the girl in her arms. Earthen lights flash up around her, a shield deflecting the worst of their combined impact.

A shield that cracks apart into its component motes and fires back at Rubeus, while Bloom sets Egret back on her feet.

No words other than her own expression hardening. Cure Bloom turns to Pretty Cure's self-assigned jerk, her fists coming up. Cure Egret hits the ground, her feet striking the earth, and Bloom's careful placement keeps her from toppling. She looks back at the clone of Rubeus. Then, she looks back at him.

"We're not out of synch," Egret says. "If you think we are... then we'll be happy to prove you wrong! Bloom!"

Egret glances at her friend, and then nods -- and then she is off. She flies in like a rocket, throwing three rapid jabs for Rubeus's center of mass. Each punch is punctuated by a bright flash of sparkling, silver light. It may be distracting. This, in fact, would be the point of the exercise.

Bloom suddenly surges in from another angle, invisible amid Egret's bursting lights. She trades in harsher blows. There's little trickery with Cure Bloom: A single solid wallop aimed at center mass, and then she whirls out, leaping high to join Egret above.

She slaps her palm into Egret's with a CRACK that rises above the din, arms swinging back.

The second CLAP is like thunder, as two hands facing Rubeus join and blaze with silver and gold light.

They bring this unison down on Rubeus' guard, releasing an explosion of pure white light.

COMBAT: Cure Bloom has started a combo targeting Rubeus!
COMBAT: Cure Egret has joined the combo started by Cure Bloom!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

With her foot slamming into the mans' hands, RubEus pushes back with all the force of that horrible crystal. This sends her skidding back, and her feet protest enough that she's really going to feel it later. But right now? Anger and indignation and the knowledge she's fighting alongside the one she loves is paramount.

Still, that incoming whirlwind kick aimed at them has Kassie fighting with all that she has, her skill at arms being thoroughly tested. Her wooden blade goes up, parrying, dodging back, spinning and deflecting at the very last to keep herself from being kicked to the ground.

And then he's in her face. A deep, dark blast humms. Kasagami's good eye goes wide, and she can't help but let out a gasp of shock. Muscles flex. And then the blast goes off.

There's a sizzling smell, and streaks of red and raven in the air after a moment. Blink and you'd miss it. Kasagami is crumpled on her side. She stays there for a moment that's just a little too long. Two of the wild locks of Kassie's multifaceted ponytail are now cut down half their length. Kassie isn't moving, seemingly not breathing.

~A few moments earlier~

A flashback of some advice from her Mother so long ago echoed in her head. 'Sometimes you have to flex like an eel to avoid that which is unavoidable'. Her legs push back, and then? She prays silently as she lets go.


Finally, she draws in a breath that had been forced out of her, but she doesn't get up. That was a desperate gamble. Her hand draws a knife, and it's flung wildy at RubEus! That close, having to crumple that fast, Kasagami still needs to recover herself with such power nearly taking off her head.

COMBAT: COMBO! Cure Bloom and Cure Egret have used Double Pretty Cure Spirit Splash on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used King's Blades on Rubeus.
COMBAT: COMBO! Lancelot, Mikoto Minagi, and Mai Tokiha have used Combo: Plan B, composed of Blazing Zephyr, Obsidian Blade:
Dauntlessness, and Devoted Scintillation, on Rubeus.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

A raised eyebrow is all that Sourisi can spare to show her surprise as this Rubeus neatly counters each rapid thrust of her weapons, the magically-enhanced wood sending out black sparks as it encounters black chain. The nun-chucks that this red-headed master of villainy draws outwards has Sourisi smirking in reply, twirling her tonfa in her grasp to reflect and deflect most of the force away from her. The powers of the Black Crystal-created weapon still send tiny bolts of of nothingness tingling up to her arms, but she pushes past the pain to respond to this man.

"If you truly did this for another and know of bonds, then you would not go to such extremes as you have! Allying with aliens intent on invading Earth, capturing us and putting us under lock and key, attempting to send a hoard of monsters on a defenseless girl-" Speaking of which, why was the pinkette still here with them? Doesn't she realize just how dangerous she could be in? "-and keeping these brave people in such pain."

Twirling a tonfa to reset her grip on her weapon, Sourisi hops over the tossed nun-chucks, not realizing that she was not the intended target and swings both of the blunt weapons outwards in a cross pattern at Fabeus' torso. "Solais is right too! These are not the actions of a man wanting the best for another. These are the actions of a man not stopping at anything to get what he wants!" Knowing that Solais was here, that she feels the same way, that she will be protecting her in a warm balm for sore and exhausted limbs. She will not be a burden, and she will protect others!

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Forest Down on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus braces 65 Fatigue damage from Lancelot, Mikoto Minagi, and Mai Tokiha's Combo: Plan B, taking 53 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Lancelot, Mikoto Minagi, and Mai Tokiha are Psyched!  Rubeus's Block ability activates!  Cripple applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Forest Down, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Rubeus's Fade and Flash
abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace La Sirene de Diamant's Weavery of the Abyss, taking 28 Fatigue damage!  Tangle applied to Rubeus!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to dodge Kasagami Araki's King's Blades, taking 12 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Rubeus fails to brace Cure Bloom and Cure Egret's Combo: Double Pretty Cure Spirit Splash, taking 70 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Reflections are everywhere, and now not just of their deadly foe. The mirrors fill with Garnet and Jasper's face-off, and the senshi hears more than sees it, too focused on her own attack. To the very core of her, Sailor Pluto is a Guardian. Of Time; of a shining future; of those she loves. All these things she dedicates her life to defending. She shouts it out in challenge to Rubeus -- RubEus -- and he laughs, but that isn't what catches her off guard. The senshi expects such conduct from his kind.

It's the shift in his targeting, and as this reflection of the Black Moon member lashes out with that broad windmill kick he catches Pluto full in the hip -- the force slams her spinning back and out of the way. He threatens Kasagami instead of Small Lady and she's just been knocked away from the melee... "You...! Kassie!"

RubEus unleashes a massive charge of pitch-black energy right at her love and she'll never be there in time -- an awful refrain -- but she's up in time to see. The look on Pluto's face comes close to matching Kassie's for shock, eyes wide, and one arm reaches forward in a useless gesture.

In the wake of the blast there is an awful quiet from the form on the ground, so familiar in build and beloved of detail, and black-and-red hair flutters down, freed. "NO!" Her heart starts again only when she sees those shoulders shudder upward in a drawn breath, a desperate thud against the inside of her ribcage.

Intolerable. She will not stand for it, and RubEus... "YOU!" calls the Soldier of Revolution as she charges forward, ignoring the sharp grind of pain in her bruising hip as if a flybite. The anger, aroused, washes it away. "You will pay for that, Rubeus! That and everything else! You have no idea what you just brought down on yourself," she thunders, and the Garnet Rod is a vicious whirl overhead.

With all protective rage the Guardian swings its haft down directly at the skull beneath that flame of red hair, treating the inverted black crescent as the most vile bullseye Pluto has ever seen in a long, long existence. She aims at it. She aims through it.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Pendulum Blitz on Rubeus.
COMBAT: Rubeus perfectly counters 26 Fatigue damage from Sailor Pluto's Pendulum Blitz, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Rubeus's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Rubeus's counterattack, I Think I'm A Clone Now, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sailor Pluto!
<Pose Tracker> Rubeus [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> STRONGER THAN YOU, CONT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i-Yqsnhngo


Jasper scowls as she charges in, lashing out again and again with her black destabilizer. If it wasn't for that energy it would seem a real waste; the weapon is far more slender than the massive, blood red fist engulfing it.

"Go ahead and try and hit me if you're able--" Garnet sings, and there's nothing strange about her choosing this moment to burst into song, just as her rapping felt like the wholly appropriate war chant of an ancient warrior, "--can't you see that my relationship is stable?"

Despite her bravado, she does seem to be fully on defense, swerving, flipping, handspringing away from that deadly weapon.

But she's smiling -- so widely. Almost warmly.

Coming in, she and Jasper trade some punches, some kicks. No decisive blows, but the Homeworld Gem is obviously getting annoyed at how hard it is to pin down her opponent. "I can see you hate the way we intermingle," Garnet purses her lips in a marvelous mirror of Jasper's former grin, only it's a completely different expression, lively, amused, genuine, as she wags a finger in Jasper's face: "But I think you're just mad 'cause you're single!"

Snarling, Jasper goes in with a vicious jab with that destabilizer, and this time Garnet lets it get a bare inch from her face. Lets it, because she's taking a controlled fall ahead of the strike, wrapping both hands around Jasper's grip.

"And you're not gonna stop what we made together!" She breaks Jasper's hold on the destabilizer, then kicks it into the air, where it spins wildly!

"We are gonna stay like this forever!" She catches it out of the air fearlessly, holding it aloft like Liberty's torch!

Then she snaps it like a toothpick. Black energy crackles harmlessly into the air, then dies. "If you break us apart, we'll just come back newer --" She flings away the harmless bits of stick, and finally summons her gauntlets, "--and we'll always be twice the gem that you are!"

On the offense at last, she charges -- but Jasper does the same.

"I am made o-o-o-o-of l-o-o-o-o-ve o-o-o-o-of..."



It turns out that turning on your scanner nearby a power source of cosmic scope is a bad idea; the goggles immediately go pitch black with dark energy, which has shot its sensors right off the scale.

  • * * SCANNING... * * *

All she can see is a rapidly rotating blue wheel as it frantically recalibrates.


Steven gets his wish about dumb splitting tactics -- when his bubble shield slams outward, it gets the first Rubeus, throws him into the second one, and the two of them merge.

"Arrogant? I'm a realist," he tells Solais, seemingly unbothered by this outcome, other than shaking his head rapidly a couple of times to clear it.

Sailor Moon champions the cause of no-sacrifice, and his response is only to shake his head one final time, this time with disgust. "Maybe we don't both have conviction, then, but the larger difference between us is this: you fight because you're forced to. We attack -- you react. But I -- I fight for a cause."

And then the clone is incinerated by the Tiara, turning into dust... and laughing as he does.



The Rubeus fighting Lancelot and the HiME has learned from his first mistake; this time, when they come for him, he's more than ready, in a tight boxer stance. The twin slashes push him back, the diagonal strike yet further, and the white-hot flames erupt on crossed arms above his head. He pulls them apart, still trailing fire, and smirks.

Feet lifting off the floor, he meets Mai in midair, getting right in her face.

"Is it not? Is not strength how you accomplish whatever you want, HiME?"

And then he fades away, which is one method for getting the last word.


Rubeus tries the same cross-armbar trick with Bloom and Egret's combined passion, but he's just engulfed in light, then gone.

...why was he cackling as he went?



Kasagami's knife and Pluto's staff strike at Rubeus at roughly the same moment, and they both discover nothing but air -- because the clone has vanished.

"Oh, I know you," his voice says from somewhere. "The derelict soldier. We really do appreciate your abandoning your post -- you've made our job so much easier, here and," his voice twists, "Now."


La Sirene's chains settle around Rubeus' shoulders, holding them in place -- he can't wholly, or even close, get out of the way of Sourisi's tonfa, which land solidly.

"People who know bonds are the most extreme about getting what they want," he grunts out. "Read a history book, girl."

Then he, too, is gone.


  • * * SCANNING... * * *

Suddenly her vision clears, and a Rubeus is highlighted.

  • * * TARGET FOUND * * *

It isn't any of these Rubeuses, all of whom are now gone.

The real Rubeus is standing not far from the central Black Crystal -- energy is pouring from it and into him, and then out of him again in a massive wave --

"Ahahahahahahaha!! What a waste of your time it's all been!"

A familiar feeling to most, and one easily imagined by their rescuers: the gravity in the chamber becomes overwhelming. No one can withstand it; all are immediately prostrated, face first, into the floor.

And it isn't just weight, of course. No; the fuel of the Black Crystal is an eternal and inexorable nihilism. All must die. All will die. And then only emptiness will remain.

Not a new revelation, but soul-shattering each time it's faced, nevertheless.

"How right you all are -- I do have a ship. I do command the power here. The true power -- of the Black Moon Clan!"

The floor, which is already cracking as Rubeus further intensifies the power he's channeling. It is so strong that it's getting a visual signature; tiny flecks of black that aren't like the black lightning or the black fire.

Pluto and Mercury both know better -- these are micro black holes, forming and vanishing instantaneously beneath the massive force that will, shortly, crush them all into paste.

"But now your time -- is up."

The universe seems to groan.

And yet, the noise of rending space isn't the only sound...


COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Lancelot.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Sailor Mercury.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Sourisi.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Cure Bloom.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Cure Egret.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Rubeus has used Black Crystal Event Horizon on Shigure Shiratsuyu.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

His disgust at her is palpable. In the same way she remembers people thinking her naive - or weak in the past. What he says it's true - she does react to threats... but still at the same time. "Maybe you're right... but even if I just react... I think I fight for something too... something you'd never understand."

And right now it's the girls behind him on crosses

As Mercury eliminates them one by one - and finds the real one - Sailor Moon gapes at him standing at the giant Black Crystal. Eyes wide with realization that they were being set up. In nearly the same way they were set up at Jindai.

Sailor Moon knows what's coming. She can feel it in the same way she could when Beryl told her to die alone. That immense power crackling in the air - but there's something different between then and now. She'd be the last person to call herself a seasoned veteran. Many true warriors would protest against even someone else describing her as such. But how else can you describe someone who reacts so instinctually to something like this?

Holding it high overhead. It might feel like a bell in the distance as the clock strikes midnight over a fallen kingdom - but up close it chimes at a higher pitches with a flashing gleam upon it's heart motif. by the time it's coming, she's already spinning the Spiral Heart Moon Rod in a flourishing circle.

"MOON SPIRRALLLLLLL HEARRTTTTT-" And yet she doesn't end it as before - instead she stays standing - up on her feet. The rod clenched between both hands as she points it at Rubeus and the doom that's coming on Black Wings. "-ATTACK!"

Hearts stream outwards to meet it. Joining into a bright pink answer that pulsates under the strain of pressing aganst his void horizon of intense gravity and power. Her elbow joint nearly buckles right away one eyelid half-lidded. It's not enough. It's not enough even by a fraction of however one measures this sort of power. "... You..."

She's going to die. Isn't she? Everyone is going to die.

... when I first became Sailor Moon... I hated it...

All of these girls that have gotten involved with her - who have died for her.

But whenever I saw Mami-san fighting... doing her best... it wasn't that I thought I could do it... I wanted to try.

You would have liked her... she's... everything I'm not.

All of those ordinary moments she wants with all of them will be gone.

But... you're wrong... she was just like you. You and her... you're the same... the most important and precious thing in the world is...

Her arm stills. Straightens. And she looks down her rod at him, "...YOU'RE...

...sitting at a table with your friends, eating c-cake.

If she told him what she was thinking right now - it would be that she's considering the cause that she's fighting for. And that cause is these ordinary moments. That happiness of her sitting with her most precious people in the world at a table - to eat cake. Not for power or glory or prestige - not for some high ideals or charismatic powers that be. Not for any of those things. She knows he'd laugh at her. She knows it.

And that's like laughing at image of her at a table with so many of her lovely friends. So many of which are even here now. and... Mami... even if she can't eat with her now. It's like laughing at her beyond the grave. Like he's laughing at both of them. What's precious to them and what they value. Like he's laughing at the Senshi on their crosses and those moments - trying to wipe them away.


COMBAT: Sailor Moon counters Rubeus's Black Crystal Event Horizon with Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, initiating a BEAMWAR! Please see
+help beamwar for further information.
BEAMWAR! Sailor Moon and Rubeus's attacks collide. Rubeus has the advantage!
BEAMWAR! Now accepting mana bids for the first of three rounds! Now accepting new BEAMWAR entrants in this round only!
COMBAT: Shigure Shiratsuyu  0 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 92 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Shigure Shiratsuyu's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha  0 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 83 Fatigue damage!  Mai Tokiha's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi braces 51 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 34 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto braces 63 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 42 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Sailor Pluto's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot dodges 58 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 39 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Steven Universe  0 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 79 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom braces 46 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Cure
Bloom's Block ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Mercury  0 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 85 Fatigue damage!  Critical
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 60 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 49 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Hit!  La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Egret partially dodges 16 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 65 Fatigue
damage!  Cure Egret's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi  0 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 85 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki braces 35 Fatigue damage from Rubeus's Finisher, Black Crystal Event Horizon, taking 53 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

"You-" The debate over the meaning of strength and what it means will have to be postponed, apparently - as the Rubeus that Mai, Mikoto, and Lancelot were fighting vanishes into thin air. She looks around, confused, trying to spot the red-haired menace as her rings help her gently set down. Bereft of a chance to debate, she mutters under her breath. "(That's the only way people like you listen...)"

And then - laughter. Laughter from above, as Rubeus activates the full power of the crystal, and suddenly it's like the weight of all her regrets is crashing down at once. A gentle touchdown turns into a desperate attempt to stand against all this power-

-but she lands on the leg caught in Rubeus's earlier beam-

-and with a scream, Mai crumples to the floor. Distantly, there's a song, but it sounds worlds away. All her confidence, all her drive, it feels buried under all this terrible weight...the power of the Black Moon could be too much. And yet...

There's a shout. A rallying cry. In spite of the power forcing her gaze to the floor, Mai looks up, at Sailor Moon leading the charge. At the girl standing strong, in spite of everything before her.

"...I guess...we can always use an example to follow..." One's gone, now. But another's standing strong, and maybe...

With effort, Mai slowly pushes herself up from the floor. Slowly, struggling for every centimetre - but as she does, her rings begin to spin. Even the flames seem weighed down by the force of gravity - but they burn and they blaze and they shimmer with a strange light. Fire wreathes her, and a crimson veil seems to appear above her...a barrier against that terrible force.

It's a little easier to breathe. And those fires aren't done burning just yet.

BEAMWAR! Mai Tokiha adds her Precious Pyre to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The black hole again. That thing from the park that had nearly killed him and the rest of the world in that fight against the Black Moon Clan. He grits his teeth as it slams him down to his knee, hard. He slams both blades into the deck and pushes with his arms and his legs to a standing postion, that is more or less hunched over. Sailor Moon calls for everybody to lay it on.

He takes in a deep breath and once agian power fills him. His blades flare a bright white that is almost impossible to look at, lighting crackles around his body, and the power reaches such a great height that it actually drips from his eyes. Little motes of electricty falling into the black hole snapping and popping as the fall. He wasn't sure he could do this, last time had been a near thing, but he grits his teeth.

The way he looked at it, Sailor Moon, somebody he liked and trusted just asked for his help and was giving it everything she had. Second Mai and Mikoto were here, and he knew, just knw that those two were about to throw everythign in there. He also wasn't about to let this scum back hurt Mai, becuase He lo - He really liked Mai.

And Mikoto is pretty damn cool too.

'Coming your way Sailor Moon, this is everything I got!" He takes in another breath and lets it out along wiht all of that power, "ANIMA TEMESTAS!!" He thrusts his baldes forward using them to channel and funnel the sheer massive amount of electricity he was channeling, falling to his knee again. Briefly he considers that when he's older he may have bad knees, but for now, he focuses on the power.

The Lightning whips and cracks like a living thing, blue and white as it crackles through the air. Once again it casts it's light along the walls, much of it swallowed by the hungry demon that is the black hole. The power continues to swirl around him, growing even as he expends it. His baldes heating up and glowing as well.

BEAMWAR! Lancelot adds his Anima Tempestas to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven's gamebit works, and while both clones become a single one, Sailor Moon's tiara makes short work of it. "Nice throw!" The boy offers, before turning his attention to the other clones of Rubeus, though it sounds like Mercury might be on to something. Before and end result comes down to it, Rubeus makes his diabolical move, attempting to flatten everyone here!

Steven immediately hits the floor. "AH!" the boy cries, as it feels like he got hit by a car. "Nnnh... No..." A tear begins to fall, and is literally pulled from his face by the gravity. THis can't be how it ends. Everyone fought so hard... he can barely move...

So tired... all the shocks, robonoids, goop, lasers, everything...

The boy begins to lose consciousness. But a voice rings out. A declaration against everything that is evil in the world, especially Rubeus. "Y... Yeah..." the boy says, laughing from his floor-flattened position. "Yeah...! What... a jerk!"

Everyone needs his help! Sailor Moon is standing against it all on her own! Not for long. "Theres... no way I can give up now! Because...!" The boy summons every last bit of energy he has left as he steps, one heavy foot at a time-- to her side. "Becuase... I will fight! I will fight to be everything that everyone wants me to be when I am grown! And that includes RIGHT NOW!"

Steven doesn't have lasers. Ranged weapons. Hearts, flames, lightning, unlight. He has a shield. And shields do one thing well. They block.

And so, Steven begins to march. One heavy step at a time, against an impossible force coming at him, and coming down at all of them. He will carve a path through this energy so everyone else can get to him. But at least with friends like these, he knows it is for a good cause.

BEAMWAR! Mai Tokiha has placed her bid! Lancelot, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Steven Universe adds his Lionheart to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Somewhere in the distance a song is being sung and a battle being fought valiantly by Garnet but Mercury's focus remains on the Rubeus copies. With her scan in progress, suddenly her vision is obscured by darkness. The darkness that is filling this room. Mercury winces a little and brings a hand to her temples as the spinning wheel turns.

Unable to focus on other battles being waged, Mercury waits for what feels like forever before the goggles seem to come back on line and are able to scan once again. With the real Rubeus near the black crystal, Sailor Mercury feels a sudden sense of dread as she watches the energy being poured from and within him.

Suddenly, she faceplants into the floor, the weight of a thousand pounds seems to be pulling her down into it. No, trying to pull her through it and into space. The dark fissures that open are instantly recognizable to her for what they are and she groans. "Black...holes... he's..." That are the last words she's able to speak of before she sees Sailor Moon fighting against the overwhelming power.

Mercury begins to fight against the gravity. She looks to her friends on the cross and her new allies around her. This cannot be the end! She moves her arm, star rod in her hand. "Sailor Moon..." Mercury takes a deep breath, fighting against the dark hold, "I... am with you!"

Mercury rises, "Shine... Aqua... Illusiooooooon!" A jetstram of water and ice gathers in stark contrast to Mai's fire. With everything she has left in her, she points it at Rubeus and the dark crystal he seems to be siphoning from.

BEAMWAR! Sailor Mercury adds her Shine Aqua Illusion to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Mercury has placed her bid! Steven Universe, Lancelot, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Steven Universe has placed his bid! Lancelot, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.


"... yes. Yes, I understand... yes. No... I will be fine. Thank you," speaks the diminuitive, slightly hunched figure of Narumi Shiratsuyu. She's draped in a luxurious kimono the likes that are only worn by those who weigh in on parliamentary matters.

She shuts the phone -- a traditional dial phone -- down and quietly lowers her head.

A small scowl on her face, as she looks down towards an innocently gazing Shigure, barely able to walk, clinging to the hem of her garment with her finger in her mouth.


"Why... mother?" asks a slightly older Shigure. Her eyes are filled with tears, as she holds a crumpled, torn pile of sheet music in her hands.

"I am your mother, and you will obey me on this matter," sternly dictates Narumi. "You shall never pursue the hobby of music or song, whether in a personal or professional capacity."

"But I--"

"I shall not brook any disagreement on this matter!!"


A hospital ward, in the Shitamachi district.

"Now... you understand, do you not?" speaks a rather weary and sapped Narumi, whose expression looks to have been dashed of all hope.

"Your voice, Shigure... and this half-crazed, nonsensical world of wonder you've been trust into..."



Maybe this was the outcome that her mother wanted desperately to avoid. The outcome of her only daughter following the same fate of her father -- marching forth and expiring in a seemingly endless battle between cosmic forces that were beyond her understanding...

As the Black Crystal intensifies, as Rubeus enlarges the prowess that he holds and brings them to the event horizon...


Shigure can't help but...

... smile.

"Sorry, mother... but... this daughter of yours... lived her live as she wanted..." she whispers to herself, to her Relic, as she struggles to take hold of it. It feels as if the weight of the world could crack the Claiomh Solais whole...

"Sourisi... hold my hand, just-- before--"


Her expression falls as her eyes widen. "Sailor Moon..."

Suddenly, hope erupts into vivacious existence in the midst of her despair. She-- laughs just ever so weakly, as the heart erupts from Sailor Moon's attack.


She swallows, and then expresses, "Sourisi! Hold my hand, and let's lend our powers to Sailor Moon...!"

There is a reverberation of power as the Symphogear Relic seems to act in concordance with the renewed will of its chosen; she closes her eyes and begins to sing once more...

Ah... can you hear it, now?

If only this future drawing before our eyes could exist...

If we could fly in this twilit sky

Then all this suffering won't have been for naught...

She strides forward towards her companion, hand outstretched.

The Bell of Heaven has rung...

So I know, for certain... our wishes...

BEAMWAR! Shigure Shiratsuyu adds her Eight Ringing Bells of Heaven to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Shigure Shiratsuyu has placed her bid! Lancelot, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Lancelot has placed his bid! Sailor Moon and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.


Chibi-Usa, too, is forced to the ground, stuck there, unable to so much as move. She disappears to the view of most behind the object she was using as cover, and she finds herself against the hard, cold floor. "Aah--" It hurts, even if she isn't at the epicenter, even if she's at the edge of it all, because she doesn't have the same kind of protection they all do--even with it, it hurts them. She remembers...

She remembers... What she has to do. But against this--

...Against this, Sailor Moon can get up. Sailor Moon, the crybaby teenager. Sailor Moon, the selfish girl who cries when she hits her foot on something. Sailor Moon, the bratty, bratty older girl that Chibi-Usa keeps fighting with.

...Sailor Moon, who puts herself on the line for others, again and again. Who gets back up. Sailor Moon, and...

"Everyone..." She says this again, closing her eyes. ALl around, she can hear them starting to talk. Hear them talking back, fighting back. She knows they're there. ...And she's just one girl, and so small.

But if they can... After what she did...

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

La Sirene makes a face of frustration at Rubeus's ghost as he vanishes. His weapon, she can pull loose from. She sucks in a deep breath and then


Batiste is already forced to his belly. La Sirene lands on her hands and knees for a sliver of a second before she joins her soi-distant cousin, choking with the force of it. She tries to kick; fails; the surging inverse light around her rises abruptly, glimmering in a futile effort to-- do-- something; but then it damps down, like a candle that was forced to life in the wind.

All that she can do is hear him gloat. Her spine subluxates emphatically, making her legs twitch and splay. It is not a great feeling, all told.

The pressure inside of her head brings out memories involuntarily. Glittering scraps of film in the projector that's already threatening to crack. Childhood indignities and peaceful moment. Grilled clams with Mami. Being struck by Kozue's Child. Failure at a movie theater. For a fleeting moment she wonders: Did I really lose myself, there, like some servant of darkness, and all of this has been because I had the misfortune to be tough enough to last a while? Did I just linger in a comfortable shadow while the sun set?

La Sirene's eyes close. She can hear the sea in her ears, though she tastes copper.

There is a quivering moment. Did her heart stop? ...

No, she thinks. Perhaps he is right. Perhaps there is no meaning, in the ultimate sense, to any of this, to any struggle at all.

Sailor Moon speaks. She exhorts. La Sirene can hear tears behind it.

La Sirene's head rolls along the floor to turn her wide pale eyes towards Rubeus, standing there in his pride. If that be so, la Sirene thinks, then--

Her right hand drags a slow, scraping path, a half-moon along the floor, from her side and up towards the direction of Rubeus. The aura around her pulses as her hand tightens. Her fingernails dig into the ground. The muscles in her arm, thin though it may seem, tighten. Painstakingly she moves. The gleam brightens.

-- there is no reason I should not follow my heart. There is no reason I should not see them all again!

Her legs straighten up behind her. She swings her left hand forwards, though this takes more work and the diamonds leave scratches in the floor. "What a," la Sirene grates at Rubeus, "BEAUTIFUL, crystal, you have." La Sirene does not sound entirely honest.

Pulling herself along the floor is easier this time, though she still can't get her shoulders off of it. The light around her thickens. "Where did you. Get it. From."

Once her right arm has gotten properly gathered up, she turns... and pushes her right shoulder off the ground.

BEAMWAR! La Sirene de Diamant adds her Visions of a Parallel World to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! La Sirene de Diamant has placed her bid! Sailor Moon and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Even with her tonfa landing a strong sturdy blow on Fabeus, Sourisi can't afford to celebrate just yet. La Sirene's chains prove to be valuable aid in pinning down the evasive man! But then he disappears, and Sourisi is caught off guard. No poof of exhausted magic or cries of denying his fate? "Ugh, I hate learning history! So dull and-...uh."

Rubeus' laugh, coming from the back of the room has Sourisi turning around in a panic. Be it in movies, video games or in real life, when a villian laughs during the middle of battle it is never a good thing. That is when an all-too-familiar sensation pulls down on every fiber of Sourisi's being and slams her painfully into the black crystal floor. What paralyzed her back at Tokyo Bay is nothing in comparison to now, the weight growing on her almost exponentially, and the pounding in her ears grows louder and louder as her heart struggles to keep going.

"Sourisi...hold my hand, just-- before--"

Hearing Solais call out to her, but unable to see her, Sourisi's hand lets go and fumbles blindly for the offered hand. Gloved fingers inch forward, trying desperately to reach something she can not find! "SOLAIS!"

Then Sailor Moon is firing a massive blast in retaliation against Rubeus' infinite might, and the pulverizing weight of the entire universe is pushed away, just for an instance.

Groaning under the pressure, Sourisi manages to look up, to see Sailor Moon, all my her lonesome, struggling to stay upright against the dark general of the Black Moon clan. To see the others, flattened by the might he wields, find the strength needed to move, stand, fight against overwhelming odds.

"She's...right! Together...we can succeed...no matter the...odds!" Leaden tonfa push against the floor and a mouse girl pushes herself upwards, nowhere near standing, but not laid out like an American pancake either. Each tiny step forward is like trying to push an entire mountain range and not budge in the slightest herself.

But somehow, the short Miraculous user of Substitution manages to stumble forward, to finally reach the Maiden of Solais. "Solais! You have it...our powers...and our bonds!" Clasping her hand with Solais, fingers clenched tightly together, she walks forward with the Symphogear. The tonfa hanging in her determined grip start to spin, but so slowly, only a shadow of its' usual speed.

But still it spins, against all odds and disregard to physics.

BEAMWAR! Sourisi adds her Wild Claw Barrage to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Sourisi has placed her bid! Sailor Moon and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

'Leave her alone.' It is a lighthouse in the dark - Mai is Mikoto's lighthouse in the dark. The knowledge that she is not alone - that she cares about her, wouldn't let her get harassed by this terrible man - helps to bolster her against the weight of his.smirk.

But he is ready for them, now. The black blade bites into the Black Moon general, but it's black on black, and, in the end - this sort of darkness understands territory. Rubeus is in his stronghold, backed by his black crystal; the obsidian Miroku is a stranger, here.

He taunts them; he fades. Mikoto does speak, now, fierce and confident, pushing through anger to reach out to her roommate: "Mai! He's enemy!" And the meaning should be clear, after so long at her side: Don't let him get to you, Mai. The words of an enemy are meaningless, Mai. He would say anything, Mai.

Their Rubeus fading away gives Mikoto a chance to catch a glimpse of the mirrors - and the scene reflected there. Garnet, almost hit. Garnet, striking back. Garnet, snapping that horrible destabiliser in half.

It's a brief moment of hope.

It doesn't last.

Because there's a Rubeus still standing - standing by the black crystal. Mikoto growls a warning, wordless again. She remembers this. This force - it is the force which broke her, when she was shattered and normal and weak.

Now, she is not shattered, or normal, or weak. But the force applied is stronger still than her muscles can bear, and Mikoto is slammed to the ground, barely able to move Miroku to the side and avoid a terrible fate atop her own blade.

She cannot growl any more; the air itself feels forced from her lungs.

It is terrible and hungry and it demands what she cannot, must not give - a life already sworn.

Those terrible bright eyes glare up at Rubeus, from where her cheek is pressed into the cold, cold ground. She can't deny the truth of it. They are deep within his lair, where he is most powerful. To venture into the beast's den is to invite its wrath.

She struggles to draw the shallowest breath. It is oppressive. It is overwhelming.

She can't move.

And Garnet is still singing.


... there's someone still standing, and when Sailor Moon calls out, those catlike eyes dart to her. She's only able to see her from the corner of her vision - but she's still standing, still fighting.

And she is denying him.

That shallow breath comes in as a gasp, and Mikoto knows it must be true. Mai is here - Mai is here, and if Mikoto doesn't do something, perhaps Mai won't be here much longer. She can't let that happen. She can't let that happen, because -

- there's still so much she doesn't understand.

But she knows that she loves Mai, and she cannot let her die here.

And she knows that Takeo is a good person. Steven is a good person, too. And on the hand ship, Yumi and Fuu...

... even people she doesn't really know, like Bloom and Sourisi, who seem like people she could get along with.

... even her enemies - hadn't Eri said she wanted to give them a chance before they destroyed them?



Mikoto takes a breath, forcing herself up, inch over inch. Miroku bites into the ground as she forces herself to her knees, and she uses its leverage to help her stand, though her muscles shake from the pressure. It's - easier, now. Possible. Whatever Sailor Moon is doing...

It helps her move forward, step over inexorable step. Those shallowed lungs bring words, breathless and yet resolute. "... space won't..."

Her lips curl in a snarl. "... take Mai..."

Miroku drags against the floor of the ship, and gravity makes it dig so much deeper than it ought. "... from me again!"

BEAMWAR! Mikoto Minagi adds her Obsidian Blade: Deontology to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Mikoto Minagi has placed her bid! Sailor Moon and Rubeus still need to bid!

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Even as she's crumpled on the ground, Kasagami can hear and feel Pluto's anger and fury as she rushes in to cave in Rubeus' skull. She finds herself, as the act of throwing herself to the ground to save herself had nearly knocked her out, smiling deliriously as she very, very slowly starts to bring herself up.

But then that horrific crystal's power is brought into the true Rubeus as their clones fade, and that wave of energy crushes them all to their knees. Kasagami is hardly immune, and she's thrust to the ground once again as the weight of despair settles into her soul.

Isn't what she's doing pointless? So what if she changed the world, so what if she built up a perfect Kingdom? Wouldn't it all fall into ash after she died? Torn apart from within and without, as so many other Kingships and Empires have? What, then, would be her life's meaning? Everything to nothing as it all should be, just as she's lost family and enemy alike.

The oppressive gravitic energy might have ended the ambitious Duelist and everyone else, if it wasn't for Sailor Moon. That streaming beam of heart, that Rod held so high on that short girl that Kasagami has so despised before suddenly seems like a beacon of hope that she had rejected so long ago. Right now? With her hand reaching for Pluto's and finding it cut short by mere inches? Her muscles flex, and her heart surges. She turns to the one she loves, and with audible strain reaches out to grab her hand. In that singular moment, she realizes that she can't do this alone. Her own strength just isn't enough.

But Kasagami Araki isn't alone. And she is loved, and there are those that believe in her. Teeth grit. And slowly, painfully and back breakingly, she begins to rise. Even this may have not been enough given just how battered and exhausted she is. But she lets go of her pride for just one moment, and tries to pull Pluto to her, arm in arm even as she uses her blade as a lever to slowly shove herself to her feet. She leans on the Senshi as much as she pulls the other woman up. Should either of them stumble? They have each other to rely on.

Steel meets inky black, and soon enough she's back on her feet. Sailor Moon speaks of happiness.

"All...of my life...I've been chasing ambition. For my parents. For myself. For vengeance. But right now? The only thing I care about is keeping those close to me safe! Those I love!" Howls Kasagami Araki furiously. She staggers forward. Her wooden sword's tip drags along the ground, used as a cane to march herself forward. Every step is agony. It's like trying to traverse a landscape of needles jamming into one's heels and daggers poking into the back. She pauses near her lover, and recognizes something.

"Let's do this, together, my precious Guardian." She offers a gentle kiss to her cheek, and they must part, but only in physically. Kasagami feels her heart growing that much closer to her love as they share in this battle and this despair turned to hope. And so Kasagami forces herself forward. She has to rely on Steven's shield, the many lances of magic power rushing for Rubeus, and the magic of Sailor Moon's rod to keep moving forward. She just...needs...to get close.

Close enough to use her family's skills. Close enough to be a Duelist against this threat against everything she fights for.

"I won't fall to you, and I won't let those in my heart fall to you either!" Howls Kasagami. Her grip on her sword becomes more solid. Even as her arms scream, she advances. She can't fall, or fall back, or it'll be the end.

But she's not alone. Hope slowly blossoms in her heart. Maybe, just maybe, a King needs an army. The air around Kasagami thickens, and slowly that blade is lifted to her side. More and more, it looks ready to be used.

BEAMWAR! Kasagami Araki adds her Crimson Rose Cage to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Kasagami Araki has placed her bid! Sailor Moon and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"This is..."

Cure Egret watches the Rubeus they were fighting crumble away, and it clicks into place for her. This was not the true Rubeus. None of the clones they fought were. Her fist lowers, and then she jumps as she hears the universe itself start to groan. Something else starts to groan: the floor below her cracks, and she gets slammed down into the floor hard enough with a massive cracking noise. "Aah!"

She hisses in pain. A white gloved hand grips the nearby wall, fingers digging into a panel line. She starts to yank herself upward against the terrible, crushing gravity. Egret gasps, eyes widen, and then looks up.

Cure Bloom has slammed one fist into the ground to force enough leverage into her body to let her look up. "It's..." she grates out, through gritted teeth. "It's the same thing he...he did at the beach..." But this time, there's not even the faintest reason for mercy.

This time, he'll kill them.

"I can't....die here," she breathes out. Her whole body is alive with strength and all of it can barely get her knee under her. "I have to help my mom and dad....I have to take care of my sister! And I..."

Her eyes flash with purpose. "I have to let Michiru and Kaoru know I'm OK!"

Her hand lashes out for Egret's, and when they join, Pretty Cure is surrounded by an explosion of light, erupting in defiance. It shouldn't resist gravity itself, weighing down on their shoulders like stones. It does anyway, that blazing, defiant light letting Cure Bloom force herself up, and bring Cure Egret with her.

Cure Egret glances sideways at Bloom. There is a moment where something in her eyes flickers -- and in the aura of silver light flowing and growing around her -- as she realizes that, no, she won't be able to tell Bloom today. But then, the threat they face comes to her again. The fire in Bloom's eyes comes to her, and it's enough. Egret nods, and her gloved hand clasps her partner's. Her fingers squeeze.

Cure Bloom holds out one hand. "O, Spirits of the Earth..." Here in this place between Earth and Sky, Splash Star Pretty Cure is in their element.

"O, Spirits of the Sky..." The darkness is suddenly pierced by new lights - chittering, chattering, flowing spirits, unhindered by gravity's pull, rushing out of the sky above and earth below, drawing down into Pretty Cure, gathering together in their hands.

Cure Bloom's eyes flutter closed, feeling this connection for the first time in so long. She smiles. "Now, together with Pretty Cure..." "Release the power of miracles!"

Their clasped hands break apart, and then draw a swirl of light -- Bloom with her right, Egret for the left -- and then a heart of light swirls, grows, and gathers in their hands. Their hands come back together, the glow becoming bright until it's blinding. They shine against the darkness, channeling and forming that power in defiance of Rubeus' magic.

"Pretty Cure..."

The power flashes from light to swirling water, rippling in a vertical pool. It pulses, power thickening, and Egret's voice rings out like a clarion call.

"Twin Stream..."

Two pairs of arms fly out -- and two orbs of water do too. They spiral, swirl, and combine together. Twined, these two powers crash against Rubeus' defenses, refusing to be silenced.


COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Bloom has started a combo targeting Rubeus!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Egret has joined the combo started by Cure Bloom!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto's aim is more true than she knows. The Garnet Rod passes directly through the spot where the black crescent was, but entirely without the satisfaction of impact. He's gone... but Rubeus speaks on.

Pluto backs toward where the swordswoman fell on footing that feels unsure. It's nothing to do with her feet or the floor. "How...?" And, her stomach dropped through her boots, she shakes her head and whispers, "I did what I had to do." These are words she's used on other occasions. Kasagami may even remember them, used to reject regret over attempted murder.

Now, unlike then, Sailor Pluto's belief in her own choices has suffered. Sweat beads her brow.

Rubeus is all and only Rubeus again, and the Black Crystal near him unleashes a torrent of power, and the hairs on the back of Pluto's neck stand up once more--

The floor smacks into her with tremendous force and she groans, her cheek mashed flat. In the corner of one eye, its vision blurred, she sees Kassie crumpled. Pluto's arm, bound to the floor as if nailed there, trembles and does not lift. Her fingers are mere inches from Kassie's, and they might as well be a thousand miles apart.

She has failed. They are all going to die. Their reunion is so fresh and sweet it hardly feels real. Pluto tries to share her heart's joy of it, through garnet eyes, rather than the apology choking her.

Those eyes, the only part of her not utterly immobilized by black gravity's grip, roll up and seek pink. She quietly watches Small Lady from afar, unable to hold her close, unable to give her kisses. It will have to be enough. They are, all of them, finished.

...Except Sailor Moon.

Whose pure, miraculous love shines bright against all of this dread despair. Who stands against the pull of a thousand worlds beneath her feet, who summons forth all heartful magics and brings it to bear upon Rubeus. Even if Sailor Pluto's belief in herself is shaken... she finds that her soul leaps to the light of Sailor Moon's unquenchable hope, unfettered by that impossible gravity.

It is all the inspiration she has ever needed, and the lightness flows from her soul to her heart to her limbs. With it comes strength. Her arm, Pluto finds, can strain free of the floor. Her fingers can cross those inches and meet Kassie's, can intertwine.Together, they can stand, leaning on one another against that awful pull. Together, with the help of Sailor Moon and all that love filling the air. Across the black crystal floor Small Lady struggles upright and Pluto's eyes gleam and overspill with relief and pride.


Pluto leans in further to receive those lips upon her cheek, and the warmth lingers there. "Together," she echoes Kassie, echoes her own thoughts. "All of us." She remembers all the colors mixing, her with the Inner Senshis'. As Kassie charges forward and those interwoven fingers slide apart, Pluto watches her go, then looks to those brave pink hearts as they meet all that black energy. She inhales, long and slow, filling lungs with air that tastes of hope.

It gestates there with her own power, gathering deep in the senshi's chest, and when the breath rises again it carries a darkness wholly different from that seeking to tear them all apart. Violet and eldritch the exhalation gathers and slips out from between her parting lips.

"Dead... Scream...!"

It streams forth from the senshi's throat and she pours her soul into the magic. Sibilant and piercing, the purple power joins pink and lends its potence to the mix.

BEAMWAR! TEAM ENTRY! Cure Bloom and Cure Egret add their Pretty Cure Twin Stream Splash to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Pluto adds her Dead Scream to Sailor Moon's BEAMWAR!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Pluto has placed her bid! Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Cure Egret has placed her bid! Cure Bloom, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Cure Bloom has placed her bid! Sailor Moon and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Moon has placed her bid! Rubeus still needs to bid!
BEAMWAR! Rubeus has placed his bid!
BEAMWAR! Rubeus presses his advantage, overwhelmingly driving back Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto
Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant, Shigure Shiratsuyu, Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Lancelot, Mai Tokiha, and Sailor Moon!
Rubeus has the advantage!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant, Shigure Shiratsuyu,
Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Lancelot, Mai Tokiha, and Sailor Moon each take 20 damage! Rubeus takes 0 Fatigue damage!
BEAMWAR! Now accepting mana bids for the second of three rounds! No longer accepting any more BEAMWAR entrants!
BEAMWARNING! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant, Shigure
Shiratsuyu, Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Lancelot, Mai Tokiha, and Sailor Moon must regain the advantage this round, or they
will be unable to continue fighting!

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

At first, Rubeus' reaction to peoples' struggle is amusement.

"Crawl like a toad, and get crushed like one -- die! Ahahaha... hahahahahaha--" He flexes his palm, and the pressure increases.

But hearts strain -- and joints do, too.

When Sailor Moon stands -- and doesn't just stand, but retaliate, her myriad tiny pink hearts impacting endlessly against the edge of the field -- defining that edge -- Rubeus' expression is one of total disbelief. His own confusion cuts him off mid-laughter. His smile cracks in half.

"--Huh?! You stubborn girl," he growls.

Then everyone else follows her -- and begin to bring their own feelings, and potencies, to bear.

A smirk finds its way back onto his face, but it feels a little bit forced.

"All right," Rubeus grates out the acknowledgement, "It seems that I underestimated you a bit -- but this time I'm coming for you all with FULL POWER!"

His second hand joins the first.

Behind him, the Black Crystal flashes a brilliant white, which is unsettling -- but not as bad as what happens next.

Vision turns to mirage.

Bones turn to wax.

Nerves turn to flame.

Rubeus howls his triumph as the floor beneath his victims cracks a second time -- and a moment later, a third, the whole area sinking about three feet in a perfect circle, everywhere that terrible dark energy touches it.

'Get up from that,' the gleam in his eyes suggests.

The crystal behind him flashes again -- and again -- setting up a steady, agonizing strobe as it pours energy into him...

...and then into his enemies.


Interweaving everyone's struggles to get to their feet are Garnet's struggles, too. It seems that their fight became mobile somewhere along the line, because they're no longer in the docking bay. No, they're the only two points of color, surrounded by that terrible darkness.

But without the destabilizer in play, both are allowed to shine, in their beautiful pink and terrible yellow.

Garnet must have just been blown through some walls or something, because she's on the ground amid a debris cloud. Obviously, lacking her 'fancy tool' has not rendered Jasper impotent. Indeed, a flare of power is flickering all around her. She looms over her counterpart, predator to her prey.

Nevertheless, Garnet gets to her knees.

"This is who we are -- this is who I am!"

Her shades are cracked, and she's scuffed all over.

"And if you think you can stop us, then you need to think again!"

And then to her feet. She's smiling.

"Because I am a feeling -- and I will never end!"

She resummons her gauntlets, and her expression becomes serious as, once again, she charges.

"And I won't let you hurt my planet -- and I won't let you hurt my friends!"

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Up. Up, up. A little at a time. A small hand makes it to a low pedestal--the next joins it, as Chibi-Usa drags herself upward now that Rubeus's focus is elsewhere... and then sees the Black Crystal and its terrible light. She sees it--she looks between Rubeus, and the crosses, and everyone...

And then sprints, keeping low, keeping quiet, from her place of cover to the next. To the next, the dais holding that item of power, that terrible thing. She can be seen now, behind him, for the mometns before she fades behind it.

But she can't look at everyone else. She just brings herself up, clambers towards the crystal, and takes a breath--before grabbing hold of it in one go.

"Aaaah--!" The pain is awful, as soon as she touches it, black lightning crackling along every limb, shocking her frozen for a moment. "Aah--Ah..."

"I--" But gritting her teeth, Small Lady curls her fingers about its facets harder, digging into it. The lightning doesn't stop; power crackles all around her, and she is not so talented at hiding her feelings that the agony isn't completely obvious.


She grabs with all her might, keeps hold, practically hugging it now with both arms starting to reach the other side, getting a solid grip with her whole body. Still, the power crackles all around her. Even as she tries to plant her feet, that doesn't stop.

Straining, Chibi-Usa keeps hold of the Black Crystal, squeezing her eyes shut and refusing to let go.

But it hurts. It hurts so much.

<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Despite being on one knee, Lancelot grits his teeth form the effort of throwing out so much power. He looks over to Mai, with those eye sof his that are dripping electricity. He looks to Mikoto bravely trying to reach Rubeus. Fighter to the end. He lowers his head and puts his shoulders into it, pouring more power into the lighting, his armor steaming form the effort, and his sword glowing white hot in the blades.

In a strained voice he says, "Hey Mai? If we survive this. Let's go get that cake. For real. No monsters. No rabbit. Just. Cake." He smiles and manages to push himself to his feet. His body shaking with the effort. He doens't really expect an answer right now. They are after all a little busy. He grits his teeth though, becuase the amount of power he is drawing nad throwing out, HURTS. But he won't stop. He can't stop. He's just one guy, so he doens't think they're really 'counting' on him, but given how much power this Rubeus is throwing around they need every drop. So he'll keep pouring it on, no matter how much pain he takes.

He hears Garnet and is pleased to hear her taunting. "Kick. Her. Ass." He says through those gritted teeth.

BEAMWAR! Lancelot has placed his bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de
Diamant, Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Mai Tokiha, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Shigure Shiratsuyu [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The strain is far more intense than anything she'd ever have to do in her life.

Save perhaps face the Noise for the first time, in that public park, in her self-made idol costume...

The strain of entering a world full of magic. Sourisi calls out for her, and she finds herself reaching out as she clenches their hands-- fingers intertwined together, stepping forward even as her knees threaten to buckle.

She can't feel her legs anymore, even as they walk against a warped land that has buckled underneath the stress of the Black Crystal...

Her eyes widen as she exclaims towards the pinkette she hasn't seen before. She wants to yell at her that it's dangerous, to not go there--

But she's got enough to worry about, here... and her voice... she's beginning to fade...

Yet somehow she knows her mother would be proud of her if she persevered here.

BEAMWAR! Shigure Shiratsuyu has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La
Sirene de Diamant, Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Lancelot, Mai Tokiha, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Egret [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The ground cracks, shifts, and sinks underneath Cure Egret's feet. Her eyes widen; she glances down at her feet as the ground underfoot moves like that, but her hands still remain spread apart and fingers splayed. The rush of water from her hands shoots out, adjusting course as it spirals in with the stream coming from Bloom's hands, until they blend perfectly. She looks sideways, at her partner, and then back at Rubeus.

She sucks a breath in.

She can't fail here. Too much is at stake. And more, still, as she gets her first good look at Chibi-Usa -- and sees her grab that terrible crystal.

She cries out, over it: "AaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAH!"

BEAMWAR! Cure Egret has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant,
Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Mai Tokiha, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

The fires are still burning, but it's a near thing.

Mai's joints are groaning, her muscles burning, her ankle screaming in pain - the very floor beneath her is splintering every moment, and the power she could bring to bear is flickering fast. She does not stand alone - but even together, a baker's dozen of them are faced with the power of a warship.

A name burns in her heart, but it's all she can do to hold as much as she is against the Black Moon's terrible force. Even that rallying cry, even that resounding song...they can only do so much for Mai.

...but there is one shout she can't ignore. Mikoto, terrified and furious and solemn and precious, Mikoto is fighting as hard as she can. Fighting against -space itself-, of all things...

Heart skipping a beat, understanding strikes home. Understanding, and regret, and...

"...I'm sorry, Mikoto. Sorry for...taking so long, before..." There's words from Lancelot as well, and she can only offer a faint smile in response. "If neither of us bake..." But...maybe they won't last much longer. All she can do is take a deep breath, close her eyes, and...


In an instant, the power bearing down lessens, and Mai's eyes snap open. In a heartbeat, she can see the cause - that small girl, desperately trying to stop the power of the Black Crystal - and she realizes that it's this moment or never. "Mikoto!"

Mai has the strength to rise up on one knee, and to raise her hands once more. Flames erupt from all her rings, redoubling around her as the barrier shines brighter, emblazoned with the symbols of magatama. It redoubles again, burning brighter, spreading wider, and inching towards Rubeus....

Maybe it won't reach him, in the end.

But maybe, with what strength she has left...

"Get him now, Mikoto!" ...she can give her precious person cover for just long enough.

BEAMWAR! Mai Tokiha has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant,
Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Each step toward Rubeus is worse than the last. It feels as though he is trying to lift a car, and the radianting dar kenergy coming off Rubeus assaults him from the direction he approaches. "Gotta... keep go-- UGH!"

Rubeus turns up the energy output. Steven is forced to a knee, causing a crack in the floor from the sheer impact, and the boy cries out in pain, difficult to hear over the roaring energy and collapsing structure. It is difficult to get up.

The boy looks to Rubeus, anger in his eyes. But he sees something beyond. That girl, the one he worried about, has no grappled with the source of palpable darkness! "NO!" Steven calls out, and forces himself upright. "I'm coming!" says the boy in the pink shirt. Every step now is agony. Like that terrible prickling feeling dialed up to eleven. The boy looks to the mirrors above, seeing the ensuing combat. Garnet is giving everything she has. He has to as well, for the sake of everyone here. He must.

The boy angles his shield to try and block as much of that dreadful power as possible. "He is gonna... pay for all this! FOR PEARL!"

BEAMWAR! Steven Universe has placed his bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de
Diamant, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There's a scream behind her, and it only has Kasagami grinning. She advances forward, ready and willing to fight for her ambitions and her loves, but Rubeus draws yet more power from that horrific Crystal. The floor underneath them all cracks, and Kasagami is once again sent down to her knees as that strobe of pure nihilistic fury reaches into her soul, and threatens to tear apart her furious being that's already been ripped up these past weeks for many reasons.

She sweats, her body aches, and she's on fire while feeling weak as a bug.

But then that little pink haired girl hugs that crystal even as it clearly makes her suffer. Even as Garnet stands up to Jasper in the mirrors so proudly, singing and fighting. Kasagami rebounds, and pushes herself up even as she feels like her entire body wants to snap in half.

More agonizing steps towards Rubeus. Her mouth is a snarl. But yet, with every step, her sword rises higher, higher, and higher above her head.

The pain remains, but her form goes from crawling to slowly being a proud, noble warrior ready to bring down her blade upon that which is in her way.

Putting everything into each step, her good eye narrows.

"We...will WIN!" Snarls Kasagami. She just has to keep moving forward!

BEAMWAR! Kasagami Araki has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant, Sailor
Mercury, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

As la Sirene finds her hands under her, she takes a moment and gets to her - knees, mostly. And she is starting to rise up when the force comes at her now, anew, renewed, her vision blurring again as she is forced into an agonizing squat by the simple and horrid fact that she had gotten herself mostly upright!

She cannot even scream! The pain is immense, shooting up her legs like barbed wire! Her very garments become iron bonds!

Her eyes struggle, glaze - she sees a blur of pink behind Rubeus - her eyes focus -

La Sirene's face cannot emote, but she sees the small figure, topped by pink, there. A third time. But this time, she thinks, it's different, isn't it? Because both times before, the horrid thing was on their other side.

And now, it's nearer to me.

La Sirene can remember a book she read on a stormy night, encouraged by Batiste. Words spill into her mind: 'In reality, when you have once devoted your life to your enterprises, you are no longer the equal of other men, or, rather, other men are no longer your equals, and whosoever has taken this resolution, feels his strength and resources doubled.' Words she read in the dim light of a tableside lamp.

La Sirene's energies are focused now, the gathered abyssal light managing, barely, to keep her in this agonizing quasi-seiza. She cannot strike against Rubeus. Can she?

'Life is a storm,' she had read. 'One minute you will bathe under the sun and the next, you shall be dashed upon the rocks.'

La Sirene reaches up with her left hand, to touch the glowing and lambent ammolite and glass of her lantern. She sees Garnet struggling - no, she thinks as she lets her eyes drift to one of those mirrors, drift AWAY from Chibi-usa: she thinks she sees Garnet WINNING.

'That's when you shout,' she had read -

- she flips the side of the lantern open and reaches for the sliver of black tomb-glass within, a glowing link to some other world -

"Do your worst, for I will do mine!" la Sirene chokes out.

The piece of stone from another world is cool beneath her finger, held mystically immutably in place. She knows the edge is sharp as razor, sharp as ice. She stares at Rubeus and remembers the last words of that passage: 'and you will be remembered forever!'

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

Walking forward, even when she is shouldering her burden with Solais, Sourisi feels like she's completely coated in lead made out of the densest metal on Earth. Each step forward is an exercise in patience and pain, and it feels as if it will be the last one she can make.

That is when Rubeus unleashes the full might of the Black Crystal upon the defenders of Earth, and Sourisi nearly collapses to her knees, teeth clenched to prevent an agonizing scream from roaring out.

'This is too much...! Am I really a disappointment? Takk...everyone-no! I...'

Flesh screaming in agony, eyes sealed shut in pain, a young girl who is in something much greater than herself roars out her denial against Destiny, against a twisted version of her own face.


Fingers tighten with another hand, urging Solais to raise her voice even higher, and she stumbles onwards with a friend, one who only wishes the best for the world.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Ah. That wasn't his full power. Of course.

Mikoto grits her teeth, plants her feet and her sword in anticipation. One sinks immediately. Down to a knee, head bowed, hands clenched tightly around Miroku's hilt as if it were a lifeline, and she drags it down with her as she sinks too far. The ground itself shudders, buckles; the pressure mounts.

For just a moment, it is as if she is bowing to his might, acceding to his authority. As if she knows she is in his court, and she accepts this hospitality for what it is.

And then the mirage shatters as Mikoto hits the ground again. She cries out, a pained and wordless sound, as her injuries protest.

She is weakened; she is hungry; she is terrorised and tired and terribly, terribly afraid. In a word: disadvantaged.

"No," Mikoto gasps, struggling to her feet again. She must - she must. She cannot fail Mai. She cannot fail Mai, again.

She grasps her sword, stalks forward, step over step.

'... I'm sorry, Mikoto.' And her breath hitches in her throat, with emotions poorly-explained.

"This time... Mai won't... have to..." She cannot look away from Rubeus, but it is so, so clear who she's speaking to. "... this time, Mai's coming back with me!"

If she makes it back home. If her shuddering muscles can stand it. The heart, after all, is a muscular organ; it presses under strain. It gives out, eventually.

... but she promised.

Step over step. Step over step. And then that little girl is climbing, is grasping the dark crystal, and - Mai's calling out, again. Calling direction as she has a hundred times in battle.

Mai calls direction, and Mikoto follows, as naturally as breathing.

She pushes all she has into her muscles - all she can into pushing forward, step-step-step, faster now despite the pressure and the pain. To get to Rubeus - to lift her sword - to strike.

She will do this, or fall trying, because Mai has asked it.

BEAMWAR! La Sirene de Diamant has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon,
and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Sourisi has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Mikoto Minagi, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need
to bid!
BEAMWAR! Mikoto Minagi has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Rubeus adds in a second hand - and Sailor Moon screams. The ensuing force causes her knees to buckle. Then slams her flat upon the ground. A second later - the crystalline floor beneath her craters. It's like her bones are cracking beneath her as she's knocked flat to her belly. Every part of her feels like it's pressing into the floor. Every part of her feels like it's going to press through the floor.

"NNNNNGHHHHHHHH!" But she holds onto her The Spiral Heart Moon Rod like it was the only lifeline of sanity in this chaos. She holds on with a single hand. Then she tries to move - she can't.

Beyond the white flash of the crystal - beyond the pink flare of her counterattack and the bright flashes of the girls who have joined with her.

There are three girls more precious to her than life itself on those crosses.

Sailor Moon twitches a thumb.

And there's... there's... Chibi-Usa. Trying so hard - acting to try to save them as she grips ahold of that crystal.

Sailor Moon presses down at a palm - bends at the elbow.

And as she hears Mercury suffering with her... but she remembers those words back at the garden. That day when something turned her worst nightmares of her life before against her. Make them stop... She thinks of her hurting - suffering now because she's joined her in this life.

Sailor Moon starts her one - armed push up. Trembling - straining.


Reaching her knees...

You're not weak... you're...

Rising. She looks nock-kneed as they buckle inwards. Every part of her trembling like a fawn that's only just beginning to learn how to stand - much less walk.


Her second hand joins the length of the Spiral Heart Moon Rod.

The intensity of the strain feels like it's killing her. It feels like that day at Tokyo Tower. When a Proto-Daimon ate five lives. When it felt like it was shattering her.

What does Sailor Moon think of as she redoubles her effort - as the intense shine of her spell glows with incredible luminescence.

That's simple.

She thinks of Madoka Kaname suffering from having not just one person to mourn - but a great many.

The rest comes easy.

<Pose Tracker> Cure Bloom [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Cure Bloom's head swims. For all her amazing power, this is not something even her magically-charged body can long withstand. Bursting with light, she barely holds her feet as the ground caves under her. She's not touching Cure Egret right now - arms out, blasting power forward with both hands. But...

She spares a glance. Makes eye contact. Forces her grit teeth up into a smile. She can't say it - she's sure that if she voiced anything but defiance right now, her whole posture would crumple. But she draws power from the girl across from her.

And then she looks back, and sees Chibi-Usa - that girl who's been at the center of so much sorrow - leaping to grab hold of that awful thing.

Her voice rises with Egret's.

BEAMWAR! Cure Bloom has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, and Rubeus still need to bid!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Moon has placed her bid! Sailor Pluto, Sailor Mercury, and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

All around her mahou add their powers to the mix. Before her Kasagami struggles forth and lifts her wooden blade against far too much gravity, and with it all the added weight of distorted reality. Can Pluto hope, now, too? But Rubeus redoubles his stance and his assault.

Sailor Pluto's legs buckle and she hits the sinking floor hard. She screws her eyes shut, but opens them again to swimming vision. It hurts, and only discipline honed through thousands of years maintains a scream of fell potence instead of one of simple pain.

Puu sees Small Lady. How could she not? That particular shade of pink will always be the first thing garnet eyes go to. And now... now she hopes. Because her Princess has found the thing that she can do, and even if the horrible pain on that face sinks needles into Pluto's heart... it also makes her push on.

If her Small Lady can be so brave, can bear such pain, how could she do anything less? Inspired by the royalty she has sworn to, the Guardian of Time digs down deep.

The eerie sound emerging from somewhere beyond Sailor Pluto's throat climbs an octave -- she belts forth a shriek of souls both long-condemned and yet-to-be-damned. From her hands and knees she screams on.

BEAMWAR! Sailor Pluto has placed her bid! Sailor Mercury and Rubeus still need to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mercury [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Everyone in turn seems to draw their strength from somewhere deep within themselves to make an effort to stop these terrible events. But even combined, the power pulled together is not enough to claim victory. Mercury feels the terrible weight on her even more as the floor moves. She shakes so badly with pain that her whole body trembles. It only lasts briefly but it feels like an eternity.

In that time, Mercury literally sees her life flash before her eyes...a father who isn't around, a mother who is around but busy with her work and then...her books and hunger for knowledge which become a source of comfort. Her mind continuing to grow, nourished by knowledge but devoid of relationships she so badly wants. But then, a glimmer of hope comes from an unlikely place... with Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Guardians and she learns what it's like to have real friends who care about her and look out for her...

When her thoughts are turned back to the present, Mercury glances up, looking at the crosses. "Venus, Mars, Jupiter..." Then a flash meets her eyes, Chibi-Usa at the Crystal, holding it. "Chibi-Usa!"

Mercury groans as she pulls herself to fight against the darkness threatening to ruin everything she held most precious. The flow of her water and ice increase exponentially as she pulls more strength from within than she ever felt possible...

BEAMWAR! Sailor Mercury has placed her bid! Rubeus still needs to bid!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The fight rages on, and Chibi-Usa hangs onto the Black Crystal for dear life. ...Not just for her life, though. Still, she hangs onto it, straining, and straining, still it sends agony lancing through her limbs.


There's another crackle of power--but this is not black, but brilliant radiance, popping up in bursts all around her as a crescent moon - upright burns into being on her forehead, amidst hair whipped around by the sheer power she's holding. "I..." she repeats, and starts pulling harder, bracing herself against the dais as the two colors--the two powers--war all around her, show an incredible glow visible through the whole chamber.


She doesn't look to her friends now, to her guardians, to everyone--but she knows they're there. They're there, and they're fighting, and as Sailor Pluto looks to her--

Small Lady pulls harder and shouts, "Give up!"

A horrifying crack splits the air, abrubtly, as lightning of gold and black still rushes around Chibi-Usa--a column of light in gold, as the black power reaches a fever pitch, turns white--and a rent opens in it, followed by another, and another, white light shining from rapidly-shattering facets--

Still surrounded by golden light, the Rabbit is launched backwards as the Black Crystal explodes outright in a conflagration of dark power, leaving the girl in question rolling back.

BEAMWAR! Rubeus has placed his bid!
BEAMWAR! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom, Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant, Shigure Shiratsuyu,
Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe, Lancelot, Mai Tokiha, and Sailor Moon rally, their Dead Scream, Combo: Pretty Cure Twin Stream
Splash, Combo: Pretty Cure Twin Stream Splash, Crimson Rose Cage, Obsidian Blade: Deontology, Wild Claw Barrage, Visions of a
Parallel World, Eight Ringing Bells of Heaven, Shine Aqua Illusion, Lionheart, Anima Tempestas, Precious Pyre, and Moon Spiral
Heart Attack! exploding through Rubeus's Black Crystal Event Horizon for a total of 1652 Fatigue damage! Sailor Pluto, Cure Bloom,
Cure Egret, Kasagami Araki, Mikoto Minagi, Sourisi, La Sirene de Diamant, Shigure Shiratsuyu, Sailor Mercury, Steven Universe,
Lancelot, Mai Tokiha, and Sailor Moon are victorious!
BEAMWAR! Rubeus is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Rubeus [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.


"Go ahead and try to hit me if you're able--oof."

That time, Jasper -- who is fully in the throes of bloodlust now, her eyes completely wild -- followed instructions. Garnet hits the ground again, hard, but she just smiles and rises.

"Can't you see that my relationship is stable?"

She backs up through the darkness very carefully, and blocks the next few shots before trying one of her own. And after that, her offense seems inexorable.

"I know you think I'm not something you're afraid of,"

SLAM! Her fists crash together, right above Jasper's nose, shattering her visor.

"'cause you think that you've seen what I'm made of."

Something is weird about her voice...


Rubeus glances behind him at the commotion. "Cursed Rabbit!" he bellows. "Hands off the power amplifier!"

This was a mistake; not only does it not remove Chibi-Usa from the Black Crystal but his focus has wavered, giving everyone a chance to gain a little ground.

Growling wordlessly, he faces front again, bringing everything he's got left to bear.


"But I am even more than the two of them."

It's coming from two directions at once.

"Everything they care about is what I am."

The mirrors have lost sight of this clash of Gem titans, and yet the song continues...

"I am their fury. I am their patience. I am a conversation..."

It's getting louder.

"I am made -- o-o-o-o-of l-o-o-o-ove, o-o-o-of..."


Jasper goes FLYING past the group, directly into the massive black explosion just made by the destroyed Black Crystal.

It gets bigger; she does not reappear.

In the same moment, all that power -- all that energy -- all that love slams through. Absent his weapon, Rubeus can no more stand against the combined physical, mental and emotional strength of the group than he can fly.

He can't do that anymore either. The last thing that happens, before he's slammed through a few layers of hull, disappearing into the wreckage, is that his boots thump back to the broken floor.

And they're left behind, after. He must have been knocked straight out of them.

Garnet, now standing behind the group, smiles.

"And it's stronger than you..."

The crosses, off to the left, disappear, leaving the women (young and one very old) on their feet and, apparently, awake. If sore.

"Where are we?" asks Jupiter, blearily.

Then there's another explosion. And another. And another. The whole ship is shaking violently.

"No time!" yells Garnet. "Without that crystal, this whole place is going to blow! We've gotta get to the other ship!"

She takes the lead -- knowing the way out, through that labyrinth of darkness.

It is somewhat easier to navigate now thanks to all the big tunnels in it Jasper blew, admittedly mostly Garnet-shaped.