2018-08-18 - Childrens' Day Calamity

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Childrens' Day Calamity!

The Kids' Olympics is interrupted by the Black Moon Clan.


Akko Kagari, Kasagami Araki, Fuu Hououji, Usagi Tsukino, Mai Tokiha, Steven Universe, Chibi-Usa Tsukino, Setsuna Meioh, Nori Ankou, Mikoto Minagi

NPCs: Esmeraude, Wiseman


Ajinomoto Stadium

OOC - IC Date:

08-18-2018 - 05-05-2015

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> We Will Rock You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEcCYpbYMJ4

Ajinomoto Stadium hosts some of the hottest soccer games in the world; it also boasts one of the finest flea markets, on days off.

Today it feels like something in between. It's organized chaos, like a flea market. But it's still sports, to be sure.

It's also Children's Day, so from every conceivable pole, post and ledge hang fabulous carp sock-kites in a rainbow of colors. The weather is cooperating, a sunny late-spring blue without quite the endless depth of high summer, so it's as though these fabric fish comprise a seascape school in the sky. Occasional passing breezes make them pop and wiggle, and they alone provide enough spectacle that quite a few passerby are getting their cell phones out to take pictures.

But there's more spectacle to be had.

Only the first few rows of bleachers are full, and far more people are standing-room-only down on the edges of the field itself. This makes sense, because the field is packed with a solid dozen track-and-field events simultaneously, and it's hard to see whoever you're here to see from all the way back in the stands. Easier to follow them along the periphery.

There are sprints and there are relays, there are long jumps -- though not pole vaults. Not at the Kids' Olympics, which is for elementary school students only; the biggest hazard allowed them is a very tightly monitored miniature-shotput area. There is also a set of very small hurdles on one part of the track.

The Kids' Olympics are a curious collision of the very competitive and the completely casual. Any child can participate, with their parents' permission and a waiver form signed, so it's much less pressure than school sports, and a much wider spectrum of athleticism. Many of the finest prodigy athletes are a little too tightly managed to be here, though a few have had their way. And many kids pounding their way happily (or reluctantly) down the track might not otherwise have an opportunity to compete in such a fabulous setting at all.

Mostly they wear their schools' gym uniforms, but a few have personal athleticwear (some beautifully designed, some... less so).

The parents run a gamut of behavior almost as wide as the kids themselves. Some made their kids participate, while others had to be begged to bring them at all, and everything in between. Some really care about the outcome, perhaps too much; some are surreptitiously tapping into their phones; some are mostly looking forward to taking everyone out to ice cream in an hour or two.

Overall, however, spirits are high. Parents gleefully cheer on their kids, their friends' kids, their kids' friends and classmates, and so forth. Older children are also present, many of them siblings with their families but also quite a few volunteers.

For example, the Infinity Institute Computer Club, led by the silver-haired, blue-bereted, smiling Yui Bidou, is handing out free, experimental FitBit-like bracelets made by the club to the participants of each event when it concludes. Like the carp kites, they come in a rainbow of colors, and the more prodigious athletes are beginning to sport whole collections of the little, occasionally softly chiming heart rate monitors up and down their arms.

Volunteers are also starting races (the 50 yard dash is about to begin), measuring jump lengths, and perhaps most dangerously of all, keeping track of all those little metal shotputs. Though the croquet event is almost as hazardous to chaperone. Besides the vagaries of sports equipment, there is also the matter of enforcing fairness and, of course, providing sports drinks and celebration at the finish line.

OOC: Most of you are too old to compete, but if that's the case, you can certainly volunteer or cheer people on. If you have an
elementary school NPC in your family/theme you are wholeheartedly welcome to feature them as well! Feel free to roll out a nice
little vignette of an event that you are, in some way, involved with -- and feel free to collaborate with others to share that
event as well!

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Up in the stands, Lotte Jansson watches the proceedings of the Kids Olympics with wide eyes. Nevermind that her eyes always look a little wide: those coke bottle glasses make them look that way, but there is an undeniable eagerness. Her hands are clasped, and she wears the Infinity middle schooler uniform, looking down at the field.

"This is so wonderful! The chance for families to come together and children to experience an event like this," she says. "I always wanted to come see this, ever since I arrived in Japan. Akko, I am surprised you came... after all..."

Lotte sighs, wistfully. "...You must have done things like this, in your hometown! And it didn't snow then. But, Sucy--" She blinks. "--I'm... still a little surprised you came..."

She looks to the left. There is an Atsuko Kagari-shaped empty space there. "Akko...?"

Then, to the right. There is a Sucy Manbavaran-shaped empty space there. "...Sucy...?"


"...Sucy?" Akko says, quietly, standing next to her friend. She looks down at the spot of ground that her purple-haired friend is crouched over. A few slots of light, shining down from the gaps in the bleachers above, fall down on her head. It gives an effect like she is standing behind bars.

She does not, in any way, consider this foreboding.

"This is a kinda funny way to appreciate little kids competing at stuff!" Akko declares, a little too loudly. Her expression screws up. "Why are we down here?"

"Gweh heh heh..." Sucy reaches down, next to a spot where a steel beam that supports the bleachers is poked into the ground. There, a fat, pale grey toadstool with a dark green cap has sprouted from the earth. Sucy sniffs it. "Soccer player sweat makes them extra potent..."

"...eeeeewwwwwww," Akko groans.

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

Why is Kasagami Araki, Kendo Captain of Ohtori, here? To help keep a bunch of young budding athletes from getting hurt! While if anyone asks her first response is 'representing the Kendo Club', the 'Kids Olympics' black shirt and red and white striped athletics pants show her enthusiasm as she stands in (partial) dominion over the shotput goings on.

She is smiling way, way too contentedly as she watches one of the younger kids pull off a rather decent shotput spin-and-toss, just like she'd coached anyone who'd needed it before the shenanigans. Blowing a whistle, she claps her hands.

"Good, good! That's right, put your back into it! Couldn't have done it better myself, kiddo!" Encourages the young woman, pride shining in her voice for the young boy. A keen eye keeps a watch on both distances as they're being put down and where these shotput are landing just in case a mis-throw ends up too close to another one of the junior athletes on display!

One of the other volunteers tending to the area grabs the shotput, clearing it. Kassie's voice once again rings out, and she winks into the crowd as if giving a not-so-subtle cue.

"Come on, who's next, huh? Step right up, show all of Tokyo who will be the RISING STARS and CHAMPIONS OF ATHLETIC ASCENDENCY! Today, tossing metal, tomorrow, athletic scholarships and fame all across Japan!" Kassie strikes a bombastic pose, one fist pumped into the air. Most of the kids break out into giggles and a few into little balled fistpumps!

In the crowds, the plain salaryman Saito Araki sighs, waves a flag with a deadpan expression as his other hand works a camera on cue.

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

Track and field has never really been Fuu's thing; she much prefers the physically-sedate but mentally and spiritually demanding discipline of archery. But that doesn't stop her from coming out to support others, whether it's cheering for the underclassmen from Infinity's elementary division, or helping her closer cohorts with more direct forms of support.

Such as, in today's case, helping to distribute those monitoring bracelets. Fuu is more than happy to provide a quick demonstration of how the bracelets should be worn and used, as well; she hasn't really had a chance to scrutinize how the devices work, but the basic operation shouldn't be too difficult. Even grown-up FitBit-type watches aren't all *that* complicated, from what (little) Fuu's seen of them.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Shingo Tsukino is in his gym uniform, doing some leg stretches. A headband tied in his messy hair. Once he's finished, he moves over to stand near his cousin. "Feels just like a sports festival. Doubt it'll be as exciting as last year's sports festival though. I don't think you can top an actual terrorist attack when it comes to mixing things up."

He says as he offers the pink-haired girl a slip of gum. Before leaning over to whisper, "Believe it or not in all that excitement I actually got to meet Sailor Moon. And she was just as cool as..." Which is when the two of them feel a familiar cheering.

"GANBATTE CHIBI-USA! GANBATTE SHINGO!" Cut to Usagi Tsukino. Who is standing on the railing that divides the spectators with the participants. She's currently in khaki shorts and a light pink top with a light violet jacket.

Also she's holding two paper hand fans with pink bunnies on them, waving them way too enthusiastically from side to side. Hopping from one foot to another.

Shingo slaps a hand to his forehead, "Nnngh. She is so embarrassing. I hope none of our classmates catch what an uncool sister I've g-"

That's the same moment that Usagi Tsukino who is alternating between "CHIBI-USA!" and "SHINGO!" - overbalances clumsily. And arms spiralling- "Whuh-WhoawhoawhoaNO!" starts to fall backwards off the railing. Crashing into other spectators and forming a pileup of limbs and tears.

Shingo who is used to his sibling's clumsiness just chortles a little, "Well that takes care of that. Good thing too as my event's starting. Wish me luck!"

On the way over one of his friends, Mika calls on him not to forget his monitoring bracelet. So he doubles back to get one from Fuu.

Shingo Tsukino snatches a monitoring bracelet from Fuu and puts it on, "Yeah yeah - I've got it." Dismissing the explanation as he runs over to line up for his relay.

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

The sun's shining, the wind's blowing, the crowds are cheering, and Mai Tokiha is in the stands for the Children's Day festivities.

To some degree, the Kids' Olympics are something of an unfamiliar experience for her. It's been a long while since she was of an age to take part herself, and the years when she was were...not the best time to ask to join in on the festivities. A few years after that, maybe - but Takumi was never in good enough health to be out running like the gradeschoolers running amok. Year after year went by, with the Tokiha Children's Day celebrations being...kind of quiet compared to everything else going on.

...it is what it is.

She's here now, up in the stands, shading her eyes to peer down on the field. A lot of events going on, a lot of chaos, and she's just enjoying the sight of people making the most of their youths. She doesn't exactly have a horse in this race per se...but her eyes keep drifting to the relay race tracks, somewhere near the second switching point.

While spring might still be in full swing, the sun's bright and these kinds of activities might be hard for the children out there. The volunteers on duty seem to be doing a good job maintaining safety and carrying refreshments around to those in need. Mai's eyes seek out a particular brown-haired boy, moving cautiously himself but seeming to have a knack for finding those junior athletes who are tending toward distress.

Back up in the stands, Mai leans back, taking in the clear blue sky. It's a wonderful day for this, and even with school looming in a few days it's nice to just....be here. Even if it's a little odd. "...so Takumi's watching them, and I'm watching Takumi. Somehow I don't think that's how sitting in the stands is supposed to go..."

Mai rummages in her bag for a moment, taking out a bottle of homemade barley tea as loud cheers and a crash resound from not too far off. She can't help but laugh as she removes the cap. "...but I'm fine enjoying all this by proxy. How about you, Mikoto - see anyone you want to cheer on?" Holding out the bottle to her companion, she offers refreshment with a question.

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


"The kids at school told me about it!"

A voice, high of pitch due to excitement comes partly muffled through a bathroom door. "Its gonna be lots of fun! Theres also sports there, and it is a festival for kids! Can you believe that?!"

"I certainly can," Comes a prim and proper voice from outside the door. A woman, slender and pale. Pearl. "Tokyo, and Japan as a whole has a rich heritage that spans many generations! It is fascinating to research where each event stems--"

A gargling noise comes from the bathroom. Pearl holds her brow. "Are you even listening?"

"Yeah, generations and festivals and stuff!" comes after a spitting sound. The door bursts open. A boy with a sparkling smile and fluffy, ruffle-able hair emerges. "Gotta go! Theres shopping and games to do!" And the boy takes off.

"Be careful, and use some sunscreen!" Shouts the motherly figure.


Sadly, they couldn't make it. Ever since the events recently past, Garnet has been on high alert, and Pearl has been set to guard the temple and stay close to a Warp Pad, just to be safe. But that's okay! He can take pictures! Oh which he is taking many, of things both neat, and some that are totally uninteresting. Well, to a normal person.

"Whooooaaahhh... Look at all the kites! Heh heh heh...!" He takes a good half a dozen pictures for the family to check out. The boy starts to check out the flea market, but a timer goes off on his phone. THere was somewhere he had to be. And he was even considering buying a cool carp kite, too! "Ah... don't go anywhere! Just keep hangin' out!" he says cleverly to a shiny gold carp kite as he takes off for the field.


"I'm here!" Steven calls out, hustling his little way over to the shotput area. Someone had called for him to help, and he wasn't going to disappoint! "I'm... here... hoo!" the boy manages between gasps from running. "So... whats up Kasagami? How you doing?" he can't help but ask as he eyes those small metal balls. He has messed with one before, they are deceptively heavy.

"Want me to get towels, or get the metal thingies, or help players get motivated?" What was there really for him to do, anyway? Why did Kassie call him to help?

Maybe she just wanted someone to hang out with! THat is a legitimate reason to call. As Steven ponders, he eyes those runners. He does not envy them. Definitely respects them though!

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Lotte looks sideways back and forth, several times, a little frantically which each successive turn of her head. "Akko! Sucy!" she calls out. "Wh-where did the two of you go!? Where--aaaah I didn't mean that kind of Swedish meatballs when I asked for them in my nightly prayers!"

Lotte's panicked whine echoes out, right until the back of Usagi Tsukino's head knocks her flat on her back.

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

Did someone say... elementary schoolers?

Chibi-Usa isn't exactly the darling of Juuban's elementary athletics department or anything, but a bright day amidst happy people, a day when she can be out...

The crowds make her only a little nervous, out of habit. She wishes that she could bring someone. ...But on the other hand, she didn't come alone, at least--

She's hanging out with Shingo at the moment, in pink sweats because of course she is, with a red shirt under her jacket. It's a cute outfit. ...But she's not stretching at the moment. "Last year's?" Chibi-Usa asks, tilting her head. Terrorist attack, huh? But--

"Ooh, Sailor Moon, huh?" Chibi-Usa says, with a conspiratorial grin. But before she can answer--

Usagi cheers down at them, and Chibi-Usa turns away to cover her laugh as Shingo slaps his forehead. Because she's a little troll, she doesn't even hint at her knowledge of Sailor Moon's identity. Instead she sighs audibly. "yeah," she agrees. "it's pretty--"

Usagi falls. Chibi-Usa stops, sighs--facepalms. "Usagi..." Beat, "Oh, good luck!!"

Chibi-Usa has an event to get to, herself. ...But she pauses before she does, looking back to Usagi for a moment. ...She facepalms again.

"I better get ready, too..." Chibi-Usa sneaaaaks over towards the water to have a little before she gets to running.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

University level studies give Setsuna Meioh leave from the colors of Infinity; Time's Guardian carries a delicate mote of infinity always with her, instead. Today she's opted for springtime simplicity in a white button-up shirt over a pale floral skirt. Irregular bangles slide up her forearm, metal chiming, as she shades dark eyes from the pale blue sky.

She's volunteering with a smile, one which lingers longer than most. The childrens' shrieks and peals of laughter continually renew it. Earlier she sought diversion past the shotput section of the field to share a different sort of smile with Kasagami Araki, and to marvel anew at her enthusiasm.

In specific, Setsuna is currently volunteering at the water station nearest where a certain pink-haired Juuban Elementary student is due to compete. The astrophysics student divides her attention between distributing paper cones of rehydration to thirsty attendees, and scanning the crowd for...

"Small Lady!" The smile wrinkles the corners of her eyes, now. And she has a cool, freshly-poured cone of water to hand, offered to Chibi-Usa. "I can't wait to watch you run. Do you feel ready?" Encouragement warms her face, and she is all ears for Chibi-Usa's answer.

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

Where tears are in the air, who is sure to be found?

A cool hand comes down to grasp at Usagi's forearm, the other hand having been clinging around the railing. "Wah; Usagi-chan," comes the familiar voice of Nori Ankou, "I'm glad to see you too."

NORI ANKOU is wearing an airy white silk vest with a mesh undergarment along with some vented slacks (also white), which is probably really comfortable in the warmth of an outdoor sporting event. The boots are a little odd but maybe there's some kind of contrast here, or maybe this is Nori's forbidden "throwing together the stuff in her closet" technique.

"Are you alright?" Nori asks Lotte. To Usagi she says, "I hope my hat survives."

The hat, a wide-brimmed capeline with some deliberately rotted lace trimming around the fringes, fell off her head when the pileup began, and has caught a merry breeze. It is light enough to have gone flying.

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

It's been an eventful sort of morning, but Mikoto has finally remembered the other reason she was out in Tama, earlier. It was something Mai mentioned over breakfast... about Children's Day.

Takumi was going to be volunteering, so of course Mai was going to be there.

And so - on her own schedule, as cats are wont to do - Mikoto has appeared at the stadium, amongst the hustle and the bustle of so many schoolchildren. It's a strange sort of thing, to see so many kids rushing through events like this, cheered on by such large crowds. Even after so long, seeing things like this...

It's nice. It's exciting!

Luckily, despite being small enough to be mistaken for a middle-schooler now and then, Mikoto has at least grown enough that no one will suggest she's young enough to compete.

She drops in on Mai from the bleachers - quite literally, mind, a leap which might have sent anyone else sprawling. Luckily, Mai is no doubt used to it, especially with the cheerful herald of her name which calls: "Maiii!"

Bright-eyed, Mikoto takes a seat beside Mai, looks out over the stadium. There are an awful lot of people here - but there's Takumi! It's easy to find him, because he's just what Mai is looking at. It's something Mai comes to comment on, in time, and Mikoto nods, with an affirmative grunt. That is, in fact, what's going on here.

Sports aren't the only notable events, of course. There is also Usagi Tsukino, whose familiar voice has Mikoto looking towards her - and tilting her head as the clumsy girl goes crashing down. "Nothing to trip on..." There's a note of bafflement to the observation. Well - at least that strange quiet girl caught her. Even if she couldn't stop her from falling into someone else.

But Mai's happy, and that makes Mikoto smile, too. "Yup!" She nods, firmly, as she takes the bottle and drinks - it's good, and the quality is obvious in her expression. Of course it's good. Mai made it, after all. She passes it back, rubs at her mouth with the back of her hand as she looks over the stadium.

"Look! Steven!" Mikoto calls, pointing him out. There is a note of pause, as she notices a shock of pink hair - the Small Lady Setsuna told her about. She points to her, too, heedless of the disrespect to the motion: "And that's Chibi-Usa!" Of course, Mikoto has never spoken with her. But does it really matter? She's important to Setsuna, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Droid Battle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGauJZDcplM


Ajinomoto has its share of luxury boxes. As the action is clustered down near the field, they are uniformly empty.

All except one, anyway.

A red fur fan snaps closed, as green-opera-gloved fingers drum, boredly, on the railing.

"I know Saphir said that some Crystal Points are places in time rather than space, but... why would this... little competition... be so important to the timeline?" muses the woman, seemingly to herself.

Her shoulders twitch beneath their trench coat as she is unexpectedly answered.

"Time," comes the exhalation, a ghost's sigh on the wind, stirring the lime green hair around her ear, "Is no longer a river... here, it is a reservoir."

The woman whirls to face her sovereign's advisor. Anyone who her Prince trusts most, she does too. Recovering her composure behind her reopened fan, she flutters her eyelashes above its rim.

"How deep," she murmurs to the dubiously-corporeal cloaked figure floating before her, "Wiseman. What would you have me do?"

"A reservoir is dammed," he whispers. "But not all walls can be destroyed by force. Some must be... infected."

His eyes are sparks of light, deep in the cowl, but she can still follow them as they settle upon the emerald statue -- a statue of a beautiful woman, a statue of her -- a gift from Saphir. A tool for an assignment, certainly, but... she prefers to think of it more personally.

"I understand," she agrees. "Never fear, it won't take much to kick over this little anthill."

But he's already gone.



She flings it downwards from on high, and the emerald statue winds up thrust, straight-leg-point-first, into the middle of the pitch, noticeable only for a moment's warning.

Only a moment because it explodes immediately into a pillar of Black Crystal energy, albiet one of limited size; maybe ten feet across. Maybe less. All events -- all participants -- stop, as everyone is distracted by the flash, some more gracefully than others.

Things that aren't tied down -- like various pieces of sports equipment -- start soaring into the dark pillar as though it were a black hole.

"Ohohohohoho!!" laughs the woman, only a shadowy silhouette from up there, backlit by the afternoon sun. "Bathe in darkness, by the will of my Prince -- and me, Lady Esmeraude!"

A moment later she is gone -- and so is the pillar on the field.

But something stirs, within.

"HURT-laaaaah!!" shrieks the monster, naming herself at her moment of birth; womanlike but clearly not organic, she is composed of smooth green 'skin' augmented by a bulwark of stolen sports gear and other handy items. She has a bandolier of sports drinks that fizz ominously. Shotputs comprise all of her joints. Her breastplate is a set of hurdles. Her skirt is layers of soccer netting. She has a vast, vast cape made out of carp kites, each fish's mouth consuming the next one's tail.

HURT-lah. Hurdler.

Her smile has way too many teeth, and she is much too tall -- seven or eight feet, say.

There is an inverted Black Moon on her forehead, of course. Just like Rubeus'.

And she's crowned by Nori's hat, sucked in by the brief vortex. RUDE.

She pulls a pair of starting guns out of holsters on her thighs, spins them like she's a cowboy in the Wild West, then starts firing wildly into the air.

Any kids who hadn't already started to scream and run do so now. Parents do the same, though many of them are running towards the field instead of away from it, for obvious, but very dangerous, reasons.

This is going to be a mess.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into Droid HURTler!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki transforms into Crimson Rose Duelist!
<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Usagi is crying bitter tears as she's picked back up. "Nuh-Nori-chan!" And then she sees the hat flying on the breeze, "Oh - your hat!" A model's hat seems like it's too precious to lose. However then realizing she fell on a girl, she wipes her eyes and- "Ahaha... I'm so sorry." Usagi says as she looks at Lotte's face, and says, "I just got a little into it and-" Seeing her crooked glasses, she holds out both her hands, "-here just let me fix that for you."

She says as she does a quick job straightening it. As gently as if it were Ami Mizuno herself. Because the only time Ami's glasses are ever crooked is if she's been victim to Usagi's clumsiness she's practiced at that. She pats Lotte on the shoulder. "Anyhow um - here..." Usagi thrusts a bunny fan into Lotte's hands, "Please take this as my way of apology! I insist! I've got a hat to chase-"

And chase it she does, or at least tries. Given that she's up against the wind in a crowded stadium.

Shingo on his marks - gets set - go.

With the baton in hand he runs as fast as he possibly can. Faster and faster. Arms pumping until... "Stick! Stick!" He starts to say as he approaches the next runner - which is when, "HURT-Laaaah!!

Shingo starts to slow before he'd almost run into the monster. And then he stops to actually stare for a moment.

Before shouting, "ALL YOURS!" And gives a lazy underhand toss it's way. "STICK!" Before bolting in the opposite direction.

Usagi meanwhile was trying to climb over the railing on the field after the hat during the same thing when...


Suddenly she let's her weight shift backwards in the stands and runs in the opposite direction. But only long enough to hold her compact and...

"Moon Cosmic Power - Make Up!"



Cutting a fierce silhouette, standing back on the railing much less clumsily is a Pretty Guardian of Love and Justice.

"Stealing someone's hat undercuts the pairing of their whole meticulously crafted ensemble! ... And honestly it doesn't add anything to yours either! The only people I can forgive for comitting fashion crimes at a sports competition are moms who have too hard a day to worry about that! Pretty Soldier of Love and Justice: Sailor Moon! And in the Name of the Moon-"

Hand over hand she strikes a fierce pose to point at the Droid, "-I WILL PUNISH YOU!"

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is
Psyched!  Cripple, Diversion, and Exhausted applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa is a girl who can appreciate a good hat. ...But in all the noise? The small pink-haired girl doesn't actually realize that Mikoto is pointing her out, though she has the feeling of being watched. ...But maybe that's just because--

"P--" Chibi-Usa starts to answer immediately, and then thinks better of it, given the lack of uniform... and glances left and right before suddenly being much closer. Did she actually cross the intervening distance? Probably, physics kind of requires it. But nobody could really say when.

"Hi!" she says warmly, and then nods brightly. "Yeah!" she answers. "...Well I think so." She accepts the water in both hands, starting to sip at it already. But the hat--



Chibi-Usa, of all people, recognizes Black Crystal energy immediately. She looks to the laughter, and blinks--before, "Usagi!?' ...She's worried. But then there is a tall, tall monster aleady there, and Chibi-Usa, to perhaps her credit, doesn't scream immediately. She turns to look at Pluto suddenly, worried, and then--


"...Can you help her?" Chibi-Usa asks Pluto, "I'll--I'll find somewhere to hide."

...That's not how fallen hats are supposed to be treated!

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"I-It's okay..." Lotte says. She shakes her head, sitting up straight, and turns to look at Nori. She smiles, her expression gentle, and a little bemused. "My friends took off somewhere and I can't find them, but... this is fun?"

She still sounds a little put-out, but like she is smothering it. She looks to Usagi, and she smiles -- and then smiles a little wider, when she adjusts her crooked glasses. "Thank you so much!"


Then, Lotte snaps her head, to stare towards the monster that appears -- a strange mixture of organic and sporting equipment. Lotte scoots backward, quickly, and lifts her hands up in the air. She shakes her head quickly. "Oh--oh no! What is that?! And--and I don't have my wand, if it would even work this far out--"


Underneath the bleachers, the loud and rapid reports of the starting guns make Akko jump. She leaps and nearly hits her head on the bleacher's top. Her eyes widen, as she looks out through the cracks -- to see HURTler standing out there, in all of her terrible glory. Her jaw opens.

"Sucy!" she says. "I think--I think you should run, okay!?"

Akko holds a hand out to her side. There is a tremor of aquamarine light that snaps out, jagged and flashing into cross-shapes at either end, before it solidifes into a rod of smooth, light brown wood with a glimmer of seven gems in it. She holds the Claiomh Solais tightly, as her dark purple jacket and witch's hat appear on her head.

Teeth grit, a determined look in those red eyes, and then Akko jumps up through a gap in the bleachers -- and lands on the field, Shiny Rod in hand. She lands next to Sailor Moon, sparing her a quick glance, and then looks back at the Droid. "HEY! You shouldn't ruin this! I think you should... COOL OFF!"

She turns the Shiny Rod about, in the air, and she nearly stumbles. Magical light floats away, teal and wonderful, and then spreads out into six beams -- which drop down into the ground. Into the automatic sprinkler system. Six sprinkler heads pop out, whirr, and--

--blast sticky cotton candy out, spraying it at the Droid. Until, of course, the sprinkler heads gum up; the plastic tops fly off, and the candy ends up gumming them up. Akko's eyebrow twitches. "...o-oops."

COMBAT: Akko Kagari transforms into Shiny Akko!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Cotton Candy Sprinklers on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Like a glint of light (Tales of Symphonia OST) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qxt3hLXlic

As Shingo dashes off with his freshly-procured monitoring bracelet, Fuu calls out an encouraging, "Do your best!" - and then something catches her eye. Or she thought it did, anyway, like sunlight glinting off ... something?

She doesn't have time to see what it was, though, because in the next instant, a pillar of darkness erupts out from where that statue did its lawn-dart impression, and between the all-absorbing blackness and the suctioning vortex, a recollection of terror seizes Fuu Hououji as she digs in her heels, leaning away from the pillar and bracing to try and run.

The comparably sudden cessation of that pillar and its vortex leave Fuu stumbling, flailing briefly, before she regains her balance and looks back to see HURTler finish taking form. That sight is enough for Fuu to shut her own internal panic back down, at least - it's not one of those all-consuming gravitic anomalies like the one that nearly destroyed Jindai (... along with the rest of the planet, if not further), but it *is* a monster. In the middle of a festive day of athletics and celebration.

"Please clear the field and take shelter in the stadium concourse!" she calls out for the benefit of children and parents alike. And since she's part of the staff for this event, she starts helping to make sure that the younger children are on their way *away* from the monster who has no business at all being here. Shingo's already bolting for safety, and seems like he might be getting away unscathed; good. She focuses on chivvying other children away, doing what she can to stymie the seeds of panic, a small beacon of calm amidst the chaos.

There's a slowly building anger in her eyes, as well. Out of all the sporting events she's been at when some monster or other servant of dark powers showed up to wreak havoc, one incident in particular stands out in her memory - a baseball game, interrupted by the one who styled himself the Pretty Cure Hunter. A battle in which she was literally powerless - in which she was one of the victims, in fact.

Once there are no more innocent children between Fuu and Hurtler, the bespectacled girl finally turns and runs. She's not trying to escape the stadium herself, just to get out of sight long enough to don her glove-jewel and utter a brief invocation.

"Belief becomes power ... Winds, guide me!"

Whatever cover Fuu took is briefly home to a green-tinged whirlwind, and then Fuu is gone. The Magic Knight of Wind, however, isn't going anywhere - except back into the fray, and she calls out as she runs, "Winds of Admonishment!!" Those words herald *another* whirlwind's formation, this one intended to trap HURTler and hold her still ... perhaps, in the process, aiding Akko's cotton candy confinement to wrap the monster up that much more securely.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly dodges 21 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Cotton Candy Sprinklers, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 8 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is
Psyched!  Cripple and Trap applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kassie's smile only brightens as Steve calls out, arms crossing even as her gaze flits from him back to the next student up. She's as watchful as a hawk despite the joy radiating off of her to be out here helping the kids.

"Doing my duty as the Kendo Club Captain to make sure young athletes perform to the best of their ability while not getting themselves hurt! The pride of Ohtori is on the line, Steve-kun! And now, Juuban's as well! So, today my Bubble Knight, you're charged with helping me keep the kids hydrated and those towels in line. Also...well, those things can be hazardous to us as well, so..." A shotput goes way, way wide.

"Case in point!" Kasagami smartly steps out of the way as a shotput wizzes by way too close to where her head was. She leans in to Steven.

"I appreciate it, Steven. Seeing so many parents watching their kids...let's make sure they all have a wonderful day, okay?" Her face softens as she whispers to her younger friend.

This doesn't stop Kassie from shooting smiles Setsuna's direction, only cementing the idea that volunteering was a good one today!

Which lasts until an emerald statue is tossed onto the field, and the Black Moon makes itself known in the form of Esmeraude. That Black Crystal energy makes Kassie's eyes go wide in recognition and a moment's horror, descending back into narrowed slits as she turns on a dime to face the new threat.

Shaking the cobwebs from her head at the shock of the sudden burst, her gaze is first to the kids. "...Let's do this, Steve-kun." She nods, voice grim with an edge to it. Anger courses through her. She remembers what the other user of that horrible energy helped do out in space.

So her first action is to briefly duck back into the chaos of the fleeing kids, trying to direct them a bit to keep from crashing into them as the shotput-ers run. This just so happens to put her near a fallen croquet mallet, kneeling down to grab as she's briefly obscured.

SNAP. The croquet mallet is missing it's head as crimson runs down her raven locks. The briefest of shines runs along her Rose Signet Ring, and a rosepetal longcoat covers her shoulders and back to flutter dramatically as she once more steps back to the field. She swipes the croquet stick with one hand defensively in the Hurdler's.

"I suppose a monster's place is in a coliseum! But that doesn't excuse ruining a beautiful competition with vibrant young souls, tearing away precious moments from their parents!" Offers the Crimson Rose Duelist.

And then she's tossing a croquet head spitefully at the youma, ready to stand by Steve's side in this injustice against youth athletics!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Kingly Croquet on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori Ankou's hat lands on the head of Hurtler - the menace brought to this world from a distant dark star. (Not the kind of dark she likes. Like, if that's blue dark, this is red dark. There's a spectrum there too. It's underground. You probably haven't seen it.)

Nori Ankou stares dead-on at the youma as it speaks its menace.

"I feel faint," Nori tells Usagi in a tone of flimsy excuse. "I must go take my medicine. Please be safe, Usagi."

Exit... stage right.

AT THE AKAMIRA COMMAND POST which is a glorified name for the small seat that has a large bag that is Mobile Otter Base Otter-One, Nori comes up close and sits down, talking out of the side of her mouth. "I need 'the medicine.'"

Nori extends her hand towards the side of the bag. A small bottle of ibuprofin is put into it.

Nori raises it aloft - and promptly hands it back. "the medicine"


"the pharos, cousin"


La Sirene de Diamant emerges from behind one of the access gates, having taken a long way round to perhaps conceal her identity. She feels an obscure warmth to hear Sailor Moon speak so protectively of that hat, but she is already on the march.

"So," she says to Hurtler, pale eyes gleaming. "Here to make a second try? You know what they call it when you try the same thing over and over, and expect a different result?!"

La Sirene does not explain. Instead she flourishes out one hand, sending a rippling crackle of that clinging abyssal light that hangs to her like an aura forwards - like a single burst of erupting energy at the thing! Maybe it'll knock it down - that would certainly ease things, and la Sirene will not weep if the youma falls down and is set upon by Kasagami, that's for sure.

COMBAT: Nori Ankou transforms into La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Carbonado Kaleidoscope on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Meioh [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa nods, and says she thinks she's ready, and Setsuna gives her a return double-nod, happiness in her voice and her eyes. "You definitely look ready-- oh?"

A very stylish hat sails by.

It is such a lovely day... or it was, right up until the feel of Black Crystal energy slithers across Setsuna's supernatural senses like a shadow interrupting the sun's heat. A sudden stillness comes over her: recognition. Only her eyes move, narrowing to garnet glints.

There, a windmilling flail and a sparkle of tears that could only originate from Usagi Tsukino; and further, there, a familiar dark ponytail atop an athletic young woman. Her future liege and her love are both accounted for; Small Lady's no more than half a heartbeat away.

"Watch out!" Setsuna vaults up through the cloth-wrapped roof of the water booth -- there's a brilliant flare of violet light from overhead, obscured by fluttering cloth -- and Sailor Pluto lands between Chibi-Usa and that eruptive black pillar, boots firmly planted! Her evergreen hair drags, drawn by the summoned gravity, over one shoulder as she looks back, projecting a sentinel's steadiness. Sailor Pluto is also ready, for whatever her brave Small Lady requires.

"As you wish, my Princess. Stay safe." The Garnet Orb gleams; its mistress inclines her head and adds, "I'll come back for you," a promise. Another leap takes her forward, away, toward wildly-fired guns and the sports-coated, unsporting HURT-lah -- and toward Sailor Moon and her challenge.

"Sailor Moon! I'm at your side!" And she is, a slender bulwark in the shape of a senshi with her sacred weapon gleaming. The smile is gone -- Pluto does not often keep those, in battle. But she gives a single nod with an expressionless mouth and sad-angled eyes, and it is not unfriendly.

"And Time is not on yours...!" When turned on the HURT-lah, Pluto's gaze hardens. She raises the Garnet Rod and launches a teardrop-shaped torrent of garnet energy at the youma, an overhanded smash of a serve.

COMBAT: Setsuna Meioh transforms into Sailor Pluto!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Garnet Blast on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 11 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Carbonado Kaleidoscope, taking 16 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Kasagami Araki's Kingly Croquet, taking 13 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Sailor Pluto's Garnet Blast, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

It was nice to catch up with folks after a few days of disconnecting from Secret Gem Stuff. In a nice weathered outing, in the sun, among friends and happy times. "Oh, yeah totally! Bubble Knight?" the boy asks with a raised brow.

Kinda fits.

"Okay, sure thing!" he says, starting to prep complimentary bottles, and make sure those who brought their own were already filled. Towels will be neatly wrapped up, and the boy will don a towel like a cape, because why not?! He is the hydrator! Superhero that keeps people cool! "Heh heh. Sounds good!" he says, passing a bottle along. That reminds him, he needs to do kendo again soon! Perhaps he and Kas--

Oh lord what is that.

"Uh. UHHHHHH!" the fluffy-haired child says, looking toward that black energy piller. It was no doubt the same type of energy used on the hand ship and the... whatever the bigger ship was called! "It's them! I thought we beat them?!" he says towards Kasagami. "Let's whoop her!"

Others arrive quickly, including a familiar Knight, Sirene, and two Senshi. The boy makes sure everyone is fleeing to safety at the shotput course first before turning to the, uh, whoever that woman is. Honestly, the first thing that came to mind with that black energy and color was Peridot. Where was she anyway? She was the only one unaccounted for after it all went down. Hm.

"Hey!" Steven yells, from running against the tide of evacuating civilians, summoning a glorious pink shield. "You can't just mess up a holiday event like this! Especially when it is about children! I take offense to this! I think." A pause. "ANYWAY, how about you pack it in and go away, or else?!"

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used AND STEVEN! on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe neatly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's AND STEVEN!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe
is Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Diversion applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

'Nothing to trip on', Mikoto comments, and Mai can't help but glance over at the commotion. There's...not quite a familiar face, but familiar flailing hair. Mai's only reply to Mikoto is a wordless note of agreement, before returning her attention to the field. Mikoto's brought up a few names familiar enough to seek out, distant though they might be. Taking a sip from the bottle of tea before re-capping it, Mai squints and searches.

It's as she's casting her gaze around that there's a flash - one that sears sight and chills memory. Rubeus might be long gone, but...he wasn't the only one tapping into this darkness. Lady Esmeraude commands attention for but a moment, leaving taunts and a monster in her wake..

For a moment, all Mai can do is stare. The Droid is an utterly bizarre menace, forged of stolen equipment...but it's a danger. A danger to the event - which from the screams and running is already falling into shambles - and a danger to the children and parents who are closest to it. The latter running into harm's way to rescue the former...

But would any of them have stay put?

There's a crumpling sound, and Mai looks at the bottle she's part-crushed before slamming it down into her bag. At a call from her side, Mai turns for a moment, jaw stiff. "Mikoto...I'm going to go help."

She doesn't say a word as to why she's acting. She doesn't utter a syllable to tell Mikoto how to act. She doesn't dare hesitate. She stands, vaulting onto the seat in front of her, and with nails dug into her palms summons the rings of jade and flame that are her Element.

The HiME leaps from the stands, glaring down at HURT-ler with the sun in the sky behind her. From a momentary vantage point, she can see the anthill that has been kicked over, parents and children running around in a panicked frenzy. She can see her brother, trying to get out as quickly as his constitution will allow.

In that instant, there's more to see than panic. She can hear Sailor Moon's admonishments, glimpse whipping winds and whirling colour around the monster, and for a moment there's a grim smile on Mai's face. If the youma's kicked over an anthill, it might just have to contend with fire ants.

All this - and then she's rushing in closer, amidst the popping of starter pistols. Flames whip into a veil before her, just in case they're firing more than blanks, before bursting out towards HURT-ler as Mai lands on the field before the youma. "If you even think of hurting the families here, you'll have to go through me."

Parents and children aside, Takumi's somewhere behind Mai, and so she will stand here.

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha transforms into Mai-HiME!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used Devoted Scintillation on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 3 Fatigue damage from Mai Tokiha's Devoted Scintillation, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto's eyes are keen; she catches the moment of something else, crashing into the stadium. Her first thought is of a shot-put, accidentally thrown at an ill angle. That is a logical assumption, for an object slammed into the ground at velocity from the corner of her vision. She turns to look at it -

It's not a shot-put.

That energy is -

Those eyes sharpen in an instant as Mikoto snarls, bristling at that black-hole pillar. Her grip on the sword-case beside her is far too tight to allow it to be taken in, like hurdles, or netting, or a jaunty little hat.

Bathe in darkness, bids Esmeraude, and she is too far to reach, though Mikoto's attention snaps to her silhouette form. The calculation is clearly visible on her face. The way she braces against the consuming darkness, muscles locked too tense to strike. The frustrated twist of curled lips and scowling brow. And then - she is gone.

The dark pillar is gone, too.

There is something left behind.

'Hurt-lah,' she shrieks, not quite a woman. They never smell right, the youma. Perhaps they manage the form - vaguely - a head, two hands, torso and legs. But the little things evade them, and it makes them even more uncanny, to a creature like Mikoto Minagi. She smells of equipment, and the sickly thread of Black Crystal, and... beyond all that... the slightest hint of perfume she would expect from bathing products. Perhaps she is too far away to tell the truth of that last one.

(Is it a strange thing to notice, when she is so obviously other?)

That obsidian blade is drawn in an instant, as the gravitational pressure fades. Mikoto takes in the stadium - the children who run, the parents who...

Ah, she thinks, terrible eyes widening.

For a moment there is pall about her face, breath stolen from lungs as surely as she has been struck.

Like moths to a flame. It is always like moths to a flame.

She is like a moth to a flame as her voice reaches out to the girl beside her, even as her golden gaze is focused on the enemy. "Mai!" And there is desperation, in the word.

Mai hears her. Mai speaks intent. Mai will not stand aside. Mai will fight, too.

She is lighthouse in the dark and she shines a path through deepest night.

All softness has fled Mikoto's face - to the declaration, she just nods, a short affirmative grunt. Mai leaps, her vestments about her, and Mikoto follows in her wake. She charges on foot, the tip of Miroku's blade carving a thin line across the soft grounds.

This time - this time -

Sailor Moon always has a speech ready, for these occasions. Amidst company like Kasagami and Sailor Pluto, and more besides, she is not alone. There are a hundred reasons to lodge protests against a disruptive force like this.

Mikoto Minagi does not make a single declaration or demand. The protest she lodges is in the way she spins about the front of the youma - the way she slams her blade against those hurdles with a wordless scream.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 26 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, taking 17 Fatigue damage!
Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

"HURT??" the droid asks, or perhaps declares, mouth agape at Sailor Moon's statements. A single, perfect tear dangles down her cheek, not quite leaving her eye.

This leaves her hugely distracted, a fine opportunity for others to take advantage.

Fuu's whirlwind roars up around her, binding her feet to the ground long enough for her to be at the middle of a far less voluntary vortex, one that sucks in the croquet head, the abyssal light, the garnet energy, the flames.

Scuff marks appear on those visible patches of green skin; a piece of finish line ticker tape is torn off her chest; her hurdle breastplate is briefly set on fire. She is far from impervious, to be sure, though also perhaps little more than truly inconvenienced at this point.

It is only when the cotton candy approaches that Hurtler is motivated to move, and she leaves an outline where she used to be, the air eating her dust, a moment before the whirlwind collapses.

"HERD-lah," she complains in her own wake. What, are you trying to turn her into a cow with all that sugar? But maybe she's also herding, because she leaves behind, like the princess who has roses growing in her footsteps, hurdles instead. She leaves them between herself and Mikoto too. More and more of them, and the distance widens.

Lots of hurdles. All different sizes. Even some stacked on top of each other like cheap folding chairs in a gymnasium.

In short order there is nowhere to stand but hurdles, like pillars of stone rising out of a crashing ocean in a kung fu movie, except instead of waves there are just more hurdles, and if you lose your balance you might collapse beneath a mountain of them.

They encircle the group... and a few straggling children, like Chibi-Usa and Shingo. And Takumi, though he's a little older.

She glances down at Shingo's baton in her hand -- even at her most immobilized she wasn't unable to grab it -- and smiles.

Then she tosses the baton -- whose ball-like end is now bright red and periodically blinking and beeping -- at Steven Universe.


From atop the tallest tower of hurdles, the droid takes a readied stance, then starts firing her starter pistol at all comers.


It definitely is shooting something other than blanks, though they don't really seem like bullets either. Compressed sonic bursts, maybe.


Either way they sting like a mother... and she's firing wildly. One of the pillars of hurdles begins to topple downwards towards the children.

The children, and Ikuko Tsukino, who had somehow made it to the field before it was closed off, and is pulling the kids beneath her, covering them with the dubious shelter of her arms and her hair and her exposed back, protected only by the thin fabric of her housedress.


COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Starter Pistol on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Pass The Bomb-ton on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 12 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari perfectly braces 27 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Critical Brace!  Akko Kagari's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki fails to brace Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 14 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 12 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon's
Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Steven Universe partially dodges 7 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Pass The Bomb-ton, taking 29 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Mai Tokiha's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Kasagami-senpai!? Sailor Pluto!?" Akko calls out, turning her head to stare at them. The witch blinks her eyes a couple of times, before she grins -- and flashes them a big thumbs-up. Then, she gets a smug look on her face, and nods. "Now, let's see what my brilliant cotton candy plan did! I bet it's going to be just like something Chariot would--"

She looks at the Droid-shaped outline in the dust, where it was, and the cotton candy falls uselessly to the ground. Akko's eyebrow twitches, and she whirls to shout at the Hurtler.

"THAT'S NOT FAIR! You get back over there and get in that--" Hurdles begin raising under her feet, one after the other, and she yelps and stumbles. She tosses the Shiny Rod, from hand to hand, trying to catch it like a hot potato. "Wh-whoa...!"

She finally grabs it and whirls, in time to sees the pistol aimed at her. Her eyes screw up, crimson pupils seeming to shrink, and she holds the Shiny Rod out in front of her. "Sh-Shiny Rod, please!"

Which is when aquamarine light surges all around her. Strands of it rise up, high, and the shots are bounced away as it rises high into the air and swirls into a point above her. Akko thrusts the rod upward, towards the glowing ball of light. Then, she turns.

Her feet stumble as she does a fast turn. The Shiny Rod dips, but she does a complete circle, and then stabs the ancient wooden staff forward, straight at the center of the Droid's mass. "I won't let you ruin anyone's fun time!" she calls out. "Lotte was really looking forward to this and Sucy--"

A beat.


The bead of light, swirled about with the Shiny Rod, explodes outward in a singular lance of light that hurtles off towards the head of the Hurtler.

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Shiny Beam on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto braces 14 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor
Pluto's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 15 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Hotaru Tomoe's attack, Starter Pistol, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto decisively counters 18 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Starter Pistol, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Sailor Pluto's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto's counterattack, Garnet Ball, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven steps forward, telling this statue down. He didn't expect it to work, as it usually doesn't but everything always deserves the chance to stop doing bad things. Before, yknow, they get hit with a shield. And whatever else the defenders that assemble have. The area around them becomes hazardous, and hedges in vulnerable civilians in a close-ends fight. "We gotta keep 'em safe!" the boy calls. Obvious, but worth noting! And of course for his troubles of calling out the green statue, a baton is pitched his way. And normally he would block it or Bubble Shield, but he has seen enough video games and movies to know that the end of that thing that is beeping is dangerous, and most likely gonna explode.

Taking what is thought to be a smarter option, Steven attempts to maneuver on and around these hurdles away, but the concussive force of the detonation is too much for him as he tries to dive, and gets slung into some stone hurdles with a painful thud. "Nnh... Ow!" the boy grunts, standing up and rubbing his shoulder.

Taking a deep breath and readying his shield, the boy runs forward across the terrain (which is quite difficult due to flip-flops, mind you) and on jumping from one spot to another, uses the forward momentum to pitch his shield like a discus, feeling the spirit of competition and his towel cape fluttering in the wind!

...Y'know that was a competition section here, he really should have entered that one. He would have been a shoe-in!

Darn you, hindsight!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Stay safe. Chibi-Usa worries, when she sees fighting. She knows how even magical girls can be hurt. ...But she's seen them succeed, too. And with Pluto helping...

They're all trying so hard! Chibi-Usa looks towards the assembled warriors as she starts to try to look around for something to hide behind, but--instead, the youma is complaining... and... and there are hurdles. There are hurdles everywhere.

"Aaah," Chibi-Usa says, "...These are way too high...!"

Ikuko is pulling children to relative safety, and Chibi-Usa takes off as fast as her little legs will carry her towards her. "Ikuko-mama!" she calls, and right on her heels--

There's the pillar of hurdles. "Aaah!"

If someone doesn't act quickly...!

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

Kassie nods to Steven swiftly. "There were lots of adversaries on that ship. Looks like there's more than one of them left." Mutters Kasagami unhappily. She didn't like the first member of the Dark Moon, and she definitely doesn't like Esmeraude.

Akko gets a grin, and a fierce one. "...Never fail to surprise, Akko Kagari." She says to herself.

There is of course the rather important matter of a sea of hurdles threatening kids, and the youma using it's six-starter-shooters to hammer the magical defenders with those blasts. Kassie finds herself an unlucky recipient. She's quick to duck and roll, but she's just a second too late! Sonic bursts hammer into one of her arms and scrape along her legs and coat, shooting out roses and scraps of athleticwear. Her new, lovely Kid's Olympics shirt is getting unfashionably tattered on the sleeves, too as she pops up from her roll. She wipes off some dirt and a bruise on the cheek with gritted teeth.

Her choice of cover? Steven. Their height difference might make this seem a bit of an absurd idea, but Kassie trusts the strength of the young man's shield even as she's forced to ride the wave of stack upon stack of hurdles. She's a small blurr of motion as deft feet dance to keep on them.

"Nnngh, those things smart." She asides to Steven, before brows rise. She takes a step back from the young man. "Is that a...?" No time to really question it, and the beeping's more warning than she could possibly give Steven.

It was. No time to feel bad for him, instead as Steven tosses shield, one hand goes to her rose-coat. Shiney pointy throwing knives fan out, kissed with rose petals, and she moves into spinning, dancing, elaborate tosses as she aims to become the new Kid's Olympics Knife Throwing Champion. She really should've ask to get that added to the competitions.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Thorns of the Bloody Rose on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 12 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Shiny Beam, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Hotaru
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe neatly dodges 20 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Thorns of the Bloody Rose, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Blind applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 23 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Sailor Pluto! You're here! And you're on my..." Her eyes are veritably filled with stars at the idea of the other Senshi fighting with them again. Something wells up like tears of joy, and for a moment she can only make sounds which seem so happy, "Mmm-mmm!"

Sailor Moon notices the tear on the Droids eye and perhaps she wonders if she went too far. "Hey it's okay... so long as you just give it back and... I have tissues..." Perhaps she starts to search for one. However then the Droid starts to complain and-

It tosses the baton. BEEP.

And Sailor Moon gasps as she notices Ikuko at the bottom of it's arc, "Mom?" She whispers nigh inaudibly, "No! No wait!" And then there are hurdles everywhere and Sailor Moon starts to leap, from hurdle to hurdle. Crashing into some. Tripping over others and getting up with a sudden determination. When suddenly it fires off its starting pistol and she quickly brings up the Spiral Heart Moon Rod. The blast deflecting off of it's length. However it sends her staggering backwards into the stadium seats.


And then thankfully - Steven is there!

And she breathes such a relieved sigh as his bubble saves them. Before cheering, "Alright! Good one Steven!"

However that's not the only problem - as she sees Chibi-Usa nearly getting shot - but Sailor Pluto is there, with a garnet lit shield. "Pluto!" It feels like she can breathe again for at least a moment. But then the small girl is still in danger from falling behind and the hurdles.

With no time to think, she rushes at her by running atop multiple hurdles, arms pumping and bends over just lightly as she scoops her up mid-run.

Having no place to put her with all the hurdles around and the pillar of them...

She just plops her on her shoulders. "Got you! Hang on Chibi-Usa!"

Continuing her wild run over hurdles and hurdles and hurdles with her on her shoulders, she keeps on going, holding onto each of Chibi-Usa's legs with either hand. Before she has to start bunny hopping between hurdles. Until bending at the knees, she launches herself into the air almost gazelle like, "Sailor Moon-"

And descends to kick a column of hurdles, "-KICK!"

The hurdles start to shudder then fall in a disaster of Olympian proportions, knocking over more and more like dominos in it's inexorable path towards the droid.

A shadow of hurdles looms over it - before it would inevitably crash.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used I used to have a fear of hurdles... but I got over it. on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Sailor Moon's I used to have a fear of hurdles... but I got over it., taking 30 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Moon is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

As if the mere fact of Hurtler accosting the Kids' Olympics wasn't bad enough, as though deliberately putting innocent bystanders and noncombatants in harm's direct path wasn't enough of a sin, now Hurtler sets about *deliberately* fencing in the bystanders, children and parents alike. And on top of that, the entire field is now littered with hurdles, some rising in stacks, others somewhat more ordinary, but all an obstacle.

The Magic Knight of Wind does what she can to keep her balance, hopscotching her way from one stable perch to the next, trying to keep an uninterrupted line-of-sight on the Droid. But scrambling for a vantage point has drawbacks - such as a view of the danger being levelled at others, and an inability to actually *do* anything to help them while she's scrambling for halfway trustworthy footing. She sees the bomb-baton flung at Steven, and the explosion heart-stoppingly close; she sees gunshots fired at everybody (including herself - the best she can do is to try and take their impacts on sturdy parts of her armor); she sees the tower of hurdles toppling towards the trapped children.

Her booted feet alight on one of the more steady hurdle-spires, two flaring streaks of emerald light erupting from her glove-jewel, materializing into a quiver across her back, and a bow in her left hand. She's still very clearly, very visibly, angry at the Droid - but there's a moment's clarity and almost-calm in her heart, anger crystallizing into an unshakable resolve, a determination that will not yield.

Her right hand moves up and back, reaching over her shoulder, pulling an arrow from the supply in her quiver, and twirling it forward. She raises bow and arrow together, nocking the latter to the former, and lowers her hands, drawing back on the bowstring, the shaft settling before her eyeline - and HURTler bounding past in front of her.

There's a split second when the Wind Knight's eye, the arrow's shaft, and the monster all line up.

She looses a split second *before* that moment, measuring HURTler's movement like the sprite of an enemy on a game's display, and trusting - or perhaps *knowing* - that her attack and its target will reach the same pixel at the same time.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Trick Arrow Shot on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 10 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Trick Arrow Shot, taking 8 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Mai has chosen her place to stand, proudly before the youma. Her flames washed over it to...rather less avail than she'd been hoping, but maybe she at least got its attention. That's the real hope.

It might be a hope in vain - abruptly, Hurtler is moving abominably quickly. Hurdles rise up in the youma's wake, pillars rising in rapid order as the monster sprints around wildly. It's a maze, it's a forest, it's a trap - and before Mai can even take in the fact that Takumi's been trapped along with a mother and a group of children, the youma is firing wantonly.

Mai brings her rings to bear, pale crimson light shining before her as a safeguard. It's prudent - she can hear the impacts against her shield, feel the force in her arms, see her footing being driven back bit by bit. The barrage is pinning her down - and through it, she can see a group of loved ones as the next target.

A cry is choked off by an inability to breathe...but breath returns at the sight of Sailor Pluto, conjuring a barrier of her own.

(He's fine. They're fine. It's all fine.)

The crimson light fades, but the pounding in Mai's chest doesn't.

Mikoto meets her gaze with a worry of her own, and Mai's fear is joined with fury. Not replaced - never replaced - but twin emotions have a single purpose. The hurdles become nigh-insurmountable for mundane athletes - but Mai can cheat flagrantly using bursts of flame to surmount them, one after another as she rushes to her companion's side. "Mikoto! I'll give you a lift - we can't let this monster keep shooting!"

One more leap, into the cage of wooden sports challenges that surrounds Mikoto - and then there's a rush of heat as the HiME take to the air, hurtling heedlessly towards Hurtler. Arms wrapped around her companion, flames wreathing them both, Mai rushes directly at the youma. Come what may, she can throw at least herself and her fire against it.

She hopes that a monster of the Black Moon can be stopped without bystanders being hurt.

She hopes that she can at least draw its attention away from those precious civilians below.

She hopes that Takumi is distracted enough by the chaos that he won't recognize her here.

(...her own safety, as a concern, is somewhere around tenth place on her priority list.)

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has started a combo targeting Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

The responding joy from Sailor Moon is so pure it hurts. The senshi says nothing in return, just inhales sharply through her nose and focuses on their shared enemy.

Sailor Pluto has some hard-earned experience with guns being fired into crowds of innocents. Halfway through her full-speed leap to interpose her body between the projectiles and the vulnerables, she recognizes that these are ripples of something other than bullets. They feel different thudding into her back; senshi silk does not tear today, though Pluto feels the stings, to be sure.

Shingo and Takumi, the other children -- she sees them huddled in front of her, gathered by Ikuko Tsukino with the others. She catches the tumbling of that pillar in her peripheral, hears more gun reports, and the lifelong guardian knows that more must be done to ensure their safety.

"I have you! Stay down, all of you, stay down--!" Pluto bites off the words and divides what time remains before disaster strikes home. A second, sliced, then segmented further: enough. A practiced consciousness slides into the Garnet Orb and seeks the strength at its heart, takes hold, and then rises free.


Her low voice rings like a bell and the Garnet Ball expands on the heels of that cry, a glittering shell as perfectly spherical as the Orb it emerges from -- but much, much larger. Large enough to shelter a handful of civilians from the wild gunshots in its lee, to take the impacts as bruises upon the will of a sentinel senshi instead.

Sorrow-shaped garnet eyes search for large, loved red ones. Is Small Lady safe? ...Where IS Small Lady? She'd been right there, but... Pluto's eyes widen with worry. She takes off running, headed for the Hurtler with the Garnet Rod spinning up in her hands, its metal still chill from the discharge of plutonic energy.

"Small Lady!!" she calls out, even as she aims a hundred raining blows at the summoned youma, trying to drive it back. She casts increasingly desperate looks over her shoulder as she fights, until finally, finally, she spots her -- spots them, spots Chibi-Usa jouncing safely along atop the shoulders of Sailor Moon, and it's like she can feel her heart lurching into motion to match. Then Sailor Pluto leaps back and hopefully, out of the way of this newest downcrashing hurdle-tower.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Pendulum Blitz on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Sailor Pluto's Pendulum Blitz, taking 42 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Pluto is
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

La Sirene de Diamant... cannot see sound!

Or at least she can't see it at this intensity. The rippling ubrst from that beepy starter pistol hits her in the side and sends her flying up into the air; she actually manages a full three-sixty, landing in a skid and looking up at the monster, the droid, eyes wide in astonishment.

How on Earth, she seems to be thinking.

She also can see that there's a lot of open ground out there. A moment later that stops being the case, the hurdles rising up beneath her - she straddles one pair briefly before she sweeps herself round to stand still, teetering with her arms spread as she cries out, "What - curse you!" After this comes the leaping.

But she's running hard to stay in place. She can see the peril of the small lady, but near it is Kasagami. Ugh, she thinks - but Sailor Pluto's blood-stained hands seem to be working for the cause of justice right now.

La Sirene leaps, not over hurdles but across them. She tries to pour her light forth, but it simply runs downscreen. Clasping her hands to her face, she spreads them as she exhales in frustration. Coming to a teetering stack, though, she calls upon -


That ancient charm that comes to her lips with such intuitive ease -


And a ripple of black-silver light, spherical and glossy, streaks towards the Hurtler. "See how you like falling down!"

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe partially dodges 10 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 39 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto strikes at the Hurtler; the Hurtler leaves hurdles in her wake. She carves one in twain - another - each an instant's pause as that blade comes down. Each another distraction to allow her to slip further away.

Another - another - and there are too many, now. They sprout like seeds midst the green, and Mikoto finds herself balanced atop a growing pile. It is not so difficult for her to keep her balance.

It is not so difficult, except -

- ah.

The droid has captured the children - a mother. ... Takumi.

Her eyes find Mai, now. Her lips shape a word. There is no breath behind the dancer's mora, not at all.

And then - sound.

Mikoto leaps, but it's all instinct, undriven by thought or intent. All instinct, and it is riddled with the anxiety of Mai Tokiha. That sonic blast catches her wholly, and it is not so simple for her to keep her balance, as she is driven back against a hurdle. Sensible Ohtori flats cannot find purchase against the thin surface - she topples. She falls.

Another - another - it is as if she is drowning in a sea of hurdles. It is so difficult to find purchase. She pushes one off of her - another collapses in, disrupted by her motions.

She screams her frustration.

It does not occur to her to stay still and think. She is perpetual motion.

A voice cuts through the clutter, and Mikoto calls, in acknowledgment and in plea: "Mai!"

She cannot find purchase to clamber out of the hellish ballpit of hurdles she has found herself in - but Mai can fly, after all. Mai can reach in, pull her away from that morasses entirely.

That warmth is a comforting thing, for all comfort has no place in a battle. She cannot worry about the civilians; she is not a shield. Sailor Pluto will stand sentinel. She hears that declaration, trusts in it.

She has always protected her loved ones - with sharp edges.

Mai holds Mikoto; Mikoto holds Miroku. "Mai!" She cries, as they come to the Hurtler in a storm of fire and fury. She must know her intent. She trusts that she will be let go at the moment of impact - to twist in mid-air, moving with Mai's own heat, bringing her obsidian blade down in an arc which threatens the very safety of that extremely fashionable hat.

And, of course, the youma below it.

Mikoto has never really respected fashion.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has joined the combo started by Mai Tokiha!
COMBAT: COMBO! Mai Tokiha and Mikoto Minagi have used Combo: Better Than The Alternative, composed of Impassioned Ignition and
Obsidian Blade: Destruction, on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Mai Tokiha and Mikoto Minagi's Combo: Better Than The Alternative, taking 91 Fatigue damage!
Mai Tokiha and Mikoto Minagi are Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

It could be worse.

The monster is impacted by Akko's Shiny Beam and forced a step back before grimly running onwards -- she's bruised by Steven's shield, which clatters against her hurdle breastplace, she's largely outrunning Kasagami's knives (and right into Fuu's arrow, as planned, but as with the shield she just kind of shrugs it off)...

...but hey, at least none of the children or their parents have gotten hurt. Not yet.

It could be worse -- Sailor Pluto ends her charge directly in the face of the droid at the same moment that Les Mysteres crash down like the leading edge of a tsunami, that Mai and Mikoto crash down like the rest of its mass, if the ocean were on fire and made of swords --

"HURT!" shrieks Hurtler as she's bowled backwards.

The hurdle comprising her chestplate is left behind.

It turns out, it held her chest, too. There's just a big hole in the middle of the green substance that forms her, where it used to be.

And then, like curtain falling at the end of the play, the hurdles come tumbling down. Sailor Moon's silhouette stands out starkly in the forthcoming cloud of grass and dirt, and the youma is gone from view. So are the hurdles; they've splintered each other. Ikuko looks at her saviors, then at her charges (one by birth, one instantaneously adopted in a crisis), and urges Shingo and Takumi to flee.

It could definitely be worse.


That pillar of Black Crystal energy has renewed itself. It starts pulling the remnants of the hurdles into itself... and then starts tugging at the feet of those nearby. Magical girls are too strong to lose their footing -- and Shingo is fast enough to get out of the vortex's radius.

Ikuko and Takumi are both swept into the air and soar, wildly, towards the presumably regenerating youma.

And that's not all -- it is disgorging shotput. At high speeds. In all directions.

...it could definitely be better.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Scattershotput on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 27 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki dodges 27 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Kasagami Araki's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha perfectly dodges 26 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji dodges 13 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 35 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Hotaru Tomoe's attack, Scattershotput, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 12 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari perfectly dodges 32 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto's garnet shield is beautiful; it suits the refined, quiet woman Small Lady has known most of her life. ...And it helps protect her and te others, at that. Chibi-Usa feels some relief when she sees it, what with all the gunshots everywhere. But the little pink-haired lady is stuck amidst the hurdles... Until suddenly--

She's not. She's on Sailor Moon's shoulders. "Aah--" In surprise she starts to call out, then reaches down to take hold of Sailor Moon's hands that are holding her. "Sailor Moon!" she says. "Thanks, that was close..."

Is it different, after what happened on the ship? Maybe.

Regardless Chibi-Usa ducks down and tries to keep herself small, though when Pluto calls, "I'm okay!" Chibi-Usa shouts back.

...Then Sailor Moon kicks the hurdles, and Chibi-Usa blinks for a moment. "Whoa," she says, "Now it's the enemy who's getting tripped up..."

...It's supposed to be a compliment. Really. But suddenly--

Chibi-Usa turns, looks at Ikuko--who she starts to wave at--...and then sees the Black Crystal's vortex. "Oh--Sailor Moon!" Chibi-Usa breathes, obvious fear and worry in her tone. "It--aaah--"

She tries to cover her face with her hands out of instinct. ...But it wouldn't be enough on its own. Chibi-Usa is jostled quickly, moved quickly, and she can feel the impacts against the girl who just saved her, looks forward upset for the moment. "Are you okay? Ikuko-mama and that boy..."

Chibi-Usa scrambles out of Sailor Moon's arms and reaches out--and there's Luna-P, finally catching up, hovering along towards her. "Come on!" she says, and looks to the vortex. "Luuuuna-P...! Transform!"

In a burst of purple smoke, Chibi-Usa and Sailor Moon are invisible for an instant--

Before a trampoline sized for one, black, is visible as the smoke clears, and Chibi-Usa pushes it a little further ahead--

"Here!" She looks for Pluto--but only after she takes hold of the base of the trampoline to help keep it steady, holding hard.

COMBAT: Chibi-Usa Tsukino has used Luna-P: TRANSFORM! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Chibi-Usa Tsukino's Luna-P: TRANSFORM!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Accelerate applied to Sailor Moon!
Cleanse! All of Sailor Moon's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 8 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's
Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, partially gets through, doing 10 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"It's so strong..." Akko mutters, to herself. She feels, for a moment, her insides turning to jelly. Did Shiny Chariot ever wonder if she could really put a stop to things like this? Her knuckles whiten around the Shiny Rod, but then she shakes her head. She still hit it, and others are her.

Akko flashes a smile at Kasagami, but then her eyes are drawn towards Sailor Moon. Triumphant, and then... then sending a veritable cloud of hurdles that breaks apart with her kick. Akko's jaw drops for a moment, before she shakes her head. It gives her an idea.

But she has to dodge those shotputs, first. Akko yelps, running to the left -- and five of them shoot out just after each step, like arrows flying in her wake. She runs the other direction -- as two more shotputs fly past. Then, her feet skid to a stop. A few hurdles fly, as she spins. The Shiny Rod spins with her.

"I--I think I've got this...!" she calls out. "Here, if you want to exercise so much, why don't you try it on for size!"

Aquamarine light shoots off the tip of the Shiny Rod -- and envelopes six hurdles. They bob and float, before Akko swings the Rod at the Droid -- and the animated hurdles slam for it, one after the other. "And leave those kids alone! THEY'RE ALREADY DOING EXTRA P.E.! That's mean enough!"

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Animated Hurdles on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Animated Hurdles, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant perfectly dodges 35 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Scattershotput, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

There are random moments when a passing bit of information, a trivial detail, takes on a certain relevance to a context on which that trivia might otherwise have had no bearing.

This is one such moment: the fact that the 'shotput' is named for, if not modeled after, the balls which used to be fired from cannons. The 'shot' in shot-put, as it were.

It's much easier to remember a detail like that when many such 'shots' are being 'put' out in seemingly every direction by the athletically-themed HURTler; the Magic Knight of Wind evades what she can of the barrage, but it isn't as much as she hoped to dodge - and the shotputs hurt quite a bit more than the starter-gun fire which preceded it. Keeping her balance in between jumps is far harder for it, too - both the direct impacts and the ensuing bruises - but she manages, somehow ... mostly by being ready to land further away, and further down, as the moment dictates.

She's still doing this with bow in hand, too, even if she can't find a moment to let fly another arrow. Her wind magic is a little easier to cut loose with in a hurry - she doesn't have to stop and aim physically; only to focus her will long enough to set a spell in motion, and a gesture is enough to focus on the right spot. At least, it's that simple to launch an attack spell; trying to rescue any of the now-airborne innocents would take focus that she *doesn't* have. She can try to do something about that renewed vortex, though.

"Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi!!!" shouts the Wind Knight - and a vortex of her own starts to form, a miniature cyclone. She doesn't usually worry that much about which way her conjured whirlwinds go ... but *this* time, she's actively trying to rotate it opposite the Droid's pillar of energy, to disrupt it if she can, whatever she can pull off. Anything she can do to impede the threat of collateral damage or injury to the beleaguered innocents ...

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

"Whoop!" Steven lets out, nearly falling down after the throw and land. This is treacherous. Mikoto and Mai show up to strike out, and some of the civilians caught in the crossfire get rescued. "Is everyone safe?!" the boy calls out, getting closer to the fight.

And then it is... defeated? "Nice work!" he calls out, with a thumbs up towards Sailor Moon for the praise given. The footing returns to normal. Somewhat anyway. "Well, that was a quick fight! At leas--"

Well, he spoke too soon. The column of miasmic energy leaps toward the sky as if it were the only way to escape the light touching it. Within moments the statue is reforming and taking everything with it again. All the hurdle debris, and even some civilians unlucky enough to be close. "Someone save them!" he yells. Lion wasn't here, so reaching them is out of the question for him. A shame he can't jump that high!

A look nearby to Kasagami. "We gotta let this thing have it! It won't stop until get gets the point! Let's make this count!" he says. To his other side he spikes Mikoto, tagging up with Mai. "Mikoto! Hey, keep it up, that was super cool! Remember what you told me about keeping people safe! Good time to put it to use!" he adds with a determined smile.

The boy maneuvers closer toward the civilians, and ends near Akko. "Hey! I like what you did with your magic! That was neat! I bet you could do all sorts of cool stuff around here to stop this badguy!"

And then a shotput comes. Steven barely has a moment to raise his shield before one impacts square with it, a lound DOOONG rings out, and Steven goes tumbling backward from the weight and speed of the impact. The boy looks disoriented and dizzy, but he should recover.

Likes like he is having momentary trouble seeing straight though.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Akko Kagari is
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Things could definitely be better.

Because suddenly she's being shot at by shot put. A huge quantity of them.

And Sailor Moon jerks sideways to pull Chibi-Usa off her shoulders and hug her to keep the first from hitting her. Instead she twists. Rolling with the blow to hit the ground shielding her protectively.

Which is when a second hits her in the back, knocking the two further along as she yelps in pain. Dazed from the blow with tear-filled eyes. "I'm a little beat up." She admits, "But I'll be okay... just need a... second..."

She doesn't have it though. As Sailor Moon.

And that familiar voice with that exact tone draws Sailor Moon's eyes up. "She's up there now!?" Sailor Moon only makes it half up on shaky legs. However it truly looks like she'll need a moment.

Which is when Luna-P becomes a trampoline.

Sailor Moon looks at it, then looks up at Ikuko again.

"Don't worry! With your help..."

Taking a hot-step - she vaults off the trampoline with an exaggerated 'SPROING' sound that sends her up in the air. "-I've definitely got this!"

Towards Ikuko in the midst of the winds. Catching her mid-flight in an arm as the two dive out of the wild whipping winds

Sailor Moon, her eldest daughter whether she knows it or not, extends her other hand aloft.

In that hand is a pen.

There's an intense popping noise as suddenly an umbrella erupts from that pen.

And an umbrella with dangly tassles and pink bunny adornments shoots out of it.

As the two gently float back down. "Oh my!" Ikuko says. "Are you Sailor Moon?" Sailor Moon bites her lip and makes this awkward sort of nodding motion. "Uh-huh." "Imagine that." She says thoughtfully as she puts a hand to her cheek, "My son and our cousin are big fans of yours."

Sailor Moon starts to sweat as they drift down, trying her hardest to bite her lip and not talk as much as possible. "Oh! Well please thank them for their support!" Like as if no amount of Recognition Inhibition magic could possibly disguise her from her mother.

Touching down in the stands Sailor Moon let's her go- as Ikuko announces, "Thank you so much for your help." -before Sailor Moon salutes her with two fingers at her forehead - "Please be safe mom- uh- momentous! You momentous person you!" -before jogging away with a face that looks like a kid who is real scared about getting caught.

Ikuko watches her go in wonder. "She doesn't look much older than Usagi..." Then with a shake of head she dismisses it. After all who would ever think her daughter was running around saving people.

Sailor Moon announces her return to the battle with a simple call of, "Moon Tiara-" And submits her submission to the Discus event with a shining one that's being sent out in a glittering arc towards the Droid, "-ACTION!"

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Tiara Action on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 30 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi, taking 13 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Action, taking 53 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami can't help but feel her heart stirr at seeing the combined efforts of so many magical girls puts a hole straight through Hurtler, and her gaze seeks the kids. Everyone seems alright. She beams over, briefly, to Pluto. Sigh. Even Moon's mighty kick, and of course the pure power in Mikoto and Mai's combined fall has her grinning.

But it isn't done yet, and as the creature regenerates and pulls in the very hurdles it created? Kasagami's hair flutters and her coat sways as she feels herself tugged on. Boot heels dig in.

Steven easily lifts her spirits, however! "You know, Steve-kun, I'm in complete agreement! Let this offensive bulwark of used gym equipment know it's crime! We'll simply have to show it that no one interrupts the Olympics until the torch is passed and the gold is given out!"

A smack on the young man's shoulders, and then she's leaping into the air to dodge those many shotput barraging the magical girls! She spins and twirls mid-air with her hair swaying about in a glorious mane, dodging the first few volleys sent her way. But one errant shotput has her crying out as it smack right into her abs! That will leave a mark. She recovers, backflipping to the ground.

Ptuh! With a renewed sense of pure annoyance, and eyeing her fellow mahou's bravery, she leaps back to the sky again in a flash!

And aims to crash down as she rotates onto her side, bearing her full weight into a falling blow with her croquet-stick!

"Falling Petals Cut The Soul!" She howls her attack's name, trying to slice the regenerating youma up good!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Falling Petals Cut The Soul on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Kasagami Araki's Falling Petals Cut The Soul, taking 51 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

If the ocean were on fire and made of swords, it would probably look a lot like what crashes against the Hurtler, now. Miroku bites down into chest, rather than hat; refuses to let go. Mikoto's swing brings it down and away, and with a flick of her wrists she shakes the useless armor from the blade.

Yes, she is hurting.

Yes, she will be hurt.

Mikoto doesn't flinch, to see the hole where her chest ought to be.

She leaps from hurdle to hurdle, until she is able to find the earth again. As the pillar reforms, her gaze settles on the civilians - those people without the power to hold their ground. The child is fine. But -

Terrible eyes widen anew as Ikuko and Takumi are swept into the air. Mikoto sucks a breath through teeth clenched like a trap against the weight of the Black Crystal's pressure.

Without anything to grasp hold of, they will -

Steven cries out, and perhaps his words reach her in a way he never intended. They do not uplift an enraged heart, but they are their own bolster. What she told him -

'It's all - only ever - been for precious people. I'd do, anything, Steven. I'd do anything...'

- anything.


Lithe legs bend down, for just a moment - and push forward, off against the ground. She does not resist the gravity of the Black Crystal's energy. She uses its pull with her own might to propel herself in more quickly than it could possibly account.

Shotputs glance over her, strike at a form which courses straight for the regenerating form of the Hurtler. One hits an arm - another so barely missing her skull. She will arrive before those souls it is seeking to consume. And she will not arrive unarmed.

Against the rushing pressure she raises her sword - into the abyss she cleaves.

And as she presses her blade down, sigils alight upon it, promising an explosion of power to cripple its reformation.

She must destroy her. She must save them. These facts are one in the same, for Mikoto Minagi.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Demolition on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Demolition, taking 42 Fatigue damage!  Cripple applied to
Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The droid has a hole in it. La Sirene de Diamant looks, momentarily, revolted. That hole isn't supposed to be there! She vaults down from the hurdles, ahead of their tumble. She lands -

And dips down into a low curtesey just in time to avoid a shotput. It passes near enough to her hairline to make several long tresses raise up as if startled, though. La Sirene has to take a second or so after that, because that was not a mere bullet but was more like a cannonball. Mami would no doubt disapprove of her losing her head in such a manner.

As she rises up, she breathes out. The Magic Knight commands the winds. Sailor Moon is up there but -- ah; an... umbrella? (Another moment of bafflement.)

((From somewhere in the stands a tiny, mustelid voice calls out: "amazing!!!!"))

But then something else occurs to la Sirene, even as she glances down at the ground, now far less precarious. Even, yes, as Mikoto leaps in, la Sirene realizes that there are fewer obstacles. Her fingers lace together and she presses that light outwards, the outer limning of the space rising out before the 'bubble' bursts and pours forwards. As the inverse light travels, she is finally moved to speech by --


"Such sadism. Could anything be worse?" la Sirene murmurs, perhaps in agreement, even as the wave rises, threatening to crest - and instead budding off into quadriploid shapes, aiming to sweep over the darkling crystal and the Hurtler alike.

It is, in so far as semi-living semi-fluid light is 'doing' anything, trying to pour into that aperture. If it's going to have a giant hole in its torso, la Sirene will not neglect the opportunity to grapple!

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Polyploia on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe neatly dodges 24 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Polyploia, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru
Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Tangle and Trap applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Overhead two girls and a black-bladed sword hurtle, burning through the sky together. They're so bright that even in the midst of her charge, Sailor Pluto's gaze gets drawn up. Thus she's already looking that way when Sailor Moon's silhouette shows in the aftermath. The stoic senshi blinks twice in rapid succession -- clearing her eyes of the grit, nothing more -- and suppresses an upward twitch of her lips.

Then the air fills with shotputs and she twists, hard, to get out of the way. But there exists no out-of-the-way, no freedom from the buzzing swarm of projectiles, and they sting home full force across the senshi's arms and legs. She bites down on a cry instead of a smile, now.

But she hears her: Small Lady is okay. Sailor Moon kept her safe. Pluto breathes easy despite the pain. She waves to Princesses blonde and pink-topped, a single slow motion that is halfway to a salute and visible across a busy battlefield. Then she turns to their foe, still breathing easy... because Luna-P is with them, and because she trusts the bravery she saw in Small Lady's eyes.

The vortex pulls, and Pluto does not fight this intrusion of unnatural gravity. She lets it hasten her feet, add to her speed, as she charges in -- she leaps into the air and directs her bootheels at the source, throwing her all into the kick. She hears Kasagami's elaborate challenge nearby and Pluto inhales as deeply as she can, seeking the scent of roses.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Sailor Pluto Kick on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Like the body of a wave, Mikoto and Mai crash into the monster. The latter had released the former just before impacting herself, and the flying HiME ricocheted off at an angle. As Mai climbs to her feet, she hisses at the twinge of pain in her shoulder, but it's easy enough to ignore upon seeing the result of everyone's efforts. The smirk on her face is redoubled when the domino-like stack of hurdles comes crashing down on its creator.

For a moment, the chaos comes to a halt. Dust billows, the equipment for the events is absolutely ruined, but evil seems to have been struck down.

It was a nice moment.

The black energy surges forth once again, forging a dark pillar before them. It burns with the opposite of force, drawing everything nearby into it. She has a solid stance, with enough effort she can stand here...but not everyone can. Those without magic bolstering them can't. Takumi can't-

Mai's heart leaps into her throat at the sight of Takumi and Ikuko being swept into the air, and she leaps forward toward the vortex without a second thought. Dimly, she's aware that shotput is hurtling out in all directions, that there's a storm of metal from which she should really be taking cover.

That doesn't matter. Any thoughts of giving herself any priority, of not burning herself out, of relenting on her protectiveness...they don't matter. She can take a few hits, but her sickly brother...

Into the storm, she flies. Past a chunk of metal hurtling outward, juking around another, praying with her heart that she reaches him before something else does. It's close - two shotputs coming within spitting distance of the younger Tokiha - but then there's arms around him, pulling him against the force of that terrible gravity, out of the storm of metal.

There's a flare of light, baleful and brilliant, as fire roar's out in the HiME's wake. A brilliant storm, left as a parting shot, left as a barrier, left as a rearguard - but as it fades, the pair are retreating beyond the edge of the pillar's pull.

Takumi's hand is on his chest, and he's breathing heavily - but he's conscious, and hasn't clutched his hand in that familiar sign of an attack. For a moment, he stares into the storm - then turns to his rescuer, and his eyes widen. "Sis?! What are you..."

There were excuses, before. An Orphan in the woods was like a strange dream. The attack of the Cardiax might have felt like any other health attack he's had. The names called out during the Ohtori invasion...there might have been explanations and he'd never asked.

Mai stands before her brother, burning rings revolving around her wrists and ankles, and there's a too-honest fear in her gaze that makes this incident too blatant to dismiss. "...what...is this?"

The intensity in Mai's gaze falters. There's an odd twitch in her neck, reaction torn between a flinch and a sigh of relief. She turns to one side, only looking at her brother indirectly. She needs to keep an eye on the reforming monster, try to spot Mikoto in all the chaos...and right now, she can't give her brother an honest look. She'd tried to keep him from worrying, but-

"...it's trouble. It's trouble you shouldn't be involved in, Takumi. It'll all be fine, as long as...as long as you're not here." She closes her eyes, because she can't even look at her brother's reaction indirectly. "I'll make sure you can get to safety, okay? So just....go. Please."

If they were closer, would he have asked a question? Would he have insisted they talk about this later? Would he have gotten angry at the lies and deceptions and secrets? Mai doesn't know, doesn't dare look to see his thoughts, just listens to footsteps tentatively retreating. As long as her brother's safe, then she doesn't have to-

"Be careful, sis." Mai's eyes snap open, and she turns to look - but her brother's back is already to her as he jogs away from her. Away from the danger.

She stands there, perhaps longer than she should.

She doesn't follow, but turns back toward the reforming youma. This was the only option...right?

COMBAT: Mai Tokiha has used The Most Important Thing on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Sailor Pluto's Sailor Pluto Kick, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto is Psyched!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Mai Tokiha's The Most Important Thing, taking 18 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

When you cleave the abyss, the abyss cleaves back into you.

At first the vortex seems impervious, or perhaps simply incorporeal in a harmful way -- it consumes Akko's hurdles hungrily, and yet, as what is at its source is not rotating, just pulling, seems largely unaffected by Fuu's counterwhirling gambit.

But it isn't.

Sailor Moon's tiara leaves the truth in its wake along with sparkles -- the Black Crystal energy flinches away from it, becoming only shadows, and then, again, a reformed droid.

Just in time for La Sirene's light to splash against the hole that is no longer there... but it wears against that hurdle, along with Mai's flames, and then Sailor Pluto kicks it off completely.

Kasagami and Mikoto close in and when they emerge on the far side, it is having claimed more pieces of droid hodgepodge -- Mikoto has ripped off solidly half the cape, carps flapping wildly in all directions. Kasagami comes away with the majority of her ticker-tape hair.

There's really only one thing left to do.

"HURT-HURD-HURT!" she yells sharply, and it doesn't sound like a complaint at all.

"HURT-HURT!" She's got those pistols out again.


They fire just as she begins to run, taking off at a tremendous pace down the track.

But she isn't running away.

No, this marathon she's started leaves her speeding faster and faster... in an ever-widening spiral, she leaves wicked black flame in her wake, threatening to engulf the stadium and everyone inside!

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Mai Tokiha.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Track On Fire on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi dodges 11 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 14 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de
Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mai Tokiha braces 13 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Mai Tokiha's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 22 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu
Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki fails to dodge Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 43 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon braces 21 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor
Moon's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Steven Universe decisively counters 27 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 9 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Steven Universe's counterattack, Bubble Shield, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Catching her tiara on the return path, she puts it back on her brow. Raising a finger as she wags it. "And that's what you get for messing with someone's..."

And then the Droid is yelling. And the pistols are out. And she's started to run.

The finger stops wagging abruptly as Sailor Moon's lips form a big o.

"Ahhhhhh!" Sailor Moon shouts as she starts to run. Trying to stay ahead of the flaming Droid. It may not be targetting her in particular but she acts like it is. In a race for her life! "I CONCEDE! I DON'T WANNNNNAAAA RACEEEEE YOUUUUUU!"

Until inevitably it becomes too much for her and she collapses down on the ground crossing her arms in a desperate attempt to shield herself. Gets trampled.

When she gets up. There are black singemarks on her Sailor Fuku.

"This is why I hate P.E." Sailor Moon says in a manner which seems a little punch drunk, in a moment where Akko might feel intense solidarity with her.

Rising up to her feet. "Well you won the race so..." Sailor Moon raises the Spiral Moon Heart Rod, "...accept your heart medal with my regards!"

The rod chimes a trio of times as it gathers the energy of the spell. Spinning and flourishing it as she pivots around, her twintails twirling like blonde streamers behind her. Before she finally raises it up parallel to her.

And begins to whirl like an ice skater in a combination spin. Faster and faster, from high- "MOOOOONNNNNNNNNN SPIRALLLLLLLLLLLL-"


Before finally finishing in a kneel upon the ground, rod raised high, "-ATTACK!" A scattering of stardust like a pinwheel, before hearts streaming outwards. Faster and faster, joining together into glorious heart shaped brilliance that careens towards the athletic droid.

And trying to smash into it.

Taking the Heart Medal at the Youth Olympics... HURTler!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

More shotupts rain down all around. Steven is forced to roll to a size to avoid another handful of them as he recovers. "Those things are dangerous, come on!" the boy yells at the HURTler. Does it even udnerstand them?!

A quick dust-off and a headshake gets the Gem Child back in the action, and none too soon, as the statue retaliates soon enoguh as others lash out. Others are ready, however. Mikoto seems to be accepting of the kind words, though he doesn't exactly like that look in her eye. Akko seems bolstered by it, and K--


The youma begins to run, and fire begins to spread everywhere, like some kind of ebon-tinted infection. Steven avoids most of it, though the last person he was thinking of appears to be on a very poor recieving end of it all. "I'm coming!" Steven calls out, and runs into the fire, rolling forward, and suffering a few burns to where Kasagami is, activating a Bubble Shield to hedge it away from damaging her further.

"You okay?" he asks hastily. "That thing is going nuts! We gotta stop it!" He thinks for a moment, and has an idea. "Let's go fo one of the joints! You go high, I'll go low!" The boy pops the bubble shield, and the concussive force blows away the nearby fire, though would soon encroach again if they didn't hurry.

Steven rushes forward, then pivots and stops, with a hand grinding into the ground, He slams the shield at an angle in the ground. "I'll give you a boost! Lets do it!" he says, a daredevil's smile on his face.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has started a combo targeting Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The sharp edge of victory is at hand, but Esmeraude's minion is strong! Kassie lands, and flicks that ticker-tape hair remnants off her wooden croquet-mallet like a samurai stepping away from her defeated challenger. A quick toss of her shoulders, and her hair flutters as she turns 'round to face the creature, enjoying the sight of Sirene's battering un-light, a moonlit tiara, and so much more. Pluto's boots set her heart on fire.

But there's more than one pair of boots adding in flames, literally in the Hurtler's case. Instantly, synapses and Kassie's heart come at war. She knows what's going to happen to all of those in the stadium if that fire's source isn't ended. Her heart skips a beat, skin going chill despite the sweat produced by those black flames. Guns fire...

Kasagami screams, and she stumbles backwards away from the shots. Just in time to miss. Just in time that the swell of the flame produced by the youma lashes across her.

She freezes, choking on ash and worse scents that aren't there. Her throat feels scorched.

And then a bubble surrounds her, and instead of black flame she's peering through pink. It takes a moment for Kassie to recover. Her entire body trembles, and she quickly kicks the burning hem of her track pants out.

"I'm...fine." It's a valiant effort, but the tremble isn't out of her voice. It's Steven's words that kick her out of her own fears and past.

"Right, I'm fine. I'm fine!" She brushes her right arm. She isn't, but she tries.

Then she's leaping, falling in a graceful angle to alight her boots upon that angled shield. Three slices of the air in front of her, and she holds that blade up high.

"Yeah. Let's stop this thing. I won't...I WILL NOT LET YOU HURT CHILDREN!" Snarls Kasagami aloud, with all the conviction and fear-dampening rage of a personal entanglement. Her heart beats again. Steven is solid as ever, despite being so young.

Maybe sometimes she really does need to lean on others to be strong.

With Steven's help, she's a rising star as she's lent into a blurr. Reds, blacks, and soon mixing of other stained glass colors surrounds her. Space distorts, and she makes a single mighty strike. Her blade is swung once.

Reflected back on each other again and again, only the tip is aimed for the joint of one of the speeding youma's legs as she seeks to catch up. It's a motion of pure skill and dexterity. Three blades fall in unison with the first, in the same moment, until glass shatters and their follow-through remains. Hamstring. Stop. Kasagami puts her body into it, not caring about a landing.

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

As Hurtler begins leaving a literal trail of black fire in her wake, the Magic Knight of Wind scrambles to try and get clear, quickly casting a wind barrier to try and guard herself against the burning blackness. It's of limited effectiveness; wind is not generally a good element to use against fire, unless the fire is small enough that you can blow it out. Anything bigger, and you're only throwing more oxygen at the fire - feeding it, rather than quenching it.

But it gets the job done, at least sort of. This time.

Still, the Wind Knight only had a fairly small stretch of those black flames to protect herself against - and HURTler is leaving a steadily-lengthening trail all around the field, a fire which threatens the stadium's structure as well, from the stands to the concourse to the outer walls, and everyone - magical girl and mundane civilian alike - who's still within the structure. But HURTler herself is still there - still running.

And the Droid is quite vulnerable to injury. That should include wind magic, if focused so that its wrath is expended on the Droid instead of her fiery trail.

So the green-clad Magic Knight gathers her power, a small circle around her kept free of flames by the breeze which gusts about her, ruffling her skirts and sleeves, tousling her hair. If her allies can bring the Droid to a halt, she'll gladly capitalize; if HURTler just keeps going, she'll aim to intercept. Sailor Moon is already unleashing her own decisive spell as the Magic Knight of Wind shifts her focus outwards; by the time she can finish the spell, her other allies may take their own shots as well - but as long as the monster goes down and the threat is eliminated, it doesn't really matter what order the attacks land in. Right?

"Emerald ... !!"

She's still angry. The monster could have focused on the magical girls, but HURTler went out of her way to hem in the civilians, to keep them trapped, to continue threatening them. The Wind Knight leashes her anger tightly - keeping it under control, drawing on it to sharpen the teeth of the spell she's making ready, to harden and hone the bite of the tempest. And at its peak -


- she cuts loose, literally flinging her spell with both hands, as if physically gathering the storm and hurling the gale's fury at HURTler. She may blow the black flames about some in the process, but there's little avoiding it; she just zeroes in on HURTler and tries to rip it apart with the rending, lashing winds of her spell.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Fuu Hououji has used Emerald Cyclone: Focused on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Akko Kagari braces 18 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Track On Fire, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Akko Kagari's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has joined the combo started by Steven Universe!
COMBAT: COMBO! Steven Universe and Kasagami Araki have used Combo: Edge Cascade!, composed of Shield Bash and Rose Flash, on
Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Flaming Bonds Are Being Tested (Tales of Zestiria) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK_sxa3cjdo

Maybe...she should have said something. Maybe she should have been honest sooner, or been honest now, or gone with her brother...Mai shakes her head as the droid reclaims what's left of its physical form, jogging back into the battlefield of her own volition. Takumi's running to safety, and she's free to continue helping stop this monster before anyone else gets hurt.

The guns reappear, and Mai slides to a halt on reflex. She casts her glance around for Mikoto, raising her rings to form a faint crimson barrier as the youma starts its run. One shot glances off, then another, and Mai can't help but glance in the direction the civilians ran. "...they're fine, right? They have to-"

Hesitation flickers in her barrier as the droid approaches. Mai glances back at it - but it body-checks her through the barrier, the sound of shattering glass filling the air. She cries out as she's flung to the side, tumbling and sliding through the flames that mark its passage. Slowly, she finds her footing, staggers upright as the monster widens its spiral, increases the pitch of the flames.

The heart-clenching fear for Takumi has faded; her blind fury has burnt out. Her mind is caught up in the conversation she's only just deflected, and the droid...the droid only matters in that it's still putting her loved ones in danger. She's almost just...worn out, emotionally.

The black flames are rising. ...people she cares about are still in danger. Somewhere, Mikoto is either hurt or preparing a berserk charge, Sailor Moon is still arguing with the monster, everyone else here is still fighting...and her brother isn't so far away as to be safe, whatever he might think of all this.

Mai takes a breath, then another. Working herself up, because she can't afford to be worn out. Whether it's buying time or just trying to stop that rampage...she has to do what she can.

She has to keep up her responsibility, even if Takumi knows about it all.

Her rings start spinning faster, burning hotter, shining brighter. She flies against the spiral, looping around to meet the hurdler in the middle of its run, with crimson light flickering around her. A tentative shield, growing brighter with every breath, a faint image of spiralling magatama just visible...

"...I'm going to deal with everything with Takumi another day. Which means making sure there's another day to deal with it."

As the youma loops around to run her down again, Mai's power flares out. The faint symbol burns proudly in the air, crimson light becomes crimson flame, a defensive shield becomes a burning bulwark. She meets the charge with an inferno, driven to make sure that the monster's destructive run will not pass her.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mai Tokiha has used Precious Pyre on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Akko looks despondent and disbelieving, for a moment at the hurdles that are sucked into the vortex. But, then she hears Steven's words. Her eyes widen. 'A believing heart,' the words echo in her mind, 'is your magic.' Her jaw sets, and she nods her head; her witch's hat bobs on her head, before she looks back at the Droid. "Yeah! But... magic can do a lot more than just defeat a monster!"

Which is easier said than done, when black flame comes tearing out for her and the whole stadium. "N-No! Lotte and Sucy might still be there!" Akko calls out, as she raises an arm across her face. The fire blasts across a shimmering barrier of light, strands of teal energy highlighted as the black flame clashes with it.

She looks sideways at Sailor Moon. She nods, full of understanding.

But there is more to it. She swings around the Shiny Rod. Teal light dances across it, cyan to aquamarine, and then Akko goes running across the ground and hurdles. She leaps, kicking off it -- and rises up high. Akko swings her famed weapon back, and it glows.

"Magic... is about giving people something to smile about! So, you should--" And then she lands, slamming the Shiny Rod down. The energy on it bursts, a rotating cross of aquamarine light erupting and punctuating the swing. "--go AWAAAAAAAY!"

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Shiny Smite on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

That's what you get when you shilly-shally, la Sirene thinks with a certain weariness. The hole you aimed for seals up! She settles back even as the Shepherds move in to do what they do best, in her view (that is to say, murders) - but -

Any clever thoughts along the line of 'let them finish it off, what harm can it do' fade when the creature bursts out, fires its guns, and begins to run away. Is that... okay? la Sirene wonders, looking towards the stands where Batiste is.

Batiste cannot be clearly seen. Too small!!

Back to the Droid. It's fleeting and it's fleeing and the streaking flames it leaves in its wake - it's going round, la Sirene thinks. When it makes a complete loop, la Sirene realizes with bleak horror that it's not booking it for an exit.

Another full loop and the flames are running higher. Caught out on the field like this, la Sirene has nothing much to hide behind. By the time she thinks to call once more upon THAT new technique, the droid has already moved away.

La Sirene looks to the Droid, to the nearby wall, towards the exits. The Wind rises. So too does the heart. La Sirene takes a couple of steps *away* from the Droid... and towards the other end of the track. She winces and flinches when the thing races by, but then her plan is complete. Her hands raise up and with a rippling billow like dripped heavy water into a glass of ammonia, the light that never warms flows from her fingers, makes her gloves sparkle, and forms...

A long net of quivering, trembling strands between her and the far end of the track. The anchoring is poor and the fluttering strips of light are more like the tiny plasma ropes you can see when you touch the glass globe at the science museum, but la Sirene turns her head to watch the final approach of the runner.

"Some hurdles," la Sirene muses, "Aren't meant to be surmounted."

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Abyssal Vision on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

She who fights monsters...


Mikoto Minagi has never once in her life taken care in her battles.

Her blade is engulfed in white light - explodes, against the shadows of the reforming droid. She slams it down, and through; it comes away with the fluttering shards of a cape. Miroku bites the ground, and two halves of a carp are severed, sailing into the air behind her. The scrap of a tail comes to wrap about an arm. She does not bother to remove it.

She has to move, after all. This time, she leaps solidly from the path of the pistols - but it's not the pistols she need worry about. The Hurtler runs, and from her path comes flame. Mikoto tries to stay out of its path, and at first it is simple. With each spiralling rotation, it grows just a little bit harder.

There is fire everywhere.

It is not a comforting thing - not at all.

It will consume them all.

She can withstand it. She is a powerful thing, a force unto herself. Mai will be fine. Steven will be fine. Kasagami will be fine. Sailor Pluto will be fine. Sailor Moon will be fine. Fuu will be fine. That strange witch girl who seems as if she is struggling with her magic will be fine. Even La Sirene de Diamant, regrettably, will be fine.

But the mother will not be fine. The children will not be fine. ... Takumi will not be fine.

Anything - everything.

Mikoto will give everything unto the altar of her loved ones without a second thought.

She charges, headlong, into the Hurtler's careening path, as if she were driving on the wrong side of the road. She charges, and moves into a spin, twirling in a way too weighted by heavy blade to be called something graceful. Once - twice - three times - the wake of the blade forbids flames around her, tears into the earth.

Mikoto holds nothing back. She pours every inch of herself into the trailing edge of her blade as it comes up, diagonal, to carve it in twain. It is desperation driven by guilt and devotion in equal measure.

- this time she will not avert her gaze.

This time she is allowed to save them.

So, please...

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Death on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Fuu Hououji's Finisher, Emerald Cyclone: Focused, taking 49 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 32 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe and Kasagami Araki's Combo: Edge Cascade!, taking 26 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Hit!  Steven Universe and Kasagami Araki are Psyched!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 84 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 126 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace La Sirene de Diamant's Abyssal Vision, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Blind and Tangle applied to
Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Akko Kagari's Shiny Smite, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Tangle applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe braces 44 Fatigue damage from Mai Tokiha's Finisher, Precious Pyre, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe
is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Finisher, Obsidian Blade: Death, taking 173 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is
unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

The droid runs and runs. Pieces of her are sliced away, but still she runs; she accelerates, even, until her body is living flame and only her bones remain, bones of glittering emerald, casting noxious shadows.

She runs still faster, and those things placed in her way to slow her -- the winds, the nets, the inferno -- they wear her away like the ocean does a cliff but still she's running, a star upon earth, falling in parallel with its surface.

She becomes little more than the concept of speed.

And then she becomes moondust.

And then she is gone.

Pink light pours across the stadium, righting not only wrongs but also the broken, the shattered, the misplaced. Down to the smallest blade of grass, the world is mended.

But people aren't -- because they didn't have to be.

Because no innocents were hurt.

It wasn't allowed -- they were saved.

And so the day was, too.

"Wow, those fire drills have become really realistic," Shingo comments to one of his friends as he jogs back inside.

Ikuko-mama ruffles his hair. Her smile is very present but her gaze is a little distant. A thoughtful affection. She shines like the Moon.

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The Droid is defeated. Akko lowers the Shiny Rod; it comes down to her side, and she glances around -- flashing a smile at Sailor Moon, then another back to Kasagami and Steven. She turns, then. Her brow furrows.

Does she need to practice this, too?

Her head lowers for a moment. It isn't a crestfallen look, exactly; it's a consideration that runs deeper than, sometimes, those crimson eyes let on. "Maaaaaaan..." She trails off. "This is going to be a lot of work!"

She plops down, and sighs -- and then yelps, as Lotte Jansson throws her arms around her in a hug. "Akko!!" she calls out. "You're okay!"



Sucy picks up another mushroom, underneath the bleachers, and throws it in her bag. Then, she stands up straight, and turns around. She pauses, blinking.

"...Akko? Where did you go?"

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

The droid is defeated. And Sailor Moon's eyes linger on Ikuko and Shingo for a moment too long perhaps. Too long for it to be a coincidence. There's a slow blink of her eyes and a smile on her lips.

And maybe those eyes feel a little wet for a moment too.

And then she finds herself being drawn to the call of Akko! Only to see the girl with glasses she ran into from earlier hugging her. And - "Oh. Ohhhh!"

Soon enough Akko may feel the pat of a glove on her shoulder, "Akko-chan." Comes a voice behind her.

It's in this moment that Sailor Moon squares herself up, trying to think of what someone might have done in this situation when speaking to a magical girl who was so new..

"That was a real mess of a fight. I heard what you said though. About how magic should give someone to smile about. And I think..."

Sailor Moon pauses for a moment, then putting her own hands together as if she were praying she finally says. "I think you're going to make Shiny Chariot real proud."

She only knows of this since Akko herself had told one Usagi Tsukino about Shiny Chariot. "Anyhow, thanks your help. I've gotta go so - see you around!"

And then Sailor Moon walks past Akko and Lotte. Before doubling back a pace.

Looking real hard at Lotte's face. "Um..." Then slowly reaching out and nudging her glasses as if to adjust them minutely. "... there."

And then she walks away again.

<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Akko and Lotte both look up, when Sailor Moon appears and lays her hand on Akko's shoulder. Lotte's arms detach, and she scoots back -- giving them a little space. Even if Lotte knows about the magical world, she doesn't have the power to fight directly. Akko blinks up at Sailor Moon a couple of times, her expression confused -- and a little bit of that forced confidence coming into her smile.

"It wasn't too bad! I think, um--" She quiets down, though, and blinks a couple of times. The words reach her, and it becomes clear in the way she looks up at Sailor Moon with such adoration.

She blinks her eyes, a few tears in them. "You--you really think so? I..." She looks down at the Shiny Rod in her hands. "...I'll do my best! Until... until I can find her again, and talk to her!"

Lotte smiles back at them -- and then blinks, startling, but not complaining. She looks at her glasses, and then back to Sailor Moon. She calls out: "...Thank you!"