2018-05-13 - SPACE JAIL: Stronger Than You

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Stronger Than You

The great escape from not one, but two, exploding UFOs.


Yumi Ohzora, Mai Mishou, Shigure Shiratsuyu, Saki Hyuuga, Chibi-Usa Tsukino, Fate Testarossa, Steven Universe, Niramo Umokeshi, Usagi Tsukino, Takeo Akamizu, Mai Tokiha, Fuu Hououji, Mikoto Minagi, Kasagami Araki, Endo Naoki, Rubeus, Esmeraude, Garnet, Pearl, Amethyst


Tokyo Bay

OOC - IC Date:

05-13-2018 - 04-17-2015

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Tokyo Bay +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
  Once known as the "Inner Sea," the shelter Tokyo Bay once provided for
  merchants and fishermen helped Tokyo develop into the powerhouse that it is
  today, nor is it less useful today. Japan's largest shipping ports operate
  out of the Bay, as does its own navy and that of the US Forces. Herculean
  efforts dredge up its silt to create artificial islands, and factories drink
  its water to soothe their smoky throats.

  To most residents, however, the Bay is simply blue water glittering,
  salt-seasoned breezes, and gently drifting sails. The aptly named Rainbow
  Bridge crossing the bay enhances rather than damages its beauty, its white
  towers lit many nights by an artificial rainbow. A provincial visitor might
  consider Tokyo Bay to be trimmed like a garden hedge; it has a number of
  oddly geometric islands with arranged greenery, and any land touching the
  water often makes the best of it with a park, intake valve, or other
  imposition on nature. To a city-dweller, though, it is a miracle of open
  space and calm.
<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] 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.



"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.




The poor brave souls Garnet selected to remain guarding their escape vehicle haven't had it easy; indeed, they may grow to suspect that they were selected for this much smaller and therefore elite team out of the Crystal Gem's opinion of their excellence.

Here are some of the challenges they've had to face:

1) The bridge is full of complicated-looking equipment; mostly touch-screen based, but of course nothing is in any sort of earthly language and indeed will not respond to organic fingertips, they have to find some kind of interface to use as a stylus that the ship has a chance of recognizing. Even once they're able to get responses out of the ship's computer, it's a high stakes game to not break anything while learning the system, especially since the ship is still held in a tractor beam and could be torn apart if it tried to actually move.

2) There are still robonoids on board, ones that were on automated patrol when the jail break broke out. Now that Peridot is gone, their programming is rapidly failing, and they are acting very erratically; sometimes it's funny, like the one bumping into the wall over and over again, or the one going in endless circles. But often it's scary, as they start to berserk and self-destruct right on top of people. The ship needs to be combed and cleared.

3) Droids -- ten-foot-tall, faceless humanoids with Black Moons on their forehead -- start trying to breach the ship. Fortunately there aren't too many of them, they arrive in ones and twoes and threes and have to come through that door Garnet made, so one or two people can plant themselves at the threshhold and hold the line.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.


"What... even is all this," Yumi asks, blinking at the complicated, strange equipment in languages she definitely doesn't know. She blinks at it a little. "Uhhh..." And conveniently, as she looks over shorter girls' shoulders looking at the panels, she's rescued: a robonoid rollls onto the bridge, bumpin into the wall. Bump. Bump. Bump.

"...Awww, they're kinda cute when they're--"

A humming suddenly reaches a fever pitch and the air around the robonoid starts to shimmer with heat. "Aaah don't don't--" Yumi scrambles to trace a rune in the air and ablate the extra energy right out of the Robonoid and then rushes over closer.

She takes her staff in both hands and swings it like she's golfing, launching the little robonoid out into the corridor. From behind her a voice:

"DO NOT USE YOUR PRICELESS STAFF AS A CLUB!" ...It's mature, and feminine, and... halfway a yowl, because the cat following her--Tama--has just shouted it over from her spot.

"...Eheh, sorry, I... panicked..."

Tama sighs, while Yumi looks to the others. "Hey, I can get around pretty easy," she says, hefting her broom, "I think someone should go clear those things out." Her staff goes horizontal, and Tama hops on first. "I'll supervise," she says darkly. "Someone has to keep you out of trouble." Even through the grump, it sounds... affectionate? "Ha ha... ha..."

At that, Yumi takes a seat, and zooms down the corridor, staff in hand.


One of them spins and spins and spins around, and Yumi just reaches out and... pokes it with her staff, deactivating it by luck as much as anything.

Two are together and trying to bore through the hull of the ship, necessitating some brighter lasers of her own.


Her magical ray slams down--right beside one that's bouncing down the hallway. Tama sighs. "Look, I still don't have my glasses, okay!?"

"You don't need them when you're transformed!"

"Look this is kind of scary, okay!?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.


<<You're sure you can handle it without your glasses?>>

Fate Testarossa asks Yumi. It's not really meant to be patronizing - more just worried given the stakes. Then again right now she's planted herself at the doorway - and without the benefit of her aerial magic.

She's in the middle of grappling a faceless Droid. Who's holding onto the haft of Bardiche - while groping for the child's throat - her metallic boots skritching back on the crystalline floor.

<<You're really sure?>>

<Sir. Priorities.>

"This is a priority!" Twisting Bardiche's haft to strike it in the abdomen. She whips up a foot to jolt it backwards. "How is she supposed to take care of things if she can't see?" A runic circle appearing in her hands. <Plasma Lancer.> Magical arrowheads twist to skewer it - electrical arcs coursing through one of the droids - but they're still coming...

<<How are all of you doing on the bridge? Any luck figuring out the controls?>>

Bardiche's ping by now sounds like a whine of protest as her auto protection spells flare to life. <Defenser - Plus!>

... Well at least she's calm about all this.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.


It's a super-advanced alien spacecraft designed, created, and meant for the use of sentient alien minerals with some kind of projected bodies. Of *course* it's not going to be programmed in Japanese, or English, or any language which is built around either of the above.

So the Wind Knight is less dismayed at the sight of the Handship's bridge than she might have been. She *had* hoped to get a head start on figuring out to hack Gem technology before now, but there was absolutely nothing in the cells that she could work with to that end. Not even a thermostat that would at least have let her start figuring out the numbers - which, really, is the most she was hoping she'd need. The symbology may change, the bases may change, but the *concept* of numbers is fairly universal ... especially by the time your engineering gets you into space. Right?

"At least I *think* this is where you steer the ship," she finally states. It's not an illogical supposition: it's right in front of the big viewportscreenwhatever, there's a fairly sturdy chair, and there's a console between the chair and the screen with a lot of sophisticated, complex-looking doodads, some of which are changing as she looks at them, others which remain constant. "Let's see if ..."

She sits down carefully in the chair; it doesn't react to her presence that she can tell. Then she tries poking at the console - starting with the least conspicuous things that look like they might be controls - but is rewarded with a complete and absolute lack of response, as if she were poking at a pane of glass.

"Right," the Wind Knight says under her breath. "Not designed for organic life-forms. Let's see -" She gets up from her chair, looking around the bridge again. There's a protrusion which seems more like a simple hand-grip than anything; she grasps it, tries wiggling it, pulling on it, pushing, just to make sure. Then she materializes her sword and brings it around in an overhand slash -

      • CLOOOONNNNNNGGGGGgggg.... ***

".... ouch." The Wind Knight takes a deep breath, then lets it out. "Endo-san, could I borrow your superior muscles for a moment? I need to lop this piece of crystal off and see if it helps me work the controls."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.


Endo Naoki is waving his sword menacingly at one of the touch-screen panels dotting the ship, attempting to help Fuu get it working.


"But you were a ship before!" Endo complains.


"We plugged you into the ship and you were the ship, how is it diff--"


Further conversation between knight and device is cut short when they're interrupted by the heavy clang of Fuu chopping at one of the crystal protrusions. He tilts his head when he's called, nodding quickly. "Sure, Fuu-san!" He trusts that the Wind Knight knows what she's doing after all, he knows she's much smarter than him.

He leaves his own sworn leaning against the nearby console, letting Fallen Stern do whatever it's doing. It involves a lot of pulsing light from the central, purple stone between the hilt. Meanwhile Endo reaches to take Fuu's sword when she passes it over, his hands grasping around the hilt and his arms--

They give out immediately under the impossible weight of Fuu's blade. It doesn't seem like it should happen, given that he's regularly carrying around a weapon almost the size of himself, but it feels like he might as well be lifting a mountain. "Waaa!" Endo cries, as both his arms and the weapon drop, a sharp crack filling the cockpit as the crystal protrusion is sheared through on the way down.

"Yaaa...Fuu-san, how do you lift this? How strong are you!?"


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

"Chibi-Usa!" cries Cure Egret, as the Black Crystal explodes apart. A moment later, Rubeus is slammed through the wall by a massive blast of power. Egret turns her head, staring at the hole left there. She bites her lip for a moment -- and then she looks back towards the rescued girls and Garnet. Her eyes widen for a moment.

Then, she looks to Bloom. She lowers her hands slowly. A few motes of light drift off, but Egret nods.

She starts to run after. "Let's hurry! We can't let the ship crash, everyone!"

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

Shigure feels like her extremities might call it quits at any time now; at one moment they were engaged in a cataclysmic duel of energies so powerful it feels like the event horizon might swallow them at any moment, and the next...

Garnet's entrance prompts wide eyes as she expresses, "G-Garnet..." and looks towards Rubeus as he's finally blasted back, in part due to their efforts, in part because he's been bereft of his connection to the Black Crystal.

She wants to collapse then and there; she isn't sure if she can even feel her connection to the Claiomh Solais anymore, but she grits her teeth once Garnet announces that without the Black Crystal, the place is going to blow.

"W-wait," she expresses, "What about--" she looks to Chibi-Usa, concerned for she's just been thrown back from the crystal.

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

Splash Star Pretty Cure puts all its phenomenal power into resisting that darkness, pinpoints of something horrible sparking off around Cure Bloom in response to Rubeus' horrid gravity. She doesn't know enough about - several things, actually, to identify them. She does know it cannot be allowed to complete. Fortunately, Chibi-Usa is able to pull free their enemy's secret weapon, and the light of the Sacred Fountains comes unstoppered, gushing over and across Rubeus and setting him free of his burdens. Also, apparently, his shoes.

Cure Bloom slumps, spent from the exertion, power dripping from her fingertips like dew, splashing to the floor. It hisses and boils away on contact; this place is far from Sacred. "Is she," Cure Bloom starts, but another rattle rocks the ship mid-way. She glances over to Sailor Moon, confident she'll handle that business. She looks to Cure Egret. "So, uh, long shot, did your dad ever tell you how to fly a space ship? In the...off chance...they teach you that in astronomy school..."

...She stands there hopfully until the ship rocks again. "YEAH OK COOL! Garnet's right let's run!"

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

Steven fights with every step he takes. Each feels like a thousand needles jabbing at all the worst places. "I must... keep.. going!" Step after step he makes progress, gaining ground. But eventually he is unable to move anymore. It is far too intense. "I can't...!" The boy drops to a knee. The only thing he can do, is angle his shield to try and deflect some of that horrific energy away.

For his troubles though, he sees that little girl, a girl with the pink hair, that reminds him of someone important to him. "Please, don't hurt yourself!" And as he calls, a miraculous symbol cristens her forehead. The black crystal rebukes against it, but is no match for such a wondrous power.

It shatters into a million pieces, and with it Rubeus' power. With nothing to sustain his power, he gets nigh obliterated by the powers of friendship and love united.

The gravitation effect subsides, and Steven makes it to his feet. He sees Chibi-Usa stand up, and he would go to her, but theres someone incredibly important that needs him.

The boy runs as fast as his hurt little body can run, right at Pearl, now free. "PEARL!" Steven blares, hear tackling the woman. Tears coat the boy's face, a testament to happiness. He squeezes her as hard as he can in a hug, afraid it could be their last. "I-I was so worried! Are you going to be okay?! Let me help you!"

The boy will offer what support he can, and if she can't move on her own, he will carry her. He is going to get her out of here. Period. He doesn't care how tired he is. Steven looks to Garnet. "I don't think I can see the way anymore!" he calls to her. Not that it mattered. Garnet probably can. She has the ability herself, after all.

Even with his legs and joints screaming, Steven will provide all the help Pearl might need. He's not going to lose any family today.

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

Eyes still clenched tight, Sourisi focuses entirely on two things right now. Continuing to push herself forward against the full might of Rubeus and the Black Crystal, and holding onto the Maiden of Solais and keeping her upright as she sings. Garnet's song sounds so distorted now, the pressure upon her being more than enough to distort all the senses.

Screams of agony, desperation and hope fill the air as the gathered fighters fight valiantly in a losing battle. Even if she put everything she has into reaching Rubeus, Sourisi fears that it won't be enough. She can only hope that somehow, her friends, allies and magical warriors can still win.

It would all amount to nothing if not for the actions of a little girl straining to save everyone.

The brilliant light pouring off Chibi-Usa as she struggles causes Sourisi to wrench her eyes open to find the source, and many things happen at once. The Black Crystal cracks and shatters from the magical power unleashed by the small pinkette, who is sent flying backwards and away from the resulting explosion. The hulking brute of a Gem that was fighting with Garnet is sent flying into the explosion of the Black Crystal, the force only growing larger as the Gem disappears inside. Rubeus is no longer able to be seen, but the oddly-shaped holes as well as the discarded boots are a clear sign that Rubeus is out of the fight as well.

With the weight and spirit-crushing pressure of absolute nothingness suddenly gone, Sourisi stands slowly upright, sweat pouring down her face as she looks over at Garnet and Chibi-Usa. Garnet had been fighting an opponent that defeated them all and placed them in jail, and the 'Small Lady' (overheard from Sailor Pluto) somehow manages to shatter the very thing that was about to devastate them all.

Everyone here played an important part in this victory, but Sourisi looks at the Symphogear that she helped to support against the Black Moon Clan's might. Even though she wants to just collapse on the floor and sleep for a thousand years, Sourisi continues to hold onto Solais to help keep her standing.

Truthfully, she's not even sure if she's the one supporting Solais or if the Maiden is supporting her.

As the Black Moon UFO starts to shake violently, having lost its' power source, Sourisi stumbles against the rattling her bruised and battered body is taking. "But the prisoners-" Her question is quickly answers as dear friends of those who were held captive for so long run to help them escape after their imprisonment.

A sudden thought strikes the Miraculous user hard, and her gaze picks out a Duelist and Guardian instantly. They appear to be in rough shape, but they can still move, still run to safety, and a quick sigh is let out in relief. In the chaos of the fight and trying to survive, she had almost forgotten two of her friends.

Nerves still screaming out for rest, Sourisi follows Garnet as quickly as she can. Sore, exhausted both physically and mentally, and the events of the past 2 days starting to catch up to her.

But victorious.

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

So much happens all at once. Somehow - Chibi-Usa manages to destroy the power amplifier with her mysterious power. A flash of light that allows her to tear it loose before being launched away. And in that moment - Jasper crashes through the wall into the exploding crystal. Rubeus - vanishes. His boots clattering to the floor.

And Sailor Moon wobbles to her knees - her palms down on the ground. She's hurting - she's tired... she'd like nothing more than to take a nap. But something takes precedence. Something has greater need. Mars - Jupiter - Venus... awake... on their feet... and Sailor Moon actually crawls forward just a few paces.

The fact she barely feels like she can walk won't keep her away from them. Tears gather at the bottom of her eyes - not tears of sadness but just relief. Relief and joy. "Everyone... I'm so glad..." She may need to use Sailor Mercury to bring herself up to her feet. Gripping ahold of her arm, before forcing herself to rise, "I'm so glad you're safe..."

For someone who looks so tired and hurt... she looks so happy as she takes a few paces leaning upon the likewise injured Mercury. Before - in the last few moments where they'd walk - she instead gives a short hobbling hop into their arms.

They're all so tired and worn in and of themselves - but for at least a moment they share this. "Idiot... always caught up in your own sprint and overdoing it..." Moon sounds muffled in the midst of that. "I'm glad to see you too Mars-chan." Venus lets out this little snerk that earns her a dour look from Mars. While Jupiter just has this look of relief - tinged only with a little embarrassment before spying Chibi-Usa. Everyone seems concerned - but the 'Rabbit' is already more than fine and she knows it by how she's getting up. "Oh she's fine - she's one tough kid you know."

And then more things start to explode. The quaking almost unbalances all of the girls - and with Garnet's direction they start a hobbling gait in that direction. Moon breaks off to catch Chibi-Usa by the hand as she almost trips over a piece of broken crystal. Moon catches her by the hand - "Got you!"

In an abrupt but careful shift, she swings her up onto her back in a piggyback. Holding her legs up around her waist and letting her put her arms around her neck. "Don't worry don't worry... everything's going to be alright! We're getting out of here together." Venus gives Moon a wry look at everything that just happened, "Are you sure the two of you really aren't related?" Making reference to Usagi's own terminal klutziness.

Moon blatantly ignores that question with all the indignation a clumsy girl can muster - because the kiddo seems really stressed right now, "You're the reason we all made it through this right? So when we get out of here - you can have a reward..." She almost says 'anything you like.' but given that the Silver Crystal is an 'anything' she instead says, "... anything - reasonable that you'd like."

Even the dire situation can't prevent Jupiter from cheering this turn of events some. "Hey is that right? Way to go Chibi-Usa-chan!"

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

Moving with Garnet and the others Lancelot keeps a warry eye on the surroundings. He looks to Mikoto and gives her a grin. "You okay Mikoto-Chan?" He asks as he comes up nex to the younger girl. He then ruffles her hair playfully. "I was worried about you. When I got the text. If something happened to you, who would help me eat all of Mai-chan's cooking?" He grins at her, and rubs the back of his neck. "Be careful okay? I'd miss you."

He clears his throat and decides that this is the best time to shut up and maybe stop talking. He moves however to be near Mai, but does not, in any way shape or form get in the line of fire between Mikoto and Mai. He instead says to Mai, "I'm glad you're okay too." He blushes a little and looks at the ceiling. "Because. You know. Friends." He clears his throat.

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

Chibi-Usa barely hears the singing over all the rumbling and the crackling and the pain, but she does hear a little. Instead, she looks up from where she's sprawled out yards away from where she was to see the explosion of the Black Crystal even bigger. She looks up, and is able to see the others strike their final blow at Rubeus, and her heart is in her throat for a better reason, this time. "W-wow..."

At that, she looks to the others--Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Pearl. "You--" But Garnet's shout of time makes her try to scramble back to her feet--a little more slowly than she'd like. Once she's on her feet she wobbles, and hearing Shigure, seeing her look at her--

"I-I'm fine!" Chibi-Usa calls, unsteady on her feet, with a black cat orb starting to hover back towards her with its eternal smile. "Super... fine!"

She's pretty singed and sooty from all the explosions, and the golden light around her--the golden symbol on her forehead--fades, leaving a normal girl to all accounts once again. So she starts running to catch up with the others, shoulders down, still catching her breath--

"A-ah--!" Chibi-Usa's foot hits a shard of crystal broken off from the violence at hand, and hits the ground hard enough to bounce. ...She may not be as fine as advertised, and with her small legs already she's not doing great getting out--

And right before she falls, Sailor Moon catches her hand, causing red eyes to tilt up her way. "Ah--?" She's swept up, and clasps her hands togethr around Usagi, nodding, closing her eyes. "Okay," she says.

She doesn't quite laugh at Venus's statement, still... very stressed, indeed. But when Moon instead mentions...

Jupiter calls out to her, and Chibi-Usa nods firmly. "In that case... I want..."

"Hotcakes." Huff. "And you have to make them yourself!" A grin finds its way to her expression, even if Sailor Moon sure can't see it from here.

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

They're alive.

It's honestly kind of remarkable, after everything that just happened. For Mai's part, the exertion of that last push against Rubeus's power left her hoarse, collapsed on the floor, and seeing spots...but the voices of the Inner Senshi, the end of the rescue mission...for a grateful moment, she can relax. They're all alive.

Well, Rubeus and Jasper may or may not be, but they don't count.

It's a moment of peace that only lasts a moment - explosions begin, and Mai scrambles to her feet. She can't help but stare at Garnet for a moment, standing tall after her own battle, leading the way back with nary a concern. "What even are...never mind. Lead the way..."

Even though the entire -ship- is beginning to explode, though, Mai can't help but feel relieved. There's countless reunions going on all around her, but for the moment her eyes are on the ones that matter to her. Mikoto, retrieved safe and sound, and the helpful Lancelot. "Same to you, Lancelot. Glad we all made it out of that... All right, Mikoto, let's follow the lady's advice and get out of here. I don't really like being around this many explosions..." As Mikoto approaches, Mai takes the first step forward.

She must be tired, if she stumbled on that first step - nearly colliding with Mikoto in a less friendly way, and having to put a bit more weight on the shorter girl than she'd like. With a wince, Mai straightens up, shaking her head. "More...tired from that than I thought..."

An excuse, but Mikoto would have been close enough to hear how sharp that breath was, when Mai put weight on the leg caught in Rubeus's beam.

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

Step. Step. Step. Mai's fire makes it easier. Mai's fire makes it possible. Mai's fire, and the efforts of that little girl.

(Mikoto tries, so hard, not to think of what happened the last time Mai used this attack in space.)

(Mikoto tries, as well, not to think of the feeling of impact with black energy, coursing through that girl's body unabated.)

'Get him now,' and Mikoto will - Mikoto must.

Every stubborn step is a miracle. This pressure, formless and unable to be struck back, heavy and weighted against a nimble escape, puts her in her weakest position - raw defence. But there's someone she's fighting for, right here, and Mikoto's heard her cries of pain and they lance burning hot through her and Mai cannot die here.

Not because of Mikoto.

She couldn't bear it.

She couldn't bear it, and so she goes step over step over step, breath shallow in her lungs.

The little girl says she won't give up, and every one of them must feel the same. Mikoto won't fall here. She can't. Not when she's protecting someone... so precious to her. Not when she's protecting -

"- Mai," Mikoto gasps, and it is fondness and determination and a promise.

There's a crackle, radiant yellow light, and then a crack, shining white from within. Another - another. A thousand facets, glittering, shining, and the crystal explodes.

Jasper is slammed in, flying into the Black Crystal - as it explodes in an expanding force of energy. Mikoto does not flinch, does not turn away. She steps forward, inexorably, raising Miroku up - bringing it down, in time with all the others, obsidian demanding retribution.

Let him fall. Let him fall just as he made them fall.

Mikoto glares at the hole left in the hull by what, dark and transcendent things willing, was his corpse - but she cares little for confirming it. There is a moment - one moment - where the tension fades, and Lancelot steps up to ruffle her hair. It's -

- it's so horribly nostalgic, being greeted that way by an older boy, and Mikoto's smile is full and unexplained and for a moment she is still. "Yup..."

The ship shudders and shakes, and Garnet is yelling, and Mikoto's gaze snaps up in an instant, searching the wreckage they have left this room. "Mai!" There she is - she can hear her, she can see her. She must pick her steps so carefully, but she doesn't fall as she goes to the most important girl in the world. "Mai!"

They'll get out of this together. Mai isn't disappearing again. Mikoto won't let her. But Mai takes a step, and perhaps the ship shook at just the wrong moment, because Mai all but falls into her. Mikoto catches her with one arm, strong enough to support her with that - but her own breath comes in a hissing gasp, at the impact.

Gravity was not kind to either of them.

And Mikoto knows the sound of Mai's breath - the sound of Mai's pain - the sound of Mai's polite lies. Those keen eyes fall to her legs, the way she settles her weight on one and not the other. "Mai," Mikoto says, again, but it is not a call to action this time, but a sharp word of concern and warning.

She's hurt. She's hurt, and Mikoto can't support her and get them both out of here fast enough. "Sorry, Mai," Mikoto murmurs, to her, close enough just for her to hear - before she turns, and calls out to the Lancelot who had so wisely kept out of their area of impact. "Lancelot! Help Mai! We've gotta get out, now!"

Mikoto can manage, on her own, though it pains her. She'll follow the group. But she will not leave Mai behind.

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

Kasagami Araki leans on her sword as she takes in the aftermath of Chibi-Usa's brave actions with that dark crystal, and the combined power of everyone's love and strength blowing away the horrible, arrogant Rubeus. Her breathing falls heavy. Exhaustion lingers in her, and with the prisoners down and Usagi seeing to them along with the reunion between Steven and Pearl?

Kasagami finally allows herself a laugh. She looks to Pluto, walks over, and embraces the Senshi once again. She darn near drops her sword in the act, Kassie's warm uncovered arms running down her love's back to make sure and reassure that they're both alive, (vaguely) well, and not missing any limbs.

"Pluto-chan, together we can make it through anything. Especially with friends like these." She whispers to the Outer, before turning her attention over to everyone else. "You've got iron in your spine! You might not be a brat after all!" Compliments and prods Kasagami in the same sentence, beaming over with a wide grin to Chibi-Usa. Steven, Niramo, and Mikoto in particular also gets a wide share of thankful looks, though she doesn't interrupt all of these reunions.

Explosions have her reluctantly tearing herself from Pluto's arms, and rushing after Garnet, though never far from her love. Even for someone so keen on athletics, this whole marathon of Space Imprisonment is taking it's toll. She reaches deep, and keeps up with Garnet their tour guide and homing beacon. Hopefully they can find another ship to escape with...or hijack that massive one. Thankfully there's now two Gems with them.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Black Moon Theme #2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiMobak5lRc

Halfway through the labyrinth, Garnet seems to notice something about the state of the girls they've just rescued off the crosses, and without another word she scoops Pearl up in her arms (one under her knees, one supporting her back) intending to carry her the rest of the way -- glancing over her shoulder to make sure that Mars, Jupiter and Venus receive similar assistance from their friends.

For their part, all four are extremely pale (beyond the norm, for some of them) and starting to shake. They have obviously endured an ordeal far worse than most of their friends.

And yet --

"Steven..." Pearl reaches out to him, fingertips quivering. It is obvious, from the tears brimming in her bright blue eyes, that she was more worried about him than herself, all this time. After a moment, Garnet smiles softly and surrenders her to his custody. She knows he's strong enough.

"I'm so glad you're safe," Jupiter mumbles to Mercury, not out of any shyness but because it's difficult to form words just now. Clearly her lucidity is starting to waver -- her eyes are very dull. A moment later, she's gently leaning on that sturdy blue shoulder.

"Take care of... Chibi-Usa-chan... Sailor Moon," Mars and Venus croak out, finishing each other's sentences, glancing at each other, then back over at their Princess, before they start to topple over.

OOC: If anyone else wants to help support someone on their way out, there are two sailor senshi available! First dibs to their
fellow senshi, of course; Ami's got Jupiter, but Venus and Mars could use a hand. They don't need to be carried outright, just
helped along and given some support.


By the time the group makes it back to the docking bay it is obvious that Egret's fears about this ship crashing are baseless --
in the sense that it's obviously about to BLOW UP. Gouts of fire -- red fire, yellow fire, real, ordinary flame -- are sprouting
everywhere, some of them in huge, hungry pillars, others in spreading fans, and the whole ship groans and groans like a graveyard
full of ghosts, as its structural integrity begins to give way.

Garnet climbs a now-freed finger (the tractor beams are gone) like a ramp in long, heavy steps.

"Mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmmmmm, mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmmmmmm..."

She's been humming softly the whole way, a now-familiar tune to everyone.

"Okay," she says, as she bursts onto the bridge with the rest of the group, passing Fate and Yumi outside, saluting them gravely
(they have finally run out of droids and robonoids), and slapping a button that closes the spaceship door -- "Pearl, do you want
to pilot?"

Pearl opens her eyes more widely -- she looks like she'd been kind of zoning out, though not sleeping per se -- and looks over at
Endo and Fuu's setup.

"I think," she murmurs weakly, "That's under control. But please -- put me down, Steven. I'll be all right." Her hand briefly
disappears into a screen -- the text shifts to Japanese and all the command locks are immediately removed. Now it is not all that
different from a really weird flight simulator (insofar as the ship is hand-shaped). It will take both of them to fly it.

Garnet nods briskly. "Knights, you're cleared for takeoff! Get us out of here before the whole thing explodes around us!"

No need to open the Black Moon UFO's bottom apeture -- the whole floor is gaping wide. It's unsettling, like watching what should
be an abyss form cracks in its own darkness.

But the light of true space, beyond it, is so beautiful. It isn't black at all.

It's a thousand thousand stars, winking and blinking. It's a comet, still far away, off to the left and partially obscured by a
cloudlike swirl of strange gas, surely going at impossibly fast celestial speeds and yet seeming to barely move at all in its
approach. It's the nearby Earth, so big and so very small at the sametime, and alongside it, the soft beautiful light of the Moon.

OOC: Let's keep this round pretty snappy, forty minutes please!

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

Lancelot blinks as he hears that Mai is hurt. Without hesitation he picks her up in a reversal of how they got her. he just scoops her up and nods to her, looking straight ahead. "I got her Mikoto-chan." He says to the other girl. To Mai he nods once, his face set and looking forward, trying very hard, and failing not to blush. It's a good red color on him. Brings out the color of his eyes.

He says to Mai, "I told you one, not too long ago, I ... like you more than bacon." He nods again. "So I've got you. I'll get you out of this." He looks to her and shrugs a shoulder.

He carrier her all the way to the bridge. Where he also does not put her down. When Garnet says "Knights, you're cleared for Take off!" He almost gets excited. He's a Knight! He plays Video Games! He's trained for this his ENTIRE LIFE. But he looks to Mai. Who might be mad at him. He smiles and just shakes his head. He has another job right now. And he'd rahter not have Mikoto mad at him too.

Yeah. That's a good excuse.

He's definately still blushing slightly.

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

Shigure isn't certain either -- is it her that's prompting Sourisi to keep standing, or is the Miraculous Mouse the one who's keeping her going? The answer may not be in one or the other's domain... and it's not their priority anyway.

Chibi-Usa says that she's fine, and she can't help but appreciate her spunk. She lets out a faint, haggard gasp as she walks towards the docking bay, flames surrounding them. It really adds to the sensation that every single part of her body is burning, even the air she's breathing.

Garnet is moving forward with them, her song infectious and energising. "That's the... Hand Ship? Who--" she looks at Fate and Yumi, with relief, and Fuu and Endo inside as well.

"... I might... take a moment to--"

Her knee spills out to one side with a yelp. The Claiomh Solais thonks onto one side like another leg of hers, but she leans on one wall to lower herself down.

She's pretty done for the day.

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

"This is... concerning," Egret says, with a glance back at a flame that jumps from a crack in the wall. She steps out, though, and looks down through the bottom of the UFO. Her eyes drift down, towards the aperture and the infinity of stars. She gasps, softly. "Oh... if only Dad could see this."

She smiles, slightly. Then, however, her eyes widen. "Bloom!" she exclaims, turning to look at her friend. "Look! It's the Earth! Ah, but it's so far away. Are we really getting closer? Are we--"

She looks at Shigure, when she trips. Mai quickly moves towards her. "Oh--please be careful. Are you hurt?"

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

Everything happened so fast... did Garnet defeat Jasper?! Is that what that orange blur was?! The realization is only now setting in after going to Pearl's side. "It's okay, it's okay...!" the boy adds, seeing Pearl's tears. It almost makes him cry again as well. He purses his lips and sucks it up right now during this run. He gives Garnet a nod as eh turns her over. She has to lead, after all.

The navigation of the path is even more treacherous with detonations and uncontrolled energy erupting all around. But other than a few harrowing moments, everyone makes it back to the ship. The docking bay alight with energies from blasts and couplings sprouting like so many dangerous geysers.

Upon arrival to the control area, Steven does as Pearl says, letting her go to the panel. "Hey guys! You did it!" he says to those guarding their escape route. The boy hobbles on over to the front window peering out, looking at what lay before them. THe magnificence of space. And cradled in it among the dots of stars and swirling, distant nebulas-- is Earth, and the Moon.

Home. He turns to Garnet, finally able to say something. "You were awesome." A pause. "Were. Heh, who am I kidding, still are." Steven holds his arm, still so sore. A kind gaze is turned to Chibi-Usa. "That was really brave of you. Thank you."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Well," the Wind Knight replies sheepishly to Endo, "it *was* made for me specifically ..." She wonders whether to go into detail about the Legendary Spring of Eterna, AKA the "Weird Spring of Eterna" as Umi dubbed it, and fighting a copy of herself to earn the Escudo they needed --

Suddenly they have company. Fuu scoops her sword up with one hand, the broken protrusion with the other, and returns to the control console. "Thank you very much, Pearl-san," she calls out to the Crystal Gem. "And it's good to see everybody safe; I hope you didn't have too much trouble with the rescue. Everyone find a place to hang on comfortably, this may be a little bumpy!"

Or, she adds silently with another look out the viewport, a *lot* bumpy. There weren't that many explosions the first time she looked, or nearly as much fire. At least Pearl has toggled the user interfaces over to Japanese, which makes things quite a lot simpler and more straightforward -

Wait, didn't the hangar have a floor? ... One less thing to worry about, though.

Using the detached protrusion as a stylus, she pokes at a few controls, figuring out which part is the throttle, which parts controls roll or pitch or yaw, hovering (which almost takes them BACK into the black crystal ship; she pushes that the other way immediately and returns them to space) ...

And finally, she points them towards Earth and accelerates (more or less smoothly; there are substantially bumpier roller coasters) away from what will probably be a gigantic fireball in very short order. "... I truly hope this isn't going to be a relevant question, but do any of you have an idea of how we would control the weapons on this craft?" she asks idly, glancing over her shoulder at the Crystal Gems. She still has a look of awe in her eyes when her gaze rests on Garnet, but she doesn't let herself dwell on it. All of her friends and allies still harbor so many mysteris among them ... she can only hope that she might, over time, learn some more about them.

For now, piloting is her main concern. And as far as *she* can tell, she does fairly well at it, considering that flight simulators have never been a staple genre of her gaming library.

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

Kassie, as they run, finds herself wanting to hum along too. That song is just so catchy! Who knew that Garnet had such musical talents? As if she needed more reason to respect an enemy today.

At least, that's the plan until Kasagami notices Pluto stumbling. Now that is not something she's going to allow. She forces her acheing legs over, arms lay across back and legs, and with her sword in a makeshift belt, she has her beloved in her arms as she carries the exhausted Outer Senshi along with them, but only after she's managed to gently brush her hair and whisper in her ear comfortingly.

Soon enough though, they all bust into the bridge and reunite with everyone.

"I cannot wait to be out of here and back on Earth." Mutters Kasagami.

"I've decided that I hate space." Offers Kasagami more loudly, even as she puts Pluto down. Instead, she keeps her steady, arms wrapped about her as she gives a thumbs up to Steven.

She eyes the view of their home out there in the darkness of space, in between being very absorbed in comforting and being comforted by Pluto.

She tries to find something to hang on to as Fuu gets to work.

"Come on Wind Knight, show these aliens how Earthlings fly!" Encourages the young woman.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"Ah, I see." Endo doesn't really, but he'll have to ask Fuu more about her explanation later. Despite working together frequently, he's never actually asked too much about how her power works.

That train of thought, though, is soon interrupted. "Garnet! Everyone!" Endo is dragging Fallen Stern out of the way when the rest of the group bursts onto the ship, the boy letting out a breath of relief as the group finally arrives. "I'm glad you made it!"

When Pearl drafts him to help fly, though, he pauses. "Ah-well. Okay." He doesn't sound exactly sure about that, but an order is an order. The boy takes position awkwardly, casting a glance over at Fuu and asking, "...You can do this, right Fuu-san?" He sounds pretty hopeful about that. Either way, he grabs what controls he can and tries to help as directed.

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

"It's fine, Mikoto..." It's fine. She'll be fine, just as long as she can muster the strength to fly again, or something - but Mai's delusions never get a chance to be tested, as Mikoto is simultaneously astute, decisive, and making decisions that had better warrant apology. "What - I don't need - hey!"

In a moment, she's swept into a bridal carry. It might be for the best that Lancelot is trying to look straight ahead, because' Mai's face shows incredible irritation - she's sputtering uselessly in protest, right up until he says those words... Reddening, Mai lightly smacks one balled-up fist against the knight's armor. "Is this -really- the time? Just...don't leave Mikoto behind, okay? If she..."

She trails off, seeing the state of Lancelot's hands, injured by the effort of the battle. Seeing Mikoto's slightly-awkward gait, as the girl struggles through her own injuries. Mai just sets her jaw, and lets out an irritated sigh. "The both of you, I swear..."

In short order, they're on the ship. As soon as they're behind a closed door, Mai pushes off of that armor to get herself on solid-ish floor - at least the floor of a ship not exploding. With a good foot under her, she can at least hobble over to a seat - something to lean against, as she hasn't the foggiest how any of the controls work...

But they're leaving the Black Moon ship, and the stars shine beyond. "...it's gorgeous - isn't it, Mikoto? Seeing the stars clearly, without everything from last time..." Mai trails off. She leans slightly towards Mikoto, but...her gaze is distant. Troubled.

There's little else she can do here, save look at the stars. Especially those stars she's used to noticing.

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

Cure Bloom only has eyes for Cure Egret today, even as they desperately follow a not-quite-giant woman through a labyrinth shortcut created, rather expediently, by the same woman being driven through countless walls. Cure Bloom knows that magical girl combat is pretty intense but that is probably more foresight than she would've been able to bring to bear, she thinks in passing.

"I didn't think real space ships blew up like this!" she asides to Egret, with a not entirely timely grin. Fortunately, the way is clear from the efforts of the people left behind, and Cure Bloom steps along. She works to keep her head high. She's tired - maybe not as exhausted as the poor souls who've spent the last day in torture, but she can tell she's going to run out of energy, the kind of energy even the spirits' magic can't give her in unlimited supply.

It is in this mood that Egret calls her attention to the Earth, looming beyond. ...Bloom slaps her own cheeks once, forcing her attention and focus back up. Then, "Yeah!" she says, stepping over. "Wow...it's amazing..."

She will need to be directed to do things because she knows better than to trust herself with anything more technical than applying her fist to an object.

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

"You've got it!" Like it was no big thing for her to offer that. Her expression only changing when Chibi-Usa specifies she has to make them by scratch. Thankfully she's not facing her. "A-All the hotcakes you can eat once we get back."

Does she sound unconfident? Surely every Mahou Shoujo here knows that Sailor Moon must be a wonderful cook - right Mai Tokiha?

Kasagami's comment catches a moment where Sailor Moon looks over her shoulder to share a glance with Chibi-Usa. Apparently they share a certain bond in this too - even if they don't know it.

But Sailor Moon doesn't come to her defense for several reasons.

The biggest reason of all being when it comes to backsass - Chibi-Usa is the undisputed master of it in the Tsukino household.

But then Jupiter starts to sag and Sailor Moon has this alarmed look - before the other two topple over - "Mars - Venus...! Someone - please help them!" She'd do it herself - but right now it was her responsibility to take care of Chibi-Usa. That's implicitly understood. She still frets - obviously worried until finally urgency overwhelms her and she let's go of one of Chibi-Usa's legs to grasp Mars by the leg and haul her on up. "Mars-chan... aren't you always the one teasing me about taking naps?" She laughs a little anxiously. "But now you're not just the girl who fell asleep on the movie theater on our girls night out - but on a mission too!"

Mars' eye grumpily twitches - then her eyes just open. "And just WHEN did that ever happen?" Perhaps by sheer force of will on the idea of Moon never letting her hear the end of it. "Seriously - I want to know what month, day and hour did I ever do that?" Venus then gets a few little paps to the cheek from Moon - before Mars and Moon decide Venus isn't about to be woken up by any force on Earth. The two take one arm from Venus apiece, Moon throwing that arm from Venus over her shoulder and having Chibs keep it locked there.

Meanwhile - Back at the Ship

"They're not responding on the bridge - I wonder how they're doing?"

<Contacting Fallen Stern - ... ... ... ... Sir. You're better off not knowing.>


That moment of anxiety is quickly replaced by relief as Fate spies the rest of the crew and waves them up.

Once on the bridge - Sailor Moon props Mars and Venus against each other before finally letting Chibi-Usa down - kneeling beside her. She doesn't know anything about flying the ship - so instead she just clings to the girl during these anxious moments where the ship is being piloted by the others.

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

A thankful look is met with an exhausted grin, but as soon as Kasagami turns away, Sourisi lets the smile drop. It hurt to even smile right now, she has to keep going. There where 3 Sailor Senshi and 1 Crystal Gem in much worst shape than her, so if they can still keep going, so can she!

The girl with the giant obsidian greatsword has Sourisi's attention for a moment, glad to see the girl that used Sourisi as a springboard was still alive and kicking, and the man she calls over has Sourisi wonder just for a moment if she's seen him before. Maybe they fought with each other before? But weary thoughts turn back to escaping exploding ships, an inquiry for another day.

With the ship all around them bursting into flames and crevices forming through the hanger floor. The heat of the flames go unnoticed by Sourisi, her animal-themed outfit keeping the intense temperatures at bay even if it does little against negative energies. Taking a quick look around shows that perhaps there is some issue with putting all of your supports on one major energy source.

Climbing aboard the Handship with Solais, Sourisi waves one tired hand at the Wind Knight, Witch of Lost Ivy, and two others she doesn't recognize right away. "Thanks for staying-whao!" With a collapsed knee, Solais finds her way to the floor and Sourisi almost goes down with her, catching herself at the last moment. Easing herself to the floor softly, actually glad for the cold of the Gem walls, she closes her eyes and pulls on her french braid and sighs loudly, her body already not wanting to budge. "Space is nice, but...can we go home now?"

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

Mikoto nods, to Lancelot, with an affirmative grunt. She watches, as he picks her up, and declares... he likes her. That's good. More people should like Mai. Mai deserves to be liked. And if he values her, he'll keep her safe. ... Mai's not happy to be picked up, just like she thought, though they're both looking red for some reason. But Mai needs help. "I'll be okay, Mai," Mikoto assures her, behind them.

She still keeps an eye on them, as she hurries to the bridge with the others - a little slower than she'd like, but she's fine, especially compared to the girls and woman who were crucified. She can't help it. Space has taken Mai from her once before; she can't let it happen again.

She makes sure to keep tabs on the others, too - especially Kasagami and Pluto, and the young Steven and Chibi-Usa. The sad truth is that she wouldn't be nearly as devastated to lose them as Mai - but that doesn't mean she wouldn't be crushed, as surely as Rubeus's pressure crushed them.

The ship is rapidly losing its cohesion. Luckily, this yellow fire is not from a destabiliser; Mikoto is not so far gone as to be afraid of flame, not when Mai burns so brightly. She jerks away from a sudden gout of flame - still too fast to be cooked.

And then they come to the ship, and Mikoto's face floods with relief when she sees Fuu and Yumi - though she's more guarded with Fate, more unfriendly when she looks to Endo, but she says nothing of it.

It's admirable, to see Pearl fixing the machine for them even when she's so hurt. Admirable as the senshi managing their way to the dropship.

"Fuu!" Mikoto calls, in encouragement.

She nods to Kasagami. Space is, in fact, the worst.

And Mikoto turns to Mai - if there's nothing to lean against, she will be there for Mai to lean against. She frowns, shaking her head. "... I don't like it. Nothing good happens in space."

Her eyes settle on one particular star for a moment, before Mikoto pulls her gaze away from the viewport and back to Mai.

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

"Great!" Chibi-Usa answers when Sailor Moon answers--and then she seems nervous, but the smaller Usagi beams anyway, "That's going to be a lot of them!" she says, somehow proudly over this. "Hotcakes, hotcakes o/~" turns into a little singsong from Chibi-Usa as her pink odango bobble along with Sailor Moon's steps. Somehow, even the flames bursting around everywhere don't ruin her mood--well, not entirely. Sailor Moon can /feel/ the way she jumps and tenses when the explosions come, the nerves underneath all of her relief, the ragged state she's in mentally and otherwise.

...But Kasagami speaks up, and the ten-year-old's eye twitches.

"What do you MEAN I 'might not be a brat'??" Chibi-Usa retorts to Kasagami, scowling at the older girl openly. "What kind of a weirdo jerk introduces herself with insults?? Say thank you properly!" She frowns harder, watching Kasagami with Pluto, and sniffs, looking away. "Hmph."

Turning away and turning her nose up, Chibi-Usa clings a little more to Sailor Moon, instead. ...But she looks back just enough to smile at Puu for a brief moment. It's a warm smile, despite her clear fatigue, small and innocent in a way that a girl who's been through as much as she has almost couldn't be. But something there...

Something that turns to looking between Mars and Venus and giggling slightly at the interaction--tensely, sure, but--

Well, as they get to the docking bay, she looks around in surprise. "It's so green..." Maybe that should seem obvious--what she doesn't seem to be is shocked at all of the high technology.

Meanwhile - Outside the Bridge

Yumi huffs a little as she looks around, trying to find any more--and finally being sure that she's gotten the last of them. When Garnet comes by, she blinks in shock and surprise--from her living, from her acknowleding her, from--


But Garnet's there, and Yumi glances to Fate--and gives a small smile, before hovering further and then pausing. "Not bad, right?"

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

"That was a compliment I'll have you know!" Offered Kasagami in passing to Chibi-Usa.

"Thanks. I am not a weirdo, either." Jerk? Definitely.

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


Rubble shifts. Flames explode.

Rubeus, haggard with exhaustion, stiff with shock and sooty with burns, pushes a large black pillar out of his way as he staggers back to his former place of power.

"Haha," he laughs weakly, "At least you'll all go down with me... if it's like that, it's all right..."

One of the mirrors projects a fragmented image of the Hand Ship taking off.

"...DAMMIT!" he screams, losing his balance on the next shipquake and falling to his knees. He slams his fist into the already-broken floor, and despairs.

But a twinkle of green circulating the mirrors draws his gaze back upwards...


Laughter rings around him. It is his least favorite sound in the planet, even moreso than MOON SPIRAL HEART ATTACK, but right now it sounds like beautiful bells.

He even smiles, hope glistening in his eyes, as Esmeraude appears before and above him. Her feet don't quite touch the floor -- her shoes are much too nice for this place, whether or not it's on fire -- and she looks down her nose at him in, well, the way she always does.

Her flowing, wavy hair is green, and so is her gown, with its massive, glittering emeralds. But her lipstick is red. And it, like all of her makeup, is perfect.

"You certainly made a mess of things, Rubeus..." she purrs.

Rubeus doesn't deny it. "Esmeraude!" he cries gladly. "Thank goodness you're here. Take me back with you to the future! This ship will explode in two minutes!"

He reaches his shaky, torn-up hand for hers.


Earth grows larger in the viewport, and it's around that time that the bridge fills, abruptly and simultaneously, with the dings, chimes, beeps, and other alerts of a dozen cell phones.

SOUND EFFECT! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PixQYWmI9Ro and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDvFcn6icXo plus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLTKJmRN6z0

Everyone's phone is blowing up. They must have been sent messages -- a lot of messages -- in the time, be it an hour or be it a day, since they were away from Earth.

Here are some of the texts they might see:

@totallynormalgirl > yo kasagami, takeo, party at jindai if ur not busy

@totallynormalgirl > @bunny it's been too long. sorry for being afk. big trouble at jindai.

@normalearthlera >Fate! Ren-chan! Endo-kun! Shigure-san too! I don't know if you're busy or something but if you're free we're kind of fighting everything ever in Jindai!

@Aohime > tokiha. akamira. where r u? things are going really badly here at jindai

@Aohime > pick up ur damn phone

@Aohime > fine whatever

@HonokaYukishiro > Subject: Emergency. Recipients: Mai Mishou and Saki Hyuuga. Body: Jindai Botanical Gardens is under attack by Dark Fall. I've never seen an assault thi It cuts off mid-text, as though she had to slam on the send button because she was being, shall we say, interrupted.


And everyone, bar none, has some sort of voice mail from a weird string of characters that look more magical than anything. There's a vague implication that this was sent without necessarily the sender knowing the exact numbers it was going to. Some kind of spell.

"Everyone," croaks the old, but also now frightened and desperate voice of Botanical Gardens Director / Grandma Kaoruko Hanasaki, "Something terrible is happening at Jindai.... please, come quickly, the World Tree--"

This, one can assume, is the message that got everyone who's already at the gardens there in the first place.


The distant planet is still beautiful, but now the distance is agonizing. It is too far to reasonably fly to in time, for those who can fly; the UFO itself is far faster.

OOC: If you have a mascot present, it can also start going kinda ballistic about 'evil feelings'!

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


Flappy's piercing cry cuts through the air and makes Cure Egret jump. She near drops her phone -- it bounces repeatedly in her hands, hopping up and down -- before she looks down at the familiar, somewhat formal typing of her senpai. Her eyes start to widen with a dawning, terrible realization. She listens to the voicemail, which makes her hand shake.

"The World Tree...?" Egret asks, before she looks at Bloom. The two Cures share a brief look -- and with silent but doubtless agreement, she lifts her phone up and calls back. It rings, and rings, and rings.

But it doesn't go through.


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

Fate Testarossa is looking ahead pretty stoically. One wouldn't know she was anxious by these events at all - being an alien - and a veteran of space. She used to live in space after all. But as the ship takes off and Yumi says something to her she starts at her comment - then after looking at her, looks down at the floor and nods. "... It could have been much worse."

As Earth grows larger - Bardiche announces. <Incoming Message. Put Out - Cell Phone.> A phone materializes into her hand.

Fate glances at her text messages. "Oh no... Oh no..." Quickly her gauntleted fingers flip to the address book and she hits Lera's number. Letting it ring - and ring - and...

"She's... not picking up..."

Being a Veteran of so many Dark Fall schemes herself... "We have to get back - I think - I think..." She lowers her phone to flip over to the Voice Mail transcription... which confirms what she already suspected, "Dark Fall is attacking Jindai." It seems absurd - after all - everyone here was already battle weary to the point of collapse.

"They have to be taking advantage of the fact that so many of us were off taken off planet..."

"Five minutes..." Jupiter mutters in a half-conscious daze against Mercury. "Just five minutes and I'll be ready to go another round..." Since it's Sailor Jupiter - that doesn't sound like it's an empty comment at all...

You think we could Sailor Teleport right to it?" Venus murmurs while propped up against Mars. "Right now ... I don't think that's an option."

Sailor Moon's brow is lined with worry but instead of talking about the attack on Jindai instead she does what she can do. "It is pretty green isn't it? Good thing we have someone green flying it huh?" She sounds more than a little anxious - but she's trying to be soothing.

Part of her is really glad Jupiter isn't really all that aware right now. She has a feeling that flying in a UFO would be not that unlike... a plane to her.

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

Shigure nearly, nearly misses the text coming from Lera from just how noisy and involved everything is, and even after she catches the sound of it it's yet a little bit more before it registers to her that it actually is her phone and not, say, a hallucination taking place inside her currently weary mind.

She looks to Sourisi for a moment, then--

Surreptitiously tilts the phone a little bit away as she looks towards her message list:

2 messages in phone history:

4:38 pm 4 years ago -- Thank you for registering your new SIM card with docomo! Here are...

Just now -- @normalearthlera > Fate! Ren-chan! Endo-kun! Shigure-san too! ...


shigure, now is not the time to be excited that someone texted you!! screams a little Shigure seated on her shoulder.

The voice mail takes her attention anyway -- she barely recognises the voice, but remembers it from the one from the time she went to the dream...? "The World Tree..."

She bites her lip. "What do we do? What can we do...?"

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

Lancelot lets Mai go when she pushes off once they're on the bridge. He leans agians tht wall where he can easily help her if needed, but doesn't interrupt when she and Mikoto share a moment looking at the stars. He has to admit, he has no idea when or if he'll ever get a chance to see the Earth like this again. It really is beautiful. More so than the movies or video games show. He smiles and looks to Mai and Mikoto as she mentions she hates it and is about to comemnt when his phone chirps.

He blinks and looks at it. "Utena-chan?" He says as he looks at the text message. His eyes go to Kasagami and he raises an eyebrow, but then he notices other notificiations. He just blinks. And blinks again. Then he listens to the voice mails and frowns deeply. He steps up to Mai and shows her the texts. "What do you think?" He then notes others are getting texts and checking their Voice Mails. He frowns again. "Um. Pearl-Sensei?" He asks looking at the Crystal Gem. "Can. Can we fly this Hand to the World Tree?"

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


Niramo picks up the egg-like pod that her anklet was in and looks it over. Maybe with a little jury-rigging, she could have some sort of safe container for her cell phone when she's transformed. "Takk, help me look for some wire or something, I have an idea."


Joining the cacophony of sounds flooding the room is a ringtone Sourisi recognizes instantly of her own. An old-fashioned chiptune version of the ending theme for Magical Detective Loveline. Fumbling for her cellphone and pulling it out of a makeshift harness of wire and Gem storage technology, Sourisi opens up the cell phone and winces at the massive amounts of missed calls and texts coming from her parents as well as her two childhood friends. She is so going to be grounded for this.

Opening up her voice mail, the short mouse girl prepares herself to listen to likely a worried message from her father, and to call him as soon as she can. What she got, however, was a message from a kind professor and Director who served tea and pastries to her in the past, who sounded like she was about to break down and cry.

It's the kind of voice you never expect to hear from a gentle woman who would bend and not break in any storm.

Her heart and her stomach instantly drops lower than she thought possible, and she stares up from her spot on the floor, at the blue and green marble they were steadily approaching. Her finger hovers over the contact info marked 'Father' for a moment before pressing down and raising the phone up to her ear. Be it from exhaustion or fear, she was starting to tremble, sitting so close to Shigure. "Pick up...pick up..."


<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo does his best to help keep the ship on the right course, eyes keeping on the big blue ball of earth. It's probably the most tense he's ever looked.

Distraction comes in the form of a beep from his phone. He goes digging soon after, flipping it open and taking a quick glance at the text. His lips thin immediately, eyes lifting to look at Fate to confirm she got the same message. "Aaah...isn't this too much?" He's already worn out from several days of imprisonment and fighting, it seems cruel that this should go on any longer. Still, there's no choice. "We have to go to Jindai!"

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

"Learn to give compliments then!!" Chibi-Usa snipes back at Kasagami. ...She only doesn't follow up because Kasagami is carrying Pluto, but she still pointedly doesn't look at Kasagami in the way that only a ten year old can.

But here, back on the ship, Usagi stares out the window at how beautiful it is until very abrubtly--Chibi-Usa's phone buzzes in her pocket, where she had it set to vibrate like a responsible sneaker. She blinks, and pulls it out, seeing...

"Um...?" She blinks a few more times as she listens to the voicemail and her eye widen. "Oh--"


At the same time, Yumi looks away from Fate and checks her phone, white and green, and winces.

> yumi-chan i thought you were coming home from the hospital 2night your stuff's all here were r u?

much later > Yumi-chan I'm worried. I'm going to call your mom--it's gonna turn out to be nothing, right?

Yumi wilts visibly. Tama meanwhile leaps down, her fur standing on end as she turns to look up at Yumi. "...I sense dark, dark energy on Earth..."


Chibi-Usa looks up worriedly at Sailor Moon in the meantime. "It is..." She bites her lip. "What are we going to do? Something's happening..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Wind Knight is still focused first and foremost on piloting their 'borrowed' ship, but the sound of so many incoming messages on other people's phones makes her will her own smartphone back into existence, a streak of light arcing out of her glove-jewel and materializing in her left hand. "What the -- ?"

There are a modest number of incoming messages for her: a dozen or more from her parents wondering where she is, a handful from classmates or teammates wondering why she missed appointments they'd planned for ... at least three from her sister Kuu, increasingly concerned about Fuu's absence ... and the voice mail from from Kaoruko Hanasaki, which plays practically without her bringing it up to listen to.

The green-clad Magic Knight takes a deep, sharp breath, the blood draining from her face. "Everyone ... what I said earlier, that this might be a bumpy ride?" she advises, raising her voice enough to carry over the many notification sounds.

".... Forget the 'might' part, and brace yourselves, *fast*." She moves the stylus over to the throttle control. "Three, two, one ..."

Pushing the throttle *all the way* forward would probably go into some form of faster-than-light drive, and she REALLY doesn't want to do that. But the throttle is opened further, with the Wind Knight's attention divided between the speed reading on the console and the planet Earth ahead. "Pearl-san," the Wind Knight adds, "if you happen to know how to safely but swiftly land a ship like this, I'll gladly hand off the controls!"

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

Kasagami, so split between Pluto and the view of earth, nearly jumps out of her skin as pretty much every phone in the place lights up. Including her own. Whipping out her device, she frowns as she slides through a chorus of normal texts.

But one in particular is utterly unexpected. So much so that her jaw drops just a little bit. Her hands tremble at the fact that Utena would now even think to summon her into danger when she needed help.

The only thing that stops her from being teary eyed is the realization of what Utena's talking about. The voicemail confirms those dire portents. Furious typing on her phone begins, she tries to send several, then attempts a few outgoing calls. All lead to nothing. She eyes the spinning 'sending' dial, only for a big red 'FAIL' X to come up.

And then Fuu is putting the space-hand-petal to the Gem-metal. The young woman holds on for dear life. The urgency of their need to get to Jindai doesn't detract from the adrenaline rush of Fuu's piloting though. Her hand squeezes Pluto's all the while. They have to get there.

There's an old friend in need, after all.

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

And then as one the Senshi communicators flash. Seeing that Moon is the only one able to respond, she touches the side only for Luna to appear on screen. In plain view of Chibi-Usa too.

"So you finally picked up - YOU WENT TO SPACE DIDN'T YOU!?" "Um well..." Earth becomes bigger in the viewport. "I BET YOU'RE IN SPACE RIGHT NOW!" Now all she sees is Earth in the viewport, "Sssooorrttta?" "I WAS WORRIED SICK! And Chibi-Usa-chan went missing again! Artemis is out looking for her right now-! What do you have to say for yourself!?" "W-Well we managed to rescue everyone and... Chibi-Usa-chan is right next to me right now so... it all worked out!"

Luna gapes, double takes - before glimpsing at Chibi-Usa and coughing repeatedly before giving off an exaggerated fake - "... ... MEOW!"

"I think it's too late for that... the jig... is definitely up. We're on our way back right now."

"Really...? So she knows then?" "... Yep. Without a doubt."

Luna gives an exaggerated sigh, before using a cat paw in the screen to tip up glittery pink cell phone - "I got your phone from a certain someone's home-"

Luna glares as if to let Moon know that someone else was also worried sick - and Moon looks suddenly guilty. "Well go on and read it."

Sailor Moon puts a gloved finger to her lip, squinting at the small print before her eyes lit up. "She actually messaged me!"

Moon looks positively gleeful over that fact. "Focus! Dark Fall is-" "We already know! We'll get over there as soon as we can... the others might need a nap first though once we get back..."

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

The Earth gets closer and closer, and the heart in Steven's chest beats harder and faster. Almost home...! Then they can put all this behind them! "We're gonna make it... I'm so happy." Everyone here poured out their hearts and fought against the darkness that sought to take their happiness. They succeeded It feels like a happy ending if there ever was one.

And then the ringing starts and phones buzzing. "We must have come into range of a phone satellite or something!" he says. It was probably people worried about them.

Much to his chagrin, he only has one voicemail, and not from who he was hoping it would be. It is... someone else. "Who is this?" he says, looking at the... is that even a phone number?! Steven listens, and turns pale. He recognizes that elderly lady. It was the one who game him a beautiful, lustrous seed.

He still had it on him. At least after retrieving it from a pod himself. "That... can't be good. They must have used the chance while we were kidnapped to attack!" The boy looks at his hands as he clutches at the air "Grrrh! When do they give up?!"

A deep breath is taken. THe boy pushes his hands away from him, as if expelling negativity. "We better relax, and take a breather while we have a chance. We surely have another fight ahead."

At least the view of space was wonderful. A serene moment in a line of horrific events.

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

Mai is a little wistful, and a little...mournful, regarding the stars before them. Mikoto is much more negative about the view, and... "...yeah, that's fair."

At least it won't be a problem much longer. Earth is looming larger and larger, and there's something novel about returning to solid ground in a ship meant for this kind of trip. The stars are shining, the Earth is getting closer, and...soon they'll all be home. Pain that she's trying to hide aside, everything will be back to normal...

There's a ringing. There's a lot of ringing, all at once, from a dozen different angles - Mai's gaze whips around until she realizes that her own ringtone is counted among them - a flurry of text messages, showing up all at once. It's loud, and motion by her side informs Mai that Mikoto is distressed by the situation. Mai leans over to put an arm around her companion, offering a what comfort she can; with her free hand she pulls out her own phone, to see what the fuss is.

"...Kaoru? What in the world would make -her- get in touch..." She frowns, scowls even, thinking over what the message could mean...and as Lancelot comes over to compare notes, realization dawns. "Jindai. That...isn't that where that 'World Tree' thing was? The one that SEARRS went after a few times?...they aren't..."

She bites back a curse, and starts typing messages as quickly as one hand will allow.

'Space. Mikoto got taken, went to space. what is going on'

'Kuga, what is up at Jindai this time'

'...had to help Mikoto. are you okay, Eri?'

And then she waits for a reply. Sinks down to the floor to take the weight off her leg, bringing Mikoto down with her as needed, and...waits.

Someone has to reply, right?....


Distantly, sitting atop a lamp post that illuminates a silent beach, a young-looking boy shades his gaze with a book. The stars are bright, and a distant comet is brighter - the sight of it bringing a faint smile to the boy's face. "Well, that was certainly a mess...but the sword is back where it belongs, and that's all that really matters."

He leans back abruptly, falling back to dangle upside-down. Legs hooked around the post, he's got just the right angle to look in the direction of Jindai. "Maybe not the only thing...but they really have to learn what's important for themselves, don't they?"

Silence, as he dangles, swaying in the breeze...and then he groans. "Ahhhhh...Seeing the inside of a space ship would have been so cool, tooooo!"

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

Mikoto Minagi does not, as a rule, carry a phone.

Oh, she's tried. She has tried several times to understand this radical prospect of 'mobile contact'. But phones are so breakable, and they slip out of a pocket so easily when leaping from rooftop to rooftop. And they're so complicated. Did you know people use 'text messaging' with an entirely different language which only has similarities to Japanese??? At least there are pictures to convey emotions too.

So, in the end, she stopped taking her phone (replacement phone) (replacement-replacement phone) (replacement-replacement-replacement -- she went through a lot of them,) with her when she went out. And when SEARRS trashed their room and took it to try and find secrets which Mikoto would have had to use her phone to reveal, she just... never bothered getting another one. Mai always worried so much about how much they cost, after all. This way was easier.

There are drawbacks, of course. It means no one can get in touch with her in a hurry, which can be a problem when she's out on the search and impossible to find. It means no one can warn her of anything. It means she doesn't understand one more normal thing.

But there are bonuses, too.

For instance: the shrill sound of a ringtone is unpleasant, with sharp hearing. They're designed to catch the attention of normal people. They catch her attention even worse.

The shrill sound of over a dozen mobile phones going off at once is unpleasant several times over, and Mikoto's teeth grit and her shoulders stiffen as the discordant sounds of so many different tones fill the air. She makes a dissatisfied noise and covers one ear with a hand, shoving the other side of her head against Mai's side, grimacing. (She would normally just cover her ears, but, well - Miroku's case is back on Earth, and she's not about to let go of it now.)

She is distracted from her terrible fate by the inclusion of voicemails. Something terrible happening at Jindai. At the World Tree.

Fate confirms: Dark Fall is attacking.

Mikoto frowns, and nods to Fuu, that defensively-raised hand instead coming around to support Mai. She helps her sink down; Miroku comes down with her, on her other side. She keeps a tight hold on its grip with one hand, to avoid any unfortunate accidents, but her hand around Mai doesn't budge either.

She has no desperate texts to send out; all she can do is wait, with her precious person.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Sadness - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d35WLqWKc0


"Oh, is that so, Rubeus?"

  • THWAP!*

Esmeraude slaps away Rubeus' grasping hand from her own with the tip of her fan... then points it right in his face.

Her eyes are stone slits. Her voice is worse -- harder than diamond, disgusted beyond belief.

"You allowed Sailor Moon, her allies, and the Rabbit to escape, and you still want to live a life of shame? You're truly a pathetic fellow."

Rubeus' face falls. It's like watching a plate shatter in slow motion. His arm, still outstretched, quivers.

Esmeraude lifts her chin imperiously. "Our glorious clan has no use for an incompetent man like you. Vanish together with this ship!"

The last thing he hears, as she teleports out, is her glorious, terrible laughter. And then--



Texts are still pouring in.

@conniemaheswaran666 > Steven I got your voice mail. What's going on?

@conniemaheswaran666 > Are you okay!?!?

@conniemaheswaran666 > Please answer me

@conniemaheswaran666 > are u mad @ me

@cuteanimalCure > Um, Saki and Mai. I don't mean to bother you but something bad is going down at Jindai and we could really use the help of a certain pair. Please send help if you can.

@nogreenpepper > ami-chan usagi-chan please meet me at jindai botanical gardens immediately

@nogreenpepper > it is very important

@nogreenpepper > please answer

@totallynormalgirl > ok nobodys answering

@totallynormalgirl > whatevers goin down pls be safe

@magebun > Lancelot. Something Evil. World Tree. Go. Signed: Merlin.

And then--


It's ironic, in a way, how the detonation of the Black Crystal UFO creates such a symphony of white light. It is aurora and explosion and searchbeam, all in one. It is visible from Earth, washing out all color for a terrible moment.

Since it's coming from directly behind the Hand Ship, they are cast into shadow, instead. There's a moment of darkness which gives warning -- and then the light comes, engulfs them, and --


The air -- they are low enough now to have air -- screams all around them. Huge sections of the Hand Ship are completely gone, including its entire engine room. More are breaking apart by the second.

Tokyo suddenly looms very close, but not in a good way.

Pearl was starting to get up, but now laughs at Fuu's question, a hysterical sound. "That's not going to be a problem anymore!!"

"Everybody GATHER UP in the bridge, it's the strongest part of the ship! Then brace!" yells Garnet, loudly enough to be heard throughout the ship. Hers is a battlefield bellow. "We're going to crash! There's no time!"

Her arms are already spreading wide, her intention clear: this is a potentially lifesaving group hug.

OOC: Hug for impact!

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

Shigure finds herself grimacing and holding on for dear life; she's glad enough that they're already on the bridge, albeit not really able to hold onto... anything...

But Garnet holds her arms wide, and she stumbles onto her side with a beleaguered nod as she looks to everyone else and holds on tight.

And when she's secured, she looks down at her phone again to attempt to reply...

'> g g g g g'


How do you even type 'H' to type 'Hello'?? Why's H on the 3 key with 'GHI'? Oh forget it, I'll figure it out later! Be safe, Lera...! Shigure thinks as she hangs on for dear life.

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

The texts keep coming. Egret's violet eyes stare down at them. "Pine..." She murmurs it, then she shakes her head once. They have to get to Jindai, just as Endo says. But first, they have to live through the crash landing. This is no easy feat; the Hand Ship is breaking up around them. She reaches a hand out, and clutches Bloom's.

"Bloom! You heard her, come on!" she says. She tugs her partner over -- and while some might not, Egret finds it easy enough to launch herself into the group hug.

"Good luck, Hand Ship...!"

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

"I...don't think we're going to be getting that breather." Remarks Kassie moments before that light and fury and noise of that detonation hammering. They're rushing towards the Earth at ludicrous speed that is worryingly looking like it might be fatal.

Then she eyes Garnet, eyes her very Shepherdly self along with Pluto.

Yeah, even Kasagami isn't too prideful to not Hug to Avoid Death. Hauling up Pluto too, and she's in that cocoon of group hug power as every muscle in her body tenses up.

"You'd better act like the right hand of a King, Ship, or you're getting turned into a cast Gem pot!" 'Encourages' Kassie lowly to their great Hand-convenyance, inwardly crossing her fingers that they're going to survive the inevitable impact.

(New BB message (3/31) posted to 'Character Announcements' by Pink Moon Stick: DEAD: Rubeus)

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

"Also this one-!" "Ah - Cure Passion's there too..." Then a bright white light detonates behind the ship and she just grips Chibi-Usa. "Luna I think we should sign off now!" "... Stay safe everyone."

The air starts to scream and - Garnet makes an offer.

Moon doesn't even hesitate to haul Chibi-Usa up and to place her near the center of the coming Garnet hug.

Mercury takes care of helping a bleary-eyed Jupiter over. And Moon one - armed grips both Mars and Venus to help them up into a stumbling walk into the giant group hug as well.

And then she clings to everyone in this moment - bracing herself. Part of her is wishing that this could be happening under less dire circumstances...

... besides it just being happier - she'd want to take a picture.

Fate takes a space nearby Shigure - Endo - and Yumi in the hug. ... ... She absolutely does hug, it just takes her a moment to work up the nerve to do that.

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

The cell phone continues to ring for moments after her inational attempt before it clips over to voice mail. Sighing and ending the call without saying anything, Sourisi chastises herself for calling her father at a moment like this. As much as she wants to let him know that she was okay, it is a little matter when the World Tree is being attacked.

The world goes morbidly dark then blindingly bright as the Black Crystal UFO explodes from behind them, then Sourisi is tossed upwards and lands on the floor again as the Handship starts to break all around them around them, hissing from the bounce. Garnet is spreading her arms, urging them all to get close, to cling to the sturdy Gem for safety. Throwing herself to her feet, she graps tightly onto Garnet and Kasagami.

A nervous, terrified laugh leaves the mouse girl. "Kasagami-san, now is not the time to shop for new cookware!"

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

Chibi-Usa sure does see a shouting cat. "Ah... sorry," she says, guilty. Until Luna gasps, and suddenly--

"...Did you just say 'Meow'?" she asks with a frown. But then--Well--things get--"Y-yeah signing off!!" Chibi-Usa has no more time to look at how pretty the outside is when the ship starts breaking apart outright, and they head for what has to be a crash. "Aaaah--"

Chibi-Usa has small arms, but when she's placed there, she doesn't argue. She huddles up with everyone as best she can.

...Yumi and her cat, too, her artifacts on the ground beneath her, protectively.

But Chibi-Usa calls, "Aaaah!"

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

Abruptly, the ride gets a great deal rockier. Mai had her gaze to the floor, occasionally glancing at a silent cell phone, and was resolutely ignoring the viewport - which meant that she had no warning of the Black Moon Clan's ship's destruction. She certainly feels it, of course - that raw power tearing through entire sections of the Hand Ship, turning a smooth ride home into a wild freefall.

Mai cries out, briefly, phone tumbling in midair for a moment before she can snatch and stash it once more, looking around. "That - seriously, after all this, we're-"

Garnet has an offer. There is a look of utmost gratitude from Mai for the offer, and she struggles to get herself and Mikoto up to join the group hug - but the Gem's impossibly long arm expedites things rather quickly. For a moment, Mai is utterly dumbstruck.

Then she just pulls Mikoto into a tighter embrace, leaning into the mighty Gem as her golden rings clank against each other, and closes her eyes. "...one time. One time, I just want to go up, and come down safely, because this just keeps happening...."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo winces as the explosion behind rocks the ship, wobbling from his place near the controls and careening backward. He reaches to grab a panel nearby, steadying himself. It doesn't last too long, and soon he's stumbling off again.

When Garnet calls everyone to gather, that's the direction he goes. He wobbles his way over toward the center mass of magical girls and plants himself there, bringing his device up and slamming it into the ships floor to help hold him steady. Which doesn't preclude him from reaching out to grab onto Garnet and everyone else nearby for dear life.

"This is the worst landing so far!" He wails, eyes shutting tight.

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

Lanelot stares at the phone and types in a reply to all the messages:

@totallynotaknight> Yeah. In space. You'd think it's cool. But I think we're crashing now. Yupp. Gotta go.

Then he just tosses the phone over his shoulder and moves to grab Mai and Mikoto, but they're already being grabbed by Garnet's stretchy arms. Which he had no idea she had, and admits that it's kind of cool. He baseball slides into the area and then expends energy to form a shield on his arm from his lightning. The shield is something he hasn't used in a VERY long time. Not since once of his first fights. But it's there, shining metal trimmed in blue and silver. He holds it near Mai and Mikoto. Knowing that at least ONE direction is kind of proteted makes him feel better. He closes his eyes, and waits.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Wind Knight lets out a terrified yelp as the Handship gets *SLAMMED* forward on that shockwave of devastation and illumination. She's not even sure if that gave her whiplash, nor is she entirely certain what whiplash would feel like. Either way, her attention turns back to the console in a hurry, even as Pearl answers her question. Sort of.

She *did* specify 'safely' more importantly than 'swiftly'. And the rate they're coming in at is ... well, she wouldn't describe it as 'swift,' exactly. Closer to 'terminal'.

She starts working with the controls again. The throttle is totally useless now, and she's not even sure if the velocity readout is accurate or what exactly it's measuring to begin with. The hover control, or what she took for it earlier, is doing nothing that she can evaluate. She can *kind of* steer, and starts making the most she can out of that, trying to tweak the ship's vector away from anything that looks like it needs to be protected against an alien ship crash-landing at terminal velocity or higher. (She's certain it's higher. Probably MUCH higher.) Failing that, wrestling their course upwards even a little bit more - a degree, a fraction of a degree, *anything* that might make the ensuing impact just a little bit more survivable.

There's one other thing she can think of trying to do, and she tries splitting her attention enough to do it - but the wind is beyond her grasp right now. The air around the ship isn't so much 'wind' as 'plasma' right now, and she has yet to meet the magical girl with that kind of plasma as *her* element.

And she's still wrestling with the controls when even the steering stops giving any sign of responding. That's the point at which she abandons the controls, still clutching the shard of crystal which had served as an improvised joystick, and plunges into the hug which offers any hope of protection. The last time she'd hugged Garnet, just after the Gem's rescue and rebirth, was out of relief and joy; this hug is one of sheer terror and desperation, but she doesn't shrink from it.

If anyone can hear her whisper at that point, they can hear the words of a frantic prayer.

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

Mikoto tries to support Mai up - but it's hard, when they're both injured. Garnet solves the problem quite handily, though Mikoto, for her part, stiffens as the stretched hand comes towards them.

As if she's half expecting an attack.

What a strange reaction which she will absolutely not explain in this moment.

As they come into the group hug, Mikoto plants her feet on the flat of Miroku's blade, to - again - avoid unfortunate incidents. (No one would accept 'Endo fell on my sword,' as convenient as that would be.) Her other arm is still around Mai - she's not letting go, even if they are locked in Garnet's unsettling embrace.

"Mai..." Mikoto says, and it's concern and it's sadness and it's acknowledgement of all the terrible things which have happened to her in space. "We'll be okay, Mai..."

They have Lancelot's shield, brought to bear right now to protect Mai and Mikoto. They have Steven's shield, surely. They have Mai's barriers, if she still has the energy to summon them. They have Garnet's arms, wrapped tight. They have so many things they can use to help them, in this moment.

Mikoto, on her part, can offer nothing. She is not a shield, but a blade.

But they have to be okay. Because if they're not... because if Mai gets hurt, or killed, because of her...

... she hides her face against Mai's side, shivering against some unspoken thought.

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

Flappy is squawking intermittently. It's like a beacon, on and then off. "Flappy! Come on!" Cure Bloom whines, as she fumbles with her actual phone. Her lips turn in with worry. "I can't AHHHHHHHHelp it-lapi!! I AHHHHH sense something AHHHHHHH terrible-lapi!!"

Cure Bloom watches the text from Buki flash across her screen, but has to thumb the screen off and tuck it back into her outfit's pouch, behind the Mix Commune itself. She stares in worry upward for a time before Egret suddenly yanks her. "Huh!?" she yelps, and then realizes they are like in the process of exploding. Saki is very good at focus, sometimes.

Flappy yelps again.

Cure Bloom grips Egret tighter as she joins her partner in the shielding embrace...and tighter yet.

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

Steven's phone finally chimes in with a slew of texts. "Connie!" he exclains, furiously typing back. He too, attempts to send, but it does not function. "UGH, I will have to talk to her when I get back." He... he has no idea what he will say. This was so dangerous. It would worry her horribly if he did. Oh, man...


"What was that?!" Steven cries out. There are malfunctions and klaxions going off all over! "Oh no! Lapis! She's still in a cell! We have to save her!" Garnet's response garners sadness and fear in his face. He made a promise... that he can't keep...

The earth looms on the approach, swiftly closing the distance. He can only look to those assembled. In this moment, he is most happy to be here in this moment with his loving family.

But this can't be how this ends...! Not like this!

A noble knight that stands against evil with bow in hand.

A duelist whom draws her sword to claim the throne for a better world.

A songstress whose dirge is the bane of evil.

"Is there anything we can do?!" Steven asks Garnet, looking up at her.

A loung lady that brandishes cleansing flame to cull the wicked.

A warrior with sword of black that cuts her enemies down.

A cool knight that stops evil where it stands.

"It can't end like this! I refuse!" Steven shouts, shutting his eyes tight.

A pair of Pretty Cure that let nothing take their happiness away.

A young man, with intelligent sword in hand, is an inspiration to those defenseless.

A ninja who wields abilities for good most miraculous.

"I wont...! I...!"

A young lady who almost gave everything to save her friends.


A pair of senshi who fought so hard for the planet earth.


A senshi that represents love and justice, and one looked up to as a role model.

Mere moments exist before impact.


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

There is a titanic crash--

--but it all sounds just a little bit muted.

And it FEELS like being caught in midair and lowered, very gently, to the ground.

Then it is very dark.


That would be Lion, faithful and roseate. Boulders go flying everywhere with the strength of his voice, pouring off the group and letting the light of the early morning shine in. Now, it is very pink -- the bubble shield of Steven Universe, that perfect embodiment of his love for them all, his absolute need to protect them, has surrounded the huddle, containing everyone at its bottom. Beyond it is Tokyo Bay.

Beyond it isn't much in the way of the Hand Ship; not even little chunks. It must have essentially all burnt up in atmosphere.

The immediate threat survived, the shield wavers and dematerializes.

"Nice one," smiles Garnet, returning her arms to normal size after a final, motherly squeeze of the entire group at once--

--when more boulders crash.

"UGH," grunts Jasper, tossing chunks of the Tokyo shoreline off of herself. She looks much the worse for wear, which is to say that she's still terrifying. Huge, strong. She takes in a few deep breaths of air, then -- thank god -- collapses to her knees on the beach.

But her head raises, thick white hair spilling around her face -- which is furious, dark with hate, bright with yellow eyes and the yellow Gem which is her nose. Her teeth grind, and then she spits, at the group in general but Garnet in particular: "DON'T THINK YOU'VE WON."

She staggers back up to her feet. "You only beat me -- 'cause you're a fusion! If I had someone to fuse with I'd--"

Even more boulders shift. Jasper looks over, incredulous. "Huh?"

Lapis, the water witch, emerges from the rubble. "Ugh!" She immediately falls to her hands and knees-- but despite the obvious pain she's in, and the exhaustion of the ordeal she's just endured, sparkling wings of water emerge from the Gem on her back and she tries to spring off the ground and fly away--

--Jasper grabs her leg, then swings her around so that she's dangling from an arm. Her feet don't even touch the ground.

"Come here, brat! Aw, don't fly off so soon. Lapis," those yellow eyes grow brighter by the second, "Listen: fuse with me!"

The endless blue pools of Lapis' eyes match Jasper for incredulousness. "What?!"

Jasper gets closer, bringing their faces so close together that they almost touch -- then closer soon, engulfing Lapis' chin in a massive hand. The orange one, not the one striped blood-red.

"How long did they keep you trapped here on this miserable hunk of rock?" she reminds her Homeworld counterpart in a low hiss, before letting her go; Lapis falls into a heap, tiny at Jasper's feet.

She doesn't respond, though, which Jasper takes as an invitation to continue, getting louder and more passionate: "These Gems, they're traitors to their Homeworld. They kept you prisoner. They used you. This is your chance to take revenge!"

She leans in over Lapis from behind, croons in her ear.

"Come on -- just -- say -- yes."

OOC: You are too weak to get up and stop this by force, but you have the strength to speak!

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

There is a crash. And then there is...light. A shining pink light, shimmering around the group as they come to a gentle halt on the beach. Mai stares at the bubble as it vanishes, stares at the boy who summoned that barrier...and the fact that he still seems to be existing after all that. "Well done, kid..."

Her voice is honest, not mocking, with just the hint of experience backing up the awe.

But then - another looming figure emerges from the rubble. No longer wielding the weapon that terrified Mikoto so much, but...still looming larger than her, larger than any of them, and all the pain and exhaustion of the last day is reminding Mai that it exists.

She doesn't have context for the argument that erupts as Lapis emerges, and doesn't have the strength to prevent anything. Shifting minutely, Mai tries to put Mikoto behind her, just a little bit, but only words might help here...

...not knowing either woman, not knowing what words would aid or ruin the situation, all Mai can do is hold her tongue.

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

Sailor Moon would like to say she was too brave to scream - but when the crash starts - she absolutely did.

At first the crash is much louder - but then it seems a little more mute than her scream - which dies a moment later. It's dark it's scary but... there's something gentle.

And then a roar - and...

"We... we made it..."

Sailor Moon looks to Steven in wonder as Garnet's arms return to size - and then she kneels down and perhaps for the first time - she offers him a high five. "You did it Steven!"

Fate hangs back with a smile - she's less an outright hugger - but she allows a smile. "You really came through for us... Thank you."

He might take that high five - or not in that moment - but - either way. Soon enough they have worse things to worry about - much worse - as Jasper shows she's here.

Sailor Moon shrieks again.

Whereas Fate looks aghast. As she tries to bring up Bardiche, and instead sinks to a knee. Looking on in abject horror. Swallowing. Sailor Moon doesn't know what to make of this - she doesn't even know what Fusion is. Or who this woman in blue is.

But Fate - Fate speaks out. "Lapis no - please! Don't let her use you like this."

But at the same time - she feels bad - guilty - because if it were Precia asking for Fate to come over to her right this minute...

She'd be hard pressed to say no.

"Please... I know it's hard... however you feel can't be simple..."

It's in this moment that she knows that maybe she doesn't know how Lapis feels at all. There's so much that happened. She regathers herself to say something else looking on her with scarlet eyes that just want so badly for this to turn out in a way other than what's unfolding. "... but... you wanted to escape... to get away... this can't be what you wanted to escape to..."

Her voice breaks a little... "... Please say no."

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

Pink. There is a LOT of Pink. Lancelot blinks and groans, his muscles feeling sore, and his hands absolutely throbbing. Which is when rubble shifts again. He summons his sword which snaps into being and he tries to get to his feet, but the best he can do, is a knee, and he shakes from strain at that. He grits his teeth, but holds his shield in front of him, Mai and Mikoto. He has no idea what's going on. He knows Jasper is the bad guy who battled Garnet, but the blue girl ... Nothing.

"Hey!" He says through gritted teeth. "Come over here and fight me. I gotta sword. I can fight!" No he can't. But maybe he can buy like five seconds for somebody to blast Jasper into oblivion. Or maybe another piece of the ship will fall on her head. Stranger things have happened.

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


"Ah?" Chibi-Usa blinks, but she can't see through everyone. She can't see much of any of this, just feel the warmth of people present, feel the magic happening... until things come to a stop. She blinks, and looks up, peering with red eyes curiously around her until she sees Jasper and those eyes widen. "She--"

Chibi-Usa stumbles backward, and then looks to Lapis in surprise, looks to the two of them. "W-what's...?"

She never quite made it to standing, just scooting back on all fours, watching the unfolding drama anxiously.

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

The descent is...

Not as bad as it could have. It feels muted, and there is a roar-- an unfamiliar roar to Shigure, which provokes panic... but the pink bubble of Steven's shield is comforting, as they, huddled, manage to surface back onto Earth.

She's not really sure where 'mom I went to outer space' ranks on the wrath-o-meter, as far as Shiratsuyu Narumi is concerned.

It's not really her priority at present, though... she slumps and murmurs, "Don't do this..." she whispers. "She's... not someone to be trusted..."

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


Egret's voice is drowned out, ultimately, as the crash slams into the ground. Boulders fly, and the pink shield saves them -- even as the Hand Ship falls apart around them. The Cure slams into the ground and slides. She lets out a long, shaking breath -- and looks up, in time to see more boulders crash down. Her eyes meet Jasper, and she hesitates for a moment. Another fight, already? Before they even reach Jindai?

Her eyes narrow, before she calls out: "Don't! You don't have to do this...!"

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

The Inner Senshi aren't quite battle-ready yet - and won't be for a while - but they do recognize the threat that's here - and some sense that a bigger threat is unfolding even if they're not sure what's going on. As Chibi-Usa stumbles - Sailor Mars catches her.

Bent down just enough to grab her hands as she stands between her and Jasper. Whereas Jupiter and Venus stand in front of Moon arm to arm in their own version of a barrier...

They're not ready for a fight - but they know their duty well.

But there's something deeper than duty at play here of course. Something that went far beyond that.

They may not be able to fight but they'll be damned if they let anyone touch Usagi Tsukino or Chibi-Usa Tsukino right now.

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

It seems like a lot of unavoidable tragedies happen to Mikoto in space. Yet again, all she can do is flinch in anticipation of the impact. But this time, she has Mai. This time - she relies on Mai.

This time, she doesn't look, because the impact comes as she's hiding her face. What a strange luxury.

Except - there's no violent crash. They don't go flying. They aren't crushed by debris. They're... lowered. Mikoto looks up, blinking, as the roar sends rubble flying, revealing their translucent protection. "Lion!" She chirps, happily - looks to Steven, blinking, as if to ask why his cat can do that.

But the shield fades, and everyone compliments him, and all Mikoto can think is to add: "Steven saved me, again..."

By the appreciative tone, it's not the first time. By her count - it's the fourth. Shielding them on the beach, rescuing them from their prison, shielding her from that gigantic industrial destabiliser, and now...

"... everyone... everyone's okay 'cause Steven did it." She can't manage her usual enthusiastic volume, after everything that's happened. But she seems entirely convinced.

The moment doesn't last.

Mai tries to shift Mikoto behind her, but Mikoto isn't terrified, any more, when Jasper pulls herself so impossibly from the rock. She snarls, stiff and bristling, her one-handed grip on her greatsword tightening. She doesn't have her destabiliser any more. Mikoto will - Mikoto will -

- but her breath comes sharp and pained as she tries to rise up, and she sinks back down again.

"... I can't," she whispers, hoarse, to Mai and Lancelot. There is such bitterness, in those words. She knows she must - but she is tired and hungry and terrorised and even now they are home Dark Fall is attacking and even Mikoto Minagi has limits, eventually, after so long.

So she takes another breath, another. Looks to Lapis, to Jasper.

Fusion. She's seen it twice, now. They become larger, stronger -

There has to be something she can do. There has to be something even she can do!

"Revenge won't make it better!" Mikoto cries out, desperately, clawing the words from her memory. "Sometimes it makes it so much worse!"

She doesn't completely believe it. She can't. But it's all she can think of, in this moment. The words of a precious person, a person she trusts. The words of someone who might know better.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Surely the entrance to the afterlife isn't guarded by a lion, thinks the Magic Knight of Wind. Also, she's in just enough pain that she's pretty sure she isn't actually dead. She opens one eye, then the other, taking in her surroundings - the pink bubble which saved them from the ravages of impact, the shape of Lion outside before the bubble abates, the -


And Lapis.

"I only just learned about fusion, Jasper-san," the Wind Knight says wearily. "But I *still* think I understand it more than you. Fusing with Lapis-san under the circumstances you're pushing for ... an exercise of a stronger will against a reluctant one ... you wouldn't be stronger than Garnet-san. You'd be even weaker than you were when you clashed with her last."

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

Brace for impact indeed. That weightless feeling, and then darkness.

Kasagami Araki looks out of the pink tinged bubble, notes it's source, and then practically melts into the hug of Garnet, Sourisi, and anyone else nearby. She's alive. Pluto's alive. They're all alive and on Earth again.

Pride is out the window here, the young woman laughing half deliriously while shedding tears of joy. She wants to kiss the sand, run her toes through it.

Jasper happens. Her hands go for her blade, she works herself into a defensive position and then? Her knees give out. She coughs, choking down a scream as her arm burns while her legs feel like jelly. Breath comes out fast as she turns her good eye to Lapis especially. Words echo around her.

"I don't know who you are, but do you really think that woman has your own best intentions in mind? Sounds to me she wants to use you." Comes Kassie bitterly. She knows well that tone of voice, of wanting to control and dominate. It's spat from her own lips not so very long ago.

Her body wavers. But her gaze is unfaltering, even as her mind swims and vision has black spots.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo's eyes squeeze shut tight. About as tight as he holds on to Stern, and Garnet, and everyone else that's clustered in the bridge. Earth is approaching very fast, and his heart is beating equally so. He has only a few seconds, and then...the crash.

He's surprised, when he opens his eyes again. Surprised that he's still there, along with everyone else. Surprised at the pink light, coming from Steven Universe. "Steven!" He exclaims, in what seems to be becoming a regular occurrence. "Yaaa-you're amazing!"

And then there's Jasper, across the beach, and Endo is flat and unable to do much about it. The sight of the yellow gem moving toward the other makes him grunt and wiggle in effort to respond to do something, but all he can do is plead: "Hey! Don't listen to her!"

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

The roar of Lion and boulders impacting the beach shows that somehow they're all still alive. All things to Steven and Garnet.

Breaking free of the hug and slumping down to the sands, she can only stare incredulously at Jasper as she makes her appearence, mental exhaustion and all the many near misses with death causing a roaring sound to drown out what Jasper may be saying to the blue Gem. Does Jasper have any limits to the abuse she could take?!

But she doesn't need to hear to be able to read lips, and icy cold flows down her spine as Jasper ask for fusion.

"No! Whatever she wants, whatever she's offering, don't do it!" Her head drops slowly, and she struggles not to cry. "Please..."

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

He remembers feeling his gem go off. But then everything went black. For a few moments. He thought he was dead. Time stood still. Perhaps this is what retreating into a Gem felt like? It hasn't happened to him before. He doesn't even know if it can happen to him.

AThe destruction of rock and debris from a familiar sonic roar answers if he is alive or not. "Lion!" The shield pops and fades, and the boy exhales heavily. He is worn out now. "We made it! We did it!" he says, tirely. THe scent of the beach air is so very welcoming. "G-Garnet, you're a fusion?!" he suddenly asks, starry-eyed and full of wonder. "That's amazing!" He has so many questions!

"I couldn't leave everyone to just crash!" Steven says toward Mai. "Besides, you came to rescue us. Thank you so much!" Sailor Moon addresses him, and Steven definitely raises a hand to accept that high five! "Thank you for everything, Sailor Moon! You really let that Rubeus guy have it!" Fate in turn gets a smile as well. "I had to help. I don't have cool lasers and stuff, but I do have good friends."

The boy looks to Mikoto. "No way. We did it," he says, offering her a kind smile. "Only cause I got friends liky you!" is offer to Endo." THis was definitely a happy ending.

Then the worst possible thing happens. Jasper shows back up. The boy recoils back toward Garnet. "She's still going?!" That is definitely a warrior. She survived a crash. But she isn't the only one. Lapis emerges from the rubble as well, having survived. Jasper is too quick on the draw, and quickly captures her. "Wh... no!"

"No..." Steven lurches forward to run to her aid, but he can't move hardly at all. That last Bubble Shield too everything he had. The boy looks to Lapis. The times they shared. The mirror. The ocean. His eyes say far more than his words ever could. Fear and desperation for her sake and hers alone find home in the wide eyed look he gives her.

"Lapis... don't do it...!"

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

The collision slams Cure Bloom and Cure Egret down before they can rally up their own shield, but Steven works his wonders of his own will. Sadly, Cure Bloom does not have a great opportunity to be amazed by this because she becomes intimately familiar with a beach she already knows pretty well. "Egret!" she calls, as forces separate them.


She groans, her limbs aching. She was tired before, but absorbing all this punishment is taking its toll on her. She levers up onto her elbows, half-conscious. Jasper's unexpected revival sees her struggle to draw in even more power, to force herself up. But she feels hollow, a horrible sensation of overstrain.

Nothing comes. Her hand reaches slowly for Egret, that old familiar grasp, but she knows she won't make it. She remembers Lapis, from long before. The thought of that poor soul falling into Jasper's hands this way...

"This isn't...this isn't what you want," Bloom croaks out, dizzy.

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

Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl cannot even summon their weapons, but nevertheless they tighten formation around Steven.

It's a long moment.

Lapis' expression is unimaginably bleak.

Distance -- time -- tragedy -- they all hang over her like a shadow. Except that there's an actual shadow hanging over her, and her name is Jasper and she embodies a new opportunity to embrace all tree.

Her thin shoulders slump.

But near-strangers -- and the only friend she has on Earth -- call out to her. She's been staring past them, but gradually focus infects her expression, and she stares at them instead.

They speak of escape.

They speak of want.

They speak of choice.

They speak of trust.

They speak of risk.

They speak of using, and of being used.

One of them doesn't hardly even speak at all.

He just looks at her.

And she looks back.

Lapis sees Steven and his friends.

And she feels Jasper behind her. Jasper's eagerness. Jasper's fury. Jasper's desperation. Jasper's... danger. That is what it is. Peril of the highest order, waiting to explode.

Her brows meet over her nose... with the intensity and determination of a glare.

She turns and silently offers Jasper her hand, her expression not softening as their eyes meet -- and Jasper's smile widens even more grotesquely than it has up until now.

BGM: Collusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ng8jr-S5m8

It happens quickly. Their dance is nothing like Ruby and Sapphire's; its antithesis, if anything. Jasper puppets a limp Lapis, in total control of her spins and twirls, and the last anything sees of her is -- just as they're turning into that now-familiar white light -- her grinning face, as she looks up at the group.

Look at us, Jasper invites. Look at me.

And look at what we're going to become.

It rises -- grows and grows and grows, expands, stretches, one arm, another... another... another...

Six in all -- no legs. Or maybe they're all legs; she's standing on them like a massive insect. Garnet, the tallest in the huddle, comes up no higher than her wrist.

And size isn't everything, as magical girls know all too well; they've defeated monsters this size before, even if she's on the very upper end of that scale. But strength -- raw, untethered power rolls off of her, wholly different from that of the Black Crystal. Wild. Furious. It isn't an absence.

BGM: Malachite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6LqNCET0dc

Malachite is a presence.

Jasper's tattoos have lost their redness, becoming a shadow across the vivid teal -- of the fusion's skin. Her four(!) eyes are the same color, with beady black pupils that fixate with delight upon the tiny ants before her, as she starts to laugh and laugh, feeling the limits of this new body. It widens her mouth, displaying fangs, while her hair -- much shorter than Jasper's, but still recognizably that thick white mane, only now despite the style there's so much more of it, because there's so much more of her...

Still, she is Jasper no longer, as she raises her torso -- Lapis' halter top style evident -- and, still laughing, summons a huge piece of Tokyo Bay above the group -- just like Lapis once did. Lapis could control the whole ocean. What can this being do?

The bay follows her hand's contours, matching it unconsciously but perfectly, as she spreads her fingers wide, about to squash everyone flat.

And she's still laughing, laughing, laughing, it's Jasper's laughter but bigger--


The watery hand tightens -- on Malachite's wrist. It shifts instantly into a liquid manacle, attached to liquid chains, attached to...

...the entire ocean...

And there's another. And another. "Ugh!" Chains cross her chest, too, in a vicious X that jerk her whole body backwards, away from the group. She grunts involuntarily.

Malachite's expression is confused. Alarmed. She groans and strains against her bonds.

"Hnnnng-- what are you doing?!"

The expression becomes more confusing as it shifts -- it's amazing how well it can capture which of them is speaking, solely from the changes in the eyes -- to Lapis'.

She is vexed.

She is done.

"I'm done," Lapis announces, angrily, "Being everyone's prisoner. Now you're my prisoner!"

The last of Malachite's unchained legs, aren't.

"And I'm never letting you go!"

The chains drag this vast monster into the water until only her face is visible -- there on the surface, it starts to split, four eyes staying four but somehow becoming two sets.

"Let's stay on this miserable planet --" Lapis is still in control, it's easy to hear it in the voice, "--together!"

They merge again, fully, into one being -- and they're gone.

A little bit of wind blows down the beach.

"Yikes," Garnet deadpans. "They are really bad for each other."

...and the phones go off again. A mix of alarms and blares. Their news is itself somewhat alarming -- there are a couple pictures taken of the destruction at Jindai, it looks ugly. There is some blood in that soil, and there was a lot of fire.

But it, too, is over, the brief texts variously explain, and -- just barely -- that sanctum of the World Tree somehow remains intact, though some of the warriors defending it are less so.