2018-09-19 - Hope Floats 3

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Hope Floats 3

The climax of the battle to save Kanda Matsuri from a festival of animated floats! Evil succeeds only when good people do nothing!


Yumi Ohzora, Steven Universe, Mikoto Minagi, Signum, Setsuna Meioh, Kasagami Araki


Akihabara Electric Town

OOC - IC Date:

9/19/2018 - 05-15-15

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has loaded her saved combat state! She is now ready to take on 7 opponents!
COMBAT: Setsuna Meioh transforms into Sailor Pluto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has loaded her saved combat state! She is now ready to take on 1 opponent!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has loaded her saved combat state! She is now ready to take on 1 opponent!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has loaded her saved combat state! She is now ready to take on 1 opponent!
COMBAT: Signum Yagami has loaded her saved combat state! She is now ready to take on 1 opponent!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has loaded her saved combat state! She is now ready to take on 1 opponent!
COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has loaded him saved combat state! He is now ready to take on 1 opponent!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Marvel Studios Fanfare https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJsoP86ceDg


The Kanda Festival! One of the biggest Shinto festivals of the year in Tokyo! Huge crowds! Multiple parades! Historical costumes! Horses! Priests! Drumming!

...Majestia, Earth's Greatest Hero!

The huge, flower-festooned, inflated float (an entry from the famous Hikawa Shrine) was getting a lot of cheers when she abruptly jerked free of her tug ropes and began to fly on her own! But with obsidian energy pouring from her frowning gaze, the animated float seemed to have destruction in mind -- and plunged downward into the crowds.

Magical girls intercepted the massive, apparently corrupted superheroine, and were narrowly able to repel her. Majestia soared up into the air, slammed her fists together, and created a huge shockwave that shattered all nearby windows and sent glass falling down into the now-panicking crowds.


Steven's gigantic pink shield is almost like a rose blooming at the apex of the Witch of Lost Ivy's spectral vines; together they turn the shards of glass into a million tiny thorns but they are stopped, wholly, from reaching the crowds.

Surely the rescued folks down there are grateful, but mostly they're preoccupied by each other. Although orderly in large numbers, the people of Tokyo are still people. What was a laughing, buoyant crowd is now quickly becoming a tsunami of elbows and backs and heavy feet and dropped bags -- and lost children.

Two in particular are of note; a boy in blue jean shorts, a green shirt, and a white baseball cap, with a vast mop of brown hair, is sprawled out on his belly in the middle of the crowd. Shouting his dismay, he is likely to be crushed if not scooped up. And a girl with a pink jumper and a short black braid, surely someone who was up on a parent's shoulders for she is much too young to be out alone, is jamming her chubby fists into her eyes and bawling for that person -- who is surely being carried away by the momentum of the stampede.

Above -- between the buildings of Akihabara, which rise six and seven and ten stories into the air, dripping with painted, neon and LED advertisements -- the battle against Majestia continues. At last progress is being made: Kasagami's thrown blades stick into the bottom of her left foot, while Sailor Pluto lands a solid strike with her staff on her chest just before it is wrapped by Signum's snake-form sword.

Flexing her muscles, her biceps swell and the sword is forced away, but in this moment of distraction Mikoto is -- finally, and with more resistance than seems fair -- able to open a wound along Majestia's calf, on the same leg that sports those daggers. The float is silent (perhaps she does not have lungs) but there's a palpable sense of heightened threat, the lightning before the thunder, that prickles neck-hair and forewarns retribution.

There's also what's to be seen within. It isn't air, not anymore. It isn't flesh either. It's... magic. Swirling motes of pink and green, ranging in size from beach ball to grain of sand -- connected and intertwined with a pulsing vein of obsidian.

Tama jumps from somewhere onto his mistress' shoulder. "I think when you and your friends were blowing it up, you were so happy that you accidentally filled it with your magic, Yumi!" he yowls into her ear. "But... something must have horribly wrong!"

Something, indeed. The magic begins to leak out of the wound, swirling with the unmistakable colors of Raging Fire, of Lost Ivy, of Miroku, and in less time than it takes to beat a heart, patches it up with a thickly interwoven block of light.

Majestia, meanwhile, may not have screamed or growled, but she makes good on both the sense of threat and her own epic reputation -- one vast hand reaches out to backhand Sailor Pluto out of the air on the Sailor Senshi's rebound, straight towards the concrete far below, while the other one clenches a fist that explodes with red, blue and gold energy -- then heads straight towards Signum. When it impacts, the power explodes, sending streamers of power through the air that hit like trucks, straight at Kasagami, Yumi and Steven. And the abused leg and foot executes an axe-kick that is terminating straight towards Mikoto's head.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used No Capes on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Fist of Steel on Signum Yagami.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Stars and Might on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Stars and Might on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Stars and Might on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used The Axe Kick That Felled Gods on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Unstoppable Force on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe accepts Hotaru Tomoe's Unstoppable Force, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is Reinforced by Hotaru
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi decisively counters 33 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's The Axe Kick That Felled Gods, taking 11 Fatigue
damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!  
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora braces 9 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Stars and Might, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Yumi Ohzora's Block
and Parry abilities activate!  Blind applied to Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to counter Hotaru Tomoe's Stars and Might, taking 35 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Blind applied
to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Steven Universe's counterattack, Reverb Shield, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!  
COMBAT: Signum Yagami partially dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Fist of Steel, taking 41 Fatigue damage!  Signum
Yagami's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi is struck for just an instant--she doesn't have time for any longer--by the beauty of the rose blooming out of her magic, of a curse that nevertheless looks like something growing and vibrant. ...She's afforded that instant in her relief that the people below are spared the falling glass. The crowds are rolling through, though, and it's just as dangerous. ...But where he is, she can't see all of those that are having issues; not with the giant above them flexing and starting her attack again. It might feel less creepy if the float spoke, but maybe not.

Knowing Yumi's luck Majestia would have a terrifying, booming voice, too. In the meantime though she looks up as she feels the threat, as she sees--the--

"H-huh?" Yumi asks, recognizing those motes quickly. "I--" She jumps lightly before she stops herself, the sudden arrival of Tama on her shoulder a shock, but not as much a shock as when she yowls into Yumi's hear.

"That's--" She looks up, "SUPER wrong," she agrees with Tama, "And my magic isn't exactly something you want in a float..."

With some dread, Yumi looks up and winces on Pluto's behalf before the energy explosion crashes streamers towards her. Yumi throws another shield before herself, perfectly circular, rotating in spectral flashes, but the attack explodes against her shield, bright enough to dazzle and hard enough to force her back on sheer impact. "Augh--"

She shakes her head, stars still in her vision. "Not... cool..." A breath, "But you're not the only one who can...!"

Yumi concentrates, and pulls a green spark out of the air that stretches into a green shoot that becomes a broom with bristles that could be living, chased all in ivy. ...And she hops on, shooting up into the sky.

"If we can't overpower it," she says to Tama, "Maybe we can... find another way!"

She points her staff and shoots a quick beam of magical power, smaller than the last, as she tries to get some elevation. "Come on....!"

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has used Up Up and Away! on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto braces 26 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's No Capes, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Pluto's Block and
Parry abilities activate!  Stun applied to Sailor Pluto!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki braces 17 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Stars and Might, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Blind applied to
Kasagami Araki!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

As Yumi works her magic to help blanket the area in protective magics, Steven hoises his shield, a good three to four times its normal size over his head to help provide even further cover as he ferries civilians away that have lingered for too long. "Hurry! Just get away from this area!"

As the last group is taken out of the immediate fighting area, the boy has to stop and and lean over, sweat dripping from his brow. He hasn't used this many abilities together in so long... He has barely gotte nthe hang of expanding the shield since the incident on the beach with Jasper. Peridot and Rubeus.

A shuddering impact causes Steven to wipe his brow and look behind him just in time to see steams of patriotic color flying his way! "Nngh...!" the boy grunts with clenched teeth, pivoting and putting that big shield in between him and those blasts!

One is blocked successfully. A second clips the top of the shield, and sends rippling motion though the shield, forcing it to spin vertically, just as a third one flies through the opening and strikes Steven square in the chest, hurdling him back in to a building. A deadening thud comes fro mthe building, as cracks appear in the wall. Steven's shield fades as the boy falls to his knees. "Gotta... keep going...!"" he ekes out. Sweat pours down in to his eyes, forcing him to take a moment to try and wipe it away.

Upon clearing what he can, a look to the float spies odd energy coming out of a wound caused whilst he was helping people. Those colors are recognizeable from some of the people present! But how did that get in there? He was there all day helping with the float? Oh wait. Weren't they the ones manning the blowers? ...Yeah. Huh.

A glance across the battlefield is make attempting to locate someone. "Anyone seen that kind shrine guy?!"

A deep breath, and another shield appears, though takes time to manifest. A work of the arm, and the shield flies toward Majestia, attempting to help dole out some damage!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There are moments of weakness which may be exploited in any foe. That Majestia is so much larger does not change that she is being assaulted on so many fronts - and Mikoto so naturally takes advantage of the opening to carve through.

Here, there is a thing which ought to have happened: the balloon should have been split in twain, air sending it coursing into the distance, never to bother them again.

Here, there is a thing which actually happens: the balloon splits to reveal magic, in so many bright shades, and one so, so dark. Her lips curl up to show her teeth as she snarls, but she is already on the downward curve of her arc. She lands and whirls, glaring up at this abomination which has stolen what is hers.

It is unworthy of that magic - and she will correct this imposter's transgression.

Majestia's menacing aura is a thing that sets the hairs at the back of her neck aprickle, threat unspoken and impossible to put aside. When her foot comes down in axe-kick, it is with all the force and fury of a freight train.

She should try to run, to flee. She will surely be crushed under the might of the titan whose attention she has commanded in such a way.

But Mikoto Minagi is not afraid.

Mikoto Minagi is angry.

A terrible feral scream rips from her lips as she whirls her sword about, brings it up to meet Majestia's blow. There is no moment of strain between them: the power behind them is too strong for a protracted struggle. It is a blinding moment of speed and strength, so horrifically mismatched. Miroku's blade slips the angle of Majestia's unstoppable force just slightly, just enough to send it crashing into the ground beside her instead of crushing her skull like so much gravel beneath her feet.

The impact shudders the ground, makes her stagger; she almost, almost falls. She feels the vibration in her teeth, clenched like a steel trap, as it echoes in her ears.

"That's mine," Mikoto gasps to refill her lungs as she catches her footing again. "That's mine!!"

Yumi supposes there is another way, aside from overpowering such a creature.

But something so profane has to be destroyed.

She begins to spin about - three-hundred and sixty degrees, no, seven-hundred and twenty - and slams the edge of her blade into Majestia's heel, bellowing her recrimination. She will break it. There is no other course available to her.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Demolition on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Yumi Ohzora's Up Up and Away!, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Yumi Ohzora
is Psyched!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to brace Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 27 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Demolition, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Cripple
applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Signum Yagami [None] has posed.

Signum curses to herself. At this angle - attached by that long cord of spiked metal - she can't avoid things very well, can she? No. The silent fist of the great heroine comes towards Signum and she attempts to swerve in a way that would increase, not decrease the tension on the rope. And...

P O O M P !

Laevatein snaps loose of Majestia in order to avoid overtensioning. Signum herself, even as her Armed Device returns to a more coherent and less activated form, goes flying.

As she sails through an open-air office park, Signum considers that she made a questionable tactical decision. Since she is not being immediately lasered or subjected to fell sorceries, she assesses what went wrong. Right, she reasons: she had anticipated a harrying attack from Zafira supplemented by a combination of some elements of a covert strike from Shamal and a brutal crusher strike from Vita.

Quite sensible, she thinks as her momentum splats her back against the window of an office.

She turns her head to look at an open window. A handsome man with a dedicated purpose in life carefully slides an eclair, which he had been about to eat, into a bag.

"Still working?" Signum asks him.

"Mm," he says. "It's true. I hope you will forgive my impertinence, but you were connected to the parade, correct...?"

"Yes," Signum informs him.

"Your appearance... it's inspired me. I think that I would prefer to have green tea ice cream. In recognition of this, Tomoe-gozen, would you enjoy this eclair?"

Signum considers. "Yes," she says, shifting her hand. There is a momentary bond between Knight of Cloud and Knight of Sweets.

  • chew*

After this, Signum vaults off again. The salaryman with the eclair sits down to blog about this experience. He does not even mention that 'the samurai-woman, combining the sweetness of late spring with the stern determination of an ice-cream maker' whacked into the side of his building.

Signum, for her part, adjusts her helmet as she raises her arc over one of the buildings and lands atop it, exhaling to narrow her eyes down at Majestia. Not really 'down' so much as 'slightly near the general eye level of,' honestly.

COMBAT: Signum Yagami has used Eclair de Lune? on Signum Yagami.
COMBAT: Signum Yagami accepts Signum Yagami's Eclair de Lune?, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Signum Yagami is Reinforced by Signum
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Pluto [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Sailor Pluto takes a stoic sort of satisfaction in the way her blow drives home against this rampaging misrepresentation of Majestia. She doesn't get to follow through on her plan for descent, though, because a senshi-sized backhand seizes the initiative. She curls midair to take the blow with a grunt, a ball of a senshi, and gets propelled toward the pavement below -- then lashes the bottom of the Garnet Rod into a building facade with a fountain of obliterated brick, slowing just before impact.

An unfortunate person is going to come back from their day at the festival to a cratered car, because Sailor Pluto drops right through the roof and ends up inelegantly entangled in the wreckage. It's her good fortune to have landed close to a strong and trusted hand, and Pluto reaches out with a call of her name...

And after, she alights outside the hunk of once-car on the toes of her senshi boots, one-two, and an arm around Kasagami's shoulders. Her fingers run up through what remains of her girlfriend's hairdo, and she murmurs, "Thank you, Kassie. It's a shame about the hair pin, but not that your hair has gotten loose."

Then her eyes shift over Kasagami's shoulder and she pulls free and points -- "The children!" There's an urgency to the senshi as she looks back to the duelist. "Be swift, my love," she says and clasps hands before dashing for the lost little girl in her vulnerable terror. She shifts the Rod to her left hand and reaches down with her right, never breaking stride, to snag the girl up into a protective cradle, then leaps free of the crowd!

"It will be all right, small one. You'll find them again. You won't be lost for long." There's a promise of safety to the words she speaks against the girl's dark hair. She makes for a clear spot, further from Majestia and the crush, and uses her height to search for a responsible sort of civilian who can be entrusted with a child -- or better yet, a desperate and searching parent who might be a match to the little one in her arms.

COMBAT: Sailor Pluto has used Protective Instinct on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kassie can't help but feel satisfaction at piercing that horrid corrupted float with her knives, even as she hops up from her cover. Her good eye is quickly drawn to the wound in the gigantic thing, the Duelist frowning as she notes the magical motes that wrap up with obsidian veins. Her jaw sets for a moment. It's an ominous sight, and the feeling of the float's growing threat has her gripping her blunt hair dagger harder.

She can't tell why, but she knows this corrupted Majestia is wrong and it makes her side ache uncomfortably. Never a good sign.

Kasagami is a Duelist and a swordswoman. This is not her particular alleyway. "Yumi-chan! Any idea what caused this!?" It's nothing like her encounters with Dark Generals, and so, she turns to the witch she knows. It's the best she can do, other than using her blade and keeping an eye on allies and the civilians.

Cue Kassie very much distracted for a second as Majestia backhands Sailor Pluto. A moment of red hot rage fills her, the young woman ready to speak before she thinks. Luckily, whatever invectives she had for the float is silenced by that stream of power that hammers right into her. Kasagami works on instinct, bringing up both arms defensively as she's slammed into, hammering her straight down into a small crater in the concrete from the force of impact even as she manages to dampen just a little bit of it! Spittle and an angry, muffled cry escapes her as she's seeing stars for a moment.

The sleeves of her kimono are utter ruins, and her limbs are bruised messes on the backs thanks to Majestia's power. Drawing one now-spittle lined arm across her mouth, she hops up stubbornly. Ignoring rattled brains and a few searing nerves, she's kept hold of her small weapon even as she looks a bit wobbly from the impact.

And then she winces as her cover suddenly has a Pluto-shaped indentation. A free hand, battered though it may be, is offered to Pluto with a smile, and soon a shoulder follows.

"Oh, I don't know! I think...cough...free, long hair and concrete bits might become next year's fashion craze. We'll be trendsetters at this rate." Yeah, Kassie is smiling right at her love like a goof even as she's hauling up. Two gloved fingers pick a few bits of glass out of Pluto's hair for a second, given the landing.

"On it!" Responds Kasagami instantly, hands clasping and let go. There's a wall of panick'd civvies, but Kasagami leaps upwards, backflipping and peering down as Setsuna goes on the hunt. The young man with the white baseball cap immediately stands up to her gaze, and she lands short in a pause amidst the crowd.

"OUT OF THE WAY!" Howls Kassie with as much Kingly might as she can mutter, standing up straight and walking right towards the kid regardless of anyone ramming into her. She'll take it on the sides, and chin if necessary. The tall young woman muscles her way towards the becap'd young man, reaching down with one hand and trying to physically shield him from the crowd with her own athletic, tall form.

Her smile is warm, and her free hand perhaps surprisingly gentle, should she manage to get that close! "Hey little guy. Where's your parents, huh? Don't worry, for you have a King at your side, and she'll protect you from anything that would dare try to hurt you!" She winks, like this whole thing is a big joke. She tries to sweep the fallen young boy protectively to her front, only to turn her good eye balefully upon any that might get too close.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used King's Aegis on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe cleanly braces 11 Fatigue damage from Sailor Pluto's Protective Instinct, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru
Tomoe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's King's Aegis, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Critical
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Can You Stop This Thing? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMpugn4n4d0

Majestia winds up fighting as giants do -- janking to one side of Yumi's bright beam of power, flattening the witch's hair with the nearness of her hand as she tries to swat this broomriding irritant away. Ignorant of her feet, Mikoto's blow is almost as solid as she could hope for, made less than perfect only by the happenstance that she was lifting back off into the air -- but now she stays on the ground, folding into a crouch squarely at the moment that Steven's shield buries itself into her shoulder, opening up another pink-green-obsidian wound, before it flickers away into nothing.

Her eyes -- the pools of darkness where her eyes should be -- glisten with hatred.

Meanwhile, twin rescues are mounted on the ground. "Thanks, auntie!" says the little boy, turning from terror to cheek in an instant, as children sometimes do. Righted now, he wriggles out of Kasagami's grasp and jumps straight through a broken window into a nearby storefront. Hiding seems like the way to go right now. (Yes, it is a candy shop. I mean, priorities.)

The little girl is nonverbal. She stares up at Sailor Pluto with huge blue eyes -- and then past her. Her stubby little arms thrust out over the senshi's shoulder, accidentally yanking a little bit of her green hair, but with purpose: there's someone else, a woman with the same eyes, who finally tears free of the crowd to close the distance at an out-and-out sprint. "Thank you, thank you!" cries the mother, who is shaking like a leaf and on the verge of weeping -- but who stiffens her shoulders and lifts her chin, as she collects her baby, in order to stay in one piece long enough to get them out of there. Down the street they go.

And then, the Crystal Gem asks an interesting question: where is Grandpa Hino?

Shortly, this question answers itself. His voice, which bawls so raucously when he's amused, or rustles like dried leaves in more serious times, is raised into an extended kiai, a battle scream wholly outsized compared to his battle... charge.

He's so small.


His gnarled little hand is clutching something.


And he slaps an ofuda squarely on the foot that Mikoto has just broken before him. It cannot twitch out of the way.

Nothing happens. A tumbleweed rolls down the now-much-emptier street. A crow caws. The calligraphy-inscribed bit of paper is just a bit of paper.

And then there is an explosion of light.

As though Majestia were a brilliant, three-dimensional stained glass art installation and he had just applied the faintest bit of pressure to the bottom, cracks spread, gaping wide, up this leg and down the other, up the chest and down the arms, through the head --

-- and -- she -- explodes.

There is simply nothing left of the float, afterwards, except for sadly stretched bits of balloon rubber, which has inexplicably turned gray, as though they've been worn away through a dozen dozen winters in the gutter.

But there is something left of the monster. Unconstrained, unshaped by what had contained it, the mingled magicks become something between cloud and flame, more sphere than cylinder. It burns coldly -- it hisses as it flows, the promise of corrosion hot upon the nostrils.

And, at its core -- a red eye opens.

As it does, a wave of hot crimson light threatens to engulf everyone and everything, all around. The advancement of its edge is like watching the approach of a forest fire -- concrete shatters and slags and melts -- and when it does, to stand in it is much the same experience.

There's a dog, whimpering, trapped underneath a half-crushed mailbox that will afford it little protection from power like that.

And there's a child, eyes screwed shut, messy-haired and messy-faced, alone or lost or forgotten, who has long since given up on flight or even safety -- whose arms are flung around their knees, as they rock back and forth and back and forth and try to drown out the sounds of the battle with the beating of their own heart.

COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into Unbound Strength!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Age of Apocalypse on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Age of Apocalypse on Sailor Pluto.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Age of Apocalypse on Signum Yagami.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Age of Apocalypse on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Age of Apocalypse on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe has used Age of Apocalypse on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora partially dodges 11 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Age of Apocalypse, taking 43 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Signum Yagami decisively counters 36 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Age of Apocalypse, taking 12 Fatigue damage!
Signum Yagami's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Signum Yagami's counterattack, Panzergeist, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Hotaru Tomoe!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe cleanly braces 45 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Age of Apocalypse, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki dodges 16 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Age of Apocalypse, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Kasagami Araki's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi partially dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Age of Apocalypse, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto
Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Pluto partially dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Hotaru Tomoe's Age of Apocalypse, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi lets out a breath she started holding as soon as Majestia's hand got close to her, making sure to dive the opposite direction with one hand on her broom before the terrifying giant follows up. From this vantage point, she can see the monster--the monster that was their balloon, that may have been made from... happiness?--healing, can see the others helping people on the ground--

"...Thanks," she murmurs, seeing a child reuinted with her mother, and prepares to follow up with another attack, except--Grandpa Hino is there, on the ground. Her pink eyes widen as she sees him, his battlecry echoing even to her--

"Oh--" She worries. Of course she worries, in the moment, this thing is so large and he is so small, but her life is not one where magic has failed. His ofuda is placed, and she holds her breath, waiting for a reaction, or for her to kick him away, or for something--

Nothing, until it explodes so brilliantly that she has to throw a draping sleeve up to shield her face, rocked backward by the explosion--but as she lowers her arm, she looks down, and sees not only gray, not only the absence of the flowers, but--But a thing that she can feel as much as see, a chill that goes down to her blood. And the shockwave comes--

Yumi reacts instinctively; she holds her staff close, but reaches up to hold Tama closing, holding onto her familiar and guarding her with her own frail body. "Look out--!"

The shockwave hits her, and its concrete-shattering power launches her back to crash straight into a building, sailing through what used to be glass and disappearing with a set of hard noises into the debris that remains. There is nothing from up here, for a little while. ...Not as there are people to be saved, not as a dog whimpers, not as the world melts harder...

It's only after long moments stretch onwards that Yumi shoots back out of the building, soaring up higher, clearly the worse for wear if anyone looks. Tama is perched on the broom now instead of on Yumi's shoulder, and the fatigue in the young witch's movements is clear. Her muscles ache; breathing is hard, her chest tight. But... "If I helped make this, then..." She wheezes, "I won't... give up on cleaning it up!" Raising her voice Yumi calls down, "Mikoto! Be careful!"

She hopes Grandpa Hino is okay down there. With that hope she straightens her shoulders and holds her staff up, still holding in the middle, towards the sky. Light starts to gather, slowly at first and then much more quickly, the crystal at the staff's head becoming a beacon of brilliant green. Still gathering power, she puts both hands on the implement, careful on her broom, and begins to trace out runes that hover in the air in their passing, light and brilliance, so the opposite of her curses in so many ways. She raises her voice to chant, "Holy light! Rain down in verdant might!"

She swings her focus forward, shattering the magic circle before her, "BLESSED SHINE!" And at that a sunbeam twice her height bursts from the broken circle, cascading downward with brilliant force, a purifying magic that sets life into the world, and Yumi just tries to hang on to the spell and her broom.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Yumi Ohzora has used Blessed Shine on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Almost as if on queue, Grandpa Hino appears from the thick of battle to fight against Majestia! "Be careful!" the boy cries, he knows he can't be magically attuned like they are! And yet, he will not stand idly by. He incants against the malevolent float and slings an ofuda with righteousness!

There is a deafening moment as nothing happens, as if everyone pauses to watch.

There is a devastationg explosion. "It exploded?!" the boy calls. The smoke and debris begin to settle, and the boy steps forward some to see what has become of it. It has left behind an unusual amount of smoke for a float that did not catch fire, It doesn't seem to be floating aw-- oh. That is a big eye, isn't it.

"It's still here!" he calls to his allies, strain in his voice. The boy barely has time to react to the sudden infero level of heat that washes out, like the sun itself was present. He erects a Bubble Shield to protect himself as it passes over. It hedges out some of the heat but much is still passing through, the boy begins to sweat uncontrollably. "I... I cant...!" he cries out. The sides of the shield begin to wave from the intense heat and pressure.

The boy shuts his eyes. He doesn't know what to do in this moment.

And yet...

The thought of Grandpa Hino comes to mind. An elderly fellow, charging a monster he cannot possibly be able to fight alone. And a thought to Rose. It sounded like something she would do.

The Bubble Shield snaps back to a taut position.

"I... I have to try! I can't give up now! Not for anyone! All these people will get hurt! My friends will get hurt!"

The Bubble Shield becomes opaque, as many concentric lines slice vertically down the outside.

"And if all event taught me anything...!" the boy continues through tightly shut eyes.

Those concentric lines begin to have sections peel away from the Bubble Shield, downward and outward, several layers thick. The points begin to ruffle, gain texture. They resemble...


They begin to glow with a pink scintillating light as the waves of power make contact. The heat lessens around Steven, as the petals deflect-- no, absorb the energy they produce. They glow brighter and brighter until there is a point of light that is difficult to look at on the battlefield roseate in color.

"Is that evil succeeds only when good people do nothing!"

The boy's eyes flash open, and with a teary smile, points at the creature.


There is a thunderous noise that comes from that point of light. Reverberating and low in tome. It sounds as though something detonated underwater. All at once, every single ounce of energy poured in to that shield is reflected in one focused burst. An identical wave of pink light matching the creature's attack rips out.

And in its wake leaves nothing but pink sparkles and ephemeral rose petals.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Steven Universe has used Blooming Rose Reflection on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There are more warriors here than just the girls and Steven.

Grandpa Hino charges in to take advantage of the blow Mikoto has scored, to keep Majestia on the ground. He abjures the evil, and at first it seems an utterly pointless thing.

If Tama is right, and Majestia is fueled by their magic - it would not be an evil thing. With the exception of Signum and Vita, there were no villains who might have corrupted it in that way.

Then again...

... perhaps Signum's presence was enough.

Because the ofuda engages, cracks becoming gashes becoming an explosion of light. The rubber which defined Majestia is gone, but for scraps stretched about it. It burns bright and chilling.

Mikoto's breath catches in her throat, as sigils alight along Miroku's length, red slit eyes as if to peer upon what has been wrought.

An eye alights upon them and it is hers.

"Please," Mikoto whispers, low and strained. And her voice is not angry, any more. It is uncertain - it is afraid.

It has to be an imposter. It has to be a pretender.

But even if it has stolen it from her, still she trembles.

Is this why she could not bring her might to bear? Is this why Miroku fought against her?

Could it be -

Her lips shape a word and there is no breath behind it at all. That red light pours out, the peak of its destruction, and she cannot bring herself to charge through it at all. She cannot bring herself to attack at all.

The force of the blow catches her. Bonelessly she is thrown backwards, instinctively rolls, catches herself against the concrete. From the periphery of her vision she sees what it is about to catch in its wake, a child insensate.

There is cold terror in her stomach as she realises precisely where that child has gone in her mind, and it is that which prompts her to push her feet under her, to finally surge forward and grasp the child one-handed as she tears off away from the force of the blow. She tosses them over a shoulder; she is not focused on their comfort.

She flees the wake of the red destruction.

She keeps running.

And it is only when they are far from the parade that Mikoto kneels, sets down the child. She wraps them up in a tight hug, and she is shaking just as much as they might be. "It's okay," she whispers, panicked and afraid and trying so, so hard to be strong. "It's okay. You'll forget. It's okay..."

It's okay. She'll forget. It's okay.

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

It is with a chest-easing relief that Sailor Pluto passes the girl to the arms of her mother. She hardly notices the tug on her hair. She bows her head, eyes on the pavement. "It is the least I can do," she says to the woman's receding back with no expectation of being heard. A moment passes; she leaps back into the fray.

Just in time to witness Grandpa Hino's performance and the... results? The begone-ing doesn't take, that's for certain, because this is an awful lot of air-searing evil, post-explosion. It rushes for them all like a shockwave released from a forge, and Pluto's first thought is for her girlfriend and her painful vulnerability to heat -- her second is how to evade such a thing, herself.

She vaults behind the nearest structure, but it's a festival booth and considering how concrete is slagging... the wooden bits of the structure catch fire and that in turn catches the senshi who's huddled against it, even as she suffers the wash of a weaponized heatwave. Pluto comes away from the experience hissing between her teeth, black scorch marks marring the back of her fuku.

Her grasp on the Garnet Rod renews, and she plants the haft against the quickest-cooling patch of concrete she can find... then leans, just a touch, on its titanium solidity. She still feels every crunching bruise from unfortunate contact with a supersized fist; but this, too, she will withstand. Stoic and determined, the dark senshi sets her jaw and stares down the baleful eye.

"So this is your true face." A wind rises around her, tugging long evergreen locks up and around until they form a rippling vortex pointing skyward. Then Ivy releases a spell of purification and garnet eyes blink against the shine... then nearly lose sight altogether to a burst of brilliant pink, a sunrise supernova of petal-light that defies the darkness.

Sailor Pluto feels a bittersweet pain in her chest. She draws a deep breath. She continues, her hair whipping wildly above her head. "You may not be the evil I've sworn myself to stopping, but still -- I will not stand by for this! Reap the sorrow you've sown..."

The storm forms above and around Sailor Pluto, a thundering coalescing of clouds that flicker and strobe in strange ways. "And reap it long! Chronos Typhoon!"

And the storm surges across the space between senshi and demonic eye, a stutter-howling vortex of shattered gravity and shrieking time-dilation -- and as it batters at the eye time stre-e-eeetches experientially for the being, inviting it to suffer the full fury of the typhoon over what feels like disjointed eternity instead of seconds.

In the wake of her storm the senshi lets her strength rest more fully yet on her sacred weapon. She catches, from the corner of her eye, the panicked flight of Mikoto Minagi but the girl is far, and the fight is not yet done -- her worries for her friend deepen.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Pluto has used Chronos Typhoon on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Signum Yagami [None] has posed.

From her building's eye view, Signum can see all of this unfold. The tall women saving those children are spotted, tracked. The swift motion of the Mikoto of War is tracked. The actions of the youngest of the Crystal Gems is spotted but more details are hard to track because there is a new challenger!

Grandpa Hino approaches! He has an ofuda - Signum knows what one of those is! She's learned about it while learning about the rich cultural landscape of the realm known as "Japan." She grasps the hilt of her blade as she braces. There is a huge rupture, the residual leavings of those flowers vanishing. This much Signum expects, recalling the wise words of ... a cat, just now, on the matter.

But there is something inside of that creature.

What is it? Signum does not recognize it but the parameters of such a creature are taken, as best she can. Her peering upon the creature is neutralized by the opening red eye and the rising of the crimson light. And by hearing something whimper. The world grows more and more red by the second as Signum's brow furrows and her eyes widen.

The dog struggles, trapped. It struggles as the red grows brighter. The red light fills the world and erases all boundaries and the dog is - a moment later - gone.

In the interim, warriors struggle. A young boy, a young witch. Perhaps in vain. Wrecked or disrupted, it is perhaps all a losing battle, now. Or...

There is a crystalline echoing 'ting!' from Yumi's six and above her. A platonic solid of magenta light dissipates, its front and right-hand panes heavily impacted. "You're doing well," Signum tells Yumi, her voice low as she shifts herself forwards. Reaching up to tug down her costume helmet again, she takes in another breath.

And she moves away from Yumi a bit as well - fleeing? no; to spare her any counterstrikes.

"FIEND!" Signum cries out, where before she had said 'creature.'

"Terror you have brought to this festival! Panic, despair. The dark emotions that haunt the hearts of humanity. But even now you are defied. You have done ENOUGH! This shall end - NOW!" At this moment, Laevatein is raised up in a two handed grasp. Signum's front costume-armor plate threatens to give way even as she finishes her thought:

"In the name of the night sky -"

The armor dimples forwards and a burrowing canine head pops up directly below Signum's chin. "*bark!*" says the dog, who no doubt feels very safe like this.

Signum is stymied for half a second or so, but after that single beat, she concludes, "I shall strike through!"

Magenta light snaps out beneath her in a circular pane of alchemical glyphs in the magi-linguistics of old Belka. They expand into two additional outer rings, all rotating in contrapoint to each other. The wind rises around Signum, pure and speaking of an oncoming storm. And indeed Sailor Pluto provides it.

"Estimate the enemy manuever," Signum murmurs to herself, though the acoustic quality of Belkan magic means Yumi can hear it quickly. "-- HRAH!"

The disks of light suddenly collapse into a shrieking ray of intensity that propels Signum down - but is she going to miss the creature?


<Calculating vectors. Follow route and strike at optimum indication for -Ignition Trigger Facility- execution,> reports Laevatein within the hearing of Signum. (Laevatein isn't quite as terse as it seems, but the Armed Device usually doesn't have much to say, unlike some people, BROKEN SKY.) As she throws herself forwards, feeling the singing echoes of a thousand gravities of acceleration, Signum follows that streaking path as she has often before. And at the key point, swathed in darkness and accelerated beyond sight, she strikes -

- and her blade seems to blossom from five different places at once, all of them intersecting that great red eye!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Signum Yagami has used Kouga Shiden Issen on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Wriggle wriggle POP! The kid is out of her arms, and Kassie stands amidst the quickly vacating crowd with an eye towards that candy shop. She seems dazed for a second. And then she points her hand riiight at the fleeing, cheeky little guy!

"Auntie!? Are you kidding me!? I'm at least a cool older sister! Get back here you punk!" Is she...crying? No, those definitely aren't tears of joy. Point! Poiiint right at that candy shop.

The horrid dark eyes though pull Kassie's attention away, and the young woman steps back to ready herself. But then she spies and hears Grandpa Hino charging into battle! For such a tiny old man, he knows how to thunder like cavalry in both volume and bravery. The Duelist can't help but find it in her heart to root for the man, pausing to witness his charge. That ofuda!

Nothing. Kassie relaxes a moment. She...expected this, somewhat. His heart was in it, but...BOOM!

Faith restored and eyesight utterly stolen, Kasagami Araki is on her athletic derrier, good eye twitching, only to peer upwards at what's left of the float. That horrid, horrid red eye lets out the swathe of crimson light. Both eyes go wide, and the Duelist is leaping backwards from both panic and skill alike. Yet it's not quite enough to avoid the searing red gaze. Part of her kimono catches ablaze, right about her left shoulder, and she tears at the beautiful garment savagely. Her own scream is choked, blisters and hints of frostbite forming on her skin before she's torn away the fabric.

When she finally stops, she shivers in her own skin, sweating and panting far more than even such a desperate dodge should have forced her into. Both hands grip her knife. They tremble.

A dog whimpers. Closed eyes sear again, but when she cracks her good eye Kasagami spots that brilliant green that Yumi calls forth into a light that heals the world. Steven's shield blooms into petals, glowing and deflecting so much power right back at it's source in a beautiful act of defiance. Pluto sends an eternity of gravity and time to smash upon the shores of the eye's power! Her hands don't stop shaking, but her legs find more purchase.

"Coward. What King trembles with an army of this sublime skill at her side?" Admonishes the Duelist to herself with a sharp edge in her voice. Reproach fills her mind, and Kassie finds herself thankful that a certain Prince doesn't spy her weakness.

Strong legs rush her forward into the air, and Kasagami draws her dagger back with both hands as she leaps for the core with it's crimson eye. She doesn't bother with style or subtlety, only a single straight rush for her target. Eyes open wide, and she doesn't bother hiding a grimace as she thrusts her blade forward a single time. Despite the tiny length, it's perfect and straight, honed from hours of practice in kendo and bladecraft. Her wrists ache.

"Araki Family Technique! Crimson Rose Cage!" Her voice comes firm, and that single thrust becomes six as there's a flash of reflected blades. Mirrors make light, and there's roses in Kasagami's wake as the point of her dagger strikes simultaneously. The weight of her body is pressed into every one of them, as space itself reflects and glimmers, only for Kasagami to skid past. Glass fall in unison as they all shatter, the Duelist's knuckles white beneath leather gloves.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Kasagami Araki has used Crimson Rose Cage on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Yumi Ohzora's Finisher, Blessed Shine, taking 101 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Steven Universe's Finisher, Blooming Rose Reflection, taking 66 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe dodges 82 Fatigue damage from Sailor Pluto's Finisher, Chronos Typhoon, taking 55 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Signum Yagami's Finisher, Kouga Shiden Issen, taking 162 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is
unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Kasagami Araki's Finisher, Crimson Rose Cage, taking 196 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Hotaru Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Even running as far as she can and as fast as she can, Mikoto cannot escape the detonation. The power of Miroku, amplified by those powers it has corrupted and consumed, hammers against her slender back with all the relentlessness and remorselessness for which she knows it as well as her own name. She can hear the child's hitched breathing in her arms, against her chest... until even that begins to falter, drowned out by the howling eruption.

The whole world is red -- until it isn't.

The Witch of Lost Ivy shatters that monochromaticity with her sunbeam, which just goes on, and on, and on, again reminiscent of a plasma ball's strand, only this time, impossibly powerful, impossibly bright.

Sailor Pluto's wrenching of spacetime adds its own shifts, through blue towards purple and even deeper into red towards things that cannot be seen by the human eye, colors without name, creating a coruscating prism through which Signum and Kasagami accelerate endlessly, like mirrors reflecting themselves.

They carve away huge pieces of the sphere which explodes like dry ice onto the ground below in huge plumes of smoke and ice-cold flame that wind up getting caught up in Pluto's Gordian time-knot only to repeat, in stuttering playback, fast-forward and reverse, again and again.

All the while, Steven's immense shield protects the whole direction of the street opposite the eye from Mikoto. He sees a crack form and skitter towards the center. He feels the whole thing shudder as it ingests far more energy than it has ever born before.

Ingests -- and purifies -- and explodes!

It pours outwards like a wave of food coloring into the drink, swirls through and then overwhelms the red, and every other color besides, every line of contrast, every detail of the street. The core of the eye revealed by the others, it is as quickly overwhelmed as the rubble, the broken windows, the bits of rubber, and the battered back of Mikoto Minagi.

And when it's finally over, the street is repaired, the windows are untouched, Mikoto is healed and a wholly ordinary Majestia -- whose flowers, which were mostly carnations, have been mysteriously replaced by roses -- floats in the sky once again.

Quickly, so quickly that they've almost been replaced by magic, too, the crowds return, and cheer for their icon -- and the costumed heroes who put on such a dramatic parade show fighting her.

Truly, a parade to remember.

As for the magical accident that led to this chaos... not a trace of it is left, but for that which remains in the beating hearts of those it came from in the first place. The magic of flame. The magic of life.

And the magic of Miroku.

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

From Yumi's vantage point she can still see some of the battle, before light fills her vision and she can focus on nothing but her spell. In that moment she sees Mikoto having fallen back, rolled--picked up a little girl. ...And running, running, she keeps running. That means she's all right, doesn't it? The idea of Mikoto running from battle is strange, but Yumi can set it out of her mind for the moment, resolve to find her if she can. But now--

Now there is the monster. And there is the echo of someone appearing nearby, and Yumi can only glance that way for an instant and feel goosebumps as of all things the glorious warrior compliments her. "T-thanks--"

But they're both too busy to talk at the time, though Tama takes the opportunity to get a measure of Signum in an instant, dog and all. Both of them can hear her resolve, and Yumi can feel the unusual magic as surely as she feels what obviously can't be color in her cheeks--

As friends fight below, and Yumi can only focus on her spell again.

The light works. The spectacle of so much magic is stunning, and beautiful light repairs what was gone...

Yumi notices the roses, all right. She smiles as she sees Majestia, the float, and--

Pauses, suddenly. Glances to Signum. "...Ah, ha ha..." She rubs at the back of her neck nervously, "That uh... Um..."

Tama's tail lashes lightly one way, then the other, slow.

"G-gotta go before somebody sees me!" Yumi announces quietly, and takes off. ...Once she's not floating in the open sky she might be able to find a good spot...

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

Kasagami's boots skid to a dead halt as everything ends, streets repaired and floats perfect. She looks back, eyes the crowd, and sudden relief hits her like a train smacking her bodily. That blunted knife trembles in her hand, and finally drops.

Everyone is okay. Everyone is alive, her arm stings, and...

She looks at herself, brushes off her kimono sleeves. The young woman trembles for a second, and then collapses straight into the arms of her beloved. She laughs, with as much bravado as she can muster. That being mostly the fake kind. Trauma and unreasonable fear grips her.

"...I could really use a bubble bath right now, Setsu-chan." She quips. "Warriors deserve that kind of treatment, right?" She tries to stand, and stumbles a little. Kasagami needs a moment.

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

The end of the power comes with some spectacular fireworks, and Sailor Pluto watches with some entrancement at the way Signum and Kasagami ride her storm. Restored, she takes her weight from her sacred weapon and privately marvels at the glorious resolution.

Upon finding her way back to the side of her beloved, a discreetly de-henshined Setsuna Meioh gives Kasagami a knowing squeeze, hand to hand, and a nod. "Come, all the bubbles in Tokyo. I know what treatment you deserve, and it is royal." Date, then youma, then recovery: a parade to remember, indeed.

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

THe last moments before the shield... well, detonated? Is probably the best word. It happened so fast, it was difficult to figure out what he just did. The cracking from the pressure was alarming at the end, though more surprising was getting to see what Steven could only assume is the inside of an explosion.

The combined might of all those gathered managed to repel the strange creature, being brought low with a combination of magic and swordplay, all of whom gave their best eff-- does that samurai lady have a dog in her outfit?

That is awesome.

Actually, he could have sworn Yumi had a talking cat.

When everything has returned to normal in an almost picturesque manner, Steven can only stand there. His wounds healed from the fight, his aches gone. The boy falls back on his rump, a great weight lifted from him now that the chaos was over. "What was that?!" he says, holding his hands out. "These powers just show up! Mom, why couldn't you have left a video tape on how to use them?" he says laughing to himself.

A wobbly stand, and the boy looks himself over, then up to the float. "Huh." Were those flowers always like that? He swore he helped pin different ones on. Ah well, at least it won't attack anyone any more. He looks up to tell with Ivy Witch a great job, but... she's gone! Darn. Wait, where did the rest of the fighters go?! Probably buried i nthe returning crowd.

Well, that float still needed tug line people. Might as well get back to it!

Boy is he going to have a mouthful of questions to ask his fellow Crystal Gems when he gets home.