2020-05-09 - Cry For Help

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Cry For Help

A student-made Short Film Festival is interrupted by an emergency transmission from Peridot to Yellow Diamond, broadcasting on all frequencies. The magical girls join Steven Universe in shutting it down, where they discover a troubling alliance, and meet a new friend.


Sucy Manbavaran, Akko Kagari, Mikoto Minagi, Yumi Ohzora, Fuu Hououji, Steven Universe, Chitose Shiratori, Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, Sardonyx

GM: Pink Moon Stick


Short Film Festival, Ueno Park, and the Homeworld Communications Hub

OOC - IC Date:

5/9/2020 - 08-27-15

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The film is in black and white, although this is also clearly a filter.

We begin with a title card in curly script: From the original Elvish.

"ESCAPED FROM NARGOTHROND BY THE AID OF CELEGORN'S HOUND, HUAN (Prophesied to only be vulnerable to defeat by the greatest Were-wolf ever), THE HEROINE



A dramatic camera angle facing upwards, showing an enormous tower -- Infinity Institute, but never mind that.

A girl with her hair in an immaculate pleat and a finely quilted dress of elegant and loving embroidery has her fist clenched, gazing upwards. It is Akko.

INSERT CARD: "Beren lays within here, in the toils of S*uron. I shall give challenge and defeat S*uron."

A girl in a dog-ear headband, sitting on the ground in a gray onesie. It is Sucy, her chin in her hands. She looks at the camera.

INSERT CARD: "Huan agreed, but without words. For it was said that only thrice would Huan speak."

INSERT CARD: "But then!"

There's a blurry shot as if someone is DIVING from the top of the tower, the camera shaking forcefully. Sharp cut! Luthien's face agog!

INSERT CARD: "They come!" cried Luthien!

The camera jerks and judders violently, perhaps risking motion sickness. It is as if it is being drawn along on invisible dollie tracks around the battlefield! In that battlefield, 'Huan' administers several elementary jujutsu moves on similarly dog-ear-having individuals, with one unusually dark-cloaked one being -

Also Akko! In a metal helmet!

S*uron points to the left!

INSERT CARD: Luthien gasped.

Luthien, looking to the right, at a slightly off angle.

Back to S*uron! Miming a belly laugh.

Back again to Luthien!

And a thready, deliberately lo-fi singing begins to echo out... Sweet, nostalgiac... a folk-song, almost mystical, although it seems as if it never quite reaches a particular chord...

Luthien, swaying with her hands clasped and badly lip synching.

INSERT CARD: And yet, S*uron could not endure that holy song...

S*uron, as well as the miscellaneous dog-eared girls, run towards a river bank and jump in.

INSERT CARD: S*uron took the form of a vampire and fled to Taur-nu-Fuin. But Luthien took ownership of the great tower... and freed the prisoners within!

The End.


  • Luthien: A. Kagari
  • Huan: S. Manbavaran
  • Werewolves: Check our website
  • Directed by Lotte Jansson
  • Sound mixed by Lotte Jansson
  • Scenario from J. T*lkien
  • Thank you to everyone for all of your support!!!!!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

It's a perfect night for an outdoor movie.

Ueno Park is an exceedingly pleasant place, for one. The screen has been backed up against Ueno Zoo, hiding its building from view. The audience knew to bring blankets and quilts, which are cool above the soft grass, and create a massive patchwork, easy to imagine from sky level. The whole park is one massive picnic tonight. And between short films, the air is filled with the pleasant buzz of chatter, competing with the equally pleasant buzz of cicaidas.

There is some other noise that cares nothing for the films themselves; Tokyo's trains aren't far enough from anywhere, let alone Ueno, to not have an occasional presence, and there's plenty of foot traffic around the edges of the park, as is normal for a summer evening. But the park is a big place, of unusual quiet and beauty, especially compared to most other big places in the big city.

The crowd is boisterous. A bunch of short films created by middle and high schoolers are, more often than not, very FUNNY. Not exclusively so; there have been a couple of poignant pieces in the lineup. Whatever their content, all enjoy a freshness, a high-energy, that crackles through them recognizably as the feeling of youth. There's a wholesome appeal to their amateur nature; their occasional successes are almost less precious than the boldness of their mistakes.

The next film that comes on after Lotte's is weird, though. Static keeps interfering with the transmission, an unsubtle and somewhat exciting reminder that this film festival is actually being streamed; a TV channel is carrying it all over Tokyo tonight, including to here. The problem is becoming more regular, though, until, finally, the picture resolves into an entirely new and unexpected image:

An little green alien.

Magical girls may remember That Time Peridot Kidnapped Basically Everyone In Collaboration With Jasper And The Black Moon Clan, and That Time Peridot Engineered A Neverending Rainstorm To Try To Harness Energy For Unknown Purposes, among other encounters.

Most of the audience is innocent of what's happening, though, and cheer at the IMPRESSIVE production value of this latest entry. It -- she? -- really looks bizarre, straight out of a science fiction film. She's humanoid, but affectingly inhuman, with her green skin and pointy head (or hairstyle); her hi-tech visor, her somewhat hardnosed, militaristic uniform, which prominently centers a yellow diamond on her chest. Most of all, with the inverted green triangle embedded in her forehead.

It's good stuff.

And she's an ANGRY green alien, or, perhaps more accurately, a STRESSED green alien. Her voice is as tense as her whole body, and with the same thing: urgency.

<SoundTracker> Peridot's Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KGb2KgXHwc

"This is Peridot, transmitting on all frequencies from abandoned crystal system colony planet Earth."

She shuts her eyes, as though steeling herself to give this report. Or, maybe, as though praying that her message is heard. Truly, a universal metaphor for the teenage experience.

"To Yellow Diamond:"

Her expression twists as she begins, with a heady cocktail of aggravation and desperation which snowballs, even as she ticks off her problems on two of five (floating, separated -- neat!) fingers, into something else.

"My mission has been compromised. My escort AND informant are gone and I am now STRANDED."

That something else would be PANIC.


Then it repeats.

"This is Peridot..."

Then again.

The audience shifts in their seats, a mix of confused and amused. Some of the more observant of them notice a curious green glow reflecting off the skyscrapers of Tokyo. As though every screen, all the screens, building-sized and palm-sized... everywhere... in the most illuminated city ever built... are playing the same message.


<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Akko is over the moon, because she has starred in a film adaptation of the Chronicles of Narnia.

She cheers wildly after her film ends -- and then simmers down, sitting back between Lotte and Sucy. She glances sideways at both friends in turn. "We did great!" she says. "We're gonna wind, unless the next one's... like... Titanic!"

She waits.

She blinks at the next film. She sort of remembers Peridot -- her memory can be shaky, like many things in Akko's life -- and at first, she scowls, and folds her arms as the audience cheers. "Aw, maaaaaan--"

Then she blinks her eyes. The green glow reflects off those big, red eyes -- and then she turns sideways, and grips Sucy by the shoulders.

"Sucy! The alien that kidnapped everyone manufactured a plot to upstage Lotte's movie!" she cries out. "WE HAVE TO STOP HER!"

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

"... it was good!" That's Mikoto's final pronouncement on the Majestia movie Chie and Aoi finally dragged her out to watch. Once she's upended the last of the popcorn into the vacuum of her mouth, of course.

"See?" Chie grins, hand to her hip. "We'll catch you up yet, Mikoto-chan." Never mind that dragging Mikoto Minagi into cultural relevance is a Sisyphean task; they're up to the challenge. There is hope for Mai's weird roommate yet.

Mikoto's head cants, braids all down her cheek. "All movies like these?" She asks, the back of her hand coming up to scrub at her mouth to swipe a stray fleck of popcorn off her chin.

Chie and Aoi look at each other; Chie and Aoi hatch a devious plan between them in that glance.



Mikoto points, with an insistent whisper: "Look! Look! It's Sucy!" SHE KNOWS HER! THAT'S THE MUSHROOM GIRL!

"Shh," Aoi reminds her, a blanket over her knees.

Mikoto l e a n s forward on her hands, gold eyes like saucers as Akko and Sucy - that is to say, Luthien and Huan - enact their thrilling conclusion. Eventually she leans too forward, and lands in Yumi's lap. Thud.

(Mikoto, on their group running into Yumi when they approached the festival, naturally insisted she come along with them.)

She just kind of rolls over a bit, and watches the thrilling conclusion upside-down. "Huuuh..."

It's a good position for her to twist her head to the side in confusion, as the screen starts getting fuzzy. She looks at Chie for confirmation that this is Part of the Festival, but Chie just sort of shrugs. "Technical difficulties?" She guesses, in answer to the unspoken confusion on Mikoto's face.

"Look!" Aoi whispers, this time, as the image resolves.

"Whoa." Chie raises her phone to take a photo of the makeup on the screen, only to find that - for once in her life - her phone is out of battery.

The two of them, distracted by the screen, might not quite catch the way Mikoto's eyes widen, the shock which lances through her features. The voice which runs through her memory as she sees that girl on the big screen...

It's the same voice of the pink-eyed girl she looks up to, as Peridot pleads into the camera. "Yumi," Mikoto says, and her voice is low but it's not because of the movies, any more. There's a lot in that look - fear, and a thin trail of lingering anger - and guilt, and she scarcely stops to explain any of them, because she scarcely needs to, not with her.

The corner of her lip scrunches; there is a moment of silent debate.

She rolls up, stands, offers a hand to Yumi and an explanation to Chie and Aoi: "We're... gonna get more snacks! Stay here, okay?"

Chie looks away from the screen, nodding up to them. "Just hurry back, okay? I don't think you wanna miss this one."

"Yeah," Mikoto says.

Aoi frowns a little as she notices the way Mikoto's frowning, saying that, but she doesn't protest their quick escape from the nest of blankets they've set up tonight.

<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Lotte, conveniently, is covering her face and shuddering with anxiety and delight. Her teeth are chattering. Everyone saw her MOVIE.

Sucy is much more relaxed. She's in a light and summery dress from home with a long if thin skirt to deal with the heat of August, even if it's on its way out. She has her dog ear headband on because she wants to cash in on her new "rep." She had also been drinking a slush ice through a straw while watching the other scenarios.

"Huh," Sucy says. "Is that like a... monologue? It's super desperate. Like it's way over the top. You can't just tell people how you feel in acting like that," Sucy continues. "That just makes me upset."

  • slurp*

Sucy continues looking at the screen until Akko grips her shoulders. She wobbles back and forth, her one visible eye turning upwards and then flicking left and right as if to realize that there's something about this presentation, as she spots its presence on adjacent phones and on the super-distant little glimpse of that one video billboard and the little green flicker in all of the windows of the towering bougie residences around Ueno Park.

Her eyes widen and she then looks down to the phone on her own knee.


Inside her heart, Sucy s c r e a m s.

Out loud, she says with an unusual level of portent in her usually flattish affect: "Let's go."

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

The tower...! Maybe a little motion sickness for Yumi, but of corse she's watching her friends' film. Obviously!! She's been watching all of them actually, enjoying the whole run largely, because those that don't work for her still show the little notes of what went into them in the first place. The energy in them energizes her, though...

A night watching stuff is kind of ideal for Yumi Ohzora, anyway; she's out with a blanket and a couple of pillows to make the ground more agreeable. And she is not alone, having run into Mikoto and a couple of her friends, and being the sociable type for the moment. Buuut.... Well.

She peers down at Mikoto and then up at the screen again, rather used to Mikoto's Mikoto-ness by now.

Now, most of Peridot to Yumi's vision was a big green and yellow blur, on account of the fact that on that particular kidnapping she didn't have her glasses for most of it. Not all, though--her face in clear vision was burned into her mind, and Yumi recognies her immediately. Her pink eyes widen in alarm. It takes her a minute to watch, and then to realize the other glowing...

When she meets Mikoto's eyes, that look reflects back; no, Mikoto doesn't have to explain the mix of emotions any more than Yumi has to. "Uh," she starts.

"Yes! We need... more snacks! We'll bring you back something. I won't let her miss it!"

Yumi takes the hand up, smiles to Chie and Aoi, and... books with Mikoto, a little behind as ever.

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

What a lovely evening! A chance to see the works of fellow peers in school. Some aspire to be manga artists or directors-- what better way to start a portfolio of works than participate in a movie event?

Fun little works. Serious attempts art making statements, Goofy comedies. Tonight was going to be great!

In one quadrant of the picnic are is almost the entire Universe family! Steven is on his belly, sprawled out and propping his head up with a pair of chubby hands. "This is super cool! Oh! Oh I should make videos about Lion! What should it be about? I have a tape recorder. What do Lions do?" He asks.

The boy is pretty sure he knows what one directed by Lotte is based off of. "Why are there stars i nthe text? Is like like Miss Lotte's directing signature thing? Like how doctors have crazy wizard-y signatures?" He can only imagine the possibilities...

"Oh, next one's starting!"

The star of the show is most unexpected! And not exactly welcome.

"Ahhh! How did she get in the movie club?!" Steven says, freaking out, and in his flailing, gets wrapped up in the picnic blanket! "AH SHE SENT THE BLANKET TO ATTACK!" he shouts through muffled linens. A fluffy haired head pokes out after a few harrowing seconds. "Oh. Okay, maybe not the blanket, but she's doing something!"

...Who is Yellow Diamond?

It might be time to squad up. But how do they find where this is coming from? She clearly isn't in the projector.

<Pose Tracker> Chitose Shiratori [Infinity Institute (U)] has posed.

Chitose Shiratori heard about the student film festival, and decided that it wouldn't be a bad time to kill a few hours, right? And who knows, the film might be amazing, so here she is, at Ueno park.

Also, her hairclip really wanted to go.

She takes a seat in the back. No real reason. She doesn't sit in the far back, but close enough back that anyone who sits behind her knows exactly what they're getting into. Once she sits down and the movies start, she's absolutely not getting back up for hell nor highwater. Otherwise, she sits back and relaxes, slouching slightly in the grass.

Lotte's film starts, and Chitose just, well, stares. She chuckles a little bit at the implication that Infinity Institute is the tower of S*uron. Not entirely inaccurate. But otherwise Chitose, well, she doesn't frown at the movie at least, and applauds when it's over. "Well, it wasn't bad." She says, mostly to herself. "For a student film it was all ri--"

White Omen immediately cuts her off. <It's... it's so beautiful!>

Chitose slumps in her chair, and continues slumping as the green person with the pointy hair and weird visor comes on the screen. She rights herself to attention and blinks at just how real everything looks. "Hmm, I wonder who funded this."

<Yes, it looks realistic.>

Chitose is slightly more attentive to the person on the screen, though not much more. She continues to watch the alien's pleading. She's still also completely casual, because...

"You know," Chitose says after a moment. "if they make a sequel, I hope whoever this Yellow Diamond person is helps her out. She looks like she needs it."

Chitose has no idea who this is. But she smiles, at least, applauding at the movie. "I like it, its pretty good."

Then it starts again, and Chitose frowns just a little bit. "What?"

It does take Chitose to notice other green lights, and she turns around to see that this film is suddenly on every screen in Tokyo. She doesn't say anything for a few moments, and the film's dialogue runs through her head again. Slowly, Chitose sighs. "This is the space thing Mikoto-chan told us about, isn't it?"

She turns foward again to see Mikoto running off.

<It seems so.>

And so Chitose gets up, her hand wrapping around her Device as she begins to follow the others. "Right, let's go."

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

There are movies which are best enjoyed in the communal darkness of a theater.

There are movies best enjoyed in the comfort of one's own home.

And then there are movies best enjoyed on the largest screen available, in the presence of the largest possible audience.

The Hououji family decided collectively that no matter what the specific movies would be in tonight's collection, they were going to make an outing of it. All of them helped cook - Tsubasa taking the lead, of course, but with sisters Kuu and Fuu pitching in, and even the girls' father Akira pitching in on slicing some ingredients and molding cooked rice into onigiri.

The blanket spread out beneath the family is the same one they use at hanami parties in the spring: weathered and worn but still much-loved, and painstakingly mended where it's become necessary. But the important thing is that it has room for all four of them, and to spare.

There's some good-natured debate among between the sisters and their parents as to which movie is likely to win the grand prize; no doubt Akko and Sucy would be thrilled to overhear their agreement that the Narnia adaptation is one of the best, with Tsubasa smiling as she suggests they used real magic for the special effects (which both Kuu and Fuu laughed off as gently as only they could). However, when the sci-fi spectacular that can only be called _Peridot In Distress_ comes on ...

Well. Fuu isn't smiling any more when she sees that face projected on the screen, larger than life. It only takes Kuu a moment to realize that something is deeply worrying her younger sister - and Tsubasa catches on nearly as quickly, leaning over to clasp her younger daughter's shoulder. "What is it, Fuu-chan? You've gone completely white."

"That ..." Fuu swallows. "That was her. One of the ... when we were taken into space. She was there. She shouldn't be able to speak, much less ..."

"Say no more," Tsubasa says comfortingly, squeezing Fuu's shoulder, then letting go with a reassuring pat. "If you need to go - then go, brave daughter, and come home safely."

Fuu nods, doing her best not to tremble. She does give a quick hug to each of her parents, and her sister, before stepping into her shoes and hurrying away, wondering where to start her own search. Angling off to join Mikoto and the other girls seems like a good starting place, though - the more of them there are, the better their chances.

Hopefully ....

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

One audience member is a huge pink Lion. He's been pretty well-behaved throughout this outing, mainly, ah, 'claiming' any snacks close enough for him to reach without getting up. But now he gets to his feet with a friendly snuffle and shake of his mane, sensing, perhaps, that he's about to be called upon.

Three women who were sitting around him are rising as well. Popcorn spills off of every surface short, violet Amethyst has, and Lion gives it a hopeful look, but pale, slender Pearl shakes her head unsympathetically (because she's been feeding him her share this entire time).

"Where could Peridot be sending such a signal from?" she ponders aloud.

Garnet -- tall, broad, strong -- grunts, her bared teeth very white in her dark magenta face. "There's only one place."

Lion snarls out a bright blue portal.

Garnet raises an eyebrow invisibly behind her opaque shades, but everyone can feel its palpable lift as she looks around the area and sees the various intent and serious girls making their way through the crowd.

Amethyst beams first at Steven, then up at Garnet, who nods.

"Anyone else coming?"


Lion can't seat such a large group, but they can travel along by placing a hand on his fur and all walking together through the portal.

First, a brief meditation on what it's like to touch Lion:

Pink petals falling

Soft, softly, as the rain comes

Still waters run deep

The portal is a less novel experience for most. It's blue and bright; goodbye Ueno Park, hello...



The Tokyo sky was bigger than usual in the park but it's so massive here, wherever 'here' may be, that it threatens vertigo. It's a similar time of night, maybe a few hours later; the Moon is high, the stars are out. Sand dunes, rubble, and a very occasional small cactus is all that blankets the landscape, in every direction, as far as the eye can see.

Oh, and then there's the matter of the gigantic alien tower, glowing and humming with power. Despite being very inhuman it's also obviously very ancient, or at least made of ancient stuff; an arrangement of worn-down chunks of gemstone, faceted purple pillars, that point to the sky in a somewhat cobbled-together and precarious arrangement.

"Peridot must have repaired the communication hub somehow..." worries Pearl, a hand drifting upwards to cover her horrified mouth.

"Uh... I think maybe she did more than that," warns Amethyst, as the sand begins to shake, and dozens and dozens of prairie dogs pop out in a vast circle around the group. If prairie dogs were Robonoid spheres. Slightly... weird Robonoids, there's something different about them, hard to pin down what. "Garnet! Maybe we should, like, hurry this demolition up and form Sugilite?")

Garnet, who's been quietly taking in the situation, shakes her head decisively. "No. Last time was a disaster... I can be rash, you can be reckless, and we can both be carried away. So, for the time being, Sugilite is benched." It isn't an ungentle rejection. She even takes off her shades to let Amethyst see the regret in her three eyes.

But only for a second. They've got work to do. "Steven. Amethyst. Take the others and establish a perimeter. Pearl and I are... going to need a minute."

Dismay and misery write themselves large across Amethyst's face, but she shunts them aside, hard, in favor of determination, summoning her whip and facing the horde.

Pearl, on the other hand, fills with tears. One could specify that her eyes fill with tears, but right now they're basically her entire face and almost her entire body. So, no. Pearl's filling up, in totality.

The need for a perimeter is real, unfortunately, as the robonoids, as one, sprout their familiar stumpy legs and charge.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick transforms into Robodroids!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"C'mon, Sucy! This is revenge for trying to show up Lotte's adaptation of the Lion, the Witch, and the WHOA big portal!"

Akko points straight at the large blue portal and gawks.

She actually stays like that, open-mouthed and pointing. Sucy may have to push her, but Akko is surprisingly easy to push -- a little like an empty shelf -- through the portal, and by Lion's side.

The end result is her feet hit the sand, and her eyes blink. Akko looks around, eyes staring at the night sky, and the stars that shine down. She also stares at the sand, and then the huge alien tower in the distance. Her mouth opens, and then closes.

"Are these... practical effects?" she asks. "Are--aaah, robots!" she yells, as she spots the robodroid pop up. Akko fumbles for the Claiomh Solais, and then waves the polished wooden staff out at them.

Light gleams from one of the jewels. "C'mon, Shiny Rod! Keep them back!"

Sparkles of light fly off it. They land in the sand -- and then the sand balloons and shifts outward, alight with an aquamarine glow. Then, it forms a large, overly round, and rather cartoon-like castle battlement underneath the feet of some of the robots.

COMBAT: Akko Kagari transforms into Shiny Akko!
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran transforms into Sucy a la Chrysopoeia!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Castles in the Sand on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

However far they need to go, it's a short enough hop via Lion's Express Adventure Portal - and Fuu is glad that they have such an easy guide to get where the Crystal Gems know they should start their search.

If you can call it a 'search,' anyway. Fuu looks around the desert, her right hand going to the jewel now worn on the back of her left hand, as she looks around, taking in the Stonehenge-esque crystal spire - and then letting out a squeak as Robonoid balls start popping out of the sand. "Belief becomes power," she intones, disregarding secrecy - they're all magical girls here, except for the boys (who are also magical); "Winds, guide me!!!" She thrusts her left hand skywards as a sand-laden whirlwind whips up about her, tinted green; when the wind subsides and the sand settles, the Magic Knight of Wind is already drawing her sword, forming up side-by-side with whomever is closest and going on the attack.


She's just not leading with her sword; instead, she unleashes her magic, trying to batter the Robonoids into nonfunctionality in as large a number as possible.

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

It's only natural that Mikoto, leading Yumi in the charge (and, though she doesn't realise at first, Chitose), would lead her straight... to Steven! Peridot is a Gem, Steven's half-Gem; the diminutive boy surely knows what's going on. It's a little more awkward around his mothers, but - but it's fine, really.

This isn't the first time Mikoto has touched Lion; it's not even the first time she's gone through a Lion portal, really. It's a very soft experience. Lion... is a good cat.

And suddenly they're not in Ueno any more, Mikototo.

The air smells dry here, taste of dust and sand. Mikoto's face wrinkles from her nose to her cheeks to her ears as she adjusts to the change in scenery, the humming which sets those little bones in her ears vibrating. "Don't like that," she grumbles to Chitose and Yumi, frowning up at the ancient bones of the communication hub.

Up pop the Robodroids: "Or that!"

The widening of her eyes, tense pull along her lips; those things still set her heart to pounding. Mikoto blinks her eyes shut, sucks a breath in through her teeth, and nods to the direction Garnet provides with an affirmative grunt. Rash, reckless...

She draws her sword from its case in a fluid motion, shrugs the case back onto her shoulder; Miroku grasped in both hands, Mikoto steps forward.

"It's not like before," she tells them, inclusive.

One step, two, three, and she's spinning, a wide arc of destruction into the oncoming wave of Robodroids.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Wizard signatures are cool, but witch signatures are cooler. Really! Yumi's not biased.

Lion's portal pops into Yumi's field of vision about the same time she spots Garnet and notices that Look. So, of course--

"I'm coming!" calls a Witch after ducking behind a tree and transforming in a wash of green light. At least this way she doesn't have to worry about her glasses, either! ...Not that that's at all the only thing on her mind here...


Lion is really nice.


"Waaa," Yumi notes as they walk out into the desert, looking around in some wonder. "It's cold." But dressed head to to in her witch's garb she can handle it, of course. But more important than the cold is... That. The tower. "Oh, uh..."

"Right," Yumi says, noticing the Gems' dismay, "Come on Steven, let's do what we can!"

But as the little robots abrubtly charge, Yumi hefts her Staff, raising it before herself in concentration before her other hand starts tracking runes. "I'm right behind you!" Yumi calls forward to Mikoto, "Know hunger...!" She throws a curse at Robodroids with a flash of green light.

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora transforms into Witch Ivy!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has used Hollow Curse on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Sucy pivots her phone around and leans into frame so she gets, in a sense, a selfie with the Crystal Gems, but then she plops the phone into her pocket and puts a hand on Lion, popping the lid off of her slushie as she goes. She hunches over, as usual.

But beneath that summery flowing blouse...

The taste of a summer dream.

The memory of a dream fulfilled.

The sense of determination.

The bemusement of a certain girl.

A six-mushroom blend...

And three hairs of a lion...

Simmer, shake, toil and bubble -

Sucy, just before entering the portal, knocks back a distillate of still-cold-tasting ambition and dreams. Her eyes widen slightly as she gulps. And then she straightens up to her full height--!!

-- and slouches anew, but with a more resolved purpose.

Through the dark portal and into a world of ruin. Sucy's eyes widen as she looks round, taking in the landscape. "I think we're on location now," she answers Akko. Her eyes spot something green, and she raises the Cucurbit - an ancient-seeming glass vessel, still slightly stained internally with beverage colorants. She adds powder into it, three different kinds of it, and her lips draw back in a momentary toothsome grimace at the awakening of the robonoids.

The potion retort burns with quiet intensity for a moment and Sucy stands on the balls of her feet to flick a splash of the contents on a nearby cactus, which gleams purple for a moment.

"I get the feeling this isn't your first time," Sucy says, then, a moment before the cactus she just anointed burbles and then erupts into a sudden sprouting of succulent and jagged fencing, an abrupt line of stout pointiness in the face of robonoid terror!!

COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran has used Multiplicate! A Fungus Among... YOU on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Castles in the Sand, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 21 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi, taking 9 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 36 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Dodge!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick cleanly braces 6 Fatigue damage from Yumi Ohzora's Hollow Curse, taking 1 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Parry ability activates!  Cripple and Exhausted applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 27 Fatigue damage from Sucy Manbavaran's Multiplicate! A Fungus Among... YOU, taking 0
Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Even the guardians three are freaked out. If she is calling for help, that could be really bad! Two homeworld Gems posed a huge threat on their own, even without the help of the Black Moon Clan. Now imagine however many she could get help from...

"We gotta find her," Steven says, seriousness abound. But the boy has no idea where to look! What possible places could Peridot be broadcasting from? It has to be something magical to invade electrical devices not even connected to the internet or a radio tower.

Of course Garnet knows. Never doubt those shades! Even lion gets the hint, opening the magical highway to get there in pastel blues and pinks. "You know it!" he says toward Amethyst, fistpumping. The boy turns to greet others incoming. Everyone he seems to know, too! "Hey guys!"

A gesture toward the portal. "All aboard!"


The repeating soft tones and swift-moving-yet-holding-still feeling is nothing new to Steven. He uses to get to school on some days even. But! Helping others through may be necessary, helping support them to stand right in the odd kaleidoscope of color.


"Ooooh. WHere are we? What is THAAAT?" the boy says, agasp at the wondrous derelict statue. But it is clear the signal must be coming from it. It kinda looks like a radio tower? In some sci-fi way.

Steven sees the earth tremble at the arrival of some kind of defense force of robots, greenish in color. It was clear who they belonged to. A shield is summoned to fight back at Garnet's request.

A moment goes out to thinking about Sugilite.

"Oh, you are just too much!

"Maybe you're just too LITTLE!"

Steven grimaces. Instead, the boy will join Amethyst, Lion and the gang to duke it out with these little robo-varmints with some shield swings! "Let's get um!" he says toward Yumi! "Oh! You and other witches are here! I get to see cool magic stuff again!" he says toward Yumi, ans well ask the dynamic duo of Akko and Sucy. "I cant do the classes cause I can't do magic, but I love to watch!"

But as the attacks get thrown, he sees Garnet and Pearl begin to walk toward each other, even as Amethyst gets told it was better not to fuse with her. Which might be good. it was a valuable lesson that sometimes... Fusion isn't best. Malachite is another good example.

But, Pearl and Garnet are...! "Are you both gonna...?!"

Oh he looks REALLY excited suddenly.

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Shield Bash on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick cleanly braces 6 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Shield Bash, taking 1 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Tokyo's magical girls KNOW robonoids, from a great deal of lived experience; they're gray, pseudosentient spherical robots that come in essentially unlimited numbers, though one had hoped that the destruction of Peridot's UFO meant that she had less capacity now -- and that may still be true, this could be a real commitment of her remaining resources. They tend to use swarm tactics; any single robonoid is not a significant threat, but rather a clumsy little bug. They spray sticky teal goop to try to immobilize and capture their enemies, and are real good at it. When defeated they explode into even more goop, to boot. They have four stick-like legs that float apart from their sphere-body in the same way Peridot's fingers float apart from her palm. And that's... it, pretty much.

So all that is to say that this ambush, while serious, isn't... the WORST thing ever, right? Better the devil you know, and these are wholly manageable devils, even if they're associated with a traumatic time.

But something's... off. Something's different.

When the incoming tide of robonoids first runs straight up Akko's sand battlements even as they're summoned beneath them, then nimbly launch from the top straight over Sucy's summoned thorn wall, that is SUBSTANTIALLY more agility, both physical and mental, than they've ever shown in the past.

When, from another direction, they are met by Fuu's conjured whirlwind and slashed by Amethyst's whip, they show an alarming tendency to... endure. Some scratches are raised, but not the messy little pops one would expect on impact.

Mikoto, Yumi and Steven suffer BOTH outcomes, adding insult to injury on various levels; they are smart enough to avoid Miroku entirely, juking out of the way, into the more-acceptable impacts of Yumi's curse, which doesn't seem to find much purchase, and Steven's shield, which they mostly bounce right off of.

The line is held for the moment, but it's about to be tested, as a TSUNAMI of goop erupts from the little guys.

And it doesn't emit from cute little nozzles.

Now that they're up close and personal, everyone can see that each individual robot has, almost in praise or parody of their maker, a triangular gemstone chip pressed into their bodies about where a forehead would be. It is a desperately dark green, with something even darker inside.

Black Crystal energy crackles through the goop painfully, even as it crashes towards the defensive line.


"Aw... don't cry, Pearl." Garnet tells her, engulfing her slight shoulder with a massive, but supportive, open hand. "It's you and me, Pearl -- let's fuse."

There's obviously A Whole Lot going on with Pearl right now, but she valiantly tries to GET A GRIP. She enjoys, shall we say, mixed success. She keeps the sound to a softly vibrating whimper and a very loud inhalation of potential tears and snot. She blinks a couple times, and a brilliant smile bursts across her face like a sunburst through stormclouds.

And she palms the last of the incipient moisture away as she follows Garnet to the center of the ring of robonoids, furthest from all of them behind the magical girls' defensive line. Indeed, her enthusiasm is growing by the moment.

It's possible that those tears were, despite their overwrought intensity, tears of joy. Maybe grief that passed all the way around the world until it came back the otherside and became joy, but joy nevertheless.

Garnet takes a wide stance, the Gems in her palms lighting up. "Ready," she announces.

"Hang on." Pearl, across from her, has launched into some deep lunges, and a few other stretches, as though she's preparing to run a marathon. There's not a trace of reluctance in her now; she is openly excited. "It's been such a long time," she grins, anticipation somehow both brightening and darkening her voice -- adults are complicated.

Her stance ends almost spiritually, with her palms pressed together in front of her chest, and the Gem on her forehead matching Garnet's brightness.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Sucy Manbavaran.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Akko Kagari fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 24 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora partially dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied
to Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji perfectly dodges 19 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Fuu Hououji's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi dodges 12 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Stagger applied to
Sucy Manbavaran!
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"But where's the location, Sucy?" Akko asks, mouth half-agape. "That big tower, the desert... is this Texas!?"

She looks up -- and then yelps when the robonoids prove more agile than expected. She sees the way they run up and leap off the two Luna Novan witches' walls, and then a blast of goop comes at her. Akko turns and starts to run--


And she gets hit, slammed down into the sand by a blast of goop. She rolls around, then she hops up. She pays a brief glance at the Crystal Gems, and then her eyes are back on the robodroids.

She waves the Shiny Rod at them. "Stupid robots!" she yells. She points the Shiny Rod at one, focuses, and then calls out: "C'mon down, Mr. Castle!"

And the crenellated, cartoonish castle wall glows a brilliant aquamarine, at a point in the center, and then explodes outward and sends a rain of sound down -- and a concussive blast in the midst of the bejeweled robots.

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Come Crumbling Down on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi knows robonoids, like the others--and dislikes them, also probably like the others. But it doesn't go like she'd hope with them, either. Something indeed comes to her as notably different, and if it were just her curse not finding a lot of purchase she might assume she was just having an off-day. But they're smarter, somehow, and there--

"Oh, no. Is that--? Aah!"

The goop erupts, and Yumi darts to the side of where she was, able to evade the worst of the goop that still sticks and slows her down all of a sudden. "Fine, if that's how it's going to be--"

"Spirits of ancient green, rise and remember! Ivy Binding!"

Spectral vines start to rise up from the sands in an effort to reverse just who's getting stuck a little...

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has used Ivy Binding on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mikoto's teeth press against each other, stiff-jaw-lined, as the little orbs which are too smart by half dance out of the way of her exclusion zone. Heel to dry earth she halts herself in her momentum, braids fluttering, the last things to wrap around her face as everything else stops.

She clicks frustration against the back of those teeth, as she looks to the Robonoids, those little things glittering dark and darker. A sharp inward breath as she sees the beginning of that attack, and acrobatic legs bend, to send her springing back.

But Mikoto, in all these years, has never figured out flying - launch herself up and she's on a trajectory, with limited ability to change her course. The goop catches her in the middle of that backflip, cloying about her knees and ankles, and maybe she intended this to a graceful descent. It isn't. She stumbles as the goop sticks at her landing, a hand to her knee only to find that's mucilaginous too.

Her protest is high-throated and wordless and utterly dismayed. It's not just the indignity of goop, not really. That's cloying and terrible but it's nothing insurmountable, it's just kind of gross. But there's something in this goop which has an uncomfortably familiar feeling, and it's hardly friendly.

She doesn't say she doesn't like it, but she hardly needs to.

Whipping her hand a few times, she strikes it against her cheerfully yellow shorts to at least try and disperse the goop a little before she grasps her blade again, wrenching herself forward. Going wide didn't work - so this time she focuses her gaze on one of those little droids in particular, sword swinging diagonal to try and crush those little spindly legs which float but nonetheless support their host.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Devastation on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 12 Fatigue damage from Yumi Ohzora's Ivy Binding, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Critical Dodge!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 14 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Come Crumbling Down, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Akko Kagari is
Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick counters 8 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Devastation, taking 25 Fatigue damage!
Mikoto Minagi is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Tactician ability activates!  Stagger and Stun applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Surprisingly Tough Sphere Body, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!  
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

That's an awful lot of terribly familiar goop - and for a split second, the Wind Knight wonders if the Robonoids self-destructed in order to unleash it, or if their 'internal' reservoirs of the stuff are just *that* big. Either way, the Magic Knight of Wind sees fit to not only leap nearly straight upwards, but to conjure a powerful gust of wind to try and keep the wave from engulfing her - and if that gust keeps some of it off of her allies, all the better.

It's only after landing that the Wind Knight catches a good glimpse of the embedded gem-chip, and its Black Moon insignia. Combined with the vile energy that she glimpsed crackling through the goop ...

None of it is a good sign.

She takes a quick look around, glancing to see if any of her allies need help, if the perimeter needs to be shored up anywhere else, and then focuses on closing the gap she left, swapping her blade for her bow as the wind rises about her. She doesn't have a great deal of time to gather magic, and this seems likely to be a battle of attrition - or maybe just a matter of holding the line long enough for Pearl and Garnet to fuse properly. The Wind Knight *wants* to tell them to hurry it up, but some things can't be rushed; Gem Fusion seems like one of them.

Not rushing.

That thought, that knowledge, is what helps the green-clad Magic Knight find the still center within her own heart; anxiety and panic and frustration are forgotten like leaves on the wind, and when she opens her emerald eyes once more to gaze into the massed Robonoids, the look on the Wind Knight's face is astonishingly serene. "Gale Arrow!" she calls out, the wind gathering behind and around her arrow as she looses - and the arrow rockets forward, into the swarm of Robonoids.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 13 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu
Hououji is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

These little buggers are... resilient. Far moreso than normal. Something is different with them. "Everyone okay? We just needa buy Garnet and Pearl some time!" He has a good idea what they are doing, and it is the most exciting thing to see. Fusion is super special to the Crystal Gems, after all! Speaking of, he can see Amethyst taking it a little hard. "H-Hey!" You doing okay over there?" he shouts to her.

And of course, here comes the goop! But it isn't normal goop. It is sticky and mushy, but it also REALLY HURTS. The boy fights to get out of a good coating, but not before his ski ngets inflamed and screams in pain like a bad sunburn. It doesn't look damaged, but... "Yeowh! Uh! Guys! It looks like that sutff that was on the Hand Ship! The kinda energy that was on Sapphire's cage!"

he says. No idea what it is. It doesn't seem like any kind of power any other Gem artifact at the temple has. Maybe it is a new invention? Or maybe...

"Careful, Mikoto!" These are different somehow!" he shouts. But how so? Hmmm... No time to think for the moment. He seesn an opening to get the drop on some of the goop shooters when Fuu attacks, and throws his shield at any that happen to get thrown away by her blast!

But... it is hard not to look at his guardians! His attention is torn multiple ways. Woe is him! It is a constant back-and-forth between the enemies, and pair.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

IS this Texas? "Geez, I hope not," Sucy answers Akko as she grimaces at the wall of thorns doing little more than making the robonoids consider their options briefly. How rude of them!

Are robots, really, the ultimate enemy of the witch?

They're getting close and they seem to have some kind of bindi on them. Sucy draws out her wand with her off hand, raising the Cucurbit as if to remember the basics of close-quarter combat, and she steps back from one before


The tide of horror rolls over her and she lets out a noise best rendered as 'urk' and a moment later there is a wave of agony and Sucy's teeth GRIND and for a moment she thinks oh crap I'm going to pass out and fall over and -

She can hear people shouting. Ohzora; Akko. There's a swicker-swash of a huge black blade.

Not alone, Sucy thinks, even as she raises up her free hand, the wand held aloft. "We are - definitely - not in town, s-o-o-o--" Sucy says, if through tight teeth, before magic pulses through the wand -- and she aims to start flipping Robonoids over like crabs on the beach. DISRESPECTFUL.

"If it was Texas," she calls to Akko, "it wouldn't be this chilly, right??"

COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran has used Object Control Magic on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 8 Fatigue damage from Sucy Manbavaran's Object Control Magic, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Those emerald chips are familiar. It's the same color as the gemstones powering some of the newer droids, used by kidnapper Rubeus' high-strung replacement ('cause the girls blew him up with his UFO when they made their escape -- it's okay, he REALLY deserved it), Esmeraude.

Yeah. These robots... they're not roboNoids... now, they're roboDRoids.

Somehow, Peridot has worked out a deal with Esmeraude to give her minions a SERIOUS souping up.

Amethyst makes a tsking sound, annoyed at the spheres' newfound threat level, and glances over at Akko and Sucy. "No, this is the Homeworld Communication Hub," she tells the little witches with a helpful, slightly shy smile. She's in a bit of a mood; helping center kids even less experienced with her might help a bit. Helping lash robodroids might help to, and she sets to with the grim enthusiasm of a maniacal meat tenderizer. "I'll be fine, Steven," she adds, more tightly.

Yumi's spectral vines aren't quite fast enough to catch up to their targets, and Sucy finds that her strategy of flipping these crabs is fatally thwarted by their symmetry -- the legs, they're floating, so they can just float back down and reorient -- but Akko and Mikoto each finally score their first kills; an exploding chunk of the sand castle wall goes right through one of the orbs, and Miroku finally gets a clean hit, though, not a clean escape. It is, just for a crucial second... stuck.

And then, more or less as expected, each robodroid explodes into a final goopy retaliation. Only it's worse, of course. There's more goop, it's more evil, and it doesn't just quick-solidify, but, at the same time, it quick-ELECTRIFIES, in a torturous shock, which really just seems unfair. Yumi and Sucy's relative failure means that they're relatively distant from this, and mostly is threatened by stray dollops slapping and smacking into their hair.

Which might not actually be better.

Fuu nails her first robodroid from a distance, her Gale Arrow satisfying in its sharp penetration of a sphere, though the winds that surround it are largely avoided by the greater group. So, she avoids the self-destruction consequences of her victim, but gets mobbed by some others, which start alarmingly CLIMBING RIGHT UP HER, trying to knock her over with main force of numbers, and then stomp stomp stomp with their little legs. This also means that there are quite a few threatening to penetrate the line entirely; she'll need reinforcement.

But Steven is there, and very reliable, too, as his shield bounce-slice-bounce-slices between the pack of robodroids that menaced Fuu like a pinball screaming between bumpers. Of course, that means... more goop.


<SoundTracker> Enticement - Steven Universe OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0mys5TFZdw

When Amethyst and Pearl fused, it was difficult, even agonizing, even to watch; a frustrating challenge to create something so balanced out of two opposites so extreme.

When Garnet and Amethyst fused, it was exciting, dangerously so. And there was a certain imbalance there, between Garnet's steady experience and Amethyst's youthful enthusiasm.

But now two ancients take center stage. And though they have their differences, on many, many levels, they are much more the same. United in age, in veteranhood, in grief...

...in love...

All of these fusions are born from love.

But this relationship has, undeniably, had more time to mature.

QUESTION: How does the ground dance with the sky?

ANSWER: How DON'T they, every second of every day?

They're always together.

What happens between Garnet and Pearl feels... private. Which isn't to say it isn't beautiful; QUITE the opposite. But, most of all, in a single word, it is sensual.

Their halves of the dance are as radically divergent as their personalities. Garnet's hip-hop is solid, foundational. Pearl's balletic twirls are graceful, ethereal.

Gradually, they resemble one another more closely, as their movements both accelerate and intertwine. Garnet's steps become lighter, and her arms lighter still, lighter than air, floating. Pearl shimmies her shoulders as well as any experienced clubber.

Most of all, they are united in a powerfully shared excitement. Garnet cracks first, grinning fiercely as she flings Pearl into the air in a toss that is equal parts ice dancing and sheer fantasy. Pearl's carefully focused, serious face holds out until gravity reclaims her; she's falling, falling, falling towards Garnet --

-- into Garnet --

-- the last thing anyone sees of them, before they're engulfed by a column of orange light, is her exhilarated smile.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Rapid-Hardening Goop on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Rapid-Hardening Goop on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Goop: Direct Hairstyle Hit on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Goop: Direct Hairstyle Hit on Sucy Manbavaran.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Stumpy Limbs, Stompy Limbs on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Rapid-Hardening Goop on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi braces 3 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Rapid-Hardening Goop, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Stun and Trap
applied to Mikoto Minagi!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 4 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Stumpy Limbs, Stompy Limbs, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Fuu
Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Bind Break! All of Pink Moon Stick's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 5 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Rapid-Hardening Goop, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Steven
Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger, Stun, and Tangle applied to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora counters 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Goop: Direct Hairstyle Hit, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Yumi
Ohzora's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Blind, Cripple, and Exhausted applied to Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora's counterattack, Witch's Mirror, partially gets through, doing 14 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Goop: Direct Hairstyle Hit, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Blind, Cripple, and
Exhausted applied to Sucy Manbavaran!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari perfectly counters 7 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Rapid-Hardening Goop, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Counter!  Akko Kagari's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari's counterattack, Metamorphie Faciesse!, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

On the list of Fuu's nightmares inspired by her career as a magical girl, Robonoids rank fairly low. The entire "Space Jail" incident as a whole, by contrast, ranks pretty high - and this many Robonoids push the scale towards the higher entry, rather than the lower one, *especially* with the Black Moon's signature added to their normal set of abilities.

So if the Magic Knight of Wind seems atypically desperate in trying to keep the Robonoids off of her - first swinging her sword at those which draw close, then simply trying to knock them away with booted feet, then clenched fists, then elbows - it's probably understandable. "I could use some help here - !" she calls out, looking about ... to see that she's far from the only one who needs help; arguably, her need isn't even that strong.

But she's uniquely situated to *provide* help to, at least, some of those who need it.

"Winds of Healing!!"

The Wind Knight's restorative spell focuses, gathers, and reaches out to a handful of her allies - namely to Steven, Mikoto, and Sucy, buttressing them, restoring strength and mobility and enough wholeness to continue their parts of the fight. It's not as much as the Wind Knight wishes she could do in the middle of the fray, but it's what she *can* do while she turns her attention to support.

Then, once her spell has done what it can, she resumes trying to get the Robonoids - or rather, Robodroids - back *off* of her, and preferably, back *out* of the defensive perimeter. "Hang in there, everybody ... !"

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sucy Manbavaran.
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Mikoto Minagi's debuffs
are cleared!
COMBAT: Steven Universe accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Steven Universe's
debuffs are cleared!
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Doesn't Texas have a lot of chili, though?" Akkko asks Sucy. It is, tragically, a sincerely asked question.

Then, she looks at Amethyst -- blinks -- and then she nods, a little fiercely. "Right!" she says. "Well, these robots... and whoever did this stuff to them... aren't gonna stop us!"

Goop explodes out from the robodroid. It shoots up at Akko, and it seems to engulf her as it comes raining down.

"Metamorphie FACIESSE!"

Until a little, orange mouse with huge elephant ears leaps into the sky, ears flapping like wings to propel her up and over the goop. She rises upward, and then she calls it out again, her voice a tiny squeak: "Metamorphie Faciesse!"

And with another puff of light and smoke, Akko comes crashing down. She swings the Shiny Rod back over her head. The light catches the polished wood, glinting off it.

And then she slams the sacred implement down into the top of a robodroid with a terrific KER-BONK.

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Shiny Smite on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Yumi frowns as she can't quite catch up, feeling slower and slower by the moment, thogh that gives her time to pick up on Amethyst's warning abotu what this is, at least. And to notice the meaning of the green gemstones...

But she looks with some relief as a cople of these go down. Not that she has a lot of time for it, with the goopy retaliation. Stray dollops do come her way, and as tall as she is she makes a bigger target than some of the others might. While she traces the symbols for a defensive spell and its beam rockets back towards the others, she can't entirely get out of the way, and her gray hair is gooped with a shocking blast that sends her and her very long braid sailing away and thoroughly messy.

Her hat does her little good for the moment, falling briefly over her eyes before she starts to push herself back up again--and then she freezes in place, seeing Garnet and Pearl together, and it takes her a moment to do anything but look. When the column of light rises though, the witch, a little red, shakes her head quickly and throws out the first curse she can bring to mind for their enemy. The black-green projectile sails for robodroids...!

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has used Weakness Hex on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Sucy Manbavaran's
debuffs are cleared!
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Steven's warning rings through the complicated layers of Mikoto's mind, as she makes good on her assault. Finally a droid-not-a-noid cleaves to her, but in the way she crushes its legs Miroku knicks its belly like an artery. The goop leaks out; she tugs; she's stuck.

Oh, no.

Wresting her blade up as well as she can, she locks her muscles, shoulders tense. She expected the goop, exploding out. The thing which makes her cry out isn't that, so much, even though - as the academy has covered - it is empirically gross, like slipping on the descent from a tree on a rainy day and tumbling into a puddle. (Like her cat friends, Mikoto would never admit to her landings being anything less than picture-perfect; nevertheless everyone messes up, sometimes.)

No: it's not just the goop, which rapidly goes from sticky to solid in an uncomfortable transmutation.

It's the SHOCK, leeching from the goop in through the muscles and throughout. It's not just electricity - Mikoto has felt that, she's faced down enough electrified heroes to know; bolts from the blue are at least shaped from light. This - this is darker, more sinister still, and she has felt it too.

"Hff," is the sound which comes after that yelp, the air draining from her lungs as she sags in the newfound solidity of her coating. There's a particular sound to blood pounding in the ears, pounding in the heart, a particular feeling from the two who share it...

It's in this moment - entirely stuck - that Mikoto looks back, towards the hub, and the women there. At that moment Garnet grins, the moment Pearl soars into the sky; she sees there is something beautiful here, in this mire; she sees what she is protecting.

She hears: 'I could use some help here - !'

"Wind Knight!" Mikoto yells, confirmation and plea and the light of recognition, as she twists in her bonds. The healing winds flense over that solidifed goop, give her the strength to break free, spinning an exclusion zone around herself. "... I'm coming!" She calls, as her ankles flex and she begins to charge --

Sword swinging, she'll go through them like pins at an alley, and even if she can't destroy them she can at least keep them off her friends.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Decimation on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 22 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Shiny Smite, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Yumi Ohzora's Weakness Hex, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Yumi Ohzora is
Psyched!  Stagger applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 21 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Decimation, taking 32 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!
<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Her efforts to turn the robonoids over meets a sudden and decisive problem. Sucy is suddenly, and for the second time, splattered most soundly. Her hairstyle is already wet-seeming; it is threatening to shellac over, to have the horrid whatever-it-is SINK IN - a moral death as she might be forced to shave it off and resort to the Thompson/Thomson solution in order to not be a total baldy BUT


THe Magic Knight delivers. The winds of healing whip over Sucy and the tension breaks as the gunk is whipped off her hair, and indeed she calls out to her, "THANK YOU" even as Akko --


Sucy blinks once at the rise of Akko Kagari on wings of ears. She struggles nearer to her, even as the Shiny Rod makes its mark, her gaze taking in also the combining form of the two Crystal Gems. It's encouraging, in a way. It's a dance that gives Sucy strange and subtle thoughts, images that fly into her mental storehouse barely registered --

She takes out a tiny withered disk of something or other, dunks it in the Cucurbit, and shakes it up. Then! She runs forwards towards the distracted Steven and tells him, "Don't worry, I'm a witch," a moment before dumping the contents out on the sere ground - the dried-up disk shatters and...

With a dense coruscation of pwip-pwip-pwibble-PWAP a forest of hefty brown and reddish mushrooms sprout around them, with dense, hopefully robot-resist hypilae. "AKKO, YUMI, C'MON," Sucy shouts over the din. (Fuu and Mikoto seem more heavily armed; the Crystal Gems, of course, have their own tricks.)

COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran has used Multiplicate! Instant Fairy Ring on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran has used Multiplicate! Instant Fairy Ring on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran has used Multiplicate! Instant Fairy Ring on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Steven Universe accepts Sucy Manbavaran's Multiplicate! Instant Fairy Ring, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Withstand applied to Steven Universe!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora accepts Sucy Manbavaran's Multiplicate! Instant Fairy Ring, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Withstand applied to
Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: Akko Kagari accepts Sucy Manbavaran's Multiplicate! Instant Fairy Ring, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Withstand
applied to Akko Kagari!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

How did Peridot get these things?! Steven, trying his best to get this goop off, is dinging how they look and appear more and more familiar. The have a familiarity about them remniscent of those robots outside the Hand Ship. That could be dire, indeed considering wh owas aboard that.

Steven just side-eyes Amethyst as he struggles. That is an Amethyst that doesn't sound fine. But unfortunately it will have to wait! "Don't worry, we got this!" he calls to her.

Blows land repeatedly in a riccochet-style, something not even planned, but felt. "How'd I--" definitely a cool trick of some kind! he should get better at THAT!

But this of course means more grossness. And the already applied goop begins to harden. "I can't move very well...!" he ekes out, trying to peel some of it off. It is painful and taking skin with it now. But a kind wind seems to slice and whisk it away while leaving the cute boy center unharmed! Well, without being MORE harmed-- he looks frazzled already. "Thanks a bunch!" he calls toward Fuu, and summons another shield. As Steven picks targets, he gets to watch Witches weave their magic.

Seeing them do their thing makes him wonder why the usual diepiction is evil crones during halloween! Whats even up with that? "A super-cool one!" he says toward Sucy.

In a beauteous flash, mushrooms stand tall all around them! "Thanks a bunch!" he shouts through. The boy turns to two of his three guardians, but Lion bounds over to him through the thicket, having tussled with a few of these odd droids himself! Some goop is stuck to his mane, a pitiful sight that must be rectified! Though trying to give Lion a bath isn't exactly fun. Not when paws are big as your head.

"Lion! We gotta keep them away! Where were you?" The giant cat just looks over at Sucy through the mushrooms. In that luscious mane, no one would miss a few errant hairs. "Okay, go get em, buddy!" he says, patting him twice. With a mighty leap, the cat clears the mushroom sprouts, and begins to fire sonic roars at any RoboDroids nearby!

Meanwhile, Steven works his way through the ring backwards, and finds himself staring at a flash of vermillion, and a smiling pair. His eyes grow to the size of dinnerplates. A starry sheen is the only recognition anyone is home right now. Just who is this Gem they will get to meet...!

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Just Lion Things on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 9 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Just Lion Things, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Parry ability activates!  Trap applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Sardonyx - Steven Universe OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ya0JgTW18s

The next few seconds of battle take place painted in pretty orange light, so enjoy that. It doesn't so much drown out the green sparkles of Fuu's healing magic as it enhances it, like peach blossoms growing on her vine, and the same basic theory of beautification applies to Sucy's red mushrooms and everyone else as well.

Shapeshifting Akko is Amethyst's new favorite person. "HECK YEAH!" she pumps, as the little witch is mouse and back again, with a sacred slam to boot. It misses, but she has a FAN now, so was it really a failure? "Yo, check this out!" Banishing her whip back into her Gem for the moment, she MATCHES Akko, mouse for mouse, except that this mouse is Amethyst-sized, and when she lands, she lands hard enough on Akko's target to crack it.

(What comes next is inevitable, and not very enjoyable, but Amethyst's giggling makes her self-inflicted butt-gooping less painful-looking than usual.)

Yumi finally lands a spell solidly, and it turns out that a Weakness Hex as applied to a robodroid does something surprisingly sinister: it compromises the robonoid's spherical shell, causing the apparently massive weight of the tiny emerald chip on its surface to crush it from the outside. A whole pack of the little guys suffer this grisly fate -- popopopopopop. GOOOOOOP. From a safe-ish distance again, fortunately.

And Mikoto, as she cuts a swath across the battlefield, has also learned from her last victory; she's able to stay one step ahead of robodroid self-detonation, at the price of missing a few victims that she doesn't have time to slay. She's going so fast that the sand her feet kicks up behind her becomes the GOOPY victim instead, going up in grains, falling back down in great big glops, then getting caught in Lion's sonic blasts and used as ammunition against the stragglers.

There are more robodroids, but it's starting to feel like the far side of the mountain peak.


Optical illusions can be a pleasant diversion, and the first of many tricks to come begins before the prelude is even fully over: the brilliant column that replaced Garnet and Pearl turns out not to be a column at all, but two-dimensional. Flat light, a delightful impossibility in its own right.

It's a curtain, and it ripples, parts, rises, and explodes into sparkles that flitter about the battlefield, settling against cheeks and into hairstyles with NOT A SINGLE DAMN for mood-appropriateness. Though, on the flip side, everything feels a lot less desperate all of a sudden.

Garnet and Pearl asked for time for a reason.

And the time has finally come -- the magical girls' held line has paid off, in spades.

Or maybe hearts? Definitely not in diamonds.

"GOOOOOOOOOD EVENING, EVERYBODY!!" yells a cheerful new voice at center stage, from a good twenty or thirty feet up. A richly amused alto, brighter than either Gem is on their own.

And there she is; four arms in opera gloves, four eyes behind Greta Garbo shades set over Pearl's intensely birdlike nose, and a FABULOUS tuxedo.


Pearl's Gem surmounts her forehead, but it's orange now, which, in various hues, dominates the rest of her, down to the bowtie. Only the tux is black and white.

"This is the LOVELY Sardonyx," she saucily self-narrates, as the giant woman sweeps and swirls across the battlefield, ignoring the robodroids in her enthusiasm to reach Amethyst and, especially, Steven. She can command any audience effortlessly, however, and her friendly address is to everyone, her beaming smile goes out to one and all. "Coming to YOU alive from the Soon-To-be-Former-Communication Hub. How y'all doing tonight?"

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!! on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!! on Sucy Manbavaran.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!! on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!! on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!! on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Pink Moon Stick's GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is Cheered!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora accepts Pink Moon Stick's GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Yumi Ohzora is Cheered!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi accepts Pink Moon Stick's GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Akko Kagari accepts Pink Moon Stick's GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Akko Kagari is Cheered!
COMBAT: Steven Universe accepts Pink Moon Stick's GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran accepts Pink Moon Stick's GOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING EVERYBODY!!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"W-Whoa! That's awesome, Amethyst! I never knew you could do that!" Her swing, sadly, misses -- and she has to yank and tug the Shiny Rod out of the sand. Some of it goes flying, and she stumbles backward.

She stumbles backward, in fact, into a mushroom. The red mushroom nudges her back, and she blinks, before she looks over her shoulder.

"Mushrooms! I'm on my way, Sucy!" Akko cries out, even as she leaps -- and lands, skidding awkwardly, in the midst of the makeshift fairy cycle. She looks at Yumi, flashes her a thumbs-up, and then turns to see Sardonyx.

She makes a face. "W-whoa," she says. "She got huge... that's amaaaaazing! I want to do that!"

She lifts up the Shiny Rod, then. A glowing ball of light appears--no, not light. It is a bubble, conjured by a few inexpert waves of the Shiny Rod. "I think we need to wash our hands of these things, now!" she says. The bubble gets larger...

...and then goes off. It flies, hits the sand, and bounces over the mushroom ring, and then starts rolling for the gathered Robodroids.

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Bubble Bobble on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 5 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Bubble Bobble, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Akko
Kagari is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Right!!" Yumi skids over to where the mushrooms are, sighing in relief as she gets within the circle. "Thanks," she starts, though she's having some trouble, her braid is sticking because of all the goop, and that's the worst!! But.... but there is light!

Pretty, orange light. Yumi smiles as her spell works, and if the hex is kind of mean then she doesn't entirely mind that. Pop pop!

But even before she moves any more, she hears and then sees Sardonyx, staring up at the cheerful new voice. She is highly entertained, to say the least, beaming up at her with relief and--let's be real--impressedness. '(Impressedness' is the level of word Yumi can manage just at the moment.)

"Wowww..." Pause. "O-oh, right. I'm not just staring or anything--Aaah," Yumi traces runes throgh the air, one of destruction, and a beam of black-tinged green shoots forth from her hand for another set of the robodroids!!

"I think we're doing it!"

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has used Dark Beam on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 12 Fatigue damage from Yumi Ohzora's Dark Beam, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's Parry
ability activates!  Stagger applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The Wind Knight has been privileged to witness the Crystal Gems' Fusion before - most particularly, and spectacularly, when Garnet was 'reborn' on the Hand Ship. She's a bit too distracted by the Robodroids to properly appreciate the spectacle of Garnet and Pearl joining - but the orange light which bathes the battlefield is spectacle enough, particularly since she doesn't know if the Fusion itself can be interrupted.

She really doesn't want to find out. Having a vested interest in letting it finish is almost beside the point.

So with Mikoto's help, the Robodroids encroaching on her are driven off, many of them taking deep enough hits that their eventual landing finishes them off.

And then, the new voice, and the form which goes with it - the whole which transcends the sum of parts which were Garnet and Pearl. The Wind Knight can't help but look up at Sardonyx; she can't help but smile, in relief and wonder and gratitude. "Well enough for now, Sardonyx-san," she greets the Fusion, inclining her head briefly but deeply. "Particularly now that you have our backs as well."

She's still smiling as she turns her attention back to the Robodroid swarms, sparing a glance for Mikoto. "I think it's time that we take these Robodroids for a spin," suggests the Wind Knight, raising her sword once more -partly to salute Mikoto, partly just bringing it back to a ready position. "Will you allow me to back you up?" A breeze begins rising - not just about the Magic Knight of Wind, but the eddies and currents of air gently tousling Mikoto as well, ready to strengthen the fellow swordswoman on her assault.

Not that Mikoto will strike alone, when strike she does.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has started a combo targeting Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Lion puts out much gusto in his roars, destabilizing enemies and popping others. He even runs alongside Mikoto for a small time of IMPORTANT CAT BONDING. Sucy also gets another pass-by! Hes very soecial today, it seems.

STeven, however is standing-- no, leaning against a mushroom sprout. His feet have almost been knocked out from under him in amazement. "Giant Woman..." he mouths, not wanting to interrupt Sardonyx's grand entry! A Fusion is a mixture of its pesser pieces. That is to say, Garnet and Pearl are not lesser people for not being fused, merely the grandoise nature of the fused, their powers, hopes, dreams, stature, heart, are all greater as a whole new being when they sync up.

"Ooooh! OH! Hello!!!" Steven says, almsot jumping up and down. He looks like a child about to be let loose against Christmas presents.

"What are you gonna do now?!" he asks, excited to see the act of this lovely towering lady unfold, much like her illusory curtain.

he may or may not have completely forgotten a battle was taking place.

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

Mikoto doesn't need to hit everything; Mikoto isn't really designed for precision combat, and Mikoto's not taking these things on alone, in any case. Lion's got her back! (And so does everyone else.)

Skiiiiiiiid-d-d-d-d, she can't quite stop so suddenly when that curtain appears, it's a grinding process which sends dust up at her feet. The sparkles which rain down contrast with what she kicks up, and somehow make the whole process elegant no matter the visceral movement of the motion.

Yes, yes, the enemies are still right there, but look at that, Miroku.

(Is it any wonder Mikoto stops for orange, really..?)

"Sardonyx! Sardonyx!" Mikoto cheers, a hand releasing her blade to pump up in excitement. She looks over the Witches of Infinity, with their bubbles and mushrooms and black-green hexes, and up (up, up) to that woman in her tuxedo... "Is it a magic show?!" She asks - no, demands, in the particular way given to the enthusiasm of the young.

But as Sucy has observed, Mikoto and Fuu are armed; when the Wind Knight calls to her, the HiME looks back to nod, firmly. (How did she know Fuu was talking to her, enraptured by Sardonyx as she was? Ask: who else spins around the battlefield as much as Mikoto Minagi.) "Together!" She confirms, firm but still a little bright, raising Miroku in salute to that Escudo blade.

The robodroids have noted before that Mikoto is quite swift, when she builds up enough momentum, hurtling forward like a train less brake. But as she springs into a new assault, twirling on the breeze, they will find there is something more to her when her blade comes down in the slipstream: on her own Mikoto is unaimed, imprecise, but sent down an archer's sights she gains another aspect entirely --


On swift wind, Mikoto doesn't have to swing so wildly.

Perhaps this, too, is its own little magic trick.

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has joined the combo started by Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: COMBO! Fuu Hououji and Mikoto Minagi have used Combo: Tandem Tornado, composed of Tempest Slash and Obsidian Blade:
Dynamo, on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Rich; vivacious; forewarned and four-armed!

"Whoa," Sucy says, visible eye widening as the power of Fusion is revealed to her. "She does sound kind of sardonic," Sucy then muses, before giving Akko a speculative look... and then Akko expresses her desire, raises the Shiny Rod, and Sucy's visible eye widens again--

She exhales with relief when the summoned bubble is unleashed instead of some kind of Mega Akko. Then she gets out the Cucurbit anew and puts things into it. About four different things, after which she holds the bottle off to the side. The contents blaze from red to yellow to green to purple to... that color kind of hurts to look at, to white, and then flare out into a black dust.

Sucy narrows her eyes. The flame renews and then comes out, yellowish. Then again: The resulting residuum is whitish.

Sucy very carefully pours this powder into her empty drink cup from half (or more?) the world away, before turning round and, with a little spin of her fingers, hurling the cup towards the direction of the tower. It spins around, shedding the powder as it falls upon robodroids and the ground alike. Sucy approaches the mushroom curtain and pushes it aside, pokes her wand out of the cover.

There is a small green twinkle.

A heart's beat. Two.

fwwwwwiiishhh THWOOM, as the calcinated calcination powder erupts in a rolling tumbling pyrotechnic burst!

"I didn't bring much stuff so I can't do that a lot," Sucy reports, leaning back into the mushroom cover. "I don't think we can stay here, right?"

COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran has used Calcinate! The Flashy Explosion on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to dodge Fuu Hououji and Mikoto Minagi's Combo: Tandem Tornado, taking 71 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 17 Fatigue damage from Sucy Manbavaran's Calcinate! The Flashy Explosion, taking 25 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick's Parry ability activates!  Diversion and Stagger applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Sardonyx (con't) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ya0JgTW18s

Amethyst heaves a sigh at Sardonyx's arrival. "Greaaaaaaaat," she mumbles, as to the inquiry of their well-being. Akko cheers her up a little, though, and she smiles as the magical bubble bounces its way down a line of robodroids. It isn't quite enough to finish them off, but that'll come soon enough. Half a kill on a dozen enemies is half a dozen kills, when you're part of a team.

Squishing her giant mousebutt left and right in the goop she's sitting on, she frees herself, shifts back to normal, and occupies herself keeping robodroids away from Steven, whom, she perceives, is probably a little distracted. By the time she's set about doing that, Yumi's dark beam has slagged Akko's robodroids to nothing (but goop; there is always goop.)

Sardonyx certainly is distracted by HIM. Either missing or ignoring Amethyst's sarcasm, though she double-salutes Fuu with a pair of hands, she lights right up as their paths cross. She brings two immense-yet-graceful hands down to his level to create a platform, then lifting him up to face-level. Her face is like his -- starry-eyed with glee, with a smile that just won't stop.

"Oh my STARS! If it isn't Steven Universe! We FINALLY meet. So, what do you think? Was I... worth the wait?"

Her torso spins a full three-sixty; evidently physical rules do not apply. Social rules do not, either, because it turns out that was a hypothetical question from the giantess, and she joyfully answers it herself.

"What am I saying? Of course I was! ooOOOOOOOOOOOHHHOHOHOHO!!"

Sardonyx has Full Ojou laughter, which is both amazing and terrifying, particularly in the context of the battle. It may be rushing towards a successful conclusion, but she's still a slightly off-kilter backdrop to Fuu and Mikoto jointly vivisecting a squad of robodroids, Sucy exploding some others, and the goop that flies everywhere, EVERYWHERE, but lands everywhere except for HER, as though she's some sort of universal constant that's immune to wardrobe malfunctions.

"Sorry," she tells him, tells everyone, though she's more embarrassed than regretful about her own antics, "I'm just so excited to be here. You see... I haven't exactly been myself lately!"

She winks at him, baldly, before bursting into more laughter. The rimshot is all but audible.

"What am I gonna do now, you sweet little charmer? Well, jokes aren't the only thing I've got."

She sets him back down after an affectionate squeeze that, given her size, engulfs him from top to bottom. Then she draws back, and, in the midst of the chaos, creates a certain kind of order... like a magician's act.

First, she draws Pearl's lovely, spiraling spear out of her forehead Gem. Then, one of her four arms taps her on the shoulder, distracting her.

"Hm?" she asks innocently, looking at the 'disturbance,' while the hand holding the spear tosses it 'accidentally' into the air.

"Oh!" Facing forward again, she's startled by the 'missing' spear, and clasps a palm to her cheek in feigned dismay.

Then she grins like the very devil as the spear falls, point down, past her face, and catches it between Garnet's gauntlets, summoned dramatically at the very last moment.

It transforms, engorging to an even more immense size, engulfed in sparkling peach light just as she was, and a second later it's a massive, double-fisted warhammer.

With a pretty gold star on top.

She catches the weapon effortlessly over one shoulder, and beams down at Steven.

"I'll just be a minute, everyone," she tells the group, "So go ahead and finish up!"

In a way, her total belief in their ability to triumph over the robodroids without her, while she takes care of the business that brought them here in the first place, is kind of nice. She's not just a black hole of self-absorption. When her eyes swept over the crowd of allies, they were eyes that obviously saw real heroes. She takes pride in the quality of her company tonight.

Surely they won't be swept away by the tsunami of goop that precedes the final wave of robodroids.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Yumi Ohzora.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Dark Goop on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Pink Moon Stick has used GOOPOCALYPSE on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Pink Moon Stick has used GOOPOCALYPSE on Sucy Manbavaran.
COMBAT: FINISHER! Pink Moon Stick has used GOOPOCALYPSE on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Akko Kagari braces 13 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 11 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is
Psyched!  Akko Kagari's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora partially dodges 5 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied
to Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: Sucy Manbavaran braces 32 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Finisher, GOOPOCALYPSE, taking 21 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Sucy Manbavaran's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi dodges 15 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Dark Goop, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Mikoto Minagi!
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"W-whoa..." Akko stares upward, then she looks at Sucy. "I don't think so! Also, I think the giant four-armed lady is going to wreck that thing."

She looks ahead -- staring at the Robodroids and then the massive wave of goop. She thrusts the Shiny Rod out, in a panic; a rough barrier of aquamarine light appears, some of the goop shooting around her. She takes a deep breath. "Sucyyyyy! I'm gonna try to stop all the goop! You and everyone else beat up the robots, okay?"

And then, Akko leaps -- one foot kicking off a mushroom, and she jumps into the air. "OKAY!" she yells. "Time to do this! Shiny Rod, I need you to make me big! Super big! Like... I dunno... a tyrannosaurus or something! Because magic's definitely the way to solve this!"

She holds the Claimh Solais aloft, and aquamarine light gathers around it. "Really, really big... METAMORPHIE FACIESSE!"

There is a puff of light.

And then a bright pink but, biologically speaking, blue whale slams down in front of the Robodroids, and a geyser of seawater explodes out of Akko-whale's head, towards the lot of them.

Then it flops uselessly, but hugely.

The ground shakes, though.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Akko Kagari has used Pure Akko Magic! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 34 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Finisher, GOOPOCALYPSE, taking 28 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Fuu Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 17 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Finisher, GOOPOCALYPSE, taking 25 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Steven Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Bam! Robodroids become goop. Yumi can't help but feel more cheerful, even if she's also feeling kind of sore and much stickier than she would prefer. Besides, Mikoto is looking at them--the mushrooms, Sardonyx herself, the hexes, and asking abot... magic.

"I'd kinda like to stay here for at least the next few seconds," Yumi asides to Sucy, because the mushrooms actually are a nice pleasant alternative to sand and goop everywhere, but it is not to be. The goop is just flying all over again but with Sardonyx looking that way at all of them, Yumi is not going to let a little goop stop her. Or even a large amont of goop. So she finally pulls her broom, ascending into the air with a flash of green light to give herself a good firing position, taking more gunk on the way up before she makes it up with her staff. "Mikoto-chan!" she calls. "It's totally a magic show! Catch!"

Yumi holds out her staff and focuses, and from the staff's crystal orb pours a ring of green light that rushes for Mikoto, softly suffusing her. "As soon as you're there--!"

Yumi waits for Mikoto to get in position, building up power as she does, and only when she's super close does she say, "Sleeping power...!"

"Be bound by my will! VERDANT FLARE!"

Except that instead of just a great big beam, it surges around Mikoto, who--!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Yumi Ohzora has started a combo targeting Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Akko Kagari's Finisher, Pure Akko Magic!, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  Stagger, Stun, Tangle,
and Trap applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Sucy Manbavaran [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

As her mushroom defenses begin to fall away, particularly in the light of that enormous wave of goop that entangles and fells hypilae like so many tree trunks. Which is a real good analogy, honestly.

Sucy sees Akko move, and she takes a deep breath. Yumi calls on her magic and passes it onwards even as whales fly in the sky, a dream suitable for the paintings of the enigmatic "M Kaioh." Sucy breaks into a curiously floaty run, heralded by a forward call of


as she comes up alongside Mikoto.

She raises an index finger and says, "I'm gonna make this quick for a moment here 'cuz I can't actually keep doing this since I am out of reagent, and I have no broom or anything so this is basically my last shot." The Cucurbit in her other hand quietly ignites the remaining calcinated material.

"So I saw you with this thing and you're gonna do more with this last shot than I could," Sucy continues as she takes out a hankerchief and pours out the fluidized material that came out of that last ignition. "This is totally gonna be a little rough so I guess uh, I don't really know sword words at all, but you're gonna get... recoil?"

She crouches down and rubs the accumulated ultra-refined potion onto the side of Miroku, whose OBSIDIAN BODY is curiously non-reactive. The material is adhesive and faintly purplish, almost day-glo in the face of that black glossy depth.

It reads thus:

"Sucy<3" (Except the heart is a mushroom.)

"Kay that's all," Sucy says, tossing aside the hankerchief, which goes BANG and releases a plume of evil-looking green smoke. "You are cleared for robot demolition." She puts the Cucurbit away and gives Mikoto two thumbs up! (At the same time she glances at Yumi as if to confirm something, probably witch business.)

And when the sword does begin to move, Sucy intones quietly, "Matter awaken... Chrysiopea--"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sucy Manbavaran has joined the combo started by Yumi Ohzora!
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed. 


She looks so fabulous, so talented! Of course, just like the combined Gems that make her, she embodies their strengths together! Which includes a show-woman's personality! "Yeah!" the boy says. His eyes are wide enough to start burning because he is so excited, that blinking isn't important! It can wait!

The little boy-- yes, in her hands he is most certainly little-- steps aboard the platform provided! "Oh! And she has that cool laugh too!" he says, laughing with her.

The strange thing with Fusion for Steven is like... you have three guardian-moths, and then they can make a brand new guardian-mother, and you feel like you knew them the whole time, but not???

Its complicated.

The wink gets a furious amount of applause. He giggles like a goofball as he gets gently mushed around in giant hands before set down. And then she summons her weapon! Some folks may say that weapons make statements. And boy, does Sardonyx's make a statement. It is almost comical as it is frighteningly large, and deftly wielded.

"What are you gonna do with that? Are you gonna smash the tower?!" he ask excitedly.

But more badguys await, and Sardonyx must put on her show. "Oooh, okay!" he says, the boy so happy to see this unfurl. "But maybe I should help my friends right quick! Lioooon!" he calls, and suddenly, a giant cat appears!

And together, they take off, roaring and whopping the small droids at very high speed.

Lion may be pulling more weight this time, as Steven HAS to keep back from time to time to watch this mai nevent happen!

COMBAT: FINISHER! Steven Universe has used Lionheart on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The spectacle of Sardonyx is all but all-encompassing, drawing even the Wind Knight's attention back from helping launch Mikoto and Miroku into the Robodroids. Her focus snaps back just in time to the oncoming tsunami of goop, though - it's hard to miss a shadow looming *that* large.


The conjured barrier of wind is nearly as big as the goopy tsunami, and much of the wave that would have engulfed the Magic Knight is held back. But not all of it; huge dollops from the top of the wave slough past the shield's upper bound, and while the resultant blobs don't harden around the Wind Knight, the impact still buffets her from her feet.


"Ungh ..." The Magic Knight of Wind shakes her head to clear it, forcing herself back to her feet, and spares a moment to size up the remaining swarm behind the goop-wave. That would still be way too many of even mere robonoids, let alone these darkly upgraded models ...

But for a magical girl whose belief fuels her power? Sardonyx's presence, and the strength of her allies, ensure that the Magic Knight of Wind has no shortage of belief in their combined ability to *win* this fight.

"Emerald ... !!"

The Wind Knight's sword flares and vanishes as she gathers her focus, putting every fiber of her being into her most powerful spell; the wind rises once more around her, tousling her hair and ruffling her skirts and sleeves as she draws her arms up and back. Others might feel that breeze as well, tickling or caressing, or whispering wordlessly of power and determination.

If there's one thing that the Wind Knight believes in more strongly than her own magic, it's the magic that her allies possess. But right now, it's her own magic that she's focusing on and bringing to bear.

"... CYCLONE!!!!"

The Wind Knight whips her arms forward, gathering up her focused magic and hurling it at the Robodroids - manifesting the tempest's wrath and turning it as a hammerblow upon the remaining enemies.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Fuu Hououji has used Emerald Cyclone: Full on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Steven Universe's Finisher, Lionheart, taking 71 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Fuu Hououji's Finisher, Emerald Cyclone: Full, taking 98 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It's too late, Sardonyx.

Mikoto has gotten it into her head that this is a magic show.

Now there has to be a magic show.

Thankfully, Akko is perfectly willing to enable her: "... WHALE?!" Mikoto yelps, wide-eyed, as an entire whale drops down onto the robodroids. "WHALE!" She confirms, enthusiastically.

Mikoto likes whales. They sound like Kagutsuchi.

And happily, Yumi - on her broom, just to underline her Witchly Credentials - confirms that this is, in fact, a magic show. This is what a Witch is to Mikoto, now, and how happy the definition: sparkles and marvellous transformations and brooms, rods and staves and potions and hexes. Yumi bids her catch, and Mikoto catches, hand to her heart as light swirls about her core. Grasping Miroku anew, acrobatic legs bend --


All shrouded in verdant power, Mikoto, bizarrely, waits.

She blinks, as Sucy makes her hasty explanation, canting her head at the handkerchief. "Recoil..?" She echoes, only to smile, which is somehow much more impactful with the more intense expressions she tends to wear in the middle of a fight. "Don't worry!" Mikoto doesn't really have time to explain why she'll be okay, but she seems confident enough.

"It's okay, Miroku," she adds, as Sucy crouches to apply something to that obsidian blade. This close there is something cold which has nothing to do with the desert night, a faint overhead of malevolence which courses through the handkerchief; but obsidian, at least, is able to be adhered to.

Perhaps the sinister admixture isn't quite a downside, in this particular joining.

"Thanks!" Mikoto chirps, as Sucy finishes up. Bravely, she insists: "Leave it to us!" Sucy's last shot, Yumi's building strength --

Now Mikoto springs into action, barreling down towards the robodroids.

Green trails like the tail of a comet - the girl careening ahead is a black blur at the face of it, and it's just like the black-green hexes of the Witch of Lost Ivy, isn't it? She is not a witch, like Sucy or Yumi - she dives, headfirst, into the throng of them; delivers the verdant flare right into the centre of the swarm. And her blade comes down, down, down, a slice to tear the earth asunder, let alone the things beneath it - and that explosion which comes when blade hits ground is not green or black; like a fireball Sucy's admixture sparks, rushes out around her, and at the epicentre magic tears around her.

She is small, but she has delivered not one but three earthshattering things.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mikoto Minagi has joined the combo started by Yumi Ohzora!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Yumi Ohzora, Sucy Manbavaran, and Mikoto Minagi have used Combo: Mikoto's Delivery Service - Mushroom
Flare, composed of Verdant Flare, Ultimate Burning Potion Compound Calcination!, and Obsidian Blade: Death, on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Yumi Ohzora, Sucy Manbavaran, and Mikoto Minagi's Finisher, Combo: Mikoto's Delivery
Service - Mushroom Flare, taking 357 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!  Stagger applied to Pink Moon
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Sardonyx (finale~) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ya0JgTW18s

"Hm," ponders Sardonyx, faced with Steven's question. With all those extra fingers, it's easy to spare one to poke into the cute chub of her cheek contemplatively. "'Smash' is the word that one would use to describe what... someone else might do."

Amethyst scowls. Sardonyx is focused on Steve, however, and continues to be all smiles. Also, she is five hundred percent enough of a ham to wait for the battle to finish so she can have his -- and everyone's -- undivided attention.

And it does, right on schedule: Blue Whale Akko blocks the worst of the incoming tsunami and crushes a few robodroids to boot. Fuu hammers at more of them with an immense cyclone. Sucy and Yumi power up Mikoto to incredible proportions, with equally incredible results. Steven leads the final charge from Lion's back!

They're courageous! They're clever! They're bold!

The result is inevitable.

The rest... is goop. Then silence, broken by Sardonyx's delighted applause. "SPLENDID job with the robodroids, y'all," she tells them, earnestly, glowingly, proudly.



She leaps into the air -- HIGH into the air. There must be some kind of amplification magic associated with her voice, because it carries with perfect clarity despite the distance and no apparent increase in volume.

"...the proper words to describe Yours Truly are..."

She readies her warhammer, which really deserves a second look in terms of scale, since it's the giant weapon of a giant woman. It is EPIC in scope, and in her hands it weighs no more than a feather. This isn't an unusual magic, in the community, but Sardonyx makes it extra-spectacular, as she makes all things.

"...Specific!" she calls, and with the mildest tap of the hammer, sends one of the gemstone columns soaring away from the Hub. It crashes harmlessly away from everyone, sending up a little plume of sand.

Landing in a three point crouch, she leaps up a second time and nails another post. "Intelligent!" And two more with the same leap, for good measure. "Accurate! Faultless!"

Her next leap crosses the Moon.

"Elegant," she emphasizes, with a syrupy smile and half her eyes rolling back towards her hairline with marvelously overwrought self-love.

Tap, thump. Tap, thump. Down come more rods, at no risk to anyone. "Controlled! Surgical! Graceful! Aaaaaaaand..."

Her latest landing has her land on the TOP of the now mostly-stripped Hub, rather than at its base. She holds onto it with one hand, holds the hammer's shaft with another, and waves to everyone below with the other two.

Then she launches upwards one final time, coming down in a quadruple flip that gathers more and more momentum into the hammer.

"...POWERFUL!" she howls.

But the fisted front of the hammer stops with perfect control a bare inch away from the top of the final rod; Sardonyx's feet are braced comfortably atop the tower again.

"But yes," she acknowledges casually, with a cheerfully self-aware side-eye, "Occasionally, I am known... to smash."

With a delicate tap she sends the last rod directly downwards through the center of the Hub, which powers the whole thing down instantly, and, presumably, restores working order to the transmissions of Tokyo.

Landing in a thespian's sweeping bow, she lets go of the hammer both physically and supernaturally, allowing it to dissolve into more of those dragonfly-like orange sparkles that drift teasingly amongst the victorious group.

"Now, just remember, everybody," she concludes, "If you EVER have need of the lovely Sardonyx, let Pearl and Garnet know: I'll be there in a flash."

She squats down to something closer like eye-level with the group, and giggles. "LITERALLY!"

Dissolving like the hammer in a poof of orange smoke, all that's left is Garnet and Pearl, locked in embrace, the former deeply dipping the latter.

After a long and soulful gaze, they release each other and start to overflow with their own, more familiar chuckles and giggles, which intensify helplessly into laughter. There's no grief left at all. Just joy, joy, joy, as Pearl leaps into Garnet's arms again, and Garnet spins and tosses her playfully.

There will be no more violence this night.

Just victory... and MOVIES.