2019-05-04 - Harmony II: Walpurgisnacht Is Coming

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Harmony II: Walpurgisnacht Is Coming

How do you solve a problem like Walpurgisnacht? Homura tells the rest of the community to just stay out of her way, but they have other things in mind.


Nori Ankou, Setsuna Higashi, Takeo Akamizu, Fuu Hououji, Kasagami Araki, Lera Camry, Steven Universe, Nagisa Misumi, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Honoka Yukishiro, Vita Yagami, Rei Hino, Usagi Tsukino, Niramo Umokeshi, Homura Akemi


Pino Karaoke Lounge

OOC - IC Date:

5/4/2019 - 06-03-2015

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPL87C_C_5k

The text goes out - how? The network is different now. A hub has been removed. It is a mesh now, capillary in its exchange. But a mesh it is still, not a wreck. Word leaked out, from Magic Knight to King to Siren to Pretty Cure, and it has flowed outwards.

The title varied. As did from whom the exact message came. It could have been Nori; it could have been Kasagami. It could have been Fuu; it could have been Setsuna.

WHAT: Meeting @ Pino Karaoke

WHEN: Wednesday @ 8pm til ?

RE: The witch that comes

There was also an assurance - phrased no doubt differently from each voice - that there would be food, and that if it was Necessary, singing would ensue... but was, in no wise, expected.

Pino is not full on a Wednesday night. Oh, not far; it is a place in Tokyo, after all, and the longing to sing out one's sorrows pervades time and space. But it is not *packed to the gills*. The immediate environs of the booth sponsored by this unlikely alliance is thus an island of calm, as once it was, but the calm's distribution is different.

In the space of the karaoke booth, the lights are a little low. The screen is on, but blank. Nori Ankou sits on the edge of the stage. She is wearing a long skirt, black and gold-fringed, and over it she has gone abruptly declasse: a fashion-print shirt, sand brown with a series of fox and bird 'footprints' crossing somewhere over the heart. She has her chin in her hand, gazing at nothing.

The table is bare, though there is a small neat stack of menus, and a pitcher of water has been provided... along with several large artist's notebooks and a plastic cup containing a range of pencils and pens.

Nori, on her end, looks up when people comes in, and smiles, but it takes her a moment to actually get up.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna Higashi is not exactly known for her initiative on social matters... But on this, it matters, and on this--she isn't alone, and she knows people who could help. They will need what they can--if she can do her part...

Setsuna Higashi sits in the booth, already, dressed not dissimilarly in a way; a black skirt, a draping red top, boots, a couple of bracelets... heavy bracelets. She isn't intentionally calling back to Eas, but something about the accessories helps her feel grounded.

She has coffee, for herself as a first drink. And as people come in...

She stands up, and greets each of them with a determined smile and the use of their name. (Politely, of course.) She encourages everyone to take seats.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo had driven through Tokyo on his motorcycle and when he arrives he removes his helmet, secures his bike and goes into the Karaoke Bar, picks up a large glass of Mt Dew and heads right for the Pino Lounge. He enters the room, still in his motorcycle jacket, his hari a slight mess from the helmet. He looks around and slides over to the table to idly pick up a menu. He looks around and smiles lightly, "Hello." He says waving to Nori.

He nods to Setsuna and waves to thsoe that come in after him but he moves to a corner of the room, where he can fold his arms over his chest and sip his Mt Dew in a corner. It's clear he's nervous and tehr eis something on his mind.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

For those who gathered at Madoka's house to offer comfort, the cardigan which Fuu is wearing is familiar - dark green, not overly heavy, but enough to provide some warmth against the chill of the ongoing rain outside. This time, though, her sweater hangs open, revealing the T-shirt she's wearing underneath it: a white background, adorned with character artwork from one of the more recent installments of a popular series of strategic RPGs. The casual look is borne out to its logical conclusion by denim jeans and sneakers.

Fuu glances up briefly whenever she hears the door open, but for the most part, she seems preoccupied with a deck of playing cards that she's alternately shuffling, dealing out, and sorting. Two more decks, still boxed, sit on the corner of the table next to her. There's also a cup of water within her easy reach, presently half-full (or depending upon your perspective, half-empty). "Takeo-san," she greets the Ohtori senior with a polite nod and a faint (but visible) smile.

She hasn't been smiling a lot since the last big gathering. Her classmates would know she's been trying, though.

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

Kasagami Araki arrives alone for once, the Duelist having caught first a train and then walked quite a decent step over to the Pino to gather her thoughts. With the rain, she's wearing one of her coats with a hood: heavy leather pulled in close with a red umbrella staving off most of the horrible weather. There's also a satchel at her side.

Said coat is thrown off almost immediately as she finds the gathering area, the Duelist giving a grin first to Setsuna, a quick salute to Takeo-kun, and then a smile over to Fuu. Nori, despite their differences in the war, even gets a faux-english bow to the Sirene.

Kassie's wearing a pair of black jeans, a metal belt with the logo of a local rock band on it, while she's chosen to go with a tank top in red and a silver necklace with an eagle ornament attached to it. Nothing expensive, but she feels the need to show off a little given the mood and occasion.

Her right arm is bandaged out of a minor sense of sensitivity for her appearance (given she's not sure who all is going to show), but she doesn't shy away from flexing the muscles underneath. There's a certain spark and hunger in her eye today, along with the lingering horror of the truths that the Incubator doused many in.

Ordering a drink (tea, heavily spiced to heck and back to keep her awake), she starts taking out her addition to this planning job.

Lots and lots of notebooks, pens, and stationary courtesy of her new position at Ohtori. Already she's doing the pen-twirl she's been practicing, a non-bleeding silvered one in her left hand.

"It's good to see everyone coming together." Is the first thing out of Kasagami's mouth. Grin. It's still not a very happy one, but it's there.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera Camry remembers another planning session, not so long ago, at this same karaoke joint.

She doesn't consider it auspicious.

She came with Setsuna Higashi; she is wearing a dark green button-up shirt and black slacks, and she stands to the back. She waves at people as they enter; however, she keeps quiet, because Setsuna is the one that volunteered. Lera s here as support.

And to make a plan.

She looks at Kasagami for a second; then, she smiles in a tired, but reserved way, and bobs her head in a nod. "...Yeah. It really is, y'know?"

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

It was a lovely evening out on Tokyo's beaches. The time and setting perfect to reflect on thoughts of recent events, while making popsicle figurines at the same time. He had to replenish soldiers for his toy armor after all, as they kept disappearing!

Seemed like the magical girls were in a bay way once again, with the manifestation of the apocalypse stated to be looming upon them soon. But they have all been through it before, haven't they? Kidnappings, Books, and monsters of all shapes and sizes.

He would believe in them until there was nothing left to believe. Yeah...

His phone, currently playing soothing music half-jammed in the sand vibrates and falls over. He picks it up and reads the text message. "Guess it was time we all talked about it, huh?" he asks himself. He begins to head to the meeting location, when he double-takes at it. He sees the location. Eyes dart to the beach house.

Lion exits the beach house and descends the stairs just in time to watch Steven running towards the city proper, ukelele in hand. THe feline drops two newly acquired green trinkets under the deck and buries them happily.


Steven arrives relatively close to the scheduled time, a little out of breath but otherwise okay! Wearing his ever-common lounging outfit and a smile on his face. This place looked super neato! A lot of pink. He digs it. A sling holds his weapon of choice tonight on his back.

If there was any chance to help people deal with this problem, the universal language might do it...!

Well, after the important talks, anyway.

"Hiiii everybody!" he says, giving a cute little wave to everyone thusfar assembled. Try to remain positive was the goal of tonight. Thinks looked grim, others have suffered, or are suffering. But without them, there may not be a future to be bright about.

And every little bit could make the difference in the end.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Hesitating just before the door, Nagisa takes a moment to dip her head to Honoka's ear, and whisper something. She follows it with a small nod, her amber eyes large and serious. She squeezes Honoka's palm.


But that's all the serious she has for now. Nagisa seems immune to the more somber mood clouding the room, going in for a hug the moment she's approached by Setsuna, before stepping back enough to let Honoka greet their Precure kouhai as well. Her eyes travel the room briefly while her partner is doing so, taking in those assembled, nodding at those who notice her survey.

'Seems' immune, is the operative word. Limbs golden-brown from the pleasant weather, her black tee decorated in criss-crossed (la)crosses, she brings a bit of sun indoors with her, from her ready smile to her energetic posture. But when her eyes come back around at last, having visited every other face in the room, she shares a brief, unfiltered eye contact with Honoka, and the corners of her lips falter down from a bright grin to a more nuanced smile, just for a few seconds.

Then Steven loudly makes his entrance, and Nagisa grins again. "Hey, don't go singing any inappropriate songs tonight," she lectures, looking down at him. She's gotten quite tall, Nagisa has. "And plug your ears if someone else does!" And she gets mysteriously more responsible around little brother type figres.

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

It's a mystery how the message spreads and leaks and bounces. At some point, perhaps some enterprising fairy picked it up and passed it through channels it might not otherwise reach. A mystery - but it arrives, all the same, on a magical yo-yo during a late-night excursion.

A message received, noted, and panicked over later that evening.

"I know it's important, and we all need to work together if the entire city's at stake, but I'm not supposed to know that! I mean, it was nice of Kaname-san's parents to invite me to support her, but I had to hide at the back of the room because there are things I wasn't supposed to know and I know and what do I dooooo?!" Pacing back and forth in her room, Marinette seems on the verge of panic - or maybe a few steps past it, it's always hard to tell.

Her tiny red companion seems to be pacing herself, or as close as she can by hovering in mid-air. Tikki's been in a stern mood since Kyubey started speaking, something about the subject striking a nerve with the Kwami of Creation. Eventually, though, she looks up, clearing her throat. "Okay, Marinette, it'll be fine. This is important, and everyone needs to do their part. I know you're worried about showing up, but there's one thing that might help us out..."

Wednesday evening arrives.

It's still raining, but a figure parkours from rooftop to rooftop, eventually dropping down in front of the lounge proper. She's carrying a red-and-black umbrella, dressed in a spotted bodysuit and sporting a domino mask.

The invitation was sent to Ladybug, after all.

Dodging around a few comments about 'cosplay', and generally showing a lot more caution and less swagger, she slips into the lounge. Familiar faces get faint smiles, and she sets her umbrella by the door before finding a seat of her own. Nori seems to be the hostess here, and so she in particular gets a nod.

"Thank you for the invitation; I was hoping I could find a way to help with what's coming. Sorry about not fitting in with the dress code, but..." It's a wry smile, before she turns her attention to other discussions.

And dilemmas. "...did you mean inappropriate as in language, or as in volume? I was hoping for some heavy metal later..." Another of those smiles; she might be joking, as she orders a coffee with milk and extra sugar. Or she might not.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Honoka returns Nagisa's whisper with a shallow little nod. Before she steps inside, she has to lift her chin and square her shoulders.

Her high heels clack loudly on the tiles by the entry, then softly as they hit the carpets, which do their job, muffling sounds in and between the booths. But loud or soft, they remain present -- the way she walks, very deliberately, a little bit stiffly and a little bit strongly -- remains.

She does not let go of Nagisa's hand.

The group in the room is a considerable balm, in context, and Honoka cannot help but relax a little in the company of people like Setsuna Higashi and Steven Universe. Her expression is less cheerful than her partner's, but there's a steadfast confidence to her -- a sort of unstoppable serenity -- that tends to put those around her at ease, when she isn't calling them out.

Her outfit is also a study in contrasts; long, flowing skirts and sleeves. Pale pastels. And, of course, her endless hair, which flows behind her like so much ink, so much shadow, so much silk, so much... much. The only pop of color there is the cheerful pink heart barette containing one side of her bangs.

"Setsuna-chan, everyone," she greets, silvery-voiced. "Thank you for organizing this, you four." That, to Nori, Fuu, Kasagami, and of course Passion herself.

She pulls a pen out of her purse and unsheathes it with a loud CLICK.

To those who know her, it sounds like hope.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita might feel a bit out of place if she hadn't just endured some kind of time god psychic javelin with half these people. Perhaps it's unusual, from the outside, seeing what situations Vita seems comfortable in and which make her act like the small child she looks like.

Case in point, she swings the door open like she owns the join, kicks it shut, and immediately stops when she actually sees who's all in the room, frozen like headlights.

Vita is a girl who appears, at least, to be about 5 or 6 years old, with fire-engine red hair of enough volume to be tied up in two waist-length pigtails, tied off with black bows at the ends. She dresses like the kid of a punk rocker, with a white shirt with a cartoon skull on it under a red half-vest, and a miniskirt paired with black and white striped stockings. Adornments include lace-frilled armbands and several gold crosses that serve no material function.

Additional accessory includes a startled look like she just saw a bear when she storms into the room full of middle schoolers-and-mostly-up. After a second she coughs, loudly, into her fist, composing herself. "Yeah so I guess someone's trying to blow up the city or something so I'm here and stuff," she grumps, and shuffles toward a seat.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"... it's not that important, Usagi! Let's just go already!"

That's the voice of Rei Hino, outside the lounge door. It's fair to say that nervousness has made her more critical -- and more aware of the time, ticking away. She's not hard to spot, with a silver and red-detailed jacket to ward off the rain, covering a white blouse and a red skirt which manages to balance considerations of temperature and precipitation. She stands with hand on hip, stationary as she gestures to the door.

"We both know you're never going to choose anything like that! I mean -- just -- ugh," she sighs, that hand coming up to her temple instead. She tries, very hard, to be less irritated. 'Rei trying not to be irritated' has its own sort of cadence, a restrained sort of effort which is eminently simple to notice for anyone remotely tuned in. "Don't do this whole... thing, right now, okay? We're already late." They might not be that late. "Look, we'll... we'll be okay, so don't worry about it."

As if Usagi is the only one worrying about it.

In they go, and Rei smiles to the group as they step inside, even if the expression is a little worn. "It's good to see everyone," she says -- looking from Kasagami to Setsuna to Steven to the rest, the greeting is inclusive. She does not raise a single comment about Ladybug's choice of fashion.

She does make sure to guide Usagi over to a seat, if only so she won't pace around.

One final note of consequence: her pen, when she pulls it out to make notes on one of those provided notebooks, has a little butterfly on the cap. It's adorable.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Luna pops in through the door to the lounge first. It's unclear when she did. Perhaps it happened when Takeo or Fuu opened the door. The mooncat takes a short hop up to the table - not wanting to risk being sat upon by people entering and leaving.

Outside the actual lounge door Usagi Tsukino isn't entering. She's pacing back and forth, clicking on her phone as her teenage thumbs work to look something up. "I can't just wait and look at the selections Rei-chan. I have to have something in mind!"

Clicking through her playlists, the girl puts a hand up to her forehead as she considers, "Maybe that one... or... no... no I couldn't. Not that one." Quickly she keeps clicking through, "No... no... no..."

This is strange for her. The fact that she's focusing on something that seems relatively unimportant isn't. It's simply how her distraction is failing to distract her. Usually being a creature of impulse, the answer was more often than not 'all of the above' whenever she had to make a decision.

Why is there no easy answer for something so simple as karaoke?

A whole playlist excluded, she looks down another one.

"But-" As Rei shows off her increasing irritation, she looks up from her screen, and there's a certain sadness creeping into her eyes. Slowly her eyes slide down to a selection once sang together by two girls just after D-Point in celebration.


She shows her agreement by clicking the button to lock her phone.

It's such a strange transformation though by the time Rei guides Usagi in. She's smiling again, waving, like this was simply another karaoke night. "Ladybug! Nori-chan! Lera-chan! Everyone-!"

There may just be a brief double take as her eyes fall on Vita. Though it's very subtle.

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

The plain envelope waiting on a pillow was missed at first, the room's main occupant more concerned about getting dry and the homework that was trying to pile up on her. It takes a few minutes before she finally takes notices and looks it over carefully. The last time she got a mysterious letter sent out to 'Sourisi', it was for a meeting that turned into a journey into the dream world. "Just how did it get here...?"

"That's easy to explain. Carrier fairies." Takk flies closer to examine the note, almost missing the nonplussed look from Niramo. "Carrier...fairies?" "Yes. Carrier fairies." The smug look and the lack of explination was annoying, but that was just how Takk is normally. Though she wonders if perhaps a certain Duelist might have a little of influence there...

The note itself was small and just enough details to know it was going to be in a public place. Thankfully, Niramo had just the thing...

Sourisi might be getting a few odd looks as she makes her to Pino Karaoke when she finally had to climb down to street level, but not as much as she normally would be getting. No umbrella helps protect the suitted heroine from the rain, but instead a rather old-fashion beige trenchcoat. It was a little worn, looks like it came straight from a B-rate detective movie set and came below her knees, but it's a lot better than just going to do karaoke without a disguise. Seeing Steven, Fuu, Kasagami and Ladybug here is enough to know she has the right place, at least!

Removing her trenchcoat and hanging it up on a coatrack, she walks over to Ladybug and gives a slightly forced smile. This wasn't a happy gathering, but at least she's not the only one in her outfit. "Sorry if i'm breaking any sort of rules, but...well, the old coat is all I had for the weather outside."

COMBAT: Niramo Umokeshi transforms into Sourisi!
<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori smiles at those who arrive. She has already smiled at Setsuna, at Fuu; even at Kasagami. She seems to have to actually do each smile. Are they hard, individually? No; but it is clear that they are *done*, not permitted from something within.

Not now.

Ladybug comes in and speaks to her more directly. This makes Nori come fully out of her reverie and shift forwards. "Thank you," Nori says, "for coming. I don't blame you, with things are the way they are." Then comes the question of an inappropriate song, and Nori chases it mentally. What WOULD be inappropriate here?

It is a welcome distraction. She rises up to her feet and bows towards Honoka and Nagisa at the same time, before her lips purse and her stomach tightens in a near-laughter at the visage of Vita, smaller and more precious than even Steven, speaking in such a grumpy tone. So it is, paradoxically enough, Vita to whom Nori first smiles for 'real'. It brightens a little further - not much, but a little - at Rei, at Usagi.

When Sourisi comes in, Nori smiles at her again. "You are not. Please, all of you, take your ease. Look at the menu. Whatever you wish, we'll get. I and Araki will treat you all."

But now Nori seems to feel that all who are coming, have come. She clasps her hands before her. "Thank you, all of you, for..."

Nori hesitates. "For being," she says, which is not quite what might be expected.

As her eyes turn round, she says, "I know that most of you know, but I will say it again - so that we are all together and on the same page. Kyubey, who we thought the friend of the Puella Magi, came to Madoka's. There, it" not he, any more, it seems "told us the purpose of its plans. This entire cruel cycle is to harvest energy from the sorrow of people... girls, here on Earth. A Puella Magi becomes a Witch; a Witch is slain by other Puella Magi. And it feels Madoka will be a truly precious prize."

Nori has a beat's length of rest.

"It spoke of a Witch that will come soon. A Witch of Witches, a 'stage setting' Witch. It called that witch Walpurgisnacht. It hopes that Madoka will be driven to make contract with it, and become a Puella Magi."

"I would be inclined to say... the Devil lies... but it merely withholds, doesn't it?" Nori says, her eyes on the karaoke booth floor. "That Witch will surely come. From its description, the mere manifestation of Walpurgisnacht will slay thousands, that it will ravage Tokyo..."

Nori breathes deep, lets it out, and looks up. Her hands go down to her hips with emphasis. "Anyway," she says. "we're going to stop it. I thought... with everything... we could come together. Make something of a plan, even if it is only to come together when the day arrives."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera waves at the newcomers -- especially Nagisa, who she knows in a sort of casual way as a fellow sports player, even if they were in different clubs. In the words of Bing Crosby, Lera thinks, 'ball don't lie.'

(She is still bad at Earth.)

She waves a little more energetically at Vita than the rest; she's on her team. But her expression brightens most at Usagi, and she beams. "Usagi-chan!" she says. "Ah--I'm so glad you're here, y'know?"

She quiets down, after that. Her amber eyes turn down at the ground for a second. There are people she wishes were here; her fingers tighten a little, balling into a fist, and she closes her eyes for a second. Then, she lets out a long, slow sigh.

"...Yeah," she says. "We need to do something. Do we... have much information about this thing? We know what Witches can do. Is it like a... really big Witch, or is it something else?"

COMBAT: Homura Akemi transforms into Puella Magi Homura!
<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Umbra Nigra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDLUUZgy9Dk

One of Pino's distinguishing characteristics stands to the side of the party room stage: a hospital-style changing curtain. It hangs still as a calm green day at sea, unused by the room's current occupants for its purpose of changing into novelty costumes. Nori Ankou addresses those gathered in grief, with purpose and all gravitas -- and humanity. And when she finishes...

The curtain shifts not a breath when a girl with violet eyes steps from behind it on legs lined with diamonds. There is an ankle-high gap between curtain and floor which betrayed no glimpse of her feet before this.

Homura Akemi is simply here when an eyeblink before, she was not.

The group nestles in enough cocoons, between the soundproofed karaoke room and the building it's within, that no hint of outside winds and driving rain reaches them... But the storm enters the room via those cold eyes, somehow. Her gaze slices across the room, across each of the assembled in turn, without pause.

"That won't be necessary."

The last time she appeared among them like this, wielding her icy facade, the Mermaid Witch's darkness leaked from wounds opened in Haneda Airport. This time she stands a calculated length from all, farther than a lunging arm could easily reach.

"I shall be the one to slay it."

Homura Akemi is not given to inflection. Her voice emerges smooth and unyielding as drawn steel.

"This is a Witch the likes of which you cannot imagine. I am the only one who knows how to fight it..."

Doubt whispers up from within her: if she knew how to fight it, wouldn't she have beaten it already? Through the crushing weight of her own sins, against the grind of cruel fate and the aroused flutter in her ribcage of grief held abeyant too long, the desperate girl exerts yet more control. There is only the barest of pauses between words.

"...And I will not hold back. Stay out of my way. I won't be responsible for what happens if you don't." She won't accept that, on top of everything else; refuses it, refutes it, like that has any effect on the reality of the world.

One person is not present, the one person Homura's gaze could not have helped but linger upon... Or would she be able to look at her at all, now? Instead violet eyes bore into Nori Ankou's tidal blue ones, and there is something about the intensity of that gaze which may remind the other of a waterlogged moment shared in seeing to the safety of a too-kind pink soul.

'Take her!'

"She's not here. You understand that much, now. Stay out of my way, and keep Madoka Kaname far away from Walpurgisnacht."

Nothing in her brooks any allowance for what Madoka Kaname might, herself, want. Homura Akemi, the girl who has withheld so much from them in the past and is surely withholds secrets from them even now, tosses her chin and sets sable locks to swirling, and there is a whisper of her moving sleeve--

--and she is simply not here when an eyeblink before, she was.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna doesn't stray far from Lera while she stands greeting those coming in. Her support, even silence, is a source of strength for this girl who lives now in Tokyo. And...

She shows no objection at all to making it a hug when Nagisa greets her, smiling briefly at her in turn. "I'm glad you're here," she says to her sincerely, without so much as a comment on lacrosse, and indeed she shows a little glimmer of outright relief as Honoka greets her back too. "Senpai," she answers. The click does sound like hope, to her. The two of them, here...

Oh she greets all of them, but Vita gets a special look too; she's shorter than Setsuna, unlike some, of course. "I'm glad you're here, Vita-chan," Setsuna says firmly to her, and it's not quite 'as if they'd never fought' but something very different.

She doesn't quite laugh at the matter of inappropriate songs, but, "Your attire is fine," Setsuna tells Ladybug. "I like your choice of colors." Beat, "And," she adds, "I have some earplugs for Steven if necessary..."

Does she? Does she really?

A look then to Kasagami--to Fuu--to Nori.

"...Yes," Setsuna answers, having prepared to speak. "I don't think it's lying about this much, but--"

But there is a presence. A presence, and an arrival; Homura Akemi comes out, and speaks, and Setsuna's expression is calm, unemotional, at first... Until, as she goes on, the Red Cure adopts a distinct frown. She says nothing to her, preferring to stare at her in stony silence.

Then, as she is gone--

"...So, we can assume, as we prepare for this battle, that Homura Akemi has a plan of her own and will be working regardless of our presence. Given her previous actions, we can assume that she cares little for the lives of almost anyone involved."

She remembers, after all.

"I see no reason that we should follow her advice given that. ...So, we know that should it manifest, many will die--we seem to be..." She pauses, frowns, doesn't like her phrasing--and then shakes her head.

"...Without a cooperative Puella Magi, our options to find it before it manifests are limited. We may end up having to do nothing more than wait--and come together when it arrives as quickly as we can. I'm not sure what plan we can really put together... Other than making ourselves as ready as we can."

"But I'll fight with any of you."

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

Steven's arrival has Kassie's gaze flicking over, and the young man's cheer forcing a quick smile that's actually genuine onto her face for a second. She's never been shy about how much she likes the kid who's always been so brave, if hopelessly naieve. Somewhere in the back of her mind, though, she's worried. Sure, he didn't crumble when dealing with the truth of the Puella...

But she well knows that traumatizing things often hurt in very deep and dark places.

Nagisa plays the role of big sister to the young man, and that both puts in points in her favor to Kassie while also making her want to play the corruptive aunt. Ladybug enters, too, and her clothing choices earn her a curious 'hmmmmm!'. Her words, however, get an appreciative nod.

"Oh, as long as we don't break too many noise ordinances, I'm sure we'll be fine. In fact, if we're protecting Steven's ears, maybe cranking the thing up to twelve might be a good thing!" Teases the Duelist lightly.

She grows a bit more serious though as Honoka speaks up. She shoots a quick nod.

"I think we all need this. And I don't mean just to be prepared for the storm." A thoughtful sigh. A quick stab of pen to the Ohtori equivalent of a pincushion, and then she sips her tea with a swift motion of fingers. One boot crosses over the other.

That pen click does have quite the sound, though she'd never admit it aloud.

Vita is as blunt as ever. It's refreshing. And knowing just how darn hard the girl hits? Kasagami is already feeling a bit better about their odds of battening down the hatches of Tokyo against Walpurgisnacht.

Sourisi gets a twinkle of her eyes. "I've seen worse!" The coat, of course. Don't worry, she's only slightly judging here.

Rei and Usagi enter, and first Kasagami finds her eyes drawn to the pair. Black and blonde. Rei gets a respectful nod, given the mutual status as Political Daughters (tm). Usagi is the far more bright of the two, though, and Kasagami looks her over skeptically. Just a moment though. She'd prefer to keep the hatchet buried, unless it's to rebury it in a Witch's skull.

Finally she offers a grin to both. "Welcome to the party before the hounds of the underworld come rolling through!" Quips the girl.

This instantly dies though, as Nori Ankou pulls a classic Ohtori move and puts part of the bill on her. Her left eye twitches very slowly. She sloooowly gulps, feeling her bank account already shuddering in pain. What passes for her bank account these days.

Breathe out, Kasagami. Don't die from money shock.

Nori and Lera both get a quick nod from Kassie as the topic of Kyuubey and their apocalyptic opponent comes up.

Homura's entrance, words, and subsequent exit have Kasagami's attention before she can speak her mind though. Homura tells them to stay out of the way, that only she can fight it! This very much gets up Kasagami's back up, after all that she's seen. The Book of Darkness clearly comes to mind.

"Homura! What are you thinking!? If you've got a way to kill this thing, then spill it so we can make it die faster! This is our friends and family on the line you...!!!"

Kasagami has quite had enough of the dark haired Puella at this point, and has already wound up to toss one of those deck of cards for the girl's face.

Unfortunately she's gone, and Kassie slinks back down to the table. The pack goes open. Hands fan out cards, split, shuffle. Faster, faster, faster, as her hands work the cards out of pure frustration.

She might need a second, but does give a fast nod to Setsuna. She considers this new information, the gears in her head turning even as her hands blurr.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

"Pft." Takeo lets slip with the sound of dirersion before he takes a sip off his Mt Dew. He looks to Homura and is about to comment when she simply disappears. He takes another sip off his soda and then gestures to where she once stood. "Screw her." He says simply and then nods to the room. He pushes off the wall and nods to Nori, "She however IS right," he gestures to Nori with the soda cup to indicate which she he is referring to. "This Well-puges-sneeze name thing is likely real. The little Demon Cat thing probably doesn't lie, but it also probably isn't telling us everything either, so we HAVE to take the threat seriously."

He shrugs a shoulder before he speaks again, and also listens to the others as they speak and he nods to Setsuna as she suggests coming together once its formed. "Yeah. Exactly. It'll suck, as we probably won't get to choose a battleground, but regardless we need to come together regardless of miss Diamond on her Stockings the Jerk Face says. One person can't stop this thing, and we need to be ready. At least have some sort of rudimentary plan to face it. We shouldn't bother preparing a defense in depth, if this thing is half as deadly as Kyubey suggested, then we have to hit it with everything we have right up front." He nonds. "Melee, Magic, heck, magical melee if we have it. Just unload on this thing with everything and if it's still standing, hit it again. Prefereably with Close Air Support from the fliers in the group to try and draw this thing's fire. If we can confuse it while we hit it with everything we'll stand a better chance."

He sips his soda again. "I play a 'lot' of video games."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Kasagami's smile is returned in kind, and this time it seems to stick for Fuu - further smiles of greeting come more easily, more naturally. And there are plenty of familiar faces to welcome: Lera's, Steven's, Nagisa's and Honoka's, Vita's, Rei's, Usagi's; even Ladybug's and Sourisi's arrivals, in transformed states though they may be, are greeted with a friendly smile, and even a polite bow for the Miraculous-wielders. "Don't worry about the dress code," she assures Ladybug. "I wasn't sure if anyone would be here in 'costume' or not, either. We're going to need all the help we can get," she admits, her smile slipping again briefly, as she finishes gathering up the cards once more, tapping the edges of the deck on the tabletop to even them all up.

She's still evening the cards up when Homura makes her appearance - and while it's good to see another ally, Fuu doesn't get a chance to say anything to her. Being told that their plans are 'unnecessary' banishes the tentative smile from Fuu's face; whatever else Fuu *would* have said - whether to chide Homura, to entreat her to stay, to encourage her, *anything* - is stifled by the dark and mysterious air which Homura projects. And then she's gone as abruptly as she came.

"... Anyway." Fuu gets to her feet, adjusting her glasses, then riffling through the cards as though to keep her hands busy. "As has been stated, we know very little about Walpurgisnacht, except for what the Incubator -" She still doesn't like saying that word, and it shows. "- claimed about its overwhelming power. But the fact that this is a threat to all of Tokyo, to the city where our families and our friends live, is reason enough in my eyes to do everything that the rest of us can do. Even if Homura is the only one who can truly defeat it, I don't see any reason why the rest of us can't soften it up for her. The first blow, the second, third, fourth, fifth ... nine, ninety, even nine hundred. But we *will* need to fight carefully, nonetheless ... partly because of Homura's plan, partly because we know nothing of where this Witch will manifest, what its powers will be."

She holds up the deck of cards; a Nine of Clubs is visible, whether or not it means anything.

"I've been thinking about what we can do," Fuu continues, riffling through the cards some more, "and I have a tentative organization in mind. Some of us are better at getting in close and hitting enemies hard. Some are better at magical attacks, from range or otherwise. Some are best at support, whether aiding allies or hindering foes. And some don't fit neatly into any category. Obviously, we don't know where Walpurgisnacht will manifest, so we can't tailor our plans to the battlefield - but it would be best if, somehow, we can herd or lure it to an unoccupied area ... for instance, an industrial zone that was ravaged by fire and explosions when magical girls fought a certain flying monster."

She pauses, glancing around. "Did they finish reconstructing from that fight?" she wonders, somewhat chagrined. "... but best if we can keep the collateral damage down. Still, a few wrecked skyscrapers are admittedly preferable to a desolate crater, twenty-three wards in size," she adds ruefully.

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

Wow, the whole gang is here! Including... Rei and Usagi? Why are they here? Eh, might be friends of some of the magical girls here! Even they can surely help, even if they aren't magical! Who knows, considering the crowd, maybe they are!

Of course before he can say anything upon joining the group he is accosted by a very responsible young lady! "Eh?! Nagisa...! I-I wasn't gonna do any bad songs I swear!" He looks up at her with big eyes. He doesn't seem the type to do that, but you never know!

At her request, he nods his head viciously. He has heard some more questionable songs before, but was usually because dad insisted he learn how the guitar or other instruments were used in that song. Kassie has a cool idea about loud music. That could work! Sadly, he brought no amps with him to help with that plan.

He has no intent to play those today. "Hi, Honoka!" he says nicely to Nagisa's friend, as well! "Glad you both could make it!"

A wave across the entry goes toward Ladybug and Sourisi. Was good to see them both as well! He will make sure to say hello to them shortly, as it seems like Nori is beginning to move about and greet folks! Perhaps it was time to hear them out. "Hey Nori," he says kindly as she comes nearby "Thanks for having me...!"

At her request, Steven will find himself a seat proper at the table, the Ukelele is hung on a chair with care. With hands in his lap, he listens to what the Siren has to say.

Walpurgisnacht. Even the name is frightening in a way. Like some old forgotten myth. Most likely in a foreign language. "Witch of Witches huh? So... where does it come from? Is there like, a spooky ritual or something?" he asks curiously.

He takes a breath to speak more, but the sudden presence of something else in the room has his attention. "...Uh?" She wears familiar garb, like that of a Magi. She also seems incredibly stern and, not quite emotionless, but rather, unwilling to show it. She then proceeds to tell everyone to stay out of the fight.

Before he can get in a word edgewise though, she is gone in an instant. Might be her powers! "What was that? Who was that?!" the boy says looking to everyone else. He sighs, laying back against his chair. "Like we are going to just watch someone fight it?" he says rhetorically. "Yeah, sure..."

"Why don't we just stop whatever will make it? Like finding other Magi or Witches or something?" Setsuna's comment causes him to frown. "Really? That stinks. Is there anyone that might have learned how to find them from Magi? Or is that like a special thing just they have?"

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

While a snack sounds nice, having Kasagami and Nori foot the bill doesn't seem right, even if they were offering. She certainly knows Kasagami's finances are not as grand as they were several months ago. "Thanks, but I made sure to eat something before. I didn't want to cause more sour notes tonight, after all." The pun itself might leave a sour taste for some, but a few jokes while the mood was still light is a good idea. Speaking of which...

"Oh, is it the one that you wear everywhere, Kasagami-san? Perhaps we should do a trade?" Sourisi just winks at the Ohtori Duelist, glad to know that her spirit seems to be burning a little brighter today.

The magical rumor mill of Tokyo is just as crazy and filled with half-truths and mostly lies just like any other rumor mill, even if the topics are slightly more outlandish than normal. 'Cookies made with petals of the World Tree keep you young' or 'The Demonic Hellcat devours the souls of their victim with a gaping maw filled with flames' are common ones. They can be slow to spread, however.

But when a rumor spreads out that 'Puella Magi and Witches are two sides of the same coin' and like wildfire, it tends to stick out more like truth.

A 'Witch of Witches' sounds like it's a leader of all the other Witches in Tokyo, and if it was showing up now, then things were truly getting serious. "Surely we can confront it before it gets close to Tokyo then, maybe stop any innocents getting killed before we even face it?" But if they can't figure out where the Witch might show up...there might be people getting hurt that she can't protect before it is too late...

And then one Puella Magi makes herself known, and makes her intent very clear. She will handle this herself, and she would likely fight anyone who might try to give her aid. Madoka comes first, and the consequences will be dealt with as long as Madoka doesn't become a Puella Magi herself.

And then, without even a chance to speak up, Homura disappears without a trace.

Setsuna's declariation gets a few nods from Sourisi. "Is there a way we can see where she is setting up her plan? I don't like to stalk others, but if we can at least tell which direction she seems to be focusing her efforts in, we can plan there as well. Or just improvise like usual, anyways!" The warning just to step aside was easily cast aside. They have done so much together with the aid of one another, why stop now?

Takeo gets a curious look and a smile. "Video games are great for hand and eye coordination. They can teach more than school sometimes!"

Looks like Fuu is on the right track with her thoughts. "Maybe we can redirect the Witch towards the reconstruction? Or have someone try to scare everyone away from the area first if we can't?"

Steven gets an answering wave of his own, even if it's delayed. "Steven might be onto something there. If it's as powerful as you say, it has to be giving off a lot of magic and more than other Witches. Maybe we can track it that way?"

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

She has a seat, and she has a coffee order in. For Ladybug, the strategy meeting is off to a good start. She waves to Sourisi as the other holder approaches, sliding over to make room on the bench. "Coat, umbrella - it doesn't make a lot of difference. It's good to have you here." To Nori, she shakes her head. "It's nothing to do with current events - I was invited as Ladybug, so I couldn't exactly show up with another face."

She might be wondering inwardly why Tsukino-senpai is here, but it's probably...moral support? Moral support. That checks out.

The meeting begins in earnest, begins with a brief summary of what they all know. That Witches are monsters who were once Puella Magi, that their ultimate member is due to arrive, that a plan is needed. As Nori speaks, Ladybug opens up her yo-yo as if it were the opening of a purse, withdrawing a small book and pencil. "That makes sense - at the least, we could..."

Time blinks. Homura makes her opinion known, and then is gone in a second blink.

Ladybug's pencil clatters to the table, dropping from suddenly lax fingers. Her mouth opens and closes several times in rapid succession, as if she's still processing what just happened - and then her temper blows up.

"That's it?! You just want to come in, tell us that you've got a mysterious plan that we should stay out of the way of without saying a word about just what it is that we're supposed to be avoiding?! Is there some building we need to not be in so you can drop it on your enemy, or have you organized some synchronized dance troupe - you can't just drop in and claim a mysterious plan without giving some kind of guidance for where people should be!"

Ladybug is yelling at empty space, but it helps her feel a little bit better. After venting, though, she takes a break to just breathe heavily and regret that drinks haven't arrived just yet.

After catching her breath, she picks up her pencil, jotting down a few angry words in her little book. "All right. To begin with, we should just consider her plan as a hazard - maybe we'll get lucky and it'll work, but there's no telling how destructive it could be. Either get out of the way when she arrives, or hold back until she's done whatever she's trying." She twirls the pencil once, then taps it against her lips.

Takeo, Fuu, Steven and Sourisi all have their own words to say - primarily about video games and strategies therein. Ladybug frowns in response, tapping her pencil again. "Video games are all well and good, but my usual picks are focused on human-scale opponents. If this is a 'Witch of Witches', it might be a massive enemy - you should probably focus your 'research' in that direction. Trying to direct or lure it in a particular direction might work - but that depends on what it wants or fears."

She hums, and taps the page a few times. Maybe they just don't know enough.

Maybe she should have ordered cookies for a sugar boost.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Being greeted visibly calms Vita. Even if Nori's chuckles might bother the firebrand, Lera's cheerful wave and the specific attention of Setsuna mean that by the time the shorty is sitting she is merely nervous on account of the world ending instead of attempting to soothing her anxious heart with grouch on top of that. She hurls a sigh at the ceiling, and then--

Nearly jumps out of her skin when someone just sort of SHOWS UP.

Vita knows most of the magical girls in Tokyo; not in person, per se, so much as long days of stalking them, evaluating them, judging them, means that between the Wolkenritter most of the names worth knowing are known. Which is all a long way to say that she's more surprised by Homura's presence than existence. "Hwa!!" she yelps, hand flashing to her chest in case she needs to grab for Eisen. But the words still her.

"...that's it!? You have a whole city full of the strongest people alive probably literally anywhere and--!"

And she's gone.

Vita makes a face shockingly similar to something you'd expect out of Kermit The Frog, and then makes a gurgling noise of incredible frustration, and then hops off the couch (she'd stood up on the couch, she didn't even notice doing it) and lands on her seat on her butt, fuming. But after a few seconds of muttering, she spits, "I can...talk to Shamal. Try. Idunno, she's good at searching and stuff. We...probably can't count on Hayate yet."

Then she trails off into grumbling again. She wants a tub of ice cream to shove into her face and it's not here and that's awful.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Don't take that responsibility for yourself!" Rei snaps, as Homura's chin lifts. They are words which cut too personally, all those study groups falling asleep and laughing it off as if it were just the strain of school life. "If you take this thing on alone, you'll--!!"

She's gone.

"Homura-san, you get back here THIS INSTANT!" Rei yells at the space she used to be, half-raising from her chair before she is reminded to sit down. She sighs, burying a face in a hand. "You... oh, for crying out loud..." The look she shares with Usagi, in this moment, shares a hint of just how lost Rei is -- capable, battle-ready Rei, who has been trying to keep Usagi on task this whole time, with little explanation for why she is falling into patterns of strain. "I can't believe that girl," she mutters, and it's a blatant lie, because Rei can believe it just fine. What she means is: it's frustrating.

(There are a few girls here she can't much believe, and they all share the same sin, but she is putting slights against Usagi aside for the sake of community.)

Setsuna summarises, and Rei straightens, nodding to her. "You have my full support," she says, and perhaps it's moral. Reading flames, offering advice and charms to ward away evil. That's how someone like Rei Hino helps, after all. "It's best to consider Homura-san's efforts an, mm... occupational hazard," she settles on, after a brief pause.

Scribble scribble goes her pen as she makes a few notes.

"But what does a Witch want?" Rei asks, as she taps her pen against the page. "I mean, their whole thing is despair, right? So this Witch of Witches --" she does not say 'Walpurgisnacht' because she isn't sure she'd pronounce it right, at once like and unlike Takeo's brazen lack of linguistic effort -- "as soon as she shows up, she's going to be drawn to the population centres, because everyone's going to be panicking for their lives. Is there any way to get around that?"

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Usagi is in the middle of asking, "So what will we sing f-" When Nori starts to speak. And it has a feel of something like a school assembly for her. Except the stakes are far higher. Luna is sitting on the table, entirely still, even her tail doesn't twitch. She's about to chime in with her own statement to Nori, when suddenly Homura Akemi appears.

"Homura Akemi." Luna says with a certain politeness, though she sounds stern. She says nothing else until Homura delivers her ultimatum of sorts.

Usagi had watched the whole time, eyes wide, though at the end, she stands up abruptly, "We want to protect Madoka-chan too! Why won't you let us-" Homura Akemi is already gone, Usagi just doesn't realize it until this moment. "-help..."

She remembers the time Homura Akemi held a gun to her head. Told her that she wasn't going to D-Point.

It was the first time perhaps that she realized just how much Homura Akemi must care for Madoka Kaname.

"What a frustrating girl." Luna says, sounding more than a little exasperated, as Usagi sinks back in her seat, pressing her knees together, and Rei suddenly finds her hand held. It's discrete, but right now Usagi needs a hand to hold. And she does so, squeezing Rei's hand until she's nearly white knuckled.

Luna allows anger to vent for a time, before she eventually lifts her chin to look at Setsuna. "That is a good thought Setsuna-chan. It would be ideal if we had a Puella Magi willing to cooperate. It is unfortunate that we do not. However if we learned anything from the incident at Shinjuku General - it is that powerful witches do not always hide themselves in a labyrinth."

There is something grim about that. Luna invoking that tragedy as a smaller example of what could happen. "Not all of our powers are ideal towards battling a witch either." This talk is obviously affecting Luna too though, as there's a certain sadness in her eyes, as her chin dips, "I wish Mami-san were still here. She would know how best to bring out each of our strengths in the coming battle."

Luna hears Rei's question, and her tail lashes in the air, "A mass evacuation perhaps? If everyone thinks it is a terrible enough natural disaster that is coming..."

Usagi's grip increases imperceptibly, and there's a slow blink of her eyes, "I think she's right in one thing... I think... the best way to protect Madoka-chan is keeping her away." There's this sad little shake of her head, "That..." And it's like she fails to be able to put words to what 'that' is until, "... Kyubey... it's going to try to pressure her while we're fighting it. I know it... and..."

There's a glimmer of tears in her eyes, "... if Kyubey gets her soul too." There's a whisper and a frantic shake of her head, "Anything but that...!"

She doesn't really mean 'Anything'. Anything means let Tokyo die, let all of them die, let the universe die. 'Anything' is too strong a word.

Yet it's Madoka Kaname.

And while if she had to think about it - she wouldn't mean 'Anything'. Right now she absolutely means it too.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"It's Camry," Nagisa points out under her breath to Honoka, with a brief thumbs-up in Lera's direction. She's using the name one would print on the back of a jersey. Before she can say anything else, however, someone's already testing the edges of Steven's song curfew.

"Cure Ladybug!" Nagisa scolds. She's learned that not everyone is a Cure, but it pops out sometimes when she's startled. "Some of that music has bad words! Steven-kun likes beach music. Right, Steven-kun? Bermuda, Bahama..." Nagisa bends at the waist to smile at Steven. "Wei dow in Kokomo!" she sings, off-key.

Standing up straight, Nagisa can straighten her arm again--she was still holding Honoka's hand. As Nori gets things underway, however, Nagisa takes note of the weapon in Honoka's other hand, and takes measures to ensure its effective use, leading Honoka over to a free area of seating and plopping down. Easier to write sitting down. Squeezing Honoka's hand, she releases it so the dark-haired girl can fetch her notebook. Crossing her legs, she grasps her knee in both hands, leaning back shoulder-to-shoulder with her partner to listen. She seems to glow next to the other girl, as if constantly enduring a mixture of happiness and pride at her grace, her formidability, her proximity.

When Homura interrupts, Nagisa seems ill-at-ease, but not angry, glancing around at the others to see their reactions. She shivers at the final warning.

"Setcchan's right," she says, when the grim girl has gone. "If this Wa--" It's a sign of Nagisa's increasing maturity that rather than stammer through a horrendous mangling of this foreign word, she pauses and diverts. "If this Witch is really so powerful, we can't let anybody fight it alone. But that doesn't mean we should yell at Homura-san. When you're really good at something, sometimes you start to learn that it's better for everyone if you do it yourself... you learn it, even if it's not true."

A picture of a thought: Nagisa far up the field, no one close enough to pass to.

Nagisa's voice is quieter now. "And sometimes when people say, 'I'll do it myself,' what they mean is, 'I feel safe when I'm alone.'"

Another picture: a younger Honoka Yukishiro with a book on her lap, content and dignified, shadows of laughing children slipping back and forth across her as they play on the playground.

"If Homura-san doesn't think she can trust us, all we can do is show her she can."

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Honoka's Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH_YPKIMMLg

Honoka listens gravely to one and all, including Homura, to whom the chief response elicited is a quiet sadness, contained mostly in her eyes.

She takes notes throughout, virtually meeting minutes, in fact, all unscrolling onto a pad (which also appeared out of her purse; it has white metal rings on the top, and a pattern of lilies along the bottom of the stationary) from the tip of her pen. A whole room of girls and their feelings captured with strokes that are neat, precise, and beautiful, too.

They are, perhaps, especially beautiful when she writes Nagisa's words, as is Honoka, herself. She nods in clear agreement, which, sure, sends her hair rippling -- and releases its faint scent of lily-of-the-valley -- but it's more than that. It comes from the inside, a silent joy at the miracle of being together with this perfect person that even the darkness of this current situation cannot taint.

Finally she raises her head, and takes in the room with her thoughtful blue eyes, brilliant even in the native gloominess of the karaoke booth.

"I too believe," she murmurs, "That the defining factor is going to be one another."

She lets this sit in the air for a moment, allows those in the mood to do so to unwrap her thought like a fortune cookie or a koan. Then she continues, gently:

"Consider the Maiden of Dreams, or Queen Beryl. The Searrs Invasion, the World Tree. Each time, we won because we did the opposite of what Akemi-san would have us do."

Her gaze drops from the others, tenderly, to Nagisa's hand, reclaimed in hers.

She squeezes, then looks back up at the group.

"The path to hope is walked together, hand in hand."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'That won't be necessary.'

Nori freezes up, having looked towards Lera.

She looks towards Homura. There is hope there. Homura knows things. This has been clear to Nori... and Nori thinks, though in vain, that she has come to understand why. Once again there is hope in her blue eyes. Once again it is thrown in the garbage.

She struggles to articulate herself. The cold pressure of Homura's glare, like the barrel of a gun, presses on her in a way it did not atop that government building. She manages to say, "Wait--!!"

Nori reaches out.

Homura has disappeared.

Nori's fingers slowly curl. Her head tilts forwards. Her hand comes down.

Take her! Nori remembers hearing.

She breathes out then, face tightening for a moment.

It passes. Nori looks back to the others. "Mm," she says, to Setsuna. "Just so. It sounds as if its... appearance will be hard to disguise. But that very appearance will be devastating. Even if the creature exaggerated for effect, I think it wouldn't speak falsely. If we wish to break its spells - (not literal ones, i hope!) - then we must do... something, ourselves."

Nori looks to Takeo and Fuu then, who seem to be on a similar wavelength. She moves towards a seat, not in haste. "I... don't know," she says, to Fuu. "I don't know if that will work. The idea, to... cooperate, strength balancing another," and here she glances back towards Nagisa and Honoka, for a moment: "I think that's a good one."

"This may just be me remembering strange things," Nori says, "because I was..."

Nori imagines Tomohisa Kaname's knife in her hand and the peculiarly pleasant feeling of what that blade cut. That feeling has lingered once in a while. She did not like herself for doing it, nor for the relief when it became clear that the creature, devil though it may be, yet lived.

"I was remembering," Nori says, "that it said 'a stage setting Witch'. That it would draw other Witches into itself. That is very specific. In a city the size of Tokyo, there are doubtless other Witches... and Kyubey may have made more contracts, too." Nori's lips thin and she looks at Steven.

Steven, she strives to answer. "It is a talent the Puella Magi have. It is not impossible to find them. I found one by accident, to be perfectly honest with you... it was a little embarrassing."

Nori looks to Sourisi. "Maybe," she says. "It might come by sea. I would... worry very much how we would return. We might survive the world within a Witch's barrier. I don't know about the boat." Of course, perhaps...

Nori nods once, to Ladybug. "I suppose... if it is to attract other Witches, then it would help if we found those Witches first. That is what we would do in any case..." And then Vita speaks. Nori looks to her. Nori, perhaps, feels her feeling deeply. Nori advances towards her as she sits.

She crouches slightly and wraps her arms - cool, clean, pale - round Vita. The small girl with the adorable hat, in short, is hugged. "Thank you," she tells Vita, very quietly. "For... offering so much. Please, though, here. Take the menu, pick whatever you like. I like the looks of the pocky sundae... thing." It is pocky in blue gelatin!

Then Nori's gaze turns towards Usagi. As she relents upon the embrace of Vita Yagami, Nori steps towards her. "... We cannot take her to the ends of the Earth, I think," Nori says. "But perhaps - some of us should watch over her. And keep that beast away from her, at least." A good plan; will it be practical?

Nori places her hand on Usagi's arm. Then she gathers her close into another tight embrace.

"... You should pick the first song," Nori tells Usagi.

Then speaks Nagisa and Honoka.

Their words prick at Nori's heart, and her eyes. She feels tears well up, and she does not resist them. Her lips thin and her face tightens again, with some eloquence. "Well - said," she says, rather formally, fumbling for a paper napkin with which to dab at her eyes. "... Perhaps that is the best way to see it. She, and we, share the same goal, even if she walks a different road."

NOW, at last, Nori sits down. She exhales afterwards, hard, and long.

".... we have been through a lot together, haven't we? Everyone?"

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Grinning over to Fuu, Takeo says easily, "We're pretty much on the same page Fuu-Chan." He nods to her and gives her a playful wink. "I just don't think we can lure it. I think hitting it with everything from multiple angles the second it shows up is the best way to fight this thing." He nods once and takes a seat at the table finally. He sips his soda agian and then places it on the table before he leans back. "This Witch is probably not something we can just poke at and drive one direction or other. It's probably just an evil god thing that wants to eat our souls or something, which in my opinion is reason number one for," he raised his hands and makes air quotes, "Hit it with everything."

He nods ot Honoka, "Exactly. Akemi shows up, tells us to "back off" then runs away? It wouldn't surprise me if she was working for those Incubators. Probably for a longer life, or better powers, or heck, I dunno something." He shrugs a shoulder. "But you're right. If we work together, regardless of the plan we can beat anything."

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"Enough of that," Honoka says flatly, turning to look gaze steadily at Takeo. She continues with a certain primness to her serenity, and certainly a strong shade of forthright disapproval. "If you believe that my words were meant to cast Akemi-san as the enemy, then you did not understand them 'exactly' at all, Akamizu-kun."

How can someone shorter and smaller than Takeo look down her nose at him so effectively, while seated, no less?

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

Kasagami finally seems to have calmed down from Homura's entrance enough, leaving the deck of cards up on it's edges. Back to the tea. Siipppp.

Takeo's plan sure as heck has it's appeal, the Duelist likes the idea of combined strikes of their potential forces. Fuu's idea of luring it away, too, has her thinking more. She leans back in her seat, looking at the ceiling as she considers more. Growing quieter, she tilts her head until her bangs hide her right eye.

Oh, and not everyone's familiar with Homura, as Steven points out. At this point Kassie has no problem spilling the beans about the girl. "That...is Puella Magi Homura. No, I have no idea what her obsession's with. But what I do know is that she's very good with guns and explosives." A small laugh. It's almost proud of the girl she'd love to deck right now.

"And she's the type that has no problems with blowing up an entire skyscraper just to set off a trap. So watch yourselves around her." The Duelist warns gravely to the others.

Another thought pops into her head. "While I doubt it's going to be subtle if it's this much of a threat, didn't the Incubator mention something about it eating other Witches? Wouldn't a hungry animal go where it has more prey?" Rei has a darn good point too, and the Duelist nods. Witches feast on humans, after all...

Kasagami scowls though. "A girl with such a good, loving family doesn't deserve to get cheated of her life by that thing!" Offers the Duelist, in apparent solidarity with Usagi. Even Nagisa's words on hope have her thinking.

It's Nori that has her closing her eyes and finally shivering as she leans back in her chair.

"Hah. Too much Nori-chan. Let's all promise to not lose anyone else." The Duelist raises her tea cup.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Even the planning is done together, Fuu thinks, smiling a little again as she hears ideas and opinions being tossed around. She sets the cards down while she's listening to the discussion, instead picking up two markers from the cup of writing implements, and starting to draw something on a page of a notebook. "Very well said, Honoka-san," she chimes in softly at her line about 'the path to hope'.

"And we really have been, yes," Fuu agrees with Nori. "So many monsters, from basic mooks to lieutenants, and even their leaders."

She finishes her 'drawing,' and holds up the notebook. "Rather than going into a simple 'everyone hit it with everything,' I was thinking we'd divide our efforts based on our specialties," Fuu suggests. "Diamonds -" She's drawn the four suit symbols, one on each corner of the page; diamonds are in the upper left, and she taps it with one of her markers. "- for these purposes, would be the 'heavy artllery,' people who focus on dishing out damage at range, mainly with magic. By contrast, spades -" Bottom right. "- are the close-range combatants, melee and hand-to-hand."

She pauses briefly, looking a little sheepish. "These aren't mutually exclusive categories, by the way; bear with me a little longer. Hearts," she taps the upper right corner, "are the ally supporters - healing, reinforcing, shielding; keeping people fighting as well as they can for as long as possible. Clubs," indicating the bottom left, "are the opposite - destabilizing the enemy, trying to reduce mobility, things like that. And then there are the wild cards, of course." She draws a quick Roman letter 'J' in the middle.

"Does dividing our efforts along those lines sound good? People who can work in multiple categories would be able to change up as required by the spur of the moment. As they say, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy ... but I'd be happier going in with *some* kind of groundwork to coordinate by."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"You can't be serious!" Lera shouts at Homura, her eyes wide. But then her expression sinks, and she looks down. She grits her teeth; she nods to what Setsuna says, and her brow furrows. "...there's no helping it," she admits. She takes a second to to get her head on straight, again.

A couple of deep breaths, and she feels better about it. She looks sideways at Vita, then she nods. "Shamal might be able to... Sky and Ground weren't, but that's not at all what they're good at, y'know? And Shamal's... um... she's the best."

Lera may mean this more generally.

She looks at Honoka and Nagisa, though -- and she begins to smile, bigger and brighter, and then she nods. She balls her hand into a fist, and punches it into her other hand. "...Yeah. We've all been through a lot, and... it's never worked when we've stood apart. So even this--even if we're not in our element... we're not doing any favors if we don't work together. We just gotta show her, right?"

She nods at Honoka. Then, she looks sideways at Setsuna, and she considers, for a second. "Maybe... we can have some people keeping an eye on Madoka. And maybe if we can sound an evacuation, like Usagi said, and lure it somewhere--but, I think... it could be hard to lure it. It's great if it works, y'know?"

She pauses, and then adds: "...Maybe we could fake a natural disaster. I could ask Lindy and Chrono, and some of the people they work with. Maybe we could make it look like we're getting a storm or an earthquake. Or a fire?"

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Hand in hand, and Rei's hand is in Usagi's, and she squeezes it in affirmation and does not let go. She puts down her pen on the notebook; her other hand comes to cover hers. Her eyes close; she takes a breath.

"We'll do everything to keep her safe, Usagi," she murmurs, softly, and her world is one girl, "I promise." There are things she could say; there are things she does not say; there are things she is not in the habit of saying with words. But she'll say that. She always would.

Because there's truth to the things Nagisa is saying, too. Sometimes people say things -- and mean something else entirely.

(She will let Usagi go for a hug, if she chooses. Or she'll keep holding her hand, if Usagi doesn't let go.)

For a moment she is silent on the subject of planning -- perhaps she's just not suited to chime in on how to fight. She does, however, take careful and quiet note of Fuu's suggestion of the bombardiers.

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

A seat is taken alongside Ladybug and she gives her fellow user a wink. "Don't worry. I won't do any more puns. Besides, Chat Noir isn't here for us to urge each other on." It can get a little out of hand at times, but hey always seems to have perfect comebacks, and she doesn't want him to have the last laugh.

Hearing that Ladybug was called forth as herself, Sourisi holds up the simple and folded note she brought with her. "Apparently there's carrier fairies...? I wonder if they get paid in sweets." There's a thought...maybe next time she should have a candy bowl set aside for fairy mailmen?

When Nori suggests that Walpurgisnatch (and wasn't that a mouthful she's not even going to try saying) might come by sea, the Miraculous Ninja smacks a palm against her face. "Right! The sea! That...could be bad. I seen how destructive we can be after a fight. A boat...maybe if we borrowed an oil tanker? It might last a bit longer than other ships..." But it's not like they can just ask to borrow such a massive ship...maybe a note left behind might work?

The natural disaster plan might work, and if the more known magical girls got the word out... "The only issue I see with the natural disaster plan is that since we don't know where the Witch is coming from, we might have to evacuate the whole city. Closing down a park can be done, but all of Tokyo?"

That would take days of prep work just to get people out of the city, and there will always be people who stay. The police and the JSDF would have to work around the clock, and that's if the magical girls were believed. If they can't get everyone out of the city... "We might just have to get everyone to shelter, due to the bad weather outside."

Suggestions are sent back and forth among everyone attending, and Sourisi's smile grows despite the danger slowly approaching in the upcoming days. Everyone here wants to work together to save Tokyo, and prove to the lone Puella Magi that they can all work together. And when everyone works together...the impossible has a tendency to turn possible. "I may not have been in as many battles like some other magical girls here, but I know there's a lot we can do when we work alongside one another. Tokyo is our home, and we all love our home, right? So...yeah. Together!"

Kasagami's warning about Homura does give a name to the face, as well as her known tactics. "So, a magically armed warplane with all sorts of explosions, Kasagami-san? So, don't even think of buildings as cover, then..." Homura might cause as much distruction as the Witch of Witches if she's willing to blow up skyscrapers.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Nagisa and Honoka call for calm and peace. "...yeah," Vita says, with the bitter sourness of a child who has been told she has to eat her broccoli.

But when Nori steps over to hug her, she first freezes - and then melts, sagging against her, defeated with a technique she has come to be extremely weak to. "We saved her," she says, low, with something like agony in her voice. "We finally saved her. I won't let it end. I won't."

She sniffs, once, and then sucks in a breath and makes herself actually look at the menu.

And she perks right the heck up. "Oh that sounds good! And..." She grabs an order pad and just sort of starts poking it.

..............this may be why they usually send her paired with Zafira.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo blinks and turns his head to 'start' to glare daggers at Honoka, whom he just supported darn it, before he meets that withering gaze. The life of a Knight thousands of years dead screams at him to back down. That look on smaller women is what gets people killed. Any person killed. DO NOT ENGAGE.

Takeo instead blinks, leans back and sulks in his chair and sips his Mt Dew. He still pays attention and looks back with interest when Fuu begins to lay out her plan. He briefly thinks he should have brought a notepad, but he's never taken notes in school and he's been just fiiiiine.

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

Beach music! Not a bad alternative. Some nice rock would work, clean rock, maybe something with an inspirational message or something, but beach music is a good alternative! And he brought the instrument needed for it! Though he lacks the backup, steel drums. "Yeah, totally!" he comments toward Nagisa with a smile.

Kassie knew what Steven could play already, hee hee!

"Did... that cat just talk?" he comments quietly. This is a night of strange firsts, but better to actually get into asking about it later. A more pressing matter was on deck.

The boy nods thoughtfully toward Nori, and on hearing 'the stage-setting Witch' another idea comes to mind. "Um. Well if she sets stages, maybe we can set one up for her...?" he asks, unsure exactly how to do that. "Maybe she will go there first I guess! Though with a nickname like that, it might be figurative..."

"I like the idea of planning who is good at what though!" Steven pipes up with, pointing toward Fuu. "With the World Tree, we did all sorts of cool super-things!"

The Gem-boy heads over toward Kasagami to hang out with her a second. "Guns? Wow! Sounds strong!" he adds in. He assumes they must be magic guns and explosives, kinda like how other Puella summon weapons. A look is also cast toward Fuu's plan.

Hearts. Sounds about right! "Yeah I uh, i'll be in that area I guess. I can't exactly fly or run fast. Or have powerful attacks. But I can still help, I think!" Despite the end of the world, he seems excited! Perhaps just a chance to help all of his friends here gives him this feeling.

Not many folks get gleeful to face a primal force of nature that this Witch is shaping up to be.

Okay, maybe Kasagami does.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

With proposals of taking the battle to sea - perhaps even atop an oil tanker (which just *screams* "terrible idea" in Fuu's opinion), Fuu suggests dryly, "Can we borrow something big enough from Searrs? I'm sure they'd be happy to protect the city again after all this time ..."

Very, *very* dryly. There are deserts with more moisture.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Lera has a point; maybe Shamal could do something. Setsuna nods, thoughtfully. But... What Nagisa says... Setsuna finds that it cools her irritation, some, and she looks to the older girl for a moment, nodding thoughtfully. She is suitably chastened anyway.

"...Yes," Setsuna agrees. "I remember.. what it's like, to feel that way. So maybe we can help when the time comes, but... We'll have to see."

She smiles, as Honoka speaks instead. Hearing it--hearing it helps.

Setsuna smiles, and lets that be her answer; it is simple to believe, here. So now, she finds Lera's hand, after she makes her suggestion, takes it in her own.

If Mami Tomoe were here...

Then maybe she would have warmer things to say, than Setsuna, smarter things. But here, where she is--

"So, a place a Witch would be attracted to... A place where it could find despair. That means..." She looks solemn, "...It means a place with a lot of people. I'm not sure we'll be able to choose the battlefield--but we should plan... For that."

"...Don't repeat what he said," Setsuna says seriously to Steven, as she looks to the others. "It has been a lot... I think--"

"I think that we should consider--the people who work best together, should stay together. I think...." She pauses, bites her lip, and looks to the others. "Many of us have already learned, to fight as one. So if we can rely not just on our individual contributions, but on ehwat we can do as groups, together--Then..."

"Maybe that will give us a place to start, too."

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Nori closes her eyes for a moment, even as she hears Takeo speak. And then Honoka. She says, to Takeo: "I don't know why she does what she does. But I think she does care for Madoka, genuinely."

Her eyes turn to the table. "If perhaps little else."

Back up, and she sees Vita moving to bankrupt her. She reaches for an order pad but is distracted by Fuu, explaining her system. Blinking several times, she says, "Does that make me the jack of clubs...? I think I understand what you mean, though it does remind me a little of a video game, doesn't it? If only all of this were a video game. Video games you can beat... or leave..."

Her eyes turn to Lera. Then to Sourisi. Sabotage AND piracy, she thinks. Her fingers tap her lips. Why didn't we ever propose piracy before? That might have solved every problem. (Nori has not eaten in eighteen hours and is kind of drifty at the best of times.)

She smiles at Kasagami, at her proposed promise. Nori nods, and then she says, "I think if the day comes, I could live with myself, but I do not think we could really plan ahead to borrow a ship. It seems..." Nori struggles for the terms. "Difficult? To keep?"

"That's probably so," Nori tells Setsuna. "It will be attracted to people..."

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

Hmmmm! After a few moments of listening to Fuu's plan? Kasagami grins, some of her mood lifting. She snatches up a pack of cards again, and begins tossing cards at a few people. Mostly the melee ones thus far. Takeo and Vita get spades. She deals herself in too. A King of Spades, of course. Yeah, she's cheating kind of blatantly for that one.

The considers though, and nods. "Given how chaotic it'll probably be? If we're drawing battle lines, best to keep things simple. Melee protect the artillery, support in the back, mixed units...our 'cavalry'...ready to sweep in and strike where that thing's weakest! Ahhhh, it'll be a real battlefield!" Steven's right, despite the mood, despite everything? That excitement is building up in her. Shouldn't, after all, a King ride gloriously onto a battlefield and conquer an evil monster such as Walpurgisnacht?

Speaking of, she leans over, and tries to grip the young man's shoulders enthusiastically!

"Souri-chan's got it right! Homura can be a devestating warplane, or a stealthy shot in the dark! You should've been there, Steve-kun! Watching it all go tumbling down, so close by...it was frightening, and exciting and beautiful! Poetry in explosions!" While she has problems with the girl, she can't help but be enthusiastic about Homura's battle prowess.

AHEM! "Actually, no. I'm glad you weren't." She can already imagine Garnet punching her into the sun.

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

There's more on the line than a city-levelling Witch, as Usagi points out. Ladybug's pencil pauses as the subject of Madoka is brought up, as those close to the girl vow to defend her against Kyubey's predations.

One soul is such a small thing against the lives of a city - and yet, it's everything. It's a decision that she -

- that Marinette isn't prepared to make.

'Cure Ladybug', however, stiffens at Nagisa's scolding. It's just a gentle thing, and yet - and yet it's one of her passions. "Some of every media has unsavoury elements, but we don't write off every book! I can be careful with what songs I choose to sing - there's no harm exposing kids to a little rock'n'roll!" A small thing, but it's something that ruffles her just a bit.

How lovely it would be if that was the most difficult decision to be made.

Ladybug withdraws for a moment, focusing on taking notes on as many suggestions and plans as possible. There's only so many pages she has to work with, though, so she has to be brief - and, admittedly, she's a little distracted. There are partnerships here, and her eyes dart from one pair to another.

Nagisa and Honoka. Lera and Setsuna. Even Usagi and Rei, perhaps. Those signs of trust, of faith - it's wonderful to see, for the girl who wears a mask. Her eyes glance at Sourisi, by her side, someone she doesn't know as well as maybe she should - and her thoughts drift to Chat Noir, unable to make it.

She lets out a sigh. "Strategy and tactics, then. Strategy, there's a lot we don't know about the battlefield, the circumstances, who we'll need to get out of the line of fire - and what our little wildcard of an ally has planned." A significant look to Kasagami, to Honoka - Homura is an ally, but her capabilities are a little worrying.

She flips a page. "Tactics might be easier to work on. We could split into groups by specialty - get everyone who prefers to be up close figured out." A nod to Fuu and her deck of cards. "But I think the sentiment is strong that teamwork is the key - how many of us work best in groups. Things go much better when you can guess what your friends are planning, right?"

Or maybe an oddball plan, like stealing a battleship. She's thought of weirder.

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

Sourisi winces and lets out a sigh. "I mean, it's an idea. And more a commercial one, not one from an obviously evil organization with ulterior motives tanker. I heard the truth about what happened and getting Searrs involved is like the last thing needed here." She's surprised dust isn't coming off of Fuu from that...

Setsuna's suggestion about close groups instead of one mass of magical girls make sense. Steven and her do tend to work together, then there's the Wind Knight, and of course Ladybug and Chat Noir, even if it's not exactly as strong as a teamwork as she would like... "Unless we can think of plans that require certain people in parts of the city, then thight might be a good idea. Or do like Kasagami-san suggests and form militaristic battle lines? If we know more about what the Witch can do, it would give us a better idea on what would work best." Sadly, it doesn't look like they will get that chance. Hopefully these plans might survive first contact with the enemy...

Wait, she actually did blow up a skyscraper?! How is she only hearing this now? And Kasagami saw it first hand...? "Kasagami-san, why were you at ground zero for a skyscraper suddenly chosen for Homura Demolition? And do you have pictures?" This could be evidence on how Homura works and not to see if Kasagami is one of those types to not look at explosions. Surely not.

"As for strategy, it's not exactly my strong point. I'm better at tactics, but Ladybug always have a good idea on what to do at the perfect moment, so she has me beat there. Groups...um...I can fit wherever i'm needed, but i'm sure you all know i'm best when i'm up close." Sourisi mimes swinging a tonfa slowly, so not to disturb Ladybug. "I'll just be happy to help out wherever i'm needed the most!"

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Despite herself, Nagisa gives Takeo a good-natured wince. She's been on the receiving end of Honoka's natural authority more than anyone.

(Chuutaro is a good boy and doesn't need it very often.)

As he meets Honoka's gaze with hostility, Nagisa gives a tiny shake of her head, purely to herself. He lets up quickly, however, even if it's just to look away. Setsuna seems more convinced, and Nagisa gives her a reassuring nod.

Fuu finds Nagisa standing above her, one finger on the top of her notebook, pushing it down gently. "Hey, we can't change our playbook too much right before the finals. Sometimes the best thing you can do if there's not a lot of time left is raise your spirits!" Spinning about, Nagisa walks over to Usagi and plops an arm around her jovially. "You're gonna pick the first song, if I heard right? I don't think it's time to stop planning, but maybe it's time to start singing? We need to push our morale to the sky!"

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As the talk goes to singing, Takeo looks both worried and confused. "Wait. Do we HAVE a plan yet?" He asks as he looks around the room. "I mean. I like Fuu's division plan. Along with both our ideas of hitting the Witch with everything." He shrugs. "I think we should have some way of assembling and then implement the battle plan."

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

Setsuna's reaction gets Steven to purse his lips. "Sorry," he adds quickly. Not a good idea to mimic that creature, after all. Time for a different plan! "The only thing I worry about evacuating people is like, if the with can kill people just by showing up, uh, what if it shows up where everyone evacuates to?" It was a valid concern, he felt.

"She sounds really strong..." Steven comments to Kasagami. A bit of worry crosses his face, his eyes distant, imagining. If she was to take this battlefield, it could be a problem. But why didn't she want to cooperate?

Towards Ladybug, "Um, my dad used to make rock music!" he says. Some here have seen the works of Greg Universe, or at least the level of music tech in that van.

"Hum, if Witches are drawn to people, is there any way to make like... fake people?" Probably a useless question, but the only dumb questions are ones that go unasked!

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

Ladybug glances at Sourisi, then pinches the bridge of her nose. "Thank you for the compliment, but I'm not sure I count as a grand strategist. I improvise. A lot. And try to set up traps, though it's a bit hard to think of any that would work on a giant Witch."

Not as long as she's ruling out 'collapse a building', at least.

Nagisa seems to be in a mood to change the tone of the meeting, and Ladybug snaps her book shut in response. Once set down on the table, it looks like a fairly standard sketchbook - possibly borrowed from some artist or other. "Raising spirits might not be a bad plan - though I reserve the right to bail if someone starts a pun contest. Still, we don't know what we're dealing with, or what its weak point might be - so there's not much sense in choreographing the whole fight ahead of time. Focus on figuring out our priorities, like getting innocent people out of danger, and see what opportunities come up when the day comes."

Setting her plans aside for just a moment, she looks over the song list with a bit of a grin to Steven. "Are any of your dad's songs on this list, then? Failing that, I guess I'll just have to find some child-safe heavy metal..."

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

Steven brings up a point that Sourisi was pushing aside because of the Witch business. Ladybug likes heavy metal? She surprisingly that in common with the Crimson Duelist. "I haven't listen to any of Steven's father's music, but he has a lot of professional equipment for bands. Maybe you should see if you can buy some of his music, Ladybug!"

Ladybug's attempt to shrug off the compliment has Sourisi shaking her head. "Don't try to sell yourself short, your improv has been a big help, Ladybug. Though we might need giant traps for a giant Witch...or leave that to Homura and use it to our advantage, then. Guessing what very little I know of her, it's going to be loud and filled with explosions."

The suggestion of using the club as more than just a meeting and for the intended purpose has dark green eyes glancing over the list of music. "Singing isn't a bad idea, as long as I don't have to get up on the stage. And relax, i'm already restricting myself to the one pun for the evening, we should be safe...unless Steven-san starts one up." The half-Gem does like his puns as well, even if they can be as bad as hers.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Honoka flashes Lera a thumbs-up at her 'fake emergency for evacuation' idea, then finds herself next to Nori at some point for a private word.

"Do not split the group to defend specific loved ones," she suggests, quietly, gently, her voice as lovely as the topic is not. "Given the scope of the threat, the outcome is binary; if we defeat Walpurgisnacht, everyone should be saved."

If we fail -- because some were left to the rear -- everyone will die, including those specifically protected -- goes politely unsaid.

But it lingers in the air, and in the gravity of her eyes, as they meet Nori's levelly.

And then she smiles again.

"We mustn't let fear allow us to give less than our all," she concludes. "We all have those we would protect. We can protect them all... together."

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Luna for a time is silent. She is the Sailor Senshi's mentor but witches are not her purview. When Setsuna suggests figuring out who works best together, she does nod in agreement, but otherwise does not say too much. Nori is leading the meeting, and she's content to let Sayaka and Mami's successor do that. It takes the sting off loss.

"I know." Usagi says instantly as Rei squeezes her hand, "I know Rei-chan... it's just..." She trails off, it's not just... anything perhaps.

Nagisa's words carry this strange profundity to Usagi, like perhaps Nagisa does understand the mystery of Homura Akemi through her own experiences. Her eyes lift up and she listens, she absolutely does. "Is that why?"

It's a soft whisper, like she's trying to figure Homura Akemi out. Like she's trying to understand.

There's just the faintest nod at that. The idea that perhaps - they have to show her.

And then Honoka speaks of all these other tragedies. They won because of...

Nori puts a hand on her arm, and then embraces her in a tight hug, and Usagi returns fire with a one armed embrace. Managing to regain some of her smile. "Oh I just couldn't-! Well... maybe." She straightens up. Then just seizes Rei into a hug for good measure, with both of her arms. It's a moment where she cares nothing for propriety.

Perhaps it is a moment where she proves Honoka's point to the room. In finding strength and cheer in their solidarity.

There's the moment of sharpness between Takeo and Honoka, and Usagi jolts a bit, but the experience actually brings her this little nervous giggle. Feeling like someone just got scolded in class by the teacher.

Before nodding to Nori twice, cheerfully, "We have - we really have!" Though perhaps those in the room who do not know her alter ego will not understand in what sense she means that.

Luna looks over to Steven. Staring blankly at him for a while. Then slowly it gives an exaggerated, "Meoooww." Luna stares at Steven for a few seconds as if she were a normal cat entirely. Then states, "Yes I just talked. In fact if you could ask Lion to stop showing up unannounced I would appreciate it."

Usagi puts a finger up to her chin as she considers Ladybug's words, "I'm no good at... strategy and tactics. But, we've agreed to work together so-" There's a smile as her eyes cross Honoka, as she thinks on her statement of the path to hope, "-I know it'll all work out." Nagisa plops an arm over her, and Usagi offers back a grin, "Yeah! I think now is the time!"

Luna let's out this small sigh at that perhaps. "You could at least take this planning session a little seriously."

"I am!" Usagi insists, however now she's slowly standing up and walking over to the mic, "It's just Nagisa-senpai is right! And also... Madoka-chan said to me once, she needs a friend - not a soldier."

Usagi finds herself flipping through the selections, like her indecisiveness is gone. "Maybe Homura Akemi needs to understand that too. That the best way to protect Madoka-chan... isn't to plan it all out like we're going to war. It's... to be who we are right now."

Making a selection, she takes up the mic.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita freezes for a second when Fuu mentions getting "help" from Searrs with as much sarcasm as a human body can produce, because, ha ha! Accidents of mixed loyalties!!

She sends her request through, where it will probably be caught by Zafira in the kitchens and turned into a salad or something.

Vita also receives a card, and stares at it blankly. She tries to turn it over like an object from another universe, which from her position it sort of is.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> One Light - Kalafina - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqWV6mBwHgU

The melody comes on - with its energetic beat, "So this one goes out to all the normal girls and boys who are here tonight - because there's someone precious they want to protect from this witch." And then she adds quietly, "And to Madoka Kaname."

Usagi does not have the strongest voice. Not by any stretch of the imagination, and pulling off this song is more than she can manage, yet she tries with all the passion that her tinny, off-pitch lyrical ability can manage.

/o~Surely all the hearts

/o~you have encountered

/o~were no mistake, not a single one.

/o~I thought of all the people

/o~who bore the same dreams

/o~and changed their path.

/o~holding onto my weather-beaten yearnings

/o~I press on through the wilderness!

/o~Since neither smiles

/o~nor those tears of yours

/o~can be forsaken here.

/o~we hold on

/o~to the silhouette of summer

/o~there's a flag

/o~so high so white

/o~that belongs to a nameless you and I.

/o~Beyond this road

/o~that stretches endlessly

/o~there's just the one light

/o~within thousands of hearts.

/o~I believe in the sky I see above me

/o~with my guiding star

/o~high to the east

/o~I point to it

/o~And with these hands

/o~I can make my dream come true!

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"I'm not much of a singer," Fuu says to Nagisa with a mildly rueful smile. "But ..." She looks at the notebook, then closes it. "I don't know enough about everyone's abilities, never mind the Witch's, to plan in much detail in any case," she admits.

She thinks back on the fights they've been through in the past - Metallia, Alcyone, Westar, the Book of Darkness, too many others to count from memory. They didn't have detailed plans for those fights, either. But they still pulled off victories, didn't they?

Also, she's hungry, and no student ever did her best homework on an empty stomach. Fuu tries to intercept one of the menu pads going around and picks out her own order ... and then, once it's in, goes ahead and looks at the karaoke song list. She may still not actually get up to sing, but she can at least blend in as far as that goes. And if somebody compels her to sing *any*way, maybe she'll find something she can fudge without mortally embarassing herself.

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

Kassie resists the urge to whistle. Instead, she gives Sourisi this smug, content little smile.

"Let's just say I've been around some very interesting people with unusual night lives." That involve blowing up skyscrapers, apparently. Shepherds represent!

Poor Takeo though. The Duelist shrugs. "We cut the Witch in an organized, overwhelming fashion. Try to stop civilians dying. Work with each other, leverage our skills together. And most importantly, make sure none of us ends up in a coffin." She stresses that last point hard.

Then she raises an index finger. "I second Greg-san's music. And I'm not saying that just because I'm biased towards the Universe family, he's actually good!"

The Duelist perks up though as Usagi takes the mic. She blinks, stares at the blond, and finally laughs. But whatever she's about to say is lost in music. That off pitch, tinny thing that's nevertheless filled with passion and Usagi trying. Her gaze softens.

"...Uncle." She mutters, almost under her breath. Her grip on her tea becomes a little too tight. She's going for food now, if only to hide the worry on her face for the last remaining member of her family as well as how much it makes her want to tear up.

<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's not just anything, and Rei squeezes Usagi's hand and doesn't say anything for a while.

"Lera-chan's got the right idea," she speaks up, finally. "If we can fool people into thinking a natural disaster is coming, they'll evacuate. Maybe some people will stay behind -- but it's still worth doing. I know I'd be able to help organise people out of here, and I'm not the only one with connections to the community." A light glance to Kasagami and Nori. "So if it's in any of your powers, I think it's a--"

Here she is cut off by a fierce embrace, "--e-ehh -- Usagi!" Rei yelps, taken by surprise, before there's a little shudder and she returns the tight hug with her own two hands. "Sorry," she mumbles, into her hair. "... I couldn't see what you were seeing."

That singing, in the end, was as important as planning.

Usagi really was taking it seriously, she thinks.

Maybe she doesn't have the strongest voice - but she's commanding Rei's attention anyway.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Fake people, Nori thinks. "I don't know," she tells Steven, even as she looks down at the menu. She feels like she's fading. I don't mind it so much, Nori thinks, if everyone is -

Honoka slips near her. Nori looks at her, blinks - and then says, with a slow nod, "I think that's right. I suppose I'm not giving Madoka enough credit..." She smiles to the young lady known to some as Cure White, and says, "Don't tell her, alright?"

Nori, meanwhile, has ordered three sets of fries.

But then Usagi is singing. Nori looks at her, her chin in one hand. She smiles, again, without thinking about it.

"It doesn't matter," she tells Fuu, between the verses, "if you can sing well or not. What matters is that you're brave enough to try. After all, it's risky to get in front of people like that, isn't it...?"

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo frowns and sets his Mt Dew aside. He takes a deep breath and looks over at Fuu. "It's cool. Slide me your notebook and a pencil. I'll jot down some of my ... older ... memories thoughts on fighting something this size." He shrugs a shoulder as the music starts. "I'll also jot down what I know of each person's power. It's not MUCH, but I should be able to tell you whose a striker, who's a beam fighter and who is support. Might help you in organizing us when the time comes."

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

Dad's music, here? ...Maybe! Popular songs across seas can make their way over, he figures!

Something seems to be bothering Usagi. She isn't her usual perky self. Huh. Maybe what Homura said shook her some. He is glad folks are going to her side though. "We can do this!! Just believe," he offers to her. A look to Luna. He squints with a determined stare until she cracks. He gets an unexpected confirmation.

"Oh, is he bothering you? I can try to, yeah! But it is hard to confine a cat that is both really big, and can make teleport-y portals."

A look to the stage as Usagi takes to it, mic in hand! "Ooooh, she's gonna sing!" the boy says excitedly, quickly flopping into a seat, eyes fixed upon her.

" can add music if anyone needs it on theirs!" the boy says, holding his Ukelele up from his lazy position. "In the worst case scenarior, we kinda made up cool plans on the fly, I bet we could do it again...!"

Always optimistic, this one.

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

Sourisi stares at Kasagami, her half-lidded eyes letting the tall Ohtori duelist know she doesn't believe the innocent look for a second. Kasagami is many things. Kind, compassionate and surprisingly sensitive, but pure of heart is not one of them. "Well...okay, Kasagami-san, but hopefully don't be as close to the skyscraper next time, okay?" It goes to show how much she knows Kasagami that she doesn't doubt a next time.

Usagi giving Rei is surprisingly kind-hearted and sudden, and exactly what the room needed. While she's not quite sure on what knowledge of magical girls they might have, they are close friends here. If only Luna was closer for her to pet...maybe there might be a next time?

Usagi's voice carries well, aided partially due to the speakers and helps to drown out more of the more depressing conversation about the upcoming fight. The thought of going up to the stage is something she's going to leave to the more adventurous of the magical defenders here. There does seem to be a lot of refreshments being ordered now...maybe she can see about slipping some yen into Kasagami's coat when she gets the chance.

"So do you sing, Ladybug?" It isn't often she gets to meet up with Ladybug outside of a fight, and with the other using Lucky Charm and having to run off before her transformation fades, there isn't often a chance to talk. Maybe now is the time to do so! "I never sung in front of an audience before, but you seem to know what you're doing. If you do find a metal song here, maybe you should give it a shot?"

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Winking at Fuu, Nagisa gives her a thumbs-up. "You'll figure it out," she says, whether out of optimism or procrastination, who can say.

Nagisa gives Honoka a smile as she claps along to Usagi's song. Honoka's still working on the plan a bit with Nori, it looks like, but she doesn't seem inclined to stop Nagisa from getting some people singing, too. If Honoka isn't telling her to do her homework, she must be on the right track. "Go, Usagi-chan!" she cheers. "What a great singer!" Which may or may not be true; Nagisa's ear is not very discriminating.

When Usagi vacates the stage, to a high-five from Nagisa, Nagisa walks on herself, snagging Steven as she goes. She just grabs his sleeve and pulls him along; big sisters are protective but they can be bossy too. "Come on," she urges. "They can sing heavy metal, but we're gonna sing light... water?" Nagisa didn't stick that landing as well as she hoped. Carefully punching in the code for her chosen song, Nagisa drops to her knees easily, in order to share the microphone with Steven, whose shoulder she has her arm around.

Wouldn't It Be Nice? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZBKFoeDKJo

An airy, fairy-like guitar floats out of the speakers for a couple bars, then the drum slaps down, just before an amiable English voice wails out. The worst English student in Yukimi-sensei's whole homeroom class joins in barbarically. "Woodni bi naisu wiwi order! Den habn't weit so long!"

Nagisa waves 'goodbye' theatrically at Honoka when she says 'so long,' which represents both a shocking success and a ghastly failure in terms of her English-language comprehension skills. Her amber eyes sparkle. Rocking back and forth with Steven, she shakes him to urge his cooperation. Despite being on her knees, she manages to dance with her shoulders, sliding them in a scooping motion back and forth, down and then up. She makes mischievous eye contact with Honoka as she does so.

"Woodni bi naisu wake up, gib a morning in za day a zoo..." Nagisa's singing voice is not bad, certainly not compared to her English, with a bit of a jockish fry to it that matches the tropical beats just as well as her beach-ready upper body. Nagisa has fun with it, sometimes stealing the mic to take a line for herself, sometimes deferring to Steven, putting him on the spot for an unexpected solo.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Takeo leans back and begins to work and scribble down notes. It's clearly not something he's used to, he has his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth and his brow is furrowed in heavy thought. The pencil scribbles in the notebook, and he occasionally pauses to tap the the pencil on his chin in thought. (tongue still sticking out as he thinks.) He nods, then begins to scribble again. He might even be oblivious to the singing going on around him, in fact, he appears to have even forgot about his treasured Mt Dew. He does however sketch a rabbit on the top of a page with a sword sticking out of it's head.

An arrow proclaims it Merlin.

He sighs and looks up at the room. He has to smile for a moemnt as he realizes that everybody is here. Together. One group dedicated to the good of Tokyo. He smiles a bit deeper, then goes back to writing in the notebook.

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

Everyone getting their turn up on stage is quite fun! And this couldn't be any better for raising spirits for the team! Oh man, are they all a team now?! Should they get matching magical attire? Maybe a cool name or something?!

"Uwah?!" eeps Steven as he is snatched, dragging the instrument for a step or two before getting a stride! "I think it is called contemorary?!" he says, placed up on strage.

A song gets cut on he definitely recognizes. This will be cake! He pulls around the Ukelele and starts strumming the chords before it even starts proper, having seen the song name. "This is a good pick!" he whispers to her before it cues up!

He is super in. He is also incredibly good with the stringed prop. No doubt due to his father's influence. No messups! The singing could be better on his part-- he is rusty on making songs on the fly, but fun is certainly there to be had!

But Steven does sing in perfect accented english for the song! Clearly his first language. Even singing it he ca nremember the vinyl it played on in the back of the van, sitting out on a summer evening on the shores of Beach City. THe perfect song for a slice-of-life on the beachside.

~You know it's gonna make it that much better,~

~When we can say goodnight and staaaaaaay togeeeeetheeeeer!~