2019-01-29 - TIMELINE 2: Duel of the Fates! For The Jewel Seeds!

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Duel Of The Fates! For The Jewel Seeds!

All of the Jewel Seeds have been found... but it's a stalemate. The Testarossas have half, and the Midchildans -- and their Earthly allies -- have the other half. It's not enough to guarantee the world's peril -- or its safety. Girls put it all on the line, believing in the strength of their own hearts. But Precia Testarossa has other plans...


Nanoha Takamachi, Mikoto Minagi, Fate Testarossa, Takeo Akamizu, Mami Tomoe, Steven Universe, Homura Akemi

GM: Hotaru Tomoe


Rainbow Bridge

OOC - IC Date:

1/29/2019 - 04-21-2014

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Twilight at the Rainbow Bridge.

To one side: the endless shadowy morass of the Pacific Ocean.

To the other: the skyline of Tokyo, blossoming into radiance one window, one sign, at a time.

At one end: a loose coalition of magical girls involved in the Jewel Seeds, led by Nanoha Takamachi, third-grade wunderkind. How they were first drawn into the conflict varies; almost two dozen of these ancient, dangerous artifacts have made themselves known -- apparently relics of an alien civilization that were accidentally scattered on Earth recently -- and, to the last, keeping them from doing harm has involved battle.

Jewel Seeds warp reality; they grant wishes, one could say. But they do so indiscriminately and without regards for anyone's safety, which is how we've gotten giant cats, sprawling animated tree monsters, and a great deal of endangered bystanders.

And because of that very property they have been the source of conflict.

At the other end: Fate Testarossa, scion of the Testarossa family of mages, who has contested the possession of every Jewel Seed she could find, and has, consequently, wound up with around half of them. Which is, considering everyone involved, pretty impressive.

She's very motivated. Remarks from herself or her (currently missing) wolflike familiar have indicated that she is trying to help her mother.

This meetup has to do with resolving the stalemate. One way or another, the fate of the Jewel Seeds will be decided today.

Nanoha, clad in brilliant white and deep-sea blue, extends her hand and smiles.

"We've both come too far to throw it all away. And if we leave things as they are they will only get worse. Our trouble started with the Jewel Seeds -- so that'll be the prize. We'll both bet all we have, winnter takes all."

<< PUT OUT. >> chimes Raising Heart, currently a giant red orb at the end of an impressive pink and gold staff. And the magical girls' share of the Jewel Seeds appear, glitteringly blue, worrisomely powerful.

"Let's finish this. And then we'll be free -- we can finally have the chance to get to know one another. So, in order to start our new lives, let's begin... our first and final battle."

Her clothes can't hope to compete with her smile and her eyes. They shine. She shines -- she burns -- softly, but surely, with the need to say someone's name.

"Please, Feito."

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

Mikoto found herself drawn into the conflict for the sake of her cat friends; she's kept involving herself ever since. There is something about the single-minded determination of Fate Testarossa which aches, which makes it worth trying to follow the advice of her more level-headed compatriots who say that girls should not be hurt. She has, accordingly, tried not to do permanent damage to them. ... well, she's tried.

And so she is here today, on the bridge behind Nanoha, and she does not hold her blade in her hands, though the fingers of one hand grasp the strap of her sword-case firmly. It is not a plan she would have endorsed easily, when she came here. But Mikoto has been participating in the Kendo club, to try and figure out how to teach Homura how to fight -- and from it she has learned about fights which aren't fights, duels which owe as much to dance-step cooperation as conflict. All that aside...

'We're not giving them options they can take, Steven! Just gotta -- figure out how to give them something -- something they can actually use. 'Cause they'd just explode if they opened up. It's been too much, too long. Too used to everyone being enemies.'

... they need to try something different, because their fights haven't worked at all.

"Fate," Mikoto murmurs, eyes darting from the blue seeds to those red, red eyes.

At least the wolf isn't here. Mikoto has seen how she guides her. It isn't difficult to guess how this would go if she were here.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

As if in answer, Bardiche also responds. <PUT OUT> with a low synthetic intonation. The Jewel Seeds appear overhead, one by one, circling like a revolving halo around her. Perhaps that is the only indication she gives that she accepts.

She was ever one to put everything on the line.

How many times had she she faced her like this?

"You're wrong."

The wind shifts sideways, ripping Fate Testarossa's cape fluttering like a flag behind her. The girl stares across at Nanoha and the magical girls flanking her, her expression cold, eyes unfeeling.

"When I finish this and take the Jewel Seeds from you - you'll never see me again." The metal of her gloves scrapes against Bardiche's haft. "That is the only thing that will change between us. You will go on with your life - as if you had never met me-"

Raising Bardiche back, she holds up with both hands. "-assuming you survive what is coming."

There is something a little abstracted within her gaze, as she seems to be recalling something. Her tone subtly changes into something a little less flat, a little more emotional.

"... As a Testarossa, I must finish everything that I begin."

There can be no new beginning between the two of them. Only an ending. That is what her mother has taught her.

"Nothing else matters."

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Duel Of The Fates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlYCxbBZUCY


Tears pour down Arf's maiden face as she presses both hands up against the defensive barrier Precia Testarossa has conjured about herself. Straining, straining, straining to get through. Just one nail would be enough.

"She's your daughter! How could you?!"

"Begone, fool."

An explosion -- and the familiar is no longer present.

Precia's force field dissolves and with it she does too, into a series of hacking coughs each more violent than the last.

Blood spatters the walkway.

With a soft tsk, she staggers away from it until she can glide, and then she does that instead. She resettles herself in her favorite chair. She conjures up her viewing orb and watches the scene on the bridge.

...she frowns.

"A fool made by a fool," she curses. "Useless."

And then she closes her eyes...



The heavens roar -- but it isn't thunder that follows the crash of purple lightning that streams into Fate Testarossa, filling her, filling her... overfilling her.

It's the voice of an older woman. A contemptuous voice. A determined voice.

"Well said, my daughter," it booms, even though the lightning hasn't ended -- it just goes on and on and on. "But you are foolish to trust these people. I will not allow them to overpower you through force of numbers..."

Fate bleeds electricity from her finger and toenails. She cries it. In an echo of her unseen mother's face, some emerges from her left nostril.

It hurts. It's so much power, but oh, it hurts.

She becomes difficult to see -- vibrating at such a high (and still climbing!) frequency that she's little but a golden-violet blur.

And then she starts bleeding other Fates.

Is it just that she's moving so quickly that she can be in ten places at once? Are they copies in truth, made of magic and a mother's feelings?

Does it really matter?

The Jewel Seeds in between them twinkle, refracting the terrible light show as it finally ends, leaving only shocked air smelling of ozone behind.

"FEITO!!" screams Nanoha, horrified, before rocketing forward in a stream of pink light -- "EVERYONE, WE HAVE TO STOP THIS! WE HAVE TO SAVE HER!"

And then what should have been one duel becomes something else entirely.

COMBAT: Takeo Akamizu transforms into Chevalier Knight Lancelot!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa transforms into Youma Form Fate Testarossa: Classic!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi transforms into Puella Magi Homura!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Lancelot stands with arms crossed watching the third grade girls have a Magical Girl version of: "Meet me at the Big Tire After Class." He almooooost feels like he should intervine, maybe tell the children to work out their differences, and sort of treat them like ... Well ... Kids, but more than a few years under his belt as a Knight of the Round Table Reborn has taught him that Magical Girls have to do some very adult things.

Even if it's just, "Meet me on the Bridge afer Class."

Lancelot blinks a few times at that, clears his throat and continues to watch. His eyes scanning for any triks or ambushes on the skyline. Sparks, (What he calls Fate), has proven to be very tricky, fast and pretty good with throwing lightning. The Ambush watch is mostly becuase he doesn't see the Wolf that is usually around Sparks. So when the vibrating electricity bleeding Fate happens he's looking the other way, and his head snaps back to Fate and he has to blink.

His own Lighting, blue and white, streak down from the heavens and he snatches it out of the air, the bolt solidifying into the gleaming white blade Arondight. Light glitters off the edges as lighting dances along those sharp lines. He twirls the blade as he says in a bit of alarm, "Yeah. I was not expecting that." Then points the blade at ONE of the Fate's, "LIGHTNING BLAST!"

As he cries out those words, hte lighting along the edge of Arondight flares brightly and a bolt of sparking flickering blue and white lighting lances out toward his chosen Fate. Tendrils of electricity whip about and curl around the single bolt as it arcs toward it's inteded target. Not leaving that chance (or in this case Fate) to take down his target, Lancelot moves, running to the side of he bridge and up one of the support structures to try and gian a height advantage.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Blast on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa counters 11 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Lightning Blast, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot is
Psyched!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami Tomoe is one of those who are in on this plan--on this confrontation. ...But truthfully, that doesn't make her entirely comfortable with it; it's impossible for her not to make the connection to another situation, to another duel between girls, that did not end as they're hoping Nanoha will end this one.

She keeps quiet as she watches, but her friends can tell she's troubled, and she hasn't hidden it all from them either--especially not her partner, her co-leader in what has become a wonderful group of Puella Magi.

The older girl thus stands on the bridge, near the edge, with the others. She watches the conversation between the two, preparing for... Well, to see this happen. Fate says Nanoha will never see her again.

Mami looks distant, in the moment. She remembers, all right; a flash of red...

But for Homura, she puts on a small smile. "It's better, in a way, that it has. The chance to even try to convince her... It's not something that should be wasted." She pauses. They'll be okay--and, well, Mami knows Homura well enough by now.

"Trust them. Just like you would if they were with us. Being a large group, we have to split up sometimes--but it means we can do more good, doesn't it?"

"...Yes, as you say. We..."

Her conversation is completely broken when everything changes. "What--"

How can this woman call Fate her daughter, and do this? How can she cause this much--

"STOP!" Mami calls, in horror, and when Nanoha rockets forward--the plan is changed. it has to be changed. She looks immediately to her side. "Homura-chan--as fast as she is, I'll be counting on you to back me up. ...Let's go!"

Mami bends at the knee and leaps, throwing out her hand and conjuring a mass of ribbons to try to coil up and stop some of their opponent(s) in hopes that they can set things right. With brilliant light, bursts of prismatic color--

Gold flashes.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe transforms into Puella Mami!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Legare on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 9 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Legare, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Block and
Parry abilities activate!  Tangle applied to Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

It started with a giant cat. Who would have thought...

Little Steven Universe has gotten himself embroiled in the conflicts over the Jewel Seeds by circumstance, but would not let them fall into the wrong hands. While he has been on quite a faw missions in victoriously obtaining them, a recent event left him nigh crumpled on the pavement, versus Fate and Eas combined.

Since then, he has confided in others of his curiosities and trepidations on fighting them further. Though merely standing by would be to wait for disaster. The little Gem child knows nothing of what they are meant for, their grander design from a land far, far away.

But they get people hurt.

And because of that, they cannot be allowed in the hands of others.

The boy has assembled at the bridge, having heard of what will happen. All or nothing. No holds bar. Nanoha versus Fate. Part of himself is glad he isn't fighting. He is thoroughly outclassed by Fate's superior magics. She took down Mikoto and Endo with little problem. However, there is one tiny thing the boy is good at.

"G... Good luck, Nanoha! I believe in you," he calls kindly to her.

It was out of his hands. The only thing he could do now is watch. And, well, be ready to summon his shield if any lasers or lightning fly his way.

He looks quietly toward Mikoto, the most recent person he has talk to. He has no words besides a worried gaze. A gaze also turned toward Fate, though it seems like a little boy's look would halt her combative advances.

Before the battle happens in earnest though, something happens. A surge of magical power out of nowhere, with an imperious female voice behind it. The thunder to the magical lightning. "Whats happening?!" he asks aloud, though surely no one here truly knows. Lightning and copies remain, and then go almost unseen with their speed. "Maybe if we hold her still we can do something!" A flick of the wrist, and a shield is in his hand, whirled, and pitched towards a Fate he is able to see for a moment! "I'm sorry!" he calls out toward her.

Fate may not have been at their recent fight, but Steven certainly feels regret attacking her. Her demeanor, her eyes... so different from the usual enemies fought. Why was this so hard...?

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly dodges 53 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Fate Testarossa's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

"If only it hadn't come to this..." Puella magi Homura Akemi hugs herself, just a little, hands cupping white-sleeved elbows. Her eyes are round behind rectangular glasses lenses; they track the release of all those hard-won and glittering Jewel Seeds, then drift near to Nanoha without her gaze alighting directly upon the other girl.

But it has come to this: magical girl fighting magical girl. It frightens her in a different way from the intimidating terror of facing Witches and youma, in a way that makes her squirm and want to look away. Instead she glances left, to seek reassurance from standing side by side with the wisest magical girl she knows.

"But they'll be okay, right, Tomoe-san?"

In context, Homura obviously means Nanoha and Fate -- but in truth she also frets about those who aren't present, the puella who patrol the rest of the city while the two of them join the stand at Rainbow Bridge.

'You can count on us, Kaname-san!' Homura had said, atremble with forceful earnestness, as she and Mami parted ways with Madoka and Eri and Sayaka earlier. Her braidtips quivered as she added, 'And- and be safe out there!' because she wouldn't be there if her best friend needed her, and that filled her to the brim with worry.

Still... still, a certain optimism buoys the quiet girl's voice as she continues, to her senpai, "And if not, we're here to help, and that will make the difference..." Homura believes in such things, you see, and her belief is still bright and shiny like a newly minted one yen coin.

Fate makes her reply, and 'Nothing else matters' rings in Homura's head like a haunting bell, but it does not reverberate long. Precia sees to that. "No... no, oh no!"

Homura pulls her hands away from her mouth with some effort, and Mami's voice reaches her, somehow -- even as she stares at a flickering multitude of Fates, she swallows and nods. "Yes, senpai!" It gets her moving. A thrill of nerves runs up her spine, even as she reaches for the shield on her left arm. Mami's counting on her, and she's not the only one.

Beautiful golden ribbons fly and her eyes light up -- she knows what this means! As soon as they begin to settle and ensnare Fate, anyone near Homura will hear a subtle metallic *click*--

--and in frozen greyscale she pulls a reinforced cardboard tube from her shield and starts fumbling with matches.

"Come on, come on..."

She goes through five and scorches her fingertips before finally lighting the wick. It starts sparking, and Homura's eyes go wide. "Oh! Oh oh oh..." She hurries and aims the fireworks tube at the nearest Fate, squeezing her eyes shut... "Eeeeeeek!"

Fizzzz! Fizzzz! Fizzzz! A series of flaring balls of fire shoot out, one after one, each shrieking in the unnatural quiet. They skid to a timestopped halt before impact, greying to match the rest of the world.

"Whewww..." She wipes her forehead with her sleeve and reaches for her shield--

Whoom! Whoom! Whoom! A series of Roman Candle bombs detonate, with any luck right at the impossibly fast foe. Homura keeps her eyes squeezed shut. She doesn't want to actually watch them hit the girl, she finds.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has used Delayed Blast Fireballs on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 10 Fatigue damage from Homura Akemi's Delayed Blast Fireballs, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Fate
Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's temporary...

Mikoto watches, tense as a bowstring, as Fate insists on who she is, what she values. She'd asked, and here, it seems, is the answer. Someone whose only wish is to fight and win -- well. It's not like she can't appreciate that point of view. When she came here, she wasn't so different.

Mai would know what to do, she thinks, as she listens. But Mikoto is not Mai. Mikoto is not any of the countless orators who number amongst them - like Steven, who she glances to, silently. She cannot effortlessly close the gap with her words. Someone like her approaches things differently.

Perhaps a warrior like her should never have come here.

Because the sky screams, and Fate screams, and Mikoto screams, too. "Stop!" She cries, staggering forward, desperation scouring the words raw. "WE'RE NOT HERE TO FIGHT!" And oh, even as she says it, she is drawing her blade, and she does not even realise until it is grasped tightly in her hands. "We're not..." She looks down at Miroku, brow knit in her distress, and her words die in her throat. Drawing a breath through grit teeth as her grip tightens: "please." Please, stop hurting her. Please, don't force her hand. She didn't even hesitate. She's done nothing wrong.

She, and she, and she, and she, and she...

... have done nothing wrong.

There are so many of her.

So many more bodies; so many more nerve endings.

And perhaps someone else would have an answer. Mikoto does not.

She zeroes in on one of the facsimiles, and charges. Is she still a girl? She manages to pay enough mind to wonder; enough at least to angle her strike when it comes, upwards from the ground as she springs forward, to not catch her with that obsidian edge.

Mikoto does not have binding ribbons, like Mami, but if she beats this thing which was Fate enough surely it will slow its progression.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disequilibrium on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa decisively counters 36 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disequilibrium, taking 12
Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Exhausted applied to Fate Testarossa!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!  
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

Fate Testarossa stiffens suddenly at the sound of her mother. Caught in indecision between whether to take a knee, or do nothing at all because of how the decision demands it.

That is before she feels it, somewhere from within. One of Fate Testarossa's first magic lessons was being able to handle lightning. It is in her blood to be able to do so. There is a difference between handling it, and becoming it...

The girl bites down so hard in her mouth that she draws blood, and everyone can hear distantly the scream that is smothered beneath the electrical storm that hemorrhages off of her, brought low not just to a knee, but flat on her side.

She cannot allow her Mother to hear her scream after all. In the end it doesn't matter, as once it passes her threshold she cannot contain it any longer by such feeble measures.

The strobe light flickers, and Fate is still down on her side. It flickers again and she's on her knee. Again, she's on her feet. It's like your eye is missing parts of her movement. The gaps, the quiet spaces. A part of her flickers, distorting off of her.

And then there are ten of her.

The girl whimpers once, it's like she wants to give voice to her hurt...

... but she knows better. Instead the first speaks, but it's like her voice is changing from one to another of the many Fate Testarossas, distorting as it shifts from one to the other.

"Thank you..."


"...you're right..."

"...it was foolish of..."

"...me to trust them."

"Now I can..."

"...remove all..."

"...obstacles in our..."


It all starts with one of the Fate Testarossa's appearing behind Nanoha Takamachi. Bardiche held upright and shifted into a scythe. When did that happen? The scythe descends terrifyingly quick, and the girl only manages to juke to Raising Heart just quickly enough to parry. The two are then off into the air, clashing with each other repeatedly in an ever shifting battle.

A bolt of flickering blue descends upon an image of Fate Testarossa from Lancelot, and the girl spasms suddenly as the lightning makes contact. Then vanishes. Lancelot as he rises to get position sees the girl already on the support above that he hoped to claim.

<-Smasher.> "Fire."

The tip of Bardiche is pointed down, targetting rings appearing, before a long column of lightning erupts, smashing through the support, disintegrating suspension wires as it slams down through the bridge.

Another of Fate's clones is leaping away from Mami, however it cancels that motion to instead raise Bardiche parallel as glorious ribbons are thrown at it.

"Don't shout..."

The ribbons catch ahold of it, and the Puella Magi appears to have snagged her like a fish on a line.


And much like she's fighting a really big fish on the line, Mami feels the ribbons just suddenly snap sideways as the girl vanishes from sight in front of her.

Four orbs in the air hanging there already like Mami's muskets, the ribbons still attached.

"-tishot. Fire."

Instead of descending at Mami, they descend at her ribbons, like she was going to use them to conduct all that electrical energy through the webwork of her ribbons right back towards its master...

"...at my mother."

It certainly seems like that's the way to go about it right? To hold Fate Testarossa still? Steven throws his shield at one Fate clone that seems to be struggling to even move, much less act. However its eyes lift to Steven as he says that he's sorry.

And then she's not there, the shield clanging an empty part of the bridge.

"...sorry too."

Comes a voice from his flanks, the moment Steven looks there's already a runic sigil in mid-air, bleeding electricity towards him like it is completing a circuit through his body.

In greyscale, Homura's world is even more eerie, it's like half of the clones of Fate are caught mid-flicker, some looking more solid than the others...

And then time starts, and one clone of Fate Testarossa gasps and covers her eyes, which carries over to another. Rippling fields appear over two of them, but a few char marks appear.

And then Homura finds herself face to face with one of them. "...was you?"

It's a query, like she's asking where that came from and being puzzled about this meek looking girl's presence on the battlefield.


If Homura isn't quick, then she'll find solid cubes of energy locking down on every one of her limbs.

"Do you really know..."

"...gotten yourself into?"

A Fate Testarossa asks of her coldly, before adding.

"It doesn't matter."

Like she no longer cares about the answer of the question.

Mikoto Minagi charges at Fate Testarossa, and the girl asks a question

"Is this what you..."

It's like Mikoto's blade makes solid contact with something, but then suddenly whatever resistance is behind the blade fades into nothing. And a Scythe descends down at her shoulder from above.



COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Thunder Smasher on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Multishot on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Splash Edge on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Lightning Bind on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Scythe Slash on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Bind Break on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa accepts Fate Testarossa's Bind Break, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Fate Testarossa's debuffs
are cleared!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Multishot, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 5 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Splash Edge, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa is
Psyched!  Steven Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Cripple applied to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi partially dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Lightning Bind, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Homura Akemi is Quipped!  Homura Akemi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Tangle applied to Homura Akemi!
COMBAT: Lancelot braces 18 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Thunder Smasher, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi decisively counters 27 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Scythe Slash, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto
Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, partially gets through, doing 34 Fatigue damage to Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Oh Yeah," Lancelot suddenly remembers as Fate is literally waiting for him at the top of the support beam of the bridge. "She can fly..." The Knight lashes with his balde at the incoming blast from Fate. There is a brief moment where blue and white lighnting explodes along the blade against the yellow lightning of Fate. Thunder booms loudly and is followed by the squeeling of twisting metal oas the support beam is shattered from the blast, and Lancelot falls.

As the beam twists and begins to crack, he sprints and leaps at Fate with blinding speed. He clears the distance and he holds the blade over his head. As it descends toward Fate's shoulder he calls out; "LIGHTNING SLASH!" the blade sending waves of lighting along it's edges as he brings it to bear against the smaller mage.

As he passes Fate, his Slash complete, he doesn't take the moment to see if he hit. Instead he says, "I did not think this through..." And then he begins to fall amid the debris from the shattered beam. He flails as he falls before he slams into the bridge itself with a resounding crash. He lays there for a hot second and says one simple word.


COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Slash on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa counters 5 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Lightning Slash, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot is Psyched!
Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami can hear the others; she can see Mikoto and her conflict, and worries for a moment at the gentle girl she sees behind the sword. But they are what they must be... 'Don't shout at my mother.'

"...Yes, that was rude," Mami admits, as she looks over the gleaming orbs of magic that her ribbons have caught after all. Before she can take hold, Fate has moved, and so Mami prepares herself quickly. With a flash of motion, the veteran Puella Magi directs her ribbons to grow down, a cluster between each of them crashing downward to ground the spell, as Mami herself simply takes the force right on.

As a Puella Magi, she can handle punishment beyond ordinary humans, even if she prefers to dodge when she is able. When even she isn't fast enough...

The smoke from her hands rises and Mami hits the ground again in a crouch.

"But this is unacceptable! This is not how a mother should treat her daughter!"

Mami thinks of the faded images of a photograph she keeps in her home. She shakes her head--and notices Homura's actions taking effect all at once. As well as--

"Don't understimate her!" Mami calls to Fate about Homura. "She chose to come and help others--she belongs here as surely as any of us!"

With that, Mami is forced to go beyond mere holdings; she puts out her hands, and twirls in place, pulling rifles from the air as if part of a skate routine, placing each around her before--Fire. Fire. Fire. Fire.

Elegant, Mami maneuvers, shooting at where she thinks a Fate will be, setting aside weapons as quickly as she brings them up.

"Don't give up!"

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Flourish on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa dodges 12 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Tiro Flourish, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The throw completely whiffs. She disappeared in an instant. "Wha--"

'...sorry too.'

A voice calls from his side, and he turns to face it, lightning blitzes forward, and the boy has no time to summon a shield to block it. He forms a crossguard with his arms and just takes it.

The boy gets quite singed and twitches slightly. He strangely seems somewhat okay despite groaning in pain. Perhaps it has something to do with his dual nature?

Or maybe he just makes a good conduit. Not that that has ever happened before.*

The boy falls to a knee after. A pink flash and metallic tang, and he is re-armed. "She's too fast for me..." he ponders. With a momentary struggle, he finds his feet again. He looks around the field, at the blaze of colored lasers and elemental attacks. He might not be able to directly confront a Fate, but he knows people who might be able to!

"Mami, Homura!" Steven calls, out to the Magi in the duel. They were the most amazing fighters ,able to pull of miraculous victors agains impossible odds. If anyone stood a chance, it was them. "We gotta reach out to her! She has to fight back! You out of everyone here can do it! Just believe!" he calls.

As he moves to intercept another attack, he looks toward Mikoto. "I remember our talk. This is the time we gotta make that choice. I know you'll make the right one," he says, a little fearful, but determined. He offers her a smile and nod, in the maelstrom of combat. It may seem like a strange place to share sentiment, but Steven thinks just the opposite.

It is exactly where it was needed.

(* No it happens a lot, I mean a real lot, he might as well have an energy amperage rating)

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Strong In The Real Way! on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is Cheered!  
COMBAT: Homura Akemi accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Homura Akemi is Cheered!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Steven Universe's Strong In The Real Way!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Cheered!  
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Keeping her eyes shut on an active battlefield was a terrrrrible idea. Maybe Homura can go over this during lessons with Mikoto, later. In the black of denial she hears the hollow chorus of Fates, as if they surround her, and she shivers.

That too-close '...was you?' flings her eyes wide from their tight-shut aversion to her own violence. She has just enough time to behold the scorch marks scoring the young girl before the bindings flash into being.


Maybe someday Homura will be quick. That day is not today. She falls prey before she can twitch aside, her skinny limbs bound by magic. Physical struggles are not her strong suit; she wriggles in place, but seems held fast.

'Don't underestimate her!' comes her senpai's voice, and her rabbity heart rallies where it hides within her breast.

Then their names come, from the dauntless Steven: 'You out of everyone here can do it! Just believe!' and it pumps courage into her veins, and it feels like she can try again. So Homura does.

She twists and squirms and, with effort, gets one hand over to her other arm -- a golf club slides free of her shield like she draws a gleaming sword. "We- we don't want to fight you, but we will!"

Action follows words. Homura swings at her Fate-clone, loosing a fearful shout as she does so, mostly because it feels like she needs that extra oomph to put behind her swing.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has used Five Iron on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 7 Fatigue damage from Homura Akemi's Five Iron, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's Block
and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'Is this what you...'

Mikoto is not dissimilar with girls disappearing, by now; she has been helping to train Homura for some time. And so, when the mass which meets her blade becomes immaterial, she is already on alert for where it has gone. It's her ears which catch the noise - of a scythe cleaving down.

She whirls in a flurry of violence, meets a blade designed to reap harvest with one which has only one purpose. Fate comes from above, and has leverage; there is a long moment of strain between them, as each weapon strives for superiority. Long enough, at least, to see the way those sharp eyes widen as a Fate completes her question, the intake of breath, the way her stance falters and Bardiche pushes dangerously close.

"I - I..."

No. She can't let herself be swayed in the middle of a fight. Her teeth grit as she snarls, digging in her heels and forcing her blade up, demanding a broken stalemate through sheer brute strength.

With an enemy who won't hesitate, it is perilously easy to decide there's no choice, except -- Steven remembers --

'When someone's that important... it doesn't matter what you want, Steven. Even if you wanted not to fight... you'd still fight, 'cause it'd make them happy. Even if fighting made you unhappy... ... even if you wanted to talk...'

'But what could be so important to hurt others but look sad?'

Alarm crosses her face, chased by resolution, and she nods to Steven, firmly. "Right."

The moment's revelation has surely lost Fate in the din; electricity leaps from place to place as fast as light can flash. Mikoto whirls to find her, again, some copy of her, some thing which was -- some version of Fate.

"It's not!" She cries, as she springs to meet her again. "This isn't what I want, Fate! But it's hard, right?! It's hard to fight for so long!" As if to punctuate the declaration, Miroku comes up again, as Mikoto whirls and slams her blade up, flat-first. "-- I wanted Fate to have a way to stop which worked!"

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly dodges 24 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Dodge!  Fate Testarossa's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

In the distance, two Fate Testarossas seem to be tag-teaming in an attack upon Nanoha, as a pink column of her infamous Divine Buster slices through the sky. The results are unclear from this far away.

Lancelot sends a wave of lightning at Fate Testarossa, and the girl looks like she flickers as it makes contact. Image distorting. And then it's like frames are lost. One of the Fate Testarossas is there beside him where he lay on the ground, standing, though her step towards him staggers.

"It's alright."

"You don't have to think about fighting me..."

And then her scythe descends.


Mami's ribbons suddenly fall off of one of Fate's images, like she's finally figured out how to untangle Bardiche from it.

"... my mother..."

"... is a kind person."

Fate insists, even as one of her images tries to weave a path around Mami's gunfire.

"...she is..."

Mami will notice some of the shots hitting.

"...doing me..."

Yet it's difficult to predict where she'll be. Sometimes it's like the Fate clones are skipping ahead a few seconds. Sometimes a few back.


She may shoot her out of the sky, only for her to reappear somewhere else mid-fall.

Abrupt Mami might notice a shape coming into her opposite field of vision, as another Fate Testarossa clone sends a spinning Scythe blade at her.

While it's chasing her, the other Fate Testarossa is addressing Homura.

"I see..."

There is something that sounds perhaps a touch disappointed in that.

"... then I must remove you."

Another Fate Testarossa calls out, "-Explode." The scythe blade pursuing Mami detonates into a titanic blastwave that shakes the entire rainbow bridge.

Steven tries to call out to inspire the others, and Fate suddenly is speaking behind him as he talks to Mikoto. "...fighting me was..."

Suddenly another clone is at a different angle, and Steven Universe finds himself staring down Bardiche as he charges.

<-sher> "Fi-"

The first Fate that was speaking to him finishes, "... the wrong choice..."

Part of the bridge disappears in yellow light where Steven once stood.

The Fate that was speaking to Homura is suddenly baffled as a gleaming shape descends upon her, as she raises Bardiche. Screwing up her eyes in confusion, she backsteps as the golf club makes contact with his haft.

<-complete. Iron Alloy and Rubber.>

"As you say..."

As if perhaps she is seeing Homura's resolution in a new light, to come at her with a weapon such as that. Homura is no longer clashing against Bardiche but empty space. Fate has her back turned to her a few paces back.

"... I will take your senior's advice then."

Four orbs of crackling electricity appear hovering around Fate.



The orbs are still there, and so is Fate, however another clone has come crashing down on Homura's position, the scythe blade that was harassing her senpai already having regenerated as she tries to cleave through the back of the girl's henshin.

The Fate that was slashing at Mikoto suddenly is sent flying backwards at the titanic force of her riposte. However then it's like she's recovered instantly. The girl is flickering from position to position, and Mikoto's blade catches only air. The Fate that is now just a few meters away from where her slash was aimed has a wicked slash down her henshin, at least proving that she's definitely tangible in the sense of being injured.

"... it is hard..."

"... but the only...

"...way to stop..."

The four orbs of electricity that had been conjured near Homura, now careen towards Mikoto's back, as if she were trying to bait her to face this direction all along.

"...is through all of you."

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Scythe Slash on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Arc Saber on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Thunder Smasher on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Scythe Slash on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Multishot on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Bind Break on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa accepts Fate Testarossa's Bind Break, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Fate
Testarossa's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe perfectly dodges 47 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Arc Saber, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Mami Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to dodge Fate Testarossa's Scythe Slash, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to dodge Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Multishot, taking 44 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Homura Akemi dodges 30 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Scythe Slash, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Homura Akemi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 28 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Thunder Smasher, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The sythe falls and Lancelot's eyes go wide as he tuckes his arms in and tries to roll out of the way. The blade pierces his shoulder and stops his roll in a shoulder wrenching motion that pins him to the bridge. As the sythe's blade is pulled free with a sickening, and painful wrenching *SPLORTCH*, Lancelot screams. Blood sprays as Fate's weapon is pulled free, before it becomes a simple stream of red leaking through his armor. He manages to finish rolling away and, using Arondight as a crutch pushes himself to one knee. He opens one eye with a "Tck" Escaping through gritted teeth.

So this is what it was like to fight somebody faster than you. "I gotta ... Rememebr... To be nicer ... to the bad guys .... " He mutters.

He looks to Fate and moves the wounded arm to grip Arondight in a two handed grip. "Alright kid. I think it's past your bed time." And then he's moving.

It's like a coiled spring of lighting was released. One moment he's crouched, the next he's attacking Fate with a complex series of sweeping sword strikes. The blade arcs and tendrils of lighting whip and crackle around him as he attacks. As he finishes the attacks with a verticle slash to Fate's midesection he calls out, BLAZING ZEPHYR!"

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Blazing Zephyr on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 15 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Blazing Zephyr, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Golf club, meet Bardiche. It's a pretty nice golf club, but its hollow metal feels cheap when levied against such a powerful Device -- doubly so when Bardiche announces what it's made of. Homura's cheeks redden, and she stumbles forward half a step when Fate disengages.

She's not being removed by anyone. She has a mission! For a moment it shows on her face: Homura Akemi might just be made of sterner stuff than her poor golf club, which is now bent where it connected with Bardiche. "That's not going to happen!" she shouts back, thoroughly distracted. It worked.

Training with Mikoto pays off, in the end. 'Hit that, and don't get hit back.' She has a sudden feeling like a crane hook is swinging her way, and she flinches sideways, but not quick enough.

And she screams.

Homura rolls after being hit, leaving severed ribbons of dusky-purple behind -- from the bow which was on the back of her henshin. Homura gets up slowly on legs which shake.

But she gets up, with tears swimming in her eyes and pooling at the bottoms of her glasses lenses. The golf club remains on the ground, now broken in two.

She has a mission.

"To--" She coughs, tries again. "Tomoe-san...!" And she holds out pale fingers, though they shake, too. Her other hand is on her shield.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has started a combo targeting Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Some of the Fates insist that her mother is kind. That she is doing Fate a kindness.

It is deeply, deeply uncomfortable.

Mikoto's eyes dart as she tries to find the Fate who is attacking her, as she hears their rebuttal. Too late, she zeroes in on the nearest source, turns - and sees their protege. "Homura-!!" Mikoto cries, and her first response is to leap forward, to try and help this girl who is trying so hard to catch up.

Perhaps Fate would find this reaction to a friend in peril illustrative of a point she knows very well.

Because that instant motion brings her right in the path of those orbs.

Too late Mikoto realises, tries to twist away - but it's pointless. They are too fast, and she was already moving towards them. Two catch near her shoulder, another impacting just below her chest like a bowling ball of electricity; she is slammed back, bodily, hitting the ground and bouncing against it in a way which perfectly illustrates just how light and small she is.

She coughs, winded, as she pushes herself up in the wake of it, one hand tightly coiled around the hilt of her blade, the other flat against the ground. "Fate..." And the word trails off as she struggles to find the words and her feet.

"... I know it's hard," she says, as she grasps her sword in both hands again. "And if Fate needs to fight through this..." She takes a step as she finds her balance again. "Then fight me... and fight me... and fight me..." Her breath comes through bared teeth; she does not even realise it. "... I know the fight."

She does not step any more but rather sprints, "but when Fate's satisfied - talk to someone - we want to talk."

Mikoto cannot fly, but she can jump, and she leaps up to the Fate in her sights, Miroku swinging down overhead in a flat-bladed strike which nonetheless threatens to crush her against the earth. And she screams, and there are words:

"-- we want to talk!!"

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destruction on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly dodges 58 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Dodge!  Fate Testarossa's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

His call to others seems to help, at least in some small way. Of course, him standing there makes for a prime target. He is quickly accosted by a pair of Fates, moving blisteringly fast. Her infamous weapon is leveled at him as it thrums with considerable power.

It discharges.

Most of the ground where Fate aimed is obliterated.

Though, a good way away from the initial impact is, a bright pink slowly emerges from the dust and debris. In a perfect V formation where the ground is undisturbed, the shield is the point of light where it begins. It stands, the bastion passed down to the boy with poofy hair. Lacerations and scoring marks from the blast coat one of Steven's arms and areas of his legs. Superficial in the long run, but incredibly painful damage in the moment, akin to magical, jagged sandpaper.

A direct unabated blast would if surely disintegrated him. Yet the shield is untouched, unmarred. A truly remarkable thing, it is. "Just talk to us!" he calls out between seethes of pain and coughing from falling silt.

And amongst the clouds, the boy bursts out, chargeing at Fate with every bit of speed he can muster, with a full-on shield tackle! "Just... stop... fighting!"

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Slam on Fate Testarossa.
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"No," Mami answers Fate first, with a sharp shake of her head. it is wrong. But the battle is chaotic; there's so much movement, always something new for the eye to track. Such as...

Steven--a bright spot from far away. Mami hears him calling out to them, and as befits a performer, she turns just long enough to give him a confident smile in return. "Together!" she agrees with him, and lets that teamwork carry her.

But Fate insists that her mother is a kind person, and Mami's expression is serious indeed, no hint of playfulness or smiling for the moment. "A parent who would turn on her family... That isn't kindness, however much you might like to think it is."

To hurt the people you're supposed to care about--to use your daughter. "I don't know her. But I know her actions here, now--those aren't kind. Heavy expectations are one thing--but this?"

Mami fires, and fires--and there's the spinning blade. Mami looks towards it, and thinks of Fate's magic thus far. if she only steps away from it, that may result in a counterattack mid-motion. So instead--

"Hah--!" Mami leaps upward, and a scintillating circle of ribbons bursts into being at her feet, shielding her from th worst of the blast except to push her up, up, upward--

"You're set on this path--you're sure of what you're doing. ...But so is that girl who came to find you. And so are we. ...I won't fail this time!"

But this? This is where Mami can see Homura, below, and hear her scream. "Homura-chan!" Mami calls, and casts out a ribbon immediately, hooking onto a bridge support to drag herself down faster towards her student--her friend. "I'm coming--"

...But Homura isn't just waiting. She holds out her hand. Mami, on her way down, smiles once with pride, and then nods sharply. "On it--!"

She takes Homura's hand. It is the most natural thing in the world.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has joined the combo started by Homura Akemi!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa perfectly counters 16 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Shield Slam, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Counter!  Fate Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Blitz Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Steven Universe!  
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Once they're linked Homura's thumb slides forward upon the flywheel within her shield, and with a silvery *click* time...


All that was colorful is grey; all which was in motion stills. All except for golden Mami Tomoe and purple Homura Akemi. The pale girl clings to their connection, made paler still by her fresh wounds, but she keeps that determined look on her face, too.

Mami throws out her free hand, points--and a rifle moves for each of the Fates she can see, all in their gray unreality. It feels so strange to hang here... But she isn't alone, either. She clicks each in place, and they prepare to fire in the same instant they freeze again, unconnected to her by their connection. If anything each of them is an elegant, old-movie finger pointed right for one girl.

As soon as Mami gives the signal she reaches once more for that shield and in the eerie quiet, there sounds another silvery *click* and time...

...resumes, and two girls reappear hand in hand.

COMBAT: COMBO! Homura Akemi and Mami Tomoe have used Combo: Viola Grande, composed of Take My Hand and I've Got You, on Fate
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa dodges 31 Fatigue damage from Homura Akemi and Mami Tomoe's Combo: Viola Grande, taking 46 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Fate Testarossa's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.

"My mother lifted..."

The vertical slash strikes home on the haft of one of the Fate clones Bardiches, and electricity sparks.

"... my bedtime ..."

The image of her goes down on a knee, as if she's buckling against his superior leverage.

"... mission too important."

And then she vanishes.

Whereas Mikoto tries to reach out to her. Leaping at her with a titanic slash. The girl's eyes widen fractionally as she sees her coming at her. Twisting in mid-air. Miroku severs suspension bridge cables which snap and threaten the girl with a waving obstacle course of death as she weaves and flickers between them.

"... when I'm satisfied..."

A cable scythes the air where she was and the image vanishes.

"...I'll go home."

"...and you won't need to talk to me ever again."

Steven tries to slam his shield at the space of another clone. And that one vanishes as his shield makes contact.

"... you don't understand..."

"... why I can't..."

"...and nothing will change that."

Fate Testarossa is inclined to leave Homura alone, seeing her like she is. All she has to do is pretend the girl is out of commission right? So her clone looks away- addressing Mami...

"My mother works..."

"...very hard..."

"...for my sake."

"You don't understand..."

"... her at all."

...but Homura returns into her vision sees at the last second their fingers make contact.

The next thing she sees is musket balls flying through the air at her. "You-"

One clone pivots, and seems to warp to several points, but several more musket balls thud into rippling shields and that girl falls out of the air. Another asks a question breathlessly.


There should be no speed that she can't track.

"... it doesn't matter."

Without waiting for an answer, both Fate's vanish.

"Don't say things like you won't fail..."

"...just yet."


"What cute little spells Linith has entrusted to you... but they lack a certain quality that a Testarossa should be capable of..."

"... I suppose it's impossible for you after all. How disappointing."


All the Fate Testarossa clones are lined up in the sky at separate intervals surrounding the whole bridge.

"Watch me..."


"I'll prove..."

"...I can do it."

Runic rings flash about the feet of each of them in a terrifying synchronicity.




Eight different Bardiches are heard now, not a syllable is lost. <Photon Lancer>



A great curtain of twinkling lights spreads out from each of them, conjoining all eight of the Fate Testarossa's together in a wall of flickering stars, they then conjoin together overhead, and from beneath, a three hundred sixty degree field of death surrounding the bridge.


All eight Fate Testarossa's sweep Bardiche down like she was issuing marching orders. And the electrical globes of death descend, bombarding the bridge constantly in an asynchronous assault that does not seem to end. Suspendsion cords snap, supports buckle, concrete disintegrates.

When the bombardment is over, the middle third of the bridge is gone, the debris of what's left of it crashing into the water below. The smoke and dust settles. And all eight Fate Testarossa's pant a little asynchronously too.

"It's over."

One of them finally says, quietly.

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Bind Break on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa accepts Fate Testarossa's Bind Break, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Fate
Testarossa's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe braces 25 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift, taking 37 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi partially dodges 12 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift, taking 46 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Hit!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot braces 47 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift, taking 20 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Lancelot's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi perfectly counters 71 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Counter!  Homura Akemi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi's counterattack, Flashstep, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Fate Testarossa!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe counters 35 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Photon Lancer: Genocide Shift, taking 35 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Steven Universe's counterattack, Bubble Shield, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Fate Testarossa!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami is on the ground, when time resumes, and she looks to Fate just long enough to nod again. "Great work," she whispers, like a secret, and then with a squeeze, she lets go--better not to make them a more tempting target, together. As she does, she looks up to Fate again, and she doesn't answer how. Instead--

"...I wish I could believe you," Mami answers sadly. "Because I don't understand how she could treat a precious daughter this way. I'm sorry."

They won't fail--this is the kind of thing that Mami said. However, she gets a prickle on the back of her neck as she realizes that the many Fates are lined up together, sees the way she is preparing that spell. Even before she can feel its magic, Mami can feel the weight of this girl--these girls--rushing at them. "...It's like that..." She murmurs it to herself, and feels the worry--something like this may well do exactly what Fate intends. And yet...

the others are trusting her, too. To come back. And she said that she wouldn't fail. Not Fate, not this time.

Without Homura's ability to stop time, there is no way that even Mami Tomoe, as fast as she is, can get out of the way of this terrible force. So she does something else, instead--

'Shift' is spoken, and Mami fires straight down through the bridge, leaping down into the hole that is made from it and using the concrete as the start of her shield--but only the start. She throws out a hand, and a ribbon lashes to the far end of the bridge below as the deathly bombardment begins, and Mami is completely obscured by the blast.

The sounds of the aftermath reign after. The smoke and dust settle. And then, after that quiet statement, only after--

A hand in a tattered glove grips the edge of what bridge is left, and Mami pulls herself upward. She is absolutely covered in dust, scratches and bruises and cuts clear from where debris hit, the blackening force of electricity where it passed; tattered ribbon that must have been her shield and anchor both drift down towards the water, faintly drifting down, down, down...

And golden eyes cast upward towards the Fates above as Mami reaches a crouch on what remains of the bridge.

"...No," Mami answers her, staring up. "So long as someone lives..."

"In that time, that we still have--it's never over."

Those words hang on the air as she turns in place, hands out as if in pose for ballet, one up, one forward, as she wends ribbons from the air and hops upward, weaving quickly. What was light becomes gold becomes silver and filigree, the fabric shaping quickly into the shape of a great cannon, shining in what light remains. Its wheels are proud, its great barrel wider than a girl is across; it tilts upward, connected by a moveable platform... pointing upward towards them.

Most notably--the base swivels in place, shifting as Mami aims. It will start on the Fate who spoke.

"That's what I believe." Mami inhales suddenly, holds the cord in hand, and intones:


A gigantic golden column of energy erupts with Mami's pull, the force of it enough to force the entire cannon back with recoil on its track, the size of it enough to split the sky.

This time...

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Finale on Fate Testarossa.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Running as fast as he can, Lanelot is barely able to keep ahead of the orbs of death raining down on the bridge. Most of these people can fly, (Okay. Nanoha can fly) but he can't. He's just fast. He leaps over a falling support structure. Slides under a flying chunk of concrete the size of a Gernam Volkswagon, and then dives to the side to avoid the shrapnel form an explosion. He hits the concrete and slides, leaving a trail of crimson from the bleeding shoulder wound before he slams into a (somehow) still standing support beam. He looks up at Fate(s) and grits his teeth. "Okay kid. Onni-san Lancelot is putting you in time out!" He hollars up at Fate.

He pushes himself to his feet and begins to draw all the power he can into him. There's plenty of it what with all the lightning Fate and Lancelot have been throwing around. "Annn - Iiiii - Maaaaaaa ~" He says, drawing out the word as the power swirls into him.

Lighting begins to crackle along every inch of the young Knight. Begining at his hands and swirling up around him. Tendrils while form his body to score the concrete around him, and spark in flashes of light up that support beam he stands hear. When he opens his eyes and locks them on the Fate(s) firing down at them all his eyes are literally dripping lightning in a more conrolled version than what happened to Fate.

As the motes of lighting fall form his eyes, and whip about him the difference between what happened to Fate and what Lancelot is doing becomes apparent. Fate had sought to control the storm, to conquer it and be the many bolts of lighting dancing around in the swirling tempest of a hurricane. Lancelot simply WAS the storm. He lifts Arondight and brings the blazing weapon, a beacon of lightning blazing blinding white light into the night to his face so that his eyes are looking just past either side of the blade.

Then he sudenly thrusts forward with a loud cry of; "TEMPESTAS!!!"

All of that lighting suddenly and sxplosively bursts from Lancelot through Arondight into a veritible storm that makes the night look like day. Thousands of lightning bolts swirl around and are accompanied by a symphony of booming thunderclaps and crackling energy until they begin to die out. Lancelot stands there panting, blood dripping down the right side of his body in little soft patters as they fall to the concrete he stands on. "That's how you lightning Sparks."

COMBAT: FINISHER! Lancelot has used Anima Tempestas on Fate Testarossa.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven's tackle makes contact for a split second, and then whatever was there is gona, causing him to stumble forward and struggle to maintain footing. And yet, he heard the voices speak. "No, we can't udnerstand as long asd you don't tell us! And even after that we might still not. But I would like to try to!" the boy implores the Fates.

She-- they-- have other plans.

Together, they ready a catastrophic level attack, rising and attacking as one. THe bridge bears her fury. Those upon it are forced to defend themselves ar go with it. Steven isn't nearly fast enough to flee from it, so he is forced to bubble against it. The spherical shield takes the brunt of it, though a particularly effective hit causes the bubble to pop, throwing the boy every which way among a series of crashes.

Beyond the area where the bridge collapses, thankfully, though the boy has to contend with one last blast as it comes in. Already beaten and bruised from being slung around like a piece of debris in a tornado, The boy brings a shield up to block a final orb recieving a nasty shock, but in turn dealing in to his plan.

FOr the shield surface ebbs and ripples slightly, just before impact, and on connect, peals out a disorienting, mesmerising sound. To some it sounds pretty, to others it nearly vibrates them apart as they hear it.

THe small child summarily crashes onto the bridge quite unfashionably after his little aerial stunt, and just sorta lays there for a moment, hoping it was all over.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Reverb Shield on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 9 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Reverb Shield, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Fate Testarossa's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stun applied to Fate Testarossa!
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Another lesson from her braid-sister comes to mind when Homura sees the shock on the Fate-clone's face: 'Appearing unexpectedly's good, too.' She squeezes Mami's hand at the same moment Mami squeezes hers, then she lets go and wobbles in place a bit. Her back burns. "Nnnnh..." The gem embedded on the back of her hand glows, then recedes again, a little duller than before; after a wince, Homura stands up straighter.

A storm of girls named Fate rages around them all, and she squints against the flickering brilliance -- their conjurings light up her glasses lenses in yellow. "What is she... Tomoe-san, that's so much magic. M-maybe we should--"

No time for maybes, not any more. The words 'Genocide... shift' catalyze Homura with mortal fear. Animal instinct and muscle memory combine. Her hand is on her shield even as the Fates cry 'FIRE!' and the world erupts in lightning around her--

--the time stop isn't quiet because Homura Akemi is SHRIEKING and falling to the ground like she got zapped. It takes her a few moments to realize she was not, in fact, zapped, and slowly she stops and gets up and looks around. Then she picks her way through frozen arcs of electricity and gets a distance, unstops time--

--SCREAMS EVEN MORE as she watches the bridge get blown up from atop a nearby skyscraper, stops time again--

--and gets back down there, running in greyscale, biting her lip until it bleeds. She heals that before she reaches for her shield again and--

--The smoke and dust settle, and one of the Fates proclaims it to be over.

Without any fanfare but the utter startling nature of the action, Homura Akemi appears from out of nowhere atop one broken span, gasping for breath, hands on her knees -- but utterly and impossibly untouched. Between wheezes she spins around, crying, "Tomoe-san...! Minagi-san! Anyone..." Seeing Mami emerge from beneath the bridge, irrepressible and dust-enshrined and beautiful, puts life back into fear-blanched cheeks.

She nods to her senpai's words, facing some of the nearer Fates. "Uh-huh! Tomoe-san is, um... she's right! On everything she said!" One more time, Homura thinks, trying not to blush off the face of the planet after fumbling through that attempt. When she disappears into the time stop, it's a definite relief for the embarrassed girl.

Standing in a greyscale photocopy of a frozen battlefield, she pulls a dull metal cylinder from her shield and inhales sharply. Homura takes aim at one of the frozen Fates. Her thumb presses a red button; her skinny arm winds, and the explosive arcs, flashing, beeping, then freezing midair.

Homura pulls out and throws another. And another.

"I'm... I'm sorry," she whispers where no one can hear. Then she reaches for her shield again, and time resumes--

She reappears on the broken bridge, and three red fire-flowers bloom, tinged black with smoke, in the faces of three Fate-clones. Homura winces, a full-body cringe, but this time she doesn't squeeze her eyes shut -- she makes herself watch, and an entirely involuntary whimper escapes her. Then she looks around for her senpai.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Homura Akemi has used Time Bomb on Fate Testarossa.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

When she's finished, she'll go home...


... is it more or less sad, when she hasn't stopped to make any friendships along the way?

It's a philosophical question Mikoto doesn't have time to address, because Miroku's rage is something poorly-contained, and she has to be just as concerned about those cables as Fate is. Mikoto springs up to avoid them, leaping from point to point on the beleagured bridge.

It means there are precious seconds which pass, between the assurance and her retort.

"What happens then?!"

What lies after...

For some reason, it's a question which seems more loaded than it ought to be, more personal than a simple attempt to claw through the armor of Fate's devotion.

And by the time she manages to ask the question, she is looking up, up, up, and all the Fates are in alignment, and Mikoto has a terrible sensation of dread. Her eyes narrow to pin-pricks as she struggles to comprehend the curtain of light which surrounds them.

Ah, she thinks.

She's trying harder.

And then she does not think anything at all because she is in the middle of the bridge and she is moving, moving, moving; it is instinct and the pain is a secondary process. She leaps away from one of those electricial meteors only to find the ground itself crumpling beneath her from the force of its impact, and when she springs from steel to concrete as the foundation is revealed and ruined there are choices she must make in split-seconds between hitting magic, hitting steel cords which lash as if trimming a lawn made of girls, hitting beams which tumble down.

There are no good choices. She makes them regardless.

She does not realise she cries out. She is too focused to filter her pain.

And then in those seconds there is a choice which costs too much to make; a steel strut crashing down past crumbling ground to sea, and the cords which twist around it like a thousand stinging tentacles, a maze of pain. Mikoto leaps and leaps too late, and they lash at her and send her rolling; she grasps at the metal which supports the cracked concrete, where the bridge has finally consented to stabilise, and is forced to spend agonisingly slow moments pulling herself up. She wrenches herself onto solid ground, and then a ball of electricity lances into her.

Genocide is a good word for it.

Her mind hums and her vision darkens and for a moment she thinks unconsciousness will claim her, but just as she recognises the feeling, thinks it might be a reprieve, she knows she cannot. Tensing, she scrunches her face, grits her teeth, shakes her head, and forces her eyes open.

By some measure of mercy, she is not drowning, though there are craters where the photons crashed down, and she finds herself in the centre of one. The ground is cracked. Miroku, grasped in stubborn hand, is not.

Her vision swims, and for a moment she is still against the ground, and perhaps she is finished. She hears Homura's voice. She is afraid. Oh, Homura. This is what a battle is like. It is brutal and awful and sometimes no friends are made at all.

Slowly - slowly - she drags her limbs in. With trembling muscles, she forces her hand underneath her again. Slowly, slowly, she rises, planting her blade and using it to force herself up.

"... it's not..."

Her voice sounds strange on her lips, as if she's hearing it from far away. The electricity, perhaps.

"... over."

She raises her chin, focuses on the Fates. There, near one of the supports which still lift tensile cords from one edge of the shore.

"... good try."

Step over staggering step, she moves forward.

"... my turn..."

It's a complicated thing, trying to think. It's the least complicated thing in the world to spring upwards, to grasp one of those tensile cords and swing herself up, to find her feet beneath it and leap from one to the other to meet the hovering Fate. To move faster and faster until she leaps into open air, wrenching her blade up and overhead with a bestial scream which communicates nothing but battle-rage.

It's complicated.

That edge slams down until the very last moment...

... when she turns it aside to catch Fate with the broad side instead.

It's almost a pointless effort, because she has already committed her strength to the arc.


COMBAT: FINISHER! Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Death on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to brace Lancelot's Finisher, Anima Tempestas, taking 149 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to brace Mami Tomoe's Finisher, Tiro Finale, taking 170 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa braces 66 Fatigue damage from Homura Akemi's Finisher, Time Bomb, taking 44 Fatigue damage!  Fate
Testarossa's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa fails to brace Mikoto Minagi's Finisher, Obsidian Blade: Death, taking 244 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Fate Testarossa is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (4)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Starlight Breaker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa816Y8c2iw

"... No." One of the Fate's speaks as she hears someone speak from the cloud of destruction she'd wrought. Perhaps she's answering Mami Tomoe.

Or perhaps it's because a bright pink star has just appeared in the sky.

"JUST..." There's a note of desperation in the child's shout, as if her composure has broken at the sight of it, and at Mami's declaration that it's never over so long as someone lives.


There's something almost childish about that. The desperation to be victorious at all costs, that now, the first time it feels uncertain that she won't - that she tries to demand the others lose for her sake.

Like they will all recognize her reasons for needing to win are greater than theirs.

All ten Fate Testarossa's line up in mid-air, forming their own phalanx.


Runic circles appear in all directions, trying to cover her from all sides. The desperation never more marked than when the remarkably aggressive fighter goes on all out defense in a single spot, trying to survive the onslaught.

There is Tiro Finale though. A cannon, a gigantic column smashing apart her shields on one side, the eruption seeming to consume two of the Fates within.

There is Anima Tempestas. A lightning burst smashes against one shield- then two, then three, rippling through three other Fates.

Steven's aerial stunt sends a ripple through one of the runic circles, and several more start to vibrate, smashing apart.

And then Fate blinks, and there are suddenly three bombs right before her eyes. Three Fate Testarossa's flicker out of the ranks, and each tries to toss the bomb away like a hot potato.

They're still caught in the explosion anyhow.

Yet it never feels like the Fate Testarossa's actually cease to exist. All along - there was only one of her. It's more like she's slowing down. Right before their eyes, like they're whiddling away her ability to move this quickly.

You can see one Fate Testarossa being smashed through one of her runic circles that shatters through glass, even though she was nowhere near the explosion.

"You don't understand! If her wish isn't granted then-"

Then Mikoto leaps at her, and one of the Fate's holds up Bardiche, the girl cleaves through his haft almost effortlessly despite it being the blunt end. Smashing through her own personal protective shields. And sending her careening down towards the ruined bridge like a small meteor. There's something strange about that though.

Because she certainly impacted. The remaining Fate in mid-air tries to shake off the blow. Whispering pathetically.

"-nothing will change."

In the end, Starlight Breaker bears down on the girl, and she has no defenses left.

And it is in that light that she feels...

...a certain sense of deja vu. Of familiarity. It bears down on her, and that feels familiar too.

It blasts straight through her like a collapsing Supernova, and Fate Testarossa sparks like its light is purging whatever energy of the spell Precia cast upon her.

BGM Change: Chrono Trigger - Sad Memory - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KntnrMLDLA

When it's done, she crumples, and Nanoha swoops down to catch her before she falls. "Feito... please..."

Fate's arm shoves her away, as she hovers out of her arms in a listing path towards the Jewel Seeds, barrier jacket in tatters, Bardiche now a cracked ruin of a device in two halves held within both her hands. "It doesn't matter..."

The child looks away, as if haunted by something. "... it... doesn't... matter..." She repeats, like something she's realized has made that phrase even more dire.

The same voice as earlier appears from the clouds which are swirling with a violet intensity. "Such a disappointment. Yet that's how it's always been with you. Right from the very start."

Fate hovers in mid-air, looking upwards, even from afar one can see her trembling, "Mother please-"

"I have no further use for you. Begone from my sight."

And as if the world itself obeyed the idea of wiping Fate Testarossa's existence from the world... a colossal bolt of lightning that's crackles so brightly that it renders twilight-daylight for a moment rips through the child and the many Jewel Seeds in mid-air.

It dwarfs even Nanoha's first use of Starlight Breaker as it connects the sky and the ocean, with the child and Jewel Seeds caught between. Blinding in intensity.

Vision clears and Fate Testarossa is...


Nanoha Takamachi erupts out of the ocean a few moments later, trailing water droplets, holding the girl's tortured form, eyes closed, head lolled against the other girl's chest unconsciously.


Precia Testarossa coughs up blood, then holds back her head, to see all the Jewel Seeds hovering there. "It's done... after so long..."

Enraptured by the sight, she begins to laugh so terribly that one would swear she's gone mad, standing up and spreading her arms wide. "WE SHALL BE TOGETHER IN AL-HAZARD!"