2019-03-09 - TIMELINE 3: The Battle of Ohtori, Part Two

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TIMELINE 3: The Battle of Ohtori, Part Two

In the highest room of the tallest tower, a PRINcESS waits...


Miyu Greer, Alyssa Searrs, Fuu Hououji, Steven Universe, Kyouko Sakura, Takeo Akamizu, Eri Shimanouchi, Georgia Jenks, Mikoto Minagi, Mami Tomoe, Nori Ankou, Homura Akemi, Kasagami Araki


Ohtori Academy, Chairman's Tower

OOC - IC Date:

3/9/2019 - 2014-09-16

<Pose Tracker> Miyu Greer [None] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Lilium - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPVq30bPq6I

"I feel sick to my stomach," Yukino had said. It was a lie then. It is true now.

She had approached Miyu, supported by Miki Kaoru, feigning abdominal pain. The only symptom she truly had was nervous sweat. Miyu had just stared at her, her eyes shifting to Yukino's stomach, as if she could see through it. Who knows? Maybe she could.

"I was w-wondering," Yukino persisted, "if you could call for a nurse..."

Miyu was staring at her eyes now, which seemed better at first. But no. Yukino was a smart girl. Not many would have figured out what was actually happening so quickly.

Miyu was staring at her glasses. At their reflection

"Look out!" Yukino shouted over Miyu's shoulder to Juri, Touga, and Saonji. Miyu's arm shot up and split open with the untelegraphed violence of a scorpion, and Yukino felt herself shoved. She ended up on the ground under the weight of Miki Kaoru. His chest was singed and smoking. He was breathing, but did not answer when she called his name.

The screams of council members from other schools goaded her panic. Crawling on her knees, Yukino felt her bent glasses drop off her face, and she couldn't get them back on. Touga and Saionji descended on Miyu together, but their coordinated assault was battered apart by thrashing, inhuman strikes of robot limbs, and soon the two Ohtori elite were being beaten pitilessly, their only priority to try and soften the blows. Yukino just grabbed her glasses in her fist and scrambled towards the elevator furthest from the action.

Juri rushed past with a challenging shout, lion curls trailing. As Yukino neared the elevator grating, she heard the awful sound of human flesh defying--and then failing to defy--hard, merciless metal. As she put a hand to the grating, Yukino yelped to the sound of Juri's body hitting the other elevator door. Sliding down, the Treasurer's pummeled form slouched against the door, her head lolling down like a doll's.

The haste went out of Yukino. Her flight was clearly over. Rolling over, she leaned against the other elevator's door, and tried to tame her shuddering hand enough to fit her glasses to her nose. When the cracked lenses resolved the blur, Miyu stood in profile to Yukino, halfway across the vast platform, an ornate railing separating white marble from blue sky. Miyu was looking right at her.

The other students had crowded away as best they could, clearing towards the edges of the platform. Some were crying, some were trying to hush those who were crying. Touga and Saionji, broad-shouldered both, rested on the ground to either side of Miyu, like her slumbering cherubim. With a jerk of her arm, Miyu returned her arm to its human form, but this gave Yukino no comfort, so long as those red eyes were trained upon her like a sniper's scope.

Now she feels sick to her stomach.

"They still do not understand, ojou-sama," Miyu said. The chattering of machineguns, the backblast of tank-fire, and even the thunder-like boom of ship cannons are all distant up here, but they are omnipresent as well. "Even these ones."

"Please," Yukino sobbed.

"Did you think this was your opportunity?" Miyu asked. "There is more power in one hair upon my mistress's head than in the entire army beneath us. You should be ashamed to insult her so."

"I'm sorry," Yukino pled wetly. Miyu stared at her in silence, for so long that Yukino began to hope, desperately, that this had gotten through to her, or at least that she was letting it go.

"Insufficiently," Miyu decided. And her arm lifted, her hand splitting apart.

The elevator grating rattled behind Yukino. Miyu and Yukino both froze, one out of curiosity, the other out of desperate hope. A soft whirr traversed the platform amidst near-silence. And then the car lifted past Yukino, and behind her? A brace of magical girls.

Sidestepping to Alyssa, Miyu knelt by her. "Ojou-sama," she greeted softly.

"Please!" Yukino cries, scrambling up as the elevator door slid open. "Help us!" Juri, on her side, just fell back limply into the elevator. Thunder rolls on the ocean as a battleship rocks under the force of its own guns.

"Please do not fear, ojou-sama," Miyu says calmly. "They think they here to perform, but I will show them." Her face is soft as she looks at the little golden angel adoringly. "They are merely your audience."

<Pose Tracker> Alyssa Searrs [None] has posed.

Juri may be doll-like, but Alyssa is the doll, tiny and perfect and pristine in this shattered sanctuary. She puts her little hand in Miyu's, and, even with her guardian kneeling, has to lean onto her tiptoes, just a little, to whisper in her ear.

Then to kiss her cheek.

"I am not afraid," she says gravely, as she pulls away.

Drawing herself to her full height of not yet four feet, she looks upon the newly arrived force of magical girls.

"I am here to guarantee that the power of the HiME Star falls into the right hands -- good hands, strong hands, hands guided by civilization instead of by the whim of any individual's heart. Though you scorn me for my choice to invade the school in order to seize this power, know that we have killed no one -- yet. And there are so many lives we are here to save... with that power, we could end hunger. Bring an unprecedented era of prosperty to the entire world."

The tips of her broad mane of blond hair are beginning to shimmer with golden light. Everyone knows what that means, everyone recognizes it from that fateful night at the sports day ending ball,

"I will not fail," she promises them all, simple and to the point.

Then she says something even simpler and even more pointed. It is not a threat but action upon prior threats. It is an instruction. An invocation.


And yet, her voice can't help be infected with the tiniest bit of gentleness -- of fondness -- whenever she says that name.

HER name.

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

As eventful as it was to get this far, the Magic Knight of Wind was expecting worse to await at the top of the tower. After all, Alyssa hadn't shown herself anywhere else - and presumably the little princess would be as far from harm as any of her allies could keep her.

Seeing Miyu right next to Alyssa, once the elevator arrives, only confirms the Wind Knight's expectations. Not that she wants to kill Alyssa - more than that, she's not sure she could go through with doing so herself if she had to - but she's utterly certain that any attempt to harm a literal hair on Alyssa's head would be cut short by Miyu. Similarly, even as she takes in the injuries among the Student Councils' members, the Wind Knight doubts vigorously that she would be allowed to take any time at all to heal *them*.

Instead, she moves to try and help Yukino to her feet - but not taking her eyes off the most deadly of Searrs' operatives, either the little blonde girl or the silver-haired android, for even a fraction of a second.

"Alyssa-san," she says courteously, bowing her head fractionally in polite respect (but not taking her eyes off either Alyssa or Miyu). "I'll concede that you surely believe you are in the right, and that these 'strong hands' of which you speak are best suited to guide humanity's future. But the rest of us know nothing of those hands, save the actions that have been taken and the hurts they've inflicted. Sugiura-sensei reappeared briefly, only to vanish. This very island, violently severed from the mainland, no contact allowed ... even prisoners of war are allowed to send word home to their families, are they not? And the false accusations against Tokiha-san and the others, calling them 'terrorists' ... No, some things you couldn't say openly. But you didn't have to, either."

The Magic Knight of Wind rises back to her feet. "I hope you'll understand if we're reticent to trust your word, after everything that's already happened since the bridge was destroyed - or before that."

COMBAT: Kyouko Sakura transforms into Puella Magi Kyouko!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The elevator climbs, but is not gentle. It bore the ravaging of an intense but brief fight. Metal safeties are missing on both sides, jagged pieces hanging to and fro, clanging on the way up. A hole cleanly cut through the roof. Yet it ascends still. A shield hits the floor and winks out in pink sparkles.

Steven leans against one of the two walls remaining, gripping his shoulder. His hand stained red. A vicious laceration curves across the front of a collarbone and the outer edge of a bicep. Not too deep, but incredibly painful, as flensing opponents make for enjoyable cries of pain to some. "Is it... bad?" he asks Fuu, the Wind Knight of which he shared this battle. "I dont have any more bandages left..."

He was pockmarked with them already from battles and damages sicne the start of this debacle. And more wounds were to be had this day, for certain. But he had to remain strong for all his friends. The boy takes a moment to catch his breath and gird himself for their destination.

Calls can be heard as it nears the top. "Something's already happening...!" he comments, nearing the side in which to exit.

Three floors left.

"Whatever happens," he comments toward the Wind Knight.

Two floors left'

"We can pull this off if we work together."

One floor left.

"And thanks for everything."


A jarring creaking sound comes from the elevator as it attempts to open a grate that is mostly no longer present. A fight has broken out already, and civilians lay on the outskirts. A scan shows some have fallen already. The girl from the broadcast is on one side, with a young lady that... has an arm split open (???) in front of her. That same person dealt that amazing looking being a singular, fatal blow. She was a tough customer.

Steven being Steven, leaps from the rickety conveyor toward Yukino, coming to her aid at her call. "We're here!" he says, summoning another shield. "Are you okay?" he asks, though she seems quite shaken, so answers probably lead to no. "You won't get away with this!" Through the pain and aches he must struggle through this day. A lip is bitten to make for a distracting source of feeling other than his arm. It would have to last. "There's other ways to do this! Think of all the lives you are playing with! You may have powers, but this is no way to use them!"

<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfQMM_cGW9I

The single headlight of a pearl white vespa scooter blinks off, its softly whirring whine quieting away. The vehicle bobs once as a small yet heavy black motorcycle helmet, visor down, is deposited onto one of the handles. It bobs again as Kyouko Sakura dismounts from the swooping red seat, shaking out her close cropped ponytail, all of her hair gathered taut behind her. She stares into the forests before her through small circular red sunglasses leaning along her nose. Her skater sneakers are oxblood, her high waisted jeans a spotless white against a longsleeved black turtleneck framed by a long red sleeveless duster, running a little past her knees. Her hands are encased in fingerless black gloves.

She can't see much through the benighted thickets, but she can see the smoke rising against the stars, and hear and smell much. Sighing to herself, she reaches into her duster pocket, pulling out a slender pocky box. Tapping the bottom like a pack of cigarettes, she pulls a single stick loose from its sleeve and clenches it between her teeth. Hands in her pockets, she ambles forward, towards perhaps the most prominent of landmarks visible from the perimeter: the Chairman's Tower. As she vanishes into the trees, a flash of red light announces her presence to whatever wildlife have not yet fled.

Pink Moon Stick (talk)

What a crowded elevator...peering around at all the girls assembled, she stands in her raiment now, her hair bundled loose, glasses gone, looking quite different than when she had arrived save the pocky still between her teeth. Leaning against her spear, she grins a little loosely, a little crookedly, the confection bobbing down, but remaining suspended.

"...you all here for the concert too, huh? Lotta backstage passes for an underground act."

As the door opens, and Juri's limp form falls in, Kyouko wordlessly stares down at the orange haired fencer, taking in the sight for a moment, before stepping over her body to make way outside. Rather than proceeding forward as she sets foot upon the grand dais, she sidesteps next to the doorframe, preferring to remain around the edges of the apple before plunging to the core.

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


Lanccelot was bleeding.

Despite the bandages, and the poor stitching he had done himself, the fighting he has had to do just to survive had seen the stitches popped open. His face had more than one bandage adhered to hit from the cuts he had gains form both obsidian shards and his armor's pouldron shattering, and those were tinged with red. However, at least for now he had relaxing music to listen to. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBlFHuCzPgY )

He looks over to the others in the Elevator. "I bet we'll have a few guards. Nothing to worry about." He hums along with the music as it goes upward.

Then the door opens and Juri slumps in.


Lancelot blinks and then looks up to notice Alyssa nd Miyu. He holds Arondight in an en guarge position and steps out of the elevator, deftly making sure he doesn't accidently trip on Juri. He tries, and fails, not to gulp when he sees Alyssa's hair begin to shimmer with golden light, and then looks to Miyu. "Listen Greer," Lancelot says to his classmate, "You can't beat us all. We're not an unarmed student council members." He looks to Alyssa and frowns slightly. "Just ... Put an end to this Alyssa-chan. We don't HAVE to fight. We don't want to hurt you or Miyu-san."

Despite his words pleading for peace, he steps to try and come at Miyu at an angle. To force her to spread her defenses.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Gripping the lengths of her coiled whip, the girl did not know how she was going to feel upon seeing Alyssa SEARRS and Miyu Greer. Centuries of growth - death - decay - rebirth. Undone in one singular act, all to serve as a warning. She wonders if she told other people how she was still thinking of that, if they'd think she had her priorities backwards.

Below an army. Below a school of huddled children - held within the sights of the terrible Sword of Damocles overhead.

And yet she was thinking of a forest. That's perhaps putting it too simply though. That's not all she was thinking about of course. She was thinking of Mikoto and Mai - and what would happen to them if they lost. She was thinking of Madoka... whose blood had tested positive.

Of Mami and Sayaka in the other elevator - and Homura Akemi who had picked up her first gun scant few days ago.

Of... Eri gets snapped out of her reverie just to gawk at the girl in red. Like she hadn't noticed Kyouko Sakura was here. "How did you get on the island!?" Then double taking as if her comment was rocking her back on her heels. She says quietly to herself as she looks her over, "So casual..." So casual it was both scary and cool... a cool kind of scary. It did make her feel a touch more secure though - to know she was there. In a battle.

Then the elevator door opens. And there's the bright and brilliant fencing Captain of the school. Slumped over backwards into the elevator and beyond her is Miyu Greer - and Alyssa SEARRS. A Golden Angel standing up before them - full of resolve.

And Eri Shimanouchi realizes what she should have been thinking all along. Her breath hitches, and it's like she's back in that labyrinth again seeing that girl standing up against her. Half of her translucency dirty and blotted away. A child.

The girl's breath hitches as she stands stunned for a moment, only walking out after the other girls. There's something ephemeral about the feeling across her skin - like she was walking out of body. A sensation that she could not describe. "Was it really your choice?" Eri says quietly. "Was it really?"

As if she cannot believe a child of ten can make such decisions, while a child of eleven can.

Like the difference of a single year could be so weighty.

As her mind flashes to a Mikoto Minagi - grieving over Midori Sugiura. "Is it really true that noone has died? Yet... you say..."


Yet. As if certain things did not count. It rings so loudly in her ears.

"... you've already proven you're not someone I can trust to decide on what is sacrificed... and what lives to see your Golden Age."

There's a certain melancholy in what she states - like she thinks that conflict with this ten year old girl and her Guardian is inevitable - before she leans over to Homura - whispering. "Don't take any risks. If she's as powerful as Mikoto says..." She trails off, without saying it. 'Then your magic may be our only hope of winning this.'

<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Since the meeting in the cave, Georgia has been quiet. Which is unusual for her by far. Though, her silence has a reason, of course. She's going over the last few hours of turmoil, playing it over and over like a personal movie streaming in her conciousness. That person they fought in the burning forest was so strong. In the end they'd retreated, and thus had lived to fight another day as the saying goes.

Now, she's crowded in an elevator that is ascending to the top. She remains silent, not even chancing a look at the others present. Eventually, the car reaches its destination, and the doors slide open to reveal the scene.

Juri, unconcious form falling back into the elevator now that the doors have slid open.

Two males on the floor -- unconcious, not dead, she hopes.

When she steps out of the elevator she turns to see Yukino, pleading with them for help frantically, likely wanting to be saved from...

Them. Georgia's gaze rests on Miyu and Alyssa. Yes, the one's at the head of the serpent that is the Searrs Foundation Invasion Force. The chrome escrima sticks -- her element -- are gripped tightly in her hands, and for a split second she considers trying to rush them both.

Though, Fuu's words give her pause. Ah, yes, words. Those have to be had. Again, Georgia refrains from saying anything, instead staring at the little girl and her murderous bodyguard cooly.

When this whole situation breaks down and the fighting begins, she'll be ready.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> III - Return to Zero https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_lMcYcRCPk

'... And you can't fight the way things are.'


'It was always going to end up this way you know?'

"... please..."

'It always does.'

"... stop."

But Mikoto is the one who will not stop. Even as Kozue puts her hands up she is watching, shifting, as if she is waiting for the right moment to strike. A tremble to her subtle movements, to her murmured words - as if she is holding up a great weight.

Miroku is so, so heavy.

A hand lifts from its hilt to reach out, finally, a useless plaintive cry as Kozue disappears. As the horror of losing her again dawns on her face, she sinks to her knees, sword held flat beside her. She told Mai she would take care of it - and how many things did she mean with those words?

Certainly at least one would need another pronoun, were she not so economical.

She wanted to take care of Kozue - as a friend, not an enemy.

"Useless," Mikoto mumbles, eyes damp and hooded as she stares at the nothing past that hole, and there is a surrender to the words, and perhaps she should never have tried. She is not like them. She cannot cross the gulf of understanding with her words, and she knows what Kozue has become, and she knows the cost. It is a bitter mirror.

Even so, Kozue cared about her. She defended her when she didn't need to. She must not have been lying - when she said she was sorry. Kozue has never lied to her.

She wanted to...

Ding, goes the elevator, and Mikoto is cast in silhouette: kneeling to the highest power, head bowed, shoulders forward, one hand palm-up against the smooth floor, the other loosely curled around red silk.

She does not care about the Student Council. She cared about Kozue.

Distantly, she smells blood.

Yukino's voice.

Here the theory is tested.

Yukino... is afraid, Mikoto realises, in pieces. Yukino is pleading. It doesn't seem fair, she thinks. Yukino has always been a quiet and kind girl, even if she only knows her through Mai. Across a vast gulf Mikoto hears her, and she says the word, too. When Mikoto said it, she was ignored. It would be a bitter mirror in fact - if Yukino found the same deaf ears. Certainly, there is no wounded party in front of their entryway to look into her eyes, in that moment.

Perhaps Mami is the only one at good angle... to see the way despair rings in her eyes like the clear peal of bells on a wedding day - or a funeral.

But Mikoto said she would take care of it, she remembers, eyes sliding off of her to track the Golden Angel's presence. And there's something else... she can still do. There's someone else she can still take care of - as an enemy, not a friend.

She has to take responsibility.

... she has to make them regret it.

"Yu..." Mikoto's voice is worn and hollowed, as her palm turns down to the cold ground, as the muscles of her legs tense with her rising. It is slow; it sways. "... kino." Her grasp tightens.

"... I'm here."

There is a distance to the words, and she steps to the threshold as Alyssa makes her claims. "No." Mikoto draws a breath through open lips, looks through lid-narrowed eyes at this girl who one day will be taller than she is. Not today. "Alyssa's saved... no one." Perhaps it is a wide condemnation; her focus is narrow.

"... prosperity?" a metronome-tick before the mora, and the first hint of an expression on her dull face is the curl of her upper lip to show teeth. A breath hisses out between them, tongue clicking at their back. "World's not worth..."

Mikoto takes a step out, and she is wet and scoured by water-pressure but she is whole.

"... hurting everyone I love."

And there's a particular prosody to the way she speaks, beats of delay which speak to something numbed at the edges, as if she is still adjusting to the reality of the situation

(the robot)

in front of her. She is loading in motion.

It is an insurmountable summit, and no sun escapes it. She is being asked to destroy something which slays titans - in a moment. In the back of her mind she is running through her options; they winnow.

Everything slowly coming down to one... single... truth.

And she is not looking at Miyu.

She is looking at Alyssa.

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Caught by Sayaka's strong arm, Mami Tomoe sags against her for the moment, battered to the point that she would not entirely be able to stand on her own. The battle in this elevator was both short and brutal, with Kozue and her Child on the offensive. She breathes heavily, at first, as she becomes certain that both are gone. Her knees still hang above the ground, though her feet do fall.

"It's all right," she murmurs to Sayaka. "I just need a moment."

The elevator has gone ding, cheerful ding. But no one stands in front of their door. Whirrrrr. Yukino scrambles up; the scene at hand is... Daunting, to say the least. But Mami cannot only listen as the doors open--with her good arm, she pulls a small, shining object, sharp enough to nearly prick her finger with its dull, gray metal. It shines black as she brings it close--

It grows darker still, as Mami breathes in, and in an instant she is suffused with golden light.

When it passes, she is still badly wounded; one arm still hangs limp, useless at her side, and her beauitful raiments are still marred with the signs of battle. But...

Her feet touch the ground, and she stands up once again, stepping out of the elevator. She glances to the side--looks to Kyouko once, and inclines her head--and then looks to Miyu and Alyssa both.

"I won't say that I doubt your resolve," Mami says, and her tone manages to be calm and graceful in a way that is perhaps jarring when considering the state of the elevator from which she steps. "I believe you, when you say that you could do good with that power."

"...But," Mami continues, looking to Miyu, "Strength doesn't mean goodness. The hands you mention may well be mighty, and they may well be certain."

"But killing isn't the only sin." Mami looks to Eri, then--hears her words. And looks forward again. "Even if you say you haven't killed anyone--you've terrified three schools' worth of people, to say nothing of what is outside here. You've inflicted brutality upon them, and inflicted devastation, ruin on this place--destroyed a part of something that we can't get back, to make your point."

"We do not welcome conquerors who come with high-minded speeches at how good that conquest will be for all of us." Mami thinks of the despair in Mikoto's eyes, in that moment. "...I suppose there isn't anything else to say, is there?"

Mami has seen how fast Miyu is; she judges as best she can, behind her facade of calm, where she must move, how she can compensate for her injury--if Miyu goes for those closer first, then maybe...

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene des Lentilles [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcGfF0aAaI

La Sirene des Lentilles was eased, not so long ago, by Madoka Kaname and the first edible meal - with a vegetable in it, yet - that she had had in ... in how long? She can't remember. She had never really known what hunger was like until recently.

She had not known exactly what fear was like until she went through the line. And yet, a Tuner always goes in, doesn't she? A Tuner is there to make the world better. It was her purpose. The one she chose and married to her destiny. A redemption, perhaps, for old sins of others in her sorority, or perhaps simply the way in which she, like so many before her, rose to the challenge of evil.

She had tried, in the trip up, to think of what to say to who they will find up there. Alyssa Searrs? That robot? Something else? She had many plans, a half-dozen drafted sentences. It would all be fine because she had a plan, she had her lines to read. She only had to say them and to take her role and everything would certainly turn out fine.

Then the elevator door open and JURI ARISUGAWA'S CORPSE FLOPS IN!

In a stunning lightning-shock moment la Sirene feels her heart twist and her stomach drop even if a small motion of the stunned upperclasswoman suggests continued life clearly enough that her vision, fish-eye-lensing on that icon of style and campus life, detects it. Or imagines it. It could all be fake, la Sirene thinks in a tiny glassbell in the back of her head. "Arisugawa," she says in a tiny voice.

She hyperventilates for a moment.

Then she stops.

Her hands tighten. The prism wrapped in firm strapping on her left bicep twinkles. Her eyes echo it.

La Sirene des Lentilles stomps out of the elevator and looks up at Alyssa. Her eyes shimmer slightly, with tears and a hint of color, and she speaks through a choke that rises, in her throat, "Civilization--??"

La Sirene's left hand sweeps out, punctuated by naval gunfire. "Is that -- is this -- is this civilization--?! You say you have not killed anyone - yet - but you may have murdered this beautiful school! You've brought terror and despair to everyone... even now I don't know what to do - but is this the face of what you call civilization!? Invasion, occupation, bombardment!? Is this what will bring your dream to life?!"

Her hands come up to half-palm her own face, eyes wide and staring. "Why? Why!? Why!?! Why!?!? WHY!?!" la Sirene declaims, approaching shrieking in intensity towards the end.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Riding with the others in the elevator, Homura Akemi clenches a hand over her chest. Her other, by her side, she shakes to loosen up her wrist and express further nerves. In truth she half expects to hear a clanking of metal with the motion, because the dainty shield on that arm is stuffed full of stolen soldiers' guns. She's become quite the opportunistic scavenger during Southern Cross's occupation, having made firm acquaintance with guns and thievery both.

"Whatever it takes," she whispers to herself. To save Madoka.

Even if it takes her away from her best friend right after Homura found out where she was. The days of cowering and sneaking about, of harrowed and harried searches for food and Grief Seeds and the missing, have made their impression on Homura. None of it got Madoka any safer; it just ate up time, precious time, and the deadline loomed nearer as they scrabbled.

An offense will be her best defense, now. This new and frightening resolution has Homura's fist over her chest. At Kyouko's relaxed comment she sneaks a sidelong look at the fire-maned puella interloper, but she doesn't have any idea how to respond to something like that. It shows on her bespectacled face when Eri responds instead, and Homura just nods.

The elevator doors slide open and admit fear-thick air -- and Juri Arisugawa, leonine and limp.

Homura makes a small sound behind clenched teeth, but she still moves her feet. She steps after the redheaded puella, wincing as this takes her over Juri's prone form but not letting that slow her. She leans to meet Eri, and the other girl can see her swallow, and how Homura keeps her hand close to her shield. "Right," she whispers back. "You be careful too, Shimanouchi-san..."

Even as viscerally terrifying as it is to be in the same room as Miyu Greer, Homura's eyes keep slipping to the increasingly-lambent Alyssa. Miyu is a threat to everyone in this room; Alyssa, though... Be safe, Madoka, she thinks.

She pulls a heavy pistol from her shield, its grey metal thicker and heavier than the wrist which supports it, and focuses on Miyu. Homura's mouth is a thin and frightened white line.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Outside of the President's Tower, the humming of a helicopter's blades fills the air as the Golden Age PMC branded vehicle finds a good hovering altitude above the balcony. With a salute to the pilot, the oni-horned, golden mask wearing Crimson Rook peers down upon her landing area before taking a plunge of several feet.

Boots thud, and the Rook's blade is across her shoulders with one hand as she gets a good eye of the battlefield in a glance: Miyu and Alyssa before the magical girls. One brow twitches under her mask as she spies the fallen forms of Saionji and Touga first, then Juri in the elevator. Her heart beats a little faster, grip on her sword a little tighter. She reminds herself why she's here.

"Don't you all realize that you can't win? She has an army, her servant is insanely strong, and she has allies!" Comes the Crimson Rook, voice cutting as she shakes her head slowly. A glance to everyone, their words filtering in. But her visage finally settles on the screaming form of Sirene. Suddenly, the young woman is simply gone.

She's a flash of movement as she heads for the Siren of Lenses, long blade gripped in one hand as she brings it down overhead hard towards Nori's shoulder. Teeth grit, and her gaze hardens.

"What do you think civilization IS!? Competition, conquering, fighting and annexing from others is what has built every single country around the world! Of course this is what someone with great martial power is going to do in order to bring a dream like her's to fruition!" Comes the Rook's voice forcefully as she lays into the magical girl.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki transforms into Crimson Rose Duelist!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Rose on the Wind on La Sirene des Lentilles.
COMBAT: La Sirene des Lentilles braces 9 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Rose on the Wind, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Kasagami Araki is Psyched!  La Sirene des Lentilles's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Miyu Greer [None] has posed.
<SoundTracker> The Day the Whole World Went Away - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckAxnA39nOM

Closing her eyes, Miyu dips her head gently. She accepts the whispered command, and then the kiss that is its key.



The digital alteration takes place inside her CPU. But her remotely observing "father," Joseph Greer, is soon to observe a much greater performance improvement as a result of that kiss than Restriction 13's cessation would explain. The determination in Miyu's eyes is complete.

She rests on one knee while Alyssa explains to the sheep the wisdom of their shepherds. The beauty of Alyssa's power ripples across marble tiles in yellow light. She wishes, though as an android she was not built to wish, that she could scoop Alyssa up right now. But her name has been invoked, and much of Miyu's purpose is to make that word, from Alyssa's lips, the most powerful two syllables anyone could speak. It is Alyssa who is about to subjugate them now, with that word. Miyu is her instrument.

Rising, Miyu begins walking forward, slowly. She does not bother to alter her facing to compensate for Lancelot moving to flank her. "We do not ask you to trust," she tells Fuu. "We do not ask for alternatives," to Steven, "mercy," to Lancelot, "or welcome," to Mami. "We do not ask for anything at all. The future is coming," Miyu's voice rings out, her vulcanized cannon erupting from her arm with a deadly clatter.

"And the future is stronger than flesh."

The chaingun rips a shrieking trail of exploding stone and crackling marble across the grand entry to the tower, one that rends its way from right to left across the three elevator doors like a lashing whip. A blistering storm of tungsten rounds pounds the wall, powders the floor, and ignites Miyu's face and fluttering hair with chattering yellow flashes. A vase between the elevators shatters as though a bomb had been within. The protruding edges of elevator grating are hammered.

Yukino shrieks, covering her head. The scythe sweeps wide then to encompass Lancelot, then dies off in an instant.

Miyu's knees yank her downward, a motion impossible for flesh and blood. In a flash she's out of the return field of fire, abandoning her position to its counterattacks. Her heels spit orange sparks like dragonfire, and she catapults forward into the main body of magical girls, giving her arm a rapid pump to exchange gun for blade.

"Your numbers bind you," Miyu advises emotionlessly. She's standing directly between Eri and Fuu, and in an instant, she goes off like a bomb filled with blades, her slashes everywhere.

"And your rage," Miyu is suddenly above Mikoto in an aerial lutz, her blade drawn back over her shoulder as she drops spinning. "Betrays you."

A burst of spitting marble blasts across the floor as a solid marble block is gutted in one swipe.

COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Merciless Blade Maria on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Marinette Dupain-Cheng.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Kyouko Sakura.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi decisively counters 24 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Eri
Shimanouchi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi's counterattack, Yamabiko's Answer, partially gets through, doing 24 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!
Stagger applied to Miyu Greer!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to dodge Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 40 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Georgia Jenks covers Mikoto Minagi for Miyu Greer's attack, Merciless Blade Maria, taking it upon herself instead!
<Pose Tracker> Alyssa Searrs [None] has posed.

Miyu speaks for Alyssa, with words and deeds.

And Alyssa...

Alyssa allows her eyelids to drop by half as she continues to -- slowly, very slowly -- summon her own power. The aureate radiance, like the light of the sun itself, is glittering at her fingertips now, and upon her lips, as though she is about to be transformed, in the manner of so many of her magical sisters.

It gathers, and gathers.

She clenches a tiny fist and forces back a whimper behind her lower lip. She is not afraid, but pain is pain and she is very small.

Very small, and very open; she hardly seems aware of the room right now. Something else glimmers behind her long, babyish lashes. Something distant. Something cold.

Something powerful.

"Father," she murmurs, in her next exhalation, without really realizing it. There's a dreamy slowness to her every little motion, her every syllable. "I will not fail you, either..."

COMBAT: Alyssa Searrs has used T-10 on Alyssa Searrs.
COMBAT: Alyssa Searrs accepts Alyssa Searrs's T-10, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Alyssa Searrs is Reinforced by Alyssa Searrs!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 15 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 15 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu
Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe covers Marinette Dupain-Cheng for Miyu Greer's attack, Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking it upon himself
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe fails to dodge Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe counters 8 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe's counterattack, Bubble Shield, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!  
COMBAT: Kyouko Sakura braces 11 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Kyouko Sakura's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Lancelot has about enough time to realize there is a threat as there is in time to blink. The mini-gun on her arm spits forth what is probably 5.56mm rounds at an insane speed and Lancelot is pummeled back against the wall in a shower of sparks and the hot icey feeling of metal ripping into him. His already wounded shoulder screams AGAIN, and so does his arm, his gut, his leg, his mind. All of it flashes through him in an instant and leans against the wall blinking in shock.

It's all happening in slow motion. The minigun traces a pattern toward others and Miyu dances in to attack his friends. He watches it and stares for a very long moment. His shoulder flaring, his leg screaming, his gut ... He doesn't feel his gut. That's ... Worrying. He closes his eyes. He takes a deep breath that fills his lungs with fire.

He opens his eyes and the world, to him resolves in normal speed. He pushes off the wall, leaving a blood smear and grips arondight with both hands, raising it over his head as he charges the CyborgTerminatorMurderbot that is also his Classmate. "MIYU!" He screams as he closes the distance. "LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!"

And then, for what might be the first time in his career as a Magical Knight, lancelot does somethign that Merlin told he could do.

He makes an attack without shouting out the name.

Arondight suddenly erupts in lightning. The tendrils of lightning swirl around the balde and spark as he swings it toward Miyu. Thunder explodes with lightning as he swings the blade and then Lancelot leaps to the side, trying to clear Miyu's counter attack range.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Impact on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Homura Akemi perfectly dodges 27 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Homura Akemi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

When the elevator stopped, the Magic Knight of Wind was empty-handed. When she addressed Alyssa, she kept her sword (and bow, for that matter) in her 'inventory,' inside her glove-jewel, hoping to forestall the likely-inevitable battle.

But when Miyu goes on the rebuttal and attack, the Wind Knight wastes no time in willing her sword to materialize; by the time the gynoid (or *is* Miyu a cyborg?) is in melee range, that long blade has been raised - and she actually manages to fend off some of the onslaught. But only some.

Some of the rest is stopped, or at least slowed and softened, by her armor. Not all of it, though, and the pain jolts her into more active motion - not just her body, but her mind.

She'd hoped the appeal would accomplish *some*thing, but apparently that hope was in vain; all they have is bad odds and, most likely, a time limit. The fact that the way things are going basically *confirms* her distrust of the conspiracy behind Alyssa, Miyu, and their allies isn't really lost on her - but neither can she spend much time thinking about it.

"Winds of Admonishment!!" she calls out, trying to ensnare the deadly gynoid in a whirlwind that she hopes will at least slow Miyu down a *little* bit. That speed and maneuverability are a terrible advantage for the bad guys, and even with the weight of numbers on the magical girls' side, the Wind Knight has her doubts that numbers will make the difference.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer counters 5 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Lightning Impact, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Miyu Greer's counterattack, Armed and Dangerous, partially gets through, doing 7 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!  
COMBAT: Miyu Greer braces 12 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is
Psyched!  Cripple applied to Miyu Greer!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"Why?!" Steven retorts with. "Why can't you just work with everyone to make a better future, instead of trying to take it?" A plea to someone that seems unmoved by everyone here. She is cold, calculating. Protective. What the child behind her wants, she will have it in her grasp. Evident by her next actions.

An arm splays open for all to see with ease, a gun designed to be used by a killer projected for all to see. Devastation in a compact package.

THe scent of discharged fire fills the air as pinpricks of lead fly in a sweeping motion. Steven raises his shield to block, and bullets sing as they riccochet skyward. Her sweeping motion continues as she attempts to pelt others. Seeing Yukino, fightened, has Steven's instincts erupt into control, diving to her side, and erecting a sphere of pink to protect them both, to great strin. "Take cover when I pop it. Be careful!" he firmly suggests toward her.

Whe nthe moment passes, the boy pops the bubble, and the frontal third of the construct flies toward Miyu, used in much the same manner as he did against their previous opponent o nthe elevator. To push, knock aside, destabilize.

"You don't have to go through with this! Stop now while you can! Please!" With this kind of gunfire, the students start to become even more of a liability. In the swirling melee, the boy scampers toward them-- he has to help them!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Repelling Shield on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Georgia Jenks fails to counter Miyu Greer's Merciless Blade Maria, taking 49 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Georgia Jenks's counterattack, Spark Shield, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!  
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene des Lentilles [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8vqAHMZpNE

La Sirene looks up as Kasagami Araki closes the ground and brings down her blade. It bites --

Into light itself --

-- La Sirene could not execute this trick of hers completely in time, but it saves her a deep bloody wound and instead the blade hits the adamantine panes of her Prism, ricocheting to put a deep scratch on her bare arm as la Sirene breathes out in sharp astonishment at the sensation, at the pain.

Her eyes brim over. "So what," she tells Kasagami, voice choked. "Big deal."

"I don't want to compete with anyone except with games," la Sirene says. Her eyes brim up.

"I don't want to conquer anyone at all."

"I don't want to fight with anybody."

"And I don't want any annexes," la Sirene concludes, her chest hitching as she looks up at Kasagami's eyes. "If that's your civilization then I'd rather go live in the kelp. If that's why you've joined a side that has war-magicks and death blade girls, then I would call you a COWARD!"

Her right hand comes up in a fist even as the blades sparkle and begin their lethal machinery-dance to la Sirene's left. She stares at Kasagami as she keeps on rolling, "I don't want to fight any of you -- I'm terrified -- but someone has to, and I suppose that I am nominated! So this is for everyone you'd grind up for cement in your palace!"

She clasps her hands together. "This is for everyone you've frightened and bullied!"

She turns slightly to her left. "And this --"

At this point it is la Sirene's turn to strike.

There is a saying about novices being perilous, not for their skill but because it is impossible to predict them either through technique or logic. Perhaps Kasagami Araki has heard this saying -- but the proof of it comes when la Sirene twists, screaming with her penetrating voice, "IS FOR MIDORI-SENSEI!!"

The hands she clasped together were not in prayer. She had brought them together as if she was gripping an axe-handle and she is throwing every ounce and erg of force she can muster into slamming them both into Kasagami's rib cage -- down low, near the diaphragm.

"If I beat you up hard enough, you will do what I say, is that not the CODE OF CIVILIZATION?" la Sirene says hotly afterwards.

COMBAT: La Sirene des Lentilles has used Captain Georg-Baptiste's Patented Certain Victory Strike on Kasagami Araki.
<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

Kyouko glances to the side, still riding the slow way to the skies, and puts Eri Shimanouchi's name to the question. How did she get here? "Hmm? Oh, a Vespa, and my feet. A little bit of my hands too, I guess. A lotta not taking any crap..just another day in paradise, I suppose. You?" Catching the nod of that mousy girl, that Homura-chan, Kyouko grins. "Try not to get too stiff. It is what it is."

Loping around the outer rim of the grand circle, Kyouko catch's Mami's gaze as it's offered, matching the tilt of recognition to the same extent its given. Seeing her here is no real surprise, but it's nice all the same.

There are a number of combatants newly entered to the stage, and Kyouko wants to be among the lower profile of their number, at least until gear-girl makes her first move. No point fighting sight unseen if she can help it...really, she probably should have just scaled the tower and watched from above, but oh well. Maybe she'll think of that next time androids and armies occupy Southern Cross. Off to the side should be a fine enough position. Unless her opponent just attacks everywhere at once. That would be-

Kyouko tenses, bending her knees and digging her heels into the ground, attempting to sprout a wall of spears in front of her, but her stems are still saplings, reedy and thin as the bullets shred into them, pulverizing the majority of her defenses without much difficulty. As bloody little brushstrokes slash along her sides, shoulders and cheeks, Kyouko tuts in consternation. Miyu had moved more quickly than she'd anticipated, and carved a wider swathe than she'd hoped for. So much for the wallflower routine. And besides that...the tip of her pocky had been blown off. Her own fault, should've eaten it by now. Taking it between two fingers, she bites it in half and quickly chews up the rest, swallowing with a scowl.

Study time's over. She had been clocking the gold masked blowhard leap down from the heavens to attack one of their own, but she doesn't seem of the same caliber as the heavy artillery that had eaten some of her snack out from under her.

Light on her feet, Kyouko leaps up, and leaps again, flitting around the arena, zigging and zagging a little closer to her opponent each time, clearing more distance as Miyu makes her own jagged journey. Coming up to her side, there is no drama nor flourish in her as she grips her heavy spear with both hands and shoves her great shiv into the robot's ribs."

"Pretty chatty. What are you, the brave little toaster?"

COMBAT: Kyouko Sakura has used Masterstroke on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer dodges 7 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Repelling Shield, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Miyu Greer's Flash
ability activates!  Cripple and Diversion applied to Miyu Greer!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer fails to dodge Kyouko Sakura's Masterstroke, taking 40 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

And just like expected, all hell breaks loose. Miyu is attacking in a flash, negotiations -- if one could even call them that -- falling by the wayside completely. Her arms splits open, and she starts firing with wild precision. It's all the signal Georgia needs to spring into action, rolling to the side deftly. Thankfully the android doesn't seem to be aiming directly for her, sparing her the brunt of the assault.

The scene around her, however, doesn't fare as well. And the same goes for her impromptu comrades who can't dive out of the way in time. Scanning the field quickly, her breath catches and her blood runs cold.

Miyu is spinning down upon Mikoto, poised to deliver a devestating blow.


As fast as she can muster Georgia has closed the distance between herself and the two combatants, putting on a final burst of speed that catapults her fully into their battle space.

---Sometime Before Now---

"Georgia-san! Why did you do that?!" Came the voice of an exasperated girl holding a glowing, magical sword. It's addressed, of course, to the blonde American girl in question, who is clutching her side. The monster they were fighting had been handedly dispatched by her comrade with the sword. But the girl's anger at Georgia having thrown herself in the way of a blow meant for her is enough to make her wince a bit, yet still keep a dopey (but pained) grin on her face.

"Hey." Georgia starts, pointing at her. "We both know you're the heavy hitter here. So what's wrong with me taking a couple of hits for ya? If you would've went down, this fight would've been a wash."


"It's over now. Let's get out of here. I'm starving!"

She turns and begins to limp away, ignoring the perturbed utterances of the other girl. It's alright. She's alright. Nothing she couldn't walk off...


Georgia grits her teeth and raises her escrima sticks in front of her. They knock together as she forms an X with them, and a split second later a deluge of green sparks erupt from them, seeking to interrupt Miyu's vicious blow. The words of her partner from that day echo in her mind as her defense utterly fails in the next instant, the whole of Miyu's strike being delivered upon her mercilessly.

Pain. Then numbness. Then pain again. Georgia bites her tongue and draws blood to keep herself from screaming. She doesn't want to give this cold, inhuman thing the satisfaction. And she doesn't fall to her knees, though she's most definitely bleeding now. Ignoring all of that, she goes for Miyu almost immediately, despite having just been the subject of her wrath. Her sticks erupt in a cacophony of effulgent sparks that twist themselves into a bulbous sphere that zooms forward towards the offending cyborg.

COMBAT: Georgia Jenks has used Static Rondure on Miyu Greer.
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

That is a MUCH larger gun than any she has yet pilfered, and it's on the end of Miyu's arm much faster than Homura could ever pull one from her shield. She sucks in a sharp fearful breath and dives for safety with everything wish-strengthened legs can give, even as the chaingun's issue rips across the assembled and perforate the elevators. Homura feels a sharp tug at her jacket as she hits the ground -- a bullet tears through the bow at the small of her back, missing her spine by centimeters and leaving violet confetti in the air behind her.

She scrambles up again and shouts, "Shimanouchi-san! She's too fast! What if we-" and the rough plan, such as it is, lives in her wide eyes and open hand as they both turn Eri's way.

When hands clasp, the silvery click of time stopping sounds for them both. It rings in a grey-tinged silence. Homura's gripping a little harder than she needs to, conveying all that almost-got-shot-by-Miyu tension. "A-are you okay?"

And then, after a grim little nod which acknowledges that they have to be okay enough to face this: "Let's do it."

Arrested in place, Miyu Greer is no less menacing: a sculpture of quicksilver violence so aggressive Homura worries she might rip her way right into the timestop with them. She pulls a new Deagle from her shield -- the last one got dropped when she dove out of the way, but Homura has backups now -- and takes aim with one hand. The gun dwarfs her skinny arm, but she just rocks in place with each shot and fires again and again. The percussive recoil transmits through their handclasp.

Only when she and Eri both are done loading the fuzzy grey of stopped time with their attacks, bullets and magic both crowding the air around the frozen Miyu, does she give the other girl's hand an extra squeeze. "Alright we- we should go back, now." Any reluctance in her voice might be understandable, considering what they're going back to, but...

Homura still reaches for her shield once Eri gives the go-ahead, and the two girls reappear not far from where they were. Their unleashed implements of destruction all thunder into being simultaneously, too.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has started a combo targeting Miyu Greer!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer braces 28 Fatigue damage from Georgia Jenks's Static Rondure, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki dodges 7 Fatigue damage from La Sirene des Lentilles's Captain Georg-Baptiste's Patented Certain Victory
Strike, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene des Lentilles is Psyched!  Kasagami Araki's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

She had been stunned at Kyouko's response. "...I was here for the ball." The girl had said. Like she had thought that was the only possible answer and Kyouko presented her another one. Her answer makes her feel like an Ohtori diva. Like suddenly at midnight she had to leave - rather than getting pulled into a strange place to do battle with a robot.

That was then and this was now though.

A sense of relief radiates out from her as she sees Mami Tomoe walk out of the other elevator. "Senpai..." However it seems to dim when she sees the state she's in. She'd like to believe that Mami's words will reach them where her own were inadequate.

She'd like to believe in Madoka Kaname. That noone needs to die here. Not any of them. Not a child.

She desperately needs to.

A kiss. What an apt - yet terrible way to send Miyu Greer to war. Eri Shimanouchi takes a step back, as Miyu walks at them, expression taut.

What a horrible cold visage, which denies even the facade that their opinions matter. Chaingun fire rips around - and Eri Shimanouchi begins to run. Trying to stay ahead of that arm which is ripping anything it points at to shreds.

She does not know how truly inhuman Miyu Greer is until Eri's arm cocks back - seeing her motion yanking her downward. Eri's lash ready to strike the space where she once stood.

She's not there anymore.

The girl gasps as Miyu declares their numbers a disadvantage, pivoting just as she sees a blur of motion, her whip brought down with a desperate crack. The tile of the Student Council room splinters before the concussive force of her desperation move - blasting the Green Puella Magi away from her. Causing her to flip to the opposite side of the room, stab her heels in - and flip into the center.

It's only then that she sees how the fabric of her henshin has separated in multiple places - from gouges as fast as an explosion of one of Homura's nailbombs.

Homura is reaching out from her in the chaos, and perhaps she longs for a moment of calm. Of sanity. If everything freezes right now - then everyone is still alive.

And maybe she can keep it that way.

Homura reaches out for her, and her fingertips respond, grasping ahold of her hand-

-click. Time stops - and she can see Kyouko Sakura stopped with her spear gliding towards Miyu Greer's ribs. Like a crimson rocket - it's colors faded and lost to time. "I almost... wasn't..." Eri says - breathing in this moment of peace, feeling herself shaking. Like she wonders if Miyu Greer can simply - know they're there right now.

"I'll try to keep her in one place for you."

With that, Eri sends out her lash multiple times on the floor all around Miyu's position, at eight different angles as the two girls cut a flanking circle. Trying to make certain there's not a single avenue of escape for her. There's a glimmer of green - then that color fades to be part of the monochromatic landscape.

"Just like you practiced..." The girl swallows, wishing she could be like Madoka and say something more encouraging. As she whispers - not to Homura - but like she's pleading to the cruel cold embrace of reality to cut them a break, "...please hit."

Time unfreezes, and suddenly glimmering sigils erupt into vines, all reaching and grasping - trying to restrain the terrifying android from all sides in the blink of an eye.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has joined the combo started by Homura Akemi!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami does not expect either of their opponents to just stop so easily. Being right is not, however, terribly comforting here at all--Mami had hoped that Miyu would focus on more obvious threats than her, obviously injured--

Tungsten rounds tear through the ground, through walls, and also through a Puella Magi who happens to be in the way, who is pushed back by the sheer force of the bullets raining down around her such that she hits the wall with an ugly noise, bouncing and then skidding down without the continued stream of bullets to keep her up. ...She's no Sayaka; the wounds don't start mending as she hits the ground in a crumple. But...

She is a Puella Magi, and she starts to push herself up again. The chance to be a brilliant, shining hroine is already out, here; things are worse than that. But even without recognition...

"...This is the right thing to do," Mami murmurs, making her way back to standing. She watches Kyouko already moving into melee, it's almost a memory. Almost.

But then Homura's attack is suddenly there, and Mami throws out her hand, ribbons erupting out of thin air to try to tangle and slow Miyu, as Mami herself starts sprinting as best she's able to the side, to take cover behind some debris.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Parete on Miyu Greer.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Akira Yamaoka - Betrayal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WShknpNpHbY

Why, why, why, one of them says; the bright one, the one who protests. Why, why, why, one two three four five times, each a nail driving deeper. Mikoto's head cants aside and her braids fall over her vulnerable neck with a motion exaggerated by the distance between thought and flesh, and lets that pain echo through the emptying halls of her mind.

Why, why, why, and la Sirene's voice peaks in highs and guttered valleys, and Mikoto's voice is flat as the smooth floor of a coffin-bed and filled with as much grief. "... it doesn't matter." She does not look at her.

"Listening to enemies... just lets them hurt you. Nothing, they can say to explain it. Make it better. Talking..."

'Kozue-! I know! I know but - we can help, Kozue! This isn't right! Kozue wasn't made for this!'

'Help? What a laugh. As if you'd ask me for help if you were in the same position with your Ani-Ue.'

"... it's useless," Mikoto's voice drops to a whisper, and it is on a ragged edge.

The Crimson Rook emerges to prove her point, in spectacular fashion, with the crash of a blade. Mikoto's eyes track the movement and she does not flinch at the helicopter-blades.

She does not flinch - but there's this long blink of her eyes, this long drawing-in of breath.

'Don't you all realize that you can't win?'

'There's no reason to oppose us--so I want to know why you're wasting my time.'

'You put on a brave face; you talk of what I will take from you. But I don't have to. The world itself will see to that--the world that will always take what you hold dear, now or later, peaceably or by force, grinding down, and down, and down...For all your days.'

'Enemies must be destroyed you always said... but there are some enemies, you just can't fight Mikoto.'

And when they open again they are still hooded, and there is something in her eyes, and it is pained. "You..." The arrogant word is collective, but then, it has always been collective. She has always dehumanised them in this way - because they're faceless enemies.

Who could guess there is a difference in the meaning now?

'Don't fight it Mikoto.'

'We do not ask you to trust.'

"It's useless," Mikoto whispers again, desperation colouring the word, and is she trying to convince herself, or has she realised the pressure bearing down on the blade which seeks to split la Sirene stem to stern?

'Don't fight it.'

'We do not ask for alternatives, mercy, or welcome.'

Like a kaleidoscope, all colours need to come together to make their rainbow. Look through one shard of glass and it is only shaded one way.

'... just don't fight it.'

'We do not ask for anything at all.'

Miyu is talking and some part of her knows, and the whole of her is consumed with the weight of what has taken her friend from her. Slowly dull horror has crept over the expressionless flats of her face, tugging jaw, widening eyes. Miyu says her rage betrays her, and oh, Mikoto thinks, distantly, as she looks up and she does not move.

That's right.

That must be what I'm feeling.

This feeling... is anger.

Suddenly Georgia is in front of her, and sparks fly. Light flickers back to her eyes with alarm - as she bites out her name. "Georgia!" Miyu's violence she comprehends, but this -

- this -

- Mikoto does not understand what would drive an acquaintance like Georgia to do this. She can smell the blood and she can see the twist of her lips and she knows she is hurt. She thinks of the times they have passed each other, the greetings they have formed amongst each other to indicate they mean no harm. It is such a large thing, isn't it - realising she has to signal her helpfulness?

Mikoto is betrayed by many things, but when her rage lances her through it heats her veins and tightens her grip and clears her thoughts from all the ill things they perceive. She is not betrayed by her rage. It is her first companion, her defender, her strength.

She does not talk but she screams, as her legs bend and she leaps forward, Miroku swinging overhead in a sudden and extreme burst of violence.

And she is not diving for Miyu Greer, because she is a mountain and Miroku's tiny wings would need centuries to flatten her.

That blade arcs up, crashes down - on the tiny little girl called Alyssa, whose voice echoed with that same dreamlike remove.

Time to take responsibility.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destruction on Alyssa Searrs.
COMBAT: COMBO! Homura Akemi and Eri Shimanouchi have used Combo: Brambles and Bullets, composed of Hand Cannon and Moidon
Imposition, on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer decisively counters 15 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Parete, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Diversion and Exhausted applied to Miyu Greer!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer's counterattack, Ionic Pulse, partially gets through, doing 17 Fatigue damage to Mami Tomoe!  Cripple, Stagger,
Stun, and Trap applied to Mami Tomoe!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer fails to dodge Homura Akemi and Eri Shimanouchi's Combo: Brambles and Bullets, taking 45 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Miyu Greer is Quipped!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer covers Alyssa Searrs for Mikoto Minagi's attack, Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer dodges 23 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking 35 Fatigue damage!  Miyu
Greer's Flash ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The Rook vaguely watches the battle between Miyu and the other magical girls, the pure strength of the cyborg servant of Alyssa's quite something to behold. She makes sure to keep out of Miyu's line of fire, even as most of her focus remains on the Sirene.

Who emits nothing but light when her sword kisses the young woman's Prism.

The Sirene proclaims she doesn't want to fight, doesn't want to conquer or annex. That she doesn't want to take what belongs to others for her own gain. Kasagami smirks under her mask. "You think you're so very noble and right, don't you!? The only way to change the world is to have strength and power! If a few weak people get stepped on in the process of making a true, shining world, then what does any of this matter!? You have to reach high for world-changing miracles!" Snarls Kasagami, just a tiny fleck of actual belief coloring her voice for a second. Her passion flares.

Being called a coward rankles her, but she doesn't respond with words. This is mostly due to the fact that Sirene's uneducated axe-blow to her diaphram is completely spot on. The Crimson Rook is fast to be sure, a blurr whenever she so much as takes a step. But the untrained strikes comes right as she's moving to make another strike at Nori, and so Kassie is forced to bend a knee awkwardly and backstep to avoid taking the full power of the blow. Such is the Duelist's skill that she managed to flash backwards quickly enough to be moving out even as her breath is stolen.

There's an entirely unhealthy sound of air forcefully blown out of lungs, and more phlem hacked up than is probably good for her. She wipes her mouth off. The bone of her ribs ache, and there's a bruise where lighter flesh meets with darker beneath her school uniform. Given her absurdly athletic lifestyle, the muscle beneath is like punching one part steel and one part very rough tire.

"Ahhh! At least you're getting into the spirit of things! You think you can really make me submit? Not that it would matter anyway. I'm doing you a favor, sparing you from being skewered by her!" She motions vaguely for the mechanical monster that is Miyu.

And then she's gripping her blade in both hands, leaping into the air in a spinning front flip. Hair swaying as she does, she brings that long nodachi downwards upon Sirene. She's a rotating whirl of a sword, her strike more a blurred, long lashing suggestion of a strike rather than a visible motion, working to drive Sirene back and further away from her much shorter melee range. Instead she tries to keep the other girl in exactly one nodachi's length away, even as she uses her leverage to lean her spinning body into her opponent to make her blow that much worse!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Falling Petals Cut The Soul on La Sirene des Lentilles.
COMBAT: La Sirene des Lentilles fails to dodge Kasagami Araki's Falling Petals Cut The Soul, taking 51 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Miyu Greer [None] has posed.

Blade Maria does not forgive those that trifle in her affairs. Miyu's arm-sword drives right through the attempted counter, the escrima sticks seeming to offer no defense at all. Miyu is already starting to turn from a foe she assumes defeated, when a sphere of sparks whips after her, hitting her crossed arms. Her eyes narrow, but she does not advance. She has another foe on the way.

A chivalrous warning is another thing Miyu did not ask for. Besides, an angry warning will do just fine. Miyu's dead eyes shift to Lancelot instantly, and as Arondight comes down she meets it with a hard block. The electricity is not blocked so easily, spraying her face as a gleaming silver pair of slitted eyelids briefly shields them. She shoves through with a return swipe, but before she can follow up, her eyes flick away and her legs tense.

Kyouko Sakura attacked at exactly the right moment, when Miyu was least prepared to move. And her spear crams into Miyu's ribcage, halted rapidly by the armored struts she calls ribs, half of that great diamond speartip lodged. Miyu is grasping the haft of the spear, and for a moment, she holds it tightly where it is, as if she intends to make Kyouko fight to keep it. But then a stern wind drives her back through the group, separating the two--the Magic Knight.

Miyu is driven back against a pink shield, pinned briefly. She is largely unharmed, but the combined attack has controlled her motions long enough for the others to spread out a bit and assert themselves. Mami Tomoe tries to worsen the situation with her ribbons, to hold her in place. Flicking her arm, Miyu rapid-changes the sword for her ion cannon and snapfires into the approaching ribbons. The disruptive charge clings and pulls at them as it goes, burning those it strikes. Ribbons cannot stop the energy, and so it passes through and strikes Mami-dead on. She'll get to experience what Miki Kaoru experienced--no, not getting hit on by Kozue--the scalding churn of an ion charge racing through her body, playing havoc on nerves and feeble human biology. It is not the most damaging of her attacks, but it is the most thorough.

Miyu quickly scans the area, selecting a new target and organizing the others. But then, as if in a software glitch, the situation changes seemingly between timestamps. Miyu freezes where she is in that instant, surrounded by vines like a demon amidst a pillar of salt. Then a withering army of bullets converges all at once, riddling her, pinging in a dense, brief cacophony. The vines snap in after, seizing at her.

OST - It's Not T3, It's... - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcNXq5DUZnk

Miyu's clothing is pocked with holes now, many of which did not even break the skin beneath. But many more did, baring spots of metal, and a few punctured through the armor entirely and into her machinery. Damaged in an instant, Miyu struggles to understand what just happened, then discards the question.

A burst of orange heat at her heels blasts her free of the vines, though they are still gripping onto her legs even though they've been uprooted. Miyu outpaces Mikoto despite a considerable head start on the warrior girl's part. She hits the ground, collapses into a powerfully deep crouch, and slides her arms beneath Alyssa all in the same motion. One beneath her little knees. One beneath her frail shoulderblades. The ground bursts into dust and fragments a moment later, all around her, as Miroku demolishes a small area.

With a tip-tap of metal feet, Miyu drops onto the ground again, singed and bullet-pocked. There is a gash from Miroku down her back, baring metal, but Alyssa is unharmed. "Ojou-sama," Miyu says to her gently, without any stress in her voice. "Forgive me for picking you up so roughly." She cradles the little blonde angel for a moment, as beatific as Mary with her infant. But a moment is all she has. She sets Alyssa down. Then she is simply gone. Only the quickest eyes will see the flicker. Mikoto's primary warning is a puff of marble dust where Miyu stepped on the ground ahead and to her left.


Miyu stomps on Miroku.


Every panel on Miyu's body shifts at once, breaking vines as her body opens, splitting those ribbons that had clung to her, refreshing her circuitry. It's a brief, unsettling moment of horror, as though her body had glitched out, and then she is whole again, stomping at the back of Mikoto's head as she passes.

"You are not the aggressor," she corrects Mikoto. "I will cut and shoot until I find which of these you care for."

The chaingun erupts again before she even hits the ground, and Miyu makes dodging it complicated by taking an arcing path, and occasionally zipping away from where she was. She blasts at Steven's shield with it, and fires through Fuu's wind. She seeks to finish off the target she stunned, firing mercilessly at Mami.

Miyu re-engages the melee fighters as she reaches them, or they reach her--Lancelot first, hacking at Arondight while carefully keeping her face away from the sparks, then going for a gouge to the leg. Then on through to Kyouko, baiting the spear so she can zip past it and force her to fight haft-to-blade for a few whirling seconds, carving sharp geometry in the air. At last through to Eri and Homura, her knees striking a sharp lunge in the air before she drops down, carving deep gouges in the sides of the elevator housing as she chases the two around.

COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Command: Sever on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Georgia Jenks.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Viking Florentine on Kyouko Sakura.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe counters 20 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe's
Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro Retort, partially gets through, doing 29 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji perfectly dodges 39 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Fuu Hououji's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Eri
Shimanouchi's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to dodge Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Homura Akemi perfectly counters 29 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Homura Akemi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi's counterattack, Suspend Time, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi dodges 14 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Command: Sever, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!  Bind Break! All of Miyu Greer's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Georgia Jenks fails to dodge Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 35 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 21 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kyouko Sakura braces 19 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Viking Florentine, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Kyouko Sakura's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Alyssa Searrs [None] has posed.

'Can't you just work with everyone to make a better future?' asks Steven.

As power continues to rise around her and within her, Alyssa's lips move in perfect unison with Mami's.

"...This is the right thing to do."

A fingerling of lightning crackles off her patent leather shoe, adding a tiny black blossom to the floor.

Startled by the unexpected unison of voices -- the international award winner for children's choir is very sensitive to harmony -- the little girl's eyes fly open, and meet the Puella Magi's, there, across the battlefield. For a split second, blue and gold come together in perfect understanding.

But then, it was a split second, and what split it was Miroku.

Alyssa is not afraid. She said she wasn't, and she isn't.

Not for herself, anyway. The little lump that forms unexpectedly in her throat is for what she knows is about to happen to Miyu, and that doesn't count, right?

"Miyu," she sighs with relief -- relief that, despite the gash -- she is all right.

Her guardian.

Her friend.

Her Miyu.

For all that light has all but finished infecting her veins, that it spills from her mouth when she kisses Miyu on the cheek a second time -- this time for no tactical purpose, none at all, simply because she wants to -- for all of that, her glow is lesser once she is put down.

Her eyes begin to squint again against whatever it is she sees, something distant and strange. In terrible slow motion, she reaches up and tugs the ribbon out of her long, spikey hair. It springs to life immediately, as though it is a creature of its own. As though caught in a tempest that only it can feel -- in fact, a thermal updraft from the sheer power now emanating from Alyssa's delicate body -- it swirls upwards, beautifully, terribly, and familiarly saturated with brilliant gold.

"Miyu... there are so many Valkyries here... right here..."

A tear is beading in her right eye, and it, too, is all that glitters.

COMBAT: Alyssa Searrs has used T-5 on Alyssa Searrs.
COMBAT: Alyssa Searrs accepts Alyssa Searrs's T-5, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Alyssa Searrs is Reinforced by Alyssa Searrs!  
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Lancelot's dive takes him out of the dangerous portion of the sword-arm swipe form Miyu, but it still caught him. A thin red eline erupts on his cheek, opposite the bandaged left side. He lands in crouch as the blood wells and begins to run down the side of his face. He doesn't notice it. He's literally leaking blood from half a dozens holes what's a little more wet warmth on his face?

Miyu however is not done with him. She comes at him with that sword arm again and He tries to get out of the way again. He leaps backward from his crouch but she's as fast, if not faster than he is. She stabs him in the leg and when he lands he just crumples.

He lays there panting, he grunts as one of the stitches from the injuries he got at the dance just pops. He sighs. Figures. He slowly picks himself up pushing himself to his feet by using Arondight to help him up. He takes a deep breath as he looks to Mikoto and Eri. "Eri! Mikoto." He says the two girl's name with a slight hint of fondness in his voice. "Remember when you said I wasn't your brother?" He grins to her and gives Mikoto a wink. "Well. I'm not. Not by blood. But, there is one thing I've learned since I met you, Eri and Mai-chan. Not all family is born in the same household, and I love all of you as if you were my sisters."

He doesn't clarify how he feels about one of those names. Now's not the time.

"Eri? I'm never gonna like salad." Then he snaps his head to Miyu. "HEY! CYBORG BRAT!" he takes a confident if shakey step forward. "I ain't done with you yet." He draws in as much lighting as his battered body can and then points the palm of his free hand at Miyu. Lightning begins to gather there in a ball just in front of his palm. "HEAVEN'S WRATH!"

THe ball leaps and expands into a crackling stream of lightning. The tendrils snap and coil off it in flashes of blue and white light. The entire time Lancelot is shooting this stream of lightning he's walking toward Miyu, his sword still held at the ready. Blood drips in a trail behind him with each step, but his stance doesn't waver, nor do his determined steps.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Heaven's Wrath on Miyu Greer.
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mami, too, is surprised. She looks up, hearing that voice in time with her own, and for one instant--one terrible, heartbreaking moment--the senior Puella Magi feels absolute and total clarity. Mami's eyes meet Alyssa's--

"NO!" Mami calls out after Mikoto, her heart in her throat, but she lives. ...And there is a battle at hand that does not let Mami simply stop.

Miyu fires back at Mami with her great cannon, and Mami cannot hope to get out of the way now. The charge crashes forward, and Mami burns, hissing again in pain, stumbling in place. She cannot even pretend to move her free arm now; even the way it dangles is painful. She is, for an instant, stunned--

But she has been stunned before, and she has been in desperation many times. Miu fires her chaingun, and Mami throws up her hand, her sleeve unravelling in an instant and bursting forward as a gigantic hand cannon that pours a great beam of golden light straight for Miyu--

Just as Mami herself is hit again, and stumbles, and falls to the ground. "I--" She starts to try to speak, but for a moment, she can only breathe, instead. She remembers--she knows. Miyu, in all her cruelty, is powerful, but no longer is she Mami's first thought.

So many, Alyssa says, as her hair moves upward. Mami lifts her eyes, and looks to that glittering tear.

"Alyssa-chan!" Mami shouts, through the words themselves are painful with her wounds. "...Please, don't do this! Why would someone who wanted a better world sacrifice a young girl to achieve it? You, your friends--even Miyu!"

"Don't you see!? If you do this--You'll die, too! This isn't right! You know it isn't right!"

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Golden Now on Alyssa Searrs.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer braces 9 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Heaven's Wrath, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Stun applied to Miyu Greer!
<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Her fingertips leave Homura's - and she's at least gets to see the moment where the gambit pays off. Where the vines tug and pull at her - as bullets pock mark her skin that's like the most powerful armor. Yet it does not matter how much her vines tug. It does not keep her from saving Alyssa SEARRS from Mikoto's anger.

Part of her is grateful for that.

The rest of her is scared out of her mind when she sees Miyu's foot on Miroku, "Mikoto - fall back!"

The chain gun erupts, and Eri starts to run in a panic to fall back to the elevator - alongside Homura Akemi. Miyu is so fast. So fast that she can barely follow her though. As she slams into the other Mahou Shoujo like a streak - a blur.

Eri can barely follow the motion abover her head. Instinctively though she raises her whip with this little shriek. It's handle knocks into the blade's flat, just as MIYU shears off the side of it, taking one tendril with it - and causing another to dangle with a thread. The blow misses anything vital, but a drop of blood hits the floor.

Eri worries that she lost a finger - as she gasps at the state of the Elevator Door - carved in twain. Instead it's simply a layer of avulsed skin off the back of one finger. Relief spreads throughout her as she runs.

In that moment perhaps she meets Kyouko's eyes, and she makes a tugging motion with her mauled whip like a fisher pulling in a line - deciding audio cues are unwise. Hoping she'll simply get it. Then making a circle with her other hand like it's an 'ok'.

She knows the girl is a fierce independent - a lone wolf. However she also knows one thing from Madoka Kaname - Mami Tomoe - Homura Akemi - and yes Sayaka Miki too.

Their numbers don't bind them. They're a strength.

Eri waits for Kyouko to move in like a prowling predator - circling in for Miyu's sides. Miyu will Zig to Kyouko's Zag after tasting her spear. She's sure of it.

And that's why she snaps out her whip just before Kyouko Sakura's attack - trying to snag Miyu's limb. Digging in her heels - she TUGS with all of her might. Knowing she must somehow make her strength an equal counterforce...

... all so Kyouko Sakura can try to score a bullseye.

"... are you sure this is just another day in paradise!?" There's perhaps a slight whimper in that. She hopes she can hold her for Kyouko. She... hopes.

Just like she hopes Mami Tomoe's words will somehow - reach the small girl in Gold.

COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi has started a combo targeting Miyu Greer!
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

In the timestop, with Eri:

"But you are," Homura replies. The quiet tremor in her voice is loud, in the silence -- it steals from her attempt at comfort. They're frightened together, for a moment, and then they work on their retort in the safety of the timestop.


It works! Homura doesn't pump a happy fist into the air or shout or anything, but there's this proud gleam in her eyes as the embodied devastation named Miyu Greer suffers bullets and brambles both. She gives her greenhued friend a tight-lipped smile before letting go of her hand.

"That wasn't so bad-"

Miyu interrupts and gives the lie to Homura's statement, and in the blink of an eye the two puella separate around the strike. Homura slips between seconds on pure trained reflex -- thanks Mami! -- and tumbles backward in the safety of stopped time without incurring her own bruises -- thanks Mikoto! Miyu's menace stays where it is, frozen and grey and terrifying. She never gets to hear the piercing shriek her target emits. She might not care: it is not blood, after all.

Homura jumps back into the fray meters away, well away from a dropping scythe named Greer.

A terrible, beautiful gold catches her eye once colors erupt back into motion. It is not the familiar and elegant warmth of her Tomoe-senpai, but instead a shade and brilliance which evokes dread commensurate with the remembered death of a forest and a mountainside. Alyssa.


"NO!" she shouts, and it is an echo of Mami's rebuttal.

A thought as terrible as the promised destruction crosses Homura's mind, but... she shies away from it. It's too unthinkable, in the end. Her gun does not lift toward the blonde girl, but toward the clear menace with her silver hair and deadly speed.


The girl who hurt Mami -- the girl who killed Gaketenou. Pulling the shotgun's weight and length from the shield on her arm is an exercise in awkward angles. Homura's elbow reaches for the sky before she slaps the stock down into her other hand and racks a round.

"Stay away from her!" The skinny girl runs to put herself between Mami and Miyu, and fire roars from the muzzle of her weapon.

COMBAT: Homura Akemi has used Mossberg 590 on Miyu Greer.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

THe shield gambit works, and Miyu is pressured against the sheath of moving force for precious seconds. The boy is able to get over near where he can come to civilian aid if needed, as others clash with Miyu. A breath or two is taken as he assesses the situation. "What are you doing?!" he calls toward Alyssa. "You aren't going to do that thing again are you?! Can't we just talk this out?!"

His pleas most likely fall on deaf ears, but far be it from Steven Universe to try reaching for someone who is gone. Any and all chances he takes to save someone.

The rattling of expended casings comes with the percussion of launched ammunition. It sweeps toward Steven once more, and he moves to block. THese shells pack more punch, and despite blocking them, he is forced against a wall with crushing force, knocking the air out of him, and causing him to fall to a knee.

A look up, and the world changes in a fraction of a second, as gunfire and vines are suddenly somewhere they weren't on all sides of their standing threat. "H... How did you...?" he says, baffled but thankful.

As Miyu clashes against the others, he grabs his shield, and throws it toward Miyu, aiming to just miss her, and riccochet off a nearby wall to hit her, to try and mix up her guard. Perhaps he can generate an opening for everyone else!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Miyu Greer.
<Pose Tracker> Kyouko Sakura [None] has posed.

Kyouko is entirely nonchalant at Eri's response. If she read any embarrassment or surprise into the green guardian's reaction, she gives no indication. "Oh yeah? How was the food? Pretty good I bet. Probably that's what I should've done. Oh well, leftovers."

Kyouko's grip vibrates as she makes solid contact, the ram touching the gates. No blood to feel on her cheek, put sticking a pin in this particular butterfly is a satisfaction all on its own. She grins, and grins wider when Miyu moves to play tug of war. Retaining her left handed grip, she gives the spear a good few pulls to feign sincerity, materializing a dagger-like shortspear in her reach hand and angling it for Miyu's neck...but then a breeze blows the butterfly off and away. Kyouko allows the embedded spear to dissipate, and the blade in her hand to grow to full size.

From there she resumes her high-flying ballet, dancing and darting along the arena in erratic directions, this time less focused on clearing the gap between her and her opponent, and more intent on studying her enemy's maneuvers, the way she moves and attacks. When the android comes for her again, she is prepared for the advance, though imperfectly. Miyu slips past her great fang to an intimate distance, forcing Kyouko to use her weapon like an imbalanced staff. Although she does not parry every strike, the blows she suffers are glancing, and she fends off the majority of the intended harm, correctly predicting that a brief spirited defense would be all that was necessary before Miyu moved onto another opponent. There are too many present for her to get bogged down with any one.

Keeping an eye on the bouncing ball, in mere moments she's matching eyes with Eri. When the junior Puella Magi motions with her whip, Kyouko thinks she understands. The net and the harpoon...if not, well, attacking seems like the thing to do regardless. Best to go for it, either way.

Kyouko moves quickly, quietly, bending low and darting up to Miyu's melee, keeping Eri in the periphery of her vision...hoisting her spear up, she doesn't go for a direct stab this time, but instead pivots her body to twist around, launching her spear like a javelin.

Her voice is ragged in her response, but no less amused. "Of course! Better than Tokyo Disney!"

COMBAT: Kyouko Sakura has joined the combo started by Eri Shimanouchi!
<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There's the briefest of respites for Georgia when Miyu disengages to pursue other targets. But it gives her no peace of mind. Miyu is still standing. Miyu is still hurting people. The blow from earlier is a definite hindrance, the burning gash sending tendrils of pain through her with each movement. She pushes down the bile that rises in her throat as her vision swims briefly. Damnit! Not now! Get it together! She can't afford to pass out here!

Then, behind her, she feels a ansi(+<olivedrab>,presence). It's familiar and comforting, even as it ansi(+<olivedrab>,stirs and whines) in concern for her.

ansi(+<olivedrab>,Tithonus). He's worried, able to feel the pain she's experiencing through the connection they share. HiME and Child -- a sacred bond. It makes her instantly guilty for getting beat up like this. For recklessly diving in front of Miyu's blow.

"I'm sorry." She whispers under her breath through gritted teeth. She feels him ansi(+<olivedrab>,stir) yet again, getting agitated. He wants to be released. To leap forward and tear the one who has hurt his master limb from limb.

But Georgia denies her Child. She cannot, will not, risk him for this. Miyu is a deadly enemy. And in Georgia's mind? Is quite capable of murdering a Child at the present moment.

Speaking of children...

Georgia's eyes land on Alyssa for the first time since the fight began. Miyu's protection of her does not go unnoticed when Mikoto strives to cut the girl down. Despite everything Georgia finds herself drawing the line at potentially murdering a kid -- even if said kid is a cunningly dangerous foe. Her hesitation gets the best of her when Miyu retaliates against all of them with more gunfire and violence. She tries to dance out of the way, though fails in the worst way possible, taking several hits that only serve to open up more wounds that send her reeling with pain against one of the hard, bullet-ridden walls. She begins to slide down it though catches herself halfway before hitting the ground.

This hurts. It really, really hurts. Her legs quiver from the sheer effort of trying to keep her up. ansi(+<olivedrab>,Tithonus) is all but screaming for retribution for her by now, the sound of anguish like a dull, bone-shaking roar in her head that she imagines is similar to a really bad hangover.

Still, she refuses him. Squinting now, Georgia makes out what appears to be a bright shining light emanating from somewhere in front of her. Her hazy vision adjusts, and it becomes clear that it's coming from Alyssa herself. Seeing her all lit-up like that, hair standing on end, combined with Miyu's continued assaults, helps dispel most if not all of the uneasiness she had about Mikoto attacking the small girl. Mami's words ring out desperately, a plea being made.

Tch. Fat chance.

Against her better judgment she pushes herself off the wall and staggers forward, sticks held in front of her in clear defiance of everything her rational mind and battered body is telling, no, screaming at her. The words of various Tuners she's worked with, both past and present, run through her thoughts. Heh. Yeah. She was an idiot, truly. An idiot who wasn't going to go down without a damn fight.

She sets off into a run, focusing on the sound of her heartbeat, breathing, and own footsteps. Everything else is blotted out as she hones in on the robot girl who seeks to decimate them all for their interference. And that was ok, really.

Because she was going to do the same thing to her. Or possibly die trying.

A leap into the air, followed by a controlled spin, sees Georgia whirring like a child's top. Though, unlike the real thing, there's nothing amusing or friendly about this. The sticks let out a low whine before they build into a discordant screech as they spark to life, quickly shaping into a dazzling green whirlwind that cocoons her rapidly rotating form that is on a clear collision course with Miyu.


COMBAT: Georgia Jenks has used Helix Battery on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: COMBO! Eri Shimanouchi and Kyouko Sakura have used Combo: Hook Line And Stabber, composed of Moidon's Grasp and
Masterstroke, on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer dodges 17 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Miyu
Greer's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer fails to counter Homura Akemi's Mossberg 590, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Miyu Greer's counterattack, Ionic Pulse, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Homura Akemi!  
COMBAT: Miyu Greer fails to dodge Eri Shimanouchi and Kyouko Sakura's Combo: Hook Line And Stabber, taking 71 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene des Lentilles [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/-JlGtwOtl9I?t=125

La Sirene says "Hnf!" in reply to Kasagami and tries to spin away from her.

Kasagami's shifted grip on her sword makes this... well...

It makes it less effective than la Sirene hoped. So the next thing she says is a shriek that could be rendered, imperfectly, as "KYAHH!!!" and then a full stagger backwards, a sway, a sag to one knee. An arm goes over her chest as her face wracks in pain. She trembles, tension between wanting to collapse and curl warring with the certainty that all that will do is bring the end quicker.

She struggles for breath.

"Long ago," she says, breathlessly, "I learned, that if there is a barrier, between the precious people, the righteous people, the strong pure clean good kind nice perfect wanted needed people, if there is a barrier between them, if one is to one side and the other is to the other, I will always be on the other."

"Maybe you can - survive and live, by struggling. Maybe you can tell yourself that fighting means you can win. But I lost without even knowing there was a battle! I've only been able to find any kind of a hope, with other people, trying to be with them, even if it's a struggle every time. I don't want to be on the top, because then I will just be alone again until someone comes to slice me into parts for whatever throne I might have won!"

"So if it were just me," la Sirene concludes, "then perhaps I could sit in the shade, and watch. I would be able to... to decorate a triumph, at least."

Her head tilts forwards.

"But," la Sirene says.

She pushes herself upright, as if to spite gravity. She sways like she's drunk for a moment, rallies, and tightens her hands into clumsy fists.

"It isn't just me, is it?" She takes a deep wet breath afterwards, eyes focusing on Kasagami.

"All of the weak people you talk about so callously... they cannot even try to stop someone like you. Or like her," a glance towards Miyu. "Or even like her."

She looks towards Alyssa -- and seems to startle. The tear on Alyssa's cheek is far brighter to her vision than to the others.

La Sirene blinks several times. Then she looks back to Kasagami.

Puzzlement crosses her drawn face for a moment. But then she straightens all the way back up. "I made a promise... and if you are willing to make the weak your paving stones... then I have to try to stop you to keep that promise. Everyone follows their own rules, don't they?"

She smiles. It's a little disjointed.

Then she breathes in and brings up her left hand. The fingers are raised. "I don't have to beat you to follow my own rules," she tells Kasagami, her voice shaking a little. "I just have to - try the best I can -"

The others are diving against Miyu, la Sirene thinks. Maybe they can stop her. Maybe they have hope still. But this woman will interfere, won't she? Then-

"Les Mysteres," La Sirene half-sighs half-groans as her right hand comes up--


Strike down! The silver chords echo out among the chaos of chainguns and detonations, and the bursting of lenticular blue mingled with silver streaks out aimed towards Kasagami's center of mass. She has no doubt seen this before - perhaps even felt it - and the swirling, inchoate tidal mass will make it harder to split in twain. For it will pour around swords, as the sea pours around a boat, its weight and its passion and its bursting force coming from a sea that hardly ever sees its sun.

COMBAT: La Sirene des Lentilles has used Les Mysteres on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer counters 13 Fatigue damage from Georgia Jenks's Helix Battery, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Miyu Greer's counterattack, Armed and Dangerous, partially gets through, doing 10 Fatigue damage to Georgia Jenks!
Critical Counterhit!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Down crashes the blade and it bites and Mikoto realises, from distant shore, that flesh should not scream. There are other screams, too. They are telling her not to. It is one scream which bothers her most of all. It is not a voice saying no. It is the sound of obsidian through steel.


She realises as Miyu lands safely away from where Miroku has buried in the marble earth: that was not Alyssa. She has all the time in the world to whisper sweetly to her charge, as Mikoto wrests her blade from its impromptu sheath. She is not fast enough.

On bent knee she looks up as the mountain steps forward, and her eyes widen, pupils shrinking to pin-pricks as she realises that metal foot is on her blade - on Miroku. Sever, she says, as if in criticism of what Mikoto has not done.

And then she is shifting - she is changing - and Mikoto is reminded of the Blumenmädchenttäuschend, familiars collapsing-folding over each other in an effort to remain two-dimensional in three-dimensional space. It does not make sense. It is difficult to see where the pieces will form.

Eri tells her to fall back but she can see no place to fall back to. She cannot predict this movement at all. "Eri," Mikoto calls, like a kitten to the litter, crying out for guidance and support, "Eri, I can't --"

Ah. Behind her. Mikoto jerks instinctually but all she manages to do is catch the foot on a shoulder instead of her skull; her footsteps are heavy and she crushes in at the delicate muscles which make up the core of her sword-arm.

'I will cut and shoot until I find which of these you care for.'

All of a sudden Mikoto realises what she turned aside from when she turned to attack Alyssa, and she looks to them, and horror lines her face again.

It is not that she's whipping around in response to Miyu's strike - Miyu is moving too quickly for that.

But Eri, Homura, Lancelot, and even Mami and Georgia...

... they are the faces she seeks out in the wake of the threat.

She does not even realise what she has done; she is distracted by the carnage she is seeing. Some of them fare better - but Georgia - Lancelot...

Mikoto realises, with a sickening pit in her stomach, that he is still wounded. He is still bearing the wounds she has given him. Her wrath then slows him now. And perhaps she has doomed him. Tears spring to her eyes.

He tells her how he feels and she says: "I'm sorry."

Alyssa is glowing and she is untouchable and Mami gives words to the dread. They will die. They will all die and she will be at the heart of the explosion, impotent, incapable of turning aside a threat to everything she cares about.

Of one thing, she and Georgia are of one mind: they cannot risk asking their Child for help in the presence of Miyu Greer.

But she must do something.

Perhaps Mikoto could have gone for Alyssa again -- but she has just seen Eri's gambit, with the red girl. Miyu's threat runs through her mind; the way she tore herself to pieces to shred the vines from her.

She has not quite put it together, consciously, by the time she is moving to get between Miyu and Eri. She does not have time to follow her thoughts to her conclusion, around Miyu Greer. On reflex she moves - and strikes out with a low gash from below, arcing up horizontal to catch legs which may as well be rockets.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki braces 24 Fatigue damage from La Sirene des Lentilles's Les Mysteres, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The Rook smirks in satisfaction as her blow rings true, the cry of the Sirene more than satisfying. Using her blade to fight and show her own strength, it settles that hard little ball of trauma and sadness inside of her. A bully's appreciation for causing others suffering to stave off her own problems for that much longer.

Still, she listens, even as she looks away from Sirene over to the glowing Alyssa. There's a brief frown beneath the mask. Miyu's damage is noted...nevermind that strange attack that the Puella managed to pull off.

And the Sirene has her own tricks to fear, too.

"Those who become truly great always end up using others to climb higher. By showing you're superior, you prove that you deserve to rule! Allowing people with lesser ambitions and desires...with petty dreams, that's how this horrible world came to be!" Espouses the Duelist, before that silvery stream of blue smashes straight for her! The Duelist's blade lashes and slices, but the streams slip past her blade! She reaches up with a knee, hammering into the very light itself with bone-cracking force! She digs in with her heels enough that the floor beneath her cracks!

And yet, the pure force of Sirene's heart and her chords sends the Crimson Rook flying back towards the edge of the balcony! Hammering into the lip, she drops to one knee for a moment with a gasping breath. The strike to her midsection has burnt away part of her uniform, stomach exposed. Her lighter flesh is both reddened and bruised, her darker, leathery side smoking from Sirene's illumination.

"One day, Sirene...you'll discover that the only rules anyone can play by are those made by the one called a King. So have your fantasy of being a rebel for now!"

With a grunt, she pushes her self up! A hop, and a backflip later...she leaps off of the balcony, blowing Sirene one final, taunting kiss as she fades from sight in her plummet.

COMBAT: Miyu Greer perfectly dodges 45 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Miyu Greer's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Miyu Greer perfectly counters 29 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Tempest Slash, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
COMBAT: Miyu Greer's counterattack, Armed and Dangerous, bursts all the way through, doing 50 Fatigue damage to Fuu Hououji!
Critical Counterhit!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

They're not going to win, the Magic Knight of Wind realizes. Not in time, anyway - as Alyssa's hair glows that brilliant gold and lifts towards the heavens, like each strand is beckoning to the killsat-Child far above; the Wind Knight remembers how her hair did the same thing in the concealed video warning, just before the forest was burned by fire as unholy as it was heavenly.

Miyu's arm is a chaingun again, and the Wind Knight scrambles as she sees the barrels swing towards her; she's barely able to evade the hail of bullets, more than a few pinging off of her blade or her armor as she scrambles. "What was that you said before?!" she calls out. "You claimed that nobody had died ... but if you call down that fire again - if you scour the island like you threatened - then you might as well have been killing people ever since the bridge was destroyed!"

The wind rises around the green-clad Magic Knight, ruffling skirts and sleeves and hair, as she drops back a partial step, her sword's hilt drawn up to her shoulder, blade pointing forward. It's more like a fencer's stance, seemingly intended for a blade that pierces rather than slashes or cleaves, and she seems to have left herself wide open.

Then her weight moves from back foot to front foot, pushing off, the wind swirling more vigorously around both the Magic Knight and her sword, magic surging through her. She barely has a chance to think an apology to Miyu; gynoid or not, weapon or not, Miyu Greer has been a student alongside them and it's impossible to ignore that. But if words won't avail them ...


... then it must be decided by weapons or magic, by will made manifest. And the Wind Knight's will remains solid - she charges at Miyu while she thinks she can, and her sword's blade is enfolded by a compact tempest as her slash arcs towards the deadly machine-girl.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Tempest Slash on Miyu Greer.
COMBAT: Alyssa Searrs accepts Mami Tomoe's Golden Now, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Miyu Greer [None] has posed.
<SoundTracker> The World is Tumbling Down - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbgqVuNFKTM

The fusillade on Mami turns into a firefight, and though Mami's bullets are far less numerous, they are far more powerful. The single shot she lands in return sends Miyu's shoulder jerking.

Amidst the parted Puella Magi, Miyu reaps, still unable to land a blow on arguably her least physically imposing foe (not named Steven Universe). Flicking away a piece of Eri's whip, she turns to catch the electrical stream emanating from Arondight with her Blade Maria. The weapon is quite conductive, so the benefit of this is unclear, but she keeps it up anyway, and it does seem to help somewhat. Electricity, however, seems to be a good way to go with her, as her motions are jerky as she approaches. Unexpectedly, however, her body just fades out in an instant, and she is close, terribly, horribly close, and Lancelot can hear Blade Maria clank as Miyu's arm braces it, hear the almost inaudible whine of microservos as the android's arm draws backs. This is no weapon of legend like his, and the stories about it are very young.

But there are virtues other than virtue. There is prowess in mathematics.

When she is past Lancelot, Miyu's head dips easily to the side to avoid Steven's hurled shield, letting it pass. She's entirely unprepared when it bounces off the wall, however, and it bonks the back of her head hard enough to make one wince--viscerally it's hard to remember that's not bone. Miyu, however, seems unperturbed once she lifts her head. "Capability profile updated," she says. Is it your imagination, or did she sound a bit wry there. Drawing back one leg, she meets Georgia's whirling, increasingly charged-up surge head-on.

Boom. The green energy shrouds both from view for a moment. With a shriek of monofilament blade against sticks, a glinting, smoke-shrouded combat takes place, brutal strikes making frightening music unseen. Then the foes are parted, and Miyu walks from the fading mist and light, singed, smudged, but standing tall.

Even her optical sensors have limits, however, and as they unfilter from the flash, she loses track of Eri for just a moment. Carving the air back and forth with Maria to reduce the time Kyouko will have to react to her motions, she approaches this challenge directly, as she had Georgia's. Reflexively her legs compress and shove, the motion causing her to shift a yard to the right as if Kyouko's vision had gone double, and then suddenly resolved.

But only a yard. Miyu's eyes snap down to the plant matter wrapped around her upper arm, straining, already frayed from the enormous force it just absorbed. Eri is not as heavy as Miyu, and Newton likely had some words for her just now. But it worked. Miyu barely moved. And Kyouko is nothing if not a professional with that spear. She can improvise a bit with her angle at the last second.

The spear drives into Miyu's stomach this time, and though her armor is powerful it cannot deny a weapon so sharp, so large, and so forcefully thrown. It hits her like a bolt from a ballista, ripping through her side. For an instant her silhouette is falling backwards, sparks and bits of transistor spraying lightly from a wedge-shaped chop that has opened where her kidney would have been. Then the spear sinks into the marble blocks, and Miyu catches the haft with her hands as she falls. She holds herself up, half-standing, that way, for just a second.

Then, double-jointed, she makes an impossible motion with her elbow, like a valve being cranked, and swivels herself onto her feet. Her side is open, a deep chunk taken out, severed wires spitting. A human would not be able to stand even if they somehow had the will; there are muscles there that one needs. But Miyu's posture is not affected, only her demeanor. She is serious now. Her eyes are careful. Fuu is coming at her now, so she needs to move. But when she takes a step, she seems unsure quite what will happen.

Her foot lands where she intended. She does not fall.

Miyu's smile doesn't reach her eyes at all, but it is wide and bright.

The way her body twists is like a chopping axe. She surges into and under Fuu's wind-borne slash. She catches the back of Fuu's neck gently with her hand. The soft hand. The one that doesn't hurt. Nearly cheek to cheek, she holds Fuu as the Magic Knight begins to feel what has happened to her.

"What about this one?" she asks Mikoto, with no more heat than if she were picking produce at the market. She does not twist the blade when she pulls it back, but she is not gentle.

As the blade Miroku passes beneath her feet, Miyu's palm taps Mikoto's shoulder gently, and as she reverses her body in the air above Mikoto, she fires straight down with the spinning barrels of her chaingun. The deep, ripping chatter of the weapon traces over and past her towards the wounded Fuu, then stays trained on Steven, trying to pin and crack that shield of his by sheer dint of constant fire. Her deliberate steps during this onslaught take her right up to Kyouko.

Unlike any prior clash, this time Miyu uses her powerful but unarmed hand to keep close and fight, long enough to send a shredding blast of autofire at Eri with her other arm, hoping to keep her out of it this time. Whenever Kyouko can put an end to that, she swaps out for Maria again and spars.

The worst thing about fighting Miyu is her speed. One has to predict more than react, sometimes. Miyu takes every angle that Kyouko's spear cannot be and stabs at it. But just when it seems the fight will reach a climax, she jukes to the side and charges past, to the softer underbelly--the ranged combatants.

A burst of buckshot strikes Miyu in the chest. It does almost no damage, but it slows her, and Homura begins pumping shot after shot into her chest. Miyu's shoulder keeps jerking back, her arm tossed briefly by the buckshot, then her upper thigh. Cumulatively, the damage starts to wear on her. Her spear-wounded side sparks. The slashes and burns from the others have taken some of her humanity; Homura can see some of her teeth showing, and the glinting metal of her jaw. But even as buckshot hammers Miyu, what Homura does not see is pain.

Assessment: Mami's guns are more dangerous. Mami is less mobile and heavily wounded. The priority is clear.

"You're in the way," Miyu tells Homura. And like a sawblade she begins to hack, over and over, with no intention to stop, forcing Homura to back away and somehow withstand it if she wishes to remain between her and Mami.

COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Merciless Blade Maria on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Viking Florentine on Georgia Jenks.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Eri Shimanouchi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Scarlet Mode: Minigun on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Armed and Dangerous on Kyouko Sakura.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Homura Akemi.
COMBAT: Miyu Greer has used Sword and Borg on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Eri Shimanouchi partially dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Eri
Shimanouchi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Georgia Jenks braces 18 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Viking Florentine, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Georgia Jenks is
unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Steven Universe perfectly braces 41 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Brace!  Steven Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot counters 13 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Merciless Blade Maria, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot is unable
to keep fighting!  Lancelot's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot's counterattack, Veil of Steel, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!  
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 22 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Mikoto Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, partially gets through, doing 24 Fatigue damage to Miyu Greer!
Critical Counterhit!
COMBAT: Homura Akemi partially dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 35 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Homura Akemi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kyouko Sakura fails to dodge Miyu Greer's Armed and Dangerous, taking 32 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe perfectly dodges 29 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Sword and Borg, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Mami Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COIN FLIP: Fuu Hououji flips a coin. It lands on heads!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 30 Fatigue damage from Miyu Greer's Scarlet Mode: Minigun, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Georgia Jenks [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Georgia has thrown caution completelt to the wind as she relentlessly pummels at Miyu. Of course, going toe-to-toe with a cyborg is no easy feat. And when you throw in the fact that she's injured...

Well. This can only end one way.

The cocoon cracks at some point during the heated exchange between the two of them. Georgia can feel her reserves slipping, along with any semblance of control she possessed going into this venture. She exchanges several more blows with the relentless robot, each one becoming lessened in magnitude until...

Miyu delivers the final blow.

Well, no the final blow, mind you. Georgia isn't leaving this mortal coil quite yet. When the conflagaration of sparks subsides, Miyu walks free. And Georgia...

...Is on the ground, out for the count, escrima sticks rolling on the ground away from her before they fade from existence.

A dazzling end.

Georgia Jenks says, "*not"

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

Miyu is right next to him and Lancelot grins a bloody toothed grin at the Cyborg. He doesn't look to Mikoto. He doesn't look to Eri. He can't look to Mai, she's not here. But as he brings Arondight around to deflect that blade he speaks to two out of the three in this room. "Mikoto, Eri," the wound of steel on steel rings as lightning flashes with each clash of Miyu's blade and Arondight. He ducks under a swipe, and flips Arondight so that he's holding Arondight by the blade.

"Protect Mai-san." Then he swings Arondight by the blade. One might think he's aiming for Miyu. In reality, he saw what was coming and had set up his poistion. He infused Arondight with the last of his will to keep it around, and just as Miyu struck in that moment, as he gasped when the blade slammed into him he threw the blade to Eri. His eyes go wide, as the armor glows and then little blue and white motes drift away.

NOW he feels all that pain. Takeo, not Lancelot falls to his knees and opens his mouth to say something, anything, but he can't talk. Blood oozes from a stabbed leg and a stabbed shoulder. It oozes from half a dozen bullet holes. From a slash on his right cheek. He tries, he really does to stay upright, but he can't. He falls to his left, on the previously wounded side and hits the ground hard. He blinks a few times. He tries to continue to watch the fight but he just can't.

His eyes close, and he is engulfed in sweet nothingness.

His chest still rises and falls in shallow breaths, so he has not died, but it looks like a near thing.

<Pose Tracker> Alyssa Searrs [None] has posed.

"Why would someone who wanted a better world sacrifice a young girl to achieve it? You, your friends--even Miyu!"

"You aren't going to do that thing again are you?! Can't we just talk this out?!"

"You claimed that nobody had died ... but if you call down that fire again - if you scour the island like you threatened - then you might as well have been killing people ever since the bridge was destroyed!"

Alyssa's eyes reopen, her baby blues steely with resolve. She raises her arms to the sky.

"Stop pretending this was inevitable," she chides them in a low murmur, that dreaminess returning to make her words as slow as they are deadly serious. "We tried to avoid the worst case scenario, to minimize casualties. We offered you words and options, but you rejected everything... because you believe in nothing. You don't know what you desire, or what you should be doing. Or else, you would already know why a young girl would be willing to sacrifice herself for the promise of a better world."

The sky responds immediately, painted yet again with the auroral herald of the destruction to come, as though the girl's hair has been magnified.

"But Miyu and I have conviction... and you have left us with no choice. This is more important than any of us... than all of us, combined."


And then the vision comes, like the sky is really a giant television screen.

The sunny blue sky is replaced with stars.

And among them, a satellite. THE satellite. It is normally roughly an inverted pyramid, with a green orb on the top -- but now it is abruptly surrounded by a pair of interlocking rings, two begemmed moebius strips which have materialized from nothing, the hallmark of the HiME.

Eclipse 1 responds promptly, transmuting from cold steel to bright gold as a number of radial edges flare off of it in all directions, and the tip of the pyramid splits in half, becoming the sides of a cannon, one powered by the orb.

Power comes from many places and manifests in many forms, but few are more spectacular than the fury of Artemis. It takes several long seconds for the charge to build, crackling hungrily, gathering in on itself, compressing, refining...



At first it's just a speck, a smear of light, a falling star distorting the magnified vision in the sky until it fizzles and vanishes, leaving only the true sky behind. The aurora intensifies to greet its source, which punches through the highest clouds without noticing they're there, surely the same fate of anything or anyone else who gets in its path.

The golden beam pours downwards, directly above -- STRAIGHT at the Chairman's Tower. Its path of destruction is surely wide enough to include much of the rest of the school as well. It is quite possible that there will be no survivors.

Guided by the other magical girls to the edge of the school grounds, the students and staff have been kept orderly, efficient, and quiet. They may wear different colored uniforms, but they're united in their purpose...

...and now in their death.

Ohtori, Infinity, Juuban... thousands of eyes gaze upwards in wonder and horror at the gorgeous sight of their oncoming demise.

And here in the tower, one pair of eyes gazes sadly at another.

BGM: It's Only The Fairy Tale https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFqKHgd0eB0

Alyssa's lips gently shape final words for Miyu, but the sound behind them is trapped, lost, gone within a maze of tortured air beginning to explode and implode at the same time.