2018-11-23 - TIMELINE 1: Save That Tomcat!

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Title: Save That Tomcat!

A Jewel Seed grants the wish of a friendly Tomcat...

...only to encounter trouble in the form of mysterious girl.

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha is starting...


Fate Testarossa, Mikoto Minagi, Steven Universe, Fuu Hououji, Nori Ankou, Homura Akemi, Niramo Umokeshi, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Endo Naoki, Madoka Kaname, Mami Tomoe



OOC - IC Date:

2018-11-23 - 2013-09-22

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Ichi Daiji - Azumanga Daioh OST - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMVcL3Lm9qk

While some say Spring is the season for girls - perhaps Autumn is equally potent. Earthworms, water crickets, even the prickliest of hearts seem more inclined to find romance during these times when the leaves are changing.

"YOWWWWWWW-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH!" Cue a black cat with a crescent moon mark on her head, forehead beaded with sweat, currently running for her dear life down Azabu-Juuban's alleyways, a tiny pink cat which is more teeth than body attached to her tail. She passes by one alley and a mob of vicious stray cats hot on her heels.

Quickly darting into a parking lot - the poor girl finds that she's absolutely cornered by a high wall cordoning off the cars. Sensing that their prey is doomed, the cat horde all ceases running, simply blocking off her escape. They're all just wickedly sharp teeth and yellowed eyes and fur...

Luna tries to smile back, but her lip is twitching, because the tiny pink cat is still gnawing on her tail and her dread is growing. "H-H-How do things like this keep happening to me!?"

One cat stalks forward ahead of the rest, a striped orange tom baring its teeth and advancing on Luna with awful intent when-

BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy02zX_rSjc

A blur of motion darts out into the night, as a half-eaten fishbone embeds into the concrete, stopping the orange cat cold.

Everyone looks in the direction it came to find the silhouette of a large - fluffy green cat with narrowed slits for eyes and giant whiskers atop a parked truck.

Now this cat is a big fluffy boy. Big enough that it gives the whole horde of alleycats instant pause. Yet they aren't stopping. Bounding down from his perch onto the parking lot in front of Luna, he takes a singular step forward over a grate, staring them down.

It's a strange enough day as is, but now things are bound to grow stranger. Because something pulses with a strange energy, a blue shine rising underneath the fluffy tomcat.

His image doubles in size, then expands further outwards at an explosive rate, the glow encompassing him wholly with blinding radiance which can be seen for kilometers around and felt even further by those attuned to it.

Then the light clears like it had never been. Leaving behind a tomcat that's about twenty meters tall and nearly as wide.

Slowly, the even more massive tomcat turns its chin down to look on the gathering of strays that look more like fleas to him now.

The cats all freeze, then slowly, in synch, begin to retreat backwards. The pink cat gnawing on Luna's tail detaches, leaving that part of it bald, gives her a giant toothy grin, then bounds around the cat back towards its fellow.

Leaving just two cats left. Luna turns up her neck, looking at the giant green tom with uncertainty.

"What... just happened!? How did you get so huge? Did you... did you save me?"

The Tomcat's giant head turns to look right at her. Within moments those green furred cheeks are very red. Apparently he's quite bashful.

Luna's whole face becomes a 'Why me?' expression not long after. From a distance, the voice of what sounds like a small girl can be heard calling, "Rhett Butler!? Rhett Butler! Where are you?" Luna eyes him now more critically, "Rhett Butler? Is that you? ... You don't look like a Rhett Butler. Uh - well whatever the case - we can't let your owner see you like this!"

Rhett Butler seems to consider this for a moment, before flattening himself down in the parking lot, causing a whole row of cars to crumple under his bulk with a large metallic crash. Luna leaps away reflexively, "Gah! How am I supposed to manage to hide something your size long enough to figure out what's going on!"

Fortunately - the little girl's call seems to be growing more distant rather than closer. Perhaps the commotion of cat smooshing a line of cars served the purpose to drive her off so she doesn't need to see her beloved pet in this state...

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

A mob of vicious strays..!

... and one small girl.

Mikoto bounds forward on all fours just like the rest of them, though her comparatively gangly limbs ensure she's towards the tail end of the pack. She hadn't meant to get swept up in cat politics - but, well, she can hardly blame them. This new cat is a stranger, and more than that, she's strange. She's talking like people do, not like cats do. She's not very good at being a cat, but in entirely a different way to how Mikoto isn't always good at being a cat.

Mikoto, at least, is shaped differently, and so cats are more forgiving when she isn't able to communicate at her best. She's been making good progress making friends with these strays! This strange cat, on the other hand, looks like a perfectly normal cat, and so her grievous missteps are so much less forgivable.

Well, sometimes cats express themselves through fighting, too. It's not unnatural. Besides, this is the strays' home, so they're in their right to defend it.

For all these reasons, there's a feral girl observing this chaos and not helping at all. How terrible!

But there is, in the end, help. Help from a lone defender - who quickly becomes a large defender. This, too, is strange. Cats don't normally do any of what that cat just did. That's not just strange - that's magic. Slowly, Mikoto reverses her steps, backing off from behind the car she'd been peering out behind.

Yes, her new friends are entirely correct, this is not the sort of situation any of them should be in.

She begins to bound off with a few of those cats, when...

'Rhett Butler! Where are you?'

Mikoto looks down at the tabby beside her, with an inquisitive 'prrt.'

The tabby blinks up at her.

"Rhett Butler?" Mikoto asks.

The tabby looks disinterestedly away and starts running again, without a shred of recognition.

"... not Rhett Butler," Mikoto concludes, and the way she looks over the retreating horde, she has surmised that none of her new friends are he. It's a male name, which means a tomcat, which means...

Well, actually, it could mean any number of missing cats. This is a big place. There are lots of places for a cat to go missing.

But Mikoto, of course, assumes that Rhett Butler must be close by, and that only leaves one option. And that one option... is currently the size of several cats. It wasn't really threatening, but... she should... probably do something about it before that little girl finds out her cat is giant now.

She puffs out her cheeks, and turns, creeping back towards the carpark again. This time, she does not have a cat army with her. She must be cautious!

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

These fall colors were quite enjoyable to view through a tour of the town! Being a little more explorative to learn about his surroundings, little Steven Universe has taken to the streets! Looking up at the canopies of the trees turning anywhere from a hazy yellow, to a gleaming rust, to a deep auburn. How eac htree seems to pick its favirote color of the range and place it on desplay as the tree goes into hibernation over the winter months. Quite the sight indeed!

Steven has thusfar had a good time in school, though getting used to things still has a few bumpy spots. And while it stinks to have to get up at a specific time each day to go to school, learning so much, and making so many new friends is grand!

It is also funny yet endearing to be riddled with safety questions from Pearl each day.

But for now, the day was over, and with a hamburger backpack in tow full of goodies and anything else a little boy might need for a grand city adventure was packed inside*!

Though as he went dow nthe street, something caught his eye. A cat suddenly running around a corner! "Oh, kitty!" he says happily. But that cat wanted nothing to do with him, and kept hauling tail dow nthe sidewalk. "Huh."

Before he can take a step, another one! "Ki-- oh." There it went, running at breakneck speed.

Then another. And another. And then about three at once!

"Where are all those cats going? And what are they running from?" And what is that strange feeling. Like something intense was about to happen nearby! And so, Steven heads toward wherever all those stray cats are running from to invesitgate, and most likely get in trouble!

* A map, cold treats wrapped in freezer packs, a half drank bottled soda, and a walkman with an 80s mixtape.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The Infinity Institute archery team had practice today, as usual, but things wrapped up early, freeing Fuu to go and do some shopping before making her way home. She's perusing the displays in front of a particular store when the sound of a whole lot of cats in motion reaches her ears.

She almost ignores it. Almost. Really, that's too much noise to shut out of her awareness entirely ... and after a moment's consideration, Fuu double-checks exactly where she is, and heads down the street. She's hoping to figure out where the cats might have come out of the alleys, but that assumes they actually *left* the alleys.

She's about ready to give up when she hears a metallic crunch. The noise actually makes her wince, and she debates briefly whether she should keep investigating, but curiosity wins out and she takes one more look around - not to get her bearings, per se, but to see how many other people are in the immediate area - before she ventures into an alley, trying to find her way to the source of the noise.

Hopefully this will not involve suddenly getting run over by a lot of cats.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

There are myriad tears falling every moment in the great city of Tokyo, and it is the purpose of la Sirene du Nord, the harbinger of the coming winter, the touch of the chill and the feeling of great and sparkling inevitability, to gather them.

She usually does not get going this early. And yet, she has.

Nori Ankou had not yet decided on what club to commit herself to, and so this was easy to do. The invocation that brought her into the mantle of la Sirene is easier to do. But now, as she comes round the gently curved street and beholds


well, that's less easy to comprehend.

La Sirene du Nord crouches down, crossing her arms on her knee from her position on the crossbar of a street light. She gazes upon the massive form of Rhett Butler. She raises her hands and steeples her fingers.

"... ah... when those drivers arrive from work," la Sirene murmurs to herself, eyes turning down, still slightly non-plussed, at the forms of Mikoto and of Steven. Her lips purse.

"That is when I will strike," du Nord concludes to herself.

Her voice lifts. "Excuse me - do you happen to know...?"

La Sirene du Nord sweeps one hand round in an elegant gesture towards Rhett Butler, writ large.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Flowers at the End of the Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8acJ16lU_Sg

This is one of the very best days of Homura Akemi's life so far, even if she's trembled her way through parts of it and stammered her way through others. It would be the very best except that it cannot compete with the day she met Madoka Kaname, nor the day when brave Madoka and the lovely Mami Tomoe came to her rescue.

They are all three out on the town shopping... and Madoka and Mami invited Homura along...!

She's wearing her Ohtori uniform, and it is clean and well-ironed even if it's a little too loose on Homura's slender frame to be considered neat. She clutches a small frill-trimmed purse in front of her as she walks, occupying both of her hands in hopes that her nervousness won't broadcast through them. Sorry, Homura; twisting purse straps over and over is a big huge tell. Whenever possible, she trots along behind the two of them through shop aisles and just listens, and watches, with every iota of her attention as they discuss the merits of a blouse, or which pair of socks might best complement their school outfits. This is lovely and more than enough for her, she thinks.

That's not always possible though, because she keeps getting included by them, which induces the tremors and the stammers. "Th-that's... um, yes, Kaname-san, I think that bracelet is very nice on you!" It's an opinion she'd already been thinking, but Homura was not expecting to be asked for it. Like her opinion might matter... They're so good to me, she thinks.

And their blonde senpai, she is so honey-lovely and graceful... Homura cleans her glasses, occasionally, out of the sheer need to take a break from staring. Both of them... heroes.

They're walking the vendor tables down an alley, Homura having managed to trail behind... and she's cleaning her glasses again, too. She just caught Madoka's eye entirely by accident and, well. Off with the glasses, scrub scrub with a little lacey handkerchief from her purse, but her forehead is as red as her cheeks so ducking her chin hides nothing.

When she looks up again there's a pink smudge and a golden smudge leaning over what's probably a table and...

And a big blue glowy smudge up in the sky above them. That... what is that? She scrub-scrub-scrubs with new purpose and she plops her glasses back on again, squinting upward until violet eyes go wide instead.

She points, and after a moment finds her voice. "U-um... is that... is that something a Witch would do?" Homura is really new to this.

<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

A beautiful day in early fall, when the days are still warm to lull you into believing it's summer, new fragrances fill the air and all that remains of summer vacation is bittersweet memories of days spent with friends. Alas, school has arrived once more to rob those peaceful days from the young and restless, no matter what school they may attend. But, each new day brings new experiences and new potential friends, enriching each other's lives though their joy and shared suffering.

Such is very true about Niramo, walking home from Juuban with another classmate and helping her vent about...rather annoying classmates while trying to defend them at the same time. "Don't you think you're being a little harsh about Sueoka-san? I mean, she didn't have to be so mean to Wakatsuki-san, but sensei did give her detention. Maybe she was just having a bad day?"

An earlier trip to the konbini has Niramo carrying a bottle of strawberry and banana juice in one hand to sip on, while a package of jelly-filled fish crackers were stashed away in a small bookbag for later, but they wern't actually for her. The Kwami by the name of Takk currently hiding away in there was helping himself to the treats, though he was annoyed that the convience store didn't have sushi in the Juuban girl's price range. 'Beggers can not be choosers unfortunately.'

You would have to be magically insensative to miss the tingle of power that fills the air from such an extensive show of power. Even if Rhett Butler wasn't actually making himself meters high, the fact that he could be easily seen over the rooftops made that point moot. Staring up at the space where a tomcat had appeared only moments before, Niramo closed her hanging jaw and looks over towards her classmate.

"W-what was...um, anyways Marinette-san, I have to get going! If I don't hurry up, I might miss my train home. I'll see you in class later, okay?!" Running down the street, the short 7th year student waves a hand over her shoulder at Marinette before turning a corner and starting to run through the streets in an attempt to near on where that giant cat had stood.

Thankfully, there wasn't any need to let Takk know what exactly she was looking into, since the Kwami could easily feel the waves of magic from such an impressive feat. "Just...don't be reckless. There is no telling if this is perhaps a move from 'Hawk Moth'." Niramo was about to tell Takk that she wasn't going to be reckless in the slightest, but the screech of metal upon metal echoes down the alleyway she was edging down.

Well, it doesn't seem like that cat was just a lightshow if something was making metal grind against metal. Now to just edge down the alleyway and hope to stay out of sight...

<Pose Tracker> Marinette Dupain-Cheng [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

School's out for the day, and frankly Marinette is one girl who was glad to see the doors of Juuban close behind her.

Classes today had been something of an absolute disaster. First, she'd tripped on her way to school, tearing her schoolbag and leaving homework scattered everywhere. Scrambling to pick it up made her late for class, and the wind had stolen away one assignment she could swear up and down she'd actually finished. Which led to an argument with her teacher, and then a few of her more petty classmates, and finally being given a double assignment to deal with after school. Add a few issues with her club, and come the end of the day she was just ready to storm out.

Fortunately, she's got at least one classmate willing to hear her gripe....even if Niramo is more of a voice of reason than Marinette's quite in the mood to hear. "Frankly I think everyone was - but Wakatsuki-san didn't deserve any of that vitriol! I think the wind's been messing with a few of us today. Plus, while famous Monsieur Agreste didn't exactly join in on tearing me a new one, I almost think the look he was giving the rest of us was almost worse. It was this whole-" Marinette flails a hand, trying to muster up an expression that could only be described as smouldering by a snowman. "-ugh! I mean he's not exactly one of those Ohtori snobs from the other day, but it's like he's never bothered to talk to a classmate in his life!"

She takes a swig from her drink - a nice sweet almond-flavored milk coffee - and lets out a sigh. "I guess tomorrow's just another day, huh. Thanks for at least hearing me out. I probably shouldn't even get started on what happened at the Fashion Club at lunchtime, and all the marshmallow-"

She's interrupted by a supernatural jolt, accompanied moments later by a buzz from her cellphone. The latter, at a glance, has a brief message: 'HOLY HECK THE CATS ARE A CAT' Looking up in puzzlement, she turns back to Niramo. "...is something going on with the cats...what even. What even is that?!"

As Niramo makes excuses, Marinette's hand flies up to her ears absently, as if to check that the stud earrings are still attached. "Yeah, I should...probably go start on that extra assignment...see you?"

And then she's alone, staring up at the giant fluffbutt padding off somewhere. Or...maybe not entirely alone. "...I hate to say it, but...I don't think that's an Akuma. Not enough...teenage angst and grandstanding. Does that make sense?"

A little red head pokes out of Marinette's bag, only a bit of judgment in her eyes. "It certainly feels like something else entirely, Marinette. Do you want to investigate? It's been a bit of a long day..."

Shaking her head, Marinette starts to jog lightly after the feline phantasm. "It's fine. ...kind of wish I could bounce ideas off of someone other than you, though. I mean, you're great, but it'd be a lot easier if I could tell my friends the truth."

"You know that's not possible..."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.


Endo Naoki is on route to work after school, heading to help out at a local konbini when he's interrupted by the warbling voice of his intelligent device. His steps slow, hands shifting around in his jacket to close around the roughly cut purple stone as he searches for signs of disturbance.

The most immediate of those is a small sea of cats fleeing the nearby area. Endo's eyes follow after the mass of felines, his head tilting curiously. "Aaah...is this a cat anomaly?" Endo was not sure those existed. And he's also not convinced it's worth stopping for, until the crunch of cars in the distance draws his attention.

He abandons his current plans, decided that this might be more important. Which means that within moments Endo is creeping along toward the car park, scooting slowly until he can lean around a corner and observe what the fuss is. It appears to be another cat, just a very big one. Endo squints intently at it.

"Stern." Endo whispers. "Cat analysis mode."

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Blue light flashes, and Madoka's nose emerges from her crepe and follows the direction of Homura's finger. There's a spot of whipped cream on it the size of a single yen, but she doesn't seem to know it's there. In contrast, her eyes are solemn as stone -- gemstone, perhaps, as even at their most severe they are never entirely without sparkle.

"Ara, I'm sorry, Homura-chan, looks like duty calls," she says, a little regretfully. This is balanced, however, by a certain underlying warmth; the fuel of this inner fire is confidence. Soft and golden.

She smiles at her senpai and passes her free hand across her face, fingers splayed -- her ring shedding glittering modes in the exact shade of a perfect winter dawn.

The crepe is gone, afterwards, leaving Madoka free to extend a pink-ribboned, white-gloved hand towards their new friend. (The whipped cream remains.) "Do you want to come with, though? I wouldn't offer, if I didn't think we could keep you safe."


Puella Magi are big jumpers, and they cross Tokyo in a blur, faster than any train route. To be carried by Madoka over the tops of roofs and trees is a strawberry-scented experience that sounds, primarily, like the flapping of ruffles, and secondarily like her steady breathing punctuated by the occasional quiet landing-or-takeoff grunt. As a tertiary note, she keeps up a steady running commentary of making sure the passenger, carried in her arms like a bride, is doing all right.

Homura's head is tucked under her chin, which means it's right against the jewel that dangles from her choker. It's very warm, almost like an egg.

To Mami the haste and grace with which she makes her way is quite a transformation; just a few days ago she was constantly tripping and rolling as she went, but between Mami's tutelage and -- perhaps especially -- the importance of the passenger in her arms, now she's hopping around like a pro. Safety first; sometimes she stops to get a better angle before taking a longer jump. Once or twice she tiptoes, lip-nibblingly, across power lines, her blocky pumps far wider than the wires.


"Here we are, safe and sound," she announces at last, dropping Homura off roughly an intersection away, and by chance, not far from Steven, to whom she flashes a quick wave before leaping towards the trouble -- and towards...

"Luna," Madoka calls, greeting the Mooncat with a brief curtsey even as her ruffles are still settling into the claim of gravity. "Um, what happened to your..." she searches for a word, though no word can really describe the glorious majesty that is Embiggened Rhett Butler in full. "...friend?"

She dips a second curtsey towards the big guy, her head almost flat against her shoulders as she looks up -- and up, and up. "Are you feeling okay, kitty?"

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

All hunting and no shopping makes for a very empty pantry...

Never let it be said that Mami Tomoe doesn't know how to make good use of her free time. She is an expert in the art of finding which stores to visit, which to leave, when to try for what new thing. How can she be any less, given where she lives? ...She's far from her territory for now, but the lessons hold up--and the company is a great improvement.

...It qualifies as one of Mami Tomoe's better days, too, though she's a little too cool to say it outright for the moment. Lately they've all been like that.

As they walk, Mami of course has already looked at Homura enough to deduce the alterations that would be best to help her uniform suit her better--she has also already noticed the twirling of a purse strap, the trudging along, the quiet...

She might be uncertain around this new, quiet girl herself if not for Madoka's manner with her. Instead, she makes a point of pointing out items she thinks would work for Homura, too. But, of course...

Mami too, looks to the flash of blue light, thoughtfully. "Ah," she agrees with Madoka, and returns her gaze to her partner--and then laughs softly, briefly, at the seriousness juxtaposed with that whipped gream. "Ah," Mami says again, knowing, as she pulls her Gem as well. "One moment."

She reaches out just-so and removes the spot. "We can hardly make a heroic entrance with whipped cream on our noses, hm?"

In moments, her hand rises, too, with glittering light. "I think that's a lovely idea. There's no reason to make her stay behind."


Blurring, Mami jumps ahead; without the precious burden of a friend to carry, she takes point, looking ahead carefully for signs of need to stop, of danger. ...And, now and then, just to watch Madoka bridal carrying her friend, or just to watch Madoka for that matter. So much grace, so quickly; it fills Mami's heart with a warmth that even cool September can't chill.

"Indeed," Mami agrees as she looks back to Madoka, smiling with a nod to both of the others. She nods to Steven, as well, and then leaps to the trouble to see...

"That..." She answers Homura thoughtfully, head tilted; one can imagine a sweatdrop sort of expression on her face. "This is... not the sort of magic a Witch uses, no."

She looks over the others again; the elegant Siren, a girl from school who Mami occasionally sees on her hunts with cats now, boys, someone she's fought with... ...

"Well, there are worse friends to have," Mami offers to Luna, and hmms. "This could be a problem. If he walks off he might trample people by mistake..." She pauses, then, looks left and right,, steps forward.

Purely for magical research purposes, Mami extends her hand and gently pets the giant cat's paw. Purely for research purposes.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

Fuu Hououji is in fact caught in a massive wall of retreating cats. Thankfully they're disinterested in her, they part to either side to zoom by her, and she catches only her dust - dirtying up her glasses and uniform. However what were they retreating from? Further investigation will lead her right to...

Rhett Butler watches the advancing figure of Mikoto with the same expression. It could be read as disinterested or wary depending. However as Mikoto gets closer suddenly there's a shadow overhead. Rhett Butler's head dips down and... blep. The rough tongue thats as big as her drapes out to lick her squarely across her face.

Steven and Niramo follow the way the cats and the glow respectively - quickly comes across the green bulk of a giant cat in the car park. Clearly this is no ordinary cat - since its on the smaller end of the kaiju scale.

Cat analysis by Fallen Stern shows that it is indeed a cat. A very big fluffy tomcat far beyond the expected growth parameters for its age. It also shows that Rhett Butler is infused with the power of what appears to be a Lost Logia but that's clearly irrelevant as a non-cat related fact.

La Sirene du Nord asks Rhett Butler a question. And the giant cat just stares at her expressionlessly, before it lets off a basso 'meow' that is soft - but at this size it's still massive enough that it shakes her crosswalk perch fractionally.

Luna seems relieved at Madoka and Mami's presence as they arrive, "Oh thank goodness you're here Madoka-chan! I'm not sure what happened. Something - some kind of magical phenomenon just happened and turned my f-"

She thinks to correct herself but then Mami offers that there are worse friends to have, -well I guess that's true. This cat. Rhett Butler. Gigantic. It doesn't seem like the work of the Dark Kingdom though..."

Rhett Butler simply leans down to look at Madoka at the question of his overall well being. It then leans down to rub one gigantic fluffy cheek against her, nuzzling her in answer to her question. Whereas Mami upon experimenting with his paw, finds that he's more than willing to lift it for her to touch. It's incredibly soft, like somehow its softness is accentuated by its sudden growth. It allows its paw to hover in a way that she can experiment with it more and see its tiny beans of its pads now grown to incredible size. It's that kind of moment that warms the heart, a small moment that makes this life seem even more worth it than it already is.


Luna was technically right. This isn't the work of the Dark Kingdom. However - only technically. Not far away two figures watch from a high perch.

"Well there's our target. I almost feel bad for the guy for coming across one of the things." Says a tall wolf-woman as she cracks her knuckles within her opposite palm. A smaller figure beside her says. "He's attracting a lot of attention... are you ready - Arf?" Arf flashes a cocksure grin at her. "Of course! Whose familiar do you think I am?"


BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dLqUADUNZ0

It starts out of nowhere - with a disorienting sort of chaos. Bolts of lightning skimming the buildings, illuminating the buildings to careen towards the giant cat, which shifts its bulk only narrowly to miss a bolt that instead slams into the fence with a sizzling impact. The massive feline turns its head up to look on high to look where that came from, into the light of the sun.

Right into the descending silhouette of a woman with wolf-like ears and a tail, fist drawn back. "Hand over the Jewel Seed right now kitty or I'm going to eat you alive!" Luna has started to scream.

Rhett Butler seems perturbed only as much as his expression allows, before he leaps out of the carpark, onto the street, and starts down towards the intersection.

Arf crashes down in the parking lot, sending a few crunched vehicles scattering. "Wait - hold on! Don't just run away you big dumb cat!"

What Rhett Butler is doing could hardly be called running, he's instead sauntering away down the street at a very steady pace that's nevertheless translated into being quite fast given his size. However on his way he spies an unobtrusive girl with braids and glasses. As he gets closer and closer he seems to notice how meek she is. Perhaps reminding her even a little of his owner...

Rhett Butler without missing a beat leans its head down to scruff Homura Akemi gently with his massive mouth, and keeps going with her lifted in tow. Luna bounds onto the fence and tries to follow, "Stop! Those girls! They'll protect you! Don't run away! Put that girl down!"

Traffic honks and stops as the cat kaiju starts making its trek across the Azabu-Juuban area, stopping only at the next intersection, where it turns perpendicular a different direction - causing chaos wherever he goes with cars stopping and people bailing out.

The wolf-woman leaps out of the parking lot herself and starts to run in hot pursuit, while a black caped girl in blonde twintails flies overhead. Given her size, she must be very young, yet as she flies by she looks back and gives the girls a single glance framed by fluttering twintails, offering a warning. "Don't interfere. This doesn't concern any of you." Then to drive home the point, the axe-head of the polearm held in her hands chimes with a synthesized baritone. <Photon Lancer>

Crackling orbs of energy form all around her as she flies after Rhett Butler, and the wolf-woman seems to copy the spell in synch with her, as orbs with a more orange tint blink into existence around her - in the same moment, her form shifts to become completely an orange wolf with a jewel on her head, her pace picking up now that she's pursuing on all fours. "Count your blessings that we're letting all of you off so easy!"

The orbs zip about to offer coverage of their rear, flying after each of the Magical Girls in an attempt to explode with thunderous energy and disincentivize them to pursue - though some simply crash about the landscape, causing collateral damage abound.

The girl however seems to save one last magical orb... and she seems to be concentrating hard on the retreating form of the cat. Her attacks are clearly electricity though.

So what happens to the girl held by its mouth if it connects with Rhett Butler... feels like a foregone conclusion.

"Fire." The aerial girl commands, and the singular orb of the spell lances forward on its trajectory - towards the green feline.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Madoka Kaname.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Focus Fire on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname fails to dodge Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 29 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname covers Homura Akemi for Fate Testarossa's attack, Photon Lancer: Focus Fire, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname braces 7 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Focus Fire, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Stagger applied to Madoka Kaname!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi perfectly dodges 18 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Endo Naoki braces 10 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Ladybug fails to dodge Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 27 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 13 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi fails to brace Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 20 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Oh that is a LOT of cats, Fuu has time to think before they reach her; the one good thing is that they go *around* her, rather than stampeding *over* her in their retreat from whatever's down that way. And once the catvalcade has passed, she resumes - at a reasonably quick jog, now, rather than the cautious walk she'd been progressing at.

She gets to the parking lot just in time to see a fair number of magical girls, a green cat which is easily the size of a bus, and lightning which seems to plunge down out of a clear sky.

The bespectacled blonde schoolgirl immediately backpedals into the shadows of the alley, pulling on the glove-jewel which she'd been fishing out of her pocket. "Belief becomes power," she whispers, drawing on the words that came to her mind the first time she had to transform on purpose. "Winds ... guide me!" And a whirlwind gathers around her, briefly cloaking her from view.

Or perhaps not so briefly - because in the seconds before the green-tinted zephyr dissipates, Fuu Hououji stops being there. In her place, a girl of the same height and features now stands, her Infinity middle school uniform largely green in hue, and with simple armor over her chest, left shoulder, and right forearm, plus the glove on her left hand and short boots on both feet. The armor's mostly white, but trimmed in gold and with a couple of green gems.

Another moment, taking in the source of the magical lightning, and the Magic Knight of Wind chooses her weapon: a bow materializes in her hand, with a quiver full of arrows manifesting already slung behind her. Hearing the chaos on the roadway, the Wind Knight doesn't waste time with introductions, but instead jumps to a wall overlooking the street which Rhett Butler fled to. Then she leaps off in pursuit of the orange wolf. "'Letting anyone off easy' would be trying to resolve this without letting the chaos spill into a public street!" she calls out. "What is it you're after, and why resort to violence in search of it?"

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to counter Fuu Hououji's Gentle Chiding, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa is Quipped!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Lightning Rebuttal, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Fuu Hououji!
<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Being nuzzled by a huge cat cheek has just launched this afternoon into one of Madoka's best days ever as well. Her eyes close and she giggles, rendered momentarily helpless with delight -- and quite invisible, inside his fur.

She misses the initial attack entirely, unable to hear Arf nor Luna from inside the catcoat, but topples right over when Rhett moves away. Her knees smack the concrete.

A moment later, lightning smacks her.

Her ribbons stay in -- but now they're adorning a gigantic pink double-domed afro.

Well... pink and a little black(ened).

Madoka blinks, and blinks again, and by the time she's blinked the third time Homura is in Rhett Butler's mouth and there's yet another ball of electricity heading directly for them both.

Her scream is wordless but piercing as she erupts into the air -- faster than a bolt of lightning. Along the way, her floral staff appears in her hands, and it's what intercepts the attack.

Homura and Rhett can only see her back, and a spinning golden blur, flickering with a second, brighter set of gold energies as Madoka rapidly rotates the staff directly into the orb, dispersing it.

"Senpai, Homura-chan onegai!" she calls, full-throated with trust, to her adorable paw-petting counterpart. Landing, still a-sizzle, on the concrete squarely between Fate, Arf, and Rhett, she looks up at the girls -- and spreads her arms open wide, obviously determined to further interpose herself as much as is needed.

"Please stop!!" she implores, eyes huge in her face. "We'll gladly help you get whatever a Jewel Seed is, just please don't hurt Homura-chan or the kitty!"

One of her arms accidentally finds one of Rhett's legs, and she pats it gently (confident that by now Homura has already been saved). "It's going to be okay," she promises him -- she promises them all.

COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has used Bloom Into You on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has used Bloom Into You on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has used Bloom Into You on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Madoka Kaname's Bloom Into You, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Cheered!
COMBAT: Ladybug accepts Madoka Kaname's Bloom Into You, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant accepts Madoka Kaname's Bloom Into You, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de Diamant is Cheered!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Steven hsutles his way toward the anomaly, as around the corner, light can be seen rocketing up toward the sky. "Ooooh! Heeey!" Steven says, waying toward Madoka and company, following them. She was the nice girl who saved him! She must be here to do good! Right?

A few corners taken and... "...Oh. Wow! That is a big kitty!" he says, cautious wonderment being the theme today. "How did it get so big?!" he asks-- after all if it is big and magical it might be able to talk! --wait no, that is the smaller cat nearby. Was it talking? Or is it a trick? Huh.

And then everything hits the fan. The giant fight fan. A crash and a blur of orange energy flies all over, sending cars crushed by the cat spiralying! Steven has to duck behind a building. "Ohhhh here we go again!" he says, reaching for his phone--

"Where is my phone?!"


SMASH CUT: A cave filled with jewels studding it's surfaces from floor to ceiling. Heaps of interesting items, junk, and relics sit in massive piles. Daintly atop one pile is a small phone with gold stars stuck all over the back.


As the massive cat takes off, and the dust clears from the initial blast, Steven takes off after the cat! "This looks serious! That cat's gonna cause trouble!" And so the little boy runs his legs off trying to keep up, cutting through alleyways where he can to try and catch up to this high speed chase!

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Double Trouble, taking 3 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Try as she might, Marinette can only keep pace with the cat so long. She's breathing heavily by the time she reaches one traffic light, worn out from weaving through walkways filled with fellow gawkers. Distantly spying glamorous figures moving to meet with the massive cat with the bass meow, she ponders a moment...then with a frown, she turns away from the cat for a moment, trying to instead find a quiet side street.

"...all right, there's no way I can keep up with that kitty on foot. It might be handled, but...I've kind of got a bad feeling." She opens her bag, eyes on Tikki as the little Kwami flies up to eye level. "I don't know, I might be overthinking-"

There's a boom, a crash of lightning, and Marinette's gaze whips back to the alley entrance. "...or not. Tikki, spots on!"

Clad in crimson and black, Ladybug emerges from an alley by way of an adjoining rooftop. She perches for a moment on a chimney, hand shading her eyes as she tries to see just what the situation might be - and then she's off, springing from one rooftop to the next as she tries to bypass traffic from above. The cat's not too far off now, and she's just aware of its assailants when the air is suddenly filled with crackling lightning, shooting out in all directions.

"The simplest thing to do..." Eyeing the crackling orb hurled her way, Ladybug tenses just a moment before springing into the air above the attack. "...is get airborne! Lightning always finds a path to the ground-"

And then the orb stops, and shoots straight up to crash into her.

Crackling with electricity, pigtails sticking straight out behind her, Ladybug crashes to the earth with a little twitch. "...science class lied to me..."

She pushes herself upright, wobbling a bit, just able to see that the cat has a girl, and the girl has lightning crackling towards her too, and - and that a floral staff has intervened in the nick of time. Breathing a sigh of relief, she starts running forward to join those defending the cat.

A yo-yo, patterned like a ladybug, zips out past the cat to hook around a street sign. Its wielder follows in short order, glancing between those attacking and those defending. There's a frown on her face, as Madoka makes a peace offering...and then Ladybug simply shakes her head. "I'll second the call to stop hurting a cute - albeit colossal - kitty-cat, but I'm not not on board with just giving you whatever it is you want!"

She springs forward, slinging out her yo-yo - but the sign she's on gives way mid-leap, and she goes to the right of Arf while her toy goes left. Undeterred, Ladybug tumbles to the ground, tugging on the line just enough that the toy ricochets off of a lamp post, and then off of a wall, and back and forth in an unpredictable swing before a mass of webbed-together line is coming the familiar's way.

With a shrug, Ladybug hauls on her weapon. "Giving into bullies just encourages them to do the same thing again!"

COMBAT: Ladybug has used Lindy Loop on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Ladybug has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa cleanly braces 6 Fatigue damage from Ladybug's Lindy Loop, taking 1 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stun and Tangle applied to Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.


Endo doesn't find the first part too helpful. The boy frowns, debating what to do about this large, green feline. He considers it, and the rest of the people that have clustered around it, trying to decide what he should do about this.

The appearance of Fate and Arf make things immediately more volatile. The bolt of lightning from above makes him jump, and his gaze swings toward the girl in the sky and the familiar on the ground. Rhett Butler takes flight, causing even more chaos-though Endo's immediate concern at the balls of lightning raining down nearby.

Endo ducks down, gripping the gem in his hand tightly. "Stern! Do the thing!"


There's a flash of violet light as magical energy streams over Endo's figure, garish light racing across the boy's figure and leaving something different behind. Gone is the konbini uniform, replaced with a sleek set of dark armor and massively unwieldy sword. The sword is helpful because it's big enough that he can hide behind it when things start detonating around him.

Which isn't to say he doesn't get a few good burns in the process. But he's still in once piece, and soon leaping in pursuit of both Fate and gigantic Rhett Butler. Endo can't fly, but he can leap well enough to keep pace with the feline-albeit with a few awkward stumbles and accidental pings off of rooftop obstacles.

"Hey! Just because it's a giant cat doesn't mean you can blow it up!" It seems like a nice cat, after all. Besides the kidnapping. "Leave him alone!" When he touches down on the next building Endo comes to a brief stop, long enough to plant his weapon into the concrete rooftop. Energy erupts from vents along the massive blade, comments of purple-black light that race to explosively detonate around Fate's general area.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Meteor Strum on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa counters 14 Fatigue damage from Endo Naoki's Meteor Strum, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Endo Naoki!

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mami gently rubs the gigantically precious toe beans for a moment. She will go back to problem solving imminently; she's already considering perhaps a leash if necessary until they can figure out a way to remove whatever spell is on the cat...

"No, it doesn't seem like them either," Mami admits to Luna. "So it just... happened?"

Her words are casual; she is admittedly focused on this small moment, on something that, for all that it could be trouble, comes as if out of a dream....


Magic crashes down immediately and Mami whirls to look upward, narrowing her eyes at the woman with wolf-ears--Arf. Her first meeting with Fate's familiar is enough to recall her face. But Rhett Butler suddenly moves. "Oh--"

Even a giant cat is a little quick, and his great steps make Mami stumble. ...But not for long. Rhett Butler launches out into the street, and Mami bends at the knee, leaping after, kicking off of a building wall to get a higher perch. She doesn't answer, at first, in words. As magic flies, Mami simply shoulders straight into it, seemingly unconcerned. Another kick--

Madoka blocks the attack. Mami, for her part, moves in immediately after, as this one takes her down, and Mami puts out her hand as she passes by Rhett Butler's face. "I believe this is ours," she says politely to her large friend, and golden light becomes golden ribbons, gently entangling Homura and pulling her carefully from the cat's teeth. She's pulled all the way to the ground where Mami sets herself down, the older girl standing before her protectively. "...If you wanted to play with the cat," Mami says, almost teasing, "You could've said so, Akemi-san." She smiles at her, in what she's sure is her brightest and most reassuring smile to Homura and then towards Madoka who called to them--

"And as for you," Mami says as she sharply regards the aerial girl.

With a snap of her fingers, ribbons burst from four directions around Fate, seeking to entangle and bind her outright, to lock her mid-air.

"It seems that you've forgotten your manners. We'll decide what concerns us."

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Legare on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 5 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Legare, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka, Mami, Homura all arrive as la Sirene straightens herself upright, taking a deep breath. Perhaps this was all a misfire, the darkling girl thinks, and I made an error coming here, but surely I can depart before

           m r o w r

la Sirene nearly topples off the streetlight. She leans forwards abruptly and counterbalances herself with sudden grace, spreading her arms out and letting out a "tchau!" of emphasis, managing to raise herself to an upright stance slowly... okay, she thinks to herself, you're stable...

Something streaks down. La Sirene blinks slowly and reaches up to place a hand on her little cap, which is good due to the sudden lunging and passage of Rhett Butler in all his imperious bulk. OH LORD, HE'S COMIN': And then, a moment later, he's going. The ground rumbles a little at his impact, and la Sirene stops resisting it, decamping to the feet and then blinking for a moment before the barrage falls upon her. Streaking yellow light! La Sirene looks upwards in bafflement -

"A Jewel Seed?" she says, incredulously. "What manner of sorcery is this!"

"Kah! Kyuh! Stop it!" she cries a moment later as the Photon Lancer descends. After the first burst she is able to straighten up, having been driven to one knee. Fear grips her stomach but lightly, as her attention comes to the Magic Knight for a moment, and then towards Madoka --

And it is Madoka who makes a plea. La Sirene blinks slowly, as she casts her memory back - yes, she thinks, the cat did carry, in its very mouth - Oh my goodness, la Sirene thinks. Aloud, she sweeps her arm round in a momentary bow.

"The gran chat," see that's French, she's proud of herself, "seems to be only a victim. But Homura will be safe; for this, you have my vow."

And then she whirls round to raise her left hand up. Index and pinky finger raised. Thumb crossing the lowered fingers. There is a sense of intaken breath beyond the actual deep breath that la Sirene takes. "Les Mysteres," she begins, eyes narrowing. Her right arm raises, fingers curling together as if to make a guitar pick of her thumbnail. She sights on Arf...


Down comes the right hand. As her fingers cross the line of her heart, the magic erupts, with a voice like an awakening angel. Silver light billows out behind her, forming curlicues and projections on the nearest building. The silver light erupts outwards, towards the woman in the air, even as la Sirene says wistfully, "Are they truly flying? How lovely."

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly dodges 31 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Fate Testarossa's Fade and Flash abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Niramo carefully peaks her head around the corner, Takk clinging on top of her head, and looks out upon the car park, expecting it to be empty of people or maybe some sort of mechanized dog car machine to be shoving aside cars in search for a mecha-bone. What awaits her though was the image of an massive cat, quite solid and not at all fake or imaginary in any way. "That's...um, Takk-san, do all monsters tend to be massive creatures?"

Rhett Butler isn't a monster in the slightest, after only a few moments of observation has Takk shaking his tiny head in disagreement. "Indeed. This cat doesn't appear to be a destructive beast. Maybe it is just the unfortunate victim of a growth spell?" A moment of silence between the duo before Niramo lets out a heavy sigh. "There's a growth spell? Maybe I can get a tiny version of it cast on me..."

The wish of a little extra height is forgotten as the sky lets loose the sky's fury without warning, bolts of lightning crashing upon the surrounding landscape without rhyme or reason. Barely pulling back in time to avoid splashing volts of lightning crackling along the ground, Niramo places a hand on her chest in an attempt to calm her heart down. The sky was clear, what could possibly be going on?! "I t-think this is the part where I transform, right?!" The little mouse spirit lowers itself in front of Niramo and nods his head. "That's right. You're starting to learn quickly. And use the name I gave you!"

Well, a literal word of French for mouse has to be better than going unnamed all the time, right? "O-okay! Tail, Sprout!"

In the time it takes for the lightshow that takes place when her Miraculous is activated to die down and for a costumed newcomer to step out of the alleyway, the kaiju-sized feline is already bounding down the road and a...wolf woman bounding after it? But she doesn't want to just keep things quiet, she had to go chase the cat out into the street! A somewhat familiar cat (with a new bald spot on her tail?) seems to know what's going on, but can't quite keep up. Tail flying after her, the mouse-themed magical girl scoops up Luna and scoops her up in both hands. "Luna-san, right? I hope you don't mind the pick-me-up, but i'll make sure you stay 'feline!'" Oooh, that was terrible. Maybe she should think up some actual puns?

Following on the street is hard work, but Rhett Butler is powerful enough to stop traffic as he passes, putting the risk of being hit by a speeding car to zero. "What do you mean you're going ea-AAH!" Orbs of powerful energy lance, and there's one heading right for her?! But with Luna in her arms...! Twisting around to protect the black cat from the blast, Niramo is sent into a car, leaving her hair sticking out in every direction. But hopefully Luna-san was spared the worst of it? "I-I think you're going have to ride on my shoulders, Luna-san..."

Catching herself barely from faceplanting into the road, Niramo looks back up in time to catch Madoka-san trying to impose inbetween Arf and her, admittedly massive, prey. She got too caught up in the chase to realize who was who here! Can they really settle things peacefully here? "...um...well, if it means no one will get hurt worse..." The pinkette knows what she's doing, they'll be fine!

...and the wooden weapons fly through the air, curving around to strike at the aerial lupine!

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Lera Camry transforms into Barrier Jacket Perihelion!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 16 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Skyyyy we're running late!"

<That isn't my fault!>

"It's not like I meant to, though...!"

<You should have practiced your-->

Lera Camry, as a general rule, does not 'fly' as much as she leaps and does uncontrolled landings. In this case, she rises up high into a parabolic arc. She appears in the heavens, a blur of green from her big, billowing jacket, and orange from her hair. Her legs kick out from under her, as she goes falling down. Her eyes drift.

She spots, first, the most important thing: "KITTY."

Then, she comes crashing down at Arf from the side. Seemingly out of nowhere, the mage practically lands atop her -- and comes down with a crash and a tumble, and a yelp: "AaaaaaaaAAAAAAH!"

<--flight spells.>

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Uncontrolled Landing on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa counters 13 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Uncontrolled Landing, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Barrier Blitz Strike, partially gets through, doing 16 Fatigue damage to Lera Camry!

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Of course Homura says yes.

More accurately she nods five times in rapid succession, so her fluffy braidtips bounce. Then she takes Madoka's hand.

(She doesn't trust herself not to squeak if she tries actually saying anything.)


Naturally curious and possessed of a bright and studious mind, Homura Akemi would in any other circumstance be goggling wide-eyed at a city she's never seen from this angle and impressive velocity, craning her head round at every possible angle to take it all in. These circumstances are an extra kind of special, though, because of the girl whose chest she's clutched against.

Homura is a dainty thing, a ghostweight girl in puella-strong arms. She scarcely moves out of this nearly superstitious fear that if she shifts around or moves too much, Madoka will decide that Homura is too squirmy to carry around and put her down. The last thing she wants is to be a burden... the last thing she wants is Madoka to put her down, even though it has to happen at some point.

Until then she inhales deeply of that strawberry scent and never catches her breath, even though she's not exerting herself one bit; until then she lets the warm pink of the gem at Madoka's throat hypnotize her, and hardly notices their elevation except to begin to associate it with the girl who's lifted her up. She nods to everything Madoka says,


She watched Madoka and Mami sparkle away assuming that's the last she would see of them until whatever threat was dealt with. Meanwhile, Homura can't help but think on what their cool senpai told her: not a Witch's magic. Her small grey world has expanded by leaps and bounds already, and now she wonders: what other sorts of magics are out there?

Homura is about to find out.

There are, for instance, magics that make cats really, really, REALLY big.

When the crashing heads their way, Homura gives the boy she's been set down by -- the one with the curly hair, he looks kind of familiar, oh wasn't he at the athletics day? -- a fearful look, both fists up by her pale chin. Was that lightning? There's no storm...

The answer to all of her questions comes into view at a kaiju-sized saunter, a Kitty Of Unusual Size, and Homura freezes right in place -- petrified so stiff even her braids stick out ramrod-straight from the sides of her head. She loves cats, she really loves cats, but she's never been mouse-sized to one before.

"E-e-e---" as Rhett stoops over her...

And then careful kitty teeth nip her up by the collar of her slightly-loose school uniform, and just before the collar bunches up around her ears like a kitten's scruff might, the scream breaks free of its shocked stutter.


She swings above the pavement in Rhett's mouth, skinny legs dangling like noodles, with her braids all hitched up over her shoulders. And all she can do is keep screaming, and now she notices the altitude the way she never did in Madoka's arms and the scream climbs an octave. Homura doesn't know that Rhett's trying to keep her safe -- she's just scared, overwhelmed, and doesn't know what else to do but scream. Later she'll feel bad about it, right now there's really not much time for that. She's not brave, not like Madoka...


Admittedly it takes Homura a second, because that afro is even more unexpected than a multistory green feline.

Then: "Kaname-saaaan!!" as her hero intercepts a bolt of bright yellow that would have fried Homura and giganto-cat both. If Madoka wasn't faced away, she might see the worshipful glow emanating from the girl she's protected once more. Mami might be in a better spot to see it as she enwraps Homura in gilded protection. She can certainly see the awe as she sets Homura down safe and sound.

"A-a-arigatou gozaimasu, Tomoe-san!" Girl bows low, braids fly up. By the time she bobs up again -- it's a very respectful bow, but also held long so that Homura can sort of regain herself, she can feel how wide her eyes are -- Mami has danced away again. She watches them protect the kitty with those same wide eyes, and her heart in her throat. Did she make them risk themselves...?

But... it looks like they're facing off against another girl, she's the one who threw the lightning bolts... there are so many of them fighting! It's hard to even keep track.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Mikoto creeps back into the parking lot, and Rhett Butler notices! She diverts her gaze to let him know she's not here to pick a fight, and her cat diplomacy is rewarded with...

... a bath!

It's not the first time Mikoto has been aggressively groomed by a cat, and it won't be the last, but surely it is the most striking, because this tongue is bigger than she is. Her eyes scrunch shut to protect them from the sandpaper friendship gesture, but she reaches up to scritch at his chin while he's still in scritching distance, which is hardly something she needs to see to do, because he has an extremely distinguished chin at the moment. Afterwards, she realises she should probably figure out being able to see again, and so she rubs at her face with the back of her hand in a way which is strikingly feline.

This would be a cunning move on the part of an opponent, but Rhett Butler doesn't seem malicious at all, so she's not particularly worried about his size.

And when she can see again, there are more people. Like that girl from the Sports Festival, Endo, and Steven! And... a lot of people she doesn't recognise. That's not so strange, though. After all, these people are magic, so naturally they'd be strangers.

Actually, looking at that cat who's bad at being a cat - did the pink girl call her Luna? - she's even stranger than Mikoto first gave her credit for, too. Normally cats don't have markings in the exact shape of a crescent moon. Of course, normally cats don't talk, either, so maybe talking cats do have those markings. That would be sensible.

Luna has theories in response to everyone's questions, and Mikoto tilts her head with a noise of consideration. This isn't an Orphan, and it's not the Dark Kingdom... so...

Her train of thought is rudely derailed by a blast of electricity, and Mikoto yelps as the lightning hits the fence. "Trouble!" She barks. Her hand goes to the strap holding the black case to her shoulder - before she remembers that magic is supposed to be a secret. She makes a brief, frustrated noise, and ducks behind a parked ute.

A moment later, a COMPLETELY MYSTERIOUS girl with an unreasonably large black sword leaps into the truck's tray, and streaks off in pursuit of the cat's pursuers! Whoever she is (she's Mikoto, okay, that's just Mikoto but she has a sword now, she didn't even bother to put on a domino mask, let's all be thankful here that long ago someone put the work into making even the least likely disguises properly disguised), she's fast.

A ball of electricity - the most effective way to communicate that this does concern Mikoto, actually - careens towards her, and Mikoto leaps up upon a rooftop in that effortless fashion magical girls always seem to have. It continues its pursuit, even after she jumps down, rolls underneath a swingset, springs up to leap over the fence. She darts and weaves through the stalled traffic Rhett Butler leaves in his wake, to the other side of the road. There, realising the orb won't stop, she halts in front of the side of a brick house and turns to face it.

And waits... and waits...

And leaps over it, moments before impact!

The orb crashes out with electrical power as it detonates against the wall, leaving not a scratch on Mikoto. Unburdened by her pursuer, she dashes to catch up with Rhett - just in time to witness Madoka's impassioned plea.

There's this fraction of a second where Mikoto pauses... and her eyes widen just so...

See, at this point, Mikoto would typically attack her enemy. It's all very simple, really. Someone attacked her, so she's in a fight now. But Rhett Butler is a very large target, and he's still just a cat, even if he's a magic cat. Never mind that there are a lot of civilian targets around - like Steven, and that girl who was catnapped.

It's just a fractional pause, though, before Mikoto leaps - in front of the giant cat. "Hey!" She cries, bringing up her blade in defensive stance. "Pick on someone your own size!!"

... that's probably Mikoto, given she doesn't even clear 4'10". Of course, she's hardly the only short girl here, but she heard Mai making that remark about her manager one day as they were setting up dinner, so it seems like the sort of thing she's supposed to say to demand equity in battle situations.

And if one of them does happen to move in for another attack - well, as we've seen, Mikoto is certainly fast enough to demonstrate the finer point of her blade. (It's really more of a slash than a point...)

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Defender on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Defender, taking 12 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

The girl doesn't answer Fuu as she asks. Simply conjuring another lightning orb which is sent back at her and flies wide. There is a look in her eyes though - perhaps...

"As if we'd tell you!" Arf growls and suddenly there's nothing in Fate's eyes to be discerned. "What you think we owe you answers after you slap away our good will?!"

Arf growls, and suddenly the Magic Knight of Wind finds magical rings of force trying to clamp down on every limb.

Arf suddenly stops short as she bats the Yo-Yo away, however its unpredictable ricochet still catches her in the backswing, and catches a paw. "Calling me a bully eh?" Arf suddenly has a grin that's not so nice. And I suppose you're standing up to me little girl? Just be careful - about..." Fate suddenly swoops in like a flash, slamming Bardiche down to pin the line to the ground, and Arf tugs her way out of the tangle, before she then pounces right at her, "BITING OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW!"

Fate however see Madoka Kaname interpose herself, causing Rhett Butler to pause momentarily to stop his flight to avoid harming her, turning his neck to look behind himself. And Fate stops short in mid-air upon seeing it. There's something there. Something in her eyes that just looks so torn over that. Eventually her lips part and- "I'm sorry. You should take the girl somewhere safe, but I don't know any other way to separate them now that he's made a wish."

Bardiche shifts, his axe head becoming a yellow energy scythe, <Scythe Form.> There's something apologetic, as she decides, "This is the only way." Arf sends a few more darts flying Madoka's way as stinging bolts. "We'll be finished quickly! Just stay out of our way!"

Endo vaults at Fate, and the girl suddenly whirls around as he carves a purple line of energy her way. The girl suddenly is a blur of motion out of his way as she notes - a little pained perhaps. "Your magic is something like Midchidlan magic." <Scythe Slash> "... and yet not too. Strange." It may draw his gaze her way - so he may not notice the form of Arf pouncing between Ladybug to the ground to fire at Madoka - to straight at him like an unstoppable force. Catching him in a lightning fast pincer from both sides.

Fate is actually glad the girl is safe, however she's not so glad for what the girl's savior does with this, by sending ribbons her way. Bardiche's shields spring up, <Defenser> And the ribbons batter them so hard they crack - but don't find purchase, before she bats them away. "What sort of manners are you expecting in combat?" She asks simply.

Rhett Butler though has noticed the girl under her protection is now safe. And how scared she looks. After a moment he leans down and nuzzles her with a fluffy cheek.

Arf does not seem to like the idea of Fate being caught in those ribbons and has conjured another magical circle, chains sprouting out of it to try to grip Mami Tomoe. She then grabs one of them with her muzzle and tries to pull it taut to send her careening into a brick wall.

Arf then has to skip rapidly out of the way, the chain remaining conjoined to the circle, as she rolls and La Sirene's attack blasts the ground. Growling, she leaps at La Sirene then transforms in mid-air to bring a fist crashing down upon her.

Arf then notes the girl falling out of the sky straight at her. "Oh heck-!" Without time to get out of the way, she simply draws her fist back and shouts, "WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO FLY!? GRAVITY?" The two make a titanic collison which smashes the two apart. Fate notes, "I had no idea the exchange program had so many mages."

Luna responds to Sourisi picking her up, "Aha... thanks? Right that's me - um - Mouse Girl?" She guesses, before moving up to her shoulders.

Arf twists around in mid-air as the Tonfa fly at her, and smashes her arm into them on their rebound. Upon landing, she waves it. "Gah! That smarts!" Fate waves out an arm to cover Arf, sending a wave of darts at Sourisi. <Splash Edge>

Which is when she spies Mikoto. "Ahaha- ha... and I suppose that's you pipsqueak?" Arf grins, as she runs straight at Mikoto Minagi, fist outstretched, then at the last moment before impact she disappears in an orange blur. Unless Mikoto moves quickly, she'll find strong arms laced around her chest. As Arf then leaps up high in the air, as her whole body starts to spark. "THUNDER-!" And then noting the Midchildan Mage from earlier... she grins in mid-air...

...Rhett Butler finally starts to move around the corner of a nearby building, peaking his head out as he takes cover in a way that in no way covers him.

"...FALL!" Now infused bodily with lightning, the Familiar brings her prey down... down... down... to suplex her right onto Lera Camry. Causing a blinding explosion as she impacts.

"Arf is really enthusiastic today." The small girl notes, before sending a spray of lightning darts at the cat peeking its head out. <Splash Edge> Rhett Butler in that moment spies Steven, and tries to drop down in order to block for the boy bodily.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Ring Bind on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Bind Break Assist on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Splash Edge on Madoka Kaname.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Flash Harvest on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Chain Bind Throw on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Barrier Blitz Strike on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Splash Edge on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Thunder Fall: SUPLEX! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Thunder Fall: SUPLEX! on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Splash Edge on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Homestuck - Hardchorale https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLkP3-l16NM

The girl does not speak much at all - but the dog speaks plenty. (This is strange, too. Dogs don't talk like people either. Also, she's a weird-looking dog, but dogs can look pretty weird, so perhaps it's normal.) Mikoto stands her ground as Arf rushes forward, and her blade flashes out in a slash designed to ward her away.

Most people would assume it worked when Arf isn't there any more!

Mikoto isn't most people.

She can't see Arf, no - but she can smell her. And so she turns on a dime, her sword crashing down on the place Arf is rather than where she was just a moment ago. The only mercy to the blow is that it comes at the flat of the blade.

... Arf is sometimes a dog, and despite what everyone might assume given her clear feline affiliation, Mikoto is friend to dogs, too.

But here, close as Arf got, Mikoto is at a clear disadvantage. Miroku's size demands the proper space to wield it, while Arf's hand-to-hand style is perfect at very close range. Her strikes are shortened by the space they're in, and while she's perhaps able to be enough of a pain to ward off any attempts to send her skywards - it doesn't take long for Arf to slip past her guard and plant a fist into her solar plexus.

Mikoto hisses a breath through her teeth, and crumples to her knees. It's a good thing she's a magical girl. It means it just hurts instead of - well. Mikoto knows what a strike there will do to someone.

"I don't - get it..." She bites out, through grit teeth. And pauses, to catch her breath.

With the support of her blade, she rises, and takes an unsteady step forward. "... what'd Rhett Butler do?!" The next step is firmer. The next springs into a sprint, taking her barreling forward towards Arf again.

She follows her question with a howl, as she brings her blade in revolution to strike against the woman who is sometimes a wolf. It's difficult to ignore Mikoto Minagi.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disequilibrium on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly counters 42 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disequilibrium, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Counter!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Barrier Blitz Strike, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"What part of 'blast everybody' was g*ERK*"

Getting ensnared by a binding spell in the middle of both speaking and moving is a great way to interrupt both of them. Of course, interrupting movement was the entire point of the Ring Bind, but it's still ... possibly entertaining to see the Wind Knight come to a screeching halt in mid-air, momentum pulling her one way (to the extent that she can be pulled) before gravity takes back precedence (see previous).

The green-clad Magic Knight grits her teeth briefly, struggling against her magical restraints. She still has her bow in hand and her quiver ready, she just can't reach around to draw an arrow or aim at either the twin-tailed blonde or the big orange wolf. At least not until she breaks loose.

On the other hand, she already knows a spell which might help.

"Winds of Healing!" the Wind Knight calls, mentally 'grasping' the spell as she casts it and weaving it particularly around herself, using that magic to try and unravel the energies of Fate's spell. Landing will be tricky; catching up will require a concerted effort. But she's determined to pour on the speed as necessary, and do what she can to help put a safe, low-or-no-collateral damage end to the ruckus.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Fuu Hououji's debuffs are cleared!

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

It doesn't take Homura long to start spiraling into self-doubt and recriminations, once she's safe and sound. She trembles where she stands, peering with huddled shoulders at the glorious and beautiful and terrifying combat overhead. Bursts of magical light brighten her glasses lenses, and her eyes dart every which way beneath them, trying to follow the action with her slow and wholly mortal reflexes.

Madaka is defending the great green cat... how brave, how kind! It's amazing, and Homura feels bad for being afraid of the big fellow now, he'd just been so... big. "Aaah!" The shriek escapes her when those Arf-impelled darts strike after Madoka. Mami flashes in front of her vision, a resplendent cream-and-gold twirl of a girl, and the frail girl watches long enough to realize that her senpai is protecting her, again, always dancing between Homura and possible danger.

She's causing them trouble. If she'd never come... they shouldn't distract themselves with her! "N-no... oh, please..."

Mami even made time to try and make Homura feel better, with that reassuring smile and the soft jab about playing with the cat, but... anxious doubt tugs at that notion, frays and unravels it until Homura worries that Mami was just being gracious about what a troublesome girl she's been... They're so good to me. Her chin trembles downward, centimeter by centimeter.

Just as she's really withdrawing into her own frightened feelings of worthlessness beneath a skyful of fighting mahou, a fuzzy warmth engulfs her entire left side. "E-ehh?! Oh... oh! You're..."

She's a cat person, and thanks to Madoka's demonstrated kindness she is no longer terrified of Rhett, amid the rest. Homura's eyes sting and swim, and she throws both arms around a fluffy green kitty cheek for a moment and sniffles. "Thanks, kitty..."

She gives Rhett a shy little wave goodbye as he heads away and rounds the corner. Then she inhales a great big snuffly breath through her nose and looks back up again, reinforced by a cat's uncomplicated sympathy. She doesn't want to miss another moment of Madoka's archery and Mami's artful ribbons.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Homura is safe, the first and most important line item, and all the tension in Madoka seems to drain out of her like someone's pulled a plug. Indeed, she's maybe a little too relaxed. Innocence isn't always a good thing, and this one has an overabundance of naievete.

Three giant question marks appear over Madoka's giant-haired head at Ladybug's comment, and she blinks over at the other girl, bewildered. "Ummm, you're totally right about bullies, and I guess I was hasty... I'm sorry."

She bobs apologetically in the red-and-black superheroine's direction, and mentally files away, for later utterance, a compliment as to her costume's extreme stylishness. Marinette may well be able to detect admiration nevertheless; faced with good fashion Madoka is aglow.

Sadly there are more pressing matters.

"But, um, look at her," she gestures up at Fate, using her staff as a pointer, "She looks like she's, like, seven. I don't know why she's acting out this way, but... it must be awfully important to her."

Her tone is gentle with worry. But gentleness is not weakness.

BGM: Credens Justitiam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqQ3hP_q7Ns

"Maybe we won't be able to help everyone out, but I sure hope that we can... together!"

In short order she is flanked by La Sirene on one side, and Mikoto on the other. The former vouchsafes Homura's safety and receives a firm little nod around the same time her beautiful silver light cascades through the sky. Reflecting in her eyes, Nori can see the awe there. The latter dares draw danger towards herself, and receives a grateful little smile around the time her blade comes up. In the corner of her mouth, Mikoto can see that a little hope is born.

Nor does she seem to disapprove of the others interceding more directly; she doesn't flinch and she doesn't frown and she doesn't chide. Indeed, with every passing addition to the battle she seems less overwhelmed and more relieved.

And then Fate speaks -- and Arf fires.

Let it not be thought that the pink Puella Magi is unwilling to stand her ground over something she believes in. (In this case, the safety of the adorable kitty... and his recently adopted adorable Homura.)

That staff isn't a staff after all; quick as a wink, its ends have bent back past her head and knees, her arm is thrust straight out, and a roseate bolt of light explodes through the stinger shots, straight back at the dogwoman. A few whiz by her, though, open little rips in her puffy sleeves, nevertheless.

The brilliant rosefire bursting from the top of her beautiful bow settles down into a steady, flickering flame.

"I'm sorry," she says to Fate. "But I can't accept that there's no other way to help Luna's friend! And as for you," she looks at Arf, her sternness intensifying tenfold, along with her beacon of light, as she carefully draws back a second bolt, pointed straight at the familiar, "You need to stop being so mean to everyone!"

Madoka glances away from sighting down her shaft long enough to find La Sirene's eyes to her left -- then Ladybug's, up and to her right. The smile may have died on her lips, slain by Arf's enthusiasm for combat, but it lingers inside her, still, if you look for it there. Fighting doesn't make her happy... but fighting alongside such wonderful people, does.

"Ne... together? On three?"

COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has started a combo targeting Fate Testarossa!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"DON'T MAKE FUN OF ME," Lera yells loudly at Arf, even as she bounces away. She hits the ground, rear end bouncing, before she slides to a stop while sitting in one corner of the street. Her eyes blink, lazily, a few times, before she shakes her head. She comes to in time to look up. She sees, then, the familiar from before. She sees her wreathed in lightning, like a terrible goddess (with cute fluffy ears).

Her mouth opens. "W-W-Wait, hold on, I think you're taking this too far and the cat's getting away and--" She looks briefly, towards Rhett Butler's absent form as he rounds a corner; then, she looks back up at Arf.

Mikoto slams into Arf, entering a fierce melee competition, before that lightning ever touches her. Lera's eyes blink a few times, and she watches her get struck down. "U-um, are you okay!?" she calls to Mikoto. "Are--oh, you're going right back in there, yep, okay, good to know."


"R-Right," Lera says. She swallows, before she nods. Then, she runs ahead, sword swung out to the side. Soaring Sky ignites, fire and light dancing up the two-toned blade. She sucks in a deep breath, and then she jumps. She lands, side-by-side with Mikoto. "I can help! And you, Miss Familiar!" she says. "I think you should stop it and leave that poor kitty alone!"

<Inferno Slasher!> Sky chimes.

Then, Lera sweeps the blade around. A concussive blast of energy blows off the edge of the sword and into Arf -- trying to pitch her away from the both of them.

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Inferno Slasher on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa counters 11 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Inferno Slasher, taking 32 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry is Psyched!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Lera Camry!

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

It doesn't look like Madoka-san is going to be able to talk down this attacker and their familiar, despite the almost hesitant way she responded. And...the cat made a wish using the 'Jewel Seed'? Is that how he's so big? "Mouse Girl? O-oh, right! Just call me...<Souris-i!>" If anyone had been able to understand the fact that she just tried to speak French, and butcher it completely, they would be more than welcome to tear into her for destroying a beautiful language.

Wait, was her tonfa flying back to her? Where they actually strangely shaped boomerangs? Nevertheless, the newly-named Sourisi manages to catch her tonfa out of the air, but her attempt to twirl her weapons in a way to block the projectiles only has the mouse ninja doing her impression of a dart board. "Ooooooowwww..."

Shaking her arms to try to reawaken her limbs from the stunning barrage, Sourisi glances around for perhaps something that could be used to her advantage. Madoka-san and Mami-san were here now as well, and quite a few others. There's even a red polka-dotted magical girl as...well? Wait, didn't Takk-san said there might be two others Miraculous users out there, with costumes designed off of a black cat and a ladybug? Maybe she's one of them! Though she doesn't have fake wings or antenna sticking out of her hair...

But now's not the time for chatting with a potential ally, they all need to work together to stop this one girl!...and her wolf! But is it normal for there to be so many magical defenders-no, questions for later! Maybe if the girl goes down first, both of them will have to retreat and leave the giant cat alone! That, and those darts -really- stung. "I don't know why you're so hung up on attacking such a cat, but it has to stop! So many people are going to get hurt if this fight keeps going on!" And that's not just Fate's spells, but one misplaced arrow, sword or tonfa can easily put innocent bystanders in the hospital.

"Luna-san, hold on tight, please. I'm going to do something really reckless!" Thankfully, firm ground is less likely to cave in on powerful feet than a car's roof. With a powerful leap against the ground, a mouse girl takes flight up and skyward towards the hovering Fate, grasped tonfa swinging downwards in a overhead blow.

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Forest Down on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

Luna's response to someone saying they're going to do something reckless...

Causes her to simply straighten up to her full kitty height on Sourisi's back - and leap off mid-flight.

"I've had my fill of reckless girls lately."

... as she lands by Mami's feet, taking refuge by someone a lot less reckless.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to counter Sourisi's Forest Down, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Fate Testarossa!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sourisi!

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

More and mroe magical folks converge on the situation, to come to the aid of the massive pretty cat and fight off the young lady with her helper. Running and attempt tp catch up is hard work for someone with short legs like his! THough he worries msot for the girl i nthe cat's mouth, the one fro mthe tug-of-war! "Be careful!" he calls.

Thankfully, the girl with beautiful ribbons saves her. "Thank you!" he yells toward Mami, as the poor girl totally needed the help! Steven runs hsi way over toward Homura. "Hey! You okay?!" he asks quickly.

She doesn't look too okay. "You can stay here if you want and you'll probably be safe! But I'm gonna try to catch up and see if I can help somehow!" the boy says, taking off again toward the cat!

Combat is erupting all around, and Steven has to dodge some of the incoming remnants of magical attacks from the ground. "Kiiiiiitty!" he calls out. "Slow doooooown!"

It... kinda works? At least not by him alone. "We needa get out of you whatever made you big! I think those mean people are trying to get it from you!"

A volley of small bolts of lightning spray out in a fan, aiming within the area Steven is! "No kitty! Save yourself!" the boy says, trying to run for cover. But it is so far away! How will he make it?!

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Oh--is it?" Endo is briefly distracted by Fate pointing out the difference in their magic. He has noticed the girl is using a device like his, but he's unaware of the difference. He's distracted enough that he's not quite prepared for the pincer attack, his weapon brought up in a last-minute defense, lashing out as he's forced backwards.

He rolls, tumbling along the rooftop he's perched on, nearly careening over the edge before he catches himself. From here he can glance at the rest of the conflict, and the various magical girls (and boy) that are involved.


"I think she just fell on top of her" Endo isn't sure that counts as arriving. Either way, there's still the pressing matter of protecting the giant cat behind the nearby building.

Rather than join in the fray on ground level, Endo sets to doing what he can to protect the gigantic can from Fate's sprays of lightning. Which means making her stop doing that as soon as possible. He spies Sourisi doing the same, following the ascending arc of the girl. He takes his chance after he swing, launching himself from his perch and coming at Fate from her opposite side.

He's not exactly trying to do lasting damage, but the flat side of his blade makes a good and broad battering ram with which to try and pin her against the rooftops nearby. "Sorry, but you can't shoot Rhett Butler!"

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Blauverschiebung on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 10 Fatigue damage from Endo Naoki's Blauverschiebung, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki is Psyched!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> BGM Continues: Credens Justitiam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqQ3hP_q7Ns

"The fact that you immediately chose combat is what I'm calling bad manners," Mami answers Fate in the same sort of tone, reproach clear in her voice--and wariness. But her attempt to be gentle is met with a reification of just how serious the pair before them seem to be about this:

Mami looks to the magic circle immediately, and realizes as soon as she does that it's too quick for her to evade entirely. Instead, she immediately spreads her arms and shifts to the side, ensuring that they'll be free as the chain wraps about her legs. Arf tugs, and Mami whirls mid-air, careeing towards the brick wall. ...But halfway through her flight, she claps her hands together, and pulls a ribbon from her wrist. It becomes a blade that she swings down towards the chain, freeing herself and twisting just before impact such that her feet hit the wall and spring her forward, where she handsprings once and lands on the sidewalk just beside Steven and Rhett Butler both.

"No," she insists to the small girl as her lightning crashes forward. Standing near them, it seems impossible that she could defend in time--but she doesn't have to jump. She simply throws out her hand, and another ribbon grows and grows and grows from her cuff, spinning in less than a moment into a huge pistol--or a small cannon--that gleams in perfect silver filigree. She pulls, and it ignites at the last moment, a column of light erupting to destroy the attack before it can reach either of them. "Stay behind the corner!" Mami tells Steven, and narrows her eyes at Fate.

"...I'd hoped to hold off for a while longer on the lessons in facing girls like us," the taller blonde says, focused on Fate in the moment. "But it seems that it's time. If this is important enough to you to use force..."

Mami passes her hand in an arc above her head, and at multiple points in each a spark of light erupts with brilliant glimmering colors into a rifle, some seven in all that appear parallel to her body and gracefully rotate to focus barrels on Fate.

"So be it."

The music swells; Madoka is already pulling the others into cooperation, has said what needs to be said. "We won't give up on him so quickly!"

At that, the rifles fire out, golden light slamming out from each with the thundering report of gunshot, while Mami's other hand stretches back, starting to build up more ribbons as they stand. "Don't worry," she says then to Luna beside her, smiling slightly. "They're still young. They have a lot of time to learn ahead of them."

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Circle on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to dodge Mami Tomoe's Tiro Circle, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is Psyched!

<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

There's triumph, momentary, in Ladybug's face as a haphazard chaos actually manages to catch one of the...assailants? Attackers? What's she supposed to call them? 'Bullies' still seems to suit, and she does her best to level a confident look back at Arf.

It's a confidence that's quickly shattered, as the second attacker moves to jump in. Ladybug scrambles backwards as Fate descends, leaping on instinct to vault over a lamppost - and then inspiration strikes, and she lets herself fall down the other side...with the line, attached to Arf a moment longer, using the post as a makeshift pulley.

It turns out not all of science class was a lie - and the sharp tug of the tangle around Arf's paw yanks her off course enough for Ladybug to swing out of the pounce's path. "I'll be sure to let you know if I do. Though really, calling people you're attacking 'little girl' really isn't going to shake the bully label any time soon!"

It's easy enough to apply to Arf, given the increasingly chaotic melee, but the flying girl with the axe might be another story. That insistence on this being the 'only way' brings a frown to Ladybug's face, though...

Madoka answers - and after grabbing onto another lamppost to swing herself onto it, Ladybug waves off the apology. "I mean, trying to make sure everyone's happy is probably the better idea. I just don't like having people think they can throw lightning around and then get everything they want." She swats at her still-staticy pigtail, and the pout is visible even from the ground. "You've got a good point about this being important to her - questions for some time her fuzzy friend isn't trying to pummel us, maybe."

There's an announcement from a stranger who strikes a chord of familiarity. The mouse-girl is 'Sourisi', and there's a quiet comment from the red-and-black domino mask. "....aren't those the same thing, though?" Mercifully, scathing reviews of her French skills can be saved for another day.

Madoka isn't smiling any more, but there's determination - and Ladybug gives the archer's suggestion a solemn nod. "Sounds like a plan - let's see if we can deal with them together!" She starts whirling her yo-yo round and ground, eyes flickering from one location to the next. If Arf is occupied, and Fate is distracted for just a moment, then this...

...just might work. There's a whirring sound in the air, as a spinning cord blurs into a seemingly solid disc. Ladybug leaps forward, eyes locked on the ferocious familiar - and then she flicks her wrist outward, sending the yo-yo hurtling out in a tight spiral, strange warbling echoing in its wake. Its path takes it nowhere near Arf, though - the strangely twisting toy arcs through the air, descending strangely towards Fate. It's at an odd angle, meant more to corral her downward...

And as her weapon drops, Ladybug grins. "One..."

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

The lunging Arf skips and tumbles towards her. The dodging of her attack makes a wailing "ah!" come from la Sirene's lips but she is able, at least, to see Arf coming right towards her. Her form is changing and the long-dressed gothick girl stares her straight dead on with alarm before realizing -

Ah, a fist, not jaws -

And tucking herself down, hugging her knees as Arf's fist stirs through gorgeous black locks and does not in fact pop her right square in the breadbox. At this point Arf moves on and la Sirene rises, tossing her hair and breathing out with great force.

She looks upwards at Fate when Madoka points out she's... "What on Earth is she doing out here then," la Sirene says, a hand going on her hip. And then she looks towards Madoka as the pink archer says 'on three?' and -

La Sirene puts a hand over her heart in surprise. She looks towards the Miraculous Ladybug afterwards as if to say:


And inwardly she feels her stomach tighten a little. If she knew what I had come here, hoping to do, la Sirene thinks, recalling a conversation in the green houses -- would she... would she still...

Her eyes close for a moment. And then she draws out the rectangular prism of her Black Mirror, the small white gems twinkling. The light within the mirror changes - and for a moment it isn't a mirror but a window. Standing to the left hand of Madoka, she says, "This will be a little tricky." Behind the back of her mirror, a wave crashes -

Light comes out. Sparkling like seafoam in a streak as la Sirene whips it round. She can see the way that Ladybug is dashing, and she calls towards Arf, and by extension, Fate, to say, "Do you mean to tell me that this cat wished to be this size...? Even if it causes a mess, you don't need to add to things this way!"

She seems to be feeling out the idea. The moondrops, however, form a momentary galactic-shaped path, rising... and then curling inwards, as if to sweep down around Arf and Fate. Of course, the real goal of this grand glittering string of strange, salt-smelling jewels is...

... to encourage them both to stand in a single fixed space.


COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has joined the combo started by Madoka Kaname!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"THREE!" Madoka shouts in unison with Ladybug and La Sirene du Nord, and releases her arrow, which doubles, then quadruples in size as it soars directly towards the point that her allies are trying to drive the sorceress and her familiar into.

COMBAT: COMBO! Madoka Kaname, Ladybug, and La Sirene de Diamant have used Combo: ONE TWO THREE CONTACT!, composed of Starlight, Starbright, Flying Saucer, and Abyssal Vision, on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Ladybug has finished attacking.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 32 Fatigue damage from Madoka Kaname, Ladybug, and La Sirene de Diamant's Combo: ONE TWO THREE CONTACT!, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Madoka Kaname, Ladybug, and La Sirene de Diamant are Psyched!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Blind applied to Fate Testarossa!

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (4)] has posed.

Steven can jsut feel the hair on the back of his neck start to prick from the electricity i nthe air as he runs--!

But the girl with the ribbons is suddenly there! "Eeeeep!" he lets out, beating feet past Mami!" Thnkas thanks thaaaanks!" he shouts, diving around the corner as the weapon's chamber announces its disdain for what it is aiming.

The boy can't help but peek back around the corner mid-fire though. It was so cool to watch! These fights, all real!, though he scoots back around and sags against the wall. He lifts up his shirt to look at his belly, to see a pink gemstone glistening so brightly one would thing it was staring back.

"Ah, wish I could help... Wonder when I will get my powers... I hope i actually can get them. At least the others think so. I wanna stop badguys and cool stuff like the mousy girl and the ribbon lady, and the pink haired girl that saved me!"

A peek back around. "I wonder how they do it."

And then he sees the combination attack from Madoka, Ladybug and La Sierene. His eyes grow to about the size of saucers.

"I wanna do cool stuff liek that when I get older!" Yeah, forget getting a car or job. Magical emotionl combination attacks are what Stevens want. It may or may not be because of his upbringing.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

"I see." Fate says to Mami on her manners. "I don't need to show good manners to an obstacle." Is her simple retort. Though it is a little unnerving. What child this young refers to even opponents on the battlefield as obstacles?

Mikoto and Arf go into a head to head brawl when Arf finds herself unable to suplex her, each close range punch of thunderous infused energy devastating. And when its over, the wolf woman just looms over the girl on her knees. "He made a wish-" The blade is brought in revolution, and Arf backsteps as she follows her rhythm, as Mikoto strikes, Arf lashes out at the same moment - fist smashing into the flat of her blade with thunderous energy and spoiling her strike. "-ON SOMETHING WE NEED!"

Fate may seem like she's not paying attention to Arf, but as Lera strikes she suddenly moves, appearing behind Arf just as Lera's blade connects. Then reappears a short distance away, Arf having to pat out flames all over her, "Gahhh - Feito I'm going to have bald patches." "We can't take them lightly Arf." Before Arf's voice drops to say, "... thanks." "You cover me. I cover you. Right?" Fate says gently before she rises back in the air and looks at Lera. "I will leave him alone - once I have what I came for."

Fate can see the distress she's causing the timid girl, and it does make her feel a certain pang about it... especially after seeing her and the giant cat bond but...

I don't know why she's acting this way but... it must be awfully important to her.

And her fist clenches down fractionally on Bardiche. Perhaps it can be taken as her responding to calling out her age but... no. It's simply that it is important to her. So important to her that it simply stuck with her that someone is trying to understand her when understanding should be futile.

Her eyes find Madoka as she echoes her apology 'I'm sorry.' "... I'm not doing this to be mean." Fate says as she straightens up in mid-air, and spins Bardiche with a single-handed flourish flourish until it lands into a two-handed grip. "Whether you can accept it or not - this is the only way."

Sourisi slams down into Fate in mid-air. And the girl attempts to simply zip out of the way, but the one two punch of the tonfas connects before she can, battering her backwards into an aerial spin. Fate Testarossa manages to right herself suddenly flies forward at Sourisi like a Samurai in a blade draw, and is now on the other side of her. Its only when the girl's blade intones. <Scythe Slash.>

Isn't it a good thing that Luna leapt off?

Endo careens into her that moment and Fate puts up Bardiche to parry in time, but the girl is smashed against the side of a rooftop, pinned by the blade. "... I can." Fate says simply, as Arf flies up behind Endo, to try to grab him by the shoulder and peel him off her, tossing him back to the ground if he manages. "... And I will."

Which is when a chorus of rifles fires on her and Arf. The shots pound through her shields into her barrier jacket. Thankfully she is armored but all the same... the musketballs pound against her ribs with frightful impacts. "I won't give up... so easily either."

Arf doesn't take the attack nearly as well - marking Mami as a bigger threat than her ribbons initially had indicated. "So be it huh? THAT'S FINE-" The wolf presses a foot against the building, and sends herself careening at Mami, with a fist outstretched, lightning crackling, "-BY ME!"

Fate is recovering quickly, and is now looking down the tip of Madoka's bow, before flying backwards at Ladybug's twisting flicks of her Yo-Yo which do serve to keep her altitude lowering constantly. Guiding her straight into... "Oh."

It's such a small sound, as Madoka releases her arrow which had grown so large in size. While La Sirene's attack has caused Arf to give up her assault on Mami, the droplets moving her inward towards the girl. "Arf its a-"

She has no time to actually voice it, simply moving down in front of her familiar. <Multi-Defenser> Three golden rings of runes spring out in front of her. The massive arrow crashes through one as it cracks like glass - then burrows through the second, which gives too.

At the third, the girl hisses in sharply as the arrow presses in - before...

The third shield gives and the two are sent barreling backwards into an already smooshed parked car, causing a rise of smoke.

Luna watches as if impressed then looks up at Mami and says, "Yes ... I think they'll work out just fine."

When the smoke clears, the first thing the girls see is Arf holding onto the smaller girl with a death grip, arms crossed over her. "Aha... that was... close..." The girl puts her feet down, as Arf unlaces her arms, looking a little wobbly. "Didn't expect this kind of resistance."

"Protecting this cat is important to them." Fate says quietly, "I don't blame them." Which is when she faces down the three that did that. <Photon Lancer> "Photon Lancer." An octet of orbs of yellow and orange fly towards Ladybug, while several move towards the flanks of Madoka and La Sirene - as if trying to duplicate the same effect of coralling them in, "We just can't let them stop us." "WE WON'T - CHAIN BIND!" Arf shouts - as twin chains spring out, trying to catch both Madoka and La Sirene in each separate one, before she grips one with each hand, and tries to smash them into each other.

Fate however - uses this opportunity to fly - towards the corner. Around it. Wicked Scythe weapon at the ready... she's going straight for Rhett Butler personally.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Flash Harvest on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Barrier Blitz Strike on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Double Trouble on Ladybug.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Chain Bind Throw on Madoka Kaname.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Chain Bind Throw on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Bind Break Assist on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Barrier Blitz Strike on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Flash Harvest on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to counter Fate Testarossa's Flash Harvest, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Destruction, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Cats are allowed to make wishes! Maybe you could... share it, or something!" Lera calls out to Arf, as her swing finishes. The flame licks away, wisping into nothingness, but the silver-and-gold sword remains. She frowns, before she swings the sword down, and the tip of the blade plunges into the concrete for a moment. She lets out a soft sigh, her amber eyes fixed on where Arf was. "Where--"

She swings her head, spotting Fate and Arf. Her eyes widen, and then she yelps. She sees the shards of energy that Fate summons, and she stumbles backward, wracking her brain for the things that her and Sky trained in. "S-Sky, um, maybe you could--"


A hastily made barrier appears, just in the nick of time -- but the blast still throws Lera backward. She slams into the nearby wall. She winces, before she catches sight of Fate -- and sees Arf's chains loose. Her jaw sets, as she spots Fate flying for Rhett Butler. Her eyes narrow, and she grits her teeth.

"HEY! Leave the cat alone!" she calls out at Fate. "C-C'mon, is this really something you wanna be doing!? You... could ask to share the kitty, or wait til it's done with what what you need, or--"

She tears off after Fate, and swings back her sword. Soaring Sky gleams with light, crackling with a bright gold-white energy that leaps up and down the blade like lightning -- and then Lera swings it hard, slamming it for Fate's Device and trying to throw her off.

"--either way, this isn't what Devices are meant to do! Isn't that right, Mister Black-haired Device Guy?"

Soaring Sky entreats Fallen Stern: <Please just go with it.>

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Aura Smite on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 12 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Aura Smite, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry is Psyched!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

With a whirr, the yo-yo snaps back into a red-gloved hand. Ladybug gives a cheery two-fingered salute to Madoka and La Sirene, a grin on her face - but the mirth fades quickly as the dust clears to reveal Fate and Arf still in a fighting mood. "I don't suppose you're willing to - no, I guess not!"

Having learned her lesson about being airborne near these balls of lightning, she instead crouches, arms held out before her. A last-minute thought strikes, and with one hand she hooks the yo-yo's wire around a nearby lamp. "Kind of wish I knew if this would-"

She vanishes amid the explosion of the barrage, a startled yelp followed sharply by a bang. When it clears, the girl in red is sizzling, a bit, her hair grown even frizzier. It could have been worse - the lamp she'd hooked is blown out entirely, and her yo-yo has static crackling over it. "That...could have gone better. In that case - Lucky...ack!"

She fumbles the yo-yo, and retreats rapidly to try to retrieve it from where it bounced.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

On the minus side, the Ring Bind was *very* effective at bringing the Magic Knight of Wind to a screeching halt, effectively removing her from the battle as it moved onwards.

On the plus side, not being embroiled in the fray gave her a better chance to take stock of the situation while she was laboring to catch up with the combatants. On the one side, maybe a dozen individuals, plus one gigantic feline, running or leaping or flying through the Tokyo streets; on the other, a single girl and a wolf, who are still keeping the weight of numbers from overwhelming them.

Also a lot of magic being thrown around, enough magic to make the Wind Knight wish she had more than a healing spell and an all-out attack to work with. Two spells, plus weapons -

- and she hasn't even finished that thought when one of the other girls, namely the one with the really big sword, gets whomped hard enough to make the Wind Knight wince in sympathy. "Go limp, I've got you!" the Wind Knight shouts, letting her bow and supply of arrows vanish; she pushes off super-hard from her last foothold, willing the wind to lend her speed and distance, and conjures the beginnings of another Winds of Healing spell to cushion the catch.

Engineering a relatively soft landing is the next challenge; the Wind Knight improvises, trying not to lose too much speed but to focus on making sure the dark-haired girl can rejoin the fray.

"Are you all right? That looked like a nasty hit; I can heal you up some if you need it."

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Favorable Observation on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Fuu Hououji's Favorable Observation, taking 0 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Of course, it's true that, as Homura watches the brilliant display, at least one of the players on the stage is well aware of the audience. Mami takes a particular strength and happiness from the wide-eyed girl with her glasses and braids. But this awareness of her surroundings is for more than just the audience--it lets her see Arf coming, and the familiar's powerful strikes split the air around her. She retorts, and Mami spins, pushing herself off of the ground in a quick jump, practically dancing out of Arf's path just in time to avoid the attack. "I thought it might be. You should tell your mistress--she obviously takes good care of you." Mami starts to prepare her counterattack... but is spared the need for an instant, as the three work together. It means that Mami, too, watches the combination display; her eyes flicker to Madoka just long enough to watch, just long enough that she won't miss an attack or let her guard down, and she smiles as Madoka flies.

Mami dips her head in a nod, as she watches. "I'm looking forward to seeing it, Luna-san."

She readies herself when the smoke clears. Fate, Arf--they fight them, but Mami doesn't see any malice here, any cruelty beyond the inherent cruelty of targetting a confused animal when he's vulnerable. It makes her wonder why it's so important to them.

But she can't only wonder--she starts into action, noting Fate's presence but not moving into her path, because she notices Mikoto and her great sword shifting into the path. "I'll count on you!" Mami tells Mikoto with a sharp nod.

Counting on some strange magical girl she doesn't know--it's been a long, long time since she's had an open enough heart to do that. She doesn't stop to reminisce, though; she leaps upward, kicks off of a building, whirling mid-air to land lightly on a lamppost, graceful and sure despite the small footing.

"Madoka-chan!" Mami calls, so much less formal than she always is with most. But there is a firmness in her voice--it's no greeting. It's a setup.

Mami throws out her hand, and beautiful golden ribbon stretches across her palm, growing and growing from smaller than her wrist to larger than her arm to the size of her, shooting forward not at Fate, but at a space near her. ...And then she leaps to the next, conjures another roll of golden fabric, leaps across the street to another for a third, again for a fourth, each hanging mid-air, waiting.

As she alights suddenly at street level she calls, "TIRO....!"

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has started a combo targeting Fate Testarossa!

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka's wincing a little at the relative success of their attack, but her smile towards the others is real. She's happy enough to give Ladybug the last word; actions speak louder anyway, and it's very obvious that, where it counts, they're all on the same page here.

As for La Sirene, she ducks out of her own magical chains, then reaches out towards the other girl sent hurtling towards her -- grasps her by the hand -- and turns what could have been them tumbling into each other, into, fingers entwined, a twirling round and round as though they're on a dance floor.

At last their momentum is spent and so is their spiral. Madoka slumps gladly, and, someone else's safety no longer her immediate concern, trips over her toes a little, as though the only thing holding her intrinsic clumsiness at bay was a sense of responsibility. "All right?" she confirms with a sigh...

...but Homura's scream cuts through Madoka's post-teamup-relief much more powerfully than any lightning. Her head lifts -- her afro bounces -- her ruffles rustle and her ribbons stream as she springs into action immediately.

But Mikoto is both closer and faster and gets there more than first, at her own peril, leaving Madoka both relieved and concerned. Less so than she might be otherwise, given the supportive presence of the Wind Knight.

Lera Camry, whose magic is greatly like Fate's, called out that she can help, and through the chaos Madoka's face turns to hers like a flower to the sun.

"Is it true?" she asks for confirmation's sake. The little girl -- for better or for worse, a true statement -- is adamant. "Do we... do we really have to zap it, the thingy, out of poor Rhett Butler?"

While she's waiting for an answer, she is summoned. The other voice that can cut through anything, even a diamond's noise, resonates not only through her ears but on the strings of her heart.

She beams at senpai, and leaps backwards (ruffles everywhere!). The two of them wind up opposite one another's lampposts, and where Mami elaborately weaves her ribbons, Madoka shoots arrows, three and four at a time upon the single string.

Each finds their mark, and like tiny pink airplanes rented out to display a message in the sky, begin towing the golden ribbons behind them.

But they're all soaring away from the battlefield -- right?

(Narrator: And so it was that Fate and Arf discovered that Madoka's arrows sometimes possess a homing quality, like little missiles.)

At first it's a web, but quickly the starlight-propelled ribbons become more like a coccoon, closing in on the two Midchildans from all directions and circling, circling, pulling, pulling, knotting, knotting.

Madoka lands next to Mami at street level, CLACK CLACK.

"...DUETTO!" she concludes, and, dropping her hand to hold Mami's and squeeze, they detonate all the magic at once in a massive, magnificent rose gold explosion.

Right up close and personal.

If she looks closely, Mami might catch Madoka looking a little guilty, afterwards, her wide eyes at war with the pleased flush across her nose and cheeks, not dissimilar from Homura's.

It isn't easy, using their magic like this, against other girls.

It isn't comfortable.

Maybe it shouldn't be.

COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has joined the combo started by Mami Tomoe!

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Endo is dislodged by Arf, letting out a cry as he goes rolling away. By the time he rights himself the other magical girls have already sprung their trap, and their enemies are refocusing once again.

Endo takes a moment to push himself to his feet, agreeing: "Uh, yeah! Sure!" to Lera's question.


"Shh! We're trying to help!" Endo shakes his device, as if this will chastise it. Then, he turns his attention back toward Fate. Thankfully there are others to keep the giant cat safe, but he still has to do his part.

Belkan triangles whirl into existence around his feet, gathering energy before he launches into the air, aiming to join Lera in trying to smash Fate's weapon aside. He whirls in the air as he travels, turning in a wide circle as he builds momentum. He spins like a violet top, contrails of dark light spiraling behind before his weapon comes crashing down.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Meteor Absturz on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.
COMBAT: COMBO! Mami Tomoe and Madoka Kaname have used Tiro Duet on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has finished attacking.

 <Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

Luna leaping off Sourisi's shoulders is quite like rats jumping off a sinking ship when all hope is lost, but surely things are not that bad! The sight of seeing Fate twirl through the air from her tonfa is enough to put those doubts to rest, and her confidence starts to rise. "Won't you think about stopping your attack? If you just give this a chance-" But Fate manages to recover in midair, and she's moving her weapon to her side like she's a dramatic samurai about to deliver the final blo-

Uh oh.

And the flying Fate blurs from sight, Sourisi frantically moves her tonfa up in front of her to try blocking, to strike back, to do something-! Pain and jolts of electrical magic jolt up and down the Miraculous user's body, hanging her in mid air for a split movent before the ferocity behind the attack sends her flying down to the earth below. And only one through echoes in her mind during this moment.

'Luna did nothing wrong.'

And then a mouse ninja tumbles along the asphalt, head over legs, and eventually comes to a halt as friction takes hold. Lying still on the ground for a moment and taking in a deep breath, Sourisi stares up at the early Fall sky. "Note to self: Don't attack flying people in the air." That revelation out of the way, she climbs to her feet and gathers her tonfa. Mami-san and Madoka-san seem to be taking on the magical warrior now, so perhaps it's time to switch back to the wolf?

Looking down at the hardwood tonfa resting in her closed fists, then back up at Arf, she takes in another steading breath and rears them back. "Please don't be a fluke. Hey boy, go fetch!" Sourisi swings forward and lets go, despite all logic telling her that weapons like this should just tumble back to the street. Instead, they swerve slightly to correct their aim and fly once more for the familiar.

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

As Mikoto clashes with Arf, there's something in the back of her mind, a thing she heard and put aside because she's focused on what's right in front of her...

... an obstacle, an enemy... huh.

Well, maybe sympathising was a bad idea. Down she goes. She looks up at Arf as the woman looms, and maybe the determination behind the grit of her jaw is familiar.

He made a wish on something they need, she says, as Mikoto charges and they clash again. Arf's fist slams into the blade, arresting her strike - and the girl springs away before she can close toe-to-toe again.

"WRONG! Cats can't talk!" Mikoto insists, as they retreat to safety.

She pauses.

She looks back to Luna.

"... mostly!" She corrects herself, and goes on to insist: "Couldn't wish!" Because of course a magical artifact needs words to activate it. That's just logic, to someone who calls out to her blade with a word.

How this cat became giant without wishing... well, she's not really in a place where she can think about complicated questions like that.

She might have taken on Arf again - but she sees Fate moving through the air, right towards Rhett Butler's corner. "No!" Mikoto snaps, springing after her. And, well - Fate has the advantage, here. There are no obstacles in the sky worth mentioning, so long as one avoids traffic-lights and streetlamps, while the street is cluttered with cars.

But, as we have established, Mikoto is quite fast. She springs off of the roof of a car as if it were a trampoline, darts between a motorcycle fallen on its side and a sedan with doors still open from its owner's flight.

She gets there just in time - for the scythe to fall. She springs up to meet it.

And she twists in the reaching, bringing her blade around to catch it, instead of those big precious paws Mami Tomoe loved so much, or that face which has nuzzled and licked and even rescued the weaker amongst them in its jaws.

Here's the problem:

Mikoto can't fly.

Now, this might seem ridiculous to anyone who has seen her jumping about. She's perfectly comfortable with aerial acrobatics! She does not, however, have a single method of independent propulsion, any way to change her momentum whatsoever once she's committed to her motion. And this - this was a hasty motion, borne forward in the desperation of the moment without time for sure footing or preparation.

Mikoto leaps up... and Mikoto's blade crashes against Fate's scythe... and Fate carves right through, sending her plummeting right back to the ground.

Ah, she thinks, distantly. That's strange. She knew just how to exploit the weakness in her approach. Aren't children not supposed to know that in Tokyo..?

And here there is a voice: go limp.

Well, naturally. That's the most essential lesson in how to fall. Go gently against the solid ground, and be ready to move.

Mikoto is limber, as she crashes down. There is something resisting her even before the concrete - the air itself, a cushion to slow her and catch her. It makes it easy, to fold into a roll, to come out with hand pressed against the ground. It means she is not harmed by the impact, alongside the severity of the strike. She blinks, in surprise, and looks around for the source.

She nods, firmly, as she finds that girl, and finds herself asked whether she's okay. "I'm tough!" She insists. With a glance back to the oversized feline, she insists on Fuu's healing target: "Rhett Butler!"

Her middle-school uniform is all torn up, and she's breathing heavily; it's hardly a stretch to say she didn't say she was all right for a reason. She takes a step forward, anyway. "... I gotta know." Because it's been at the back of her brain, but she's good at processing things intuitively in battle. She doesn't have a conscious realisation so much as her instincts...

... clicking in.

One, two, three - she's springing on those Belkan triangles before they can fade, in the wake of the boy she doesn't know is her friend Endo. "You!" She cries, to Fate, demanding in tone and pronoun.

"If I'm right - survive this!"

If she's wrong...

Well, there's no room to think about errors, because suddenly Mikoto is there. She springs high off of the last platform and careens down towards Fate, blade arcing up in a powerful overhead swing. It is an attack of utter decimation.

To survive an onslaught like that - Fate would need to be something special.

Someone who knows things, just like Mikoto.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Death on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa dodges 96 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Finisher, Obsidian Blade: Death, taking 64 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Fade and Flash abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

'I'm not doing this to be mean.'

La Sirene du Nord, who just came out here to collect the sorrows of a giant cat, is feeling so attacked right now. Her lips thin even as glamor and glory sparkles, but she says to Madoka and Ladybug as she watches the motion closely, "Do you think they wish they'd made the wish instead of the cat? That is a rather precious thing - oh -"

That same yellow orbs come towards her. La Sirene dives away from Madoka, and she thinks for a moment that she's avoided it, and so she turns her attention towards Arf and cry to her, "What are you even trying to do!? You said something about a jewel seed - can't you give the cat some fish and ask it for the jewel!? A cat needs no jewels, only the heat of the fire and a delicious -"

It is at this exact point that the erupting magical chains snatch her round the waist.

She reaches out - and Madoka takes her hand. "Ah!"

Round round round round round round round and la Sirene looks at Madoka because that way it's a fixed point revolving around Madoka instead of a swirling chaoscape. Her eyes are wide and she wonders why. Afterwards, they're left, and she is stumbling again. "Y-yes, but -"

A scream!

La Sirene looks towards the power of the kombi - and also pauses to look at Luna in long searching moments, because she could have sworn she just heard...

But then the magic happens. She is behind Madoka and Mami, and so she does not see the doubt on the pink haired girl's face. And before she could think to look, she raises her eyes to see Mikoto leap with such dramatic force.

Fervently in her heart, she prays a very specific prayer: That none of these people should be fond of Detective Lalafina. Or at least, not fond enough to come to her debut film. Her lips are parted, though, and despite this fear, it all flashes in her eyes. "Ah - that small girl --!!"

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used O_O on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant accepts La Sirene de Diamant's O_O, taking 0 Fatigue damage!

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

"I don't need you to tell me that!" Arf says angrily at Mami - when it comes to Fate taking care of her.

Fate abruptly twists around to catch Soaring Sky by the haft of Bardiche, as she's pressed downward by the blow. "I- know that." After all, she was raised by a cat on her mother's side, "I can't..."

Abruptly she twists around, throwing the other mage off her, then uses that parting distance to try to quickly slash her with Bardiche "...SHARE!" The girl makes this light panting noise, before adding, "This is too important."

However this set up has put her directly in the path of Endo, as his weapon cleaves Bardiche in twain and knocks her into the street from the impact against her shields, grinding her into the ground.

When the little girl gets up again, Bardiche is in two halves. <Restoration.> Shimmering, it repairs itself in a wave of light, before stating, <Condition - All Green.>

Endo now feels a hand on his shoulder. Yeah this guy is about to be CONDITION RED!" Suddenly she locks her arms around him. "THUNDER-!" and then bends herself over backwards to take him backwards and drive him into the ground with a thunderous din. "-FALL!"

Whereas Madoka asks directly, and the question freezes her up for a moment. Her Mother told her such, and allowing otherwise means contradicting her. "It's..."

The girl struggles, before she hedges, "...the only way I know."

And then there's a gold elegance crossing the battlefield, ribbons flashing into place like a set up trap. Even wary of it though she cannot expect what comes next. As Madoka's pink arrows propel them forward, catching both her and Arf in the cocoon, before whirling up - knotting them both into place.

Then detonating.

Rhett Butler doesn't look into the explosion the two caused because he's a cool cat. Simply giving a 'meow' of approval to the two.

When the two reappear, they're panting, caught in a shimmering dome of yellow energy - Fate's barrier jacket and cape is shredded, whereas Arf looks worse for wear. As the field drops, Sourisi's tonfas are thrown straight in. And Arf catches them in both hands, her face twisted in a grimace of pain. "Oho - fine. I'll play. But in case you haven't realized. I'm-" And then Arf bounds in, fist outstretched, as she smashes her own tonfas back into her, "-A GIRL -NOW ITS YOUR TURN!" And then she tosses them two blocks over, while looking her straight in the eye. "Go get 'em girl."

However this puts Arf out of the line of sight of Mikoto's advance. Fate stands up, with Bardiche restored. And she sees it coming-

You must treat every battle like your life is on the line.

The girl twists, and swith a motion of her arm removes her cape, sending it flying into Mikoto's blade.

Because it is. Not just your life - but Arf's too.

The fabric momentarily blinding the girl as she flattens herself into a roll against the ground, the blow narrowly shaving some of her barrier jacket off of her back at a diagonal, and several filaments of blonde hair flap are lost in the wind, as she's sent to the ground on her knees. Putting down a foot, she springs upwards, Bardiche arcing upwards in contrast to Miroku's descent.

<Scythe Slash>

"I'm sorry."

It has nowhere near the same power. Yet does that matter at this point?

"FEITO!" The familiar finally finds her way back to her back, and puts a hand there as the girl seems like to swoon. "I'm - alright..." She insists. "... I just... need a little help..."

Arf seems torn, but then finally lets go of her to crack a fist against her opposite palm. "You'll have it."

The girl takes a deep breath, then spins her Scythe parallel to the ground, "Arcus - Cultus - Aegeas - Heavenly Gods that rise above - Descend upon us now!" As she chants, runic rings form at her feet, each one growing in layers upon layers before. <Thunder Rage>

Lightning falls from the sky as it showers Mami Tomoe, Madoka Kaname, and La Sirene Du Nord in dancing bolts...

...and that's before Arf dashes into the fray, adding a charged punch for each of them.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Lightning does strike twice, after all.

It isn't so funny the second time. Mami moves but Madoka doesn't, doesn't even try, instead extending her arms upwards, into the bolt, as though trying to draw more of it into herself and away from her senpai.

Her eyes are screwed shut and she's screaming, screaming. Her hands ball into fists and she screams straight through it, and gets louder, rather than weaker, over the course of her endurance..

Afterwards there isn't so much an afro left behind as a girl smudged completely black, hairstyle irrelevant, streaked with soot and lined with tiny electrical burns.

That, and two sparkling pink eyes, eyes that open wide -- just in time to see Fate going for Mikoto.

"NO!" she shouts, and this time she doesn't try to move faster -- doesn't make that mistake more than once.

She just shoots faster. Her arrows tinkle and chime every time they leave the string, but this one, it's so high-pitched with raw speed that it screams through the air in golden-voiced defiance of Mikoto -- brave Mikoto, kind Mikoto, Mikoto who knows and loves cats -- of her fate. And of her Fate.

It isn't a piercing sort of arrow. It explodes, right up in Fate's path, with raw magical force, deflecting her strike to the side while leaving her target untouched.

And by then, Madoka is at Mikoto's side, a little ahead of her; standing between the two combatants -- facing Fate.

"Everyone's gonna survive today," she promises them both. A girl who doesn't know things at all, by Mikoto's metric; a girl who knows nothing of Fate and her history. And yet -- and yet -- the fierce belief in her voice, in her face.

Madoka knows something else...

Called upon once more, she turns her ear to Lera... bites her lip nervously.

Not at the danger; at the being relied upon.

There, around the corner, the ridiculous mass of an ensorceled cat, and the tiny ones of Homura and Steven.

Madoka's eyes are still wide open.

She squares her shoulders. She lifts her chin.

"O-okay!" she confirms. "I'll get it! Please cover me!!"

Once she's sure that Mikoto is safe, the pink Puella Magi takes off for the kitty at a sprint, trips twice more on the way, and winds up flat on her back underneath him.

Her eyes widen, and she reaches up.

COMBAT: Madoka Kaname has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Barrier Blitz Strike on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Thunder Fall: SUPLEX! on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Barrier Blitz Strike on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Flash Harvest on Mikoto Minagi.

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Endo is briefly distracted by the cat-not the giant one, the flying one-his eyes follow Mikoto as she leaps off his temporary platform to strike at Fate. It's very impressive, as is the duo attack from Mami and Madoka, though he doesn't get too long to admire them.

Mostly because they look very strange, upside down. Endo lets out a cry of surprise when he's snatched by Fate's familiar, legs and arms flailing in the air as he's suddenly inverted. This is not the worse part, though. The worst part is hitting the ground, and the explosion that accompanies it.

It takes a good few seconds before his vision returns, and then several more of just kicking his legs around before he's able to expunge himself from the hole in the ground that is his new home. Even after that there's the painful experience of crawling to his feet, Endo waving his hand dimly at Lera's suggestion. It could be taken as an affirmative wave. He has no idea how to seal anything, but being positive helps.

"I'll back you up!" He calls, both to Lera and his other allies. Lera seems to know what she's doing, going after Fate. So Endo turns his attention toward Arf.

"Stern, let's go!" The length of the dark blade is suddenly awash in purple light, it's entire length bleeding power into the air. Endo doesn't move this time, doesn't lunge forward, but instead plants his feet and lets out a cry of effort as he brings the blade up in a sharp, vertical chop.


Purple-black fire arcs off the blade, sheeting like a wave, cutting through the air and tumbling toward Arf.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Endo Naoki has used Kosmische Kanone on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

Rhett Butler makes no reaction to Madoka Kaname sliding underneath him at first, then slowly turns his head to look down. Perhaps worried that his considerably fluffiness might accidentally squish her, he rises up fractionally on his paw claws to try to prevent that, causing the Jewel Seed to slip away from her hand.

However on her second grab she gets it. The Jewel Seed has granted its wish today. Perhaps it needs time to grant another. Or perhaps it does grant it.

Because Rhett Butler slowly shrinks back to normal size. When he's finished - he's sitting atop Madoka's abdomen, tiny little legs splayed out.

Slowly he looks at her face. Then, he drags his rough tongue across her cheek.

"Thank goodness that worked! Wait - why did you wish to be big when you're already this big?!"

Rhett Butler's cheeks turn red again...

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (7)] has posed.

As the fight goes on, the battle seems to only be getting more intense, not dying down. Surely with so many fighters taking on one person and a wolf, they should be at the end of the fight, right? The spectacular teamwork of Mami and Madoka is a sight to behold, pinning the mysterious duo in a web of ribbons and exploding pink light, it seems as if this might be it. But no, the girl has managed to get a barrier up in time to protect themselves from the worst of it!

And then Arf catches her weapons neatly in both of -her- hands, and then that little bombshell was dropped on Sourisi. "W-wait, you...oooh, I am so sorry about tha-HEY!" And then Arf threw her only weapons away! "...oh. Well...great." She really needed those to fight back, and when them gone over the horizon...then it's time to improvise!

That improvision comes down to grabbing the nearest chunk of rock she can find and throws it with all her might at Arf. There's plenty of rubble to use with the street torn up from the fight. It's ultimately uneffective, but it might be a distraction? Madoka-san seems to have a plan, but maybe if they can pull it through...

Though now she's going have to go looking for her weapons as soon as possible...

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Sourisi Uses Rock Throw! on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly counters 12 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Sourisi Uses Rock Throw!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Counter!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Chain Bind Throw, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sourisi!

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Fabric blinds Mikoto, and it is more difficult to catch scents with the air rushing past so quickly. She is reduced to listening for Fate, and so her cataclysmic strike carves over her instead of through her. It comes to bury in the ground, and she is left shaking off the cape and wrenching Miroku from the concrete.

I'm sorry, Fate says, and even as the cape falls away it reveals the horror on Mikoto's face. It would be easy to assume she is terrified she will die.

Well, it's not quite right, but it's not completely wrong, either.

She went a little too far this time, didn't she?

Everything moves at a snail's pace. Mikoto wrenching at her blade - curling back even as she does as if Bardiche might burn - perhaps it does - electricity isn't so different to fire - lightning causes fires sometimes after all...



is not destroyed.

Because there is an explosion entirely unlike the electrical storm carving up towards her. It crashes in against the scythe and she is unharmed - she is unharmed! And at first it seems so illogical, and then Madoka is there, and her mind connects arrow with archer and it all makes sense.

Mikoto realises she has not taken a breath in some time, and she fills her lungs with shaky air as Madoka stands in her defence. "You..." She trails off, the words weak with shock.

Madoka assures them, and she realises her heart is hammering. "Thanks," Mikoto says, and all her gratitude is evident in a few simple sounds.

Distantly she hears Fate asking for help, just as she has been given it, and it knots in her stomach. As the others fight, one wounded warrior looks to the other.

"... thought so." Maybe it would be hard to hear, over the clash of thunder, the way Mikoto realises her intuition is correct. A small child shouldn't be able to perform at this level. "You're strong."

She looks to Arf, fighting amongst the others. "Not alone, either." Fate has someone fighting alongside her. "It's good."

Finally, she pulls the sword from the stone. "... I'm done." It's a weighty sort of reassurance, but there's no way for her to process what this means the way she is right now. And confronted with her own mortality, Mikoto must admit she's on the edge. She needs space to think. She needs to recover her strength.

It wouldn't be so hard to cut her down as she starts moving away from Fate and the battle - but then, there's Rhett Butler...

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

'It's the only way I know,' la Sirene hears.

It plants a seed... but only a seed, because more happens. She can swear that she smells the scent of tears.

But then she has something far bigger to deal with. Lightning.

She crouches down as the thunder rolls, raising her hands above her head and then folding them as she cranes her head, looking up as if it will help her, as if she will do more than see a flash of light before she's struck. And in fact, she does, although it's actually the flash of light from when Arf abruptly smashes into her from the side. Laid out, la Sirene tumbles and comes up as if thrown by the tides onto the side walk.

Her eyes open again. Her side hurts. Ugh, she thinks. Pushing herself up to her elbows, she breathes out, and reaches within her coat.

"I have heard enough of your shilly-shallying," la Sirene huffs. The Black Mirror is drawn out, held aloft - and she says, "O obnoxious woman! I ask you a question: what happens when a changer of form is struck by the bolts of heaven!"

"This," La Sirene says after a momentary abatement but that was because there was a tension in the air, a sudden feeling as if a cloud crossed the sun even if no cloud actually did, and then a hair-raising moment of tension on the part of Arf...

Followed by another bolt of lightning, a big one! The thunder is enough to rattle windows in the street, blasting up a curious disk of the trivial dust of the street...!

And hopefully also Arf; at least, that's the idea.

COMBAT: FINISHER! La Sirene de Diamant has used Saturday's Delight on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"I just wanted to give her a compliment she's due--we may be in opposition, but I can still see care when I see it."

It's a verbal parry and feint, thrust and response, of course. Mami continues to speak lightly as she makes it, as she makes all the tiny decisions she has to make fighting here. But one of those things is key--

...Not the only way, the girl says to Madoka. The only way she knows. Does she know that much more than they do?

They may find out. Mami's hand squeezes Madoka's, too, as their magic ignites. Mami watches that explosion with only part of her attention--because much of it goes to Madoka in the moment, at first just a look to someone she hadn't thought possible, but after...

"Sometimes it's necessary," Mami says to her softly. "We can only do our best."

Does she know what Madoka's thinking? Not entirely. ...But she remembers when she felt that kind of guilt, when she was younger, when she was in the place in magic that Madoka's in now.

She knows La Sirene is behind them--but she has to act before she can do anything else, and that means moving as Fate and Arf whirl back into motion. The chant begins, and Mami feels something coming. The runes glow--

Mami moves. She whirls to the side first, practically a pirouette as she evades the first bolt of lightning; she leaps to the side next, acrobatically hurling herself aside, then again, again. She's able to evade the brunt of the spell, but even its passing is dangerous, and sparks crackle around her when the lightning fades, and it is clear that she didn't escape unscathed; electrical burns and soot show up easily on white shirtsleeves. ...Even if she had, though...

The scream Madoka gives grips at Mami's heart, and she looks to her immediately. Her eyes wide with concern, she takes a step--And in that step, she sees Madoka, in the midst of obvious pain, pushing through it and defending the gentle girl who has come up so quickly to defend the cat. Mami pauses in place--and lets out the breath she'd been holding, smiles and nods at them once. Everyone's gonna survive today, she says, and Mami feels that surety wash over her.

She turns back towards Fate again. Battle directions are given as Mami holds position, and she doesn't move until she hears it.

'Please cover me!!'

"Always," Mami replies to her partner, and pushes her feet apart. She moves to meet Fate's eyes. That moment doesn't last long; in moments Mami has pressed her hands together, and she brings them up to her collar. Nimble fingers pull a ribbon from about her neck, and her hands spread holding it; she begins to pull it apart, and it begins to shimmer.

Ribbon upon ribbon spins before her hands, her magic shaping in seconds a construct of incredible complexity, a beautiful weapon considerably larger than any single combatant here; silver filigree decorates its barrel and its grip, black lacquer shining at its sides. The barrel is lined--Fate and Arf will easily be able to see that, after all.

It's pointed right at them, waiting for interference.

Behind and beside it, Mami has one hand up--it is clear that only a twitch is sufficient to set off the magical effect.

"Now," Mami says, raising her voice over the din of battle. "I suggest that you leave. Surely you can recognize when the day is lost; there's no need for further conflict today."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (3)] has posed.

As Fate's swing is spoiled by the shaft of Madoka's arrow puncturing in to parry it, and knock her apart, the girl just blinks in a daze. She'd like to believe what she says. After all she doesn't actually want to hurt everyone.

You're strong.

"I have... to be..." She says as she shakes her out of her daze. Whether she's 'not alone' or its 'good' is not something she comments on.

Arf responds to Sourisi's attempt to throw a rock by wielding a conjured chain like a whip, pulverizing the rubble in mid-air. "Feh. Little mouse - you're two far down the food chain to keep aggravating the wolf."

The other mage says it's just stuck - and it can be pried off. Fate doesn't have any real reply to that except - part of her hopes it works. And part of her thinks that her hoping that means she's hoping her mother is wrong.

That is unacceptable.

"What would talking change?" Fate replies to Lera as the other girl draws her sword back in attack. Fate looks at her opponents lining up on her. Two ground mages. And La Sirene Du Nord. It's all a matter of who makes their move first - and in this case it's Lera. She begins to fly, ascending abruptly as Lera's shockwave slams into the lower half of her, clipping her as she's sent through a building.

Arf sees Endo coming and starts running right at him, as he chops vertically Arf suddenly skips horizontally. She just underestimated the blast radius. Purple-black fire sends her rocketing skyward. It's about this time that Fate returns - shimmering gold shields sputtering and dying, and she catches Arf mid-flight. The wolf-woman stunned from the assault.

Which is when La Sirene sends out the bolt of lightning. Fate reacts on instinct. It's all she's got left. She reaches out Bardiche like a lightning rod - and accepts it. However incompatible their magic is. There is one thing that the two have in common.

And it is lightning.

The energy coruscates through her as Fate lets out an awful shriek - yet its not nearly as loud as it should be. Then chopping Bardiche down and out, she redirects the energy towards a nearby building, the energy blasting into the wall with a thunderclap as the brickwork explodes.

The girl sizzles, and then she swoons, just as Arf regains her senses enough to catch her. Within her blurring vision though she sees the sight of the cat - not nearly the size it was, but far smaller on Madoka Kaname's belly.

"She was... right... They were..."

However Arf is staring straight down Mami Tomoe's cannon, turning Fate fractionally as if to shield her in case it fires, "... Yeah - I figure I do." Though in truth she doesn't need Mami Tomoe to tell her that.

All the reason she needs is Fate's current circumstances.

Midchildan runes of orange appear at Arf's feet as she flies then she simply says, "Dimensional Transfer."

And then the two are gone in a flash of light.

Rhett Butler doesn't notice the change in circumstances. He just gives Madoka's cheek another lick.