2019-12-07 - Another Rude Awakening! With Westar's Advice, Mikoto Harries Anew!

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Title: Another Rude Awakening! With Westar's Advice, Mikoto Harries Anew!

Mikoto gets up early to ruin everyone's day though a rude awakening before the sun has even risen. Fresh Pretty Cure, la Sirene, and Sourisi all take umbrage. But why is Mikoto repeating Westar's evil plots, anyway?


Mikoto Minagi, Setsuna Higashi, Nori Ankou, Inori Yamabuki, Niramo Umokeshi


Yotsuba Clover Town

OOC - IC Date:

2019-12-07 - 2015-07-22 (very early)

.****************************** Tama Outer City *******************************.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Yotsuba Clover Town +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 On one horizon, there is mountain and forest; on the other, city and sea.
 Here there is Yotsuba, a town named for its clover-carpeted hills. It's hard
 to say if it's any luckier than neighboring towns because of it, but it does
 feel a little easier to smile around here. Yotsuba is a town for families,
 with no real pretense of hipness, and enthusiasm spills from every store
 awning, town council meeting, and local festival. Streets are broad and
 brick-paved for walking, and the architecture and decorations are
 birthday-cake pastel against the rich green shrubbery and hills.

 Like so many Japanese towns, Yotsuba is built around its shopping district.
 Clover Town Street runs straight down the middle of town, marked on either
 side by large archways bearing its name. Greenery, lamp posts and benches
 cut down the middle. Shops of all kinds line both sides: florist, tofu,
 candy, supermarket, and accessory, to name a few. Most of the businesses
 here are locally owned, and their proprietors live on their upper floors.

 Yotsuba Park is the social center of the town. With broad pavilions and
 famous donuts, it is popular enough to be lively and spacious enough to
 avoid crowding. Its amphitheatre regularly hosts performances, as well as
 the beauty, dance and idol competitions that have become popular among
 locals lately.
*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

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

What happens to Mikoto - all those times she insists she has to go home, just as her conversations are getting too confusing, too dangerous to continue?

She runs home, yes, and home is dark stone. She does not take the most direct path; she doubles back, she makes sure she is not followed. Her Lord Brother has so many enemies. She must be sure she does not lead them to him. She comes to Ohtori's island, and this is not so strange, in the scheme of things: many girls return there, and it is the nature of teenagers that some will return late at night, regardless of curfew. But she veers off the path; she finds the tunnels which run beneath the surface. She goes down and down and down, driven by her anxious obsidian heart through a path few could master. She is not the master of this path. Rather - it returns her to him.

To the Obsidian Lord, safe in his Palace. She is safe, in his Palace.

She seeks salvation from pain and confusion in his arms and he embraces her, strong and steady and sure. Safety is contact and he assures her - he is there for her. When she despairs, he lets her rest against him, on his long red throne. He hollows out her agony; mindless devotion fills the space left behind. Barred from reaching out to her friends, all Mikoto's affection - all her trust, all her warmth, all her desperate need for connection - it all flows into him.

All her love, just for him.

All his love... just for her?

Surely all they need is each other.

Surely all she needs is him.

This is the knowledge impressed on her, every time she flees in fear and doubt and comes home to his support.

It is not the only lesson she has learned. When she wakes from her doze one night to find she is tucked against the armrest instead of his side, for a moment she cannot help but panic: he was there when she went to sleep. Has he left without warning - again? But at her sharp intake of breath and fumbled grasping, she hears his voice, rumbling low and reassuring: "Mikoto..."

He is standing, watching the viewscreens which hang above them in the Palace cavern, but at her distressed noise he turns to her and reaches out a hand. She takes it, and he helps her stand, too. His fingers curl between hers - a perfect match - and he squeezes gently to reassure her he is here.

"It's the middle of the night," he notes, his concern evident to her, as his gold eyes look down on hers. There's a moment's sluggishness - Mikoto is not always quick to waking - before her eyes widen with realisation.

If it's that late at night, that means she can..!

"I'll get to work!" She proclaims, quickly, with no small desperation to see his approval. It is an enthusiasm rewarded, even if she can't manage any cheer: he smiles, and she can see the pride in his gold, gold eyes.

"You're such a good girl, Mikoto."

He's happy, even though she isn't smiling.


All told, it takes about an hour to get everything together.

The Obsidian Lord's cherished little sister wants for nothing: it was not difficult for her to get this equipment. She does not often think of her own seniority, but she is her Lord Brother's right hand, after all. In the park, there's enough room to set up...

A truly ridiculous set of speakers.

Mikoto never quite managed to hit five feet high: she leans comfortably against one of them, and it still towers over her. Pitch black, of course, wide discs about their middle. Of course, if you were to ask Mikoto about the woofers and the bass, she'd respond that they quite like them, most of the time... but cats usually like fish more than dogs do.

Mikoto may be slightly unclear about the specifics of this equipment.

That's fine, though. All she really needs to know is where the 'on' switch is. (Someone has helpfully labelled it with a post-it note, emblazoned 'THIS ONE.' There are a series of other switches, knobs, and buttons, with another note helpfully instructing: 'NOT THESE ONES.' One forbidden option is clearly the volume control. It is turned up very, very high.)

She scratches at an ear. She, of course, is wearing earplugs; with hearing as sensitive as hers, she needs to take care of herself. They are yellow, like the detailing on her pink vambrace and spaulder. That armour is the brightest thing on her, framed against her black long-sleeved shirt and black skirt, though the magenta trim about the edges of her dark clothing and the deep red cape pinned between her back and the speaker offer a splash of extra colour. Her motion transitions to a deep yawn, because it's very early in the morning, and even when she has to do it Mikoto does not much enjoy the early hours. Her fingers splay over her mouth; her back stretches against the speaker. She learned proper yawning technique from her cat friends. The trick is to elongate.

Mikoto looks up at the sky - clear, at this point in summer. The pre-dawn night is brisk, with a light breeze. The moon has already set; the sky is beginning to lighten. In a few minutes, the twilight will fully transition from nautical to civil, the last stage of darkness before dawn. The sun is still below the horizon, but it is rising, and in less than an hour it will shine in the sky.

She isn't carrying a watch, but at this level of light, she'd place the time at around...

Four in the morning.

Oh, she thinks, to herself. That's very early. Early enough that Mai probably won't have started making breakfast yet. This early... everyone will still be asleep. And it's the middle of the week...

That means Westar's idea will work, she reminds herself, pushing the regret aside.

Listening to someone else's ideas is a little dangerous, but... maybe it's okay, if she's doing it to make her Lord Brother happy. No one could accuse her of acting like a defender of justice right now.

After all, right now, she's about to ruin the day of every girl in earshot.

And these are very, very, VERY large speakers.

Mikoto pushes off the speakers and goes to the control panel. It's light enough for her to read the notes, at least. One hand grasps the hilt of her blade, while the other taps at her lip. She doesn't really get how it works, but turning it on should be simple enough.

She flicks the indicated switch --

Sudden, Blaring BGM Change: Sleigh Bells - Demons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0_BlUbGBSo

-- and immediately staggers back from the force of noise blasting out the speakers. She might not be able to define bass in a sentence, but now she's had the definitive bass experience. It vibrates up through the stage and into her spine, setting her teeth rattling. Is that a song? She can't even tell. It's so noisy.

Even with her earplugs in, she loathes the sound. She's not the only one.

The noise pours out through Yotsuba, and doesn't stop there: it echoes through the streets, up through open windows and clear drainpipes. Cats start yowling. Dogs start howling. The cacophony echoes back into itself in the worst kind of feedback loop, as neighbours bolt from their beds and start yelling over fences for kids to plug their headphones back in.

The particularly clever senses of magical assistants might even catch the disturbance all the way in the heart of the city, because this is not, as the neighbourhood seems to think, your average teenage sleepover.

This is a Dark Fall plot.

No one gets to sleep in today.

In the middle of Yotsuba Park's ampitheatre, dwarfed on both sides by massive black speakers pumping out insufferable noise, Mikoto Minagi grasps her massive obsidian blade and waits for the opening act.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has fully healed herself. She is now ready to take on 4 opponents!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used I CAN'T EAT THIS BASS I HATE IT! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Mikoto Minagi's I CAN'T EAT THIS BASS I HATE IT!, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Mikoto Minagi!

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

A purple-eyed girl half-jumps, eye twitching, at the sudden noise, shifting suddenly as she is jolted awake all of a sudden. There are in fact many luxurious Setsuna Higashi has found on Earth, among them being sleeping in a little, and now???

Now whatever dreams Setsunas have are abrubtly interrupted as her eye twitches again--and the noise doesn't stop. She slowly sits up, and looks out the window. She hears people shouting. There's echoing. It is so, so, so terribly noisy.

"...Is he really..."

Setsuna rises, half-robotic, too-smoothly, in her pajamas and fetches her Linkrun from the nightstand. "Akarun..." Setsuna's voice is slow, and deliberate. "We're going to go and make them quiet..."

It's a face out of nightmare. A face......... last shown when Tarte ate all the ice cream. It is time.



Cure Passion's voice rises into the din, and it might just cut through with the power of Pretty Cure. Either way, a red blur shoots from the sky down at an angle--and Cure Passion appears on the scene, swinging straight for the first of the speakers with concrete-shattering force. Except--

"...You're not Westar,' Passion says in surprise looking at Mikoto with her... earplugs.


Where she'd paused in her punch, she rears back, and shoves the speaker straight towards Mikoto.

She remembers when she made a speaker Nakewameke. IT'S EVEN MORE OBNOXIOUS THAN HERS!!

COMBAT: Setsuna Higashi transforms into Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Passion Punch on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Passion has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 9 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Passion Punch, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mikoto Minagi's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, WOOFERS AREN'T DOGS?!, partially gets through, doing 4 Fatigue damage to Cure Passion!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

From the open window - for there is no balcony in 4-4-4 - comes Batiste.

"It's happening again," Batiste tells Nori Ankou, who is wearing red silk pajamas and eating a bowl of colorful soup that she made herself. She is learning. It is not easy. It is in some ways painful. But it is easier to learn these things, especially when it is not recipes from this place. The brand of Ankou Foods rests on a number of traditional Japanese frozen delicacies.

Nori just doesn't make those for herself.

"What's happening?"

"There's a great noise out there. It isn't... natural."

"Do you think it's 'that' noise?"

"No... but I think that you should investigate."

Nori Ankou's spoon clanks.

"Well,' she says, "my soup will get cold, but that is life, isn't it?"


La Sirene de Diamant seems to be saying something as she comes up from the northeast. She does not actually manage to push out of this wall of sound and noise coming like a massive attack from the assorted speaker stacks. She makes a tightened face, widens her eyes (shadowed as they are in her masklike strip of eyeblack), gesticulates - mouths 'arigato gozaimasu' when she sees Cure Passion come in -

And raises her hands in a familiar way.

" ," la Sirene says,

" !!"

The charm works even if you can't hear it. The screaming streak of silver and black elongates in its journey but it too heads for speaker equipment!

COMBAT: Nori Ankou transforms into La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.

<Pose Tracker> Inori Yamabuki [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

'buki is nestled into her bed, right now she's nestled up, hugging a plush Shiba Inu that looks at least a decade old. Sleeping nearby her are Tarte and Chiffon, who each have pet beds she's modified to be as close to regular beds as possible. Tarte is curled up in a circle. Chiffon is laying on her back, with a little bubble emitting out of her nose, growing and shrinking with each breath.

And then comes the noise.

'buki starts and rolls out of bed, smacking her dresser with an impact to her forehead. She sucks in a breath whimpering as she rubs her head, "Ow-ow-ow." But that swiftly switches to her ears.

Chiffon's bubble has popped and she's already awake, wailing and floating above - while Tarte wakes up, momentarily stunned as he writhes and holds his ferret like ears. This lasts only about as long as it takes for Chiffon to start levitating half the objects in 'buki's room in her upset stage. "Chiffon! Inori-han - we need the emergency Chiffon calming system!"

'buki can barely hear right now, but she suddenly darts over to her levitating dresser and opens a drawer. Fishing around for an object.

And then steps up on a chair, balancing, as she swiftly inserts the pair of earbuds into Chiffon's ears. "It's okay - Chiffon! It's okay!"

Tarte grabs the dangling MP3 and hits the play button.

BGM Change: Ghibli Lullabies - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lasdVGbmSoI

Tarte then passes up a pair of earmuffs to her, and 'buki pulls them apart and puts them over Chiffon's ears.

The baby wails for a few more seconds, before starting to calm, and float back down, as Inori catches her with a pained expression - after all, her own ears aren't protected.

Gently lowering Chiffon down back into bed while rubbing her back, and clamps her hands back over her own ears. "Loop that until I get back Tarte." The girl in yellow pajamas says tiredly, now that the initial adrenaline rush has worn off, and rushes out the door and down the stairs.

"Wait!? First tell me where the spare pair of earmuffs is! Earplugs? Anything?"


Cure Pine was already en route when she hears the call of 'Westar'. And as she leaps onto the scene - she sees not a Nakewameke, only shattered speakers. And Passion hurling them at a firgure in black.

She backs her up, descending with one powerful kick straight at her opponent's back, before she flips off into a landing, hitting the ground and launching herself at the black garbed figure with a flurry of punches that aim to pepper her entire body with punches.

"It's not Westar!?" Pine says to Passion - having expected something different.

COMBAT: Cure Pine has used Pineapple Express on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Pine has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to counter La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 42 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, I CAN'T EAT THIS BASS I HATE IT!, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi braces 7 Fatigue damage from Cure Pine's Pineapple Express, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Cure Pine is Psyched!

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

Summertime calls for late nights and late mornings, a chance to sleep in without any worries on what the next day may bring except on how to make the next day even better than the last. Time for leasure, hobbies, icy snacks and hot days to make indoor shelter all the sweeter. When you depart from the confines of the world of dreams and wake up with a bad case of bed hair, the sun should be far over the horizan.

Unfortunately, it seems that Dark Fall either did not get the memo, or chose to ignore it completely. With how Westar has acted in the past...it could honestly be both.

While the abode of Niramo Umokeshi may be far away from Yotsuba Park, and thus keeping her safely dreaming away under light covers, the same can't be said for the Kwami residing in her room. When a distant flick of the switch starts to blare out auditory and magical discord through the air, Takk is unfortunate enough to be not-so-gently aroused from his bed. A soft 'thunk' can be heard as the miniture mouse bangs his head upon the roof of his cardboard home followed by a groan of pain. Leaving his makeshift bed and floating over towards the dozing ravenette, he stares at Niramo with a mixture of grogginess and annoyance. "Whatever is causing this racket is too far for her to hear...? I won't be the only one not able to sleep in then."

Landing gently on Niramo's head, Takk walks over to her ear, leans in close, and... "WAKE UP!"

Niramo may have launched the Kwami away when she jumped up from her own bed, but Takk had to admit it was worth it.

Rubbing at her eyes with a hand, Niramo glares at Takk in the dim lighting. "Takk...? I was sleeping so good...there was a cat rolling a ball of yarn made out of string cheese..." The Kwami did his best not to question his friend on how that would work and points a tiny hand towards her bedside window. I would't wake you up unless I thought it was an emergency. There's...something that might be considered music by some mixed with magic in that direction being played loud enough to wake the dead. I am not sure who would do such a thing but it is worth investigating."

Niramo stares out the window for a moment, trying to wake up enough to process Takk's stiff speech before yawning. "So...someone is being evil and giving Tokyo a wakeup call? Hold on..." Pushing off the covers, Niramo stumbles over to her closet and pulls the door open before searching inside in the near dark. "I remember seeing something last week..."

Stifling a yawn, Sourisi leaps from rooftop to rooftop as she nears Clover Town. The wind in her face was waking her up some, but she still feels like she could be dreaming all this. A pair of fuzzy pink earmuffs were thankfully keeping the worse of the discordant music out of her ears and was worth an even messier closet to find. "Whoever's doing this needs to learn that not everyone is an early riser!"

The speakers are not exactly too hard to find, even when they're not blaring out the worst kind of music one wants to hear this early in the morning, but the sight of who is operating the sound equipment is enough to fully wake up the Miraculous User. "Huh? Mikoto...?" Shaking her head to focus herself, Sourisi rears back her trusty tonfa and lets the blunt weapons fly, trusting in the innate magic to home in on the speakers. "First things first, time to unplug this early morning show!"

COMBAT: Niramo Umokeshi transforms into Sourisi!
COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to counter Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 36 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, I CAN'T EAT THIS BASS I HATE IT!, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Sourisi!

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

Cure Passion crashes down, screaming... something. Certainly it's audible over the din, with the power of Pretty Cure.

It's audible, except...

"WHAT?" Mikoto yells back.

Right now everything is just noise.

The speakers blast their music right at Cure Passion, as she halts her punch. Mikoto fixes her fist with a sceptical expression. Maybe she is just stunned by the noise, too, and Mikoto grips her greatsword Miroku to take advantage of the opening --

-- which is precisely when she diverts from punching to shoving, right at the exact moment Mikoto hefts her blade. It slides over the stage, and Mikoto staggers back as the might of the Cure shatters it against her. The noise level drops off - but there's still one speaker, working in the pre-dawn light.

Mikoto can't worry about that, though, because suddenly she has been kicked in the back. Her sharp senses do her no good when she can't hear anything. For once, there is no forewarning, no instinctual leap. She may, in fact, be more dazed than anyone else here.

She has enough wits about her to bring the flat of her blade up between Pine's punches and her body, at least. "... WHAT?" Mikoto yells, again, because she can see Cure Pine's lips moving, but she can't tell what she's saying.

She decides that she doesn't need to hear to do her job, though, and the flat of her blade is soon going to be a problem for both Pretty Cure as she spins towards them. The air cracks around her in her sudden movement - bits of speaker tumble away.

The next thing which happens without warning is Les Mysteres. The speakers are consumed by black - silver leaks from the edges - and with a pop and a crackle and a whiiiine, the second speaker suddenly collapses in on its own weight, as if it simply looked at itself in the unlight and decided it wanted to be anything other than this. Now, there's only one speaker carrying forward their dark mission.

(It's hard to tell whether the speakers are themselves evil, or whether it's just the dark intent of the person using them for malicious ends. It doesn't really matter. Either way, they're too loud.)

The last one continues blaring out its music. It has no real defence strategies when a tonfa flies out through the twilight: blunt force comes in, blunt force goes out, and with it comes a trail of wires and gadgets and a noise of protest before things go silent again.


Mikoto does not, immediately, notice all that, because Mikoto was occupied fighting the Cure. But she turns - she sees the ruined speakers. She blinks in momentary surprise.

"HOW?" She yells, completely confronted by something happening in her environment she didn't know about.

A moment passes.


She reaches up with a hand, and swipes her earplugs out. Finally, she can hear properly again! ... sort of. There's still this ringing in her ears.

And now, finally, she can confront the other girls she's caught up in her scheme. La Sirene, first - Mikoto charges her and whirls, bringing her blade up from below in a broadside strike. The next is Sourisi - and surprise crosses Mikoto's expression, as she leaps up to swing at the Miraculous-user, because she's only ever seen her helping Mikoto before.


That's what happens, she supposes.

Fight long enough, and she'll make foes of every magical girl in Tokyo.

There's an interesting element to her Element-strikes which wasn't there when Mikoto was fighting for justice, though: she's attacking with the flat of her blade. It is still a bitterly large weapon, but she is, at least, not trying to chop anyone in half any more.

... what a strange thing to change between heroism and villainy.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Decimation on Cure Pine.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Decimation on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Cure Pine braces 18 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Decimation, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Cure Pine's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi dodges 18 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Sourisi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger and Stun applied to Sourisi!
COMBAT: Cure Passion perfectly dodges 41 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Decimation, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Cure Passion's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant braces 17 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Cure Passion gives La Sirene a look too--it could be a greeting, it could be an ackwnoeldgement, a sharp nod of 'yes', glad to have her present. But Pine shouts to her the same thing--

"It's not Westar!" Passion shouts, and maybe it's literally magic that makes her even slightly audible to Pine over the din. Or lip-reading. But there's not long to dwell, because Passion is suddenly in melee with Mikoto, leaping over a hard swing of miroku with blinding speed. She may be tired, but anger is a great stimulant--

And suddenly she can hear, she thinks. "WHAT??" she asks Mikoto, and--apparently she can't hear all that well actually, or her sense of volume is off. But she seems to realize it after a moment, "They're not broken enough yet!"

Passion... doesn't attack Mikoto at first. At first she instead slams a heel drop onto one of the speaker-ruins.

"It's... too early... to be awake!!!"

Passion still has the sort of weird look in her eyes, the not quite manic energy of a girl woken up too early. It's a little creepy. She kicks the speaker away again and then charges back at Mikoto, dancing around her and starting to deliver kicks in a rising pattern.

"Go back to bed!!"

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Rising Passion on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Passion has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to dodge Cure Passion's Rising Passion, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cure Passion is Psyched!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mikoto's vicious strike with Miroku catches Pine by surprise with its ferocity, and she finds herself smashing down an elbow and raising a knee to pin the black blade between both limbs.

It hardly stops the momentum though, as the blade keeps going, simply with her locked onto it. Deciding to release from the block before Mikoto drives her into an object, she twists her body suddenly and lets go.

The momentum sends her smashing into a tree anyhow - as it splinters under the impact.

Ears ringing - and not at all from the blow, she rises out of the ruined tree and plant matter.

"She woke Chiffon." Pine notes miserably to Passion as her hearing starts to clear. "And I have a history quiz today..."

Taking a moment to square herself out, then suddenly hurls herself at her with a charging rush. "Did you ever stop to think-"

Fist drawn back, before she aims it at Mikoto's lower ribs, with all the momentum of her charge behind it. "-how much worse it is for every dog and cat!? They have better hearing than we do!"

COMBAT: Cure Pine has used Pineapple Punch on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Pine has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to dodge Cure Pine's Pineapple Punch, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Exhausted applied to Mikoto Minagi!

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

Twin Cures arriving before Sourisi did work together to diminish the noise level, one to push over the speaker like a rioting fan and another to distract the security. Black lights with silver neon trails in on another speaker, crushing it like an empty soda can and showing that Les Mysteres is putting the morning alarm on mute. Last but not least, Sourisi's humble tonfa pierce through the last speaker, silencing it forever and spreading the electronic innards everywhere on its' passing.

The echoes of magical disharmony fade slowly, and Sourisi removes the earmuffs and lowers them to hang on her neck. "Okay, now I see why Takk sometimes complain about my music."

Despite her expectations, however, not everything has gone still when the show was brought to an end. Mikoto with her midnight-black blade is still cutting at the other magical defenders of good sleep, and the Miraculous Ninja stands still as she tries to figure this. So the speakers weren't mind-controlling devices to bend her to their will? And there doesn't seem to be any villians in sight? Going down the logical path leads to a clear answer, only made clearer by the obsidian blade being swung right at her.

The rumors about Mikoto Minagi turning against everyone were not rumors at all.

With a panicked yelp, Sourisi leaps away from Mikoto's practiced swing, over her fellow weapon-wielder and catching her returning tonfa mid-flight. Landing with a stumble, the mouse magical girl tries to focus on the fact that she really would have to fight Mikoto, not an bumbling dark lord. "And not just cats and dogs! There's so many other animals with hearing sharper than ours. That's like going up to someone not knowing that you're there and screaming into their ear!"

No, Sourisi isn't mad at Takk for that stunt. Not in the slightest.

Following in on the Cures' lead, Sourisi swings out with her twin tonfa, though she tries her best not to strike at Mikoto's body but her arms and wrists. She can't exactly recall just how durable Mikoto is, but she doesn't want to cause any lasting damage, maybe just enough to disarm her former ally.

It doesn't seem right, attacking someone who used to protect Tokyo with weapons meant to defeat those that meant the city harm.

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Mouse Flurry on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi perfectly dodges 34 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Mouse Flurry, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's not Westar at all.

La Sirene gives Cure Passion a nod of acknowledgement, although she declines to join in the Pretty Cure's statement. After all, she was awake, but she is also not the usual figure. She leaps forwards, moving along the ampitheatrical space, nearer to the stage. Cure Pine speaks of a history quiz -

neat, la Sirene thinks. I can still hear alright. Was this magical sound or something like that?

Sourisi is here too. A relief. La Sirene's right hand tightens into a fist as she moves closer. She moves without dramatic step or great words, and when that blade comes forwards, she tenses up, the glow that faintly limns her flaring upwards as she wills herself forth. She feels the blade coming and prays it won't bite into her --

-- it isn't the blade at all?

La Sirene is momentarily struck in her soul, and then struck in her body with an enormous jangling CLASH and a "gh!" before she reaches forwards - aiming to grasp at Mikoto's wrist, the shadowy flickering light pouring off of her, as if to try and tie the other girl down in strands of anemoneic undulation.

NOW she talks.

"For the sake of the invisible ones can you, please, stop," la Sirene says, quietly and penetrantly, as if it's just between the two of them.

To herself she thinks: Gee, I hope her sword isn't big enough to stab. I really have most of my side open here. Oh no, am I going to panic? Oh geez.

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Polyploia on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi braces 26 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Polyploia, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Tangle and Trap applied to Mikoto Minagi!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.


Mikoto's teeth set in a line as she suddenly realises just how loud she was yelling, which stops her from interrupting Passion's objections to the speakers. "What are you doing," she says, in a more normal tone. Normal, in this case, is very sceptical. The speakers are dead, Passion. They are ex-speakers. There's no more speaker.

(The no more speaker gets a little less more as Passion's heel slams into it. La Sirene's target was mostly whole, if a little collapsed, after her magic got through with it. Now it is torn roughly in two, a sad pile of parts which make no sound whatsoever.)

But there's something in her eyes which makes Mikoto growl warning, muscles tense. She moves to spring away - only to get caught, mid-leap, by Cure Passion's heel. She really should have seen this coming. She knows Cure Passion to be quick, even when she isn't possessed by indignation.

Caught in a series of kicking strikes, Mikoto can't find the purchase to pull away from Cure Pine, either. All her air escapes her, as the other Cure charges in, and the way she is trapped by Cure Passion's heel is suddenly no longer an issue - she is sent flying back. It at least clears some distance between herself and the martial attackers, and she pushes a hand to the ground, pushing herself up without delay. A moment's coughing, and she manages to find the breath to answer her and Sourisi: "I really know! It hurts a lot!"

If she hated it with earplugs, her cat friends definitely hated it without them.

(There's still a distant, discordant chorus of yowl-howling, throughout the neighbourhood. They'll calm down soon. Probably.)

"No one's going back to bed!" Mikoto snaps, in turn, to Passion. "Westar was right! Now everyone's suffering!" That might answer a few questions - and raise a couple, the way she addresses Lord Mobius's Executive with respect.

With the pained edge to her words, 'everyone' might include Mikoto. She's not telling.

(Neither is she a master of subtlety.)

Disarming Mikoto, unfortunately, is a difficult task - one made so much more challenging by the way she manages to get her wits about her when the world stops ringing quite so much. Sourisi strikes, but Mikoto leaps away, landing a few metres away on the stage.

She comes to land near la Sirene again, and this, as it turns out, was a mistake.

Did you know that a Dark Shadow and Mikoto do not really compare notes? If Mikoto could clearly remember what happens when she is possessed by the darkness, maybe she could have been ready for this. Alas, she is kept in the dark, literally and - in this case - figuratively. La Sirene reaches out, and snaps her hand about Mikoto's wrist, and Mikoto is taken completely by surprise.

"... I can't," Mikoto says, more muted for the closer conversation.

Her breath hitches in her throat as the dark light creeps in, and Mikoto finally wrests her hand away. Here's the clever trick which the Cures have been exploiting: Mikoto's blade is very large. It has the range of the length of a girl, hilt to exquisitely sharp tip, and the weight to back it up.

This means that it is not only less useful at range --

-- it's also unwieldy when her target is very close.

It means Mikoto has to take a step back, before she can plant her feet and swing her blade around again, the flat side of it threatening an area roughly focused on her right shoulder. Once she's gotten clearance, she plunges her sword into a dark portal on the ampitheatre - and the stage shudders and splinters as white energy explodes around it, tearing out to threaten both Cures and the Miraculous-User.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disaster on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disaster on Cure Pine.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disaster on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Cure Pine neatly dodges 24 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disaster, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Cure Pine's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi braces 11 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disaster, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Sourisi!
COMBAT: Cure Passion counters 13 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disaster, taking 13 Fatigue damage!
COMBAT: Cure Passion's counterattack, Crimson Counter, partially gets through, doing 14 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant neatly dodges 28 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"She woke Chiffon!" Passion answers, outraged. "Do you know how hard it is to get Chiffon to sleep some nights??" she demands of Mikoto. Sourisi and Buki speak of the animals, important. But Mikoto's question? What is she doing?

"i'm making sure you can't use these stupid things again!" she shouts back, and it's clear she's angry because she's calling things 'stupid' again. "Ridiculous--annoying--speakers!!"

"So it WAS Westar!" Passion shouts accusingly. Strangely--Passion, for one, seems not fazed in the least by the idea that Mikoto might be collaborating with him, or that the Executive of Labyrinth would be interested in such collaboration. "

...Of course Mikoto's not having a good time either. But...

The blast comes, and Mikoto says that she can't, and Passion swings her fist straight for it, red countering white and exploding into into a crash all around them.

"...All right," Passion says, when Mikoto has made clear that she 'can't.'

"But I'm not going to let this stand either."

"Pine!" Passion leaps upward, suddenly, clearly planning something--"If you're gathering energy for him, too, then that can't stand either!"

COMBAT: Cure Passion has started a combo targeting Mikoto Minagi!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Pine plants a foot, and suddenly springs upwards in a twisting pivot - in a balletic maneuver that looks almost like an axel jump from a figure skater. The Obsidian spikes shoot right by her, grazing her thigh, as she flips forward, and lands heavily on the side of one of Miroku's Obsidian spikes, hard enough to crunch imprints of her boots, balancing herself up.

"She was fussy tonight too..." Pine laments as Passion notes how hard it is to get them to sleep.

"Wait - that's why this is so similar to what Westar did???" Pine says, aghast, "Because she's working with him?"

Suddenly she feels rather determined, "And neither am I-! Right Passion!"

This time she runs up the spike, all the way to the tip, and launches herself in the air, rapidly flipping upwards to come up parallel to Passion.

Passion calls him out - Pine simply lines up beside her, and as the two descend, foot extended - they both aim to slam down upon the same point.


Two Legendary Warriors Pretty Cure launching themselves to kick the same spot is not something to be trifled with...

... probably even moreso when they're mad from being sleep deprived.

COMBAT: Cure Pine has joined the combo started by Cure Passion!
COMBAT: COMBO! Cure Passion and Cure Pine have used Combo: Double Pretty Cure Kick!, composed of Pretty Cure Fresh Kick, on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Passion has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Cure Pine has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi partially dodges 18 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion and Cure Pine's Combo: Double Pretty Cure Kick!, taking 72 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!

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

A flurry of furious swings, half guided by magical instincts and half by what just seems good, is usually hard enough to be predictable. Then again it's hard enough to hit your target when you're trying to hold back and feeling conflicted about who you're fighting in the first place, and when Mikoto makes sure to stay out of her reach? Those blows disturb only the air.

La Sirene's lips move, showing words being passed from magical girl to magical girl, but it's too soft to be heard in the clearly. It looks to be an attempt to get Mikoto to lower her guard, and it works for a second, but the Obsidian Blade wielder is strong enough to get away as well.

Sourisi isn't an expert on swords, or any weapons for that matter, but the non-magical counterparts are generally used to attack another person and not an impromptu sound stage. Taking that as a clear sign that magic is about to come into place, the Miraculous User leaps back several feet and moves her tonfa in front of her, thankfully saving her from the worse of the magical explosion. "Westar? Oooh, that explains a lot..."

That might explain why La Sirene tried talking to her despite the need for violence. Maybe they could break his influence?

Both Passion and Pine work in unison to strike at the discordant DJ, and Sourisi rushes in their wake to keep the pressure up on Mikoto. A tonfa is swung towards Mikoto's shoulder, only to be revealed as a feint as a clawed boot is kicked at the former defender's torso. "I'm sure you know just how much trouble Westar can cause, so don't listen to him!" A double jab of enchanted rosewood brings the ravenette in close, and she lowers her voice. "I'm not going to ask why you're doing this or working to attack Tokyo after all this time but...you can always ask for help. It doesn't have to come to blows. Please?"

Sourisi can fill out all that she knows about Mikoto on a single sheet of paper and have plenty of room to spare, but that doesn't mean she can't try to reason with her. Despite working to spread the causes of darkness and misery, the person she's striking at isn't a monster. And you can reason with people.

COMBAT: Sourisi has used The Magic Word on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi cleanly braces 17 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's The Magic Word, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is Quipped!

<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Yes," la Sirene says, "you can."

She speaks with close intensity. "I won't say that it is going to be easy. I won't say there would be no consequence. I would not even say that it would be wise - for what is in your heart - but there is always a choice, Mikoto."

Her eyes' irises are ghostly blue, visible this close. "There may be a price... but -"

And then Mikoto disengages and la Sirene braces herself. She tightens up, preparing herself to be struck down on the backslash as she leaps back. Surely Mikoto will not simply tolerate this forever. Surely Mikoto even in her grief will revert to her training, her instincts. There is not diamond enough on her outfit to ignore that blade forever.

How long can her fortune l-


La Sirene's mouth hangs open momentarily.

Then she shakes her head. "What is this Westar's person's role in this? Mikoto! You may wish to protect your brother, but some foe of Pretty Cure is not your concern! If he has put you up to this, I'll throw him in the bay before dawn!" la Sirene says with an air of something approaching a vow.

She then raises her hand - and the gathered wisps of glittering neon-intensity shadow whip outwards. If she cannot strike at Mikoto safely, what she can do is strike at those speakers. Tidal force, aimed to knock them over - away from them all. A single scream of feedback and then the wires will break, right? La Sirene hopes so. She prays it is so, for she does not have Batiste here to do the audio work.

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Dramatic Flourish!! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to dodge La Sirene de Diamant's Dramatic Flourish!!, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  La Sirene de Diamant is Psyched!

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

La Sirene de Diamant tells Mikoto what she is capable of, and for a moment sorrow softens her eyes, gentles her gaze and arcs her brow.

She couldn't make any choice other than this - could she?

It's a vulnerability which hardens in a moment, and she breaks away, and then she breaks everything. She does not destroy the scenery unchallenged - Passion's fist flies through the debris, and Mikoto has to stop her assault to spring away from a piece of speaker which flies towards her.

She lands; she turns to them again. "That's the point!" Mikoto snaps, in the face of Cure Passion's outrage. "No one gets to sleep and everyone suffers!"

Mikoto peers at them, though, with new confusion as they launch into accusations. "But I'm not --"

Her protest is suddenly doused by Double Pretty Cure Kick, and once more the lack of transparency between Mikoto and the thing which takes her is a liability. Mikoto dives to the side, but the coordinated dive of Pine and Passion is as quick as either of them - and the stage itself trembles in waves as they land, the shockwave tossing Mikoto along the ground in a dodge which is only partially under her own control.

At least she doesn't remember what being hit by it point blank was like.

She still takes a moment on the ground before she pushes herself up, teeth grit. The power those two wield together is staggering; she staggers. The distraction is enough for Sourisi to execute her feint: Mikoto jerks away from the tonfa, only to have to plant her feet to avoid being knocked back by another kick.

(Mikoto is not getting a kick out of all these close melee attackers.)

"I know that!" Mikoto snaps to the mouselike girl, as she finds her footing and grasps her blade in both hands once more. "That's why I'm listening!" It's a plea which might run south of its intended landing, but Sourisi doesn't ask, so Mikoto doesn't tell.

"Suffering and misery are different!" Mikoto replies. In the depths of Dark Fall, where pain is split into a thousand shining gradients, that might even be true. "Westar just knows more about this stuff, so I learn lots from him!" Getting advice from a colleague... it's an awfully cooperative strategy, isn't it?

She insists: "Just 'cause I'm learning doesn't mean we're working together!" With a little huff, she adds, "... no one will work with me 'cause I'm not old enough."

Most of the beings involved in Dark Fall's activities have a higher average age than 'teenager'. Probably. It's kind of hard to tell sometimes.

Of course, there might be certain other barriers to working alongside Mikoto, and it's a difficulty perfectly encapsulated by the damage the stage has sustained. The planks fall unevenly against one another; parts of it have crumpled in. The ground is difficult to traverse. Mikoto's collateral damage has made things... complicated.

The speakers are long dead, but the force which comes for them drives one which remains down into a hole in the stage - and Mikoto, on instinct, springs away from the assault. Her instincts do not precisely think about whether it would have hit her. If they thought about it, they would not classify as instinctual reflexes.

She lands on a weak patch of wood, strained by Miroku's explosion.

... she shortly thereafter disappears in a clatter of wood and a distressed yelp.

"guh," Mikoto puffs a breath through her teeth, as a hand reaches out from the hole, knocking a stray plank aside in a flurry of wood-dust. With that one hand, she pushes her weight back up onto the stage again. Her other is still holding Miroku, of course. She never does seem to let it go.

"No matter what happens," she insists, "I'll always choose my Lord Brother! And my Lord Brother wants you to suffer, so I'll keep getting better at hurting you!"

And they are words which could have addressed all of the magical girls here, in one fashion or another, but at the end she sharply glares to Sourisi in particular: "I don't need help!"

It's an insistence which comes with sickly magenta light, blooming from the pendant around her neck, and only someone like Mikoto could find its unsettling aura comforting.

She springs up - and slams her blade down, up over the shoulder, towards Cure Pine. A half-step aside, and she's bringing it around in a spin to slam into Cure Passion's midsection. Leaping away - she can't really charge, with all this debris - she buries her blade into the ground again, and the stage quakes and shudders beneath la Sirene and Sourisi as it absorbs the wall-shattering intensity of Miroku's rage.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disequilibrium on Cure Pine.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dynamo on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disaster on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Disaster on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used The Obsidian Pendant's Purification on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Mikoto Minagi's The Obsidian Pendant's Purification, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Accelerate applied to Mikoto Minagi!  Cleanse! All of Mikoto Minagi's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Cure Pine decisively counters 39 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disequilibrium, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Cure Pine's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Pine's counterattack, Pineapple Reverse, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Sourisi decisively counters 27 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disaster, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Sourisi's counterattack, Crashing Tooth, partially gets through, doing 36 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!  Critical Counterhit!
COMBAT: Cure Passion partially dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, taking 30 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Disaster, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to La Sirene de Diamant!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.


"I think that's why! They must've talked about the idea!" She can't deny that it's effective, no--but Passion doesn't like it. And that's terrible. "But I don't see any sign of him, so I don't know that they're working together!"

Who is Westar?? That's sure a question. But when Sourisi mentions him.... And tries to reason, well--

Mikoto will answer that, she's sure. But Westar, la Sirene asks about--

"It's his scheme!" Passion answers. "Or at least, it was the other time--he's an Executive of Labyrinth, working to gather energy for Mobius-sama!" ...Yes. She still uses the title. Sue her.

"If you threw him in the water he'd probably just end up swimming back out! His night vision isn't terrible!"

Passion that's not what that means. It's not what that means at all.

But Mikoto has snapped back and Passion has already answered; everyone suffers, yes. But the power of the two together in unison is answer enough for that.

Suffering, and misery... "That's true," Passion answers. "They are different. And Westar's been doing this for a while." It's the closest she's going to come to saying he's good at this. Maybe dangerously close. "That's just an excuse! They won't work with you because it means they think they aren't good enough on their own!"

But the ground is difficult to transfer, here. Mikoto puffs a breath; there's so much wreckage here. She declares her choice...

The blade crashes towards Passion, and this time she can't get out of the way. She just shifts slightly to avoid the sharp edges, and it slams her backward, rolling into wreckage again before she comes to a stop. "Mikoto-chan..."

"I understand," Passion says, as she rises some distance off. "I know that he's important to you. But you're important to us. So we'll choose you over him."

"Every time."

"Pine!" she calls suddenly, looking out to her, and nods sharply. "...Sing! Rhapsody of happiness!" Akarun twirls into being, and an instrument pops into being in Passion's hands--she takes the top, and sets it into the heart-shaped harp, completing the circuit. "Passion Harp!"

Then, she works in tandem once again, breathing in, and standing up straight, heels clacking together. "...Nasty things, nasty things--Fly away--!"

She speaks with Pine, this time, an old set of words that were never part of her childhood, but became familiar nevertheless.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Passion has started a combo targeting Mikoto Minagi!

<Pose Tracker> Cure Pine [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mikoto brings down her blade heavily, and Pine steps into her Guard, bringing up her arm in a block. The impact causes her to wince, as she attempts to grab Mikoto's wrist and twist her into a shoulder throw - however she misses all but the block, simply dulling the damage through her motion. Mikoto is already moving a half step to the side before she is able to.

"Even if it's family..."

Cure Pine massages her arm, voice pained-

"...why do you believe so much in someone who wants that?"

She's an only child - so perhaps she romanticizes the idea of an older sibling a bit. Miki is her model of an ideal older sister to her younger Brother.

"It's not right." She whispers.

Passion knows Mikoto - and furthermore - Passion has been within Dark Fall - in a similar position. So instead of saying more, she listens - frowning.

Passion says they'll choose Mikoto every time, and not her Lord Brother, Pine seeks to clarify further, "We don't know him. But we know what he wants is no good."

Swiping her Linkrun, a flute shimmers into existence in mid-air, "Heal - Harmony of Faith! Cure Stick - Pine Flute!"

The choreography lines up with Passion - separate dances that work towards the same end, like two cooperative dancers working together. "Nasty Things, Nasty Things - Fly away-!"

Golden Diamonds and Crimson Hearts begin forming, as she shouts with Passion, "Pretty Cure - Double FRESHHHHH!" As the hearts and diamonds fly at Mikoto Minagi - they form together into a blindingly bright comet of purifying energy. Carrying two distinctively fresh scents as it hurtles together towards Mikoto Minagi.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Pine has joined the combo started by Cure Passion!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Cure Passion and Cure Pine have used Pretty Cure Double Fresh! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Cure Passion has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Cure Pine has finished attacking.

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

Sourisi's strikes are met with a stalemate, the rosewood weapons somehow not shredding apart as they clash against the dark blade. However, the distraction they cause is enough for her imprompto kick to get in a low blow. "I...I don't think you are. There's a difference between listening and hearing."

Sourisi's face is a mirror of the inner confusion she's feeling while facing off against Mikoto. She's learning but not working with them? But she's also carrying out their evil deeds.

There's just too much Sourisi is missing from this to piece together the whole picture, so she's left with only shattered shards that only muddy the conversation.

The glare she's fixated with from Mikoto and her words seems to cut as deep as that blade she's swinging around, and the mouse girl takes a step back. "But...I mean..." Those times they worked together in the past shows that's not true in the slightest! Sourisi stares back, hating what she's doing, but knows its' the right thing to do.

This time as a magical shockwave erupts from the Obsidian Blade, the Miraculous Ninja is prepared. Leaping higher up, Sourisi lets her tonfa take flight once more, catching Mikoto off guard while her blade is still implanted in the remains of the stage. "But are you sure learning from Westar is the best thing to do? I heard his plans tend to go out with a whimper."

Her flight takes Sourisi to an lamppost miraciously untouched by the battle, but the Miraculous Ninja doesn't rest while the iron's hot. Without waiting for her airborne weapons to return, Sourisi leaps towards Mikoto once more, twisting in the air and leading in with an overhead axe kick. "It's no good for Tokyo, and its' no good for you as well! It's before the dawn, but its' as clear as day!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Forest Down on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Sourisi has finished attacking.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mikoto insists she needs no help; that horrid light comes from her pendant again. La Sirene sees these things. She pushes, a little. Beneath her reflexes she is tired. She was not up late because she wanted to be. Nonetheless she leaps back and away from the stage before she too can fall into a hole and become a wholly holy Sirene; she stands in the audience's front seats, for a moment, and her eyes turn to Pretty Cure as they explain.

Passion provides pdata. Gathering energy for Mobius. (La Sirene's eyes narrow.) He's water-resistant. (They narrow further.) And he's been doing it for a while. (Now they widen, la Sirene's head snapping back to Mikoto's direction!)

She takes a deep, deep breath as Pretty Cure strike together. Sourisi speaks. She tilts her head back and says -

"I imagine he's hoping you'll soften us up for him. Or make us reluctant to interfere... from everything that Cure Passion is saying, that seems to be the measure of the man..." La Sirene has no idea, of course, in practice, but this has stopped her maybe... twice? in her life.

There is a decidedly fresh scent in the air. Tired as she is, la Sirene cannot gather her magic enough to match it or join with it - unlike that battle half-remembered she cannot draw on something deep, not here, not against Mikoto.

But what she can do is -

"Mikoto!" La Sirene says.

Then she snaps her hand. A half-visible globule of that un-light snaps forwards too. It is hard to quite make out in motion - until it should, in theory, strike against Mikoto's upper body and splash, with the distortion it brings. A distraction!

"Please, reach her," la Sirene breathes under her breath. "Let it be a miracle - or the strength of Pretty Cure...!" (For perhaps, la Sirene thinks wearily, it is something I could never understand... as an older sibling myself.)

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Abyssal Vision on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has finished attacking.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi fails to dodge Sourisi's Forest Down, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi partially dodges 32 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion and Cure Pine's Finisher, Combo: Pretty Cure Double Fresh!, taking 128 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi is unable to keep fighting!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi braces 12 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Abyssal Vision, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mikoto Minagi is unable to keep fighting!  Blind and Tangle applied to Mikoto Minagi!

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

Cure Pine is bold enough to block Miroku with an arm - even on its flat edge, Mikoto has to respect that. But la Sirene has already tried to grab her, and Mikoto sees the motion Cure Pine begins and moves away before she can finish it. She does not, particularly, want to get grappled by Pretty Cure. She does not want that in the slightest.

Before she can properly withdraw her blade after her widespread assault, Sourisi crashes in, and Mikoto staggers back. "What else am I supposed to do?" She fires back, as the Miraculous-User asks whether listening to him is the best course. "No matter what I do, I never manage to make anyone suffer for long!"

She growls irritation as she glares at the girls. "... you always get in the way!" No matter what she tries, she can always rely on the magical girls of Tokyo to intefere with her plans as soon as people start screaming.

Mikoto didn't tell Passion she was relying on that before, and she certainly isn't going to start now. She certainly doesn't sound grateful. She sounds angry, just like she ought to.

... well, maybe there's one girl who still walks away from all those encounters with pain in her heart.

Cure Pine asks the question, and Mikoto blinks. "... it's an order," she says, the answer dull. That is why she believes in her Lord Brother. That is why she could do nothing else.

That pain grows a little more pronounced, as Cure Passion adopts things strange to her. Mikoto didn't grow up with honourifics, either, so she hears the addition to her name. Again, for a moment, her stern expression softens.


Mikoto shakes her head, huffing a breath through her grit teeth as she raises her blade again. "No!" She snaps, and moves to spring away from Sourisi's axe kick - only to find the stage beneath her feet shifting treacherously, leaving her vulnerable to the strike. "I'm fine!" She yells, in anger again.

"Westar isn't like that!" Mikoto insists, to la Sirene, continuing that ire. "Westar's my--!"

friend, and the word sticks in her throat like a chicken bone and all a sudden she quiets. "I mean... we're allies..."

Oh. So Mikoto's abjuration of friendship isn't just for the people she's calling enemies now.

Mikoto won't even call the other members of Dark Fall her friends.

Is there anyone in Tokyo Mikoto still calls a friend..?

(Yes. This didn't stop Mikoto from enraging all the cats in Yotsuba. Perhaps she is not a very good friend all the time.)

It's a momentary uncertainty which lets that un-light crash against her, splashing in just the way light doesn't. Mikoto shakes her head to dismiss the colours - a moment's delay she cannot afford, because Pretty Cure are saying the words, now.

Too late she realises the power twining towards her, diamond and hearts - she has never seen this, even if her eyes might have.

Mikoto's first reaction is to run.

She does not get very far.

The comet crashes down - the light consumes her; it pours out, and it is not only her bathed in the white which comes from gold and crimson. She cries out as she hits --

-- the smooth wood of the stage, knit together by a fresh scent. The seating of the ampitheatre is restored to its glory; outside, trees knit together again.

(The speakers are nowhere to be seen. Perhaps it's for the best.)

Mikoto groans, all ascruff as she pushes herself standing again. She sways to the side; at least she manages to catch herself before she falls.

"It's no use..." She mutters, to herself, a hand coming up to grasp at the side of her head. (The other still holds her blade, in trembling grip.) "Am I... not good enough on my own..?" Is that why she's still relying on allied advice?

Is that a bad thing?

She hums frustration through her lips, eyes scrunching shut for a moment. "No... my Lord Brother needs me..!"

And she is an effective enforcer of his will, really.

... when she stops holding herself back.

Mikoto takes a step away, shoulders sinking. "... I'm going now," she says, abrupt. It's that easy. They've won.

Mikoto hurries off, through the restored ampitheatre.

They might have tests to take.

She has some cats to apologise to.