2019-01-06 - TIMELINE 1: Easy Come, Easy Go II

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Title: TIMELINE 1: Easy Come, Easy Go II

Eas's final battle!! The conclusion of the scene begun at Tokyo Tower in Easy Come, Easy Go I.


Eas, Lera Camry, Fuu Hououji, Steven Universe, Mikoto Minagi, Nori Ankou, Niramo Umokeshi


Yamanote High City - Tokyo Tower

OOC - IC Date:

2019-01-06 - 2014-08-09

.***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Tokyo Tower +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 This television broadcast tower is also perhaps the most iconic building in
 Japan. A lattice giant inspired by the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower looks much
 like the French building, but has a more rounded, modern style, and is
 painted in a red-orange tone. Bright white bands punctuate its height,
 including one for the cylindrical observatory nestled near its peak. At
 night, it lights up brilliantly: a cool white during the summer, a warm
 orange for the cooler months, and various colors for special occasions. Once
 the tallest building in the world, it remains, at 315 meters, the second
 tallest in Japan, and is a popular tourist attraction.

 Tokyo Tower straddles a four-story building aptly named FootTown, containing
 museums, art galleries, and restaurants. Around its middle is the Main
 Observatory, which contains a restaurant, a Shinto shrine, and a club for
 live music. Near its peak is the Special Observatory, accessible for an
 extra fee, which provides a spectacular 360 degree view of the urban

 Whether it be attributed to its iconic nature, its ability to transmit
 long-range signals, or its sheer height, be warned: Tokyo Tower is a
 frequent target for supernatural events.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
<Pose Tracker> Eas [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Over the echoing chaos of the Nakewameke's final attack, there are many words. They don't come from Eas. Eas, as Steven continues to make jokes, frowns at the boy with the pink shield, as if studying him while Sailor Moon leaps to take hold of him and shield him from the rubble that comes. She doesn't laugh; she doesn't really react to the jokes at all.

But Eas feels the pulse of misery, and she doesn't feel it slackening from one of its sources disappearing.

Mikoto knows it's not maths. Eas, even now, remembers what they talked about. Eas hears that there is more than rage in the smaller girl's scream, and is forced, just for an instant, to turn and look at it.

But, don't regret this? Eas, standing in place, serious, watches la Sirene, too. And Sourisi, joining in with her, speaks of what she thinks of this situation.

Eas is quiet--but the battle, and the Nakewameke are not. She has directed it on its final assaults, and as it is set to recover, the counterattacks come in quickly indeed. The spotlight falls upon the Nakewameke-turned phone, and the monster turns to blink at its brilliance with a vague booming note of confusion. Words are given to it--

Everything happens at once. Mikoto and Miroku charge forward with a scream, and on their heels is the storm brought forth in green light by Fuu. The light of la Sirene's power expands, gloriously, and countless strikes seem to happen at once from a nimble and strong Mouse. The monster is frozen in place, unable to defend, trying to turn--

And just at the height of it all, Miroku strikes dead center. "Naaaa--!"

The light and power explodes outward, blinding--even Eas has to look away, cover her eyes, as smoke rushes outward, a cloud of dust covering the battlefield--

...And on the ground, in front of the battlefield, an ordinary black smartphone drops to the ground, clattering, as the pieces of a red diamond, completely bisected, fall to the ground around it and hiss into nothingness.

Attached on a little cord is a bright red strawberry charm. It's distinctive, a limited edition--and known easily to people who have interacted with its owner, so often on her phone, talking about fortunes with her classmates. It's known easily, because she has explained more than once where she got it--because of course, she doesn't care about silly little things like that, it was...

A gift, from Madoka Kaname.

And Eas drops down, lands in a crouch on the ground before the tower, and looks down at her phone, up to the others.

"Switch... Over," she intones, placing her hands together and pulling, and in a flash of electric static, her form changes; purple hair, the same red eyes, and a blue Infinity Institute middle school uniform--

And Setsuna Higashi stands there. The phone's 'new messages' chime sounds off, four merry beeps all at once. And Eas, in human form, looks to the others, her expression unemotional, almost blank, in her way.

"...You really think that's how it is?" Setsuna says to Sourisi, first. "I know people are willing to listen. I'm not... afraid, to reach out," she says, a faint, hollow laugh the first sound of it. "You're all like that. But can you really keep saying that, knowing I've been watching you all along?"

In one hand is a red diamond-patterned object like the one always used to make Eas's monsters, roughly card-sized. "I'm not like all of you. ...And you know that, if you admit it."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera Camry was silent, when the Nakewameke went down.

This hurt. It isn't merely the physical hurts -- she may have some bruises tomorrow -- but the emotional ones. They could only pretend that it doesn't hurt to stand on opposite sides for so long. Lera looks up, and her eyes widen, as she Eas drop that familiar mobile phone. Her eyes are on it, rather than Eas.

There is concern in those amber eyes, but not surprise. She already knew this. She had been publicly dating Setsuna Higashi for months, now. Looking at her expression, at the way she isn't denying or terrified, there can be no illusion.

Lera already knew who Setsuna was.

"...Setsuna," she says, softly. She stands up, dusting her coat off. She doesn't transform immediately. The big green coat flutters out back behind her, as she walks towards the purple-haired girl. She looks down at the data diaond. Lera swallows, once, before she looks back up at her.

"...You don't have to, y'know?" she says. "Even if you're not like us. You're... still--you can still be of us."

She smiles. It's small, and nervous, and a little worried. It's a tentative smile. "Y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Magic Knight of Wind stares at the switched-over Eas, lowering her arms from her spellcasting posture. "Higashi-senpai ... ?"

They aren't classmates, of course - Setsuna is a year ahead of Fuu, but the ninth-grader who tells fortunes isn't entirely a stranger to her, either. But neither does Fuu know Setsuna as well as she'd like to know most of her classmates. Seeing that Eas - one of the magical girls' shared enemies - is someone who's been so close to her in daily life ...

The Wind Knight jumps lightly from her perch, bow and quiver vanishing - just as her will to fight has ebbed, at least for now. The card in Setsuna's hand is enough to keep the Wind Knight a little bit cautious, but she's not about to put an arrow through her schoolmate. "'Not like us' ..." She smiles ruefully. "Are any of us really 'like' each other? Just because so many of us are magical girls doesn't mean we're the same behind that, after all; it's our differences, our uniqueness, that make us so precious as friends. Even if you're our enemy now ..."

She pauses, glancing at Lera, then nodding. "What forces you to *remain* our enemy, Setsuna-san? You've mentioned the 'Mobius' whom you serve, but ... well. I suppose betraying Mobius would mean we have to aid you, but it's not like we'd be making a *new* enemy in the process. Right?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Varien - Valkyrie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddFAIkUb7A0

Creaking and crumbling. The sound of a fallen support beam. A window cracking. The only noises that come from a nearby building in which a pair of warriors of light and hope collided into. Even as the battle comes to a moment of passive tension.

Those perceptive perhaps saw a darting cat finding their way in.

Worry, and doubt set in to those that think about what may have happened.


What was that? Sounded like a metal impact coming from the factory, somewhere inside.


There it was again. It sounds like its coming from a nearby section of the building. An old pair of metal doors, chained and braced to prevent outside entry.


The doors practically explode outward, off their hinges. A sandaled foot is suspended at the end of a kick. The door clatters out onto the concrete. There stands little Steven Universe, heavily panting, wounded, bleeding down his forehead. Tears stain his face. And yet, he still holds his shield.

Steven is quite strong, but it is rare that he ever uses it. THis appears to be one of those times.

A step forward, a second, third, and he falls to his knees, his shield hitting the ground next to him. He pants heavily. Drops fall from his marred face, hidden partly by his fluffy hair, matted in places by sweat and blood. Drops fall, and it is difficult to tell which fluid it is. They hit the floor regardless, all the same. They all hold the same emotion right now.

"Fine, shes... I think... How could..." The boy makes what looks like an incrdibly difficult effort to stand.

Sadness and anger are representative of who he is right now. "I just wanted to make you laugh..." Shaky hands reach for a shield, a shield barely held together. An edge flickers, the shape distorts slightly every few seconds.

He sees the form she has now become. A girl from school, even. "Why do badguys have to be bad? THeres... power in... good feelings, too..."

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

Mikoto is carried on a storm and and joined by light and lightning reflexes; a thousand things happen at once, but she is focused on one and one alone.

Carve through.

Miroku does. It always does.

In the wake of the explosion she is thrown back, a tiny dark speck in the light. She lifts her head from where she has fallen to see Eas dropping in from above, and she knows that if she elects to continue their fight there is nothing more she can do. She mumbles as she tries to lift herself anyway, the moments clumsy. "Nn--"

Eas looks to them, and says two words. Finally the question is settled, and shock settles over her like a pall.

Here is the girl who Mikoto knew just from looking was unsettled by the crowd, with whom she spent long afternoons in a curious lack of conversation which was friendlier for it. Seeing she had little love for words, Mikoto introduced her to cats instead. She wonders, briefly, if that was why Eas knew to target Katsu's toy mouse, and for a moment anger flashes over her face.

'But what she should do is walk away. It'd be better for her.'

"Maybe..." Mikoto manages to push a hand under herself, finally, pushing herself standing despite the weariness in her bones. Miroku lays on the ground beside her. "... but there's no way to learn without being involved. Me, too... I learn stuff by watching people all the time."

She takes a stubborn step forward, empty-handed. "I don't care if Eas -- if Setsuna's different. So what? Lots of people are different to me. Doesn't mean they don't understand. All it means is we've got stuff to teach each other. People don't gotta be the same... to know what it's like. So long as we talk about it..."

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"... Eas," la Sirene says, from where she is crouched like a glamorous gargoyle among the girders of Tokyo Tower.

She speaks here with hesitance. The demise of the Nakewameke was cataclysmic but the revelation...

La Sirene de l'Aurore is moved, and she is surprised, but for her at least there is no deep betrayal. She thinks she knew Setsuna. And, la Sirene thinks as she leaps off and gently wafts to the ground, perhaps...

"Do you prefer Setsuna...?"

La Sirene actually touches the ground with an oof instead of her levitation. She rises from the crouch gradually.

"They aren't lying, you know," she says, placing a hand on her hip. "I have done... things of which I am not proud, things which were foolish, and harmed others. And they get along with me well enough. Even if you're from a far off place, that doesn't matter. We are all from many places. Mikoto is from high in the mountains... Steven is from across the ocean. Lera is from America! And I am from further yet."

La Sirene's eyes close for a moment.

"I know a man in another world," la Sirene says. "He sells fried scallops and ice cream drinks. He had a saying, that I heard many times, when I was there."

La Sirene attempts to enunciate a phrase in English. "<So What. Big Deal.>"

Back to proper language, she looks towards Eas. "Is it that you hope to be rejected...? Or are you not certain that we mean what we say? There is little in this world that is absolutely certain. But if you can accept that, it all gets a great deal easier..."

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

With a final 'WHUMPT' of displaced air, Sourisi kicks off the Nakewameke and stumbles with her landing, but catches herself quickly. The afterimages of a mighty Mouse fade away from sight, and then Mikoto delivers the decisive blow, cleaving through the phone monster! The Covenant of Style has managed to defend Tokyo yet again, but several of her friends were hurt badly before they could stop Eas' latest creation.

The dust is still settling from the building Steven and Sailor Moon had crashed into.

As the phone drops to the ground, Sourisi is already turning away to help dig out Steven and Sailor Moon, heart pounding in her chest. 'They have to be okay...please, both of you. I'll never forgive myself if I let you get hurt because I couldn't be there!'

A door kicks open, and out stumbles a boy wearing a bright pink shirt, though it's not as pink as should it should be, and it doesn't seem right for there to be blood on his forehead. But he still upr-and he's falling over. "Steven-kun!"

Skidding to a stop besides the half-Gem, Sourisi looks over him carefully before she hugs him softly, being gentle not to jostle him. "I'm...glad you're okay. Is Sailor Moon okay? Does she need help getting up as well?" Dark green eyes look back through the broken doorway, half-expecting that familair blonde hair any moment.

Wrapping an arm around Steven's back, Sourisi lifts him up carefully and starts to help him over to the others, where Eas was standing...or rather, the disgise Eas wears when she's among humans. Yet another good thing about being vertically challenged! While not at all familiar with Setsuna Higashi due to going to Juuban, rumors of the fortune teller of Infinity Institute can be heard occasionally, and there was one video of her floating around somewhere.

Despite the pain Eas has brought to her friends, Sourisi smiles tentatively towards Setsuna and nods her head once. "I like to think so, even if people think it's silly sometime. I'm an idealist, and I like to think anyone can change if they want to." The Miraculous user shrugs her free arm and looks at the others. "And being different isn't a bad thing, you know. If everyone was the same...it'll be really boring, wouldn't it?"

After a moment, that smile doesn't look quite so forced. She glances over at La Sirene and a thought comes to mind. "So, you 'otter' believe we're willing to be friends, as long as you want it to, that is!"

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

"Lera," Eas answers the taller girl first. She still holds the diamond, naturally, but she does look up towards her again. "You know... I didn't even consider not sending you the message." She continues to watch her for a moment, look into her eyes--and only looks away to look to the others.

"...Either's fine," the girl from Labyrinth answers with a small shrug, a slight glance away at the questions of her name.

Steven approaches too, and Eas looks at him. "...I'd have felt it, if she wouldn't be," the Executive says simply. "She shielded you, even though it hurt her worse. Once, that would've surprised me. But..." She blinks, "Why? Would you want to...?"

She seems puzzled. But 'badguys'. Good feelings. Well--

Are any of us really like each other? They all come from so far away. Setsuna doesn't correct la Sirene about Lera, but she does look up in some surprise at the confirmation that she, too, comes from beyond this world.

It's like Mikoto picks up right where they'd left off on that conversation. "...Yeah. Somehow, you know different as much as I do, even if we're not the same." A look to la Sirene, too, and she nods thoughtfully. "<So What?>" she repeats in English, thoughtfully. "...No, I know they aren't lying. I used to think so--it would've been easier, if I believed that, to keep fighting all of you. But I'd have to be pretty dumb not to notice that, whether you're right or wrong, you all believe what you're saying."

She stops to look at Sourisi though, and the question mark is practically visible above her face. "Otter?" Setsuna asks, looking blankly at the user of the Miraculous here. "I thought it was pronounced 'ought to.'" She is willing enough to listen that she allows her confusion to be plain, instead of just assuming. But... she definitely doesn't get the joke.

She shakes her head, then. "It's not... that I want you to reject me, exactly. It's more complicated than that. ...Let me explain." She looks up, and looks at each of them before saying, "I owe Mobius-sama everything. I know you all don't understand--you have... your parents, teachers, all these adults in your lives..."

"But in Labyrinth, Mobius-sama is the one who rules everything--he orders the world, and takes care of everyone. It's not so simple to leave--to betray him, like you said. Would you leave your home, everything you know, on the words of people who don't understand it? I was sent here on a mission. ...So I thought... after all of this, after all my efforts to beat all of you--I owed Mobius-sama at least that much--at least doing the best I could, with what I'd learned. And..."

"Well, it wasn't enough. Some of you are still standing; I gathered more energy, but I still haven't found Infinity. So if you think this is what makes you all strong, then maybe it's worth thinking about. Maybe... I could tell him, what I've learned."

There is a warm feeling, here; a connection, long denied. Though Pretty Cure is not here to purify the monster, a touch of that power must linger in the hearts of those who fight with them, in the people who believe in those and other defenders of Tokyo, because that warmth begins to spread. It is a soothing feeling, as if someone has finally opened a door to someplace warm, and kind. Setsuna's fingers close around the Data Diamond--and then there is a faint pressure, and a voice crackles over, as if via radio.

"Citizen #ES-4039781, designation Eas."

Setsuna blinks, looking down at the source--the diamond. "Klein?" she asks in surprise, seeming to recognize the voice immediately.

"Your information is noted, and unnecessary. Supreme Leader Mobius-sama's directive is now to eliminate the weakened enemy before you. Further energy gathering is unnecessary at this instant. Complete your task, and return for immediate data restoration protocol. That is all."

"E-eliminate--But I've all but beaten them--it's not necessary--"

"You question Mobius-sama's will? Your data is more corrupted than I realized. We will collect you. In the meantime..."

"Initiate failsafe. ...It is time."

In surprise, Setsuna, lifts the diamond again, "Wait--If you let me exp--a-aaaah--!" Her efforts to communicate quickly turn to a noise of pain as the Data Diamond crackles in her hand and suddenly emits a field, spherical, that pushes the pale girl and those standing close to her back as surely as once happened when she tried to steal Pretty Cure's Linkrun. It is darkness itself, pure, ominous, frigid, and there is a flash of black lightning.

Oozing outward from the diamond as it rotates is a familiar silhouette--the red diamond becomes the emblem on its front. The form fills out quickly, becoming a grayed-out facsimile of Eas herself, eyes utterly cold and unfeeling. She ripples with power, and her stance widens as she sets one foot out. A black shockwave rumbles through the square.


"The combat data you have previously given will suffice for the moment. Do not interfere."

...But the shockwave travels for the now-undefended Setsuna, too, sure to knock her out if the cracking pavement beneath her finishes breaking apart.


And in that instant...

A knowledge echoes in the hearts of those assembled, in the face of the terrified people still trapped within Tokyo Tower. Words etched upon the very world itself. And light, brilliant, shines within each defender still standing, preparing them for what must be done. A destiny must be fulfilled... In one way or another. OOC: You may +healfull.

COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cry More! Wail More! on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Eas has used Entombing Shadow on Eas.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Lera Camry dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Eas's Cry More! Wail More!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Eas is Psyched!  Lera Camry's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Lera Camry!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Eas's Cry More! Wail More!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger and Tangle applied to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 0 Fatigue damage from Eas's Cry More! Wail More!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger and Tangle applied to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji neatly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Eas's Cry More! Wail More!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger and Tangle applied to Fuu Hououji!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I wondered, a little," Lera amdmits, a small smile still on her face. "When... you sent me that. I thought maybe you wanted me to come, y'know? Even if you weren't gonna put it that way."

She starts to say more, but she hesitates. The voice from Eas's data diamond gives the redhead pause. She steps back, eyes drifting towards Mikoto, then to La Sirene, before she looks back at Setsuna. She sees her double over with pain -- and get pushed back away from her. A crackling orb of darkness remains.

One that condenses down into... into...

Lera's eyes change from wide to narrow in the blink of an eye. The black shockwave comes rushing at Lera; she leaps over the shockwave, as it burns and scorches at the fringe of her green cape. Lera's feet slam into the ground, boots crunching on concrete that's cracking underneath them.

"Setsuna--no!" she cries out. She rushes, hand extended out -- fingers straining against the glove and the armor -- and she grabs Setsuna's wrist. She pulls her in against her body, tightly; a ring of light explodes under her feet and she soars up, the black shockwave smashing the concrete to smithereens, just as the two float up.

Lera looks down at the girl in her arms. "...I said I'd keep you safe, y'know?" She smiles, again. "...I meant from yourself, too. But maybe not this literally. So... I should get down there and do that, but, please, don't feel like you're alone, now, y'know?" She flies -- towards the space across the street, away from the shadowy figure. "Because I, um--"

Lera isn't sure what to say.

She hesitates, a moment, before her cheeks flush red and she closes her eyes. Then she leans forward, craning her neck, and tries to kiss Setsuna on the lips.

"...Stay safe, 'kay?"

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Stealing a Kiss on Eas.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas accepts Lera Camry's Stealing a Kiss, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 0 Fatigue damage from Eas's Cry More! Wail More!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sourisi lets out a sigh as the pun appears to go right over Eas...rather, Setsuna's head. It's one thing to be annoyed by a pun, but to completely miss it entirely just doesn't make it fun. "It's...okay, Setsuna. It's a pun, a play on words. I can help teach you how to enjoy them later, if you would like."

If she doesn't know to hate puns, then Setsuna can learn how to enjoy puns. Doing that would likely be an extra insult on 'Mobius' as well!

Setsuna tries to explain what it is the Covenant of Style is trying to ask of Eas, and at first it doesn't seem to dawn on Sourisi. But a lesson from her Social Studies class blesses the Miraculous User with realization. "It's...culture shock. It's what you're experiencing because you're suddendly introduced to a brand new way of thinking and living!"

As for Sourisi...she can't quite understand Setsuna's situation, what she must be going through and what she's willing to risk to go against her 'Mobius-sama'...but it doesn't mean she can't offer support.

But the Data Diamond crackles out, and a bad vibe flows down Sourisi's spine at Klein's words. "Her 'data' isn't corrupted! And you won't be collecting her!" Tired and winded from her recent efforts, Sourisi's fingers still fumbles onto her tonfa.

An energy field pulses outwards and Sourisi swings a tonfa upward in an attempt to halt it, but is sent skidding backwards from the force it pushed out. And the Data Diamond still seems capable of causing chaos, even if it's not connected to an item. But what is it...

A monochrome copy of Eas forms out of that ooze, and Sourisi's eyes widen in shock. "They can do that sort of thing...?" It was some weird faded out version of Eas, but with no monster to fight for her, it looks like this Nega-Eas is going to fight in her place.

Lera was already moving to save Setsuna from those shadows, and Sourisi takes this moment to collect her thoughts. If they managed to beat this fake Eas and get her to safety, they can rid Labyrinth of one of their generals and bolster their number at the same time. That thought and the fact that a rampaging Nega-Eas could hurt the innocents of Tokyo is enough to push Sourisi onwards, to press herself as far as she can go!

Sourisi is already sure she's going to be completely exhausted once this is done.

As soom as that field breaks, Sourisi is already rushing forwards, jabbing her tonfa to catch the faker off guard. "Consider this interference on a big scale!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Mouse Flurry on Eas.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

You all don't understand, says Setsuna, and Mikoto clasps a hand to her chest and looks away. She hums through closed lips, and comes to a conclusion. "Setsuna," she starts, hesitant, yet bolstered by the warmth which spreads between them. She looks up, and there is something which understands in those big golden eyes. "I..."

But they are words which linger too long as she walks the tightrope of understanding, and a voice crackles through the crystal.

Her eyes widen and her face pales and she knows, she knows.

Setsuna has gone against her purpose and it cannot be forgiven.

"Setsuna--!!" Mikoto cries out but the field catches her, sends her tumbling back. She grasps the hilt of her blade as she is knocked away, and she grasps it as she rises. There is something painful, there, in the monochrome facsimile of Eas. A thing with her shape and none of her love.

Her foot impacts the ground like a titan. Mikoto leaps forward, but the ground still shakes on her landing. Without the time to reclaim her footing, she staggers.

And Setsuna...

... is protected, Mikoto finds, as she sees Lera acting in swift defence. Reassured, she returns her attention to the copy.

"I get it," she snarls to whatever might be listening, gripping Miroku's hilt tightly. "So you're not getting near Setsuna--"

Heedlessly she charges, blade carving sparks through the concrete as she barrels towards the thing wearing Eas's face. With every scrap of self replaced the shell is not the same, and she brings the edge of her blade up from below to carve into it.


COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Eas.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas perfectly dodges 25 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Mouse Flurry, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Eas's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Eas braces 13 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Eas's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger and Stun applied to Eas!

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Between heavy breaths, Steven cants his head to the side to look at l'Aurore when she speaks. He squints his eyes. "Do you know..." He trails off, a headache bothering him and ruining his train of thought.

A sudden arm helps him up, a look to the side sees who it is. "Ah... yeah, she is hurt though, but I think she'll be okay... I hope." A look back to the building. "...I didn't want to leave her, but I couldn't leave you out here alone." he says coughing once into a hand.

"Heh..." comes from Steven, still upset but able to appreciate a bad pun from Sourisi.

"Because I felt like you could be reached," the boy says softly. "With all your crazy monsters and powers, you never really tried to kill people, you just sorta... scared them, I guess?" he asks, still confused as to why someone would do that. "You haven't gone too far. You can still turn back."

But what if it was all she ever knew? This would seem impossible for certain. But the power of the heart is a great thing. Eas-- no, Setsuna begins to speak. It seems he was right. In some way. The boy moves to talk, but a static interruption comes from a device Setsuna holds. They sound imperious.

And they won't be questioned.

"H...Here we go..." Steven says, seeing the Data Diamond take shape, into a powerful. The very girl they just antagonized. Thankfully the real thing seems to sitll be here, but it seems to be without her power!

An ebon shockwave pealsout. Steven lowers his shield how he can, though stumbles and falls over trying to repel it. "We gotta... stop it too?!" the boy remarks.

A look toward Setsuna, whom Lera thankfully saves, and shares a moment with.

And in that moment...

BGM Change: Deltarune - Chaos King https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sBhJP0VWy8

Resolve sets in.

The feelings of those and others seem to ripple together. Still hurt, an overflowing amount of energy pulses to life within. Pain subsides. Steven feels like he could do anything. As long as his friends were near, everything would be okay!

A hand grips his shield firmly, as the boy rushes this summoned copy of Eas. "I wont let you hurt anyone, anymore today, whoever you are!" he shouts at the... he isn't even sure what to call it. Whatever it may be called, it only gets shouts and a heavy impact.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Slam on Eas.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Wind Knight's eyes narrow at the transmission's mention of 'data restoration,' 'corruption,' and worst of all in this context, 'failsafe'. She actually starts to move towards Setsuna, going from a walk to a run as the darkness lashes out -

And the green-clad Magic Knight doesn't quite dodge for cover fast enough, getting blown off her feet and landing in an untidy heap. She sits up with a stifled groan, glancing over the battlefield, then clambers back to her feet, eyeing the shadowy clone of Eas. "People aren't just programs that you can modify or restore," she says pointedly, bow and quiver flaring back into existence in her hand and across her back, respectively. "If that's how Mobius treats his underlings, he really doesn't deserve any of their loyalty."

She doesn't nock an arrow yet, instead raising her bow horizontally in front of her - mostly because the hand that's holding the bow is also the hand that sports her glove-jewel. "WINDS OF ADMONISHMENT!!" she calls out, channeling her anger into the spell, and the winds gust forth, curling out to the sides, arching upwards, skimming the ground - and then converging on the Shadow Eas to weave into a binding whirlwind, centered on the remotely-conjured duplicate of Eas.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Eas.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas perfectly dodges 17 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Eas's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Eas decisively counters 15 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Shield Slam, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is Psyched!
COMBAT: Eas's counterattack, Merciless Counter, partially gets through, doing 33 Fatigue damage to Steven Universe!  Blind applied to Steven Universe!

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The 'otter' remark makes la Sirene giggle. It is a sweet, clear sound, almost chiming. She breathes out, because it seems that this girl... Setsuna. She is, at least, coming around. She is speaking her thoughts. It is good to let your heart flow, la Sirene knows.

And then something happens. "who is Klein," la Sirene says in parenthetical aside, before the horror is unveiled. It was bad enough if Setsuna were to be dressed down by her former superior - were she to be given penalty of exile - well, perhaps that would have been something they all could have come together about. But then a failsafe is mentioned.

La Sirene breathes insharply. "No," she says as the darkness rises. "No!" she cries again as the sparkling silhouette appears, revealed and cold. La Sirene's hands reach up imploringly as if to wish for the bad thing, the nasty thing, to simply GO AWAY. But that is not the kind of wish she gets to make.

In her heart, la Sirene feels herself hit a bottom. Flattened, she stares ahead.

She imagines she sees a girl raising her head off her bed.

As she slouches forwards, the darkness wave comes forth. The energy hits her - does it? No: There is a rippling burst, a bow-shock as the subtle telluric energies of the Stellar Prism guard her, on pure reflex. Her breath hitches and she says aloud, "Setsuna..."

"Is that man - is MOBIUS - listening...?"

"Only his secretary?"

La Sirene de l'Aurore raises her head. "Well, then. Mr. Secretary," she says as she steps upwards, and begins to levitate off the ground again. "Please take a message."

The light begins to shade behind her as la Sirene finds something inside of her that she did not know was there. She can't put her finger on it. Is it hope? She can't call it hope. This must be Eas made manifest and she is sore and battered and spent. Everyone's heart is here but that wave... no; la Sirene is feeling despair.

And yet: She has felt it before.

La Sirene keeps talking in her loud outdoor voice. "To the so-called Emperor of Labyrinth... to that person... 'Mobius'... please accept my cordial greetings... but that I regret to inform you that this world... broken as it may be... chaotic as it is... hurtful as it often becomes..."

Her hands raise upwards as she gets closer. Her left fingers crook and raise, forming that gesture of salute to invisible beings. She gets nearer to the shaded Eas as others pour upon it, the inverse of her strategem with Sourisi mere moments ago.

"Is not... for him... and its sorrow... shall run free... to the Sea! Do you have all of that, Mr. Klein?"

"With sincerity and in the name of Luxor, signed, Les Mysteres: Come."

Oh no.

Well, not oh no for her. La Sirene's left hand slams down into the air with savage satisfaction, the resulting wailing sound as if she had smacked something rich on an amplifier having an unusually thick, almost sludgy resonance. At this range the usual sphere of pastel light with silver stitching doesn't really form so much as BURST out against the inverse-Eas. La Sirene is hoping, in fact, it gets into Klein's headphones.

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Eas.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas cleanly braces 34 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Eas's Block and Parry abilities activate!

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

Above the battlefield, near the broken Tower, there is a moment of peace. Taken up into the air, Setsuna has little time to think about the coming attack before she finds herself flying, looking up at her girlfriend. She doesn't quite manage to think of an answer beyond a softening expression before--well. Setsuna's eyes widen in surprise--and then close again for an instant. When Lera pulls back, she is bright red despite the danger. "Lera, it's--it's not the time for--" ...It's more a protest than a scolding, and even then it cuts off before she finishes.

"I will. Be careful."

But down below, the battle begins in earnest. At la Sirene's question Setsuna calls belatedly, "Klein administrates most of Labyrinth directly under Mobius-sama!" She is... still stressed, frankly. This is a major official who has all but said her friends need to die.

But Sourisi moves quickly; she shouts out her answer, and rushes inward as soon as the field breaks. Unfortunately, Eas is also fast. The powerful jab hits the air as the double sidesteps abrubtly, and turns to face the approaching Mikoto. Her eyes show no pity--only cold calculation. Mikoto moves to carve down--

And the Executive catches the blade between both of her hands, inky shadowstuff boiling off of her hands at the mere contact with the powerful weapon... but its arc prevented from carving through her. Eas shoves away, and whirls to face the next.

"I always thought--he wanted to conquer, not destroy," Setsuna calls to Steven. "My mission wasn't to kill any of you--you were all meant to be future citizens!"

She doesn't know about culture shock, but she can't fail to notice that Sourisi, so quickly after being hurt, has already moved to defend her. So from beneath a large chunk of metal she's using as cover, the Infinity student calls, "I've never seen something like this before! I was told they made an upgrade to the system, but--"

The gray Executive whirls out of the path of Fuu's angry spell, the wind rustling her hair and jacket as its damaging section passes her entirely by. In the same moment, Steven brings forth his resolve, and he rushes. ...But just like the real Eas, this one does not fear pair; she shifts sideways and accepts the powerful strike on a harder, smaller shoulder, before whirling with the momentum to snap a kick straight up for his brow with impossible speed--and bringing with it a spray of dirt and dust.

"On the contrary," the voice answers Fuu smoothly, with the sound of a much older man turning up his nose at children. "Our technology allows her to do precisely this. In this way, Mobius-sama's decrees are carried out absolutely, the attributes of every citizen leveraged to best effect."

Setsuna cringes a little at the way la Sirene addresses one of the most powerful men she has ever met, but she says, "Klein--speaks for Mobius-sama," one more time. In the meantime, La Sirene's magic slams towards the double, the strange light bursting forth. There is, indeed, a noise that resembles microphone feedback--but it is as the double punches through the blast, leaving it to explode all around her.

In the same tone the voice returns. "As for your Sea, the power of Infinity will extend Mobius-sama's rule there as well. The rule of Luxor is no longer necessary." The voice crackles out.

Eas's duplicate turns to stare directly at Steven, and a pulse of power erupts off of her. "Your intention is irrelevant," a cold, emotionless voice indicates. It sounds little like Eas's, despite having exactly the same pitch and timbre. The rage--the passion with which she always directed her monsters--is completely absent.

She whirls into motion. Lunging at blurring speed towards Sourisi, she delivers a close, tight punch directly for her midsection, before whirling to deliver another punch straight down--that cracks the concrete all the way towards Fuu's position to ruin her ground. Then in an instant she seems to dissappear--and reappears in transit, swinging a hooking kick for Lera's midsection where she'd seemed to be about to strike high.

To La Sirene she uses this advantage to rise high above, somersault forward, and slam down with a downward kick of terrifying power... Only to press the ground where Mikoto spins for her next assault, and lunge upward where she was about to move.

COMBAT: Eas has used Denizen of Labyrinth on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Eas has used Shattering Blow on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Eas has used Entombing Shadow on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Eas has used Flash Feint on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Eas has used Cruel Descent on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Eas has used Ill Fortune on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Lera Camry cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Eas's Flash Feint, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Cripple applied to Lera Camry!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to dodge Eas's Denizen of Labyrinth, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Steven Universe is Quipped!  Bind Break! All of Eas's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Sourisi decisively counters 12 Fatigue damage from Eas's Shattering Blow, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cripple applied to Sourisi!
COMBAT: Sourisi's counterattack, Hurried Swing, partially gets through, doing 14 Fatigue damage to Eas!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 19 Fatigue damage from Eas's Ill Fortune, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Quipped!  Mikoto Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Eas!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant counters 13 Fatigue damage from Eas's Cruel Descent, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de Diamant's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Eas drains 5 fatigue from La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant's counterattack, Polyploia, partially gets through, doing 17 Fatigue damage to Eas!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera's smile lingers as she sets Setsuna down. "I will," she answers her. "You too."

She hesitates a moment, before she takes off into the air again. She doesn't rise up too high -- she wants to close the distance with the shadow clone of Eas, and going skyward would not help with that task. The girl instead comes down towards the Executive, red-orange light trailing after her. Her hands grip onto Soaring Sky, as she stares at the shadow.

Light dances up the two-toned blade, glowing brightly along the gold and silver portions of the blade. Lera crashes down at Eas, swinging her blade backward. She manages to duck from the kick that comes high, catching it on her forearm with a grunt.

"Don't think, for even a second--"

With one hand, she slams Soaring Sky at Eas's midsection. With something made of shadow, something that isn't a person, she feels no compunction about using her sword for a brutal strike. The light gathering on the blade flashes, and a blast of red fire explodes off the sword, into Eas.

"--that I'll let you lay a finger on Setsuna!"

COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Inferno Slasher on Eas.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas braces 28 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Inferno Slasher, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry is Psyched!  Eas's Block and Parry abilities activate!

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

Mikoto hisses breath through grit teeth as Miroku catches on the shadowy Eas's hands, straining against her for a moment before her momentum is thrown aside. She staggers as she turns, and by the time she comes to face the place that shadow was, she's gone.

She can hear the betrayal in Setsuna's voice and it aches at her.

It hurts because she thinks of Fate.

She hears when that voice says to Fuu, and her jaw sets. "Even if you can - even if you can--" she stumbles over the words in her stress, settles on: "Don't!" Perhaps if she were gifted with words like la Sirene, she could make some impassioned argument about the things she has learned here, the value of a year's experience. She is not.

Mikoto charges again, but the thing which was Eas supersedes her. She finds her in her path and is forced to bring her blade up to catch at those black hands again, the strike too hurried; it glances off of practiced palms. But she keeps moving in a second revolution, and brings her blade down again, without a moment's hesitation.

"How could you?" She breathes heavily as her face twists not just in anger but in reflection of the pain Setsuna must be feeling. "How could you?!"

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on Eas.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"We are *not* programs!!" the Wind Knight retorts. "And neither is Setsuna-san!"

Not just 'Higashi-senpai,' now, but 'Setsuna-san' - setting aside the formality of years and treating the girl who was so recently an enemy (if unknown) like a respected equal, the way Fuu addresses so many people, even her friends. But the Magic Knight's further retort to Klein, and to the shadowy mimic of Eas, is interrupted by the concrete rupturing straight underneath her, tumbling her to the ground again - and this time, trapping her foot in the upturned pavement. Normally she'd be able to pull herself free in a relative hurry, but the impact of the dark shockwave moments ago must have hurt her worse ...

The Magic Knight of Wind glances about, gritting her teeth as she tries to work herself free. She's not the only one who's already on the ropes, it looks like. "Winds of Healing!!" she calls out, heedless that the virtual Eas is probably going to zero in on her *again* once it (she?) identifies the healer and support mage in the group. So be it.

She'll go out helping her friends, anyway, if she does indeed 'go out' for it.

The healing breeze wraps first around the Wind Knight herself, restoring her strength and mobility, and she's able to pull her leg free of the ruptured pavement. Mikoto and Sourisi are enfolded by the balmy, restorative wind as well - helping restore their equilibrium, mending the worst of their injuries, and letting them fight once more with full mobility, awareness, and strength.

It's the best she can do in a hurry, and the Wind Knight stays on the move, watching the 'shadow process' of Eas for further attacks.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Mikoto Minagi's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Sourisi accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Sourisi's debuffs are cleared!
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> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Despite being made out of nothing but ooze, the false Eas moves smoke and moves out of the way of each jab Sourisi can do. Just how effective was this combat data? And she was able to catch Mikoto's obsidian blade?! This mouse has seen Mikoto cleave many powerful magical enemies down with the sword, but for the false Eas to catch it in her hands without struggling is worrisome. "Mikoto-chan, be careful!"

Despite how hectic the battle is, as Eas dodges Fuu's tornado as if she was already expecting it, Sourisi couldn't help but focus on one thing Setsuna said. "Future citizens? Of Labyrinth? I'm...sure this isn't the right time, but how would that have worked?!" Confusion is clear in her voice, just trying to wrap her head around living in Labyrinth from what little Setsuna had just told everyone. It sounded inhospitable!

"Upgrade or not, if you want a life outside of Labyrinth, i'm more then willing to give you the chance." Eas is blurring in her vision, but Sourisi was watching Eas this time and swings her tonfa to divert the punch away, landing a solid blow on the forearm before leaping away. "And once I set myself on a goal, I give it my all!"

...well, Setsuna doesn't need to know about her drawing...or her sewing...or her gardening...

The familiar cry of the Wind Knight echoes out on the battleground, and the familiar aches and pains that have been plaguing her since the battle first started eased away, giving Sourisi some peace in mind. "Thanks, Wind Knight-san!" She really needs to treat everyone to some of her cooking. It may not be on Mami's level, but a massive cake might be a good idea...

La Sirene is able to fend off a powerful kick, but the pretty gothic woman isn't known for her physical prowess. Backing up a few steps, the Miraculous User goes to regroup with her friend as well as observe Eas, to try to see some sort of flaw in this 'upgrade'. "I'm going have to disagree with you, Klein. This world doesn't belong to 'Mobius'! It's crazy, unpredictable, and full of things that make you laugh and cry, and I wouldn't want it to be any different!"

Looking over La Sirene, Sourisi offers a thumbs up and a smile. Despite only meeting each other only a few days ago, Sourisi is already enjoying her time spent with this stranger from the Sea of Tears. "If you think you know everything about your citizens, then you likely decide everything for them too, right? Life just isn't that way! Enemies can become allies and you can meet friends from places you didn't even know existed. You never know what to expect..."

"...and that's what makes me love it all. I'm going to help my friends, new and old, and let them decide their lives for themselves!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Heartfelt Pledge on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant accepts Sourisi's Heartfelt Pledge, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de Diamant is Cheered!

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"There is nothing more necessary than the dream of Luxor," la Sirene says hotly - and a moment later, the shadow-Eas vaults round, administering brutal strikes to all and sundry. It is well, perhaps, that la Sirene has the naive mind in this moment. If she were thinking at all, beyond simply feeling, rolling like kelp in a tidal wave...

Well, it would have been worse than it was.

As Eas's leg rebounds, it trails ethereal light, the fire of the northern sky. La Sirene de l'Aurore reaches up, grabs those cords, and FLIPS HERSELF UP WITH THEM, twisting round to aim herself into a crude but potentially effective stomp at the back of the shadow.

Sourisi supports her. La Sirene breathes out with some force. "Why does he want it, anyway? Does he not have one already? It is like coats, you can only wear so many at once!!"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven crashes into fake-Eas with what might he can muster. He feels a connect, but also feels something else. A vicious snap kick to the face that sends hin sprawling back, dizzy and difficult to see straight. coughing accompanying rubbing of the eyes. "Can't... see! My face..."

Theres a good sized bootprint across his face. "Future citizens?" he comments toward Setsuna. Was this Mobius guy gonna make a utopia or something? "But if we were gonna bt citizens, why does he need negative emotions? Unless he was going to get rid of them or something so everyones always happy, I don't see a good use for gathering that energy!"

His own two cents, but hey, he's just a little half-alien kid. What does he know?

Steven just looks up at the negative Eas. "H-Hey! That's not nice! I'm totally... relevant..." he trails off, frowning. His booted brow furrows as he grips his shield. Wait, how does this thing, or whoever is controlling it, know if he is relevant or not?! He's trying to stop these people!

A stand and a firm exhalation of breath. "You don't know me! You don't know any of us! She does!" he says, pointing toward Setsuna.

Does the creature even understand? It is hard to tell. If it does in any aspect, it would be the person talking through the communications device. The boy stands, though still uncoordinated, and rather than a single strong blow, a flury of swipes with the edge of his shield come at the nega-Eas, each more fierce than the last!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Bash on Eas.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has finished attacking.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Flip the dip to kick the hip on Eas.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.

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

Setsuna watches, as Lera joins the others. She watches the red light, the assault towards a duplicate of her--

Lera's burning blade hits Eas's Duplicate straight-on with a terrific force, and for an instant there is resistance--before the flames ignite and churn some of the smoke, passing through and leaving a hole straight through the creature, as it turns towards Lera. "..."

The hole begins to seal, though it is a lighter gray than it was, solidity returning slowly there. "I won't have to," the thing says to her, before she turns towards the next attack. 'How could you?' Mikoto asks, and Setsuna, back in hiding, can hear the pain in Mikoto's voice--knows that it's like hers. She stares through--

And as the Wind Knight insists that they are not programs, the duplicate finishes facing Mikoto again. Mikoto brings down her blade with a fearsome strike--

It cleaves the very ground itself as if passing through water, but its target is already gone in that instant. Already gone, and already moving as Steven swipes forward, and the myriad of strikes proves harder to defend against than the single; each bash in, each shaking the gummy material of which the thing is made--because the only place to move to dodge La Sirene's great stomp is straight into the boy and his shield, giving La Sirene a fine position behind their opponent.

"I--I can--explain, but--" Setsuna cannot say too much in the midst of a battle that moves this quickly.

"There is no need to explain. Mobius-sama's dominion will extend to all worlds, whatever your needless wishes indicate. You may think that it cannot be done, but it is the way of Labyrinth, as it will be the way of all."

"It was being gathered--"

Setsuna's words cut off as she sees the look in the eyes of her double, turning once again towards her in particular, putting its shoulders back. "Your decisions... lives, desires..."

A black aura begins to build around her again, sheer dark power radiating from her. "They are irrelevant. They will be forgotten."

Setsuna's heart ends up inher throat as she watches an all-too-familiar technique. She is utterly still for one more instant--

And then she is in motion. The double surges forward immediately, slams an axe kick down at the ground in front of La Sirene and moves in for a grab, seeking to throw her and the chunk of concrete blown up directly into Fuu. She keeps moving, a blur, and kicks out at the Tower itself, ripping an entire section free with her blow that hurtles towards Mikoto, kicking off of it to blaze with inky force and shadowy energy towards Steven, dropping down to try to take hold and, with an iron, unforgiving grip, hurl him directly at Sourisi.

The span of two scarce seconds sees her leap upward then, and using the thrown boy as her counterbalance, the shadowy Eas propels herself forward, delivering one solid punch directly for Lera's chest--for her heart.

"It is over," Klein declares in the midst of this cyclone of violence.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Eas has used Momentum Break on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Eas has used Momentum Break on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Eas has used Momentum Break on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Eas has used Break Rush on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Eas has used Break Rush on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Eas has used Break Rush on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Eas has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 15 Fatigue damage from Eas's Break Rush, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Destruction, partially gets through, doing 35 Fatigue damage to Eas!
COMBAT: Steven Universe cleanly braces 68 Fatigue damage from Eas's Finisher, Momentum Break, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Steven Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi neatly dodges 24 Fatigue damage from Eas's Break Rush, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Sourisi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji cleanly braces 62 Fatigue damage from Eas's Finisher, Momentum Break, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Percival & Marcin Przybylowicz - The Song of the Sword-Dancer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUCgYaUGdNA

Mikoto turns in revolution but she is a ponderous force, and the drag of her blade is too slow to find the shadow again. Fuu's wind wends about her, bolstering those places the thing which was Eas had weakened. "Thanks," she catches a word between her breaths.

They are irrelevant, she says; their desires are as nothing.

"Maybe," she concedes as she turns, a pale imitation of the conversations they have had. "But today I'm still here. That --"

There is no more room for words because the shadow is in motion, almost too fast to follow. Golden eyes follow her heel as it drops, the twisted steel which careens in towards her from the force of the blow. There is a measure of assessment here, too; the thing which was Eas is not the only one who can calculate in a battle, because it is not a thing of numbers at all.

She does not try to get away.

Rather she charges towards the strut, blade hefting as she twirls, and in the instant the two meet Miroku cleaves through the metal entirely, and Mikoto bursts through. She barrels towards Eas with all the force and fury of a freight train, because she can see how she strikes, and she knows the intent behind such a blow.

It is intent familiar to her as she plants her feet and swings in revolution, once, twice, three times, and once more with steel-rending force she cleaves through. This time she does not aim at steel but at a stolen face, and she screams the conclusion she has fought so hard to keep.


COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destruction on Eas.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The blows rain in, and Steven scores a good few hits in! "See what a group of friends can achieve! You don't stand a chance against us!" the boy cheers, despite not appearing to inflict much damage. The thing is made of some kind of malleable material, but even that has to give eventually. Nothing is infallible!

Setsuna tries to explain things, but at this point, Steven doesn't care about any of that. He cares that what he had hoped for was true, that she had some kind of good intention under there.

If they were to become citizens in this Labyrinth place, then they wouldn't seemingly be hurt there, right? They could have been friends, lived their lives. Maybe. That part is hazy.

The part that matters is they would have been alive.

These fellows seem to have other ideas. Something they didn't tell Setsuna, perhaps.

The nega-Eas moves, and Steven finds himself hard-pressed to brace the impact. "Nngh!" he groans, as he is grabbed and hurled powerfully.

Another crash into a building, as rubble falls and dust flows.

He doesn't get up again.

The punch comes for Lera, impossibly fast and powerful. She dodges out of the way however, and just behind her, stands Steven. How'd he get there?! He seems hurt, and his shield is missing, but he has a smile on his face.

He plants a foot, and puts his hands out.

And moves to catch the fist.

BGM: Tristam - Till Its Over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG4DfRnlE4s

Agrinding heel digs in to grasp it as firmly as possible. "I am TIRED of being put in rubble! I am TIRED of you hurting everyone, including Setsuna!" He steps forward once, twice. "How about you see what it is like to get slammed into stone!" he yells, and with whatever might he can muster, will try to SLAM the hand into the ground, and pin it there, for as long as he can. It make be only moments, but it will easily leave a flank open for that period.

It may not even work, but damned he he won't try! He has his mother's strength, after all.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Steven Universe has used Lionheart on Eas.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Don't talk about her like that!" Lera snaps back at Eas. Her eyes narrow, at what Klein says. It isn't such a shock -- that Mobius wanted to rule all worlds, and extend his control over all people. She swallows, and then she looks back at the shadowy clone. She shakes her head, and swings up Soaring Sky as the shadowy double starts laying into her allies. A piece of Tokyo Tower tears away; when it strikes down at the ground, dust and smoke rise.

And Eas comes, hand outstretched for Lera's heart. She steps back--

And, somehow, Steven Universe is there. The punch slams into his hands, instead. She hops back instinctively; that movement sends her twisting around into a spin. "Steven... Thank you!"

Her eyes snap to look back at the shadowed version of her girlfriend.

"She isn't going to forget us. She doesn't think we're irrelevant. And Labyrinth... Labyrinth doesn't have any claim on her anymore!"

Lera swings Sky up, in one hand. The blade splits down the middle, two halves separating and sliding to the edges of the crossguard. Orange and golden lightning crackles over the split blade-halves, a glow of light appearing between them.


A few beads of light glow, gathering together. Meria Camry did a little work for her daughter -- it's not the power of the Pretty Cure, nor Sailor Moon, but it is something. A portion of that purifying power, built through the magical components of the Device, is funneled into the beam: a white beam of light, bleeding gold at the edges, which crashes down upon the shadow clone.


COMBAT: FINISHER! Lera Camry has used Aurora Burst Ray on Eas.
COMBAT: Lera Camry has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"For all the data you've gathered about us," the Wind Knight begins -

And then there's a huge chunk of concrete flying at her, thanks to the shadow of Eas flinging La Sirene de Diamant *and* the very ground she'd been standing on. That's the kind of thing that tends to interrupt *any* conversation, really ... and the green-clad Magic Knight knows she's not going to block or counter *that* with a quickly aimed arrow. So she doesn't even try.

Instead, her bow and quiver vanish entirely, replaced in an eyeblink by the Wind Knight's sword. And she doesn't waste that instant, calling out, "Winds of Protection!!" and conjuring a barrier between her and the approaching pavement-plus-magical-girl projectile. It takes both magical and physical effort to defend herself against the impact, and as much as the Wind Knight exerts herself in the effort, it still pushes her back, her feet carving twin furrows through already-abused pavement ... but she doesn't get flattened, or crushed, and La Sirene has enough time to vault safely away before the Magic Knight of Wind finally flips the chunk of ground above and behind her, pushing with blade-flat and wind alike.

The realization that she's still on her feet after that seems to surprise her. But despite gasping with the effort ... the Wind Knight is smiling, almost a grin that dares to ask if Labyrinth's pawn has anything left.

(Almost. She does NOT want to actually ask - the answer might turn out to be 'yes,' and she really doesn't want to find out.)

"Add this to your files, servant of Mobius," the Wind Knight calls out. "We've saved our world before, and we'll save it again, and we'll keep fighting to save it from everything that wants to conquer or enslave or simply destroy the planet, or its people, or any group thereof. We're magical girls - the Covenant of Style - and our hearts shine brightest together!"

She jabs her sword into the ground, partially for support as she gathers herself, and then sweeps her left arm up; a breeze rises about her, as if she pulled the updraft into existence, and the turbulence ruffles her hair and skirt as she stands upright on both feet, drawing her arms back. "EMERALD ... CYCLONE!!!" she shouts, her left arm whipping forward, followed by her right - seizing the wind with both hands, funneling her will and her power and her magic through her whole being, and unleashing the wrath of the tempest on the dark duplicate of Eas.

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sourisi's not the only one curious about what being a citizen of Labyrinth would be like, it seems. But it's for another time! "I'll hold you to that promise then, Setsuna-san!" Eas is moving so quickly, so rapidly, but still...if everyone keeps going as they were, they can open mistakes in Eas' seemingly flawless guard!

The thought of all worlds being under Mobius' reach has Sourisi feeling anger once more, the unfamilar emotion burning in her stomach. How many world has he taken already? Earth was always so important to all these villains! No way is she going to let this pass for her home. "They are -not- irrelevant! All you likely have known is this cold, dispassionate grip of 'Mobius' all your life, but look at Setsuna-san! She's willing to try something new. She spent a year observing our planet, and maybe she sees something you or 'Mobius' doesn't!"

The talk of their lives, desires, everything that makes a person unique irrelevant may have Sourisi more fired up than normal.

But then the Nega-Eas seems to have collect herself, gather flowing darkness and despair that has the hairs on the back of Sourisi's neck rising. Then...wait, where did she go?! Moving with a speed that rivals Sourisi's previous feat of agility but with far more strength in her delicate frame. Eas was attacking La Sirene and Fuu-a section of the Tokyo Tower is sent flying at Mikoto-Steven is grabbed and being hurled-!!

Reacting just in time to leap out of the path of the speeding half-Gem missile (and wincing from guilt from the sound of rubble), Sourisi focuses on that monochrome figure with that mismatched voice of Klein. It's not over...and he is a fool for thinking otherwise.

Music: Baten Kaitos - The True Mirror https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4FdfaRX8EM

"You think that by just tossing us around, we'll give up? We fought for the spirit of Christmas, defeated Fusion thanks to the support of those that care for us, halted Queen Beryl's great plan among others!" Several ears might pop as the sound barrier is broken by a tonfa, then another at Klein's puppet.

"You can add on a post script on La Sirene's letter to 'Mobius'! To the Covenant of Style, nothing is irrelevant!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Eas.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

The words of the dark duplicate ring out but la Sirene is already having trouble. You shouldn't try to be Pretty Cure so casually, Cure the Cure! The grasp throws her into the concrete, then both of them towards Fuu, who rallies - the wind stops the rock, and la Sirene tumbles free, landing on the ground and grimacing.

"Forgotten?" she then says.

"But then you'll have made us mysteries," la Sirene says as she draws herself upright. This time she does not rally enough to float, staying grounded on this world. She takes a deep breath and lets it out, clasping her face lightly in her hands as her eyes close.

"... It's almost funny," la Sirene says. "It's like we're the exact opposites of one another..."

Her eyes snap open. The Stellar Prism gleams.

"But I cannot palaver with you about philosophy and dreams. Not now, when you wear the shape of that woman. Not now, where you threaten everything. Perhaps one day we will converse - but perhaps you prefer merely to speak and hear your own voice."

The Stellar Prism twinkles...

"Horah!" la Sirene cries, and the Stellar Prism *shines* again, with another of those sunbeams-that-are-way-too-bright-to-be-sunbeams. It would be easily overlooked in the face of Lera's diving strike, but la Sirene is being mean and aiming for the face.

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Abyssal Vision on Eas.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Eas fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking 95 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!

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

Today, Mikoto is still here. Setsuna still doesn't entirely understand that sentiment, but she sees how clearly Mikoto communicates it as she charges. She sees the way that, just as she would do, she takes on the blow, and her fingers curl against the inside of the concrete of her cover.

It's different, even if it is familiar.

But Sourisi's answer receives a raised voice from behind, "If you make sure you survive, I'll answer your questions!" to make clear she agrees to the deal. But they're all moving in, and it is desperate now. "Everyone!" the tired girl calls in concern.

But it doesn't wait.

The terrible blade cleaves the duplicate's head, sending ripples through it as the monster works to reform itself. A weapon propelled at supersonic speeds crashes into the its defenses, one arm whipping up and rippling under the force of it. This gray Eas's pitiless eyes squeeze shut in the face of a too-brilliant light. The wind crashes in at incredible size and strength. ...And Steven grips hold of this shadow's arm, the light in his being enough to hold its inky form fast, preventing it from moving out of the whirlwind, from slipping away from the blade to reform, and from evading the pure light light of one kind of love brought to bear for the sake of another, a threefold connection of hearts.

There is a brilliant burst of combined power, and the wind carries it in all directions; a flash of light explodes outward, too bright for any to keep looking in.

...And there is a haze of static, a fizzing noise, as the monster hisses away into nothing at all, the Data Diamond clattering to the ground, smoking. As the light fades, a voice crackles out.

"Hmph. Past victories or not, you will see in time. Beryl-sama overplayed her hand... And Mobius-sama will not. It is inevitable. ...Keep a broken tool if you will. This is not the end."

But under the faded light, it feels like a beginning; the ruined tower is pristine, sparkling with electric light now that the sun has finished setting. The torn streets are whole, if somewhat empty, and even the hiding place that Setsuna Higashi once used is gone, leaving the girl sitting on the ground on her legs, looking up at where the duplicate was... and at where the assembled invitees are now.

The remnants of the red artifact crack and bubble away to nothingness, and quiet is restored. Within minutes, the people will return, the momentary excitement all but forgotten. And now...

"I... I guess that's..." Setsuna starts to push herself up, dazed, looking to the group, down at herself--at the spot where her item of power once was.

There is something a little different in her eyes. "...I can't really... go back, now, can I...?"

"You all... You really kept fighting. For somebody who hasn't given most of you a nice word in months." She shakes her head.

...But a small smile appears on her face, as she looks away. "...You're all a little stupid, I think. ...But thank you."

She looks back up. "...Thank you, for coming."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lera lowers her sword, slowly. The blade's halves snap back into place, with a click, before the tip of it touches the concrete. The cracks in the concrete mend -- just as the Tower does, after that flash of light. Her amber eyes blink, slowly, as she looks at where Eas was. Her head turns, to regard Setsuna Higashi.

Separate, now.

There is a moment's hesitation; then, she slides her sword back over her shoulder, and walks back towards her. She stops apart from her, just enough to look at her.

"You'll have a place to go to," she says. "And..." She looks around, to the people who call came from her. It's a powerful sense of relief that fills Lera, as she looks at the purple-haired girl.

They all came. They all saved her.

"And you're not alone, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

It takes everything Steven has to hold the being in a single place. But thankfully, everyone is able to capitalize on it. With enough love and firepower, it destabilizes to nothing. The icon used to summon it decaying away with a final statement from the puppeteer behind the curtain. "We will be here!" the boy calls, tired from a long day.

In the aftermath, everything is magically restored, and the civilians return to the area as if nothing happened. Only the participants will remember this day.

It takes some time before Steven is able to take everything in, and come back over toward Setsuna. "I knew there was a good person in there, somewhere. You thought everyone was going to join you eventually."

"This may be incredibly hard for you to deal with i nthe coming days, but we will be with you. Promise." A weary smile is all he can offer, as he holds an arm.

"I uh... I better go check on Sailor Moon. I hope she will be okay still."

He begins to head back toward that building, they both fell in. But he calls back something as he goes.

"You aren't the first person to tell me that! I'm told it runs in the family!"

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Nega-Eas is no longer a thing, destroyed by everyone's coordinated efforts, wills and hopes. Klein may be the voice of Mobius, but if that's the case...

Was Mobius just a spoiled child who pouts when he doesn't get his way?

Giggling at that mental image, Sourisi just shakes her head as the last rememants of that 'thing' fades away. "Maybe not, but...well, you can always find a new home." A pair of eyes glances over at La Sirene for just a moment. "Earth is real great for being a new home. Just...well...i'm not the best at getting thanked, but...you're welcome. Any time!" Sourisi's cheeks were a noticeable pink from being thanked. Despite all this time, she still wasn't used to being thanked for her work...

Setsuna looks so happy yet anxious for what the future may hold. It's going to be scary, but... "Lera-san is right, after all. You have my support in this!-oh, shoot! Sailor Moon! I'll help too, Steven-kun!" Remembering the leader of the Sailor Scouts was still inside the building, Sourisi chases after Steven to offer assistance. Nobody is getting left behind.

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

Mikoto does not have elemental magic or purifying light or a dazzling display or whip-quick speed, or even the sort of tactical thinking which keeps the shadow in place. What she has is force: inexorable, unyielding, focused wholly on keeping this thing and her implied ability to unmake Setsuna away from the abandoned Executive.

Not today, not today, not today.

It's enough, and Mikoto lowers her dark blade as her eyes fall on the crackle-voiced Data Diamond. A broken tool...

There's something about that which sets her teeth in a line.

But it is over; even the tower is whole again. Mikoto breathes out as she steps to retrieve her sword-case and sheathe her blade, shrugging it onto a shoulder. She can hear the vulnerability in those words, and she does not look directly at Setsuna. It is not as unfriendly as it looks.

"I was invited," she says, as if it's obvious. "And..."

Here she looks to her, and she smiles. "... I was always gonna be here."