2020-07-04 - Arrested Development 2

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Arrested Development 2

Trapped by an Akuma in a crumbling, suspended cage with cameras trained on Usagi awaiting her transformation into Sailor Moon, Haruka makes the choice to reveal herself instead.

Natsuna Sakurada is moved, and frees herself from Papillon's possession. But the akuma moves to another target... Tokyo's mayor.


Haruka Tenoh, Mami Tomoe, Akko Kagari, Takeo Akamizu, Fuu Hououji, Niramo Umokeshi, Michiru Kaioh, Fumiko Inoue, Usagi Tsukino, Rei Hino

GM: Pink Moon Stick


Tokyo Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku

OOC - IC Date:

7/4/2020 - 09-10-15


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

The moment Usagi is no longer looking at him, Haruka's face hardens. Hiking himself up a bit, he plants both elbows on the bars. He hears Neptune's horrified scream, and forces himself not to acknowledge it. After this long it's become instinct to conceal Haruka from Neptune, and Michiru from Uranus, for their mutual safety. There is no sense in letting Sakurada--or whatever's inside her--realize it's Haruka and not Usagi that Neptune is distraught over.

"Make it up to you later," Haruka promises miserably.

Watching as Usagi faces away from him and begins to count, he feels a ball of cold lead stretching at the bottom of his heart. She still has no idea who he is; he's still some mystery man who knows too much, to her. And here she is throwing away the rest of her life for him. At best she'll need to leave her school, all her non-mahou shoujo friends, her family. At worst, an enemy will catch her unawares one day and that will be that. Now Usagi knows all that, and yet still...

Zazie - Je Suis Un Homme - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpnM6Lfy5Jg

"Hey, Bunny." When Usagi turns to look, Haruka has a hand inside his jacket. With a rueful half-smile, he withdraws it enough for her to see a gleaming, cobalt-and-sapphire artifact. He gives her no time for questions.

He gives her the answer instead.

"Uranus Planet Power, Make Up!"

Releasing the rod, Haruka lets it hover, suspended kinetically by a burning sigil in the air before it. Like a brand, that sigil rotates and presses into the crest of the rod. In the moment of contact, it seems to drain the area around it (including most of Usagi's body) of light, while still somehow causing reflective flickers on objects further away, like Usagi's face and the upper bars.

Out of that darkness, the hand of a man many present here have known for years gracefully wraps the hilt of the artifact. In his fingers, it ignites with energy, as though man and artifact were the same in spirit, or the opposite in polarity.

It is not as if his clothes evaporated; more like he is lifted to a plane where they do not exist. His nude form is no longer flesh, but something like liquid gemstone, glowing with a pale blue light. He is a silhouette, lean and sleek and enigmatic. Only his closed eyes are visible on his blank face. Though the individual hairs floating on his brow can be picked out clearly from his outline, it is only such outlines that are visible.

And one such outline is that of Haruka Tenoh's modest, yet unmistakable, breasts.

Haruka's body has not transformed. It is everything those who know him well would expect. Broad shoulders, clean tight musculature, androgynous beauty. He is everything one might expect, except 'he'.

When Haruka's eyes open, there is a knowing depth to them. They are white and blue and no more crystalline than they are on any normal day, and they too are the eyes of a woman somehow.

Casting an arm out to the side, Haruka's fingers seem to carve out a perfect circle around HER lifted toes, well below her fingertips where the floor would normally be. But the transformation has no need for something so mundane as the ground. Serene, as elegant as a dancer, SHE turns away from Usagi and the others and folds strong arms across HER chest, head dipping as if in piety. White raiment clamps down and returns liquid crystal to flesh, and as Haruka turns, there is a confident smile on HER face.

Lifting her fingers the way the Haruka everyone (except Michiru) has known so far might have done to push on sunglasses, she pushes on a tiara instead, gold with a blue gemstone. For good measure, she combs her newly white-gloved fingers through her bangs, giving her head a lazy toss as well to arrange her short blonde hair. A drizzle of sparkles gilds her lips with a subtle pink.

Then, just as the magic that suspends her the way it had suspended the henshin artifact begins to fade, she reaches out and clamps a hand down on one of the floor bars. Fully transformed, Sailor Uranus dangles by that arm effortlessly, her bright bow and dark skirt striking against the white background of her fuku.

"Sorry," she says. "I lied about the counting."

This time when she pulls herself up with both arms, she's able to do so hard enough to immediately mount the cage, planting her sturdy boots on the bars. Sailor Uranus scoops Usagi with one arm by the waist. "Grab on, while there's still a floor," she instructs. Lifting a bladed hand to her face, she summons the heavenly energy of wind around her loosely lifted fingers, subtly pulling it out of nowhere with her motion.

"Hang on tight now," she says. Her voice is as deep as it was as Haruka, and as honeyed. "I only want you to fall for me once tonight."

Thrusting her hand forward, Sailor Uranus blasts a torrent of gold-flecked wind diagonally downward. It strikes one of the two towers of the Metropolitan Building, blasting out multiple glass windows at once, and the cage instantly bucks in the other direction. As it swings wide towards the opposite tower, Uranus tightens her arm around Usagi's waist and shoves her powerful legs into a longjump. This is like jumping from a rowboat; the cage is in thin air and has very little resistance. For this reason, she is continuing the wind blast until her feet have actually left the bars, to try and provide some leverage.

It's still not enough, clearly, to make it to the window she had hoped for. Uranus, like the mighty samurai of old, is good at rowboat jumping, but there is only so much force she can put into the cage. Usagi can see that at first they are rising towards one specific office window, and then feel the momentum fade. They won't make it. Fortunately, Uranus had a backup plan.

There's no need to hit THAT window. As they plummet further down and less across with each passing moment, Uranus slings Usagi across her stomach in a modified princess carry, one arm under, one arm over. Just before impact, she tucks.

Two stories lower than hoped, a window bursts inward, Uranus ramming into it with her curled shoulders first. As she hits the ground and rolls out of it, she unwraps from around Usagi as they go, until the smaller of the two blondes is spilled gently across the well-waxed floor.

Panting, Uranus sniffs tomboyishly as she gets up, dusting glass off herself. She and Usagi are still fairly close to the window, in full view of the others, so she tosses a casual wave to them as she rises. They all know who Sailor Uranus is now, and they may be confused about some other things What's done is done now...

Offering Usagi a hand up, Uranus smiles, rueful. "Well." For a moment, she seems unsure what to say. Then her highwayman grin returns, faintly.

"If you still want to freshen up, now you can do it privately," she says.

COMBAT: Haruka Tenoh transforms into Sailor Uranus!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mami's awareness is somewhat limited at the moment, rife with a few blind spots, including some that could be very important to her indeed. But they don't extend as much to battle, as this power assisting her seems to be going a long way. Lancelot comes for her, and he achieves his aim--he does get Mami out of the immediate way to Super Sakurada. She dodges his attack, evading both blade and lightning, but to do so she has to move to a different position.

Meanwhile, there's only so much someone can do against a charging elephant--Mami blinks behind her mirrored shades but isn't fast enough to evade the smash, which sends her flying. "Wake up??" Mami asks in trnsit before she hits the ground, rolls, and catches her feet. She obviously doesn't have much idea of what Akko means there. But her eyes narrow as she spots Fuu undoing her work. "You..."

Sailor Mars falls, but she was supposed to, wasn't she? Mami blinks, though, as if something is wrong. There's a girl on the ground when the smoke clears, but..

This is the situation into which Endo charges. Sparks fly from him, and in a flash of purple, Endo apologizes--and strikes. "Don't apologize--" Mami starts to turn--and the great sword slams the badge off of her chest, causing Mami to fall back. Time may seem to slow for the next moments, as the Puella Magi tumbles away, while Endo's blade cleaves the badge. Sourisi's tonfa twirl through the air at the same time, and while Endo's blade cleaves the golden badge, the tonfa shatter the two halves that remain.

Mami hits the ground behind, yellow instead of blue, the shades nowhere to be found. "Ugh, what...?" Mami blinks, and starts to sit p, looking around. She sees fallen and injured girls, but she also sees the cage up above. "Ugh," she says, as the recollection of the last little while turns to realization. "Such a trick to fall for..."

But as she lifts her head she sees a golden glow...

The sigil bursts into the air, and Mami understands before she knows what's going on which symbol that is. She would know it anywhere, after all.

Her old foe, Sailor Uranus, has a very distinctive sign.

Mami, still unsteady from the deputization, Mami for an instant is certain of Haruka's gender and in the next instant realizes that certainty was wrong. It comes together; the cool, aloof presentation of Haruka Tenoh, and the sharp, commanding nature of Sailor Uranus. The times they've come into conflict before come into sharp focus--Sailor Neptune fallen some ways' away enters her awareness, times her ribbons have wrapped around Uranus or Uranus's power has slammed into the very ground at her feet.

...But Sailor Uranus is saving Usagi Tsukino, and is a woman, and more than that--

Mami Tomoe cannot help but see her old foe as soldier and person both--not in abstraction, but in reality. Stunned for an instant by her own changed mental state and the revelation before her, Mami starts merely to push herself back off of the ground. But everything is happening quickly...

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has adjusted her boss levels. She is now ready to take on 1 opponents!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Luck is a fickle ally to hero and villain alike, it seems.

Things go very right, and very wrong, at more or less the same time.

Akko's cuff is long gone, left behind in the wake of both a mouse and an elephant; then Serpentina Ruse escapes her cuff by shedding her skin; which means both Fuu and Sourisi respectively are also both free... of everything but an unfortunate fashion statement. Giant handcuff belts are so last season.

Endo and Takeo, freed, join the others to help save Mami, and that's the last of the deputies gone.

But --

Sailor Mars goes down.

Sailor Neptune screams.

Usagi -- Sailor Moon -- prepares.


Was that Natsuna resisting Papillon, or Papillon's objecting to Mami being freed? Either way, the Akumatized monster is paralyzed, unable to help or harm in the crucial moment, or even to recall her Deputization energy to herself. It lingers like a cloud of blue smoke, power all dressed up with nowhere to go.


Super Sakurada's super-ultra-tight-shot camera captures and broadcasts the following:

Usagi, her lower body drained of radiance, her face flickering with the reflection of the consequence of that redistribution. Her expression.

A blue light coming from the right side of the frame, which glows, expands, then vanishes.

And then: Sailor Uranus collecting the schoolgirl, and her heroic rescue of them both, up until the leap from the cage. It loses focus trying to zoom out to capture where they go from there, then cuts the feed entirely.

Various TV stations' chyrons interpret this differently based, mostly, on how well their various reporters wielded their own binoculars from thirty-two-plus stories away, in a high-speed chase of the action.

It's a... mixed bag.






After Sailor Uranus waves from the window, Super Sakurada slumps, possibly more out of relief than disappointment. There are tears on her cheeks, tears that look for all the world like amethysts, since they're reflecting the violet energy that has replaced her eyes.

"Beauty, and boldness, and heroism," she rasps. "Everything... I've always loved."

You can't talk down an Akuma. You can trick them, you can tease them, you can torment them, but you can't reason with them.

But then -- what Sailor Uranus did just now defied all reason.

Some miracles take a Silver Crystal or or the combined Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculouses or the Grand Triskellion or an Infinite Memory to enact, but what they all have in common, one way or another, is sacrifice. Does it really matter if it's cosmic karma balancing the scales against Haruka's decision, or the uniquely favorable circumstances of the battlefield of Sakurada's heart?

It's a very small miracle, but that does not make it less. It follows logically. After all, this is the nature of brave choices, especially the brave choice to BE YOURSELF:

They beget each other.

Sakurada plunges her hand into her pocket again, and this time emerges with something like a wallet. Throwing down her nightstick, she uses both hands to bend the heavy brown leather, trying to tear it in two.

The violet outline of a butterfly appears around her face, drawn in pure energy. This time, Papillon's voice is loud enough that everyone can hear his sinister baritone. It's a little bit familiar, but that's probably just the way that it perfectly encapsulates every evil villain's timbre; that combination of arrogance, hunger and rage is unmistakable, no matter whose voice it is.


"No," Super Sakurada whispers, through grief-taut, whitened lips. Though framed by the butterfly, her eyes are beginning to clear. They flick down from the broken window, then from person to person. She sees Lancelot, Endo and Mami's determination to set things right, even though they themselves were the most wronged; Serpentina Ruse's cleverness and Sourisi's agility; Akko's good-natured support and Fuu's magical healing; Sailor Neptune's desperation and Sailor Mars' sacrifice.

Her hands clench.

"We both lose."

The two halves of her torn-apart badge clatter onto the rooftop.

And a butterfly of the same toxic violet that both empowered and infected her, flutters out of it.

The giant handcuffs promptly sparkle out of existence, and so does the dangling remnants of the cage, mid-swing between to and fro.

Super Sakurada loses her cape, and her super-strength, and her ability to fly. She was only a foot off the ground, and landing sprawled on her knees looks painful but not serious. As she impacts the concrete, her dress uniform is jarred away as well. Then she's just Natsuna again, Natsuna in a business suit. She stares down at her empty hands.

"I choose myself."

COMBAT: Super Sakurada transforms into Natsuna Sakurada!

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

Akko continues her elephant trample, and then she skids. Dust flies up as she does, skidding on all four feet and her butt right towards the edge of the building's roof. She almost falls off, but she cries out at the last moment: "Metamorphie Faciesse!"

And with a puff of smoke, Atsuko Kagari is the form that others know her best as again. She stands there, knees bent, purple coat dusty and hat crooked on her head. Her face is screwed up with determination, and her knuckles are white as she clutches the Shiny Rod. The one gem on it that lights up shines with a brilliant aquamarine glow.

"C-C'mon, you have to wake up!" Akko calls out, as she stands up straighter, and takes a couple of steps forward. "Someone as cool as you... you can't let them get in your head like that! You've done this for a long time, right? So--so you gotta focus on the people who need help, not just what someone's telling you is the right thing to do! Professor Ursula told me something kinda like that once!"

Somewhere, Ursula Callistis breathes a sigh of relief. She isn't sure why, but maybe everything will be okay.

Akko looks -- spots Super Sakurada, and sees the outline of the butterfly flicker away -- and then she lets out a loud whoop. "Hooray! You did it!" she calls out. "You--"

Then, her eyes catch Haruka Tenoh. No, her eyes catch Sailor Uranus. Akko Kagari, at times, has been called stupid. This is rather lacking in generosity; she is explosive, she is impulsive, and she is a lazy, but she is not--

--Akko pulls her cell phone out in the middle of a fight and starts texting her friend.



The answer from Andrew Hanbridge comes thirty seconds later.

>Akko. Please. I shall put aside our ongoing banter where I pretend to dislike you to inform you that I am doing my very best to keep the cutthroat social environment at Ohtori from savaging your reputation and moments like these make it EXTREMELY VERY HARD SI'L VOUS PLAIT

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

Turning to face Super Sakurada and Deputy Mami, Lancelot pauses as he sees Mami forcibly removed from the ... well the force ... Thanks to a lucky hit. He stands up and watches as Super Sakurada fights the Akumatization and then Breaks it? He sees the butterfly flitter away. He blinks a few times and considers if he should attack, or stand still, or .... what.

He moves to get a better vantage or angle of attack, just in case, but keeps Arondight still. The twin baldes held to the side. He looks over to Sparkles and leans over to the horse who had approached. "Hey uh ... Sparkles?" he looks around and then whispers. "Do ... Do we attack the Butterfly? Or ... What?"

Sparkles slowly turns her head to look at Lancelot and raises one equine eyebrow. It is a gesture that says silently; Don't ask me. You're supposed to be the hero here.

Lancelot looks over to Usagi and Uranus and then back to the butterfly. Then to the Police Chief. He clears his throat, and says as a further aside to Sparkles. "Do you think she knows about my illegal street racing?"

Sparkles sighs the sigh of the suffering friend.

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

By the time the Magic Knight of Wind has finished freeing herself, it appears to be over. She has no chance to turn arrow or spell against the ensorcelled Mami before the deputy's badge has been split and shattered, returning the Puella Magi to more or less normal -

And then her attention is pulled away by a revelation. Not the secret identity of Sailor Moon, but a different Sailor Senshi, one less familiar ... and yes, a magical *girl*, never mind that she'd been a he in day-to-day civilian life, at Infinity and around the city.

THe Wind Knight stares briefly as Sailor Uranus rescues Usagi, a faintly bemused smile touching the Magic Knight's lips as the two figures pass out of view, hopefully into relative safety. And by the time her attention is on the ground again ... the rest of it seems to be over as well.

Pausing briefly to survey the battlefield, to see where else her attention (and magic) may be needed, but it's to Sakurada that she turns her first attention. "I don't think I've seen anyone break out of that ensorcellment on their own before, Chief Sakurada ... you have an incredible strength of will." The Wind Knight offers a hand to the fallen chief of police. "Is there anything I can do to help you? Do you have injuries that I could heal?"

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

Sourisi raises an eyebrow as Serpentina comes to a complete stop, hearing her partner mumble something about sheding skin before she stops moving completely. It's rather concerning when Sourisi notices that Serpentina has even stopped breathing! That's when she hears Serpentina calls out to her from a new hiding spot, causing her to jump and give a doubletake between the original and the doppelganger - or was it the other way around? "Ooooh, good thinking!"

Even in the middle of a hectic battle would it be impossible to miss the surge of golden light, the source of which the lone sky jail cell. The view may not be the best at ground level, but the lightshow and the unfamiliar symbol is clear that this was a magical transformation at work. Conflicting emotions surge through Sourisi, as while it means that Sailor Moon is about to come help against Super Sakurada, then did it mean that Sailor Moon's identity really was...?

But it's not Sailor Moon that shatters chains with a burst of magic, nor is it Sailor Moon that carries Usagi Tsukino as the Sailor Senshi crashes through a window to safety. It is Sailor Neptune, and Sourisi gives a bewildered wave in return. There was two inmates in the jail, and Usagi is accounted for. Does that really mean that this new Sailor Senshi is a...?

The sounds of splintering and shattering metal fills the air and Sourisi looks back towards Mami, letting out a sigh of relief upon seeing the Puella Magi coming back to her senses. Catching her tonfa as they twirl back through the air, Sourisi tries to confort the more experienced magical girl. "It can't really be helped, as long as you're yourself again is all that matters here."

But it isn't all good news, after all. Sailor Mars wasn't anywhere to be seen in uniform, but the collapsed girl that Sourisi refuses to focus upon is enough to know what happened. "Just be careful, Akuma Villians are unpredictable!"

When Sourisi said they were unpredictable, she didn't expect the unexpected to happen right then and there. A badge case is torn in two and a purple-shrouded butterfly takes flight from the ruins. It seems like everything will be mostly okay now...

Except the slight problem that Ladybug wasn't here to cleanse the Akuma! Grateful that the massive handcuffs disappeared when Natsuna Sakurada rejected La Papillon, Sourisi starts rushing forward as fast as she could muster. "Quick, catch that butterfly, and a jar as well! Don't let it get away!" As much as the Miraculous Ninja wants to talk to the Superintendent-General, they weren't out of the woods yet.

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

The scream from her lips echoes...

The look of agony, of momentary and utter despair on her face, lingers...

And then in a moment, her fingers curl and there is a glimmer of tears in those immaculate lashes, a moue of relief, a formed if not asperated sob of delight. It passes, and Sailor Neptune breathes in, and her lips tighten, and her fingers grow slack.

The look becomes rueful for a moment after that. Her head tilts to the side. It would be a fond look, a 'what do you expect' look, if...

it wasn't for...

The chains, and the ribbons.

Sailor Neptune says to herself, "Sakurada... this is braver than you know. I think... if... mm;" and then her head turns - if a little grudgingly - away from where Sailor Uranus is making her heroic rescue. Her eyes rest upon the stunned Mami Tomoe, who may now be the vessel of despair.

Or has that cryptic voice been foiled? (Neptune frowns, just a little. *Has* it? Are not that being's targets still present?)

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

That guy... is Sailor Uranus? No, wait, bigger news: Sailor Uranus is a guy?? This was shocking! Incredible! Serpentina would never forget this, ever! But with that realization comes another: This was a complete and total loss for the forces of Good. Serpentina may be hurt, but Sailor Mars... is worse. Will she be okay? And while all her allies have come to their senses, one of her own had her identity leaked to the world. While she doesn't know who he... she... they? Who the person who is Sailor Uranus is, somebody must now. And if she's not careful, this would be a two-for-one deal.

Serpentina only has five minutes before she reverts back to Fumiko.

Luckily it suddenly seemed like it wouldn't matter. Super Sakurada breaks free all by herself! It restores hope in Serpentina's heart. She smiles at her once-foe. "That... was incredible. You have the willpower... the heart of a true hero. I've never known ANYONE to break free of Akumatization. That manipulating and false promises that distract you and play with your heart as it carrupts your mind..."

They have won that battle. But the butterfly... the grey-clad Serpentina tracks the butterfly, prepared to dart out at it if there was a clear shot at it. "You're right, Squeaks! We need to catch that bug!"

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

It's fortunate she wasn't looking, if she'd seen Mars fall unconscious, then her promise would have been instantly broken. Usagi is down to five, when Haruka calls her bunny. Not knowing what to expect, she turns around with her lips sounding out 'four'.

She looks at him. Then looks at the artifact with the familiarity of recognition, and the incomprehension of not knowing why he'd have that. The four is about to turn into a question of 'Haruka-san?'

But there's no time for questions. There's no time at all. Which is why this promise of ten seconds was so hard for her, so hard that she had to grope for reasons and justification to herself of why the obvious answer might not be the answer.

The only time she has for is her eyes to grow wide at his transformation call, her eyes reflecting him in shades of white and blue that cut across 'his' form for a split second as he traces a burning sigil that steals that illusion away reflecting instead that glorious light of transformation.

Even now, seeing it, hearing it. She still can't believe it. Her fingers lift up to her mouth, spread apart in a gesture of disbelief as her mind tries to juxtapose him to her in the face of the overwhelming evidence before her eyes.

Certainly she realizes that Haruka's body hasn't transformed. Certainly. Yet this moment does not feel like lewd voyeurism to Usagi Tsukino, no more than any other transformation she's witnessed over the years. It feels like a celebration of the truth, and thought has simply failed to catch up to feeling upon seeing this.

The appearance of the back of the Fuku settles it, like her mind is beginning to catch up to the sudden revelation, the epiphany. And the hand in front of Usagi's mouth... the fingertips make contact with her upper lip.

Uranus kissed her, becomes Haruka kissed her. The betrayal she sought so hard to understand, is one her mind begins to latch onto, seizes onto it as evidence. The shift of behavior from those times he didn't want her to fight as Sailor Moon... to instead giving her back her brooch so that she could save her friends from Rubeus. She didn't understand it at the time, chalked it up to the mystery, attempted to accredit it to being some all knowing Magical Boy.

Now, perhaps, she will start to, after the shock of this moment wears off of her.

I was born to worry about you.

And Usagi Tsukino smiles with sparkles of water in her eyes, as if she's started to understand the barest glimmer of what Haruka is sacrificing for her right now.

"I fell for it..."

Usagi understands on some level how easy she is to deceive...

...however, she also understands being deceived for the best of reasons, it's like she doesn't blame Haruka for that lie, or many of them. She forgives her so readily for all of them. "... but it's okay."

Usagi drops that hand. She still doesn't know what to make of this wild shift of turbulent feelings. So instead of focusing on what changed, her mind tries to simply settle on what's the same.

And what's the same is Haruka Tenoh, and also Sailor Uranus.

Usagi is suddenly floating, because Haruka scoops her up as easily as if she were weightless, and shifts her soft arms around Uranus strong neck in obedience to his commands. This doesn't make the moment any less mesmerizing for her, being held like this, rescued.

Her trembling arms squeeze tighter as he commands her to do that too. And his words cause her to blush and stammer. "Y-You're asking for a lot right now..." Despite the heat on her cheeks and the tremor in her words, it'd be difficult to know whether she means to hold on tight right now after she's so fatigued and hurt from letting her pull herself, or on falling for her more than once, yet here they are.

Feeling the wind energy rise around them, Usagi keeps her eyes open at the moment of truth, and suddenly she feels the cage lurch... and then...

... she's flying with Haruka... Uranus... after all...

Mid-leap, she doesn't comprehend why Uranus is shifting her, doesn't realize they missed the target... because Haruka and Uranus both always carried a certain type of elegance.

Even if she missed, Usagi would think she meant to miss. As suddenly she's being held like a Princess, and tucked into a roll. The glass shatters, and the two slide in, her golden twintails standing out amidst the shower of glass.

Uranus gets up first, and the way Usagi takes her fingers is shy, as she sits in a pile of shards reflecting the pair.

She kissed her after all.

"Thank you... Haruka..."

And perhaps the smile she makes is worth it, all on her own, as she calls her that, rather than Uranus, just this once. Yet it still doesn't stop her from balancing on her tip toes, and pulling herself up just enough... just enough... to place a kiss against the towering Senshi of the Sky's right cheek.

She wants to talk, she wants to cherish this moment more, but a singular glance at the battlefield causes her to pale and she instantly realizes the necessity of not doing that. From this distance it's hard to see, as the battle grows more sedate, but at any distance she'd swear that's Sailor Mars laying there. "M-Mars...!" And that's Sailor Neptune in a bad state... "Neptune...!" and that's Mami Tomoe on the ground too, after fighting so many magical girls. "Mami-san..."

Certainly she can't see, or hear what Super Sakurada is doing from this distance.

It's like she realizes all at once the immensity of what her delay might cost her, "I-I'll - I'll just be right back." Usagi responds as if indeed she were taking Uranus' suggestion to freshen up. Pulling herself away, she breaks into a limping gait the moment she opens that office door, and quickly ducks behind a clerk's cubicle.

And now, safely in private, she does what Super Sakurada hoped to witness in the public eye.

"Moon Cosmic Power - Make Up!"

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mami doesn't have an answer or Sourisi, or for anybody right now abot her being herself again--she's sorting out her answers to a lot of things just now. And Mami Tomoe turns her face back after a moment to Super Sakurada, her mind finally reaching the space where there's still more yet to do. She considers what she can do, bt as she does... Sakurada does something different. Mami watches the butterfly and she hears the voice this time, like others. She sees Sakurada's eyes starting to clear.

"..That's... not..."

Mami has faced enemies like this before; this is not how they end. But regardless of that impossibility, a woman tears through the bindings on her. She sees something noble there, as Sakurada falls--more than that. There are few adults for whom Mami has felt this kind of emotion since her parents, but whatever it is, it is warm. And she sees...

"Ah," Mami says, realizing as she looks at Neptune--and snaps her fingers, doing away with those of her ribbons that she hasn't yet recalled. It doesn't take more than that for her bindings on others, what remain of them after Fuu's healing winds, just burst into light.

"I'm with you," she says to the others, and perhaps most directly to Neptune, as she finishes coming to her feet. Truth be told she isn't really ready to move on from what just happened yet, but--

That never mattered before. "Yourself," she repeats.

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

Natsuna gazes up at the veteran Magic Knight of Wind, cheers and supportive words ringing in her ears instead of a dial tone. Her eyes are a little bit unfocused, and become moreso as she's addressed even more directly by one of her beloved magical girls.

"Autograph?" she asks, optimistically and only slightly slurred.

Don't blame Sourisi and Serpentina Ruse for what happens next -- they did exactly the right thing. With all the genre savviness and the best intentions in the world, the two Miraculous-users close in on the violet butterfly, but just as they're about to make the grab, it is violently blown out of reach by displaced air.

That's because...

Abruptly, every door leading onto the thirty-second floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building from Tower One slams open, and heavily armed policemen pour out in a vast flood. Soon half the rooftop is blue, with the magical girls, and Tower Two (where Sailor Uranus took Usagi) on the other half.

To say this force is LED by the Mayor might be a misstatement, since he is not, by any means, in the vanguard, but there's no chance that the middle-aged man (in pretty good shape; receding hairline; glasses) in a very fine suit of his own -- the only civilian present -- is anyone else.


So addressed, she gets up (accepting a helping hand from Fuu), and, to clear it, shakes her head-- but that's the only part of her that shakes at all. Her eyes and her voice are absolutely level as she regards her boss.

"Wrong," she barks back. "I failed myself for the last time."

Her gaze shifts to the small army of policemen -- HER policemen.

"She's joined the vigilantes! Arrest them all!" the Mayor demands, from behind them.

"My last order as your Superintendent-General is for you to stand down," Sakurada commands, from the fore.

There is a great shifting of feet and shrugging of shoulders, as the boys in blue each face their own internal struggles as to whose authority to defer to. The Mayor's face turns crimson with humiliation. Even if this goes his way, his power has just been fatally undermined.

"This is over," Sakurada declares.

<< WRONG, >> Papillon's voice suddenly interjects, smugly.

The butterfly -- the akuma -- lost in the chaos, has settled on the Mayor's bulbous nose. It flaps gently, but its effects on his already overwrought heart are anything but gentle.


"...I accept, Papillon."

The akuma dissolves into the nearest object: the frames of the mayor's glasses, which turn purple. But it won't be easy to access for two reasons.

First: the mayor's garb has changed. Instead of a police dress uniform, he's garbed in a fantastical version of JSDF camo. A moment later, a MAGICAL TANK shimmers into being around him. It is bright blue and dripping with nets and gear. It also, of course, has a PA system.

"I hope you know -- this means war! To me, my soldiers!"

And second: the tank launches a shell straight into the ranks of the army of policemen in front of it, which explodes into the familiar blue gas of Deputization power. It vanishes up their nostrils in a trice. There are a couple hundred of them, which means they each only get a little bit...

...but a little bit is enough to elevate them into the world of magical combat. Individually, they're no threat. But en masse...

They were already cops, so they just ALL get mirrored shades, which twinkle by the dozens beneath their face shields.

And then they lower their heads, raise their riot shields, and charge.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick transforms into MEGA-MAYOR and The Fuzz!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Serpentina Ruse.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Bay of Pigs on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Akko Kagari dodges 4 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is
Psyched!  Stagger applied to Akko Kagari!
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji braces 5 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Block and
Parry abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Sourisi fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Sourisi!  
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Waaah--hey, you can't send the cops after us!" Akko shouts. She holds up the Shiny Rod, shaking it, as she sees the tank... and the gleam of mirrored shades... and then she turns and runs, bolting behind some of the more experienced magical girls. But she turns, holds the Shiny Rod aloft, and there's a bright pinpoint on its polished frame.

And then Akko calls out: "I'm not gonna let you get away with this! You should listen to Miss Sakurada! And if you don't want to listen to reason, then..."

There is a bright glow on each of the police officers and the mayor. The same glow surrounds the Shiny Rod, glowing like a nimbus.


Let us not mince words: the glow is from their butts. THe wallets of the police officers all lift, as one, and open -- and fat stacks of yen begin pouring out to make a slip-n-slide of cash under the feet of the boys in blue.

COMBAT: Akko Kagari has used Defunding on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Serpentina Ruse dodges 6 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Serpentina Ruse's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Serpentina Ruse!
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus covers Mami Tomoe for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Bay of Pigs, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus perfectly counters 10 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Sailor Uranus's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus's counterattack, Elegant Throw, bursts all the way through, doing 36 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!
Pink Moon Stick is Quipped!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to dodge Akko Kagari's Defunding, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Tangle applied to Pink Moon Stick!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Sailor Neptune rolls to her side, then kips easily to her feet, dusting off her gloves and favoring Mami Tomoe with a brief, soft smile. There is not time to do more.

Because even now with their superintendent having abandoned the cause of corruption; having embraced the dream of the police, the protectors and the guardians instead of something colder, crueler, grimmer; even now, something far worse emerges.

Sailor Neptune's lip curps as she sees the face of the Mayor. "Tch," she says, because she certainly didn't vote for him. She turns to face the policemen and is momentarily stymied, if only in her heart. This is the top of a roof. However darkly Papillion shines on them, Sailor Neptune thinks, I cannot simply hurl them from the roof, unless there is no other choice--

UPON HER! Sailor Neptune leans forwards, contending against that blue wall. Her heels scrape against the rooftop, shredding stray fragments of heartbreakingly diaphanous ribbons. "Tsk - leaving me to contend with the police on my own," Neptune finally says to herself, largely, as she pushes -

And the first push does not go anywhere. Neptune is forced back several yards, nearer to the fallen heap that holds the dreams of Mars within. Her heels throw sparks before she yields for a moment, and when the blue wall surges she dives low, shoulder-checking against what is, hopefully, a critical element in this hoplite formation and sweeping her legs round to upend them. Ground them, confuse them -

Why is there money on the ground, Sailor Neptune wonders, but not for long.

COMBAT: Sailor Neptune has used Acting With Elegance on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly braces 9 Fatigue damage from Sailor Neptune's Acting With Elegance, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Brace!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sourisi kicks hard against the ground and leaps high into the air, right arm reaching out to snag the tiny yet troublesome butterfly before it can take flight. But before the tips of her fingers can touch a violet wing, a massive gust of wind sends it flying out of her grasp. "No!" Dark eyes look around to try to see the Akuma again and make another attempt, but then the police - and the Mayor - make themselves known.

A little nervous to be confronted by the police force, the Miraculous User points a finger towards the mass of police officers, those that have risen up to protect and serve without any magical power. "I get the feeling Sakurada-san would haven't gone to such lengths today if her back wasn't against the wall. She has done so much for Tokyo just by standing up for her values. Please...just ask yourself if this is the right thing to do."

La Papillon's voice rings out over the still-present Akuma, and worry twists into fear as that same familiar shade of blue is absorbed by dozens of officers. Even if the gas is diluted by transforming so many officers, they could all be brought down by numbers alone. That much becomes apparent as Sourisi barely manages to stop herself from being bowled over as she fails to slow down several Deputizied officers as tonfa clash against riot shields.

Grunting under her breath and straining under the effort, Sourisi digs her feet into the ground and finally manages to halt the hurtling officers. Looking around her through the press of bodies, the Miraculous Ninja catches Serpentina's eyes and yells to be heard over the new combatants. "Slithery, I know you're on a time limit but i'm really tapped out myself. I'm depending on you, so...see if you can get those shades from the Mayor? Show them what the...Slitherer Supreme can do!"

Sourisi is starting to feel the burn of the prolonged battle, but Serpentina has been pacing througout all of this. If she has to make a bet on who has the best chance on getting the Akuma out of those shades, it might as well be on the Snake.

COMBAT: Sourisi has used It's Not Over Yet! on Serpentina Ruse.
COMBAT: Lancelot braces 6 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Bay of Pigs, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lancelot's
Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger applied to Lancelot!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Amidst all of the chaos. Sailor Moon barrels out of a window into a glorious somersault. Which would result in a thirty floor freefall. This is a fact that would normally cause her to flail about half-way down at the realization. Except in one hand is the Spiral Heart Moon Rod...

...and in another is a pen. On the last leg of the journey, there's a sound of a ka-chak and a whoosh.

And suddenly a gloriously tasseled umbrella erupts, causing the Senshi's fall to not only be slowed, but to be momentarily buoyed upwards. Sailor Moon surveils what is below. "A-A lot happened while I was away..."

And she's not certain precisely what's going on. Even sobered by the danger to her loved ones, she's still reeling from everything that happened with Haruka, Uranus, making that choice - that sacrifice, for her.

Yet she certainly sees Natsuna Sakurada - not Super Sakurada, being ran at by officers with riot shields. The Magic Knight of Wind was there, but now she's unable to protect her. And she also sees Rei Hino, in Miko attire, in danger of being casually trampled by so many jack booted feet. Sailor Moon has a certain kind of selfishness though. Why choose, when you can go for all of the above?

Tapping a button, the Umbrella detaches and Sailor Moon dead drops the rest of the way.

"Sailor Moon-" A slim heeled Moonboot, buoyed by the momentum of the fall aims straight for the riot shields of those directly facing her down. "-KICK!" Attempting to topple over those immediately menacing her like dominos, before landing beside the lauded police Commissioner.

"You know... when I saw you on the news. I thought..." Sailor Moon says with a sort of earnest gravity. "... it doesn't feel right, for you to be against us..."

The Senshi vaguely remembers a world where she led the Magical Girls, organizing them. It was a wish so strong that it changed everything. And that is why even if she doesn't understand what put pressure on her, she still implicitly finds it in herself to forgive her.

"When I would have sworn what you really wanted all along, was to be at our side."

The young Senshi of Love and Justice looks so dignified for that brief period of time that it's only a matter of time before she undermines that. This time it's for all of half a second before she lifts a finger, "Also you should probably follow me because they seem pretty mad!"

And without waiting for a response she breaks into a sprint towards Rei Hino, who isn't far away.... casting a grateful look at Neptune at the shower of sparks she sends over them. And with a hop finds herself skidding down beside Mars to put an arm underneath her. A certain desperation in her eyes. "Rei...! Rei-chan! Wake up... please..."

Cradling her dark hair under an arm with the other under her shoulders propped up, she says quietly. "Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long." Then there's a shift in Sailor Moon's voice, as if she's worried... "... you're always waiting on me..."

She rarely wants to admit it, but she always has understood that it takes a lot of patience to put up with Usagi Tsukino's worst habits. Her tardiness for one. Her irresponsibility. And while she knows Mars would be the first person to yell at her not to transform up there.

Her eyes sparkle with water, and she has not a single hand available to wipe them away, as they drip down to stain the white of her robe. "Sorry..."

Immediately shifting Rei's unconscious form protectively in a single arm from her crouched position, propping her up against her shoulder. Then she raises the other, the Spiral Heart Moon Rod pointed outwards, ready to face down any number of people who come their way.

"Stay back! I may not know the law well, but I know if you try to trample an innocent Miko then Kamisama will punish you!" A beat, "And if he won't - I definitely will!"

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

The request for an autograph is meant with a soft, gentle laugh from the Wind Knight. "I think something can be arranged, if I can obtain yours as well," she sayss -

But it will have to be arranged later. The Magic Knight of Wind does finish helping Sakurada regain her feet, then turns her attention to the Mayor and the brigade of policemen. ... Is it only a brigade? It might be a garrison. It's certainly not a platoon; those are small. It's a lot of cops, and with the Mayor commanding them in person, they're absolutely not inclined to be friendly.

And for all that the Wind Knight might hope reason to prevail, it's immediately clear that Papillon is determined not to let that happen. Soon, the mayor is in a tank that should only exist in anime, the too-many policemen have been "deputized" under the Mayor's authority, and the battle begins anew.

Much as she wants to stay close to Sakurada, the force of the charge sweeps them away from each other; fortunately, Sailor Moon is already coming to aid the fight, and just seeing that familiar twin-tailed figure buoys the Wind Knight's heart, reigniting her readiness to stand firm against the darkness.

What happens first is that her boots stop sliding across the roof; the Magic Knight of Wind digs in her heels, and pushes past the depuriot shields which had been bulldozing her away. The next thing is that her bow disappears - although peculiarly, the quiver remains strapped across her back.

"STorm-Dance of Kamaitachi!!!"

And then a gale erupts around the Magic Knight of Wind, not rending into the cops so much as battering them about - taking advantage of their numbers, or trying to, by hurling them into each other. That should help buy some fighting room, not just for the Wind Knight but for others who need a bit of range on their side.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Serpentina Ruse [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Serpentina chases after the butterfly at full speed, but cannot catch it. Luckily Sourisi is there to pick up the slack... but she can't either. Serrpentina takes one last leap at it, trying to catch it in her parasol... but barely misses, and the butterfly escapes.

And now the Mayor and the whole police force is after them. Great. Instead of one - Super Sakurada, or four - her and Serpentina's allies-turned-coppers - now there was Captain Mayor and what seemed like infinite officers. And Serpentina did not have infinite time. She dodges one officer's assault, and blocks another's with her parasol, but a third manages to strike her head. Any civilian would probably fall, and might not get back up. Luckily, Magical Girls are a little more durable, but she's definitely going to have a headache. The situation seems hopeless. Despair begins to set in.

Then she hears Sourisi's voice. "...right. Of course. Go after the crazy mayor - attack the mayor - who is in a TANK. Great idea." Despite her sarcasm seeming to show otherwise, Serpentina was actually encouraged. She doesn't have to take on the entire police force. She just has one goal. To disable the possessed object and get that butterfly. She swings around, striking at the officers with her parasol to clear a path, jumping over others, and heads off towards the Mayor. She is using a lot of energy, but she doesn't care - she is already on a time limit.

COMBAT: Serpentina Ruse accepts Sourisi's It's Not Over Yet!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Serpentina Ruse is Cheered!  
COMBAT: Serpentina Ruse has used Umbrella-Fu on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 20 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Storm-Dance of Kamaitachi, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Pink
Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 12 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Sailor Moon Kick, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Sailor Moon is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!  Stagger and Stun applied to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Serpentina Ruse's Umbrella-Fu, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Lancelot doesn't so much as squee when the cops charge him, as makes a "yay" noise that may or may not have simulated a "Squee." The Cops charge with their shields and Lancelot braces for the impact. They slam into him and one gets a good shield bash into his side but the Knight merely grins and rolls back, holding his swords out to the side in a crouch. "I'm not gonna say this might be the best day ever .... Buuuuut - " Lightning crackles along his blades, and mayhaps, a sparkle in his eye before he calls out:


Lancelot barrels right back into the shield wall, flipping his left sword so that he's holding it by the blade in a mordhau position. Then he leaps, and lays about him. The left sword is used like a pick, grabbing a shield and shoving it into the wielder's chest to knock him over, or pulling the shield out of position so the other blade can zap in and do it's work. He throws kicks, elbows, slashes and bashes, appearing to go full in on the Akumatized Police force. Except those that KNOW what they're looking for would notice a subtle twist of the blade just before impact, allowing for a slap with the flat potion. He never stabs, and he may or may not be cackling as he goes about it.

+attack/set: Attack number 11 set on Pink Moon Stick's henshin form 13. This attack was built on 9.5 points. This command has no point limitation (in case a staffer wants to set something deliberately broken for testing purposes), but the maximum number of points typically allowed for a Rank S Special is 11.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Full Throttle Barrage on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

There on the ground, in repose, lies...

A girl in miko robes, like she was pulled straight out of her duties at the shrine. When did she get here? She must have hit her head in the fight; she's breathing, but the sign hung about her closed eyes says, OUT FOR LUNCH.

(Metaphorically, that is.)

Certainly there is nothing she could do about the charging blue, even were she awake; the troubles of authority are matters of the material, and shrine maidens dispel evil spirits, after all. Her eyelids flutter as Neptune's heel grinds closer, a little crinkle to her lip, and it is testament to the oceanic Senshi's efforts that she does not experience a most rude awakening.

And all a sudden she finds herself up in someone's arms, the sound of a familiar voice and the dampness of familiar tears, and her face finishes scrunching up in time to blink awake, peering blearily up at her valiant rescuer. "... Sailor Moon..?"

She doesn't have time to worry about the how right now. Right now, the only thing she has time for is Usagi. "Geez," Rei mumbles, quiet enough that it might be hard for those ensorcelled policemen to hear, "you're really fired up..."

She chuckles, shaking her head in the crook of Sailor Moon's arm. "... nice." She'll have plenty of time to figure out whether she should yell at her later -- but right now -- Rei isn't angry. She's proud of her.

Lifting her head a little, Rei looks out at the Mayor, and Sailor Moon can surely feel the sigh which radiates through her, the huff from the bottom of her chest all the way out. "Oh, great, it's that guy..." wait why does rei have an opinion on political figures is she going to stop and explain that or

No, of course she isn't.

She doesn't even bother to name him. He's just that guy, as if it's blatantly obvious why that's terrible and she doesn't need to spend another moment on it.

"These men don't need God," she says, to Sailor Moon. "I don't suppose you could find me someplace a little safer..?" Or, alternatively: Rei's woken up and doesn't want to transform in the midst of all this authority. She just trusts that Usagi will understand the hidden meaning.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick decisively counters 12 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Full Throttle Barrage, taking 4 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, Police Brutality, partially gets through, doing 16 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Uranus's white glove differs from Sailor Moon's only in size and the color of its trim, but somehow when she holds her hand out like this, it feels like the glove of a footman waiting to help Usagi up into a carriage. She curls her fingers a little underneath Usagi's to hook them, before pulling her up effortlessly to her feet.

"Depending on how good Sakurada's cameraman is, you might be able to call me 'Haruka' all the time now," Uranus says, wry but placid. Her breezy personality passes easily over things she cannot change. If she had a choice back then, it's done now regardless.

"Though if it's just 'Haruka'..."

She pauses, surprised, as the much shorter blonde strives against their height gap, long enough to hold a lip-shaped warmth against her cheek. A shimmering sensation fizzes on her skin as Sailor Uranus closes her eyes in contented acceptance. Like a puff of silver smoke, that shimmer passes down Usagi in Haruka's mind's eye, catching and clinging in the form of a long, moonlit dress, spreading into the ghost of windswept skirts. It peels away and disperses from Usagi's Juuban summer uniform even as it's still finishing its form, so that when Haruka opens her eyes soon after, it is no longer there to be seen.

All that lingers is that last little shimmer of moonlight on her cheek, and an incongruous memory of the weight of a sword on Uranus's hip.

As Usagi shifts to fretting over their friends below, Uranus remains unhurried. The battle below seems all but over. Touching the faintly warm spot on her cheek, Uranus sighs with fond exasperation as Usagi predictably dissolves from her momentary haze of grace into the stammering, overenergetic girl she is. She nods agreeably as Usagi plays along with the pretense of freshening up, trying to keep her face serious. Only when Usagi's out of sight does she let herself grin and shake her head.

"See you," she says to the empty office room.

Then, striding between cubicles, she scans them with her sharp eyes until she finds a desk lamp. Tossing the lampshade away, she yanks out the brass fitting for it and gives that metal loop a few experimental squeezes. The best way down for her is the elevator shaft, and she doesn't want to ruin her gloves alongside her good mood.


All of the Lights (interlude) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHxRd_va950

A particularly doughty riot officer is charging, baton raised, at Mami Tomoe, his shield set to ram her, a rough V-formation of subordinates following. But just before he would have reached her, it is as though he walked into a busy intersection. Sailor Uranus hits him from the side at a dead run, agile enough that despite his shield-arm, somehow she runs right into his chest, as if she ducked briefly. At full momentum she interlocks with him, grappling onto his arm, knocking his hips out from beneath his body with her own, and diving into a throw along with him. She tucks into a roll, he just sails head-over heels into the side of a parked vehicle.

Coming out of her roll, Uranus tumbles to a kneeling position right in front of one of the other cops and sweeps his legs hard with the baton the first cop had been carrying. Crouched there, the baton held menacingly off to the side, she stares with that game grin of hers at the other officers, whose charge she broke.

"It's not that I was worried about you, Tomoe." Uranus stands to her full height, back to the Puella Magi. "I just felt bad for these guys if you dealt with them yourself."

With a cry, one of the others charges Uranus. Stomping the riot shield of the officer she swept, Uranus sends it flipping into the air, already going into a hard side kick. As her body rips into a straight line behind the forceful kick and sends the man hurtling back along with a now-cracked shield, she sets her foot down, exhales, and gives one more little kick, her boot bouncing this baton in the air for her to snatch.

"Is my partner around or did you tie her up someplace?" Uranus asks. "It's pretty crowded out here all of a sudden." Striding forward, she confronts the riot police one or two at a time, hammering their shields with her twin batons, parrying theirs, until she is fully embroiled.

COMBAT: Sailor Uranus has used Turn Up the Lights in Here Baby on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Uranus's Turn Up the Lights in Here Baby, taking 29 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

A smile from Neptune is a rare thing for Mami Tomoe. There is at least time to notice that.

But... Arrest them???

Mami stares for a moment at the Mayor, and for all that she was filled with tender feelings toward Sakurada she is almost equally filled with contempt suddenly for the Mayor. Not so much for Sakurada's officers... but there is a different feeling for them and it is sympathy within a few moments as it all goes further to Bad.

"War!?" Mami calls back, surprised. "No, look out--" ..And there comes the sympathy. The mirrored shades and the charge begins. "You can't arrest us!" Mami shouts, indignant, and readies herself, quickly judging the shields, their size, their speed, and in the end a variable she hadn't counted on steps in:

"You--" Uranus. She blinks, looking down at her momentary protector, and adopts an amused look of understanding. "...I see," she answers, and as the others start charging, Mami starts to conjure ribbons. The first Uranus sweeps down, she encloses in yellow bows. The next is tied to his shield with a burst of light.

"I did," Mami says, "But she's back. Up ahead--"

Mami does not use her guns on the police, for now, but neither does she let up with her magic. She is, of all things, working in time with Sailor Uranus now, targeting those near her.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Legare on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 9 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Legare, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and
Parry abilities activate!  Tangle applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Official Fighting The Man On Top Of A Skyscraper Theme Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5qxsNX39oE

Absolute chaos.

Cops slip on Akko's conjured coin; many of them stagger then recover, or maybe take a knee, but this is a very crowded charge, and even the ones that DON'T fall on their butts or faces trip the next cop behind them. Some of those at the rear pause in time for yen to wash over their feet instead of under them. Planting themselves heavily, shields in front of gunners, the latter unsling their rifles and start filling the air with stingingly painful rubber bullets.

Another crest of the wave surges into Sailor Neptune, and finds itself more resilient to the tricky sweep of her legs. They are not, however, entirely resistant to her legs' elegance, and she leaves Tokyo's boys in blue off-balance on another, more off-putting, level. It is just as well their eyes are twice veiled, by face shields and mirrored shades; that is the kinder reflection, the one that lacks a certain heat. Their vanguard lurches forward, shield first, trying to slam the Senshi of Sea downward. Then the others will pile on, a little overeagerly, if they can.

Not too far away, Sailor Uranus throws a cop so far that he arches over the battlefield and disappears, then starts beating the others like drums with her stolen batons. Mami is well able to wrap them up in her wake, and in short order their immediate environment is well-controlled (and beautifully adorned). Still, an even bigger cop than the first steps up to the plate after watching a few too many of his buddies getting served. Raising a troublingly massive gun over his shoulder, he fires -- a solid mass of SOUND at the two golden girls. His smirk is visible afterwards, but his words are not audible in the least. The way he cups a hand while gesturing at Mami, however, suggests their contents.

There are so many cops that their mass is somewhat amoebic; still another tendril of massed humanity is battered about by Fuu, lifted off their feet and turned into a sort of low-intensity blender where they smash into each other. The smartest slow, then stop their approach, just as she's planned. But if she's hoping to coordinate, she may be out of luck, because as the gale abates, the most together among them immediately throw flashbangs. These cause audiovisual agony that -- as anyone who's ever fought Homura Akemi, who once upon many times helped herself to these very supplies, is grimly aware -- magical girldom affords little protection against.

Lancelot is also subject to the same tactics; as he shows off his melee might, he's quickly teaching the cops to keep their distance. A few fire tasers, which he's immune to, but next up are shotgun bean bags, which he is not. Finally, once he's fully surrounded by the unsweet blue sea, they try to finish him off with more flashbangs.

After being separated from the Magic Knight of Wind, Natsuna had put her hands up -- a last gasp of faith in the system, perhaps -- but she seemed grimly unsurprised by how the police force ran at her with brutality in mind. Whether she's become a bit cynical in her apostasy, or she just clearly understands the implication of the blue gas... either way, her upraised arms were prepared to grasp the nearest blue shoulder and give it a good chucking. But, Sailor Moon gives her line of opponents a dominos-toppling kick before she can grapple with even the first of them, and she gazes up at her hero with admiration and, also, shame.

"I've always been on your side," she replies, maybe a little breathlessly, obediently following the senshi over towards Rei. Politely, she averts her eyes (one gets the sense she isn't wildly surprised by this girl's appearance on the roof, either), and instead stands at an angle to continue to cover them.

She reaches into her jacket, right where a shoulder holster would be, and pulls out...

...a carefully folded piece of fabric.

Helpfully, she tosses it over her shoulder. It flaps open across Rei, entirely veiling her from view beneath rippling red and gold.

And then the two girls know the incredible truth: that Akumatized Super Sakurada sported a mystically generated Majestia cloak, because Natsuna Sakurada is a big enough nerd to ACTUALLY carry a Majestia cloak around with her at all times.

You never know when you're going to need one.

Sailor Moon, however, is going to have her work cut out for her buying Rei time to utilize this unexpected privacy curtain. Because the cops are closing in fast and furious, swinging their batons with awful force.


Meanwhile, on the far side of the battle, much closer to Tower One than Tower Two, Sourisi has to contend with more of those rubber bullets flying around, while Serpentina Ruse contends, mano-a-umbrellano, with the officers between her and the tank. She does, perhaps, too good a job; the cops aren't trained to work with tanks, but after leaving battered and bruised bodies in her wake, she finds herself suspiciously alone. Almost like her enemies are... clearing the area.

And then, with dual THWOOMPS, the artillery strikes. That has NO place in any policing paradigm! A huge chunk of the roof ceases to be; there's a massive cloud of concrete debris. On the plus side, assuming she survived, the Snake Miraculous-user has some cover with which to make her approach.

And MEGA-MAYOR can't resist popping his head (now sporting a tanker's helmet) out of the top of the tank to survey what he's wrought. "That was a big one!" he chortles, high on adrenaline and his own firepower. "No one can stand against Tokyo's might!"

He's right back down afterwards, like a turtle retreating into his shell; the hatch clangs shut behind him. But, assuming that this represents predictable behavior, the next opportunity can probably be created deliberately by clever opponents.

Or they can just blast the tank to bits. He's a full Akuma; he'll definitely be fine.

It's going to take more than the cop Sailor Uranus threw, though, who has finally arrived; he's more likely the one dented, rather than the side of the armored vehicle.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Rubber Bullets on Akko Kagari.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Silver Platter on Sailor Neptune.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Siren Scream on Sailor Uranus.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Siren Scream on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Flashbangs on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Flashbangs on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Majestia Changing Station on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used On The Beat on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Rubber Bullets on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Inappropriately Militarized Police Weaponry on Serpentina Ruse.
COMBAT: Sailor Neptune neatly dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Silver Platter, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick is Psyched!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe perfectly counters 24 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Siren Scream, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Mami Tomoe's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro RETORT, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Akko Kagari cleanly braces 11 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Rubber Bullets, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Akko Kagari's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon perfectly counters 30 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's On The Beat, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Counter!  Sailor Moon's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon's counterattack, Spiralling Heart Rod, bursts all the way through, doing 37 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Sourisi partially dodges 2 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Rubber Bullets, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Sourisi's Fade
and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lancelot fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's Flashbangs, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Blind, Stagger, and Stun applied to
COMBAT: Sailor Mars accepts Pink Moon Stick's Majestia Changing Station, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mars is unable to keep
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Siren Scream, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Uranus's
Flash ability activates!  Stagger applied to Sailor Uranus!
COMBAT: Serpentina Ruse counters 13 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Inappropriately Militarized Police Weaponry, taking 38
Fatigue damage!  Serpentina Ruse's Reverse ability activates!
COMBAT: Serpentina Ruse's counterattack, Cobra's Hood, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
<Pose Tracker> Akko Kagari [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Akko seems excited to have stopped the wave of charging cops with their own lucre. She grimaces at a flashbang, but stood distant enough that it's an irritation rather than crippling. The more immediate problem is that they are firing at her with rubber bullets.

"Aaaah--hey, knock it off!" she yells, as she dives under them. The rubber bullets fly over her head as she skids across the ground, then kicks up into the air. Akko's feet kick as she hits the top of her parabolic arc. She closes her eyes, sucks a breath in, and then clutches the Shiny Rod to her.

"We gotta put a stop to this, Shiny Rod!" she says. "Magic shouldn't be used to control people like this! So..."

There is a flash from the lit gem in the Shiny Rod. A brilliant aquamarine light, in contrast to the pale, polished wood of the rest. And then Akko holds it out, and the Shiny Rod expands. It extends out into a huge arc, forming a bow, and an arrow of that same brilliant blue energy appears.


She pulls it back. A bowstring of light forms. But the arrow of light expands out -- no, duplicates. Again, again, and again, until nearly a hundred smaller arrows are there, and each ends in a ball of light.


Akko looses her arrows. They fire -- but turn into bolo arrows, with two orbs of light and tripwires between them fling. Each soars down towards the feet of the charging police, tro try to trip them and bring them to a halt.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Akko Kagari has used Shiny Arc on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Flashbangs, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Diversion applied to Fuu Hououji!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Moon's eyes blink blink at the sight of Uranus defending Mami Tomoe. Certainly she believes Uranus- Haruka's excuse. Yet it brings a smile to her lips all the same.

Then Rei tells her she's really fired up. "Of course I am!" Moon responds, half-suspecting Rei to be teasing her until she says... nice. "I impressed Rei-chan!" Moon says with a soft giggle. As Rei Hino makes her request into the crook of her shoulder, Sailor Moon seems to get it, nodding her head... "I can do that!"

Then, Natsuna Sakurada unfolds a piece of fabric. And Sailor Moon watches as it ripples over Rei.

"Wait... this is..."

Sailor Moon looks down at the cloak enfolding over Rei Hino. Then at Super Sakurada. Then at the outline of Rei Hino unfolded in this cloak.

"... you really are on our side." Sailor Moon says in wonder, as her eyes light up, as she just seems utterly delighted, before growing solemn as she stage whispers behind a hand...

"I just want you to know... your secret identity is safe with me."

The cops though enclose on them fast and furious in a circle around Sailor Moon. And they strike as one.

Only for the batons to cease their descent at the same point.

Then with a twist of her arm, all of the police officers are blown backwards by her pivoting the Spiral Heart Moon Rod in a wide spiral, carving a trail of glittery moondust back through the spot where they once stood.

That's only the beginning though, because she doesn't stop twirling it. She's pivoting in mid-air, gently arcing a leg up elegantly in a balletic movement that Usagi Tsukino would be completely incapable of, before raising the rod high with a fierce expression. "We'll see about that! Mars-chan? Are you back and looking fabulous?"

She's looking straight at the tank, that was just declared to be Tokyo's Might, while waiting for a response. And when she gets one, that is her cue to begin


Beginning to spin round and round, faster and faster with the rod held out parallel to herself, until she's managing a speed of incredible centrifugal force.


Then she moves from her standing position into a low crouch with a certain smooth elegance.


Then abruptly it all ends, Sailor Moon kneeling on the ground in a pose that feels like a dramatic finish to any gymnast or figure skater's routine. The rod held high overhead...


Upon her finishing the spell, the Spiral Heart Moon Rod resounds with a triumphant chime, as wave upon wave of sparkling stardust emerges in a kaleidoscope of color. This doesn't last long before the predominant color becomes primarily... pink, as a flood of hearts erupts forth, like she'd simply broken forth some emotional dam.

A spell empowered by the wild shifts in emotion of the day surges forth, conjoining into one truly massive heart that moves directly through the lines of the Fuzz, en route in an attempt to crash into Mega-Mayor's tank.

You see, while Sailor Moon doesn't really know why the guy became Akumatized besides being really upset with Natsuna Sakurada, she knows one thing instinctively. Tokyo's Might is nothing compared to Tokyo's Heart. As evidenced by so many Magical Girls fighting right here, right now.

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

This fight is not going well, thinks the green-clad Magic Knight, trying to leap clear of a flash-bang going off. She at least manages to avoid taking it full in her face - but the "bang" part of the grenade's effect slaps her full-length, and her eyes aren't shielded enough to do more than take the edge off of the flash proper. She also lands badly, on her flank rather than her feet, but it's not bad enough to keep her down for long.

By the time the Wind Knight is back on her feet from that tumble, her bow rests once more in her hand, and she wastes little time in pulling out an arrow from her quiver, nocking it to the string. They *do* need to take the Mayor out of the fight - that's the only way to end this quickly, and it feels to Fuu like a battle of attrition will only end in favor of the Mayor and his press-ganged lawmen.

(Are there even *any* women among this swarm of officers? The Wind Knight didn't notice any ...)

Reaching deep and drawing on what reserves she still possesses, the Magic Knight of Wind begins gathering her magic for one more spell, and the wind starts to rise about her - wavering, tattered, but building and steadying into an updraft that ruffles her skirts, tousles her hair, and boosts her jumps in search of a better position. Even as she hops and skips and jumps, she's honing her will, focusing on the target she needs -

And for a split second, her boot balances atop a policeman's helmet, her concentration condenses into perfect focus, and she has barely the instant she needs to draw back her shaft.


And the arrow flies, taking the gathered wind with it, around it, piercing the air ahead as it accelerates towards its target: the tank's turret, right where the cannon pokes out at the Mayor's perceived enemies.

The split second passes before the Wind Knight can confirm her shot's effectiveness; that took just about all of her remaining magic, and she turns what little strength she retains to struggling back out of the press of magically mind-controlled police.

... if she can.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Gale Arrow on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

There is more than one beanbag that makes it through to slam into the knight knocking Lancelot to the ground after the third, or fifth beanbag impact. He manages to roll to hsi feet and slashes twice, splitting two beanbags in a shower of fabric and beans. Lancelot pants looking at the assembled cops around him and then there are a few tinks and he looks down at the oblong canisters that roll to his feet.

"Flashbangs." He looks to the cops and sighs. "Oh come on guys. That's MY move!"

The flash is as bright as several suns, and the bang is ... well, it's as loud as a thundercrack right in his face. There is an accompanying bit of smoke that obscures the Knight and swirls around Lancelot.

The smoke hides him, but not the words, that despite the deafening roar around him and the cops that hit him, there comes a long drawn out word.

"Animaaaaaa ~"

Suddenly the light, and electricty is sucked right into the enter of the smoke to the source of that long drawn out word. Lighting flashes inside the smoke, and two blades glow as bright as the flashbangs that jsut went off. Twin orbs appear there, glowing a bright neon blue as if they were a pair of gleaming and predatory eyes.

The lightning swirls and cracks around him. Crackling and snapping. With a sudden burst of power the smoke dissipates, and standing in the center is Lancelot, wreathed in power. Lighting literally dripping from his eyes to hit the rooftop and spark and dance at the knight's foot.

All that power swirls and cracks and whips around Lancelot and he begins to walk forward, his blades held out to the side. He locks his eyes on the mayor, and then sweeps them over the cops. He then bring sboth swords up and with a cry of "TEMPESTAS!!" He unleashes all that stored up power on the foes around him and the others.

That power is unleased in a wave of pure unadulterated power. The ground that the blast travels above is blackened and blasted. forks of lightning snap off the beam to trace lines and brighten up the light even more. There is also the thunder. A wave of sound that rattles the area and can be felt in the chest.

As the energy fades away, Lancelot stands there. Arondight steaming in the night. Steam oming form the corners of his eyes. His breath still coming in gulps as he tries franticly to catch it. His cloak whips in the wind created by the blast, and then slowly settles as the power dies down.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Lancelot has used Anima Tempestas on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"You know," Hino's daughter says to the opposite side of Natsuna's face, and Rei can appreciate the discretion of her looking away, really, "you're the only one I actually liked. Just... keep that between us, okay?"

She tells her a secret and maybe it's not the only secret here, but there are some things which don't belong out in the open, after all. Of course Rei is angry for what Natsuna has done, but it wasn't entirely Natsuna, by her understanding of Akumatisation -- and in the end, having someone who believed in them that much...

Some of the leaders are okay, Rei guesses.

And the price for being good, for Natsuna Sakurada...

... well, she'll get something nice in the mail later, amidst all the negativity Rei is sure she'll have to withstand in the wake of all this. It's a cruel world, isn't it?

The girls who have always stood in the way of this cruel, cruel world --

The fabric obscures; there's a spark of flame, coiling, coiling; there, catching Majestia's cape, stands Sailor Mars, defiant in the face of the Mayor's tyranny. With a sweeping motion she hooks one section of it to the other about her collarbone.

It flutters in her wake, because, of course, there is a dramatic breeze. It is strength; it is GLORY.

And she stands tall and proud, because it's behind her.

"Hey," Sailor Mars grins, to Sakurada, as she turns on a heel. "Didn't I tell you? We're all on the same side, Sakurada-san." They are, all of them, defenders of justice, who save innocent girls like Usagi Tsukino and Rei Hino.

A hand salutes at her temple, lifting up to wave to her fellow Senshi. "Sailor Mars -- checking in! Sorry I stepped out for a moment there!" Beside her, she turns to face the tank...

Of course it's a tank, Rei thinks to herself, in a personal private moment away from the roar of too much military ordinance for a police force. Of course he would manifest a frigging tank.

They're all like that. Even their lowly assistants are dreaming of the days they make it big and get to be this blatant. Even that man...

It's boring to the point of being contemptible.

Sailor Mars produces an ofuda, the same one that thing wearing Super Sakurada flinched from so readily.

"By Fire --" Sailor Mars whirls in a wide circle, like and unlike Sailor Moon's spiral, because that ofuda fans flame which curls around her. Somehow, Majestia's cape -- Natsuna's cape -- is completely untouched by the fire. The vortex of flame curls up, and up, and up; up with her hand, as she throws it up towards the heavens. "-- Be Cleansed!"

And with a downwards motion she flings the ofuda towards that tank, and the flame follows the paper slip, like the fires of a volcano flowing down in the wake of a single loosened stone.

It's not quite the heartfelt light of the Moon: there is fury, here, all the retribution of the downtrodden.

But anger is its own purifier, in the end.

COMBAT: Sailor Mars transforms into Sailor Mars!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Mars has used By Fire Be Cleansed! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

If Slithery can grumble under her breath, then she has plenty of energy to spare still. As the scaled heroine makes a path through the hoard of possessed cops to reach the tank, Sourisi feels a little uneasy about sending her on alone ahead of her. If she could just get a good view of the Mayor, if he could be forced out of the tank for just a moment, they could get the shades off and capture the Akuma once and for all!

The biggest problem right now is the mob of magically enhanced police armed with riot shields and rubber bullets. Speaking of which... "Ow ow owww! At least it's not real bullets, but those still sting!" Sourisi kicks off a riot shield of the officer in front of her to gain some distance from the defenders protecting the gunners, but it only makes her an easier target for the ranged fighters. Just how is she going to get past those shields...?

The roof quakes and concrete dust goes flying upwards as a tank shell impacts the tower, and a chill goes down Sourisi's spine as she looks off in the direction that she had asked her friend to charge into. Alone. "No..." Guilt settles down in her stomach a moment later, and the only thing left on her mind is to see the results firsthand.

It's reckless, but Sourisi leaps over the nearest officers in front of her in order to reach Ground Zero. Any helmet that appears underneath her becomes a convenient stepping stool to keep her above the deputized police.

It's difficult to spot Serpentina with her graying uniform and the dust in the air, but Sourisi lets out a sigh of relief as she lands next to the other Miraculous User and looks her over in the shared cover. She's certainly bruised and battered, but still has her fighting spirit. She gives a glare out over the cover towards the mayor, cowering in his metal behemoth. "And you're turning Tokyo's might on those that help protect it! That just makes you look weak and cowardly!"

Looking on the mobile artillery that caused so much pain to her friend, Sourisi focuses on the barrel and smirks as a plan comes to mind. Ducking down behind cover, the Miraculous Ninja motions towards the tank with a tonfa. "I think it's time for some payback. I'm gonna try to bend the barrel and you can aim at the same spot? Next time he goes to fire it, he's going to have a nasty surprise!"

The hasty plan comes together, and Sourisi vaults over the concrete rubble to rush the tank head on. She doesn't stay on the ground for long, leaping skyward as a red light starts to intensify from her boots. "I think it's time you retire from the police force!" Twirling over in midair, Sourisi aims her axe kick directly at the middle of the turret.

Quietly on Sourisi's Miraculous, a silver tail starts to shrink with this final result. Even something as powerful as the Miraculous has its' limits, and Sourisi just went past them.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sourisi has started a combo targeting Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Neptune [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Neptune's lower center of balance gives her certain benefits in reaction, but the other downside is that it is easier to fall upon her. The sailor of elegance disappears beneath the tide of blue, black, and translucency, and for a moment there is almost as if nothing were there. Moments pass...

A hand reaches out towards the ankle of Sailor Uranus -- and tip-tap-tip-taps on her ankle, before there is a rustle and a sudden rising surge from behind her. "She did for a moment," Sailor Neptune murmurs, "but we got past it."

Sailor Neptune leans her weight back for a moment as she slides her arms down. "I was worried about you, you know," she says as she leans back against the taller woman, raising her legs up to bring a double-foot kick and press against a shield that had been slamming in to exploit this point of revelation. "You're lucky I was having tea at 'that' place, or else where would you be now? But then," her head turns, a sly note in her voice, "you did manage, even if it was a little flashy."

As she slides back down, her head leans back, though, and she turns to murmur despite the chaos, "I like it when you're flashy," but it is a moment, a private moment.

The private becomes public again quite swiftly. "Despite everything, these numbers do have - weight to them..."

Sailor Neptune's eyes cut back towards where Mami was-- hidden as it may be, for now, by law enforcement. "-- I think I have it. Quick, let's get back over to Tomoe -- we'll need her. After all," another glance, back towards Uranus: "They have such a fondness for firearms... do you think they'll appreciate irony as well?"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Neptune has started a combo targeting Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Chaos. The crowded charge approaches, and Mami Tomoe continues her ribbony work in the midst of the battlefield. But this bigger cop steps up, and Mami blinks, looking at the gigantic gun he has over his shoulder. She has only an instant to think about it--

Plans of ribbons are on hold; those ribbons burst into being a great big gun of her own, and a flash of its muzzle sees it erupt straight into the mass of sound, and Mami is partially shielded by the blast....

Except that she still can't hear what he's saying. She's pretty sure, however, that she's extremely offended, and she frowns at him as she's briefly on her own. But it's only brief; her direction of where Neptune is pays off, and Mami leaps, twirling around deputized magical police with the grace of a dancer though she at the moment has her hands full with defense. But when the others come back...

"My," Mami finds herself saying a few moments later, as she pulls a ribbon from her collar and starts to shake it out. "I do like it." The ribbon stretches, and grows, and becomes a great big silver-and-golden gun, gigantic with scaffolding on either side, filigree all over, a barrel as wide as Mami is tall. She passes her hands down it, and it shines like the noonday sun is on it.

Then, Mami sets a hand at the cord tied to its trigger, as a hum begins to sound. "Ready!" the Golden Queen calls, a small smirk on her face, her drills hanging perfectly, her hat long since restored to its proper shape and place.

Her hand, covered in black save for the fingers, prepares for the cue.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Mami Tomoe has joined the combo started by Sailor Neptune!
<Pose Tracker> Serpentina Ruse [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Umbrella versus tank blast. Who would win? Most people's money would be on the tank for obvious reasons.

In this case, it was a push. Literally. The open parasol blocked the blast but sent Serpentina flying and skidding across the ground before she managed to flip to her feet and stagger backwards into balance. She survived, but she's hurt. Shaky and low on time, but desperate and determined, she stumbles forward towards the Mad Mayor. Using the concrete barrier helpfully created by the tankfire for cover, she steadies herself as she plans her last-ditch effort.

The explosion combined with the mayor's words strikes a nerve in Serpentina. "Tokyo's might? We ARE Tokyo's might!" Her fists clench, her right hand tightening around her singed parasol. "Super Sakurada is Tokyo's might! You... are a tyrant!"

And Sourisi's words echo her own from beside her. Serpentina lets out a half-surprised, half pained gasp. "H-hey, come to see if I'm okay?" Even better, Serpentina's friend offered payback. "...I'm in. I have one good attack left in me. My HP and MP are almost gone, but I have a Limit Break." Was she a little delirious? Was she sharing an inside joke? Was she giving a hint at her identity?

% Either way, as soon as Sourisi initiates her attack, Serpentina prepares her followup. She launches herself into the air by opening her umbrella below her and initiating a gust of wind. At the peak of her jump, she closes it, points it in front of her, and twists her body... faster... and faster... untill she looks like a drill or a sideways cyclone. She launches straight at the weak spot her mousey ally potentially made, trying to finish the job. She puts everything she has in this attack, and hopes it is enough...

COMBAT: FINISHER! Serpentina Ruse has joined the combo started by Sourisi!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Sourisi and Serpentina Ruse have used Combo: Miraculous Style: Yin & Yang, composed of Primal Crazy
Rodent and Final Fang, on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Sailor Uranus has a baton drawn back to smash aside a shield when covering fire comes invisibly in. Uranus can't really complain about being attacked with a transparent projectile, but it sure is tempting.

The sound cannon sends Uranus's short hair blasting as though this really were one of her wind attacks. She takes a simple step out to the side to stabilize herself, but her inner ear is ringing like a country dinner bell. Her well-trained agility is intact, but now operating off false information; somehow her foot just misses the ground, dumping her unexpectedly onto one knee and one hand.

"Augh..." Touching a hand to her ear, Uranus shakes her head, the ringing not dispersing. Lifting her eyes, she frowns at the policeman, not understanding him in the least. "What?" she tries (a syllable she herself cannot hear), but then her eyes narrow. Glancing back at Mami, then to the huge officer, she shakes her head reprovingly.

"Where's Nep--!" Haruka tries to say, but grimaces, unsure if Mami can understand. She won't be able to hear the answer even if she did. So Neptune must be... amidst these guys somewhere. Uranus grits her teeth.

Stalking forward, the tall blonde plunges into the midst of the riot cops, so as to force any further sound cannon blasts to hit them as well. With crisp, precise motions, she slams the corners of armored knees and elbows with her batons, shoulders men over by ramming their shields, and once, simply yanks the top of the shield forward to briefly expose the man's face, and pokes him in the throat hard with the tip of the baton. One by one they drop until Uranus is walking directly at the biggest guy, squinting one eye against the ringing in her ears, but grinning ferociously.

Lunging, the big cop tries to retrieve one of the fallen riot shields, leaving the cannon behind. Uranus lunges too, cutting him off from it and forcing him to pause, but a moment later, she smirks and kicks the shield across the ground to him.

The moment he picks it up and brandishes his own baton, Uranus is upon him, beating the shield like a taiko drum with both powerful arms. Impact damage blossoms on the polymer surface over and over, each as unique and lovely the snowflakes they resemble. Every time the huge man tries to break out of the losing battle of just blocking, Uranus punishes it instantly, hammering whatever he dares leave exposed, or once stomping his insole and just shoving the shield back into him as if helping him block.

Very quickly, the heavily cracked shield ends up basically pressed against him all the time. It grows flexible with damage, bending into kicks and baton strikes. When he can barely hold the shield up anymore from the secondhand beating he's received, the riot cop drops to his knees, and a deep, overhanded baton blow cracks into his helmet, shattering one lens of his sunglasses. Dancing back, she lets him fall facefirst. The ringing in her ears is mostly gone.

"Hey, Neptune!" she calls.

Tap, tap.

Uranus doesn't even have to look back. She just smiles.

Bracing herself, she supports Neptune's kick. "Well, I knew you were watching," she points out. "Had to make up for the whole getting kidnapped thing." With a quick puff of air over her shoulder, she disturbs Neptune's oceanous locks, then glances over appraisingly at Mami Tomoe.

One thing leads to another pretty quickly.

Mysterious New Attack OST - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLyRpGKWXRs

Sailor Uranus stands beside the gigantic Tiro cannon, her hair lashed around by her own magic. As Mami charges up the attack, Uranus keeps channeling a tight, fast whirlwind of air and energy around it. This serves two purposes:

-The constantly refreshed supply of oxygen is building the heat of the blast to such an extreme that Uranus worries about the gun barrel

-It feeds more wind-force into the World Shaking that is packed into the cannon like propellant.

"I feel like this might be overkill," Uranus shouts gaily over the howling wind. But she continues accelerating the channel of air around the barrel, charging it up even as Mami does the same. "Neptune, you ready?"

Grimacing, Uranus nods to Mami. "On her mark then, we both go." And she draws back her hands.

The moment Neptune launches her portion of the attack, Uranus releases hers as well. The instant the enchanted crystal hammer of this giant flintlock slams down, World Shaking explodes too, increasing the recoil considerably. The superheated blast lances out atop the tumultuous waves of Deep Submerge, digging a furrow into them despite not actually being in contact.

When the Tiro blast nails its target (hopefully the correct one), it does so at the end of a great gust of gold-flecked wind, which strikes more harmlessly and causes a beautiful, shimmering haze that makes the Tiro explosion look like a setting sun over the beautiful ocean.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Uranus has joined the combo started by Sailor Neptune!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Sailor Neptune, Mami Tomoe, and Sailor Uranus have used Combo: Golden Windstorm, composed of Deep
Submerge!, Tiro FINALE, and World Shaking!, on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 235 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Lancelot's Finisher, Anima Tempestas, taking 151 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Fuu Hououji's Gale Arrow, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 69 Fatigue damage from Akko Kagari's Finisher, Shiny Arc, taking 46 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Mars's Finisher, By Fire Be Cleansed!, taking 210 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Pink Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sourisi and Serpentina Ruse's Finisher, Combo: Miraculous Style: Yin & Yang, taking 130
Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Sourisi is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Neptune, Mami Tomoe, and Sailor Uranus's Finisher, Combo: Golden Windstorm, taking
618 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Pink Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

It begins... with bolos.

Hundreds of them, glowing blue and glorious, falling like stars, blossoming like a field of feet-eating fireflies. The Shiny Rod is no joke; they don't all bring down their targets, but every last one finds their mark.

The cops are officially sitting ducks.

Even if they were more mobile, there's no escaping the encroaching wall of pink light that demarcates the edge of the gigantic heart with Sailor Moon at its center. Where it passes, no possession can remain, and the policemen, afterwards, are just men (and a handful of women). They're just people.

But they're just people in the midst of a battle against enemies, just people seeing people who look like them, who wear a uniform like them, being threatened by vast and terrific energies. And, besides all that, they're just people, just following orders.

This inertia, this entrenchment, is a power that the heart of Sailor Moon cannot so easily overcome.

The battle does not stop.

Fuu's wind-assisted acrobatics and archery pays off in a big way: "OW!" complains the MEGA-MAYOR. Her arrow must have gone straight down the turret to hit him directly. It wasn't in the head, or this would be over, but the reloading process of the main gun is going to take longer than it would have otherwise. That HURT.

Of course, then she's spent and she's in a desperately vulnerable position, surrounded as she is by aggressively angry policemen. Fortunately, that's about the time that Lancelot's wave of righteous lightning washes over the army. Fuu is a little scorched, but the cops are blasted well away from her before she can be harmed.

After lightning comes thunder, but it's fire that's next, here, holy fire led by an ofuda like a parade led by a Grand Marshal, pouring straight at the tank. It begins to melt both physically and metaphysically, a sort of antimatter detonation against its Akumatized plating.

That's more than softened up for Sourisi's intense axe kick to kink the turret as planned; Serpentina Ruse's umbrella-drill SHEARS IT OFF ENTIRELY, which means MEGA-MAYOR won't be trying to fire it. But, on the other hand, now there's a great big hole in the front of the tank, and the Mayor -- who never served a day on the police force, it must be said, nor in the JSDF whose uniform he's vaguely emulating -- is clearly visible within.

The violet butterfly materializes around his face, Papillon speaking both to him and through him. << QUICKLY! Serpentina Ruse and Sourisi must be weakened from all this, seize their Miraculous while you still can! >>

It vanishes; the Mayor's back. He bobs his head in agreement, but there's no time to make a move... something has come to meet him, instead.

Something golden and glorious, courtesy of Mami and Sailor Uranus.

For a moment the whole world shakes; and then what happens to the tank might be best wrought in metaphor for Neptune's portion.

It was... Titanic.

And it was definitely overkill.

The Mayor's glasses fly out of the golden mushroom cloud, and skitter across the concrete, to Serpentina Ruse's feet. They break in half with the final bounce. The akuma butterfly is released only to be caught up immediately within the girl's still-spinning umbrella. It's sucked into the vortex, then lost within. As long as she keeps it held shut, it won't be bothering anyone again until it's purified.

It is fortunate for all involved that the wall of hot pink light never stopped advancing from Sailor Moon's position. At last it reaches the cloud, engulfs it, and the Mayor presumably within.


Silence falls across the thirty-second floor rooftop of Tokyo's City Hall. But for some drifting smoke, there's no sign of all the damage; Moon Spiral Heart Attack took care of that. The worst of the wounds on magical girl and foe alike are gone, leaving at most a few bruises and scrapes.

Click. Clack. Click. Clack.

Natsuna Sakurada, who wears heels with her power suit, strides across the rooftop to the Mayor, who is seated, dazed, on concrete. Sailor Moon's wondering words -- 'you really are on our side' -- and Sailor Mars wearing her cloak, these shows of support lend her a metaphorical cloak to replace the one she's lost but freely given. It swirls behind her, this raw and potent and palpable confidence. The cloak of command.

Without hesitation, she presents him with the two halves of her badge.

"I will not follow the orders of a man whose petty sense of inadequacy would send good men and women to hunt the very citizens we should be serving and protecting -- citizens who, in fact, often serve and protect US, whether we like it or not, whether we KNOW it or not. They deserve your support. They deserve your respect. At the very least, they deserve your duty."

He stammers unintelligably as she twists, gazing across the rooftop at the assembled mass of defeated Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force officers. "Therefore, I resign as Superintendent-General," she declares, more to them than to him -- a clear, sonorous invitation for others to follow her.

No one does.

Undoubtedly they have their reasons. This has been a very confusing evening, and will become moreso with the veiling mists of magical rationalization further heightened by an all-too-human desperation to make sense of something senseless.

But they could have, and they didn't. Natsuna's expression makes it clear that she'll remember that.

And that matters, because -- no one stops her as, click clack, she walks to the nearest door -- she glances over her shoulder at the threshhold, back at the Mayor.

She makes the oldest symbol of the girls' generation: a V-sign.

"I'll be back," Natsuna Sakurada swears, before taking her leave.

Now whatever could that mean?

But, with her gone, some final spell on the policemen is broken. Groaning, they pick themselves up, and each other also -- they help the Mayor, who's still unable to clearly form a rejoinder, safely inside, and will surely escort him to his office. There, his humiliation can metastasize into rage, but at least it will be in private. He'll send a memo later in support of the force's actions. It will be well-received internally.

No one approaches the magical girls as they make their escape. No one apologizes to them, either.

All the same, today feels more like a victory than a defeat.


Today feels more like a defeat than a victory.

Far away, defeated but safely ensconced within his dark sanctum, Papillon senses the capture and soon-to-be purification of his akuma. "Blast," he mutters. "And yet... today is not a COMPLETE loss."

He strokes his elaborate, butterfly-shaped bow tie, and smiles, thinking of the Mayor. Hapless and impotent, humiliated, and in desperate need of allies.

"...after all...the enemy of my enemies is my friend."

Laughter builds within him like pressure in a pipe, until he can no longer contain it. The white butterflies do not answer him. But the world will answer TO him, very soon.