2020-09-08 - ...Somebody Loses An Eye 2

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Somebody Loses An Eye 2

The magical girl cosplayers attract a little untoward attention. Fortunately, it's from someone too intelligent to mistake them for the real thing. Unfortunately, it's from someone too ruthless to care.


Fuu Hououji, Rei Hino, Mami Tomoe, Nagisa Misumi, Honoka Yukishiro, Usagi Tsukino, Poisony

GM: Pink Moon Stick


Construction lot across from Uminari Park

OOC - IC Date:

9/8/2020 - 09-25-15


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

The wrecking ball zakenna is an extremely worthy opponent. Given the attention of the magical girls, it takes it hungrily. Fuu's arrow clangs off the top of the crane; offered Mami's bullets to eat, it chews them up and spits them out.


Sure, its metal mouth is sizzling a little, but that was worth it...

*clang clang* 

Sourisi's tonfa set the crane's length humming where they hit.


That'd be the two-step guillotine of Pretty Cure. The chain glows red with the strain it's suddenly under -- and spins the ball, rather than snap entirely.

But ignoring the cosplayers is a potentially deadly mistake. Not for the magical girls...


Most of the cosplayers weren't really engaged in earnest to begin with, and simply drop where they stand. The "Moonlight Knight" aborts his counterattack (one hand on his gut, the other reaching back towards Sailor Moon) to do the same. Then they roll, like so many logs, tumbling towards the end of the roof... AGAIN.

Poisony laughs cruelly.

"You know what to do to make this stop," she calls after White and Black, and everyone else presumably rushing to rescue their classmates. "Surrender the Prism Stones... and I'll think about sparing your friends!"

Kotono is spared the others' fate, but not without pain -- she screams and screams as the power of the ofuda burns the possession out of her, then collapses, panting, at Sailor Mars' feet.

Her eyes are glassy with agony, but at least her gaze is her own.

"Lookit," she slurs.

Look at... Sailor Mars?

That's a reasonable interpretation.

But the wrecking ball, which is now more like a tetherball, is soaring in towards Mars from behind (and the fallen Kotono herself, from the front) with terrible speed.

'Look out.'

<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mami's guns fire off and fall, and the Puella Magi already moves towards another attack. She has her eye out for everyone, naturally--a ranged combatant has to be aware of the entire battlefield. But there's only so much she can do at once--

And she's very conscious of the fact that tiny Momoko Momohara suddenly drops. "Ah--"

The ball is a problem. A big problem. But Mami finds this one even bigger. "No!"

The Puella Magi leaps over the intervening space, hurrying towards the edge to scoop up the little Golden Queen in one arm, ribbons unfurling from all around her to wrap about pillars, the ground, to help her maintain a grip and steady her for whatever comes next.

It's exhausting, the back and forth, not because of the physical activity itself but the sheer stress of the danger to these others. "Not a chance!" Mami nevertheless retorts to Poisony, not inclined to show any of that strain.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Evadere on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Sailor Moon seems relieved when the 'Moonlight Knight' drops rather than counter-attacks. "Don't worry Umino-kun. We'll-" He then starts rolling and she cries out in astonishment, "Wah!?" He's already past her when she's turned and sees all of them rolling towards the edge like so many lemmings. "Hey stop! You've never been one to cave to peer pressure!"

As he keeps on rolling towards the edge, she darts towards him in an attempt to stop him, especially since she pauses to reflexively dodge the wrecking ball that blurs past her. "Mars!?"

Moon cries out in fear as the wrecking ball smashes into her, just as it had Cure White. However while she was struck hard, it was not nearly as bad as it could be.

And that's when it truly sinks in, the cruelty of this. It's not dissimilar to what she faced against the Dark Kingdom, and what she faces now. Those terrifyingly powerful generals and Youma, Demons and Dark Queens that endanger people so casually for the sake of their objective...

... and blaming it on you for defying them.

Whether it's the Legendary Silver Crystal, or the Prism Stones. The objective is different, but the brand of cruelty is so similar that it strikes a chord with her. She nearly lost everyone dear to her because of that.

Suddenly sprinting towards the edge, she takes a short hop in front of Umino and simply kneels down to make a barrier while spreading out her hands to catch him.

She wants to shout 'don't do it', but that'd make her the worst kind of hypocrite. She remembers every time she almost did, when even one of her friends were threatened. She remembers the times she's had to be held back, remembers the time she did give it up for someone's safety. And knows she'd do it again without even thinking about it if one of her friends were threatened.

And so she does not tell them not to, instead she shouts, "Whatever you decide to do - we'll figure it out!"

Her support of Cure Black and White's ability to make their own choice is what she can offer. "No matter how hard she makes it for us, we'll save them as many times as it takes!"

And then, bracing Umino with one hand, as Mami begins her own rescue, she brings her other up to her sacred tiara. "Moon Tiara-"

Her slim arm brings it back, infusing it with such power that it becomes a shining holy disk, hovering over her palm. She's done this so many times that most people might predict the next word out of her mouth as she brings her hand forward in rotational motion.


They would be wrong however, as the discus arcs around sharply, trailing a glittering trail of stardust that falls down like gentle snowflakes upon as many cosplayers as she can catch in their trail. It is an attempt to purge dark influence within as many of them as she can.

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

Kotono screams.

Of course she does. It's not soft, the purification of these princesses, on Mars or on the earth. Moonlight might be gentle on the skin but flame is not; fire burns.

(And yet they both give off light.)

There is something pained in the eyes of Sailor Mars as she witnesses how heavy safety weighs, but it is not much of regret. More than that it is recognition, a certain sense of empathy -- and a shade of horror for what was done to her to couch the darkness so deeply around her mind.

She's not looking at Umino or Hoshi or Misaki, in this moment. Poisony's words still burn through the pain of Kotono's voice. Yes -- it is cruel.

Kotono falls and Sailor Mars leans down, as if to help her; it's well she does. Because it means she can hear that word - two words? - through that slurred blurriness. Look, she says, and Mars glances over her shoulder to see what Kotono is looking...

... at.

All at once the motion she was moving into becomes so much more vivid and sharp, as Sailor Mars throws herself down over Kotono, arms wrapping around her. The zakenna's wrecking ball comes in like itself and crashes into them, forces a cry from her lips; but it will find that the form of a Senshi is not unlike iron, and rather than slamming through her into the girl on the other side it achieves the goal of flinging her away.

Luckily, she goes horizontal, not vertical. Unluckily, there is a considerable amount of debris, here on this construction site. They're rushing by so quickly, but the magic of Mars's mind is still able to catch up to the end point -- she twists in mid-air, and makes sure she's the one who impacts the pile of concrete first.

There is a cloud of dust, except it's not actually dust. It's little particles of concrete. One hand to the back of Kotono's head to protect it -- the only thing on Mars's mind in the whole three or four seconds this took -- and she dusts those particles from her head, with a pained smile.

"H--hey, there you go... that warning helped a lot..." She's using her words! A heel to the rubble, a palm to the slab, and the hoists the both of them up. With a glance to Poisony out there, she guides her behind a sturdier-looking area of the arena. "I know this is rough... but keep your head down for a while," she asks -- well, she tells, but at least makes some attempt to soften it down with her tone.

With a surer smile, she asks: "It's my job to keep Sailor Moon safe -- right?"

Sure, it might be a wig made of yarn, but... it still means something to her.

Meanwhile, out there, the real Sailor Moon...

... hopefully she has better luck helping them than Mars did.

Sailor Mars springs back, pointing accusation to Poisony. "Here's a counteroffer," she says, and all the acrid sharpness which fled her words to Kotono now returns in full force. She is angry, angry at this woman who would do so much to hurt their friends, friends who can offer no real resistance to the evils she would lay at their feet. "Surrender your zakenna -- and I'll think about letting you walk!"

She doesn't offer up the Prism Stones. She wouldn't, even if they were hers to give.

Drawing her hands back to herself, she says: "... but here's the catch. You'd better decide before we destroy it!" They come back to her chest so that she can bring them together, in meditative stance, finger pressed to finger. "Fire..." With her words it is so, a spark of light at her fingertips which spirals and spirals until it becomes a raging FIREBALL, to crash into the wrecking ball zakenna. "... Soul!"

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Fire Soul! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Evadere, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's Block and
Parry abilities activate!  Bind Break! All of Mami Tomoe's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to dodge Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Stardust, taking 37 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 40 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mars's Fire Soul!, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Pink
Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Pinned between the wrecking ball and the crane arm by choice, Cure Black is not visible during impact. Did she get squished by her own partner?

Of course not.

Cure Black drops out from where she was wedged as the vibrating steel ball and its twisted-up and damaged chain are still ringing from Cure White's massively destructive kick, held to the fire by Cure Black's legs and feet. Those legs wobble like rubber when Black hits the ground, but she still manages to catch Cure White. Not as a prince catches a princess; more like figure skating. She lets White down more gently to the ground than she would have otherwise by catching her waist and offering her own shoulders. Then they're side-by-side again.

"You're all right?" Cure Black checks. "We should finish this Zakenna before..." Black's eyes widen as she sees what's happening to the captives. "...that happens!"

FWPC OST - Hurry! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-Qhy5L8jRA

Offering cupped hands, Black tosses White up onto the dizzied wrecking ball, then leaps up herself, grabbing White's extended palm. In turn, White tosses Black up onto the chain, which she grapples onto with a jangle. With knees and crossed ankles propelling her, Black climbs the chain rapidly, hand-over-hand. When she's sufficiently higher than the top level of the parking garage, she kicks off the chain in the opposite direction, hanging on with a single hand. "Wait!" she calls to Natsuko and Kyoko. As she swings back, she lets go, sailing onto the parking garage.

Cure Black lands right between the two log-rolling cosplayers, just as they tip off the edge. "Gah!" Throwing herself onto her back, Cure Black reaches back blindly and grabs with both hands. Her left catches Natsuko's arm, securing Discount Black. But her right catches just the fancy frill around Kyoko's collar. As it tears, Black lets go and grabs for something else, catching her more solidly by a handful of cloth near the nape of her neck.

"Haah," Cure Black sighs, relieved. She's on her back with her arms spread wide, bearing the weight with some of her weakest muscles and forcing her shoulderblades in. But the girl who can carry giant monsters has no trouble with the weight.

But strength does nothing for leverage.

The very instant Black sighs with relief, she starts to tilt backwards, her feet and hips lifting off the ground as she, too, starts to slide off the edge.

"A-arienai!" she yelps.

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

Even if the Magic Knight of Wind were inclined to rely on the Winds of Admonishment again - which she's loathe to do, after it drew blood both unexpected and unintended - the way Poisony manipulates the cosplayers *this* time precludes that option anyway, rolling along the roof as they are. Instead, the Wind Knight directs a devastating glower towards the hovering villainess, and flings herself after the rolling Manami, materializing her sword as she goes and driving it into the roof as an ersatz brake, bracing herself between the blade and Manami for good measure.

Which puts a pretty severe damper on her ability to fight.

Poisony is out of reach, of course, and the Zacranena is probably alert to block or deflect any attack the Wind Knight *might* try to launch towards the Dark King's minion. Her arrows don't seem to be putting much of a dent in the wrecking-ball monster, and archery would require one or two more hands free than she can spare right now. For that matter, so would magic - she typically needs to at least gesture to help direct a spell at its target, even the Winds of Healing.

But does that leave her helpless?

If she were alone - if it were the Wind Knight on her own, with a half-dozen or more cosplaying hostages and a monster many times her size, and a servant of Darkness demanding something incredibly, unbelievably precious - even her will might succumb to despair. But she's *not* alone, as the gleaming disc of Sailor Moon's tiara reminds her on its way past - and the green-clad Magic Knight props her cosplaying counterpart up a bit better, hoping the shimmers of stardust will help. Sailor Mars defies Poisony with fire both conjured and spoken; Mami's ribbons provide her with added mobility, as well as letting her secure the other Golden Queen away from the building's edge. And Cure Black and Cure White, the true targets of Poisony's demand, are there as well, along with the bold and bolting Sourisi.

She isn't alone. *They* are not alone. None of them are.

"Thank you, Sailor Moon-san!" the Wind Knight calls out, noddnig briefly at the tiara's path. "You've always been so strong ... I know your strength will help see us through this fight, too!"

Not that the green-clad Magic Knight plans to leave the outcome of this fight *entirely* in her allies' hands; as soon as she can bring bow or spell to bear again, she'll be ready - just as soon as she identifies her best option to rejoin the attack.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Favorable Observation on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Fuu Hououji's Favorable Observation, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!  
<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

'You're all right?'

Cure White feels warmth at her waist, even though her partner's hands are no longer there. She doesn't look to double-check, though; she can't tear her gaze away from Black's amber eyes so easily.

"We're together," she answers softly, a gentle sigh that has no place on any battlefield, and yet could not be more apt in this single heartbeat of a moment.

They're together -- so she's a lot better than all right.

She leaps into Black's waiting hands once again.

White climbs one-footedly and a bit more slowly than she might have normally; she's still kind of shaking the impact out of her other foot with every jounce up the crane, flinging off momentum in rapid little wiggles. Not just HER impact, but the original one when she got knocked over the horizon. Pins and needles! Her hands endure worse, though, up that red-hot chain, and she's glad to leave it even if it's bearable.

She falls, her hair billowing behind her like a vast shadowy parachute, her skirt beneath her the same, which means that as she ascended, so she descended: more slowly than Black.

It works out almost as though they did it on purpose, because it means that although she's too late to save Natsuko and Kyoko, she is EXACTLY ON TIME to clamp her hands around Cure Black's regrettably leg-warmered calves, just as the three of them would have gone over the edge.


And her feet are very firm on the rooftop.

She glares up at Poisony. Her outrage is palpable.

"You targetted these girls because of how they dress!"

Her pale arms are far stronger than they look, when she's Pretty Cure. And just now they look strong -- a sleek angle of flesh emerging along them as White leans into the tension on her line.

"It's up to all of us to be worthy of their admiration and support! So there's no way--"

With a heave, she draws the three of them backwards like someone tucking themselves in beneath a blanket. She doesn't so much trust Black to guarantee that the girl on either of her arms will land gently as simply know it to be so.

"--we'll let them down at a time like this!"

<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Cure Black lets her orange hair invert as a fall becomes a suspension. It's a little spikier than usual when she's in this form, but it forms a candleflame shape beneath her upside-down face anyway. "Sank you!" she calls in English.

When White starts to pull, she feels Black's calf muscles shift beneath the leg warmers as she prepares for it. As she's yanked up, she drags both Natsuko and Kyoko into her chest, making a swinging motion with them so their legs cross over hers. With a Cure in both of her arms, she braces for a rough landing on concrete; her usual preternatural sense for her partner's position was hard to maintain while full-on upside down and facing the other way. All she felt was a grip on her legs.

She is surprised, thus to find her landing is not just not hard, but exceptionally soft. Her back drops onto White's thighs, her legs across White's torso. Her feet have to split at the last second to avoid dropping her boots on White's face. Such is the pile that is created. At the bottom, Cure White, then Cure Black, then another Cure Black, then (her legs atop Natsuko's) the other Cure White. Lifting her head to look down her own chest and (barely) over the legs of Futari wa Pretty Cosplay, Cure Black grins ruefully.

"We're like an onigiri now," she observes.

Spreading her arms to gently cradle the two cosplayers to the ground to either side of her, Black brings her legs in and reaches out to grab White's hands so they can help lift each other. "Ahaha, kind of embarrassing right?" She doesn't seem bashful, though. Bonklers are used to being embarrassed.

Natsuko shifts a little, and Cure Black seems done messing around with THAT. She steps on Natsuko's collar the way you might step on a dog's leash to free up both hands. She needs at least one free, after all.

"You should have known better than to bring them into this, Poisony!" she calls, her face growing serious again. "Not only does it really tick us off, you're only reminding us why we do this! Even if it's hard sometimes, there are so many who want to stand up and can't! Natsuko-chan and Kyoko-chan would be great Pretty Cure! So now we're going to be twice the Pretty Cure for their sake!"

Taking Cure White's hand with one of hers, Black sweeps the other dramatically in front of her. "You too, Magic Knight Fuu!" She correctly identified what sort of magical girl Fuu is. "You need to shoot twice as many arrows and heal twice as many people!" She brings that hand back in in a dramatic fist.

"And Kaitou Jeanne! There's someone here who knows what a good person you really are! Help us steal this victory!"

Black stands for a moment, then glances around, flipping her glance from left to right. "Eh? Eh? Is Kaitou Jeanne not here?"

<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

For some reason, as they get back up, Cure Red is temporarily born...

COMBAT: Cure White has used With Your Whole Smile on Cure Black.
COMBAT: Cure White has used With Your Whole Smile on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Cure White has used With Your Whole Smile on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars accepts Cure White's With Your Whole Smile, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor Mars is Cheered!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe accepts Cure White's With Your Whole Smile, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Cure Black accepts Cure White's With Your Whole Smile, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cure Black is Cheered!  
COMBAT: Cure Black has used With Your Whole Smile on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Cure Black has used With Your Whole Smile on Cure White.
COMBAT: Cure Black has used With Your Whole Smile on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Cure Black's With Your Whole Smile, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Cheered!
COMBAT: Cure White accepts Cure Black's With Your Whole Smile, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Cure Black's With Your Whole Smile, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Cheered!  
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Fire Soul breaks in glorious petals of flames against the crane arm, leaving some slag behind. It's a very big zakenna, however, and no matter how passionately shot, that power won't be enough on its own.

In a way, what Sailor Mars said -- what they all said -- was more important.

Poisony makes a bored little "tch" with her tongue as everyone collectively says, shouts or screams their defiance. It's obviously nothing she hasn't heard before.

"I'm surprised," she allows coolly, however: "I thought you cared more about your friends."

Stardust anoints one and all. It sparkles gloriously in Kotono's wig -- and even more gloriously in her eyes -- but where it lands on the still-possessed, it isn't such a fun experience. As with Sailor Mars, it seems that this forcible ejection of Poisony's Dark Power is not an easy path for the cosplayers.

The demolition site erupts in screams.

Their faces won't be easy to forget; least of all Momoko's. Youngest and smallest by miles (since most of them are high schoolers, and she's Chibi-Usa's classmate in elementary), the little Golden Queen stares sightlessly through Mami, twin tear tracks pouring silently down her cheeks, as though she's seized by too much pain to even make a sound.


Just kidding! There's not enough time for it to be afterwards yet.

It isn't like Poisony's just been hanging around ducking purification snowflakes. (There are a few smoking pinprick-sized holes in her cape, but she's otherwise unharmed. She did not dignify the threat with an attempt at avoidance; while it's enough to rescue ordinary people en masse, it will take higher-octane stuff to move her.) Even as the Sailor Senshi began to demonstrate this ability to short-circuit her clever strategy with a kind of brute force, she gestured with a razor-sharp point at the rooftop itself.

Wrecking Ball Zakenna gets the picture.


He crashes down with such immense speed that no longer is the chain the only part of him that's red hot -- his entire ball is too. Like a meteor entering the atmosphere, destructive streaks trail beautifully, terribly behind him.

Poisony's voice is chillingly unconcerned. "You should take better care of them -- fall together."

The roof -- the entire parking structure -- explodes into chunks, and the battlefield is abruptly two or three seconds of floating islands of concrete in a cloud of debris dust, followed by "the ground," which in this lot has no particularly safe landing sites.

No one except perhaps the two Golden Queens will make it safely down without further action. Enough of Mami's spiderweb is anchored to other objects that she can get Momoko to the ground with minimal effort.

Everyone else is falling four stories to their death, unless another story begins -- right now!

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls on Cure White.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls on Cure Black.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls, taking 4 Fatigue
damage!  Fuu Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure White counters 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls, taking 26 Fatigue
damage!  Cure White's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure White's counterattack, Eight Trigram Palm, partially gets through, doing 11 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Cure Black cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls, taking 4 Fatigue
damage!  Cure Black's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls, taking 13 Fatigue damage!
Mami Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars perfectly dodges 29 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls, taking 0
Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Sailor Mars's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon braces 16 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's All I Wanted Was To Break Your Walls, taking 7 Fatigue damage!
Sailor Moon's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

'Good medicine tastes bad,' an old saying goes - and Manami's shriek as the Moon Tiara Stardust wars with Poisony's dark puppetry causes the Wind Knight to wince in reaction, at both the pain and its expression. She still hears Cure Black reencourage her, and is able to incline her head to the darker-clad of the two Pretty Cures, even if she's not sure how else to show her thanks.

And then she doesn't even have time to, as Poisony and her Zakenna bring the house down - underneath all of them.

"Manami-san, I'm sorry for the pain you're enduring -" Her left arm loops securely around the Magic Knight of Cosplay, holding her close. "- but please trust in me a bit longer!" finishes the Wind Knight, wrenching her sword free and pushing away from the now-tumbling chunk that had been part of a ceiling, once upon a time.

"Winds of Protection!!"

That has to be the first step, buffering the two of them against smaller chunks of masonry or rubble - but it's not going to be enough on its own, not against the *big* pieces. She'll have to deal other ways with those ...

And she does. Some of them are big enough and steady enough to jump off of, in the split second she can bring her boots' soles to bear. Other pieces come at the wrong angle to jump, and she wields her sword one-handed, its length seemingly no heavier than a quill pen when its size *should* require both hands; slashing through those bigger pieces of debris makes it easier for the Winds of Protection to deflect the now-smaller chunks, and if it takes more than one slash in some cases - well, the Wind Knight swings however many times it takes, however many times she *can* when it comes to protecting her charge.

Her fan.

When this is over - when the monster is defeated and the dust settles - will Manami still look up to the Wind Knight enough to even think about dressing up as her again? Fuu can't even think about that right now; certainly there's many a dark night when she doesn't see *herself* worth cosplaying as. It's almost fortunate that the current moment doesn't *let* her think about anything more than debris around her, the girl she's carrying, the force of gravity drawing them all down, down, down, and the unforgiving ground that's no longer so far below.

Slash, slash, jump, slash again, kick to right herself, slash -

The ground meets her almost before she can brace for it, and an undignified yelp of pain escapes her lungs as the impact travels up her leg, through her torso. But as long as the force travels through *the actual Wind Knight* and spares the unfortunate cosplayer its ravages, she's still getting her job done.

.... hopefully.

"I'll heal your injuries soon, Manami-san," the Magic Knight murmurs to her passenger. "Give us just a bit longer ..."

Her voice is gentle. But her gaze, as she lifts it skyward to focus on Poisony and her monster, is **anything but**.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Emergency Platforming Segment on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Emergency Platforming Segment, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Despite Mars' words being directed to the other Moon, the genuine article smiles anyway. She's not the best at allowing Mars to keep her safe, but she always appreciates the effort. "Mars-chan..." The emotional high keeps up as she's praised by the Magic Knight of Wind. "O-Oh well I, please praise me m-"

And that is when the screaming starts, and Moon suddenly looks horrified. "...T-That's never happened before. They always just... passed out..."

It's a lame excuse though, and she knows it. The tears in the eyes of the youngest is definitely going to haunt her.

Mars tells her she did the right thing, and the best she can do is nod with her eyes shut.

Yet it is Cure Black that manages to get her spirits back up. There is their spectacular teamwork in their save of course, but even moreso are Black's words that keep her focused on the same thing Mars just pointed out.

It is ultimately Poisony's fault.

While she bears some responsibility for their pain, she doesn't bear all of it. However...

Black brings up Kaitou Jeanne, and suddenly her big blue eyes blink back open, as she looks at her in disbelief. And that actually manages to get her to let out a small smile and wave in a way that seems both shy and a little boisterous, "Ah! Cure Black! That was me in disguise! Sorry if I fooled you with how graceful I was! Kaitou Jeanne isn't here today - so I hope you don't mind if I stand in!"

She hopes Kaitou Jeanne doesn't mind. After all, she once taught Usagi Tsukino a magic spell when she was feeling very low.

And then suddenly, the Wrecking Ball Zakenna crashes into the roof. "AA! UMINO-KUN!" Kicking off of some rubble, she reaches out, fingers fumbling to catch his fluttering white cape. When she gets a hand on it, she balls up her fist in it...

... and with her other, raises her disguise pen.

Which is the precise moment a large piece of rubble shoots past her, rebounding off of her spinal column. With a soundless shriek, the disguise pen fumbles out of her hand. Too stunned to catch it before it's out of range, she recovers with the sound of, "Ah! NO!" Somehow she keeps ahold of her other on Umino's cape but...

... without her pen to gently lower them down, all the good that will do is mean that Usagi will get an up close and personal view of her classmate... Naru's boyfriend striking the ground with enough force to shatter every bone.

"HELP! PLEASE!" She shouts out desperately in the desperate hope that someone will come to their aid in time... but four stories is not nearly time enough to fall. And the ground floor is looming to become really huge really fast..

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Knightfall? on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Knightfall?, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Psyched!
Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

In a way, Sailor Mars has the advantage, as purification begets agony; she has already heard them, already seen their source. The anger lodges hot in her throat, but she doesn't spare more time to dwell on the horrors of it.

"Are you kidding me?" She issues, hot, to Poisony. "You want to tell me we don't care because of something you did? Do you think I won't fix it just because it's unpleasant? Get real!"

With an aside glance to Sailor Moon, she adds: "You did the right thing."

But it's that readiness to fight through the screaming which gives Sailor Mars the warning she sees. Because Poisony gestures, and Wrecking Ball Zakenna comes down, like hail or dreams or a meteor out of space.

She sees that -- and she's moving.

Of course, the question becomes...

... moving towards whom?

Sailor Mars protects Sailor Moon, but there are two of them on the field.

But right now, she has to trust that Sailor Moon can handle herself. Because the other one -- the one with yarn twintails -- has no hope of surviving a fall down this many stories with such an unkind landing at the end. "Hup," she huffs, as she scoops her up --

-- just in time for the floor to forget what being a floor is like.

"Hold on!" Mars bids her, but maybe it's just to offer her some shred of control over this uncontrollable situation; she's the one holding fast, and there's no way she's letting Kotono slip out of her grasp now.

Down they go. But they are not the only things falling; the floor is made up of many component parts. Here Sailor Mars springs off a jagged slab; there she lands on a length of rebar and kicks off just in time for it to crash into the side.

She hears Sailor Moon calling out, and new horror lances through her heart. But in the end, the reason they're so admirable... isn't just because of their overwhelming might. It's also -- "Mami! Help her!"

They're not in this alone.

Debris falls down around them, but Sailor Mars is perfectly attuned to the falling; she shifts her weight each time to avoid them crashing into her, and more importantly to save the girl in her arms. She can't afford to be less than perfect here -- if she slips even a little, the real Sailor Moon might get distracted. When a length of steel comes into their downward path and threatens to pierce them all through, Sailor Mars remembers the lessons of a particular friend and lifts her heel to kick it away with a mighty downward drop.

It's a motion which leaves that heel down to absorb the weight of the landing. That knee bends to absorb the impact, her other foot coming down. She staggers back a step, another -- and jumps out of the way of a crashing slab of concrete she used as a platform not seconds ago.

Anger raises her voice even as it quickens her step: "Poisony..!!"

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Don't Bring An Idealist's Argument To A Pragmatist's Brawl on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to dodge Sailor Mars's Don't Bring An Idealist's Argument To A Pragmatist's Brawl, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Sailor Mars is Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"...They're completely right!" Mami agrees with Pretty Cure after a moment, raising her voice to add it to the others'. "It's not that we don't care... It's that we care about more than just this moment!"

But stardust comes, and Mami can see Momoko's face as stardust anoints her. It isn't an easy sight; Mami's expression immediately shifts in worry as she holds the little Queen more tightly for a moment as if to give her some amount of comfort.

As the battlefield comes apart, Mami hangs thanks to her ribbons for an instant, turning to shield Momoko and taking some of the debris as hits; in the next moment she starts wielding more ribbons to start her way down. Her gaze casts out over the others--she isn't fighting alone here, after all. It's as she starts for the second ribbon down that she catches sight of Sailor Moon movng to catch Umino. This is all well and good, and Mami could almost focus on the next--

'HELP! PLEASE!' 'Mami! Help her!"

"Of course!" Mami is in motion immediately; she kicks off of what remains of a platform and rushes down over to Sailor Moon, reaching out the arm that isn't holding Momoko to hold her. "Hang onto him!" Mami warns Sailor Moon, and fetches another ribbon from her sleeve with her teeth, letting it billow out and down to grow and grow as a slide to provide a gentler way down for the set of them instead of a nasty bounce and shatter.

"Down we go--it's all right, everyone. It'll be just fine."

Mami tries to put on her best reassuring tone as they make it safely to the ground, but some of her focus is definitely on shielding Momoko and Umino both if another attack should come while they're landing.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used A Nostalgic Feeling? on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon accepts Mami Tomoe's A Nostalgic Feeling?, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Reinforced by Mami Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

There is a modest amount of steam pouring out of Cure White's ears. Her expression is priceless.

"On," she keeps stammering, more than embarrassed enough for the both of them. Maybe even enough for one of those crossover events. That's a lot of Pretty Cure's worth of bashfulness. "O-oh, on, on..."


Not many things can render Cure White speechless but evidently this is one of them. Though it isn't the simile her mind got stuck on. If anything, she's trying to repeat it as a safe refuge.

Before this gag can go much further, however, the building explodes around them.

Cure Black has Kyoko and Natsuko already so it's up to Cure White to give her a place to get clear TO.

"EI!!" she shrieks, spinning in the gray cloud so quickly that empty air blossoms around her like she's creating thread from dust. But that isn't WHY she's spinning.

She matches rotational speed perfectly with a longboard-sized concrete chunk.

And her kiai is almost drowned out by the thunderclap her palm makes when it strikes that tumbling wall into perfect midair stillness. Its force blasts the clear air she's generated into a hemisphere.

But it wasn't a full globe.

Her lips part further in a gasp. A whirling length of rebar caught her from behind with a terrible thrum. It hits her back bluntly rather than punching through, but nevertheless... the thump is terrible. It isn't something she can recover from on her own.

The most she can do is fall across the platform she just created.

The rest is up to Cure Black.

COMBAT: Cure White has used Onigiri Strike on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Cure White's Onigiri Strike, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cure White is Psyched!
Pink Moon Stick's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Cure Black returns Fuu's nod with a grin. Sometimes that's all you can give on the field.

Black glances back to White as the latter stammers, as if figuring the word out, or forcing it to form. Her head tilts. She's starting to put two and two together. It's funny how a little push can alter a memory of the past. Click click go the gears in Black's head. But then the building explodes.

It's unwise, but when Poisony orders the wrecking ball to bring the building down and Cure Black sees it coming, she loses a second to a resigned sigh. She just took a lot of effort to get up here, and now she'll risk death trying to get down again.

Grabbing up Kyoko and Natsuko, Cure Black follows Cure White for as long as they have a floor, knowing that without her arms, she's going to be desperately reliant on her partner to end this safely for herself, let alone their classmates.

White's raw power is immense, and exceeded only by her grace. Black smiles grimly as she sees what her partner has done as the fall begins, but that smile is not to last long.

"Huwaito!" Black cries. Just as the dust in the air is reforming from the tunnel White made in it with the force of her spin, Black bursts through that tunnel and spreads it out again, her feet clapping the stone sharply.

She suspects the plan here was to get low and ride this thing like a magic carpet, reducing their profile. But with White all but incapacitated for the moment, Black only has her legs free to guide this thing, instead of all four limbs. A different method is called for.

Mr. Moto - Surf Coasters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxzRdJ01pW4

"Hang on!" she calls back to White. Spreading her feet, a girl under each arm, she tries to steer. A constant torrent of stone beneath them seeks to suck this piece below, and Black's control over the movements are so limited. She leans hard, and whether due to her shifted weight or blind luck, the piece of concrete hits a big long chunk of the roof and starts skidding down a more solid surface. That's the good news.

The bad news is that dead ahead, a piece of rebar is sticking up with a chunk of concrete atop it. It's like a giant cubical stop sign that has curled upwards out of the surface below where it belongs. Black's nostrils flare.

With a swing of her body, she stuffs Natsuko under the same arm as Kyoko, but with her head the opposite way. Clutching on with her left arm, she cocks her right back. She can't just hit hard this time. She has to hit right.

The concrete slab shudders hard as it hits the beginning of the lifting rebar. Black twists her shoulders and hips through a spear-like straight right. It hits the concrete right in front of the rebar, blasting the big block downward and bending the rebar the other way. As the concrete cube erupts out the BOTTOM side of the roof now, the slab rides over the new hole with another bump, then it's smooth sailing.

Too smooth.

"Fast fast fast," Black frets. The ground is coming up deadly-quick. Unsure what her ultimate plan is but needing to buy time, Cure Black reaches back, takes her partner by a mutual grip on forearms, and hurls Cure White forwards and upwards. Her precarious one-arm grip won't cut it for this, so she gets Natsuko back under her other arms and then jumps right after White.

As Black falls, feet pedalling the air, she can see White is going to hit at almost the exact moment she does. Panicking, she hits the ground, just absorbing the impact with a deep squat and steel thighs. Instantly she heaves both arms to throw the cosplayers up in the air as hard as she can. In the next instant, White falls directly into her arms.

"Sorry!" Cure Black blurts out, dropping the heavily injured White unceremoniously, albeit only a couple feet instead of a big painful drop like she was headed for. Dancing back and forth as if she needed the bus to stop for a bathroom RIGHT NOW, Black catches Natsuko with her right arm, then Kyoko with her left. Allowing this last impact to drop her to a seated position, Cure Black heaves an exhausted breath. More than half of that exhaustion is raw stress at this point.

"You know I've never surfed or snowboarded before, right?" she exhales to White wryly. "Couldn't you have found a concrete bicycle?"

COMBAT: Cure Black has used Concrete Ocean on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Cure Black's Concrete Ocean, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Poisony doesn't land because she has yet to stand on anything. She continues to float above the fray, though with the collapse of the building she elects to come down a bit closer to address those in the crater.

"I think they were safer with me," she smirks, extinguishing one last bit of smoke rising from her shoulder between two fingertips without so much as a wince. But her brows snap together as, one at a time, the cosplayers stir.

Momoko never left Mami's arms, and she gazes up at her in awe. Her breathing may be too shallow for her to be entirely well, but... she's well enough to sigh, "A-awesome..."

Umino sucks in a pained breath and gets to his knees. "Sailor... Moon," he wrongly ascribes his salvation to. Or maybe not wrongly. Mami may have saved them but without Sailor Moon he'd have been too lost for those ribbons to find. "Don't... give... up..."

Somewhere in all this he pulled out his white fabric rose. It's more gray than white after life's ill-treatment, but as it drops out of his weary hand and onto some concrete, it's beautiful, anyway.

Kotono, who's about a minute ahead of the rest in her recovery, gasps, "A building! She dropped a building on us!" Then she faints outright, collapsing into a puddle of golden yarn at Sailor Mars' feet.

Manami never really stopped screaming; she screamed from the purification and then just kind of kept it up on the way down, which was extraordinarily frightening to her. It's up to the real Magic Knight of Wind whether or not to put her down, because she's not disentangling her arms of her own accord.

Natsuko and Kyoko clutch each other's hands, and, rising on their knees, peek out from behind Cure Black and Cure White with fearful eyes.

"This is terrible, I never wanted this!" cries Natsuko.

"I'm -- I'm scared," gasps Kyoko.

Poisony smiles at that. "Good! Time to give you a taste of REAL fear! I'll fight seriously -- destroy them, Zakenna!"


The Wrecking Ball Zakenna is still dragging itself out of the rubble. But -- as is immediately and horrifyingly apparent -- that isn't who she meant.

A SECOND Zakenna pours down from the heavens -- more like some celestial Hell -- to inhabit the second large piece of construction equipment in the area: an excavator. When it's fully manifest, the Excavator Zakenna is like an orange tank, armored treads and all, only with its earth-mover transformed into a nastily sharp, crane-like claw. Also, unlike Wrecking Ball, it has a pair of angry eyes, mounted where a human would sit, on the windshield.

They light up, then burst: beam lasers! They arc towards the group with calamitous power. And it covers its approach: rumbling forward, crushing debris in its path, it extends that horrible claw, slowly at first, then with a sudden, wicked acceleration.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has adjusted her boss levels. She is now ready to take on 10 opponents!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Cure Black.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Cure White.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Crane Game on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Sailor Moon neatly dodges 32 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Crane Game, taking 8 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!  Trap applied to Sailor Moon!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars braces 20 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 16 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe braces 23 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 19 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Mami Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure White braces 2 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 2 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Cure Black cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Cure
Black's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji cleanly braces 34 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 6 Fatigue damage!  Fuu
Hououji's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mami smiles at Momoko, and gives her a wink. "You haven't seen anything yet," she assures her, playing up the bravado. Umino's focus on Sailor Moon is only natural to her--in fact, as he drops the rose...

That is beautiful. Mami feels that that moment seems to bubble just briefly--that it makes a memory of its own, in the midst of what is quickly additional danger.

"Fear, is it?" Mami starts, and her eyes widen very slightly as she notes the second Zakenna. But she can't let her audience down... and neither can she let them get hit with the lasers. Mami shields Momoko with her arms, but the blast nevertheless knocks her from her feet and backwards, forcing her to land in a half-crouch some distance behind with narrowed eyes. It takes more work managing to look unruffled than it did to conjure those ribbons earlier, she imagines.

But she's kind of tired, truthfully.

"Ranged attacks," Mami says. "I can do that." She hops up and twirls in place, dropping five rifles all in a ring nearby and picking up the first to fire on the crane, whirling for the next to fire again, grabbing the next underhanded, firing the last two both at once and flipping back onto her feet again with their recoil.

"We won't back down here!"

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro Flourish on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Sailor Moon's fingers reach out as Mami dives down at her. And at the last moment, her fingertips clasp into Mami's hand. The Sailor Senshi does a skinny-armed 'pull up' of Umino's cape, gritting her teeth as she does so. "O-K-!" The Ribbon grows taut as it billows out, and Sailor Moon whispers, "That was really close." A beat, "Thank you."

There's a sense of nostalgia in that moment for her. Mami the reassuring senpai figure to younger Magical Girls like her.

"I shouldn't have doubted, not while you're around." She says, eyes shining, like she's momentarily overwhelmed. "I'm... suh-so glad... you're..." Certainly the two hugged that day on the bridge, but she feels too overwhelmed to say the final word. To say... 'back'.

Everything is fine because she's back. Even in a battle like this.

As they're lowered down, she looks at Umino, and hears those words, in his voice.

"That's just like... what he'd say." She says with a sense of quiet support for Umino's choice to play him. "I won't let you down, Moonlight Knight-sama." She says with the cheeriest smile she can put on, in such a grim moment, waggling her fingers in a wave at him, before patting Mami's shoulder as she walks by.

Her look changes the moment that Poisony speaks with that sense of awful cruelty, feeding off the fears of those two girls.

And then... a second Zakenna.

A wicked crane, and she sees how Mars is lined up. She understands well her protective instincts. And she knows it will be difficult for Mars to save Kotono Moon in time.

Sprinting through an obstacle course like stretch of parking garage debris, she hops once in one direction. Then another in another direction like some frenetic bunny... and then digs in her heels on landing...

And launches straight at Mars, a hand extended, as she purposefully tackles into her in surprise, backwards towards Kotono. Mars might have the strangest sensation of Moon's arms around her in her attempt to force the issue.

Only for Moon to get yanked right off of her. The crane having caught her by a single leg. "WHOW-OW-OW!" She flails, before biting down on the initial pain spike to ask, "M-Mars I'm okay! Just see to... Sailor Moon!" There was definitely a small pause there. She probably means 'Kotono' Moon as opposed to her.

Assessing her situation and finding it /all bad/ as she flails upside down. A 0/10 on the Luna Approval scale, she sweats as she's suspended by that ankle, and addresses the Zakenna, "H-Hey!" She shouts nervously, sweat pouring off of her brow, "T-There's no... no way you got a prize in a single attempt! You have to have cheated! I'm going to report you to the Commission for Arcade Integrity!"

That's mostly fear talking... but it is true that it stings that she's never once managed to get a single Senshi plush in a crane game - and this thing caught the real Sailor Moon on first try.

<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Cure White is juggled, then dropped.

She gazes a little bit glassily up at Cure Black -- then over, as Black joins her on the ground.



The action from the top of the building to its bottom had whited her out again, but the joke brings pink rushing right back in. Forcing her eyes to focus, she staggers to her feet; Poisony's nastiness and Natsuko and Kyoko's fear is good motivation for this.

"Don't," she tells them, looking down and back with a tiny, wan, but nevertheless reassurring smile, "Don't be afraid. You're one of us... you're Pretty Cure... so you'll be okay... no matter what."

There's no saving those two from the eyebeams by moving, so with a miserable sound she takes it on crossbar arms. Her long, fingerless opera gloves are in tatters by then.

She sways on her feet, and turns redder, embarrassed by her worn-out body undermining her argument to the girls. Making them less safe. In lieu of collapsing completely, she catches herself on her fists like a sprinter about to start her run. She pants a few breaths.

She crams more words into each.

"Pretty Cure...are legendary...warriors..."

It kind of sounds like she's convincing herself, rather than them.

COMBAT: Cure White has used The Last Stand Of Cure Red on Cure White.
COMBAT: Cure White accepts Cure White's The Last Stand Of Cure Red, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cure White is
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Trying to reassure somebody *gently* when they're screaming their lungs out is quite the trick, but the Wind Knight does her best with it - even as she sees Zakenna Number *Two* lumbering into the fray with a massive barrage of lasers. The best that the Wind Knight can do on short notice is to dig deep within her reserves of will, and throw as much magic as she can muster into the Winds of Protection, tanking the bombardment of beams with all the willpower that she can draw upon. Even with that bulwark, though, her defense is not perfect; a few beams slip past, one scorching her hair and nearly burning through her signature airband, another burning an ugly mark across a shoulder pauldron.

Still, not one beam touches Manami, even if the Wind Knight has to take it on the back of her own armor instead.

"Manami-san!" She tries to break through the other girl's fear, to make herself *heard* over the cosplayer's screaming. "I need to let go of you so that I can fight ... but I *will* protect you with everything I have. That's why I wear this armor, why I wield my weapons and magic - to protect everyone that I can."

She does her best to untangle Manami's arms from her, gently but firmly, and then takes a step back - and keeps the Winds of Protection centered on the Magic Knight of Cosplay, smiling reassuringly as she emerges from the defensive bubble of wind.

Then, finally, the Wind Knight turns her attention to the Zakenna, raising her sword once more - and leaping into the fray, shouting as she goes, "TEMPEST SLASH!!!" Her invocation draws currents of air about her as she swings, channeling the wind around her blade to add its force to each slice; it's the excavator which receives the brunt of her fury at this point.

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Tempest Slash on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick dodges 13 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Tiro Flourish, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Mami
Tomoe is Psyched!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 13 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Tempest Slash, taking 20 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick's
Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"Hey," Cure Black says gently, looking back at Natsuko and Kyoko. "You made those outfits because you look up to Pretty Cure, right?" She smiles, warm. "Thank you. That means a lot to us. But think about it... if you were at school and somebody said a piece of construction equipment could beat Pretty Cure and all their friends, what would you say? 'In your dreaaams!', ne?"

Black thumps her own chest. "Ah... okay, two pieces of construction equipment. Big deal. So don't be afraid, okay? We're going to win..."

Her eyes drift to Cure White, who she realizes is in very rough shape. "A-and don't worry about Cure White!" she urges Kyoko specifically. "She's barely scratched really! She's j-just, uh..." Black scratches her cheek. "I asked her as an extra special favor to let me carry her after a fight sometime, like in a shoujo manga. I just have dumb ideas like that, I mean you know right?" she asks Kyoko. "She's just so pretty you sorta can't help yourself... from admiring her I mean! Like you do! Not that I don't admire her in other ways, I'm just trying to say, at that time I was talking specifically about..."

Oh thank GOD, eye lasers.

"Look Cure White said it better anyway, gotta run!" Black forces a laugh, drags herself off the ground, and sorta hopes the laser smacks her in the head, since that's what she wants to do to herself.

Her crossed-arm defense makes short work of the blast. But though White's version spares her all but the slightest of collateral damage, she's suffered so much already that Black is alarmed. She bites down on crying out her name, though, and instead runs to Cure White's side. Placing one hand on her shoulder and one on her upper arm, she supports her briefly.

"Don't push yourself," she says softly. "They need us, not just me."

Releasing White, Black runs up to the excavator from the side, plants herself, and unleashes. This sort of enemy is one she likes a lot: a giant, hard target that can't dodge but needs to be hit often and hard. And often and hard she hits, her fists slamming into metal and tread, constant combinations pouring out until her hands are mostly a blur, and the clanging of metal sounds like one constant ring.


COMBAT: Cure Black has used Hundred Fierce Fists on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Cure Black's Hundred Fierce Fists, taking 51 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Your outlook sucks," Sailor Mars snaps in response to Poisony's taunts. It's entirely possible her bank of quips is a little overdrawn after having to somehow arrest the momentum of falling so far. That's hardly the most scathing insult she's issued in this world.

She doesn't dwell on it, though -- or Poisony, as she turns to find the others. "Are you all right..?" It's a general question, but she's looking at Sailor Moon, after all.

(Sailor Mars has priorities.)

And it's those priorities which elicit her gratitude in the form of, "Thank you," with a smile to Mami, who is ever their stunning senpai on the field of battle. What a relief that Mami is here to help now.

Kotono's answer to that question is an astute observation, and Mars looks back just in time to see her collapse down. "Ah..." She's not wrong, but Mars wouldn't have thought to put it that way.

... maybe that's just what happens when this is a normal evening out.

She turns back, to Poisony, and her eyes narrow. "If you're getting serious --" Snap go her fingers, and Mars doesn't have to dwell on what that means for long. An EXCAVATOR is taken up, and that's...

"Chuh!" Sailor Mars exclaims, as she brings her hands up in front of her, crossed with elegant white gloves like war gauntlets, to absorb the impact of so many lasers crashing down. She skids back, but manages to stay in front of Kotono, even so. "This is bad..."

She has about enough time to grit that evaluation out before she can blink the brightness of the lights out of her eyes, and realise the claw of that excavator is crashing down. It's coming in too fast, she's still confounded by those lasers, there's no time --

Luckily for Sailor Mars, she doesn't have long to think about how to handle this situation. Because the person who saves her while she's worried about the facsimile Sailor Moon is... "Sailor Moon!" Sailor Mars cries out, as she suddenly finds herself tackled. She understands the meaning of that gesture implicitly, and grabs Kotono defensively --

Only for their momentum, all a sudden, to be arrested entirely.

Mars realises why as she looks back over her shoulder; the Zakenna's prize is -- "Sailor Moon!" She cries, again. She pushes herself up, puts Kotono Moon behind her once more as she turns on a heel.

"You're really pushing all my buttons," she sneers, shooting a glare to Poisony. "... but you just jabbed the wrong one."

An ofuda in hand, Sailor Mars calls up to Sailor Moon: "Let's set a good example! If they're going to cheat, we'll just DO IT RIGHT!" And with that declaration, she proceeds to invoke the Wisdom King's blessing, that sonorous chant which sparks flame to her fingertips. Out through the ofuda, and it spreads its wings as a vast phoenix, which she names: "... Fire Soul Bird!"

It streaks out to swoop past the claw grasping Sailor Moon -- and circles around...

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has started a combo targeting Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

Cure White's Redness... changes.

She sniffs. She wasn't crying -- really, this isn't a dumb joke about dust -- but the intensity of everything had at least loosened some mucus in her nostrils and she did, really, need to suck it in.

But as Cure Black's words -- the compliment -- the support -- the sound of her wailing on that Excavator -- as each of these enter her, they do push out at least one real tear in exchange. It washes a track of brightness down her scuffed-up, sooty cheek; a white path through a dark place.

"Blacku," she sighs.

And with one small word that really meant three, Natsuko and Kyoko's fanfiction will be changed forever, because they have just witnessed the truth that beats at the very core of Pretty Cure.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

From upside down, Sailor Moon briefly gets a dumbfounded look as she glances at Mars and...

... points at herself?

Then she seems to get it that indeed Sailor Mars, her best friend that she's known for a long time, is indeed invoking Sailor Moon her rather than Sailor Kotono Moon, "O-Oh right! A good example!" Spinning up the rod in her hand, she sets it aglow with sacred power. "I know how to set an example. Moon Twilight-"

It wells up within it. And then as the Phoenix streaks by, circling about like a predator bird, she points at it, and unleashes.


Silvery energy lashes out, striking Rei's firebird and making the flames gleam with all the colors of twilight.

Flashing from Violet, to Orange, then back to an even more vivid red. The firebird then finishes its last circle, and dives. Like the Phoenix, it consumes itself in a brilliant display of sacred flame crashing into it, to silhouette the crane as it attempts to set it ablaze.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has joined the combo started by Sailor Mars!
COMBAT: COMBO! Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon have used All-Star Senshi! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon's Combo: All-Star Senshi!, taking 118 Fatigue damage!  Critical
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.
<SoundTracker> The Rising Tension https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bshO3GZqROY

It gets very dark.

The debris cloud is still spreading, you see, and it was stormy to begin with, thanks the all the Zakenna-summoning.

Suddenly: golden retorts bloom, and sparked explosions blossom into one side of the Excavator Zakenna.

On the other side: the occasional glints of punch-related sweat catch what extant light there is, and it sounds somewhat like a steel drum band playing a very rapid, very discordant song.

Fire Soul Bird is ULTRA RED, rather than a more normal red-orange-gold, both because it has merged with Moon Twilight Flash and because it is filtered through these particulates, but it's a beautiful color all the same. A good thing, since as it detonates, EVERYONE is that color for a moment.

Then... Tempest Slash lets the sun shine in. Or at least, the diffuse, overcast, cloudy natural light. It has torn the dust cloud open, but in the moment, it feels like the SKY torn open.

And then everyone can see what's left of Excavator Zakenna.

It is riddled with holes on Mami's side. The treads on Cure Black's side have been punched into nonfunctionality. There's an enormous gash where Fuu must have hit, and the claw... is no longer attached. It is harder for Sailor Mars to catch Sailor Moon than to free her.

Which isn't to say this is anywhere near over.

Poisony smiles -- calmly, too calmly! -- at the group.

"So hostile. If they have nothing to do with this, then why do you care what happens to them? I'm just a clever strategist."

There is a distant 'zaaaaaa'.

"Zakenna!" she commands. "End this!"

The Excavator roars its name. "ZAKENNA!" Its eyes gleam more slowly as it charges up a bigger blast.


The Wrecking Ball is off its chain. It must have snapped it at the top of its arc -- this is a self-destruction attack, it's all in. After this, it will not rise again.

But its fall puts it in the direct path of the cosplayers, who, after taking in the battle with a mix of wonder and terror, succumb to Kotono's fate and join her in unconsciousness.

In a way, it's the ultimate expression of trust.

But the stakes couldn't be higher.

"...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" roars the Wrecking Ball, in anticipation of impact--

--at the same moment that the Excavator lets an immense double-eyebeam roar forth, orthogonally.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used I Came In Like A Wrecking Ball on Cure Black.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Cure White.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Excavator Eye Lasers! on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe partially dodges 7 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 27 Fatigue damage!  Mami
Tomoe's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 5 Fatigue damage!
Sailor Moon's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Black fails to counter Pink Moon Stick's I Came In Like A Wrecking Ball, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Pink Moon Stick is Psyched!
COMBAT: Cure Black's counterattack, Mighty Red-Faced Lift, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Cure Black covers Cure White for Pink Moon Stick's attack, Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking it upon herself instead!
COMBAT: Cure Black fails to counter Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 34 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Cure Black's counterattack, Mighty Red-Faced Lift, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mars cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji fails to counter Pink Moon Stick's Excavator Eye Lasers!, taking 36 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji's counterattack, Gale Arrow, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Of course," Mami says to Sailor Moon, but with more feeling than the casual way she accepted her charge. "...Me, too," she says, and squeezes Usagi lightly as she brings her down. But then, well...

There is a lot to be doing all at once. One thing is checking on Sailor Moon again as she looks to the crane--but, well. She has a solution to that one. Poisony is too calm, it's true.

But there are lasers to contend with, and Mami starts to step out of the way but can't, entirely--she gets blasted hard enough that her spin goes wild, leaving her even tireder than she was before as she hits the ground. But the wrecking ball is coming...

"They believed in us," Mami says, lifting her hand and building up a hand cannon with a barrel rather wider than her arm. She doesn't have a lot of red to offer....

But she smiles ahead a little at the pairs before her, and takes aim. Her gun fires with a short blast of golden light...!

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro RETORT on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

With a thump, Cure Black lands on the ground in front of White again. With the tread immobile there's not much point in punching it more, time to change it up. "Stay back for now!" Black calls to White. In a combat stance, she draws it a little closer and higher as counterattack looms.

"I've got this," she assures White. From one side the wrecking ball has snapped and is hurtling right at her. Grinding her feet around in the dirt to find a good balance, she slowly lowers into more of a wrestling stance. Her hands draw back. Apparently she intends to do a double palm strike, sumo-style, to halt the approach.

"First I stop it, then I grab it and swing it around when I see the laser beam coming at--"

The laser hits Cure Black dead-on from the side. She did not see the speed of light coming. Cure White may need to educate her on lasers.

Dropped entirely out of her stance by the unexpected blast-burn of the laser, Black is hit in short order by the wrecking ball, which blasts right through her the way a freight train would--not even slowing. At the speed of a baseball pitch it crashes into the rubble, tunnelling shallowly until only half of the sphere is visible. Then, as it continues to try to grind forward, it slips and crawls up the rubble, leaving a rough hollow with Cure Black crammed into the back of it.

Peeling numbly off a concrete surface, Black drops to her hands and knees, her eyes visibly unable to focus, her attempts to stand right away dizzying her. She's covered with a similar gray dust as White, now, with smudges on her tomboyish features, her limbs, and of course her trademark bare midriff, which has a smear of construction-grime on it that looks kind of like the Nike Swoosh.

"I'm... really glad... they didn't see that," she manages, slowly blinking her vision straight. "That was a good time to pass out."

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

The Magic Knight of Wind glances from what's left of the Excavator Zakenna, to the far-too-serene Poisony, to her allies and the cosplayers. The fact that the excavator is still identifiably a Zakenna is her first clue that things aren't quite finished yet - even if it weren't for that infuriatingly smug look on the villainess's face as she brags about being a strategist.

Before the Wind Knight can put thoughts to words, though, the two Zakenna - yes, they're *both* still a threat - rev up further attacks. Although for one of them, at least, it will be the last thing it does ... and the Wind Knight's blood runs cold as she realizes what that 'last thing' is going to be.

She can't stop it, not with the lasers barraging again; she swaps from sword to bow, swiftly unleashing a Gale Arrow. Which gets shot down, and does little to actually *stop* the lasers from leaving more burns across the green-clad Magic Knight's armor.

It hurts, yes, and quite a lot at that - but even though bow and quiver vanish again, the Magic Knight of Wind stands her ground, her hair and skirts tousled by the rising wind. She even brings her hands up, cupping the air as if she can see the whirls and eddies ... and who knows? Maybe, on some level, she can. Certainly the wind responds to her as if she spoke to it by name, although the next audible word to leave her lips is merely English, "Emerald ... !"

She brings her hands back, the winds rising and gathering about her, and focuses on the Zakenna - mostly the excavator, although what's left of the crane that held the wrecking ball is not exempt from her attention ... or her wrath.

"... CYCLONE!!!!"

Her arms sweep forward; the wind coalesces with a howl and a roar, and the fury of the tempest is unleashed against Poisony's conjured monsters.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Fuu Hououji has used Emerald Cyclone: Full on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.


The intensity with which Cure White shrieks her partner's name a second time might be enough to wake the dead -- threatening the silver lining Cure Black discovered.

Or maybe not. They're REALLY out.

But suddenly, Cure White REALLY isn't.

It's like watching a rusty old car in a junkyard go from 0-120 kilometers per hour in a second. That beat up old exterior can't take the acceleration, so it peels away, revealing the glistening white paint job of the Lamborghini beneath. The ugly duckling, by way of racecars.

Cure White becomes a swan.

She flies to Cure Black's side in a rush that leaves her hair one solid flap behind her when she stops; (sooty) white lace drapes around her like a cloud of something that is debris' exact opposite, though not its equal. You can make debris out of anything, after all, but there's only one Cure White.

"Blacku..." she whispers, sweeter than silver could ever hope to be. With one hand she rubs away the midriff-swoosh with a bit of her skirt. With the other, she reaches to interpose between Black's hand and the ground, entangling them. "I had to see it -- so I could never be glad!"

Her injuries aren't gone, even if they're forgotten, and they catch up with her when she reaches the bottom of her crouch. She keeps them inside, but Black can feel her trembling, her core fluttering spasms like a little bird's wing as she tries to bear her upright.

It takes both of them, pushed tightly against one another, in the end.

"Enough," she tells Poisony, she tells Black, she tells herself. "That's enough."

Her damp eyes lock onto the construction-yard Zakenna, and it's like being scoped by a very, very blue laser.

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

It's harder for Sailor Mars to catch Sailor Moon, but that doesn't mean she doesn't do it, with a "--whff," as she finds herself with an armful of girl. "Of course I meant you!" She says, to her, and it might be hard to figure out whether that's a compliment or a chastisement, because it's characteristically sharp but she's talking about Sailor Moon setting a good example.

In either case, she looks up at the excavator-zakenna. "It's still standing, even after all that..." She hates to admit it, but Poisony is strong enough to keep her youma together or smart enough to pick a sturdy host, and neither of those options are particularly good for one Sailor Mars and company.

But Poisony is talking herself up, so of course Sailor Mars has to tear her down. "If you're really a strategist," the Soldier of War says, "why have you left us no escape route? The desperate foe fights hardest. Or -- do you really not understand us at all?!"

Maybe it's unfair of her to expect Poisony to have the same understanding of wartime as Sailor Mars, severe in tone and motion. But she is an unfair creature, critical and pragmatic, and she sees no injustice in judging Poisony by her own merits.

It is certainly unfair for Sailor Mars to judge her when she disregards tactical considerations entirely so often.

Take, for instance -- those eye-beams. Sailor Mars puts Sailor Moon down in a hurry and it's all she can do to absorb the attack again, just as she did before, skidding backwards as her arms shield her face and her core. Poisony tries the same trick again, too, and this time Mars knows to look for it -- only to see Cure Black, and shortly thereafter, the hollow formerly known as, "-- Cure Black!!"

All the cosplayers might be unconscious by now, but... even so, the knowledge Cure White imparted still rings in Mars's mind. They look up to them. They admire them. And it's up to them -- all of them -- to be their icons, without flinching or failing their dreams.

And that's a message she can march to, ofuda at her fingertips.

"They believe in us. I won't let them down."

As the light of the lasers fades from her eyes, Sailor Mars whirls, and that ofuda becomes a flickering paper fan which sets a coil of flame around her to burning. "By Fire..." She tosses her hand upwards, and the flames curl over her head, a dire loop of an inferno. As her hand comes down she looses the ofuda -- and it sails out towards excavator of a Zakenna, as if marking it for death.

That may well be true.

Because the flames pour down in the wake of that paper slip, and they will coil around the excavator, and flame CONSUMES, sears away the darkness and leaves something fresh and new and raw. "... Be Cleansed!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Mars has used By Fire Be Cleansed! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Moon falls. And she's not that shocked when she's caught. Encircling her arms around her neck instantly, "Mars-ch-!" She sounds so happy, but the syllable gets cut off by what Mars said, "Well how was I supposed to know!? You were right beside her!"

Poisony though lifts her voice, and as Zakenna is shouted, Moon looks at it and lets out a little squeal of terror as she squeezes Mars' neck. "Aa-How!?"

Moon is forcibly detached from Sailor Mars...

... by eye lasers. As she backs up, chopping her rod to deflect the first few blasts as they're intercepted and she frantically keeps hopping backwards to put some distance between them. And on the last barrage she spins it around in a glittering spiral, which barely deflects the last one that was dead on her way, as she heaves her arms to angle the energy out of the way.

Her shocked anger though, gives way to something else, as Mami points something out. Moon looks at the unconscious cosplayers, whom Cure Black just gave her all to save... and the mark she bears on her mid-riff that she has to show for it.

"They did." She breathes in, then corrects herself. "They do." And suddenly raises her rod, which lets out a melodic chime that offers a nostalgic feeling to all that hear it, "They're playing us because they see something worth admiring... seeing them out there made me so happy, each time I saw their show. I won't let those feelings... be mistaken!"

Posing, with her rod held high it gleams in the fierce poses she strikes, even before she brings the rod parallel to her body, and begins to revolve. "Mooooonnnnnnn!" Faster and faster she does so, becoming gleaming blurs of color in her almost centrifugal rotation. "SPIRALLLLLLLL!" Before dipping down from high to low, with a fluidity of movement in her spellcasting greater than Usagi Tsukino could ever perform on her best day. "HEARRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!"

And then abruptly, it ceases, as she ends knelt on the ground like a gymnast that had just finished a routine, presenting her efforts to be judged. "-ATTACK!"

The rod she bears responds with a triumphant melody that sings throughout the air, as it channels both stardust and sacred light... and hearts. So many hearts as an expression of feeling.

One titanic heart forms out of them, before launching itself straight at the Excavator Zakenna like a shining pink missile.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

If eyes are windows to the soul, then Cure Black wishes they were mirrors at the moment. Exactly how much dust is on her face? Is it enough to hide a blush when White fusses over her stomach, filthying her pretty dress without hesitation? Not to mention just the fact that White is touching her.

When it comes to blushing, it seems Cure Black can dish it out but can't take it. She takes the opportunity to swallow the moment those vast blue eyes look away to direct the scrubbing. Her fingers squeeze White's with a near-silent groan of their gloves.

"I'm sorry," Black says softly, but it's all gratitude with just a little apology. "You're right. I can't forgive that Zakenna." A golden voice answers Honoka's silver, but this is the gold of raw honey. A tiny bit rough, but utterly sweet. Taking advantage of Honoka having crouched down, she moves a little closer to her ear.

"It touched something that belongs to you."

When Cure White and Cure Black stand up, it seems like they move as one wounded entity with four legs. But that is not the case. As deep a connection as they have, they remain two individuals, distinct and often opposite.

Even Marble Screw is not gray. It is equal parts black and white, entwined infinitely. We, We Two, are Pretty Cure.

With shouts they call down Black and White Thunder. Braced against each other, faces relentless, they once more draw down the power of creation, and it spits and sparks and builds like a nova. When they at last attack with it, there is a feeling of releasing and unleashing more than there is of blasting and projecting.

Poisony surely has heard about--perhaps seen--this attack. But they tell her its name anyway.


COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure Black has started a combo targeting Pink Moon Stick!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Cure White has joined the combo started by Cure Black!
COMBAT: COMBO! FINISHER! Cure Black and Cure White have used Marble Screw on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Mami Tomoe's Tiro RETORT, taking 55 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 35 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Finisher, Emerald Cyclone: Full, taking 29 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 128 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 189 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Cure Black and Cure White's Finisher, Combo: Marble Screw, taking 355 Fatigue damage!  Pink
Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

Poisony, confronted with the unleashed power of magical girls, does the smart thing, as she's done all along: she leaves.

The Zakenna cannot.

As primal forces set the world to rights -- fixing the lot, which is to say, returning it to its pre-battle, half-demolished state, but also fixing the people, whose bumps and scrapes shrink, then vanish -- that includes the construction equipment, which becomes both normal and whole.

There's something interesting about Zakenna, though, when they're defeated.

Different youma die differently. Daimons, for example, when struck by Moon Spiral Heart Attack, scream LOVE-LY!! It's as though, in their final moments, they are capable of experiencing beauty. Droids, in contrast, simply scream.

But Zakenna burst -- starburst, they burst into a thousand thousand tiny purple stars, which scatter across the landscape like Ghibli-esque soot spirits. And as they go, they wail, in both a single voice and a million separate, chittering ones...

"Sorry sorry sorry very sorry very sorry so sorry so so so sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry..."

What it says about the universe, that this elemental darkness can be made to feel remorse, can be left to deeper philosophizers in the community for now. Like Tarte. Or Kero-chan.

There are more immediate considerations...


"You know," Natsuko says to Kyoko, "I'm not totally sure what just happened to us, but I think the universe is trying to give us a sign."

Kyoko looks over at Natsuko. "Yeah... it feels like... maybe we should... stop."

Kotono wanders over. "I agree. It's much too dangerous."

Umino rubs his glasses in vain, unable to clear them. "What a shame, but..."

"We need to be responsible," Minami declares seriously.

"Yeah," Momoko chews on her lip, "But... gosh, the Golden Queen was so cool..."



<SoundTracker> Why cause this?! - FWPC OST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Laia9ROngIE


The coats go flying.

"Go back to the darkness from whence you came!" shout Cure Black and Cure White in unison, as they strike dramatic poses.

"In the name of the Moon, I gotta stop you!" declares Sailor Moon. Her hands are perfect.

The Golden Queen of Shibuya -- Mami Tomoe in perfect miniature, but for the purple hair drills, instead of blond -- hisses, 'Kyusuke!' before he can finish his lyric. Then she puffs out her chest. "MIRROR FINALE!!" That's what she says, right?

A girl with a bow, a really long sword, and a full suit of glittering (glittery?) green armor raises said sword to the sky. "Cease your fire immediately, or I, the Magic Knight of Wind, shall blow you away!"

Last but not least, a boy in Arabian white appears on top of the head of King Penguin.

He flings a white rose at the front of the crowd, then bends down to trigger a boombox that he's staged behind him.

"How dare you sully this beautiful evening with your darkness?" shouts The Moonlight Knight. He has the most incredibly huge dark gorgeous eyes. "The Moonlight Knight will not stand for your evil!"

The kids go wild...

...for hearts that beat with the power of fandom cannot ever truly be stopped!!