2019-10-16 - Tanabata Planetarium Trip 2

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Tanabata Planetarium Trip 2

It's Tanabata, the Star Festival, and accordingly time to make a wish. The Sister Schools send interested students to a celebration hosted at the local planetarium.


Chibi-Usa Tsukino, Hotaru Tomoe, Kasagami Araki, Nori Ankou, Rei Hino, Usagi Tsukino, Fuu Hououji, Tsuru, Moonlight Knight


Cosmo Planetarium Tokyo, Shibuya

OOC - IC Date:

10/26/2019 - 07-07-2015


<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

It's Tanabata! After school, students are invited to a celebration at Shibuya's planetarium, Cosmo. Out front, they gather to contribute paper cranes and other decorations to the massive display, as well as participate in the major tradition of the holiday: writing a wish on a brightly-colored slip of paper and hanging it from a branch of bamboo with other peoples' hopes.

But now the PA has chimed several times, and everyone is filing in to see the actual show. The lobby of Cosmo Planetarium is bright and clean and elegant and full of star-studded posters, but there isn't time to linger and admire them; instead, one and all disappear into the domed planetarium itself.

It's dimly lit, but hovering just above the truly minimal radiance of a light show, to allow safe passage along the aisles. After the riot of color outside, the darker planetarium brings a sense of relief, of peace, along with its soothing background music. Each seat is individually set into the floor, and can rotate upwards or sideways to allow for optimal viewing angles. (Predictably, some children are swinging their chairs to silly angles, but the overall anticipation for the show about the start has tamped down the worst potential infractions.)

And then the music stops -- startling the soft babble of the crowd into silence -- and the lights dim smoothly out to perfect, complete darkness, heavy and warm like a blanket. This kind of total black is wholly unfamiliar in Tokyo. There's something special about it. Something magical.

Especially as the first star begins to shine overhead... then another. Then another. High above, they unfurl like flowers.

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

"Oh!" Chibi-Usa beams at Hotaru, "It's time!" With the actual show approaching, Chibi-Usa excitedly returns to Hotaru's side to walk with her into the Planetarium proper, to find an ideal seat. Which one is ideal? Well, it may take a moment to figure that out, a moment during which she will keep hold of Hotaru's hand because of course she will--she took it to walk in with her, and keeps it now. She, for one, is not going to be silly with her chair, because it is Very Serious time to...

Well, to see something Hotaru really likes, and that admittedly, Chibi-Usa finds herself really looking forward to, too. It's so different from the celebrations of this story that she remembers from when she was younger, seemingly entirely unalike...

"Ummm..." She confers with Hotaru, whisperwhisper, "Oh! This one," she says, and still holding her best friend's hand, files into the row to take a seat. She will naturally not be alone there, either. She waits, quietly excited, murmuring a little as she waits, but--but the music stops. She blinks, and turns wide, wide red eyes upward...

The warm, quiet darkness almost scares Chibi-Usa--no, it does, at first. For an instant, she finds her lips pressing together, worrying--...But the starts start to come, and she knows, she isn't alone here. A glance to the side--to Hotaru, to the other side--to Rei and Usagi...

The tension in her shoulders starts to melt, and she stares upward...

The stars really are like flowers.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Hotaru is visibly nervous in the huge crush of people in the lobby, but Chibi-Usa never lets go of her hand, while she in turn hangs on for dear life. The dimmer lights begin to untangle the knots upon her temples, however, and by the time they're seated next to each other (near the front, which is to say, near the center of the dome above), her shy little smile, which had been swallowed by uncertainty, has tentatively returned.

When the darkness comes, she gives her best friend's hand a reassurring squeeze.

And when the lights follow, individual and tiny and perfect, they're each reflected in the violet void of her widened, wondering eyes.

"Thank you for bringing me here," she whispers to Chibi-Usa, unaware that her voice has carried a little bit further than is mannerly.

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

Kasagami is inspecting a booth as the chimes over the PA draw people inwards. The young woman looks up, blinks, and finally pulls herself away as she finds herself in to the Cosmo Planetarium. While her gaze passes by the various posters and other grandeurs of the place, neither does she stop. She wants a good seat after all and there's already quite a few people here! Her boots strut steadily.

The Duelist finds herself a seat, settling in as she tests the particular angles of it. Her eyesight adjusts to the dimly lit place after a few blinks, and she's taken to crossing her legs as she tries to lean into the chair as indulgently as she can. Her hair hides her bad eye as her good one traces first the crowd, her friends amongst them, and then increasingly the ceiling as the warm darkness overtakes them all.

The feeling in the air seeps into her heart, of comfort, and the blossoming stars above make her think of a certain planet hung somewhere up above. Her gaze is half-lidded but intent upon the show of starlight. Her mind travels to a pair of garnet eyes. For the moment, she feels at peace as she lets her mind feast on beauty and her heart remember all the love she's found in turbulent and wonderful Tokyo.

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

There are two pieces of paper attached to the bamboo out there, from people who did not make much of a fuss earlier on.

One of them reads 'for the fortune of this world's shellfish' and has what might be a tiny ink-stained pawprint on the edge of the paper.

The other reads (in explicitly English writing), "i want to share a future!"

But the chimes are coming in, and so too is NORI ANKOU, moving without great haste inwards. She has a rather voluminous handbag in faux-faded textiles, though it seems as if it was holding something large recently but was not doing so now. Her outfit is a sleeveless but buttoned-up blouse in very faded faint purple and a deep-red-approaching-black pencil skirt with a textured hem border, suggesting a tulip. (The shoes are boring and comfortable.)

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

Chibi-Usa helpfully adds a personal touch to the clarion-call of Cosmo: it's time! "We'd better go get good seats!" Rei adds, grinning to Usagi. Make it a challenge: if they mess around out here, they won't have a good view in there.

Part of it, of course, is just that she wants to get a good seat with Usagi.

The other part is that Rei would never miss a chance to tease Usagi.

Without pausing for an answer, she hurries in with Chibi-Usa and Hotaru, and takes a seat to the former's other side. She's the first one to that seat, and she files it away in her mind as something to hold over Usagi's head later. She smiles, to the two younger girls, and the music stops --

-- and here, now, darkness.

Darkness is a veil; there are so many veils in the world. And when they part there are mysteries behind them, and here in this place the fabrics brush aside in the form of a star, glittering in sole radiance. One, and another, and another...

Rei reaches out, for the handrest of the seat beside her, where Usagi ought to be.

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

The PA sounds and as Chibi-Usa announces it's time.

Usagi Tsukino is a nosey sort. Which is perhaps why it's hard not to suspect any malfeasance when she suggests, "You two go on ahead! I'll catch up!" Usagi even waves them on encouragingly ahead.

All smiles. And since Usagi is as subtle as a brick, so too is her smile.

"Take a head start - I'll catch up Rei-chan!"

First she hangs her tanzaku discretely... and then...!


Usagi filters into the unlit planetarium with this mixture of looking both down and upset. It's just as well all the bright festival colors are gone. Just as well. The soothing music seems to lull her into this this languid pace within her thoughts. Like she's turning over something to see the bright side only to find out it isn't coming to her.

Eventually she finds herself looking for a familiar face only to find one - just as the stars begin to appear.

And then... Usagi pushes into a full row.

"Um - excuse me - coming through!"

Pushing between too small gaps between knees and chairgaps, Usagi brushes pantslegs and skirts and commits herself to inflicting untold patellar trauma upon herself as she makes her way to a single spot.

Which is already filled.

"Excuse me...!"

Usagi leans in and whispers to the middle schooler who looks at her like she's sprouted another head. "You can come through."

"No it's just... this seat is next to Rei-chan."

"And... that means?" The irritated middle school girl asks.

"I want to sit here with her."

"Then she should have saved you a seat. The show is starting."

Usagi mopes in a way unbefitting of a high schooler for a moment before scootching over to directly in front of Rei Hino's seat and whispering. "Rei-chan. You think we can both fit in if you scrunch against the side?"

Given the average size of an auditorium chair...

... signs point towards no.

"I've lost weight." Usagi indicates helpfully, as if that half kilogram she allegedly took off makes it more feasible.

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

As Fuu makes her way into the planetarium with the others, she wonders idly when the last time was that she set foot here. Middle school? Perhaps as long ago as elementary school? She *does* remember her first visit to a planetarium, wondering why they needed one when you could watch the sky outside at night.

She also remembers the answers to that question, and smiles ruefully at the recollection. She still has that smile on her lips as she settles into a seat; it turns less rueful, less wistful, more patiently amused as she takes note of the younger children playing with their seats - they'll settle down soon enough. She doesn't recline her seat just yet, taking stock of where familiar faces are ...

But as the lights for the seats dim below, and the lights representing the heavens come to life above, Fuu sits back, adjusting her seat enough for a comfortable view, and prepares to watch the show. It hasn't been so long since she was at a planetarium that she's forgotten how beautiful they can be.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

"Once upon a time..."

The voice issues from everywhere and nowhere -- the sound system in here is state of the art. It whispers in your ear, telling the story to you, personally. It booms from upon high, filling the space. It does everything in between.

And it's quite a voice; a velvety baritone with a silken cadence, this is a voice that could launch a thousand ships as surely as the face of Helen, if radios had existed in Ancient Greece.

Little girls hear their father. Maidens, young and old, hear their lover. (And on some level, every girl who hears this voice is a maiden, the status simply conferred by the experience itself, the way sunlight creates shadow, the way yang creates yin. It makes the old feel young again, while the youngest might discover a stirring first taste of maturity.)

"There was a princess who was also a star, Vega," the star in question burns into being, brilliantly. "Her name was Orihime... and her weaving was legendary."

Lines form around the star, capturing the essence of a princess in a few elegant, calligraphic strokes. Her hands are clever, constantly moving, and from them a river of fabric seems to grow, and grow, and grow, sparkling and spectacular.

"She was a diligent worker," the storyteller continues, a hint of melancholy entering his voice. "Perhaps too much so, for weaving was her life, with no room for anything -- or anyone -- else. And so she despaired... of ever finding true love."

The princess cries, but her tears are simply drawn into her fabric, becoming just another twinkle in a sky full of twinkles. But the cloth isn't just cloth, and it isn't just stars; it's water now, too. Orihime works and works and works... upon the bank of a river. The great river in the sky; the Milky Way, high above, splitting the ceiling in two.

Tsuru walks over from Yamanote High City.

<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Chibi-Usa will be sure to always be there for Hotaru in the big crowds--...just as Hotaru is for her, in the dark. The tiny, perfect lights are as beautiful themselves as anything... but Chibi-Usa can't help but see the way they reflect in Hotaru's eyes, too, and she smiles warmly to he rfriend, turning to look at her with a shining red gaze. "Of course," she says, and she doesn't care that Hotaru's voice has carried a little further.

She listens to the story instead. It's a story she knows. The sound system whispers--and oh! The voice... Chibi-Usa is reminded of a father, a comforting voice that reminds her of safer, easier times. What else does she hear?

Why--the sadness of a princess, naturally. A princess so much older than her, she must have been, concerned with such things. Weaving, her life, but love... A princess grown, an adult. She must've been, Chibi-Usa finds, as she hears the story again.

She bites her lip, but doesn't speak her thought--instead she remembers Hotaru's hand, and squeezes back, as...

Wait. Is that--

"Sit down!" Chibi-Usa hisses Usagi's way.

Rei will save them. Rei is sensible. Rei will handle this in a quiet, mature manner, that causes no further trouble whatsoever, Chibi-Usa just knows it. So she settles back to watch further, and doesn't worry about it.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Hotaru is transfixed by the show, and entirely oblivious to such terrestrial concerns as seating arrangements. Something about the story of the lonely princess gives her goosebumps, even though it's very warm in here, especially given that it's a full house. Chibi-Usa can feel her shiver across their shared hands.

But she doesn't look away from the heavens, no matter what. There's a world where this problem is solved because Hotaru is 1) aware enough and 2) bold enough to suggest the more viable solution that she and Chibi-Usa share a seat, allowing Usagi to take the empty chair that creates, but this world is not that one in either respect.

They're on their own.

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

Something catches out of the corner of her eye. Kasagami blinks for a second, raising a brow at Usagi who seems to be...crowding Rei? Surely she realizes they can't sit together! And then Chibi-Usa is hissing Usagi's way. Kassie finds herself smirking.

But only for a moment. The story of the weaving princess about the sky steals her attention. The voice takes her breath away. She finds herself lost amidst her thoughts cast up towards those high stars. Just imagining what it must be feel like to be that dedicated, lonely soul working on her craft to the exclusion of all else.

Enough cloth and tears to create the heavens above. This young woman clinging to what love and family she can make feels her own heart acheing for Orihime. It's not so difficult to imagine such a state of loneliness, of having no one at all. Already Kasagami's vision is touched with as much mist as brilliance from starlight reflected in them. One hand tugs at her gloves, and then tries for a subtle swipe of her eyes. She hopes no one notices in the dark.

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

Nori Ankou, a row behind, can only watch with a longing pang in her heart as she sees Usagi struggle to sit with her friend. Her eyes turn towards the cruel figure denying them this but -

In comes a voice.

A thrilling, subtle voice. Her cheeks warm slightly. She leans back into the seat she did claim. She breathes deep; breathes out. She looks up at the light show and she sees tears and to be h onest, at that point, she is thoroughly wrapped up into the story, though it is not a wholly new one for her, either. The sky twinkles. The cloth is drawn from tears. The sky itself shines with it...

Nori is briefly brought out of this rapture by Chibi-usa's hissing at Usagi. She blinks a couple of times, looks around, then goes back to absorbing the story.

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

That hand is not Usagi's.

"Eh?" Rei looks over, jerking her own hand back at the surprised middle-schooler noise. "S--sorry..."

In this moment she knows that USAGI HAS FAILED THE COVENANT.

And it means that when she hears those various little excuses, she just buries her face in her hand. Muttering an exasperated prayer into her palm: "... spirits preserve us..."

Usagi's presence in front of her is something she feels more than sees, in the darkness: perhaps it's just as well, with the glower she's giving her. "U-sa-gi!" She whispers, sharply. "You're such a slowpoke! You said you'd catch up! Ugh -- fine," she can practically feel the disapproval around her at the disturbance.

Which is just as much Rei's acid tongue as Usagi's sluggishness, at this point, but never mind that.

The point is, Usagi doesn't have a place to sit, which is definitely Usagi's fault and not Rei's lack of saving her seat. So Rei scooches to the side, reaches forward and grabs for her wrist, and tries to help her in towards the empty part of the seat.

Rei does not need clairvoyance to see just how badly it's going as soon as they start trying to settle in. She could use being able to see normally, but it's much too dark for that.

"Ow! You have not," she whispers, as their shuffling inevitably finds Usagi more on Rei's lap than not. Lost weight, presumably. "Can't you squeeze in there? Come on, there's more than enough room." There is not, and finally Rei huffs. "Oh, just -- stop moving, this will do." She cannot see a future of the two of them sitting side-by-side on this seat, so Usagi will have to sit on her lap. Somehow, Rei will tolerate it.

Meanwhile, of course, the tale of Orihime has been unfolding above them, regardless of whispered barbs and fruitless attempts to seat two girls side by side. "Shh!" Rei insists, to her unruly passenger, right about the point that silky voice starts talking about diligence.

There is no reason at all, of course, why Rei Hino would zero in on the tale at this point precisely.

Rei has always insisted that she just has high standards for boyfriends, and here, it seems, are her standards: once she's really listening to that voice, it's hard not to imagine that man might be worthy enough. At least it's too dark to see her cheeks... but there's one girl who might be close enough to hear the tha-thump of her heart.

What a person to read out the story of the spider princess...

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

Usagi is half-way into attempting squeezing into Rei's chair anyhow - when the narrator begins his tale. Rei grabs her wrist, which causes her arm to go out wide, and for a moment Rei is looking through her arm pit. "I did! Stop being so mean!" Usagi hisses at Rei. "And... I'm... trying!"

And suddenly she's still - half in and half out - jutting out in a way that causes the middle schooler that refused her to put her palm up to shield her face so she doesn't have to look at the unsightliness of this. This moment of profound embarrassment suddenly feels like something else.

Like she's somewhere else. In another lifetime.

Usagi suddenly feels herself flushing from the thoughts this evokes from her that makes her a little extra squirmy during the inelegant ballet going on in Rei's seat until... Usagi's up on Rei's lap and hardly even realizes it. She's at least more still in those moments.

Because she's paying attention to the imagery painting a picture - as if the narrator were painting it with a magical brush.

Oh certainly she's heard the story before, as a child she even put herself in Orihime's place, but it's like hearing a story again and again and somehow on this retelling it feels different. It feels right.

The pictures carved in the stars above captures her attention far more than the prospect of trying to adequately squish Rei against the other end of the seat.

"I am sitting." Usagi whispers to Chibi-Usa indignantly.

Before 'shhhhh-ing!' back to Rei, mostly out of reflex. Though Usagi does grow more and more still in their seating arrangement.

Usagi doesn't really say much else, because it's like she's being drawn one foot through a door to the past... while keeping one foot in the present.

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

Well. Fuu had *hoped* the beginning of the presentation would get people to settle down. And to a certain extent, the narration of the tale of Orihime does seem to quiet down the more rambunctious members of the audience - although with enough time, even the remaining whispers seem to abate, letting the story sweep Fuu's thoughts away from here-and-now.

Tanabata. This holiday has been rather poignant for Fuu, particularly after a certain meeting in Cephiro ... and the reunion which was granted, last Tanabata (was it only a year ago?) ... although the maiden's heart which stirs in her chest, now as she listens to the tale, is almost grudging about remembering Ferio. She'd rather listen to the story, and watch the spectacle unfolding across the planetarium's "sky".

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

A long-haired young woman in a pale lavender yukata stands face-to-face with a creature a thousand times smaller than she. Bent little paper wings spread to the side, the orgami neck deferential. The paper was folded imperfectly; the neck lists to the right. The blank head of the origami bird is inscrutable beneath the young woman's large dark eyes. She stares back, just as expressionless, her posture alert.

Tilting her head carefully, she matches the angle of the bird's face precisely. They stand symmetric for a few seconds.


Center Nori Ankou in the frame, sitting there feeling sorry for herself with her tulip hips and privately insured cheekbones but no friends to keep her company beneath the stars. As a sea of tears appears above rather than below, rapture begins to seduce her out of loneliness, and her gaze is drawn firmly upwards.

Now, with the sound of cartoon nail being clawed out of a board, picture the frame shifting to the left, to Tsuru sitting, hands politely in her lap, in the seat adjacent to Nori.

Sooner or later Nori is going to look over. And she will see her couturier looking uncharacteristically stern, a sharpness to her eyebrows as she gazes at the false stars.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

The story continues. Not from any single star, but fading into existence drawn from the combined radiance of all of them, a benevolent emperor appears behind the princess -- a father, behind his daughter. He places his hands on her shoulders... then extends one arm past her, pointing across the river.

"Her wise and loving father, the celestial emperor Tentei, heard his daughter's sorrows, and arranged for her to meet the cow-herd Hikoboshi -- who we also know as the star Altair."

Again, a star burns more brightly than before. Again, lines of light spin out from it, creating the form of a young man, this time, clad in homely peasant attire instead of the princess' imperial robes.

Also he does, indeed, have cows, heavenly beasts, sweet-looking, despite their mighty horns.

"It was love at first sight," the narrator explains, warmly, as Hikoboshi approaches Orihime. The two ford the river, and are about to clasp hands, when...

...other constellations are highlighted in the planetarium sky.

A crab and a scorpion. They have evil-looking eyes, and their claws (and tail) appear wickedly sharp.

These special effects are REALLY good. Those monstrous constellations look downright... three-dimensional.

Small voices from the crowd cry out warnings to the young lovers.

'Look out!'

'Run, Orihime!'

'Behind you, Hikoboshi!'

"But, ah," the narrator's voice stumbles, for the first time in this presentation -- very much in the manner of a commentator adjusting, live, to an unexpected play on the stadium field. "Suddenly great beasts appeared, determined to prevent their marriage!"

The entire planetarium shakes when the scorpion lands at the base of the projector. Those are either amazing illusions... or the planetarium is under attack.

Its tail slashes back and forth warningly... and a hair's-breadth of the tops of the front row's chairs are shorn clean off.

Yeah........ those are monsters.

But in this incredibly crowded, darkened space, if anyone feels like they're truly in danger... there's going to be a panic, and a crush, and very probably some serious harm done simply by the crowd trying to escape.

The show must go on.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick transforms into Starlight Constellation Cosmo!
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

It's fine. Rei has it covered. Usagi is whispering at her? Rei has it covered that's what Chibi-Usa decided and that's just today's reality!! But...

But. There are many sitting, but like Hotaru, Chibi-Usa is now transfixed again. In that other world, maybe it's a wonderful solution! But... In this one...

Chibi-Usa can feel the little shiver, and she glances to Hotaru, ignoring everything but her and the show for a moment. She can't reach her hand with her other one, so she just lets her thumb run across the surface of the paler hand for a moment, like that will do something for the feeling.

But... arranged? Chibi-Usa knows the story well, but it seems she's hearing it again now, and she wonders...

Just as she's wondering, she blinks, to see the constellations highlit--"Oh...!"

Except there's a shake. Chibi-Usa blinks, and glances around, uneasy--but is anyone else reacting...?

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Hotaru is one of the kids who urges Orihime and Hikoboshi to safety, though she is too shy to shout aloud. Only Chibi-Usa is close enough to see her faint outline against the shadow of the planetarium, and the way her jaw is working, the way her other hand, her free hand, has come up to clasp above her heart.

But when she feels her hair ruffle with the passage of impossibly powerful force -- the near miss carving the top off her chair -- she gasps and ducks. It's hard to say if she genuinely realizes the danger, or if she's so far into the experience of the show that her reaction has more to do with the idea of illusion than an all-too-scary reality.

Either way, she holds Chibi-Usa's hand more tightly than ever, and when her best friend looks over, Hotaru looks back. In her violet eyes is a flicker of fear.

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

"He tells it so well..." Usagi whispers to Rei and the two younger girls in a way akin to someone talking during a movie to their friends. It has a daydreamy quality - in that Usagi feels lulled by the sense of romance within this myth. If anyone asked how it makes her feel - she probably wouldn't say she relates... be unable to even put it into so many words. Yet she feels like she does.

The Princess clasps hands with a cow-herd in the sky above, and Usagi's heartbeat transfers through Rei Hino. It's beating faster than it ought to right now. A pounding that can only be explained by Usagi's own sense of romance.

Stars meld into constellations of a scorpion and a crab and Usagi whispers to the others, "Oh no-!"

It's a nail biting moment for Usagi.

Literally. Rei can see her nails slipped in between her lips.

She's never seen the story told like this but... somehow her mind doesn't try to explain the contradiction, so wrapped up in the drama of the idea of how the lovers might be star-crossed by the beasts.

Usagi is shaking her head back and forth in a way that's almost pendulum like as they seem to close in.

And then - the scorpion slashes and Usagi squeals like a child who is seeing a suspenseful moment at the movies, and...

... well Rei ends up with Usagi's arms around her as she's utterly terrified by the thought the two might be killed.

"Rei-chan... did they make it?"

Usagi whimpers, with her eyes fastened shut like she doesn't want to see the results.

Rei though reveals... "Huh?"

Usagi blink blinks those big eyes open - as they grow wide with fear. before she suddenly slides off Rei's lap and into the row beneath the seats. "Chibi-Usa! Take care of Hotaru-chan!"

To the girl who now knows her secret, she might as well be asking her 'It won't be long until you're safe.' She doesn't say anything like that though. She just crawls away down the cramped row.

Until she gets clear enough to-

"Moon Cosmic Power - Make Up!"

"Hold it right there!" Says a dimly lit silhouette of a Pretty Soldier in a Sailor Suit, "Crabs and Scorpions have no place in this story - for one thing they're too scary and there are kids here! I won't let anyone who frightens children during story time off easy-!"

Sailor Moon strikes a fierce pose, "I'm the Pretty Guardian who fights for Love and Justice: Sailor Moon! And in the Name of the Moon-"

Before pointing at the constellation creepy crawlies, "-I will punish you!"

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The presence of the celestial monsters jars Fuu out of her reverie; those aren't part of the Tanabata story *she* knows. Cancer and Scorpio, if she remembers correctly. (And aren't those Western constellations, not Chinese?, she also thinks.)

And then it stops being part of the show. Realistic special effects are one thing, but any 'effect' strong enough to actually carve away pieces of the furniture is also a hazard to the audience's health ... but in the confined space of the planetarium, amongst the entranced children, an all-out battle would put all of the bystanders at risk.

And above those concerns, Fuu finds herself wondering who would go to these lengths - and for what goal. Supernatural terrorism? She would have happily thought that had been dispensed with by now ... but ultimately, the mystery of who's behind this is a secondary concern.

The primary worry is stopping the monsters before anyone gets hurt - and with that thought in mind, Fuu slides out of her chair, hunkering down while she retrieves her glove-jewel from where she'd tucked it away, inside her yukata.

For a brief moment, the darkness is alleviated - just a bit - by a shimmer of dark green ... and then, with a whisper of, "Winds of Admonishment!" the Magic Knight of Wind pokes her head back up - just far enough to make sure that her binding whirlwind manifests correctly around the starry monsters.

She's also moving towards the aisle; strategic cover is one thing, but she'd rather give the monsters a straight shot at her than have them go over (or worse, *through*) innocent spectators, if they can even zero in on her use of magic ... and if they even try to target *her*, with a Pretty Sailor-Suited Soldier declaring her challenge.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"He... he really does," Rei whispers to Usagi, and now she's not slinging venom her voice is even passably quiet. The narrator's voice is warm, and so is her face. This is a tale she has heard many times, in her traditional sort of life -- and she knows why it's persisted for so long. So many people can see themselves in it...

... she might not even give Usagi a hard time for relating.

Silhouettes appear in the sky, and there's a gasp from Rei, and at first it might seem like it's just the shock of the story. But this is not the story, not as Rei knows it, and she's hosted enough events to hear the way the narrator stumbles over the addition and tries not to let it interrupt the show.

Still, maybe this is just some new way to weave Orihime's tale, and at first her misgivings are left to the side as she hears the pleas for stellar safety and looks skyward. It's only when that tail lashes out that she realises -- and Rei wraps her arms around Usagi, on sheer protective instinct, ducking the both of them down with the trunk of her body.

"Usagi!" She whispers, and now her voice is quiet, even with its pressing edge. "Those monsters aren't fake! We need to help!"

At least it is dark enough, in the arena, to be able to find some place to hide --

Though the flare of fire weaving might be a blip of light in the black.

"The Going to Autumn Princess -- the Spider Princess -- the Luminous Bright Light Princess... the Herder Star, the Shepherdman Star, the Cow-Tender Star..." In silhouette, arms folded beside another Pretty Soldier, Sailor Mars looks up at crab and scorpion. "... we know them by so many names, and we write them in the sky. You felonious creatures -- where are your names written? I'm the Soldier of Flame and Passion, Sailor Mars," a hand unlaces from her arm to gesture expansively, "and in the name of Mars, I will chastise you."

She's more centred than her fierce compatriot, perhaps, but she's no less furious. She doesn't need to ask how dare they -- the tone of her voice says it all.

COMBAT: Rei Hino transforms into Sailor Mars!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used In The Name Of Mars! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It would be nice for Nori Ankou's self image if when she turned her head and saw Tsuru there she just smiled and accepted her muse, her patron, her employer without any sort of hostility or tension. That would be nice and it is not what happens.

For one thing it takes her a little while to look away, as the story continues. She lets out a breath, and then another star rises, creating a vision of a young man with the alliance of the wise yet powerful herd of the cows. Cows - though charming, and appealing, and not without their virtues - are fractionally less appealing to Nori Ankou than stories of sorrow and tears and cosmic cloth.

So she turns her head.

And she sees Tsuru.

Nori abruptly seems to grow three inches because she sits up bolt straight in astonishment. Her first immediate thought is that she has somehow managed to goof up her outfit. (It's happened. Not often - but the cutting edge of AkaMira is sometimes cryptic, and Nori is also sometimes cryptic, and so the dialogue of textile and fabric sometimes is briefly lost in translation, like a maverick cow wandering to the wrong ranch of style and affair.)

In confusion, in shock, Nori wonders when Tsuru arrived. She didn't hear her come in. She didn't recall her there. Tsuru is quiet but she would have spoken, wouldn't she? Or she would have heard her. Batiste would have warned her - except, Nori thinks, that he -


"Where's your ticket?" says the railway agent, peering over his desk.

Batiste clasps his paws together. "By the time I leapt up to get it, someone else had already grabbed it - see, I have this one, though I know the fare isn't right - oh, sir, here, let me fish out a coin for you -"

The railway agent takes the ticket, looks at it, and waves the otter through. "You're making a habit of this, Kawauso-san," he concludes, even as Batiste scampers out into the Asakusa station.


- left early, Nori concludes in her mind.

Fortunately for Nori, small children's distress save her from the terror in her own mind. She looks up and hears the commentary falter for one key moment. She blinks several times, because - this isn't how the story went, was it? Are they introducing new elements?

Then the scorpion lands. Lands, and worse.

Nori puts her bag on the arm rest - adjacent to Tsuru - and opens it. She reaches past a carefully-packaged set of clam fritter wrappers to draw out something that might look, superficially, like junk. "Excuse me," she says to Tsuru, and she steals into the aisles.

The lights rise for a moment. It feels like a sea breeze.

As the touch of twinned infinity washes past her, la Sirene sparkles. She pauses for a moment, and looks down to the rope sash that binds her waist and holds her costume together. She tilts the rope forwards. She pushes one of the strands of silver fiber and - a diamond, she thinks. Three of them.

She knows what to do, suddenly.

"It's a little early in the year for the hunter to come forth" says la Sirene de Diamant, from the edge of the planetarium. "But I won't sit by if there's a wedding being disrupted."

She jumps up into the air, tumbling as she does. For a brief moment Orion has risen early. There is a gorgeous streak of light towards the scorpion, and a defiant call of, "There is more where that came from! Now flee, before Sagittarius skewers you outright!"

La Sirene stage-whispers up the aisle towards the Magic Knight, "you! you are sagittarius!"

COMBAT: Nori Ankou transforms into La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Carbonado Kaleidoscope on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The burning star and voice of silk has the Duelist firmly enchanted, following the story along. She feels an envy for the grand Emperor with such a beautiful daughter. Joy, as that lonely princess finds her beloved. And in her heart, she cheers them on as loudly as any child, that with love alone they might find their way past the dangers of the river!

But the shaking of the planetarium shakes Kasagami from her musings on love and the tale, blinking as the evil as well as the danger possessed by those two constellations are made abundantly clear. She shifts on half instinct, half purpose. There are children, innocents who have done nothing wrong at stake here. One panic could set off the entire crowd. A show of beauty and joys turned to a horrific memory to haunt them into their school years and beyond. In each one, she sees a little girl about to be alone, as some sibling or parent is taken.

Kasagami tells herself that it's the tactical situation that she's more concerned for and quickly buries any notion of projecting onto those around her with her own fears. While her field sword is a wonderful thing when faced with massive monsters, or when dealing with a large swathe of them. What it is not great for are crowds that she wants decidedly in one piece.

With that in mind, she slides from her seat that feels heavy all of a sudden, wandering deeper into the darkness of the planetarium as she's able. The ring on her finger glints, the Duelist casts back her hair with one hand as the other reaches to her longcoat. Stepping forward once, she spins with a flourish, overlong blade drawn forth impossibly as it's mirrored surface reflecting her own visage as raven locks grow crimson touched. Cuffs flower with petals of her color. One could almost see her doubled as if reflected in a mirror that the Duelist's eyes never gaze upon. Perhaps refuse to.

Her hair and coat fluttering behind her, with the Senshi of Moon and Mars already present, her hands grip her grand blade. Putting on a suitably imperious face, that sword is pointed for the pair of monsters.

"Hmm! You may come from the very heavens themselves, oh falling stars! But once you touch the ground, you're no longer rulers of the sky above! Allow this King to give you proper hospitality that those destroying celestial love deserve!"

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki transforms into Crimson Rose Duelist!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Royal Rebuke on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon
is Psyched!  Diversion and Exhausted applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mars's In The Name Of Mars!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mars is
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 12 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  Cripple applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 10 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Carbonado Kaleidoscope, taking 15 Fatigue damage!
Stagger applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Royal Rebuke, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Pink
Moon Stick is Quipped!
<Pose Tracker> Tsuru [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Tsuru has shown little outward reaction to the story so far, other than that odd stony expression. Her eyes are filled with the false reflection of the heavens for a moment or two before she turns down to the startled Nori. Comfortingly or not, she seems confused at Nori's surprise. Apparently she had not intended to be sneaky. Just a bit of a Yamato wallflower.

Nori manages to equal or best her mentor in terms of understatement, however, excusing herself without particular comment. "You will be all right?" Tsuru asks, for once seeming more nervous than the secret Sirene, if only on an atomic scale. Still, she seems to be wishing more than asking. It is that sort of night.

Settling back, Tsuru grimaces politely at Sailor Moon's efforts to join the show. That fades a bit as Sailor Mars and La Sirene implement themselves with more respect for the source material. As one of the few witting viewers of this battle, she could be expected to attend to it exclusively, as the narration has become a formality at best.

Tonight, as ever, she neglects not the formality. And her mood has not improved.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

The scorpion is surrounded by speechifiers -- and then a gust of wind, a streak of light.

There's a moment of silence, and then the narrator gamely chimes in,

"But Orihime and Hikoboshi have brave defenders! Andromeda, the Chained Princess! Aries, the Ram! Orion, the Hunter! Sagittarius, the Archer! Cepheus, the King!"

And the crowd goes wild. The younger children, especially, erupt with cheers.

How much of this is for the ostensible constellation-heroes, and how much of this is for the ones they actually recognize from years of News of the Weird (and, also, crane game toys) is unclear, but they're super into it. The air electrifies with their Big Mood.

The monsters are equally enthusiastic, in their way. With hellacious hissing, the scorpion tears herself free of her aerial bindings and advances, claws snapping, down the aisle that begins with the senshi and Duelist, and continues with Magic Knight and la Sirene. She is wider than the aisle, and those kids unfortunate enough to be in outermost seats will need to be reseated before she passes.

The crab, meanwhile, never actually left the ceiling. He scuttles higher and higher, out of reach... and then, all at once, lets go and DROPS, falling downwards directly on top of Chibi-Usa and Hotaru, who will become pancakes -- crab cakes -- if he's allowed to impact them, shell-first.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Crab Cake'd on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Crab Cake'd on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji partially dodges 7 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Fuu
Hououji's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon perfectly dodges 30 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Sailor Moon's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sailor Moon covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Crab Cake'd, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's Crab Cake'd, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick is
COMBAT: Sailor Mars dodges 16 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Sailor Mars's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars covers Hotaru Tomoe for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Crab Cake'd, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars braces 28 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Crab Cake'd, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant perfectly dodges 36 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Sailor Moon seems delighted at the entrances of the others. Mars and La Sirene in particular - with a dramatic flare that seems to draw her even further in the show.

However - the narrator names others. "Oh you're going to get it now!" As if she expected right then and there...

More constellations were going to attack.

Sailor Moon suddenly looks quite disappointed. "He means us doesn't he? Wait - which one am I?"

Well at least she's being applauded, that causes her to suddenly stand up straight, hands on her hipsand soak in the adulation.

Sailor Moon suddenly snaps into the air as the Scorpion snaps her claws at the place where she once stood. It's an agile leap into a somersault, that takes her out of the way of its advance. Landing on the back of a chairback perfectly.

That is until she starts stumbling back and forth in a flail to try to regain her balance.

Just as Usagi suddenly lurches forward to grab the back of another seat and bridging herself across two rows...

She sees the shadow of a crab moving overhead. Her eyes trail up. Then her eyes move down to what the shadow is eclipsing.

"Chibi-Usa! Hotaru-chan!"

The Senshi cries out, before suddenly pulling forward with her hand, and rolling over the arm rest of the seat in front of her - upon coming up, her foot propels off of it, and she surges forward in what looks like a futile attempt to beat the Crab Monster to falling on top of them.

The Sailor Moon shaped missile separates Hotaru and Chibi-Usa at least for a good cause. And slams into the pink haired child at an angle. The impact shoving her laterally - and just out of the way before...


Sailor Moon shrieks instantly as the the weight of the thing crushes her entire lower half through a seat and pins her to the auditorium floor.


Yeah that hurt. Moon's back is arched, flailing her limbs out from beneath the thing, eyes full of tears. And once she can scream coherently again she's shouting out.


Her wails become a plea become just an iteration of the pain over and over, before devolving into incoherent crying again.

And then that's when it happens. The ruby hair ornaments she's wearing start to reverberate with her rising panic and...

... begin to emit higher and higher frequency waves of ear-splitting sound at point blank range to the crab-constellation monster crushing her.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Supersonic Screaming on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There, Sailor Mars thinks, as the narrator adjusts to their presence. They'll save the show.

The children here are counting on it. If there was a stampede in this crowded space...

The lash of those claws sends her darting to the side, grabbing a threatened child as she passes and setting them down as she lands further away. The act of reseating that little boy left her with a bit of an impact on her back, but -- it's fine, written in her smile in the gloom.

"Thanks for helping us bring this to life!" She whispers encouragingly, to him, like it's all part of the performance.

But there's no time to linger there, because the scorpion isn't the only threat in the planetarium. Up goes the crab, and down goes the crab, and the place it's crashing down on is...

Sailor Mars exclaims: "Chibi-Usa-chan! Hotaru-chan!" And these are words which come in the wake of movement, leaping in ahead of the youma, to the two girls. She knows Sailor Moon will be with her -- "Hotaru-chan, I've got you!" -- and white-gloved hands wrap around a frail girl and Sailor Mars bends her legs as she absorbs the crushing impact, leaning low against that seat.

It's a chair designed to move at a hundred angles -- so it can move back with the pressure, pressure which Mars keeps off of Hotaru with an arm braced firmly against the armrest, the other holding her fast. "Ugh," she hisses the pain through her teeth, only to hear how Sailor Moon takes the attack and --

-- even if it's dark, Hotaru is close enough to hear the way that other Senshi's breath catches in her throat.

With difficulty she straightens, takes the arm which was bracing them against the chair and uses it to grasp an ofuda instead. "I won't forgive you," she says, as her face turns to look at the shell she's under, fire in her eyes.


Invoking the divine power of the shinsatsu, she moves, suddenly, around -- and slams the ofuda against the edge of the crab's shell, with force enough to, she hopes, push it away.

She'll let go of Hotaru, but she's keeping herself between the girl and the crab.

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Evil, Begone! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Supersonic Screaming, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick cleanly braces 40 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mars's Evil, Begone!, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami loves a crowd. She loves showing off. And when she's dubbed Cepheus, she happily wears it like a cloak about her shoulder. The Duelist makes sure to wink and grin to the many children that might glance to the various heroes. To give dramatic hope to tiny admirers that she so desperately needed those years ago!

But she can't soak in the electric atmosphere as long as she might otherwise, because that gigantic claw is coming for her, senshi, sirene and knight of the wind. Not to mention the crowd! She has no desire to be snipp'd in half like a shrimp. When those claws come forward Kasagami raises her blade up high and kicks backwards with the heels of her boots.

She's a swift thing, the Duelist, but those snapping claws manage to tear into coat and uniform alike. Kassie gasps, turning away as she misjudges the lightning-fast blow by a fraction. The dim light and sparkles of the planetarium above make it hard for her to see. She's sent back skidding several feet from the painful encounter, gritting her teeth.

A grin is forced on her face, a show of confidence. A King wouldn't back down here, even if they might sacrifice a daughter.

Her skid ends in a hop to regain some control of her momentum. Then one forward, again, and she crosses space in a moment. A pair of bent knees, and she sends hersef careening towards the sky boots over head and blade a whirlwind. More reflections of planetarium lights catch her sword as she seeks to crash back down. That now glinting blade falls first as she lashes out at the scorpion in a lashing attempt to marr it's claws' armored joints to better deprive the youma opportunity to cleave child, magical kin, or her own person. Nor does she see fit to stop, spinning and turning as she furiously carves as long as the beast will allow her.

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Dance in the Petals on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Chibi-Usa Tsukino [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The fear in Hotaru's eyes--that's what confirms it for Chibi-Usa. She squeezes her hand, looks at her intensely, and 'it's okay', her red gaze says, 'i'm worried too but we hang on', the pressure at her hand says.

And there's Usagi's reassurance--Chibi-Usa looks to her, and nods, and if she's a little shaky doing it, she's still sincere. She believes in Sailor Moon!

...And not just in her; in Sailor Mars, in La Sirene, in the Wind Knight, even in the brave swordswoman who would be King just this moment; they all can fight against these monsters.

But, belief, while true, does not immunize one to the immediate worry of--a giant. enemy. crab. seeking to make one... cake.


Chibi-Usa can't help but make the sound, turning to start to move towards Hotaru as if she could shield her--but suddenly, there is an impact, and she's separated. "Ah--Sailor Moon!!"

But Sailor Mars has Hotaru, she can hear her say so, so she only has to worry about... the one. ...

"...Sailor Moon..." Nope. Chibi-Usa doesn't make fun. She worries. But while she does, she sees Mars attacking, and--scoots. "I-I'll--" She runs off, around, to take Hotaru's hand, help her up, and move to get out of the way. "They'll be okay," she says, but it sounds like she might be worrying. ...A lot. She looks over to them, as she tries to find a good place to duck down...


COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 17 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Dance in the Petals, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

("of course," Nori said to Tsuru, a moment ago.)

There was no time to say anything more, because events have stepped forwards. La Sirene squats on the handrest of the far end of the row, raising her shoulders high and lifting up one arm as if to strike a pose. The moster, of course, obliges her by attacking with horrid speed, and la Sirene stares dead on at it. It's coming too close to the children, she thinks.

A moment later she thinks, I've made a terrible mistake!

But it's coming towards HER - it has no time to menace anything else - maybe this wasn't too bad a plan after all. As the scorpion commits, la Sirene leaps BACK - and bounces off the taut fabric of the planetarium wall, a perfect if harmless Rider Kick that leaves her standing on the back of the Scorpion for a fleeting moment!

I've made a terrible mistake!! la Sirene thinks, before she raises her right hand as if bidden by ghosts, speaking aloud, "In the name of the Hunter, les Mysteres, come!" Her left rises, strikes down with that curiously musical blast, a shimmering burst of silver and black riding forwards -- and down, towards the base of that tail.

"I'll ride you round the Zodiac," la Sirene says, "and put you back where you belong - Sagitarrius! (that's you!) The crab--!"

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Sailor Mars notices, in that critical moment before she's flattened, that Hotaru looked at her oncoming demise without fear. That the terror in her eyes was entirely reserved for Chibi-Usa -- and once Sailor Moon had interposed herself there, her eyes had simply closed, she had simply... waited for the end.

Not that there's time to contemplate this, as the crab is very much alive, and Chibi-Usa is towing Hotaru away in any case.

"...they know my name," she mumbles, perhaps not the appropriate revelation for the moment, but the girl is very small and very pale and very shocked by everything going on, so maybe THAT being Hotaru's takeaway isn't completely ridiculous. She has to latch onto SOMETHING she can process.

Her hand in Chibi-Usa's is no longer goosebumpy, but it is clammy and shaky and hard to keep hold of. She ultimately picks their place to duck down by stumbling and falling between rows -- an irritated middle school student shoves her back towards the aisle. "Out of the way, I can't see!"

"S-sorry," Hotaru whispers. Then, without rising, she looks up at Chibi-Usa, who is now taller. "Chibi-Usa-chan... I think, maybe... we should run..."

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Being dubbed Saggitarius prompts a brief double-take from the Wind Knight - although, Fuu reminds herself, she hasn't been keeping her birthday that big a secret. Nor can she complain about being associated with the Zodiac sign of the Archer - especially when it means that she, along with the other magical girls, is now part of the story. Part of the show.

Not that she usually worries about looking good in front of an audience; she typically has bigger concerns ... but maybe it's bearing the role of Sagittarius in the unfolding celestial battle which puts some extra spring in her step, as she vaults over the charging scorpion. It's not a clean dodge; she doesn't get cut or stung, at least, but she does get clipped with significant blunt force - enough to make her twirl harder than she meant to, and off-center to boot.

She manages to stick the landing anyway, more or less, glancing to each side to see if any of the civilians - any of the children - need healing. The other question is whether she has *time* to heal them - and at the moment, the celestial terrors seem unlikely to allow it.

Twin flares of magic resolve into the Wind Knight's bow and quiver, as she spares a nod to La Sirene. "I'm on it! Winds, heed my call - !"

The breezes rise around her as she nocks an arrow to the string of her raised bow, drawing back as she lowers bow and shaft across her line of sight, taking aim at the conjuration of Cancer. For a moment, she seems to be the embodiment of the eye of the storm: a calm center, surrounded by the swirling wind and tumult of battle. There's a coolness in her gaze, a focus that cuts through her leashed anger at whoever's behind this incident ... a focus that condenses into a calm yet terrible intent, laid along the length of her shaft.

The mastermind's turn will come, eventually. For now, there are monsters to destroy.

"Gale Arrow!!" calls the Magic Knight of Wind, and her arrow leaves the bow, the gathered wind magic wrapping around arrowhead, shaft, and feathers alike, driving it faster and straighter than archery skills alone - to not merely pierce the crab's shell, but hopefully to shatter it entirely.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick neatly dodges 20 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

The scorpion is FAST, faster than Kasagami's strike, which winds up eating constellation-monster dust... stardust... as she continues along the aisle. La Sirene finds her footing atop her back, however, and Les Mysteres, from that angle, is not so easily avoided. Great risk has great reward, as silver light strikes a terrible blow against the tail.

But in its dying twitch, as that appendage separates, it lashes towards her back. Risk, indeed.

The scorpion keeps going, and winds up basically on top of Chibi-Usa and Hotaru, who she IMMEDIATELY swipes at. These monsters are awfully interested in those two, aren't they?


The crab, alarmingly, withstands screaming ("...I guess that isn't Sailor Moon after all," one little fan remarks to another, a little disappointed), spiritual power, and -- by simple expedient of transferring more of its weight to the two girls underneath it -- ducks under the Magic Knight's arrow. And it bears down, down, down.

But then:

Moonlight Knight walks over from Yamanote High City.

<Pose Tracker> Moonlight Knight [None] has posed.

A white rose slashes through the air and buries itself at the edge of the monster's lower claw, one of the ones it was using for balance.

BGM Start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0yvg_qtgcI

Something has happened, overhead, to the Hikoboshi image. Before he was only a few lines of projected light, but somehow, in a ghostly way, he has faded into a greater semblance of being. He has gained a third dimension, as the monsters did.

Also, he's gained an outfit that looks like it stepped straight out of the pages of A Thousand And One Arabian Nights. Clad all in white, the only hint of color to his person are in his eyes, which burn a brilliant blue, aflame with passion. A feeling which extends to his voice... is it the narrator? That beautiful baritone...

"Tanabata is a beautiful love story, and beneath the twin lights of Vega and Altair is the perfect place for a confession. Despicable monsters do not suit this evening!"

There are no trees or lampposts to stand upon but this new challenger doesn't seem to care, floating comfortably amongst the faux stars as though he's one of them in truth.

COMBAT: Moonlight Knight has used For Whom Is The White Rose? The Moonlight Knight Appears! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to counter Moonlight Knight's For Whom Is The White Rose? The Moonlight Knight Appears!, taking 68
Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Crabshell, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Moonlight Knight!  
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

(The crab loses its balance and flops over to one side. Chance!)

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Tail of the Scorpion on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Claw of the Scorpion on Chibi-Usa Tsukino.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 18 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Tail of the Scorpion, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  La
Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji covers Hotaru Tomoe for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Claw of the Scorpion, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki covers Chibi-Usa Tsukino for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Claw of the Scorpion, taking it upon herself
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Claw of the Scorpion, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Sailor Moon's shrieking and crying is cut off entirely... by the flight of a single white rose, burying itself within a claw that's within her line of sight.

Oh it still hurts mind you. Yet right now - she can ignore it. Caught spellbound, she follows the path upward to where the Hikoboshi display sat amongst the stars.

There is something expectant in her tear-filled eyes. Like it's back in the old days when she was entirely new...

And there would be a man in a Tuxedo standing there.

Back then she only had two words for him.

Tuxedo Kamen

However she added more.

Her Prince.


The wish which saved everyone had claimed his memories as a sacrificial tribute - to save him.

And so when she looks at that spot in the heavens and he turns out not to be what she expected. She does not despair. She is simply... startled.

"C-Could it be?" She says with uncertainty, her hope surging to replace her sheer surprise.

His outfit evokes a similar feeling of romance within Sailor Moon - an earthly Prince that is at home amongst the heavens.

His speech even makes her think of him.

The crab flips over, and she scrambles out. Though despite the deadly circumstances, she still seems like she's in a daze.

Her mind just feeling out the possibility that it could be him.

And for a moment all she can do is look at him. "Moonlight..." Their positions feel juxtaposed with an intentional symmetry, and all she can feel is her heart beating out of her chest. "...Knight-sama?" Even her title carries a certain tenuous uncertainty that contrasts the growing flush in her cheeks.

And that is when she sees out of the periphery of her eye a certain movement of a scoprion. "Chibi-Usa! Hotaru-chan!" And evidencing that yes indeed... she knows her name all too well. As she cries it in sudden alarm.

The Spiral Heart Moon Rod snaps into her hand, with a whirl of motion. A whorl of light, a sparkle of promise. Holding it on high, it chimes with a sound that seems to evoke a sense of nostalgia within those who know of the Silver Millenium. The senshi keeps the rod held high overhead, a glimmer of light sparkling across its surface.

And then she begins a flourishing motion, like it's part of a spell she weaves. As if it were part of some dance that reflects the heavens. Presenting it high she holds it up parallel to her, before her lips move.

"MOOOONNNNNN SPIRALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL-" She begins to twirl, starting high, her twintails becoming a streams of blonde. "-HEEEAAAAAAARRRRRRRTTTTTTTT-" Before tucking in, spinning low, ending in a kneel like a figure skater at the end of a combination spin. "-ATTACK!"

It's like a dam has been broken to a sea of stars. They glide out in a milky way spiral pinwheel of stardust, before the hearts begin to alternate between them in a counterrevolution. The hearts stream out - building upon themselves.

Before a heart of incredible size and loveliness begins its inexorable path towards the constellation creatures that have been attacking this celebration...

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Magic Knight of Wind doesn't have a chance to dwell on her attack's failure to breach the crab's shell. She doesn't even have time for the gamer part of her mind to reflect on correctly attacking its weak point. Because the astral avatar of Scorpio, despite losing its tail to La Sirene, is still roaming around and inflicting its own massive damage - and while Chibi-Usa and Hotaru are trying to flee while they can, the now-tailless monster is bearing down on them like the nightmare that it very nearly is.

"Both of you GET DOWN!!!" shouts the Wind Knight, not even thinking as she hurls herself above Hotaru's body. She very nearly regrets it; for all that it was just a projection at first, the scorpion's body now possesses a horribly physical mass and weight - mass enough to threaten to crack through the Magic Knight's armor, or to crush Hotaru *underneath* her, despite the green-clad girl's efforts to keep pushing upwards, to be a solid 'roof' over Hotaru so the monster won't hurt her.

It's like she doesn't even remember a certain incident, with a certain Book ... And to be sure, she *wasn't* thinking about that - just the fact that a young girl was in deadly danger, and the Wind Knight had a chance to save her. That's what matters.

"Are you all right, Hotaru-san?" the Wind Knight gasps as the scorpion's weight finally leaves her be. "We'll be done in a moment ... you've been really brave so far." Pained or not, her smile is genuine, friendly and compassionate. But she gets back to her feet, staggering just a little, and turns to face the monsters before Hotaru (or Chibi-Usa) can see that smile waver.

"Emerald ... !!" She raises her arms, drawing them back, and the wind kicks up again - tousling her hair, ruffling her sleeves and skirts as the Magic Knight of Wind draws deeply on her element, gathering her focus and summoning up every spark of her willpower.


And then she unleashes it, the wrath of the tempest taking form as she flings her hands forward once more, rending winds lashing out to tear the celestial monsters apart - focused blasts, yet with such force that you'd think she was trying to tear them apart, one 'star' at a time, and fling each little blossom of light back to its proper place among the heavens.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Fuu Hououji has used Emerald Cyclone: Full on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami is treated to an involuntary flutter of her own coat as that lightning-fast youma leaves her chasing it's now twitching (and stabbing!) tail as Sirene plugs the thing with her powers. The Duelist's cheeks are slightly reddened now, one brow twitching in irritation. The competitive young woman can't help but find some sting in that.

Which is quickly turned to cold horror as she realizes just whom those deadly claws are going for. Here, once again, Kassie is pushed into action for the sake of a child. This time though it's a bit more personal. Spying the pink haired young girl that her beloved is so protective of being the target of the starlit youma ravager, the Duelist once again takes to the sky. Not to fall upon the beast, but instead to leap over it. There's no showy flips this time, merely expediency as she makes a shallow jump that utterly puts her in danger of being clipped herself.

While she still wonders at the relation and what importance Chibi-Usa might have, she trusts in Pluto. This girl must be worth protecting even if she insists on being near Hotaru. And right now, Kasagami doesn't even have it in her to wish the dark haired girl's downfall. Rather, some part of her is relieved as the stalwart Wind Knight proves her bravery and takes the blow for Hotaru. Silently she thanks the Magic Knight for sparing her the moral conundrum that is Hotaru to her. She focuses on Hotaru's dear friend instead.

Boots land with the lightest of thuds. When that claw comes for Chibi-Usa, the Duelist raises her sword with one hand along it's long spine. Her sword becomes a shield as the powerful monster slams down. She uses her whole self to protect her love's charge.

"Get back!" Kassie howls towards the small girl, fierce yet with a note of terror for what could be snuffed out if she fails here. The weight is crushing and the speed too much for her eyes to even keep up. She feels knees threaten to crack from the pressure of the blow. Athletic arms scream.

Still, the Duelist looks back for a moment. "You don't get to be hurt by a thing like this, understand? I will not have Pluto cry!" She whispers to Chibi-Usa alone, voice strained.

But then from the sky Hikoboshi forms into the dashing, passionate form of a true knight of moonlight! Even as she contests for Chibi-Usa's safety, her eye is drown to that brilliant blue. She would never admit it, but she admires the flare, the baring that this new hero brings!

Jealously and a hint of her own heart's feelings of weakness war with the admiration. The darker feelings she quickly buries, latching onto the shining stars.

She takes one step back to disengage from a losing battle. This earns her a shallow slice across the midsection. Any closer and she'd be gutted. This leaves the Duelist seemingly teetering on the edge of falling backwards. She hears Sailor Moon speak of the Knight and unleash her heartfelt power. Kassie adjusts her stance. One step back, but no more. She seizes the opportunity.

"A King won't allow a subject to fall so long as she can grip a blade!" Proclaims the girl who desires a Castle in the Sky and the throne she imagines it has. She swings with all of her might, precision, and a purpose of preserving the pink haired mystery girl.

The Crimson Rose Duelist's blade is as split by a mirror. The optical illusion is a near-perfect one, such is the sheer blinding fury and sword-skills she applies to it. Her sword's tip nearly kisses the ground in her wild and wide motion. Her last stroke, a vertical slice towards what passes for the scorpion's face merges perfectly with her twin horizontal cuts that she'd done less than the first part of lips for a breath's time all in a single glorious motion as she aims too to reap what she can of those claws.

Her arms are as tight as iron bars, hair swaying behind her beautifully as her face is grit with effort. She prays only that she's fast enough, placing her faith in her fellow magical girls as they all fight together!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Kasagami Araki has used Crimson Rose Cage on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The tail, severed, comes towards la Sirene, put in the position of the frog en reverse. She knew this creature was poison when she met it... The claw stings down for her and la Sirene is borne down, smashing into the outer aisle of the planetarium, grinding her teeth in momentary anticipation of the agony of poison --

But there was some fortune. The stinger didn't get her.

The thrashing of the tail "only" smashed her into the ground hard enough that she thinks she can feel several bones she didn't know she had. "it hurts," she mumbles to herself, pushing herself up to a seated position as there is a momentary visage in white there -- with eyes as blue as the evening sea -

He's floating in the sky. La Sirene's breath is taken away for a moment.

But there is a greater problem. One might say a giant enemy problem. La Sirene turns things round - and she looks at the stinger she so narrowly avoided being skewered by. Her attention turns to the Wind Knight, and then she looks forwards. Something beautiful and gorgeous and potentially supernally l*vely is being thrown at the crab.

"No decapod shall terrorize these young maids while I still draw breath," says la Sirene, grasping the stinger tight. She leans her head forwards, steps a row over, and then as the others strike she begins to run. Around her, the auroral-seeming un-light of the soothing tear-filled depths of that distant place shine, and la Sirene could swear she feels that familiar cloud-shrouded glow behind her, even as the scorpion shell begins to glow an electric blue in the touch of this light.

"Haaahhh --"

And that tail is hurled forwards, glowing and propelled by the pressure of the Pharos, towards the great shell! "Crack open!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! La Sirene de Diamant has used Saturday's Delight on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Sailor Mars is left straining against the shell of the crab, trying to hold it up at the point of that ofuda, trying to keep it off of herself and Sailor Moon and...

... at least Chibi-Usa takes Hotaru away from its threat zone.

But they're still in danger, and the Soldier of War can't get out to help them. If she wriggles out from underneath this crab, it will drop its full weight onto her fellow Senshi, and where Sailor Moon protects the world -- Sailor Mars protects Sailor Moon.

She's not moving. She will not move.

Not even as the crab sinks down lower, lower, lower, and Sailor Mars feels her knees sinking low as she finds that she is no implacable object against an unstoppable force. She braces her hands against it; she tries to push back. It is hard and fast and heavy, more than any other word, heavy like stars are heavy.

No, Sailor Mars thinks.

And then -- something whistles through the air, lances into the edge of a crab-claw, their assailant keels to the side. With a glance to Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars hurries out from under the shadowing shell, too. Away from the crab, and she looks back up to the stars. She gasps, audibly, as Hikoboshi is written in another name, a name delicately unspoken for so long after...

"... Moonlight Knight-sama?" Sailor Mars confirms the name, another name, and for a moment she wants to issue demands, where have you been, she's been worried sick, we thought something terrible had -- but she hears the uncertainty in a question like hers, and she looks back down to Sailor Moon, and her gaze softens.

It's that glance which carries her glance a little further -- to the defence of Chibi-Usa and Hotaru. She sees the Wind Knight, Kasagami, and her hand grasps at her heart as she sees them take the attacks onto themselves.

This is a familiar feeling, isn't it?

A rose creating an opening, to turn the tide of battle...

"By Fire --" Sailor Mars whirls, fingertips trailing a line of flame around her with the fanning encouragement of ofuda, a burning circle which flows upwards with her hand as she throws it upwards. It streams out to circle above the monstrous constellations, like circling birds. "-- Be Cleansed!"

She flings that ofuda towards the broad carapace, and like a signal it draws the flame down, down, and it is not the soft healing light of the moon but fire is a purifying force just the same.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Mars has used By Fire Be Cleansed! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 83 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 124 Fatigue
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 44 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Finisher, Emerald Cyclone: Full, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Kasagami Araki's Finisher, Crimson Rose Cage, taking 144 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace La Sirene de Diamant's Finisher, Saturday's Delight, taking 119 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 81 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mars's Finisher, By Fire Be Cleansed!, taking 54 Fatigue damage!
Pink Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Some say planetarium shows will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor five.

But if it had to perish twice

I think I know enough of love

To say that for destruction wind

and swords

and pressure-propelled stingers

and lovely hearts

are also great

and will suffice.


It is only in the very last moments of their existence, when that inexorable wall of pink threatens to swallow the entire chamber (though without harming a single hair on an innocent's head, for such is the magic of Sailor Moon), that it's possible to get a read on what the constellation monsters are--

--well, what they were.

Although three-dimensional and painfully solid, they were also transparent; blue and white and yellow stars connected by lines, with nothing in the middle but void, void that was usually black, because most of the planetarium, mid-show, is black.

But as they're engulfed by the power that ends them, they are, briefly, backlit by pink...

...revealing the inverted black crescents on their brows.

And then they're nothing at all.

The show is back to normal... the princely Hikoboshi, who approaches to embrace Orihime, nothing but outlines again himself.

The room explodes into applause.


"...and so," the narrator concludes, sounding extremely amused by everything that's just happened, "After their brave defenders protected them, the two lovers became wed..."

The rest of the tale of Tanabata proceeds as normal.