2020-05-06 - Sun! Sea! And A Monster, Three

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Sun! Sea! And A Monster, Three

Kaolinite transforms the kind manta rays from earlier into a massive daimon who promptly tries to steal Usagi's Pure Heart Crystal. Rei slams her out of the way and is hit instead. The Outer Senshi intervene in order to determine whether or not Rei's Crystal is a Talisman. The fight against the daimon grows desperate, but Sailor Moon is saved by an unexpected ally.


Lera Camry, Usagi Tsukino, Setsuna Higashi, Rei Hino, Steven Universe, Kasagami Araki, Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh, Minako Aino, Makoto Kino, Moonlight Knight, Kaolinite

GM: Pink Moon Stick


Yuigahama Beach, Kamakura Prefecture

OOC - IC Date:

5/6/2020 - 08-26-14


<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Kokomo - The Beach Boys, ft. Steven Universe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsFJhY4cDcE


Mature-looking drinks and dancing; the diversity of music that only karaoke can provide; it's a good scene over at the stage, and an increasingly romantic one, too. Couples -- some spontaneous, some regular -- are starting to pair off and sway.

Makoto and Saionji stand rather pointedly apart, separate, and single, and each watch what's unfolding with varying expressions of discontent.


<SoundTracker> Daimon Creation - Sailor Moon S https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Fh3b-2PbXk

Even as close to shore as Sagami Bay, the deep sea is a dark, cold, uncompromisingly dangerous place.

But it can't compete in any of those categories with the woman who spins, eyes impossibly wide open, arms upraised, in a ritualistic dance, down on the ocean floor.

The water is no particular obstacle to Kaolinite; it only affects her in positive ways, such as how it makes her hair unfurl and swirl in brilliant ways that gravity wouldn't normally allow. Its fire engine hue burns intensity in open defiance of logic; she is her own source of illumination, though it would be a grave error to ever call her a source of light.

Her right hand clasps a slender, twisting staff, whose infinity loop at its crown connects to itself with an obsidian star. Mimete's implement has been seen more often, but it is a fragile facsimile of this original, which never fails to be more PRESENT, more REAL, than anything else nearby. Bubbles trail in its wake as she spirals it with greater speed and complexity than your average cheerleader's baton. Weird bubbles, not the right color; they're oddly pink.

When their trajectories begin to jerk and reorient on their own, the truth becomes clear: they're not bubbles at all.

The magical girls have faced numerous protodaimon beneath Tokyo; truly terrifying foes, simultaneously more primal, more monstrous, and more deadly than many of the lighter and friendlier opposition encountered on a day-to-day basis.

But those were... embryonic; human hosts their wombs, and their first meal.

Other daimons that have appeared have been, essentially, artificially insemenated; combined with target-relevant items in an oven, irradiated until done. Don't forget to preheat. These tend to be somewhat sillier simply by dint of being bizarre combinations of objects, though not necessarily less deadly.

But what will happen when a daimon egg, imbued with the power and intent of the Grand Magus of the Death Busters, becomes one with another host at the precise moment of its hatching?

Kaolinite watches her wards squirt towards her targets like inescapably awful torpedos... and smiles.

And vastness stirs in the inky deep...

OOC: Visual aid - https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/sailormooncharacters/images/8/8a/Sm0173.jpg


Juleka and Luka are taking a turn sharing a surfboard ride down a nice big wave -- they make a striking-looking couple, except for
the part where they're brother and sister. They've obviously done this before; there's a sense of well-controlled descent as they
ride the swell down to where it crashes.

Until there isn't.

They wipe out suddenly and spectacularly.

Rose and Ivan are there, of course, and this is why. The former gasps, the latter grunts, and they both immediately dive beneath
the encroaching wave, then begin their search for their friends.

From the shore, it looks like the number of surfers has gone from four to zero. They may have just come back in, though, and be
mingling in the crowd.


Not far from Kasagami, Takeo, Rei, and Usagi, the next dazzling tidal wave enjoys the unusual benefit of chiaroscuro. Its water is
brilliant diamond. Sparkling ruby crystal, the rival of any Ginzuishou.

Except where it isn't.

There are huge patches of shadow within the swell, dramatic in the way the sunlight fails to pierce them -- they absorb it instead
with all the inexorability of black holes. When they slide onto the beach, their shape becomes apparent, unified; they are wings,
widely-spread, beautiful wings. Some aren't PURE darkness, but are traced with the sorts of wonderfully intricate patterns that
only nature can provide. White stripes, in this case. Circles, arcs. Fades, on the wingtips, and down towards the tail.

They are mantas.

And they remain, belly-down but helpless all the same, when the wave retreats. Moreso than if they were belly-up, in fact, with
sand cruelly chafing their gill slits like this.

Eventually the rising tide will surely reclaim them. But will that happen before they run out of air?

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

Lera lets out a sigh and looks, for a moment, content at the conclusion of her karaoke. She rotates her shoulder, then she turns her head to look at the beach. That is when she catches sight of the manta rays. The fate of the surfers isn't noticed -- she looked a little late, but it seems odd for no one to be in the water -- but the mantas draw the eye.

"What--oh no!" she exclaims. "The poor things! Setsuna, we should go help them!"

She takes off in a sprint. And while she has kept track of her big, wide-brimmed hat through surfing, eating, and singing, she finally loses it here. It falls off, as she starts to sprint down the beach and towards the mantas.

"Don't worry, little manta buddies! You helped us, now we're gonna help you!"

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

Even in the midst of trying to recover a precious treasure like Haruka's phone number on her arm, she can't fail to catch sight of the dazzling wave, sparkling like a gemstone. "Sugoi-! Rei-chan Rei-chan look look!"

As she touches her arm and tries to direct her attention to the sea. However, the longer she looks at the crashing waves, she notices something strange about it. She notices...

... "Are those sharks?"

Certainly they have wings, but from a distance, she's not focused on that. And then - the tide dumps them on the sand.

And the girl makes a distressed noise, "Oh no!"

She's seen enough specials on beached marine life to know this is an emergency.

"Rei-chan! Watch over them! I'm going to go get a lifeguard!"

Usagi Tsukino grabs a bag from the pile of belongings and jogs off but there's no lifeguard in sight in any short distance and she at least realizes this is enough of an emergency that they might not last long.

And so she pulls out a transformation pen, spinning it into her hand as she moves into a corner around a small shack.

"Moon Power! Turn me into a beautiful Marine Biologist!"

Suddenly light shimmers around her, bringing her into a silhouette. And then - Usagi Tsukino runs back in a wetsuit, her blonde hair shortened in a wavy fluff. Around her neck is a stethoscope, and in her hands is a bag which is stitched with 'Marine Biologist' on it as she tears back towards the scene.

"Coming through, coming through! World Renowned Marine Biologist here. Ah - ah! This is a real emergency! Leave this to the professionals!"

Suddenly diving down alongside a manta, she puts her stethoscope into her ears, and presses the bell to their gills. "This is bad! We have to get these angelsharks back in the water - stat!"

Opening up her bag, she drops out a few small, flat tarps which look like something her imagination managed to conjure up as a way that people manage to pull them out to sea. Handing one over to Lera, and another to Rei. "You, girls who I've never met before - you both look very reliable!" And then leaving more out. "Roll one of them onto one of these and lets pull them out into the ocean!"

Unfolding one of her own, she puts it down by a manta. Promptly grimacing and looking away as she grabs onto a delicate wing with both hands attached to noodly arms. "Don't bite me please-!" and gently pulls them onto the tarp, before then grabbing the edge of the tarp and starting to pull them back to the sea.

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

Facing away, Setsuna Higashi wouldn't have even noticed her manta friends in distress just by virtue of happenstance. Lera's exclamation--the sudden shift in her expression--take Setsuna's focus away from the fun drinks away and towards what her girlfriend is looking at before she blinks. "Oh!"

Half a moment later Setsuna is sprinting off after Lera, running across the sands like--well, like a girl who's done track, because that is rather what she is. She doesn't stop for Lera's hat; instead she blinks towards the... marine biologist at hand.

"Right!" she answers, and moves opposite Lera to start by helping her apply manta to tarp to help. Teamwork!!

"But..." Setsuna looks to the matter at hand, and bites her lip in thought as she works.

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

"Gah! What is that, French? And Marinette-chan's not even here to help... ehh... six, right?" Rei is pretty sure Takeo mentioned a six in there somewhere.

Rei scrambles to write down the last possible combinations, just in time for Kasagami to advance. "Get off! That's Usagi's hopes and dreams you're scrubbing out!" Rei admonishes her, though it's not soon before she looks down at her notebook and sighs. "I guess we've gotten every possible combination... oh, look at them!" Interrupted by Usagi's excitement, Rei lights up, too, looking out at those glittering waves.

And the waves roll in, and they're not sharks, after all.

"... oh!!" Rei gasps, as she sees what the water has left her. "Deimos, take care of this, okay?!" She holds up her little notebook, and the bird -- they've taken to wing, it's getting rather too damp here -- plucks it in her talons and flutters away from the tide.

The crows will keep those hopes and dreams safe. Rei all a sudden has a new priority: safeguarding the lives of those poor, innocent manta rays.

All at once the bickering between Usagi and Rei is forgotten, as Rei bids her to watch over the manta rays, and she replies: "Right!" She hurries to the side of one of those manta rays, trying in vain to lift his head up so he won't be stuck in the sand. "Uffffph..!" Why is it so heavy.

But Usagi, evidently, can't quite find a lifeguard. A beautiful Marine Biologist appears, instead. ... good enough. "Of course we're reliable! We're the songstresses of Yuigahama Beach!" Oh. Oh, so Rei heard that karaoke, did she? Setsuna, too, is here to help! "Lera-chan, Secchan, good timing! Now... on three...! One, two, three--!"

They've just got to roll the manta onto the tarps, and they can get it back out to the ocean!!

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

Steven does his absolute best to sing his heart out! Unfortunately he can't really get too wild with it because, well, its Kokomo! It is a chill song to relax to on the beach with good friends and a nice, cold drink. Still the boy in bright yellow swim trunks gives it his best.

"Um, thanks everyone! Who else wants a turn! I got other songs like that too!"

He will be happy to pass the mic off to the next participant. He leaves the CD Case next to the binder. Funny, looking at that case though. Why do people call them Gem cases? They can't hold Gems.

The boy hops down off the stage waving to anyone potentially cheering and saying hello to them! His eyes scan the beach for potential friends to hang with once again, though is perceptive enough through the crwods to see the water acting funny.

Is the setting sun playing tricks with looming shadows from the beachgoers? Is this why this place is so popular, for a preternatural event to watch, like the Aurora Borealis?


"Hey, has anyone seen the band from earlier? I wanna get them to sign a vinyl record. Dad says its really important to do that and hang them on the wall for some reason." They aren't in sight, but this crowd is really big. They are probably on break still. Instead, the child's attention is drawn to the gathering souts of poor animals in distress nearby!

"Whoah," whispers out as he gets t osee what is going on once he arrives. This looks super important, but he might get in the way of this one! After all, there is a REAL marine biologist here! Official duty afoot! "You can do it! Save the birds of the sea!" Pause. "Wait those are seagulls. UM! Winged fish of the sea!" Another pause. THose exist already. "Same the mantas! You know what I mean!!!"

He gave up.

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

"...Usagi's dream is to be a mathematician!? Rei-chan, are you sure about that?" Yeah she's still got her mind fixated on this being some weird outdoors study session instead of love phone number! Kasagami works her mouth.

"Well. I'm the last person to say no to a person with ambition. Maybe there's more to her than she looks." The Duelist doesn't exactly know Usa all that well. Nor her grades. She glances to Rei. Surely someone who hangs out with Rei, non-Ohtori or not, must have excellent math grades!

But the seas roll back, and what's uncovered? Why it's the manta-friends from earlier! Several voices chime out to help the poor things. There's...a marine biologist on the scene!? Kassie's brows raise briefly, but no time to ponder good luck. With the tarps being laid out, the Duelist uses her long legs to rush over there. She bends down. Angelfish!? Fallen angelfish, in this case. Eyeing the fallen little manta, she starts helping haul the thing onto a tarp. Weighty little angels of the sea, and she's glad that heavy swords make for hefty arms.

"So we just have to get them to water? Let's do this!" Encouragement shines in her eyes as she peers at those helping out with a sharp nod. HUUUUUUP! The Duelist puts her back into it to get the poor creature she's attending to up onto a tarp with minimum of sand.

"Don't worry little guy." She whispers to the manta. Sympathy softens her gaze. What must it be like for the poor animal? Stuck, unable to move, helpless to watch something far greater than yourself steal away those you care for.

Suffocating as something thick chokes your lungs.

Kasagami prays in her mind that sand doesn't burn in gills. A few fingers try to clear some of that grit free from said breathing slits if she gets the chance.

"You're going to be swimming and doing water-backflips in no time. Think of this all as a bad dream. Just a bad dream." She'll feel a little silly later. But right now Kasagami can't help but feel sympathy for the helpless.

<Pose Tracker> Haruka Tenoh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Unnoticed, three beach towels lay abandoned. One is sheltered by a parasol; there rests an oversized ladies' sun hat. On the adjacent towel rests a folded pair of dark sunglasses. On the third, nothing--though a popsicle stick is inserted into the sand nearby like a grave marker.

It is the beach, so of course the footprints can be followed for a while, and then disappear. Less usual is the fact that they do not disappear anywhere near the water.

<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Kaolinite - Sailor Moon S https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWO6C04Hhfg

The mantas don't look so good.

No sea creature out of water does, but... they REALLY don't. Their proportions seem subtly off, like they're swollen, bloated. And then, as they shudder on the sand... moreso. Their shapes are becoming eerily fluid.

When a Beautiful Marine Biologist Who Isn't Usagi touches a wing and tugs, it isn't so much that the manta is pulled onto the tarp as that his wing... stretches a bit, somehow becoming longer without losing any thickness. The same thing happens to Kasagami, when she goes it solo; she just can't get a grip. The middle section of the manta bows between her arms like a giant U, and then slips free entirely.

Faster than that phenomenon can be noticed, let alone remarked upon, Rei, Lera, and Setsuna try to roll the third one. Six hands instead of two get better purchase, and the manta they're after, though it feels a bit like jell-o beneath their fingertips (and hey, who's to say that isn't normal?), goes belly-up.

It's at that exact moment that the bottom edge of the sun hits the horizon, turning the whole world red.

A vast white expanse is exposed -- pinkened by the rays of the dying light, but obviously pure and bright in true hue. It looks soft, and tender, and terribly delicate, really, in that way that living things are.

Oh, and it has a big black five-pointed star in the middle, like the world's most unfortunate tattoo.

The manta keens -- then screams.

Its two comrades start doing the same, a cacophany terrible first in its abruptness and then in its agonizing continuation, which is entirely untethered from the constraints of mortal lungs. No underwater creature makes a sound like THAT, not even a whale. No creature of Earth at all.

Dark power gathers at the heart of the star -- then blasts outwards -- sideways -- a bolt of black energy that plunges straight towards the chest of a Beautiful Marine Biologist like a javelin whose tip is broader than a lead pipe, yet somehow, no less incisive.

And much more deadly.

OOC: Please hold poses for a moment!

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

At the back of her brain, Rei is thinking: aren't mantas supposed to have rough skin?

It's hard to get a grip on such a jellyish texture, but Rei manages to help flip it onto the tarp. There's a cawing, raucous and strident, as Rei and Lera and Setsuna succeed where one set of hands fails: there's something there, on its belly.

By degrees Rei's eyes widen, as she sees the dark power gathering. She looks up to the beautiful Marine Biologist, she realises just who would look at a manta ray and call it an angelshark --

"No!" Rei cries, as she springs forward with the blast. Hands out in front of her, feet behind, she elongates; her palms thrust out to shove Usagi away, away from the things which aren't manta rays and away from the bolt of darkness which threatens her heart.

To match the centre of the shorter girl's gravity, Rei's lowers; she is taller but she is going fast, here, all momentum, all desperation. She impacts Usagi like she might when their minds are both wandering, except neither of them are daydreaming, not now.

But Rei is not a member of Track and Field, like the athletic Setsuna -- Rei is not given to sprint. She is not so much faster than a lance of dark energy.

She's there, and then the power is, too.

Centre of mass angled down for Usagi, it catches her in the back -- right over her heart.

From the front of her, the darkness does not beget darkness; rather something light and pure shines, a crystal pushed -- forced -- from out of her ribcage and into the world.

It is Rei's Pure Heart; in agony her voice joins the crows, gasping out in wordless pain.

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

Cruel laughter carries well across water.

Kaolinite, resplendent against the setting sun, which does wonders for her hair insofar as it highlights the fact that she's competing with a celestial body for who's the more fiery -- and emerging victorious -- hovers above the ocean far enough away to have to meaningfully abandon the beach to confront, yet close enough to work evil magic (this, a convenient asymmetry).

She gestures with her staff -- crowned with that same star symbol.

And the three mantas, one flipped up, two still face down, surge within whatever lingering grips may remain upon them -- towards each other, into one another.

They -- it -- screams again, only now it's more of a roar. And the source, a set of ichorous, dripping jaws familiar to anyone who's ever faced a protodaimon, is easy to spot.


Its eyes are familiar too, as their lids unfurl sixfold from the sides of a new, immense, xenomorphic forehead, in how they're visible only in their absence, refusing to reflect the light. Like twin voids of space. They make the black flesh around them seem gray.

It has the mass of three mantas, times... ten. Or twenty.

It is a good ten feet tall; it doesn't stand, but swims in the air, on far, far too many wings. The wings of rays; the wings of bats; the wings of demons; are they really so different, after all?

It should smell like the ocean maybe, but it doesn't.

It smells like blood.

Most horribly of all...

For all of the nightmarish encounters that this beast evokes; for all of its twisted, tortured nature; its terrifying features; its sense of being not just otherworldly, but ALIEN--

Kaolinite's smile is worse.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick transforms into Freshly Hatched Daimon!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"A-Angelsharks?" Lera repeats, with a blink, at the mysterious marine biologist. She, otherwise, believes the identity of this marine biologist entirely. Then, she glances at Setsuna -- her head tilts to the side. "How did all of them get here, like this...?"

With Setsuna and rei, she starts to roll it -- and then she recoils, at the white flesh and the black star on its underside. "What--"

It's more panicked, this time. And that turns into a shout of surprise and distress as the light slams into not the marine biologist, but Rei Hino. Lera's amber eyes go wide as she sees the pure heart pushed out -- and then her fingers curl into a fist.

"N--No!" she cries out, her voice stricken. She stares at Kaolinite, and then she feels a flush of anger. She remembers her; she remembers that day. "You! How could you!? You--"

The protodaimon, though, demands her full attention. Lera turns to face the combined mantas, into that terrible form, and its coppery smell. She looks sick; she takes a step backward, then summons up her resolve. "Soaring Sky, Broken Ground!"

Get--> <--set!>

A third voice crackles, too, more static-filled and monotone: <AURORA HORIZON INITIATED. OPTIMAL LEVELS OF RESONANCE CONFIRMED.>

There is a flash of light around Lera, blasting up across her body. When it fades, she stands there, shield on arm and sword in hand. That same shield splits open, motes of light drawn into the gem at its center. <Bombadier...>

And then those motes fly out, doubling and tripling in number -- and then crash down onto the Protodaimon en masse, before exploding in a dozen bright flashes of light. <Cascade!>

COMBAT: Lera Camry transforms into Barrier Jacket Dynamic!
COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Bombadier Cascade on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 49 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Bombadier Cascade, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Yes! Don't they look like Angels to you?" Usagi attempts to tug, not really noticing the way its stretching given that she's looking away. Eventually though, they manage to get them on the tarps, even if her fingers sink in strangely. She tries not to react because she's supposed to be an expert. "E-Everyone altogether!" And then, one goes belly up, the world becomes red - a five pointed star appears, and a manta keens - screams.

So much is happening at once, as the others start to scream, and she attempts to take a step back while covering her ears. "W-What?"

... Dark power lances at her faster than she can react. And then Rei.

... Rei shoves her out of the way with her palms. "Aah!"

Usagi hits the ground in a pile, rolling once as her scuba suit and hair get caked with muddy wet sand.

She looks up just in time to see the after effect of the black strobe light, a crystalline object pushing out of Rei's chest. She's seen it before.

She knows what it is.

"Stop- STOP! Don't take Rei-chan's-!"

Someone laughs, cutting short her plea she recognizes her in her periphery as the one who came that day when they were all fighting - to take Hotaru away. She wasn't seen for so long after. The three manga rays merge to become...

She recognizes it to be at least similar to what she's encountered.

And yet right now her attention is on Rei. She wants so badly to get to her feet and push that back into her chest and cry over the fact that Rei saved her - that someone is cruel enough to do this to her friend again, to put her through this moment again. It wouldn't be the first time she's been so grievously injured before her eyes, trying to save her.

And yet, just like back then. She knows - she knows, that no matter how much she wants to just stop and cry over something like this, it won't solve anything on its own. If she hurries, she can prevent every dream Rei Hino has from being severed away from her.

But she has to act NOW.


Everyone might see the moment when the Renowned Marine Biologist scrambles up to her feet and pulls out a heart shaped broach, and with tears in her eyes as she holds her hand high.

"Moon Cosmic Power - MAKE UP!"

BGM Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUS9ReGFoH0

Her hands start at her abdomen, as she brings them up, a silhouette within a cosmic nebula of color. Ribbons adorn her hands with gloves, boots. A Sailor Fuku appears over her, as a blue skirt materializes into place. A tiara sparkles on her forehead, setaglow by the sparkling light.

And a Sailor Senshi strikes a fierce pose, with tears still visible in her eyes. "You're unforgivable! I won't forgive you for tricking us to take pure hearts! I won't forgive you for taking THIS pure heart-! Pretty Suited Sailor Soldier of Love and Justice: Sailor Moon!"

The Daimon is a terrifying entity, and yet, she tries to stand strong as she points at it with a promise, "In the Name of the Moon, I WILL PUNISH YOU!" When it comes to protecting Rei Hino, she'll find a way to remain strong.

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to dodge Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Psyched!  
<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

There is something wrong; of that, Setsuna is sure. But she doesn't think of it in time, doesn't understand it in time. Six hands meet one, and then everything is red--before a symbol...

"Ah!" Setsuna steps back, one hand to her ear as she winces in pain and surprise at the sudden shriek, a simple reaction even before she can process what is wrong with it beyond the noise. Then that power gathers. Her eyes follow it past towards someone reacting much faster than she did this time.

"Wait--look out!" Setsuna takes a half-step forward though she's too far to make a difference, her warning far too late in any case. The girl from Labyrinth freezes in place, hand out, at the instant Rei screams. It's a familiar scream to her, not just because Rei Hino is her friend, but because she knows that pain too well herself. For an instant she's caught there when she hears laughter. Slowly her attention shifts from Rei's form to the woman against the sun, hovering too far away to reach. The roar, the dripping jaws, these are easy to spot indeed after her direction, and Setsuna takes another step back despite herself.

It's not an unfamiliar expression, though it may seem strange on someone as usually cool as Setsuna, to some. She's afraid; not just of the monster, of its jaws, for Rei, but of that awful smile that goes with it. "I--"

Lera's voice sounds in her ear; Usagi's call of the Moon resounds. "...That's right..."

Setsuna pulls the Linkrun from her hip, preparing it to transform. "Akarun!" she calls. "...Pretty Cure! Chan-ge! Beat... Up!"

Brilliant light suffuses Setsuna's form, vivid red all that's visible before the armor of Cure Passion begins to enwrap her--a dress, boots, the armguards, her headgear, and the four-leafed clover.

Hitting the ground with a click-together of her heels, the red Cure snaps up her vision to the monster ahead. "We won't let you do this!" Cure Passion promises. "...Hang on," she murmurs, worrying over the figure still on the ground--and then takes one step, two steps, and swings forward, leaping from one foot to the other into a whirling kick that blurs red as Passion's heel slams from below up towards the great Daimon's height, her whole body moving with the strike.

"Cure Passion is here to help!"

COMBAT: Setsuna Higashi transforms into Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Breaking Wave on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's the pure floppy nature of the beast in her arms that tips her off even more than that weird pointed star. The dark beams that threatens to pierce through Usagi only further give credence to the idea that something is dreadfully wrong here! Kasagami turns her gaze to the tragedy that is Rei being ran through, the crystal materializing from her fellow Ohtori student.

No time to ponder what that means, as with the familiar mistress of fiery-headed evil majestically off in the distance with her magic creating an unholy abomination of a youma, Kassie sets her priorities to 'kill the freaky rey-thing.'

Kasagami frankly doesn't know where to look on that monstrocity, and it's many eyes and jaws physically revolt her. She feels hot dog threatening to come back up her throat. A heavy swallow, and she shoots up to her feet with a deft kick backwards. Already, the young woman's Rose Signet ring sparkles and shines, barely a glint in the sun unless one looks for it.

A glove-covered, robust hand reaches behind and across her shoulder as the Duelist spins in place. Her hair flutters from her ponytail, a coat upon her shoulders drawn from nowhere even as a blade as long as she is similarly pulled from where the eye doesn't glance. A toss of her head, she sweeps 'round once more, and her hands bring her blade SWOOSHING about only to point it at far-off Kaolinite as well as the abomination of a manta rey. Red highlights adorn her hair, and her hands grip while her emerging kata of magical swordplay ends.

Her look is furious, even as she wars with the alien unsettling feel of the daimon.

"A King will not allow some mockery of beautiful creatures of the ocean to harm innocent people! Nevermind someone that will one day become her subject!" proclaims Kassie proudly.

Teeth grit. "And so I, Kasagami Araki, She Who Shall Become King, will let you taste my steel justice!" Digging into the sand with her shoe-heels, leveraging the energy of Lera and Sailor Moon (!!!)'s fierce speech, she rushes the thing in a swift, zig-zagg pattern, she lets herself slide in the sand on her heels as she nears it. Kicking off, she flexes her torso back and angles her body so that she can bring the full weight of blade and momentum from her swift, half-blurred movements down upon one of the many wings of the daimon! That sword of the Crimson Rose Duelist's is a smear of gold, steel, and black as she tries to bite into the abomination alongside her fellow magical girls!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki transforms into Crimson Rose Duelist!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Rose Flash on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 15 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Breaking Wave, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Pink
Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Watching the oddities with the mantas is disturbing. "They shouldn't be... moving like that? I touched one at an aquarium, that's not normal. Maybe they are sick? Like, I know whales get beached sometimes because of beign sick..." He is actually clueless on this front.

The sun sets, and as Steven looks around, the next thing he hears is the stranges screaming he has ever heard. "They are in pain! Are mantas weak to the sun or something?!" Nah, they would have been screaming earlier. But what is that in the distance?

And and umbral lance of energy flies across the waters, aiming for the poor marine biologist! But instead, Rei intercepts! "Rei! Noooo!" Stevem yells! But she is not... dead? THERE IS A CHANCE.

He has see nwhat emerged before. Jagged Stone. The Glassworks.

A Pure Heart. It can be put back!

But there are more pressing matters. A woman that sends fear through Steven. And the mantas twisted into an alien weapon. One that shouldn't exist. His eyes look from Rei to the Daimon and back.

"We gotta stop that thing!" THe energy it radiates feels... familiar? Its roar gives off a feeling felt before. Besides the fear and despair, of course. A hand goes up, and with a magical, metallic tang, a roaseate shield appears in a flash of cotton candy pink light!

"You won't get away with this! You chose a poor time to attack! You're outnumbered!" he says with a pointed finger.

He quivers slightly. There is trepidation in the kid, but shows no sign of backing down. "We will save you, manta friends!"

A look back to anyone that may be gawking. "Get out of here! Run!" A look to Sailor Moon and Kasagami nearby. "I'll keep her safe!" he shouts quickly, sticking close to his friend on the ground.

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used AND STEVEN! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick counters 18 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Rose Flash, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Kasagami Araki is
Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Space Invasion, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Kasagami Araki!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's AND STEVEN!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Haruka Tenoh [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

A dark blue bootheel judders as it tears through the sand, held down by a stable ankle. Driving her momentum into the ground, Sailor Uranus sprays sand into the air, to spark and glow with the sunset, red as fresh cinders.

Cold blue eyes slide back to Sailor Moon for a moment. They flash, as though it were Uranus herself whom Usagi will not forgive, Uranus whom she will punish. But surely she does not misunderstand where Sailor Moon's pronouncement was directed. So why?

She explains by her actions. Uranus claps her gloved hands around the Pure Heart Crystal, the dark field around it resisting her grasp and allowing her to hold it like a small ball.

Briefly she had seemed to be standing between Sailor Moon and the hideous agglomeration of mantas, a wall built of a broad straight back, a rippling blue neckscarf, and sunstained strands of short blonde hair. Briefly she had locked her eyes on Kaolinite, flinty and yet familiar; today it is hard to dismiss the notion that Uranus may have more in common with the woman before her than the girl behind.

Then that wall is gone. Uranus digs two furrows, short and sharp, as she continues running and bounding, this time with the Pure Heart Crystal in her hands. At first she steers clear of the other magical girls, then she puts her back to them, keeping them between her and Kaolinite.

Off behind a short hill and some tall grasses, Uranus resumes Neptune's side, not even glancing at her. Need the left hand touch the right for them to cooperate? Her role now is the keeping of watch, alertly turning her profile and her face to the beach as she passes the Pure Heart of Rei Hino on. She stares at the beginning of another battle. Both of her hands are now free.

Covering the inside of her left forearm with her palm, Uranus takes a slow breath, holds it, then releases it still more slowly.

"Is it her?" she asks with a tight throat.

COMBAT: Haruka Tenoh transforms into Sailor Uranus!
COMBAT: Michiru Kaioh transforms into Sailor Neptune!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Daimon Battle #1 - Sailor Moon S https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZEx2neikps

The monster's threat is showcased by how Lera's starmotes pour off of its flesh -- still reminiscent of a stingray's, but infinitely thicker -- like rain. How Cure Passion's heel makes impact without sound, and without recoil. How its flesh -- still mutable, without being true liquid -- flows AROUND Kasagami's sword, and very nearly claims it, before she retreats in time.

Yes; this is a thing from nightmares, indeed.

Like the nightmare with the chained sarcophagi underneath Library Island.

Like the one where you couldn't save the girls at Tokyo Tower.

Kaolinite inclines her head at Sailor Moon's reproach. "The day may yet arrive when you face Kaolinite, Grand Magus of the Death Busters... but it looks like your hands are a bit full already."

The monster pitches forward in its float, lazy-looking in its massiveness, like a cruise ship.

Then all of its wings stretch out at the same time, prehensile and grasping, to try to seize Sailor Moon.

She laughs outright at Lera's horror, at Cure Passion and Steven's defiance, at Kasagami's claims.

"Tsk," she clicks her tongue, derisive. "LET me, STOP me... the deed is already done. Children are never punctual, not even with their words."

Waves lap at the well-heeled feet of the dark witch, but even the tallest swells fail to wet her.


Kaolinite summons her minion's attention with a word. The feeling of connection between them is palpable, and also difficult to fully grasp, especially given the lack of a remotely human face on half the party. Certainly, she's looking at it like a boss, commanding, imperious. But there's a hint of warmth in her tone when she addresses it, a certain unfeigned underlying fondness. It's almost motherly, in a truly ghastly way.

Her eyes -- the same near-black violet as the immense gemstone pendant on her chest -- follow the Pure Heart Crystal as it's extracted. One can hear, midsentence, as her mind, and her command, changes.

"...kill them all."

Her intent -- and the arrogance to not bother hiding it -- is writ clearly upon her smirking lips.

There's no need to send the monster after Sailor Uranus, when the Outer Senshi can make the ID for her. If this maiden was holding a Talisman, she'll know soon enough. If not, she won't have wasted any energy in pursuit.

And any casualties amongst her assembled enemies will make the whole exercise quite worthwhile.

Some of the daimon's wings... open, becoming maws. These set about the task of consuming anyone who is too close, which is everyone.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Claws That Catch on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Jaws That Bite on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Jaws That Bite on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Jaws That Bite on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Jaws That Bite on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used HUNGER on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick accepts Pink Moon Stick's HUNGER, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is Reinforced by Pink Moon
COMBAT: Sailor Moon fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's The Claws That Catch, taking 26 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Stagger,
Stun, Tangle, and Trap applied to Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Cure Passion perfectly dodges 33 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Jaws That Bite, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Cure Passion's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lera Camry fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's The Jaws That Bite, taking 50 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick
is Psyched!
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki perfectly dodges 62 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Jaws That Bite, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Kasagami Araki's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's The Jaws That Bite, taking 53 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Rei Hino [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The body of Rei Hino falls to the sand, the Pure Heart Crystal which belongs to her chest stolen from her side. Her eyes, glassy, reveal no particular animosity towards the theft; indeed they profess nothing at all, overwhelmed by the totality of what Kaolinite has done. All the hopes and dreams which were written on her face... it is an unkind thing, the extraction of a Pure Heart.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

The ocean surges and roils, as it always does. Peaceful as it may be in the distance, it is like the plants in the backdrop of every vision of the jungle or an ancient world. The power and motion and energy is not always apparent.

That does not mean that it is not real.

"Ah," says Neptune as she tosses her hair back with one hand. The damp of the sea rests gently on the skirt of her uniform, on her pale legs. She had been standing in the tide, turned outwards for a moment and with one hand outraised, white glove curled as if in plea.

Her eyes turn on Uranus - and a small smile on her lips fades. She slides one hand forwards as if to cradle the impossibly delicate crystal. She holds it close, gazing deep within it. A heartbeat's span. A second.

(Three surfers, coughing and groaning, wash up on the next wave, for it is the seventh swell. One of their boards accompanies them.)


Neptune's eyebrows lift -

- but then she shakes her head once. "No," she says. "No," she repeats again: "It's not the one."

(The fourth surfer washes up sidewise, knocking over the half-recovered pair of less affected surfers.)

"Your arm... Was it the enemy?" Neptune says, then, her focus moving from one immortally gorgeous jewel to the next; the hand not gently cupping the Pure Heart Crystal reaches over to rest atop of Uranus's. "It's cruel of me to leave you in such straits."

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

"Gh... this thing is tough!"

Lera calls that out as she hops backward. Her eyes shift, glancing at Cure Passion for a moment. Then, she bobs her head, and then looks back at the Daimon. She sees it come in, wings opening--

And teeth slam down into her Barrier Jacket. They scrape; they don't break through, but sparks fly and her clothing shudders, lines of static running through as the spells are tested.

Lera tears herself free, skidding over the ground. She glances over shoulder, back at the beach -- and all those people.

She decides to focus on blocking it. Lera slams a fist down -- and then a barrier expands outward, protecting the outside world from the daimon -- and turning the sky that strange, slightly off shade.

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

Sure, Steven's denouncement didn't to much. It is a monster. The previous component creatures couldn't understand them, Why would it? Of course the summoner can talk to it though. Her visage is a dark one, shaded colors-- even her hair has a dark tone to it, despite the shade of red. The necklace reminds him of something, but he cannot put his finger on it.

Steven digs flip-flops into the sand in front of Rei, and plans to hold this spot as long as he can! He wont let anyone get Rei's-- "H-Hey!" THe boy catches what looks like a Senshi snatching the Pure Heart! "Where are you taking that?! Guys! She took the thing!" he says, pointing toward Uranus.

"I'll-- I'll try to keep her safe still!"

Unfortunately the Daimon has other plans. It surges forth with the dire order it has recieved. It has many mouths to feed, after all. And Steven gets a chunk nearly taken out of his arm! The Daimon gets a good bite in on one side, half on the shield, the other half of a horrid mouth perilously close to flesh. Some teeth on the far end even sink in, and retract a bit of blood, like a corner of a bite mark is left when the boy wrenches free, and in turn tries to check it in the gut with a swift lunching tackle in turn!

He has to hold his ground though, it could just gobble Rei up if left alone!

Okay! So what are manta rays or weird alien mosnters weak to? Any ideas?!"

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Slam on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick decisively counters 15 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Shield Slam, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Devouring Shadow, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Steven Universe!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Grand Magus?" Sailor Moon says, like the title is unfamiliar to her tongue, but at least implies that she might lead them. In any other context, she might have had questions. Like why did she take Hotaru away that day. What is the link between them searching for the Grail, and Hotaru Tomoe. Right now though, her mind hardly feels coherent to ask about those connections.

It's not so much that Sailor Moon sees the wind, as she feels it pass in front of her. Like some strange instinct of a presence, in another moment she would have turned to protect Rei Hino more directly, after her distraction was done. Some forces like the Outer Senshi, have a mission that they cannot be distracted from.

A gasp emerges from her lips, as her pupils contract into dots. "Uranus!" It's not so much an accusation, but a plea. She's not naive enough to believe that Uranus would grasp such a thing to put it in Rei Hino's chest again.

Not anymore.

Yet everything but that plea dies on her lips.

"Please! Please!" She calls out, just as the prehensile, grasping wings all snake out, sinewy, and while she tries to light step it, the way they move is too alien for her to predict. "Aaa - AHHHHHH!" Caught within its wrapping grip, she feels the claws dig into her Fuku, as the pressure from it tries to squeeze her so hard it feels like her head might pop.

Feet flailing, her head struggles to turn, enough that even as imperiled as she is, she says, "Not... her... please..." She lets out a prolonged scream of agony as she's suddenly squeezed uncomfortably, and her legs go a little more still after in their resistance. "Not Rei-chan..." By now its more like a whisper, as tears patter more freely down her cheeks like droplets of rain.

Whether she can hear Neptune's answer is up for debate in this state. Though even with her arms pinned, the senshi begins to fles her skinny little arm, bearing the Spiral Moon Heart Rod in resistance. It quivers as she brings it up to try and line it up with the alien creature, staring at the Daimon as she starts speaking a word. "Moon... Twilight..."

A glimmer of power gathers at the head of the rod. A coruscating radiance that begins to build further as she shouts the final word. "... FLASH!"

Her aim is just a little off-center, but the bright silver detonation of purifying energy is up close, that it she's hoping that even with its strange alien movement, she won't miss.

"I'm surprised at you and Neptune - Uranus. Stealing a girl's heart without even buying her a drink first. As the Sailor of Love and Beauty I'm ruling it as a definite faux pas." Her words draw attention - despite how light they are, there's a dutiful seriousness to her tone. As Sailor Venus stands with a fingertip outstretched at Uranus, holding a simple implication. "I'm going to have to ask you to hand that over."

A second voice joins in from not far away. A tall pony-tailed Senshi, though not as tall as Uranus, with crossed arms and an angry expression, Sailor Jupiter, "Before you're left only with regret."

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Twilight Flash on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 44 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Moon Twilight Flash, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Cure Passion is not the type to show all of her emotions through her face at once, but that doesn't make them any less. She can hear the name Kaolinite gives, but cannot quite muster anything to say against her as she retorts. It's done already, she says, and gives her orders. Passion notices the strange warmth in that exchange, and it's another disturbing mark.

There is a more immediate conern. The open, terrible maws of the daimon snap towards Cure Passion, and she leaps back, dodging one swipe, another, another clamp of jaws in movements too quick to track. It is all she can do for the moment to avoid the monster, after it practically absorbed her kick. In how many of her own nightmares has such a creature appeared? Jump, jump, step back--Lera looks her way, and Passsion meets her eyes after a quick look over her to see if she's all right. She understands what she's doing without having to ask. "I'll--do my best!" Passion calls to Lera, and there is a bravery in teamwork.

But it's not abstraction that gets her fighting back more fully. It isn't some idea of bravery, but an older set of feelings that always carried her through. SOme is concern--concern for Sailor Moon, squeezed so fierccely. But one of them...

"You--" Anger flashes in Cure Passion's eyes as she realizes what's happening over Rei, and it is not enough to do away with her fear, but it is enough to push her forward. She can't turn her back on the Daimon, but--

"Sailor Moon!" Passion calls as she rushes up towards the claws holding her, swinging her whole body around in a flurry of kicks as she rises through the air, pink hair swirling around her with each strike. If she can get its attention, maybe...

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Rising Passion on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick counters 3 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Rising Passion, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Cure Passion is
Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Space Invasion, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Cure Passion!  
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Flesh flows around her blade, and the sight is so mystifyingly horrible that Kasagami very nearly gets bitten in half by questing jaws. Yanking her sword back at the last moment, stumbling back once only to catch herself. More wretched, dripping maws open up on what should be wings. Then, Kassie is dodging.

Teeth teeth and teeth come for her, the Duelist ducking aside as she can feel those maws kiss her neck. The worst kind of quiver goes up her spine, and she resists the urge to run into the sea just to get that feeling off of her flesh. Eyes grow wider.

An unknowable beastly thing. It reminds her uncomfortably of how she felt on the worst night of her life, first beholding a youma. The feeling is etched in her heart.

There's a scratch across the material of her bodysuit on her left arm. She was too caught up in her own fears to move in time to completely evade those ravenous maws. But she's adroit, fleet of foot in the extreme. One, two, three weaves, then her blade up like a shield. Step, and a back flip out of the way. She creates space to size up her opponent.

It's like fighting a living wave of teeth. There's no swordsmanship skill she could think of to apply to facing down this thing. Many youma at least have had humanoid equivalence.

This thing feels, and is, truly alien. She glances back to Steven keeping Rei safe. She nods to the boy. Offers a fierce grin that she redoubles and turns upon the creature. It's as much for her as anything else.

The least she can do is grin in a demon's face in defiance of it's existance. No King should be afraid of this! Her hands grip her blade harder to keep them from trembling.

"...Have all the teeth you like, we'll just cut each one down..." She mutters with a growl. Kaolinite's words sting.

Too late, too slow, too weak.

The Outer Senshi aren't making matters any less complicated! The word 'heart' she can't even spare a glance back as Moon chastises the older senshi. Kassie can't hear, can't smell her beloved Pluto. What are they doing!? What are they up to? It's vexing, not knowing.

Another secret that rips at her heart. Can she even pry? Kasagami brutally shoves the thoughts down. The conflict of Senshi can't be her focus when there's a youma to deal with first, even if she worries deeply for Rei in turn.

Taking up a stance, blade high above her head, Kasagami once more goes on the attack. Her movements are faster, more direct, the girl becoming a blurr of forward motion. Half way through she begins kicking, almost hopping on the sand as she begins to spin towards her opponent. Her blade is a whirlwind of even, increasingly swift turns in time with her body's movements. Her last hop within striking range of nodachi and teeth is whisper-quiet.

Kasagami all but dissappears in flashes as a simply maddening dance of slices occurs. Left. Right. Horizontal, vertical, each one flows into the other as she works into a display of tightly controlled, vicious slashes, running through a kata she's performed hundreds of times during sleepless nightmare-interrupted nights or early mornings.

She knows them better than the back of her hand, as she turns strike into strike with blistering speed and unadulterated skill of a sword-wielding genius at once while she tries to make true of her desire to behead the jaws of this youma as many times as it takes!

She breathes out as the kata comes to an end, coat fluttering behind her dramatically as she takes up a guarding stance. No words this time.

Just an intense, proto-royal gaze of determination!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Dance in the Petals on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 16 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Dance in the Petals, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

It's not her.

Uranus sighs through her nose, her eyes closing briefly. So the search must continue, and yet... at least the Princess of Mars will not die today. Hikawa Shrine will still have its shrine maiden. The teams at their volleyball game will still be even. And Sailor Moon may forgive the Outer Senshi after all.

She may, but she should not. There is so little difference between being willing to do it and doing it, when it comes to the stain it leaves.

She smiles at Neptune, opening her eyes. Does her partner know her so well, to draw her out at times like these? Or does Uranus just love her so well that she is drawn by her own affection?

She looks back over her shoulder at Neptune. "I was in grave straits without you," she intones. "But I believe you can defeat this enemy... after the one over by the shore right now."

Perhaps Neptune was just drawing Uranus's attention to the fact that Rei's phone number, written on her forearm and yet somehow hidden by the henshin, can now be the subject of humor instead of grief. What a miserable tattoo that would have been. Scrubbing at the ink like Lady MacBeth.

Before the two Outers can consider how to handle the Crystal now, they are confronted by a different senshi duo. Normally, Uranus would appreciate Venus Acting with Elegance, and respect Jupiter's righteousness. Right now, she feels anger flood in to replace anxiety and relief.

"Why are you here?" she demands sharply. "To save the life of Sailor Mars, you leave Sailor Moon in battle without her guardians? You forget yourselves."

Assenting with a nod, Uranus watches Neptune toss the Pure Heart Crystal back without a fight.

"It is your duty to watch me tear Sailor Mars's heart in half from a distance, if that is what it takes to perform your duty. Do you think Sailor Mars would have it another way?"

Uranus looks at Sailor Venus and remembers a planet choking to death on poison.

She looks at Sailor Jupiter and remembers a planet ripped down by storms.

But she also remembers what it felt like to stand between Sailor Moon's tiny body and that many-mouthed abomination of the sea, and... step aside, and leave only air.

"You have no idea what you interfere with," she says coldly. "The next time you try to stop us, we will not be so cordial."

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

Steven slams into the daimon's gut and nearly suffers the same fate that Kasagami's sword faced: flesh flows around his shield -- drawing back like lips above gums, enormous teeth appear -- and only by rolling out of the way at the last second does the boy avoid being devoured. A piece of flesh stays with him, thinning and thinning until its attachment to the rest of the monster is a barest string. The rest remains on his shield, creating a claw, a tooth, and an eye even as it crawls towards the pink circle's top, whereupon it will leap at his face.

A second bought him by Cure Passion, whose kicks, too, come at the price of terrible peril. Her boots make a gloppy noise as they disengage; still, she drew both mass and attention with her gambit, and reaps the consequences of that. A line of three eyes gazes upon her. Then the void leaves them, and enters the air, surrounding her with danger and darkness and most of all the piercing cold of the deep, deep sea.

It takes time for the other three eyes to catch up with Kasagami. Wings beat at wildly different rates -- some too quickly catch, some too slowly to anticipate -- in order to avoid the worst of her strikes. But she does open wounds, droplets of ichor struggling to gain forms of their own even as they sink onto the sand. And she does, eventually, stop. Then her blade must contend with the triplicate doom of this daimon's frigid stare, instead.

The sacred radiance from Sailor Moon's wand is anathemic to daimons, to be sure. Wherever it touches, black flesh whitens and white flesh blackens, then begins to crumble to dust.

There's just one problem: there's so much flesh.

Perversely, instead of writhing out of the path of her Spiral Moon Heart Rod's beam, the creature sends more of itself IN. At first there was a Full Moon's light washing over it, but mouthed, clawed wings surge forward, more spawning in real time out of the dusty remains of the vanguard, and then it's Half.

Then a bare crescent.

Then... the Moon disappears entirely beneath the deluge.

Both light... and princess.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Mini-Manta Spawn on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Outer Darkness on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Outer Darkness on Kasagami Araki.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Lunar Eclipse on Sailor Moon.
Moonlight Knight arrives from Tokyo.
COMBAT: Moonlight Knight covers Sailor Moon for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Lunar Eclipse, taking it upon himself instead!
COMBAT: Moonlight Knight counters 2 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Lunar Eclipse, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Moonlight Knight's counterattack, For Whom Is The White Rose? The Moonlight Knight Appears!, partially gets through, doing
12 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Moonlight Knight [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Moonlight Knight - Sailor Moon R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0yvg_qtgcI

Suddenly: a second flash.

It is briefer and dimmer than Moon Twilight's.

But it is also sharper.

Severed wings pour off of Sailor Moon like a retreating wave -- and away from the white rose at her feet.

"No darkness shall extinguish the moonlight today," declares a velvety tenor that is desperately familiar.

And she finds herself taking flight, soaring into the air in a sort of equal and opposite reaction to the destruction of all those wings. Only her wings are hands, which span her waist with unavoidable intimacy, though no untoward angle. It could be a waltz between strangers. Or between the truest of lovers.

Cowled in white, enshrouded in it, the Moonlight Knight's cloak is broad enough for them both, swept around his princess' shoulders like the shield that it is.

The eyes that gaze down at her are a different color, though. An unforgettably brilliant royal blue. Or is it sky blue? Like overtones struck by the resonance of a perfect chord, it's briefly both, then maybe neither. They are, he is, a contradiction. Sharp, yet soft. Keen, certainly. Keenly watchful. Keenly protective.

They alight upon a hotel rooftop nearby. Out of harm's way, though close enough to leap straight back into it. He won't stop her... though, as he releases her, one hand lingers on her waist, not egregiously, just in the natural course of things. It fits there perfectly, as though it were made for the purpose of holding her.

"They all need you," he breathes. I need you, he means. "Go show them why, Sailor Moon..."

COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's Mini-Manta Spawn, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Kasagami Araki braces 28 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Outer Darkness, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Blind applied to Kasagami Araki!
COMBAT: Cure Passion perfectly braces 43 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Outer Darkness, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Brace!  Cure Passion's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It's so unexpected when Neptune tosses the Pure Heart Crystal back, that even the skilled Volleyball player almost doesn't react in time. Venus catches it - resisting the muscle memory reflex to knock it back immediately. She doesn't immediately respond to it.

Jupiter starts though, because that cold accusation stings, "You-!" As if surprise is shaking her normally unflappable confidence into a singular stammer, "W-We know exactly what we're interfering with right now!"

Venus simply makes a motion back towards the battle, "Let's go Jupiter. We have what we came for."

And as if to illustrate how dire the point is, the light of Sailor Moon begins to be drawn inside, "Passion - help!" She yelps in utter alarm as her light is drawn inside, and its wings draw her further - and further within its inky bulk. She's vanishing so rapidly that even her cries are silenced.

And then with a flash, she is dropped on the ground, with a startled look. The girl pats herself as if trying to figure out if she just woke up from a nightmare. Then looks at the white rose at her feet.


Her voice rises in equal parts surprise and delight, just moments before she's taken aloft set to flying. The feel of his hands around her waist bringing a blush to her cheeks, as she finishes what she was about to say just moments before in a volume that seems more subdued in its own intimacy, "Moonlight Knight-sama...!"

Her eyes try to meet his, caught in the blue, perhaps as if trying to decide if they're his eyes. Though the longer she stares into them. The more she doubts herself. Could it be him - or him?

Stepping down to her own feet, she stays close - so close, just staring into those eyes, feeling his hand around her waist. It makes her feel safe, she wants to ask him... the question is immediately brought to mind.

Who are you?

She wants so desperately to ask. Yet even on the tip of her tongue it does not fall right now. Not right now. Because Rei Hino is still in danger. And as much as she doesn't want to step away from this safety...

"Please, watch me then. Keep your eyes on me." She whispers, voice pregnant with emotion, as she takes so small a step that his fingertips are still brushing her waist. "I'm going to save her right now."

Sailor Moon then takes a few steps further away, and leaps high into the air, performing a somersault. Though it's mid-flight, that she realizes just how far she'd leaped, miscalculating with her heart all mixed up. As she notes in her trajectory that she's going to come right down on what he just saved her from.

After a momentary flail of alarm, she suddenly extends a heeled moonboot and cries out. "Sailor Moon - KICK!" The impact will possibly cause her to strike it, then if it works out, hop off to rebound onto the ground, with her hands spread up like a gymnast that just tried to stick a landing.

"I meant to do that."

The ranged combatant, known from her powerful sacred magic which she uses from a distance says in an attempt to salvage being impressive to the Moonlight Knight.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Sailor Moon Kick on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 7 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Sailor Moon Kick, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is
Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger and Stun applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Up close and personal, insofar as anything can be personal with an alien creature like this. Three eyes gaze at Passion, and she looks back. As the void enters the air, there is no way not to be where it is; it already is. So instead of dodging, Passion puts arms around herself in defense, and thinks of warmth.

She already knows that alone, here, she would have no chance against the Daimon, is certain of it. But it's hard for even awful cold to find purchase when she knows this is Lera's barrier of magic, and maybe something in that defends her, too. Passion falls through the air and hits the ground, her breath misting as the cold stays where she no longer is.

Sailor Moon calls out, and Passion can't reach the light in time--but she doesn't have to. A sharp flash at the darkness, and Passion blinks at the flower, looking towards it nd then towards Sailor Moon at what could be a dance in mid-air before she has to return her attention to the Daimon. Sailor Moon makes it in first with her kick, so Passion has the chance to ask--

"Who is he?" she wonders, before she looks up to their terrible foe again and decides that all she can do is risk it again. "Hah...!" Passion shoots forward in a blur of red light and swings again, this time another flurry that she hopes will be so quick that she can get off a lot of strikes before getting stuck.

If nothing else she'll reappear in time to be close to Kasagami, her comrade in melee-ing.

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Passion Flash on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick counters 22 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Passion Flash, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's
Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Space Invasion, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Cure Passion!  
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

A solid hit, though much like familiar creatures, feels hollow when it comes to auccess. A fleshy slpatting noise that feels like he attempted to ram into a huge amount of wet clay. Catching himself after the attack finds the boy trying to figure out the next course of action, a moment that will cost him. A piece peeled off his foe and stuck to the shield, and managed to reach around and jump at him off the shield!

"Oh gross! It can separate!" he shouts, as it gets a mouthfull of hair as the only course of action he has in the split instant is to lower his head. Small, pudgy hands reach up and wrestle it away from his head. A few needle-like incisors did find scalp however. He may be bleeding there now, too, but nothing is flowing down. He will have to check later.

Trying to wrestle this small creature away, he can see Sailor Moon struggling to fight back the main Daimon. "Stay Strong, Sailor Moon!" he shouts, managing to throw the small thing away, but too late to react to her being consumed.

Or so he thought. A single strobe marks the arrival on the unknown player in this fight. A man of ivory cloak and mysterious purifying power. "Who's that?! Wait is he kidnapping her?" he says, freaking out how quickly allies are dropping out of this fight. Wait, no, they stopped closeby.

THe boy takes the conjured shield, and whips it vertically toward the Daimon! "It seems to come apart easily! Maybe we can cut it up? I am out of ideas here, and my options are limited!" he shouts toward Cure Passion.

Miss Love and Justice rejoins the fray with a radical kick, and thankfully, too! "Sorry, I just--" He is at a bit of a loss, He is supposed to be getting better at helping people, but Rei is on the ground, and Moon almost got eaten.

After the pitch ,the boy begins to muster another shield.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 50 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Kasagami is not good enough of a person to not take some fierce delight at opening up this alien opponent. Which of course leads to the immediate stroke of karma: that very ichor tries to wriggle its way into being more chomping, hungering jaws.

The Duelist steps back out of range from the thirsting thing once again. Her blade has stopped, and as she's trying to get into position for yet another attack into the alien-youma, it's then that those eyes gaze upon her.

She feels like her entire body has been shoved directly to the bottom of the sea. She burns again...but not with fire. An entirely new kind of clawing, searing agony as the exact opposite kind wracks her entire body.

She screams, in agony, in fear, in rage. It all kind of blends together as icey breath spews forth from her mouth.

Her sword comes up defensively, but what can she do against that gaze aside from block it out? And now she can't see. Only barely does she see Moon swallowed, reflected off her sword, and the purifying moonlight with it.

But a Knight of the Moonlight rescues the Sailor Senshi, and for some reason Kassie finds her heart hammering once again in her chest. Half of her body is quivering from pains both real and uncomfortably phantom. One hand rubs down her arm.

Is she feeling relief for Sailor Moon of all the senshi? Kassie tries to deny it, but it's true. Maybe she feels a little hope herself with the arrival of the Moonlight Knight!

With some feeling finally returning to her arm, she gives a grin to Cure Passion, friend in the art of frontline melee.

"That thing really has some tricks! Try to directly cut it in half, it bends out of the way. Flow your strikes together, it's blood tries to take revenge. I bet if we both hit those creepy-chilly eyes together, we might take a few out!" Suggests the Duelist.

And then Moon lands a kick that's impressive even by the boot-loving Kassie's standards. This...yeah, it fires up her blood a bit.

"Not that I'm going to let a Senshi down and be outdone!" Which senshi is she talking about?

And then Kassie dashes in with a duo of feinting slashes towards the nearest maws. She ducks into a roll, spins around, and becomes a whirling 'uppercut' with her sword as she pops to her feet, blade kicking up sand as she tries to scour for one of those freezing eyes on the manta-devil-reyouma!

COMBAT: Kasagami Araki has used Falling Petals Cut The Soul on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 28 Fatigue damage from Kasagami Araki's Falling Petals Cut The Soul, taking 42 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!