2021-10-03 - Ice Queen Heartbreak! Deadly Hellfire Down The Slopes! 2

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Title: Ice Queen Heartbreak! Deadly Hellfire Down The Slopes! 2

The ski race down Kubota intensifies, then goes off track entirely and down a cliff. Eudial's escape is almost foiled, until Kaolinite intervenes. Two questions are posed, with terrible answers.


Pink Moon Stick, Mami Tomoe, Rei Hino, Fuu Hououji, Nori Ankou, Niramo Umokeshi, Steven Universe, Haruka Tenoh, Usagi Tsukino


Ski Course Kubota

OOC - IC Date:

10/3/2021 - 12-05-2015


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

Mami and Steven save some lives. This is a matter-of-fact statement that fails to capture the beauty of the thing in the moment, brief as it is; the way the Crystal is absorbed back into the too-still chest without disturbing so much as a fold of clothing, let alone piercing skin; the way color returns immediately to too-pale flesh, as though -- no, not as though, because -- their very lifeforce had been stolen, and now is returned. All the pink crystals in the world cannot hope to compare to the flush that surges, delicately then brilliantly, into the cheeks and noses of the four women. They breathe again, and then they stir.

And then they live again, they live their lives; the graceful Ohtori Academy ojou who's been getting private ski lessons since she was five; the heavyset, powerful Infinity judo star who profoundly adores skiing because it's the one sport where her weight, courtesy of gravity, makes her feel like she might even have a speedy advantage; the playful guitarist who writes lyrics for Juuban's soft rock club but is too shy to sing them, who's only skiing for a lark, oblivious to her friends' awe at this display of courage none of them will match; and a fourth woman nobody knows, who looks roughly college-age and could be anyone, from anywhere, but surely has a vast and sweeping story all her own, a story that was about to end simply because she had the misfortune to accept a HeartBeat from Yuuko Arimura in order to record her fitness while racing.

Unpleasant as it is to go through this ordeal, survivors of it -- which include a few magical girls on site -- know that one regains one's facilities quickly. These would-be Moon Princesses will not need help getting off the mountain and into warmth.

<SoundTracker> Maniac (Flashdance) - Minniva Cover - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkMvqPBi1js

Eudial sees none of this, because she does not look back. She cares nothing for the people she all-too-temporarily violated, let alone the far greater number, up in the party and down on the slopes, that, sans their own Pure Hearts, are in the death-like sleep that rapidly proceeds the former. No, the first time she focuses on anything but the path ahead is when Sailor Mars' Fire Soul Bird blows up at her back. Instantly her fabulous red snowsuit is all over black soot, but she'd have to be Mimete to care; instead she strains to control her spin on the slick ice of Mars' creation as she emerges from the smoke cloud the girl has wrought.

Eudial's willingness to fight fire with fire is familiar to Mars, but more regrettably, she is aware -- they're BOTH aware -- that the Fire Buster -- PRIOR VERSIONS of it, natch -- has an alarming tendency to WIN that direct confrontation. And this is why she swapped from skis (which, truth be told, have a higher maximum speed) to snowboard: so that she wouldn't need to carry any poles.

"FIRE BUSTER MARK FOUR -- QUADSTREAM!" she shouts, because statistically speaking this seems to enhance performance when she pulls the trigger. Unlike Mars, she doesn't aim her stream AHEAD of her, but rather BEHIND, and it's like she just lit a tight square of four afterburners at point blank in the pretty masked face of the Senshi of War. They separate immediately as Eudial is accelerated like she's been shot from the gun herself, and she sweeps the flame broadly after an initial attempt at Mars-incineration so that it catches Steven on his inbound trajectory, once again putting a slick ice trap in front of him that both deflects his ramming attempt somewhat like a pinball, and will force him to again regain control of his route, period.

This shot her right past Sourisi and her tonfa, who will instead be caught in the third of Fire Buster's gouts of flame, flame born of the opposite of Mars' pure faith -- which is to say, dark science -- unless she takes some drastic evasive action of her own.

"Hmm, let me think about it," she calls behind her as she passes the Miraculous Mouse, who told her to give the crystals back, and La Sirene, who reinforced this message. "...nah!"

The fourth gout intercepts the base of the Magic Knight of Wind's aerial trap, sending it flying overhead due to the heated air, and then forcing her, like Sourisi and Steven, to contend with the consequences. It isn't possible disintegration like Mars got, since they aren't at point blank; rather, the synthetic fire fell heavily, almost liquid, upon the snow around and ahead of them. Instant pit traps for all three. Better watch it.

Joggling her shoulders, soot falls off of her shell and off the sack as she rebalances its weight. "I'd be a little bit more careful where you aim," she points out loud enough for everyone in earshot to be reminded that she's not just a thief but a hostage taker with, essentially, a couple dozen human shields on her back. "Hearts can break so easily."

La Sirene's attack she plows straight through, fearless in her contempt for mere unlight. Or maybe it's because she's wearing those mirrored shades, which momentarily reflect the hellfire of her afterburners, then are taken over by the Abyssal Vision. Overconfidence hurts her, as a stray shadow causes her to zig where she should have zagged, and some of the size of her new lead is shaved off by her sudden need to circumnavigate a particularly dense stand of evergreens.

She's only lost to sight for an instant. But when Sailor Uranus, who is now by far the closest, catches sight of her again, spies her quarry...

...she's not on a snowboard anymore.

Eudial EXPLODES out of the alpine forest gripping a snowmobile with both knees. It is white with a black star on it, and highly evocative of a certain station wagon in that way; one might say this is its rebirth.


"Catch me if you can," she teases, her voice drifting back over the roar of the engine, under the wintry stars, and through a cloud of smoke more noxious and more deliberately left behind than that of the Fire Soul Bird.

She takes the absolutely steepest angle of descent, which is to say off the official ski slope entirely, and down what is very nearly mountain cliffside.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used FIRE BUSTER on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Have A Nice Fall on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Have A Nice Fall on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Have A Nice Fall on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Smokin' In The Ladies Room on Sailor Uranus.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Smokin' In The Ladies Room on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used A Star Is Reborn on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick accepts Pink Moon Stick's A Star Is Reborn, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Accelerate applied to
Pink Moon Stick!  Cleanse! All of Pink Moon Stick's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Sourisi dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Have A Nice Fall, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sourisi's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Stagger, Tangle, and Trap applied to Sourisi!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant perfectly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Smokin' In The Ladies Room, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Dodge!
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji perfectly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Have A Nice Fall, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Dodge!  Fuu Hououji's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars fails to counter Pink Moon Stick's FIRE BUSTER, taking 64 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Sailor Mars's counterattack, Fire Soul!, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus perfectly counters 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Smokin' In The Ladies Room, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Counter!  Sailor Uranus's Tactician ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus's counterattack, Pole Position, fails to get through, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe perfectly counters 0 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Have A Nice Fall, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Critical Counter!
COMBAT: Steven Universe's counterattack, Bubble Shield, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

As Mami Tomoe's classmates know less of her than of someone who is around more--so does she know less of them, individually. She could not say the names of all these women she helps, in the moment. But that doesn't matter; she doesn't have to know their stories to know that they're important, and though it sets her back quite a ways, Mami is glad to see those eyes open, the color returning to faces. As they stir, Mami looks after them a moment each--but when they start to get themselves out, Mami smiles, and disappears before she can be much focus. Her friends and allies are still ahead--and more who need help, thanks to Eudial's bag of hearts.

But Mami will have to make up a lot of ground. Her skis are back in a flash, golden and bright, the poles she'd discarded to return hearts made anew in her hands, with gilt handles and ribbons. She starts down, and the flames ahead provide her a target to look down to. Push against the snow--rush--

But it's not fast enough just skiing down. Mami tries it the normal way for a moment before she sets her jaw, and sets her eyes on a ramp approaching fast. She looks to it--and banks towards it, tucking in her arms and sparkling with magic as she rushes off the edge, up, up into the air--

And around her her ribbons twirl and spin and shape, until behind and above her there is a canopy and a rapidly whirling spiral.

She speeds forward...!

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Chair-o-copter Mark II on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

They are both aware that wicked flame tends to trump burning faith, and just as surely, Eudial must have been aware --

Hand curling to a meditative point, one rather than two, spark at the point of her index finger --

That Sailor Mars would cry, "FIRE SOUL," and fight fire with fire.

You could set your watch to her, not that any of the magical girls are wearing their watches, any more.

But that flame, spiralling out to a fireball, is one flame -- Eudial brought four, as she so helpfully cries in distaff, and the quadstream handily engulfs Fire Soul, ending in a truly spectacular explosion which, perhaps mercifully, engulfs Sailor Mars instead of Eudial and her sack.

She's positively smoking, when she emerges from the conflagration. Soldier of Flame? Yes. Fireproof? Not so much. Luckily, Mars didn't stop for that explosion, so the sheer force of the mountain's chill winds puts out all the little spot fires smoldering on her person, leaving her with those familiar charboiled scuff-marks.

With all the smoke in her eyes, now, it's easy to lose sight of Eudial for a few precious moments -- but somehow, Mars manages not to crash, though she has to slam her poker into the snow and swerve hard around a lone tree which wouldn't have imperilled anyone who could have seen where they were going. Once she manages to blink her eyes clear, Sailor Mars is entirely incensed to see Eudial on a snowmobile now. (Not surprised. Incensed. It's an entirely different emotion.)

She leans forward to cut her wind profile, all pressed to a point; a snowmobile might have an engine (powered by lost souls or the screams of children or something sinister like that, no doubt), but Sailor Mars has gravity on her side, and gravity has ever been the realm of planetary might. The expression of gravity is itself an admission that the place they live is large enough to support them.

"I believe you'd take hostages," the Senshi calls out to Eudial, after having blatantly endangered them -- but then, Mars has always been bold enough to shoot the hostage-taker. "What I have trouble believing is this new strategy, Eudial! Why go for quantity, now? I'll tell you now, it is no more forgivable than your previous attempts!"

Eudial takes a steep angle, but Sailor Mars is undaunted; she takes the most direct path after her, careening down the slope with half the maneuverability she ought to have, HURTLING through the branches, flying upwards as her skis meet the bumps on the off-road snow only to crash down in a shower of icy crystals.

"In the names of Mars, I will chastise you..!!"

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used In The Name Of Mars! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

For a split second, the Magic Knight of Wind finds herself curious as to the nature of the Fire Buster (Mark IV)'s payload. Surely it's nothing so mundane or conventional as napalm, but either way, she's less concerned with what it *is* than with not getting hit by it (and finding out far too personally). Fortunately, she's also able to swerve away from the stream of fire, and the molten pit which forms in the snowy mountainside is devoid of Magic Knights - only a spray of snow that falls in to melt on contact.

Eudial is right about one thing, at least: the sack full of Pure Heart Crystals HAS to be taken away from her, even if returning each and every crystal to its rightful owner is going to take longer than it should. And the sudden snowmobile which replaces the snowboard almost makes the Wind Knight grind her teeth in frustration - but she has more immediate concerns. Like a friend who was just lit on fire, and two Sailor Senshi who seem a little the worse for wear.

With that in mind, the green-clad Magic Knight marks where Eudial left the course, and slows enough to focus on the mousy Miraculous-user, her bespectacled gaze flicking to catch Mars and Uranus. "Winds of Healing!!" she calls out, and a balmy, soothing breeze enfolds Sourisi, quenching any lingering flames (yes, you *can* blow out a fire if the wind is suitably magical) before extending the restorative spell to aid the two Sailors.

"Are you all right, Sourisi-san?" she asks as the spell fades. "Apart from our needing to whomp that Witch ..."

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Healing on Sailor Uranus.
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Cleanse! All of Sailor
Uranus's debuffs are cleared!
COMBAT: Sourisi accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Sourisi's debuffs are cleared!
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

La Sirene de Diamant is in hot pursuit.

The theft of hearts is unforgivable on its own. That, much like the rescue that Mami and Steven perform, shouldn't be left aside like so much garbage. But it is an intolerable offense which can be affected by other matters... and all of the multipliers are coming up against Eudial.

The FitBits!

Daring to come HERE! To *her old neighborhood!*

Daring to interrupt a *school trip*!

Putting such a cluster of people in danger!

La Sirene is angry, and if that anger is making her a little more reckless than she might be, perhaps it is the memory of other things, other people, who she treasured on a slope not too unlike this one.

And now, as Eudial's sick board grows - changes - and becomes something other than it was, something enormous and powerful and loud - la Sirene receives a facefull of exhaust.

"You DARE!" la Sirene cries out, her voice echoing for a moment as she comes up -- no, she thinks, turning her skis forwards, aborting that desire to brake. Maybe it would be wise of her to brake right now and to not stay in pursuit, but the wild intensity of this moment is kind of thrilling.

And her face is now smeared with exhaust. That's awful enough.

She's coming up on that steep incline. It's too steep to take with skis. It's too steep, frankly, for anyone to take sensibly. She should go around. She should stop and reorient. Maybe ask Mami-san for a ride. La Sirene does not do these things. What she does do is pull her left foot up in order to take the ski off as she gets near the edge, and then--

JUST as the incline changes, so too do her feet, the right leg coming outwards as she sinks down slightly, her booted foot orienting sharply down, a balletic en-pointe as the diamonds on the soles throw sparks where they bite into stone. The skis are brought off as she continues downwards, shouting towards Eudial, "I'm not going to be scared away by a steep descent--!!"

So, la Sirene thinks, as the tension of inclining both her feet downwards to skid down the side of a mountainside while holding a pair of skis in one hand and a pair of ski poles in the other. So, it has come to this.

Can I catch her? Maybe, la Sirene thinks, eyes flicking around. I am pretty fast if I get myself up to a little speed, and if she has to reach a switchback that she can't take this way, I can leap. (Her eyes turn heavensward for a moment, glimpsing Mami.) But then-- take the snowmobile? Bring it upwards? Will I get back in time?

What if I leap on her and even one of those crystals is broken?

La Sirene grits her teeth.

She doesn't have an immediate answer. But, she thinks, we have to be able to manage this. To save them...

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used You Can't Have a High Speed Chase Without A... on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant accepts La Sirene de Diamant's You Can't Have a High Speed Chase Without A..., taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  La Sirene de Diamant is Reinforced by La Sirene de Diamant!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars accepts Fuu Hououji's Winds of Healing, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Cleanse! All of Sailor Mars's debuffs are
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Chair-o-copter Mark II, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe is
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 0 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mars's In The Name Of Mars!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sourisi's sneaky shortcut through the woods would likely have been successful if not for the sudden burst of speed Eudial received from her Fire Buster. Strikes that were aimed true instead hit nothing but frigid air, and the Miraculous Ninja finds herself the direct target of one of those sweeps of flames. Eyes widening behind her ski mask, Sourisi takes the only course of action available to her and leaps upwards and out of harm's way.

In a forest like the one the battle is taking place in tonight, this normally would be a terrible choice. Thinking quickly, the mouse-suitted heroine grabs a hold of a thick branch and spins once - twice - three times before letting go and somersaulting back onto the snow, skis first. Sourisi's dodge was a lot closer than she realizes, with her skis now half alight with flames.

Eudial brings attention to the crystal-laden sack and Sourisi gets a brilliant idea to end this chase quickly. Narrowing her eyes and focusing her vision, the Mouse That Roars ignores everything that could be a distraction as she prepares herself. "Shift...FLIP!...huh?!" There's no distortion of reality and the bag of stolen hearts remains right in Eudial's grasp. The flames on her skis make their presence painfully aware, and Sourisi is doing an odd sort of hop from one foot to another, with no luck putting out the flames on her own. "I did not want to play hot foot tonight!"

That's when the Wind Knight comes to Sourisi's aid, a magical breeze blowing out the skiing inferno. Sighing in relief, Sourisi flashes a grateful grin towards Fuu and slows down a little. "I'm fine! I been through worse, but you always got our back, Breeze-chan. I don't know what we'll do without you." It's a simple statement of the facts.

"Let's go and make sure she's not even getting coal for Christmas!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used It's Not Over Yet! on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji accepts Sourisi's It's Not Over Yet!, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Fuu Hououji is Cheered!  
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

A small, rotund boy torpedoes dow nthe slope at high speeds toward this villain, whose antics are starting to feel very familiar. Similar to someone with a station wagon tearing up a playfield. "Fire on the playing field?! THats a red flag right there! And I am pretty sure also a war crime!" Steven shouts, flying down the track. He hugs his stomach as tightly to the interior bowl of his rose-tinted shield as possible, like some sort of fluffy haired seal.

But that flamethrower is turned his vague direction, Sending scathing light backwards to melt the track!$E$E"Nah, not this time!"

Tired of devious distractions, through the remnants of flame, and scattering ice, a giant orb of pink light bursts forward through the attack, with Steven at the center. The large Bubble Shield cares little for the ice, and instead begins to tumble forward at high speeds.

"A snowball's chance you'll succeed!" Steven shouts, from inside a shield thats slowly accumulating snow on the outside.

Determined to pick up the pace, Steven does his best to catch back up to the group, and Eudial, who now SOMEHOW just has a snowmobile. Was it in the bag?! Doesn't matter, if he can get enough snow, that snowmobile will become snowstuck!

And even nearby, Sailor Mars gives Eudial a dressing down, verbally! "Yeah! You tell her! She's being mean!" There is a mystical echo to his voice due to his current location, but is heartfelt nonetheless. Like a dodgeball that cares about you.

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Love Like You on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars accepts Steven Universe's Love Like You, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mars is Cheered!  Surge applied to
Sailor Mars!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Sailor Uranus tilts her head only slightly away from orange light that suffuses her hair and cheek as they reflect the flame-combat taking place between Eudial and Sailor Mars, her goggles shielding her eyes from discomfort. She winces, instead, when Fire Soul is pushed back, and does not indulge in checking the result. She trusts the formidable Mars enough to know she will live, and she trusts the vile Eudial enough to know that it will leave a mark.

A prickle on the back of her neck, however, finally distracts her enough for a glance back. Blinking, Uranus finds her blue-tinted vision clearer, the blur of disorientation fading from her senses. Seeing her fellow wind-warrior, she briefly raises a fist to acknowledge Fuu, then brings it slashing down to steer with again.

Though she only slows slightly, Uranus unbends her knees partway as she loses sight of Eudial. Glancing around the trees, she tries to spot that bright red hair flitting between white-crusted bark. She needn't have been so attentive, however. When Eudial reappears, it is unsubtle to the eyes, ears, and nostrils alike.

Soundtrack - Christopher Cross - Ride Like the Wind - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur8ftRFb2Ac

Uranus stabs a pole down and swivels, changing her angle to pursue this roaring new vehicle. It, in turn, plunges straight down a precipitous drop, and in a cloud of choking, oily black smoke that would leave Uranus unable to even attempt to avoid the numerous rocks and obstacles between them. No amount of agility can help if she cannot see; clever Eudial has bought herself some time, it seems. Perhaps even enough to escape.

It wasn't fair, Sailor Moon might say. She had a snowmobile. She had a head start. The princess would make excuses for Uranus, some of them even fair. It would just be a small crack in the sense of safety she feels. Maybe it would be good, even. It would help her mature. Uranus cannot protect her forever.

Yeah, right.

Swaying her hips back and forth in increasingly tighter motion as she nears the slope's edge, Uranus lines up directly on the tracks left by the snowmobile, until her skis stabilize directly within that path. It's just in time, as she hits the jump instantly after, plunging into the smoke. She can be seen rotating, arm leading as if she intends to elbow drop. Instead, as she comes around through a three-sixty, there is a soft, dull thump as turbulence around her fist clears away smoke around her head and shoulders. In the next instant, she hurls one of the poles, javelin-straight, directly down the slope and after the snowmobile. The black smoke recoils in a near-perfect cylinder from this unnaturally forceful throw, a sharp zipping sound arriving on the heels of a whoosh of displaced snowflakes. With a THOK, the sharp ski pole splits the bark of a tree Eudial is just passing by.

Striking down with both skiis, Uranus plunges through the clear gap in the smoke, swaying back and forth over obstacles, building up speed rapidly, relying on just one pole for now. When she approaches the clear crystal pole jutting from a tree, she extends a hand preemptively, breathing slowly, stabilizing her knees as she lines up. Violently, the handle rips free as her hand catches onto it, steered into place by the careful timing of her body, and splinters toss from its point as she immediately reverses her grip on it, lifts it along with the other, and "rows" both through the motion of a second jump.

The snowmobile's suspension creaks and rocks low as an unexpected weight drops onto it. The crystalline skiis extending from either side into Eudial's field of vision alert her immediately to what has happened, just before one of the ski poles stabs into the console, just beneath a handlebar. The crystal will shatter with a hard enough force applied horizontally, but for now, right turns will be difficult. Unfortunately, that was only a secondary goal Uranus had in mind when getting one of the poles out of her hands.

With her now-free hand, Uranus grabs for the back of Eudial's bright scarlet head, with the brutal intention of drawing it back, getting her elbow behind it, and slamming her face into the handlebars.

She does not ask Eudial to stop or give the sack back. To an Outer Senshi, messages like that are implied.

COMBAT: Sailor Uranus has used Meteor Slam on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick perfectly dodges 74 Fatigue damage from Sailor Uranus's Meteor Slam, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Pink Moon Stick's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

The magical girls employ ribbons, bubbles, winds, skis, heels, athleticism and extraordinary daring in order to close the gap some with Eudial.

Eudial employs a lead foot.

The snowmobile only occasionally makes contact with the mountainside, and honestly mostly as an afterthought. It careens with all the enthusiastic overacceleration that the first of the Witches 5 ever displayed behind the wheel of a station wagon. Take this lesson, girls: some drivers aren't unsafe at any speed -- they're unsafe at EVERY speed.

Sailor Uranus catches up anyway. She is inevitable.

Eudial yelps as a crystal pole stabs into the steering console, then glares, visible only as the thinning and straightening of her lips beneath those wraparound mirror shades. The Sky King is already aggressing again -- they both feel the shift of Sailor Uranus' weight behind her on the frame of the snowmobile -- and there's less than a second for Eudial to respond. She is forced to make a choice: bail? Throw the santa sack and hope Sailor Uranus reprioritizes?

That latter is an especially dicey gamble... the Outer Senshi are annoyingly pragmatic.

Or she can sacrifice something else; an option only she knew was available. Fault not Sailor Uranus for failing to anticipate, faster even than her arm's reach, what happens when Eudial leans forward and slams her own forehead into a big red button that MIGHT, upon a lesser vehicle, have been the control for a horn.

There is a mechanical CLUNK.

Sailor Uranus' skis begin to slide backwards, because now the front half of the snowmobile is separating away from the back half with a hiss of released air. She is now balanced precariously on an engine block.

Right in front of her, just out of reach, Eudial is now riding a SLEIGH. (A very... short, sleigh.) The snowmobile's rails even click and slide 90 degrees on their next jump, switching from flats to blades in midair.

There's still no steering it to the right. But Eudial is in no particular mood to steer; it's her turn to have created surprise, and her turn to press her very temporary advantage.

Again she unholsters FIRE BUSTER MK IV, which had been clipped alongside her seat. With a very serious expression, she casts a glance over her shoulder at Sailor Uranus, then pulls the trigger point blank.

The mighty quadflame hisses way overhead in a very clear miss, expelling the contents of its terrible ignition past the senshi, past the engine, past everything and everyONE...

...and explodes, thundrously, at the back of the race.

As Eudial faces forward again to start dealing with the problem of the crystal pole in her steering, Sailor Uranus spots the razor sharpness of the expression splitting her face. It's the devil's own smile.

The avalanche begins about three seconds later.

It, too, is inevitable.

<SoundTracker> Avalanche - Mulan OST - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7kWRRS--YM

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Full Mulan on Sailor Uranus.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Full Mulan on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Full Mulan on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Full Mulan on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Full Mulan on Fuu Hououji.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used The Full Mulan on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Jingle Bells on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus dodges 26 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Full Mulan, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Uranus's
Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Sailor Mars perfectly dodges 50 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Full Mulan, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Critical Dodge!  Sailor Mars's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi fails to dodge Pink Moon Stick's The Full Mulan, taking 43 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe fails to brace Pink Moon Stick's The Full Mulan, taking 35 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Fuu Hououji partially dodges 10 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Full Mulan, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Fuu
Hououji's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant partially dodges 9 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's The Full Mulan, taking 37 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

From far behind, Mami Tomoe can only see some of what happens before her; she cannot see all the details of the girls ahead, or hear them over the rush of wind and ribboncopter blades. But she can see the rush of snow and ice, and of course--


The fire of the FIRE BUSTER MK IV is a dead giveaway, as is the avalanche that starts spreading next. ...And the shouting. The echo of here La Sirene's indignation.

So Mami sails through the air, the moonlight catching the whites of her outfits and illuminating her in the sky. She considers her options, her golden eyes narrowing on her target as she sails through the air. Finding the ground is perhaps not yet the best of plans, though it will be soon enough; she makes a good target here. But instead, she chases Eudial's sleigh, and has a naughty list of her own...

Surging forward and ahead, Mami has the advantage of not having to go through trees, and so she starts to close the gap--close enough at least to make her move. Her move, as it turns out, is to pull a ribbon at her wrist and with a flick sparkle-change it into a rifle. But no ordinary rifle--this one has a ribbon at the end of it, a coil of golden silk that hangs ready as Mami takes aim--

Fire!! She launches the ribbon which extends and extends and extends, to where it will attempt to coil around the sleigh completely--and tether Mami's ribbon harpoon to it to get her up to speed.

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Legare on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick accepts Pink Moon Stick's Jingle Bells, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Accelerate and Empower applied to Pink
Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Mami Tomoe's Legare, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Exhausted, Tangle, and Trap applied to Pink
Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Uranus' hand steadies her head briefly, and her trajectory on her skiis faintly... and the small tease makes her confident for a moment that matters aren't rapidly spinning out of control. She's seen so many sides of Uranus, that to see this response to her earnest plea, makes her relax just faintly. A smile blooming on her face like a flower. "W-Well... it would be, for anyone but you."

And then the words 'She wouldn't' passes through her ears, and Sailor Moon only registers it quickly enough to turn her head as Uranus spikes her poles and takes off.

It's not easy to articulate how she feels, as she watches her go... the idea of Uranus racing the Wind, and winning. The smile doesn't so much disappear, as it transforms, softening.

She's watching the gap between herself and the Mahou Shoujo widen, when she twists with her body.

And starts to shift around, in a tailspin like rotation, clumsily stabbing her pole down to turn her in the correct direction.

"Now how am I supposed to catch up?"

Sailor Moon actually looks down the track, as she picks up momentum. She doesn't have an unhealthy estimation of her talents, even as a Sailor Senshi. This isn't a race she believes she can win when it comes to speed. So instead, she aims her trek sideways, striking the ramp that Sailor Mars created with her Fire Soul Bird off-center - launching herself up just like Mars did - albeit with less aplomb.

And at the apex of her leap-!

She extends a hand, bearing... a pen. There's a pop, and a noise as something extends. "WHOA-OA-!"

And suddenly the cold mountain wind strikes her Disguise Pen's Umbrella and launches her higher in altitude.

Clinging to it plus poles in mid-air, she finds herself being slowly, gently carried to skip part of the track-

"Aha-! M-Maybe I won't be left behind after all-!"

And that's... when Eudial unleashes her FIRE BUSTER MK IV at the mountainside. The avalanche suddenly roiling down just below her.

"No-no! Don't land now! Don't land n-!"

Sadly, the Disguise Pen is immune to her pleas. She has zero control over its trajectory now. The merciless pull of gravity leaves her landing on top of the avalanche just after it begins, her umbrella vanishing within the pen again, catching the top of the mound of fast moving snow rather than falling into its path.

"AIEEEEE-NONONONONO-!" As she turns her head back and forth of a denial of the inevitable result of this situation, her being buried!

Except, she doesn't. Somehow by some miracle(Is it the skiis???) she doesn't fall forward and get caught into it, but rides atop of it all the way down, until she skips off the front of the fast moving wave of white death.

Sailor Moon finally realizes that while she's not at the front of the pack, and still solidly pretty far at the back of the pack - she's somehow caught up!

"S-Scary-! Why are all the Moon Princess races so scary!?" She breathes out with the emphasis of someone who believes she narrowly escaped what should have been certain deaths, before she awkwardly raises one pole to her tiara, and calls out, "Eudial! Even if you're in a sleigh like Santa - I won't hesitate! Moon Tiara-"

Her tiara transforms into a glimmer, becoming a gleaming disk, as she draws back her arm, and flings it expertly despite her awkward balance on the skiis. "-ACTION!"

Forward it flies, arcing sideways, before trying to cut her off...

... literally. She's not aiming for Eudial directly. Instead she's aiming to strike those sleigh blades.

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used Moon Tiara Action on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 26 Fatigue damage from Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Action, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

As it happens, the wind is on their side twice over, right now. (Right now. Sailor Mars isn't dismissing the possibility that Sailor Uranus will see something in one of those hearts, and cause some problems of her own. It's in the back of her mind, the way a thousand estimations are laid on the table of the war-room.) The Magic Knight of Wind blows the remnants of smoke from where they'd caught in Sailor Mar's ski-mask, and she raises a hand in a poker-wielding salute. "Ahh, you always make things easier, Wind Knight!"

She can't keep her focus from the slope for long, though. Forward she leans, forward she careens, nigh-to-tumbling; skis are not, particularly, made for unpacked snow, but Sailor Mars is cheating, in a fashion. She's taking that exact same path Eudial is, with that much heavier snowmobile.

It's still not a pleasant trip down, by any means, which is why it's so relieving to hear Steven calling out and recognising her efforts. "I think she's gone beyond mean, at this point!" Mars calls back, and, let's be honest: Mars would know. But the fact that he's relying on her to offer retribution for that terrible meanness -- well, that's one way to help her brush off a branch slapping her right in the face as she crashes past it, evergreen leaves slapping snow right across her cheeks.

"A little diversion like this won't scare us away!" Mars rattles off, on the heels of la Sirene's own anger. "You're not getting away, Eudial!" Perhaps she means to goad on la Sirene as much as she means to demoralise her foe; a glance to the side tells her the dark Siren is having her own troubles, off-roading.

But of all of them, Sailor Uranus is the one who takes any troubles and simply charges through them. Sailor Mars, behind them, is in a prime position to behold the way she crashes into the snowmobile -- immobilises one direction -- and means to end the problem with a frank physicality.

"Look out!" Mars cries, and maybe it's the fact that she went to the trouble which matters, because surely Uranus can tell very well that getting a face-full of FIRE BUSTER MK IV is a terrible idea. Sailor Mars knows -- or at least, suspects -- she isn't telling Sailor Uranus anything she doesn't already know. But...

... even if it's hard to tell just where she stands all the time, Uranus is working with them. Right now, she's one of them, too. It's the same care she'd show for anyone on her side of the battlefield.

Tragically, it turns out that they should ALL look out, because Eudial has another trick up her sleeve. (Can't she calm down for five seconds? Mars thinks, without a shred of irony. Eudial doesn't need to put this much effort into being terrible!) The familiar roar of snow beginning to build is a terrible omen. She's going to have to do something drastic.

And so -- Sailor Mars is skiing on skis fashioned like flames, but now the tips of them heat up, just so, just enough to boil that first layer of snow she's coasting over. She sinks down in the efforts, but the air is cold enough that the same trick suffices: water, cooled, turns to ice.

Sailor Mars isn't going to coast down on snow. She's going to slide down on ice. Don't you know that water is the only thing that can save them from such a cold situation? If only Sailor Mercury were here, they'd be fine, but Sailor Mars will have to improvise.

It's in this fashion that Sailor Mars speeds up...

and up...


There's an avalanche behind her. Who knows how many of her friends are wrestling with it right now. But Sailor Mars is ahead of it, and now she's the one who has no idea how to stop.

That's okay, though, because she doesn't need to stop. She needs to go faster, to get in range of Eudial.

Her free hand raises to face-level, palm flat, and flame sparks at her fingertips. Somehow, she manages to bring that hand around in revolution without destabilising herself, and the momentum carries the spark of flame into a lash. "Searing Serpent!" She cries, as the serpentine lash winds towards Eudial --

-- no --

-- towards the side of Eudial's sled.

Crashing in, as it happens, on her left.

What was that about not being able to turn right any more? It seems the Senshi aren't above exploiting each other's tricks.

COMBAT: Sailor Mars has used Searing Serpent on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 15 Fatigue damage from Sailor Mars's Searing Serpent, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Sailor Mars is Psyched!  Blind applied to Pink Moon Stick!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

With flames extinguished thanks to Fuu's magical aid, Sourisi skis after the fleeing Eudial and off the beated mountain slope. The sheer mountain cliff is clearly not part of the bunny slope, with uneven patches covering jagged rocks and speed increasing from gravity's constant force. Sourisi grimaces and uses her very limited experience to move her skis away from anything that would send her airborne. At this angle, a jump could be deadly.

The hiss of Eudial's firey weapon can be heard over shredding snow and the dark cliffside is lit up by the flames. Quad flares streak though the night sky and it appears to be a wild shot that wouldn't hit anything. Not that they needed to.

The rumbling of falling snow vibrates the mountainside, and Sourisi turns her head slowly to look behind her in shock. "...uh oh." The hunter becomes the hunted and Sourisi tries to change her angle, speed up, anything to get away from the frigid landslide.

Instead, the Miraculous User disappears from sight under the unruly wave.

Direction loses all meaning when sight is nothing but shifting shades of pale snow, with only the thuds of hitting the ground any indication of what's down. Just wanting to getting away from Eudial's natural disaster, Sourisi kicks hard against a rock.

A geyser of snow erupts from the moving wave and Sourisi could be seen in midair. She is covered head to her boots in a layer of compacted snow, but her visors still lets her see Eudial in a...sleigh?! At least it's better than a snowmobile, but the thief hasn't been stopped yet.

Landing with a thud, Sourisi's pleased enough that she managed to still be following after Eudial. This is very lucky for her, since the Miraculous User's ski poles were lost in the avalanche. Pulling her tonfa free from their clasps, Sourisi flings the weapons after Eudial's sled, to throw her off track! "That was a pretty good sleigh-t of hand, but lets give this a brake!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 52 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Uranus's fingers spread wide as she stares, dumbfounded, at a Eudial who is perfectly happy to slam her OWN head into the handlebars. Then, jolted by the separating vehicle, she places her fingers to balance herself, eyes wide with outrage. Eudial knows it, too, making eye contact as she withdraws her flamethrower again. This woman...!

Tossing a look behind her, Uranus sees that, as expected, the others are either all-or-mostly close enough to be in danger. Returning her gaze to Eudial, hard teeth bared, with her expression she warns the Witch, uselessly, against the course of action she has decided upon. HISSSSS goes the flame.

Uranus reaches down and unclicks her skis one by one, even as the snow builds and tumbles through the trees. They fall to the ground beside the engine block, and Haruka hooks a hand to the corner of the metal, then drops herself off the side, to plant her feet against the wall of the engine, hanging from it to keep it between her and the snow. Leaning out, then in, she surfs the hill messily, steering closer and closer to a protective ridge. The avalanche hits with a thud above her, passing over her head, though a moment later, she bursts through it, lips pinched against the snow, body rattled.

"Tomoe," Uranus mutters, as a ribbon lances down. "Took you long en..."

Uranus's goggles reflect a bizarre, new-to-her usage of ribbon. "...eh?" she asks. Fighting with them instead of using them for presents and unveiling ceremonies is strange enough to begin with.

Shaking her head forcibly, Uranus turns her attention to the retreating sled, which is, of course, faster than her half of the snowmobile. Otherwise Eudial would have wanted this half, after all. Pulling with her lone arm, Uranus hops back atop the engine as it slides forlornly after its other half. Settling her balance, Uranus fixes her hawkish eyes on the sleigh ahead, and crosses her arms over her chest, beginning to lean back, as if in a trust fall, but bending her knees as she goes, as if she was not very trusting.

"Eudial!" she calls, as she tilts past the point of no return. "You forgot something!"

As Uranus falls back off the engine, she straightens her whole body at once, hard, slamming her feet out into the back of it. As she strikes the ground back-first and begins to tumble, Eudial is, suddenly, no longer on the faster half of her vehicle.

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

At first, the Wind Knight dares to think that maybe Eudial just had a really bad shot, as she watches the Fire Buster Mk IV expend another infernal gout up the mountain ... a long way up, in fact. Then the shot detonates - and the avalanche starts: downhill and off-course from the heart-stolen civilians, thankfully, but that's the only favor, and Eudial probably didn't even do that much on purpose.

On the other hand, if Eudial gets away with all those Pure Heart Crystals, it doesn't matter whether her victims are buried in the snow or not. The best the Magic Knight of Wind can do for *now* is to make sure she isn't buried as well - and while she pours on the speed, even veering off the course after Eudial and her comrades-in-arms, the avalanche still hits not unlike a speeding truck, even with a wind-barrier conjured to try and blunt or deflect the worst of it. More wind barriers help to ensure that while she's battered about on the way down, none of the impacts are fatal; her armor helps further, and her skis and poles, empowered by the strength of her will, withstand the punishing impacts to which they are subjected.

Plus, no matter what cheat-level magics or technology Eudial's using, *she* needs a path clear enough for the snowmobile to traverse, however she navigates the lesser obstacles. She may still have the speed of an engine on her side, but Eudial can't manipulate the terrain itself - except for the Fire Buster, of course.

For the moment, the Wind Knight focuses on closing the distance and surveying the situation. So many people are trying to target Eudial and the now-sleigh, even an arrow might endanger one of the other magical girls instead ...

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Let Me Take A Look on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

She warned you.

She told you about avalanches, sis.

La Sirene de Diamant grimaces in shock for a moment as the glamorous form of Sailor Uranus descends and immediately attempts to smash the living hecc out of Eudial. She does not protest this; is this the latent effects of a dark heart, or is this because --

The Death Snowmobile sheds its engine. As she snaps her skis back down and snaps her boots back into them, losing some velocity but hardly stopping, la Sirene finds her head turning. For a moment she is in a perfect en-pointe posture as the engine block tumbles and

Did it blow up?

No, la Sirene thinks, turning her head back. No, she shot that! She shot an explosion at the mountainside!! "You maniac!" she cries out. "You're going to kill yourself along with the rest of us, never mind the truth of your wickedness!" Because that distant boom and that faint sight of the moon-litten white sparkling wonderland *beginning to move* tells la Sirene, who has seen these things once or twice from a distance -- THOUGH NEVER ANYWHERE NEAR THIS BIG -- what exactly is about to happen.

Now downhill, she accelerates again, pumping her poles to gather speed. It is not enough, in the end; she is briefly overborne by the rolling and tumbling motion of the accumulated frost and snow, vanishing in a haze of silver mist.


Something blooms within it; and la Sirene, in the aftermath of a huge surge of some sort of magic, is sliding forwards, eyes wider yet now as she pumps desperately to build up speed, to get ahead of the crushing burying force.

As she pushes forwards, past the barriers of terror and the exhiliration of exertion, a sudden thought comes to her. OF COURSE, la Sirene thinks. That's half the battle, isn't it!? She's not magic in the same way as the Sailor Soldiers or the Magic Knight or I, or even Mami or Sourisi! Nor even Steven, because he can summon up his shield.

La Sirene sinks downwards, tucking her ski poles up and moving one to be held in her armpit as her left hand comes out. She raises index and pinky in salute, tilting her head back to use this as a sort of sight as she watches the catching-leap of Uranus, the burning convergence of ribbon and fiery soul and flying tiara. But she does not center it on the sled.

She's aiming... for the FIRE BUSTER MK IV.

"Les Mysteres," la Sirene murmurs to herself. She brings up the other arm -- still holding onto the ski pole. Her fingers crook round this unfortunate handle, as she brings it down-- "COME!"

Two things happen at once.

Once is of course the silvery-black-violet-magnificent manifest sphereoid of glittering inverted light with silvery threading, and its sparkling afterwash which has the opportunity of standing out in gorgeous three-dimensional relief thanks to the powder snow being thrown up by the AVALANCHE DIRECTLY BEHIND HER.

The second is that she ends up suddenly moving ten degrees to the left of where she was heading. "gah!" la Sirene says, at this sudden divergence between maiden and missile. Will this ruin it?! Is that a rock or a snowdrift?!?

COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant has used Les Mysteres on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 0 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Let Me Take A Look, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Analysis performed by Fuu Hououji!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Uranus's Reunion, Too Soon, taking 50 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick counters 11 Fatigue damage from La Sirene de Diamant's Les Mysteres, taking 32 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick's counterattack, FIRE BUSTER, partially gets through, doing 13 Fatigue damage to La Sirene de Diamant!  
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Giving a good cheer to Sailor Mars felt good. She is cool, just like Sailor Moon!

When ISNT cool is leveling the entire playing field. "Hey! Can you put the giant fire weapon away! What happened to summoning monsters and the like? But does Eudial listen? Nah? She has much more important business to attend to. Like pulling the trigger on that weapon, the latest in magical girl tourchin technology!

There is a deep rumble in the slopes once the weapon goes off again. "Oh, that isn't good, is it?!" Steven says, getting to look over his shoulder as he runs like a cute hamster in a ball. He sees a wall of white about ti hit him.


Much like a wave hitting a beach ball, Steven gets sent sailing through the air, tumbling in what is his only safety at this point. it propels him far forward, but gives him a real good shake, as it lands ahead, and spins like a top as it continues down the slope. "Help! Runaway Bubble Shield!"

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

Eudial is rapidly running out of sleigh. Vehicular manslaughter may be her favorite crime, but you need a vehicle to do crimes with, and hers has a Mami Tomoe Signature Limited Harpoon in it (and, to add insult to injury, is now slowed by having to tow the extra weight Puella Senpai requires), just had the sleigh blades shaved to a shorter cut by Sailor Moon's tiara, got hit by Sourisi's tonfa hard enough to leave big dents on the right, got quite melted on the left by Sailor Mars' flame because she COULDN'T STEER AWAY FROM IT because of Sailor Uranus' stupid ski pole, and now stupid Sailor Uranus is kicking the stupid engine directly at the sleigh too, and--!


From on high, Fuu knows what Eudial is going to do before she does it. It's obvious from way back, away from the wind and the speed and the chaos of battle. It's obvious because now that option three is spent, options one and two are her only ways out.

<SoundTracker> The Gambler - Kenny Rogers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDwCMxPwJ_4

Eudial was never one to leave ANY options on the table.

It is La Sirene's direct assault on the Fire Buster Mk IV that finally stirs her to response; where previously she had tried and brutally failed to withstand the group assault while focusing on escape, she is protective of her weapon. Well, sort of. It's Mk IV for a reason. At any rate, she's protective of its continued existence for at least a few more moments, and fires over her shoulder wildly, a broad blast rather than a focused and deadly one. It does the job intended, intercepting enough of Les Mysteres with the quadflame that although it washes over her back all silver strength, it isn't quite enough to penetrate the flamethrower's tank, not after it had to get through the flame.

If she wasn't already wearing great eyewear, she would flip them down over her eyes before she did the next part. Fabulous fingernails drumming for a moment of reflection -- or perhaps while formulating a death haiku for a friend lost too young, too soon -- she ultimately makes a fist and slams it into that red button again. This time she holds it down longer.


It lights up redder, backlit, apparently, by some kind of LED.

Then it goes out.

Then it comes on again.




Eudial triggers the ejector seat way too close to comfort to the sleigh bomb going off, but she wanted to keep the girls close until it was too late to get away. From very high in the air she pulls a cord on her suit, and a base jumper's parachute explodes even higher overhead, unfurling gloriously, white with black star, one last time.

Bail? Check.

Santa sack? Well...

She glances at it, then down at the likely survivors. They are, regrettably, tougher than even the average Death Buster bomb. And she is an extremely easy target in midair.

Twisting her lips, she tosses the sack of Pure Heart Crystals high enough to buy her a little parabolic time, then twists the FIRE BUSTER MK IV's nozzle, setting it to 'June'. (We're busting out all over.)

Gazing down at the girls beneath her, she pulls the trigger. Pure molten hell spills forth. There's no time to stop it -- it's already out, taking out Eudial would achieve nothing -- and there's no time for a person to get to the sack to grab it, either.

No, there's only one thing fast enough to meet FIRE BUSTER's final conflagration: light. And wind, and other such ultimate elemental assaults that magical girls might otherwise be tempted to use on her instead. By themselves, none have proven equal to her weapon, and they will have to be greater to meet it before it hits the Pure Heart Crystals, and then push it back entirely.

She can't even see them through the size and brightness of the flame, and vice versa.

Perfect, thinks Eudial, as the hot air backdraft from the flamethrower fills the parachute to lift her further and further out of harm's way.

COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Sleigh Bomb on La Sirene de Diamant.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Sleigh Bomb on Sailor Uranus.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Sleigh Bomb on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Sleigh Bomb on Sailor Mars.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Sleigh Bomb on Sailor Moon.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick has used Sleigh Bomb on Mami Tomoe.
COMBAT: Sailor Mars partially dodges 8 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Sleigh Bomb, taking 33 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Mars's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mami Tomoe counters 10 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Sleigh Bomb, taking 31 Fatigue damage!  Mami Tomoe's Reverse
and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: FINISHER! Mami Tomoe's counterattack, Tiro Salvo, partially gets through, doing 42 Fatigue damage to Pink Moon Stick!
Critical Counterhit!
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus partially dodges 11 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Sleigh Bomb, taking 45 Fatigue damage!  Critical
Hit!  Sailor Uranus's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Sourisi perfectly braces 55 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Sleigh Bomb, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Critical Brace!
COMBAT: Sailor Moon braces 35 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Sleigh Bomb, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Sailor
Moon's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: La Sirene de Diamant cleanly braces 45 Fatigue damage from Pink Moon Stick's Sleigh Bomb, taking 8 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!  La Sirene de Diamant's Block and Parry abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Mami Tomoe [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mami will rarely turn up a chance to surprise Sailor Uranus, even if their relationship is improved. It's important to be able to get a little creative... and Mami wants to be sure when she has a chance to fire, she can line up her shot. The theory is good, though she isn't counting on Eudial ejecting out and probably should have, considering. As she looks through glittering silver-black as la Sirene moves, and the fire--

Ah. The bomb starts to go off. Mami is jarred by the explosion, but in the same moment that it happens, she reaches back and converts her ribbon apparatus into a brace of rifles, firing up up and around towards the weapon. But there's no way to actually stop it; the sudden rush of gunfire pushes her backward with its force, and Mami immediately whirls back to pull a ribbon from her cuff--and makes it into a huge gun, a small cannon, aimed straight up at the flames in order to undo them. She fires in the same heartbeat--and a booming blast of gold erupts to try to shield the crystals.

Eudial will escape, she's sure, but if they can get those Crystals back--

COMBAT: Mami Tomoe has used Tiro RETORT on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Mars [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The horror sleigh is just not having a good time! (Neither, it seems, is Eudial.) Sailor Mars gains on it, in all its battering -- and gains, and gains --


"What?!" Mars demands, entirely offended, as she finally overtakes Eudial...'s sleigh, just in time for it to blow the (CAW!) up.

It turns out the question of how Sailor Mars was going to stop is actually very easy! All that needed to happen was for an explosion to propel her forward in such a way that she can't catch herself on her skis. Sailor Mars proceeds to eat dirt, which is to say, she ploughs SO deep into the snowdrift that she ends up impacting the frozen ground beneath -- really an impressive feat, considering how deep the snowfall gets up in Hokkaido.

One hand lifts up out of the Mars-shaped hole, as if the dead have come to life once more. "I'm not done... yet!" She spits, as she pulls herself rightwards. She might need some help, considering how many scuffmarks she's collected over the course of this course. She's absolutely fine, totally cool, just a touch completely livid.

So, of course, Eudial tosses the sack full of people out into the sky. That would be bad enough, except -- "No!" Sailor Mars cries, as she sights her fidgeting with the FIRE BUSTER MK IV. She's too far away to see precisely what she's doing with it, but she can guess. "She's going to burn them alive!"

Is that really the right terminology? Maybe it is. They won't live for long without their Pure Hearts. It's more efficient than burning a bagful of bodies, but the effect is, essentially, the same. She doesn't have time to spare a glance to the Puella Magi, as she calls out: "Mami-san! We're counting on you again!" And Sailor Mars is just going to have to trust that Mami knows what she means -- because Mami has always shielded the innocent from the ravages of magic.

There are plenty of things faster than fire, but Sailor Mars is kind of a one-trick pony. She's all fire, all the time. But not all fire is created equally, Eudial may find, as Sailor Mars lights a flame and sweeps her arm in broad circle. Those flickering flames resolve into eight orbs, inscribed with the symbols of the Womb Realm; Sailor Mars gathers them, into her hands. "BURNING..." The orbs don't stay for long -- she looses them with a thrust, and they thin in their velocity, becoming eight separate discs of flame to careen towards the BUSTER's red-hot torrent. "... MANDALA!" They'll explode between that attack and the crystals, and Sailor Mars is going to have to hope -- hope -- that this time, faith wins out over science.

Well, Eudial isn't the only one who has a habit of doing the same thing all the time expecting a different result. Sometimes it's stealing Pure Hearts and hoping that this time she won't be foiled, sometimes it's yelling at people so they won't be hurt by the world, and sometimes it's setting fire on fire.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Mars has used Burning Mandala on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

The might being thrown around by the magical defenders of Tokyo shows that they're starting to become tired of this winter round of cat and mouse. The sled starts to crumble under the relentless assault, filling Sourisi with hope that the chase may soon come to an end. Catching her tonfa instictively as they return, the Miraculous User kneels down on her skis to to get a little more speed. They're so close now...!

Even when Eudial seems to be cornered, she still has tricks up her sleeves. From her angle, Sourisi is able to see that big button being smashed down and blinking of the light. Sourisi gulps and starts to spin her tonfa rapidly in her hands, having to improvise on the spot. With no poles, she couldn't exactly dodge...

The exploding sleigh sends shrapnel and snow flying everywhere, the sudden violence shaking the trees free of their icy burden. A moment after the bomb goes off before the form of Sourisi slides on through the dust cloud, smoke trailing off her body. By twirling her tonfa and holding them in front of her, Sourisi was able to deflect the worst of the explosion away from her, though she was slowing down now. "...whao. I didn't think that would work."

Seeing Eudial held aloft in the air via parachute, the Mouse that Roars pulls the twirling tonfa back to throw but freezes as she notices a certain sack not where it should it be. It was falling down, with the flamethrower pointed right at it! "Stop!" Even as she cries this out, jets of flame brought forth by dark science are inching forward from the nozzle.

Heart pounding in panic, Sourisi rears her arms back, putting everything she had in her weapons. Air whistles and starts to reverb from the speed of her spinning weapons before both of the tonfa were thrown forward, right for the jet of flame. Sonic booms shake what little snow is left on the trees, and the Miraculous Ninja can only hope her aim is true. "This ends now!"

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sourisi has used Primal Crazy Rodent on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Being at a distance actually worked in the Wind Knight's favor, at least defensively - she didn't have to worry about getting caught in the explosion when Eudial self-destructs her snowmobile-turned-sleigh. On the flip side, though, she can't capitalize *offensively*; while the ejection-seated Eudial seems like a promising target for an arrow with enough speed behind it, the Witch of 5 is swift to ensure that the magical girls will be otherwise preoccupied.

"Emerald ... !"

One last shove with her ski poles, and then the Magic Knight of Wind lets them disappear like her sword or bow. She doesn't even bring her arms forward again, just keeps them spread behind her, calling the wind to her bidding: the headwind from her forward momentum, the breezes and gusts that Nature itself offers, and the wellspring of elemental magic that she draws on for her spells.

She's tempted to simply unleash the tempest - but no; this requires a focused and deliberate blast, not a wild one.

"... CYCLONE!!" she finishes, whipping her left arm forward, then her right; the magic condenses, green-tinted wind whistling, then howling, as the Magic Knight unleashes her most powerful spell to help her allies cut short the Fire Buster Mk IV's final torrent of flames.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Fuu Hououji has used Emerald Cyclone: Focused on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Eudial is setting every bad example for how not to drive to a bunch of impressionable adolescents who won't be allowed to drive until they Come of Age.

Moon catches her tiara it's return, putting it back on her forehead with a flourish. "Eudial! Get out of the sleigh and give it u-"

Sailor Moon blinks several times in surprise as she ejects out of the sleigh. "Wait, is she actually-"

Yeah that's too much to hope for Moon. The advent of a beeping and a red light triggers some anime/action film instinct within her that something is wrong. As suddenly the beeping increases, and a red light flashes and Moon starts waving a pole in front of her, "I TAKE IT BACK! I TAKE IT-"


The explosion lifts her up off the ground, as she smashes through the white hot haze of smoke and force...

A scorched and battered Moon emerges from the other side, miraculously landing, after a short hop.

She shakes it off though she hears Mars shout 'No!' just in time to see Eudial throwing the bag of- "The Hearts!" She cries in alarm, even as the nozzle of the Fire Buster Mark IV begins to...

"No she won't!" She declares to Mars, suddenly resolute full of faith in the girls with her. All of them had fought so many battles together. Shared failures, and successes... and learned and grown from those failures. They'd all come so far, that when she says that, she doesn't doubt it for a moment. Even facing down Eudial's Dark Science.

Suddenly stabbing the pole in the ground, she uses it to turn her around, in the spot, using the momentum to start a revolution around its fulcrum.

"MOOOONNNNN-!" A trail of moonlit tears, golden blonde hair, a field of white snow. "SPIRALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL-!" It becomes a whirling blur as she brings it all to bear. "HEARRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT-!"

This gathering of power turns round and round until she skids to a stop, showering snow.

"-ATTACK!" With a triumphant toll, the spell unleashes, as a kaleidoscopic array of sparkles... and hearts, trails of infinite effigies of love and faith that gather into one passionate heart of eclipsing size...

... to crash against Eudial's terrible burning torrent with all the feelings that she's put behind it.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Moon has used Moon Spiral Heart Attack! on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> La Sirene de Diamant [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The flame erupts back along the same trajectory that la Sirene had cast her bolt from -- BUT, mirable dictu, she has moved a little away from that. So there, Eudial! No, this is not a victory, it simply means she is swept over and singed rather than scorched or worse. Flame licks over her and la Sirene cries out, swishing away for a moment further.

Fleeing? Not quite. She swerves backwards, in time to see that






n g

oh no, la Sirene thinks, a moment before B U R S T

There are a few moments that she loses here, a moment of involuntary flying. La Sirene ends up on her back in the snow, staring up at the stars and at the moon. And there is also another glowing thing, a light source that occludes the stars - for their full breadth is easily, so easily concealed by an intrusion on the comforting and wonderful darkness that evokes the vaults of heaven.

That light, of course, is Eudial, a baleful figure in the east.

La Sirene sits upwards, shedding some snow from her outfit. Her arms feel cold. (Not surprising.) She takes a centering moment, breathes deep - lets it out - relieved, perhaps, that it doesn't hurt - and then her hands come together before her head in a clap.

"Begone, you unwelcome glare; let your light be put under a bushel and thrown into the Sea;" la Sirene intones. "Return to us the moon and the stars, the precious glimpse of astronomy's secrets..." (The stars stuck with her, in this improvisational moment.) As she speaks these portentious words, the light around her - no, the reverse light - billows outwards, like a gathering bubble, trailing for a moment with auroral colors before -


The light ripples - pours upwards - defying the conventional laws of such things, guided only by the charcoal-fuel of that distilled fury from the journey here, her fear, her hope, her desire for this beauty to be regained. Will it be enough? Well: it's flying with great vigor, a sparkling motion a bit towards Sourisi's right as she surges inwards. The touch is cold, somehow; and perhaps the sort of thing that might veil a weapon, or (so hoped) consume an interloper entirely, while sparing precious treasure.

COMBAT: FINISHER! La Sirene de Diamant has used The Light That Never Warms on Pink Moon Stick.
<Pose Tracker> Sailor Uranus [Infinity Institute (12)] has posed.

Sailor Uranus tumbles to a stop, tossing her head back to check what became of her target. She's pretty sure she sees a certain tiara fly in. Sailor Mars's attack is harder to miss, and Uranus wonders if Mars intentionally took advantage of Eudial's steering problems or not. Formidable... always in the back of her mind is the thought that that might be a problem for her and Neptune one day. Maybe even today, if things go a certain way with the Pure Hearts.

But Eudial is her problem for now. With typical mad-scientist panache, she explosively covers her retreat, and Uranus is first in line for the consequences. Barely having risen to her feet, she hurls herself back, but the spreading ripple of explosion-driven snow engulfs her almost immediately, and soon after, the explosion itself. Uranus hits the ground heavily, unable to break her fall when it is more like being hurled against the mountain. With a cough, she lies still for a moment, only one arm moving as she reaches up to lift her goggles gently, then toss them away when the broken strap yields no resistance.

"Hnng," she groans, patting the ground around her as she sits up, her fetching blonde hair more than just windblown now. Staggering back to her feet, Uranus both sees and feels heat, wind, the light of the moon and the light of the sea, and, surprisingly, a pair of tonfa, as they rise to meet what is falling. Uranus, panting from the chase, her ribs aching from the bomb blast, has difficulty standing straight. She burned so much energy so quickly tonight, and her ears are ringing from that hit. Maybe if she could take a minute's rest...

But the pyroclasm roaring down at them has the high ground, and this battle is Eudial's to lose; momentum is in her favor. Wiping her face with a gloved hand, Uranus murmurs a grown-up swear word. Then, with a growling sound of ploughed-up dirt, she shoves her stance wide, boot sliding out sharply. Clenching her fist with effort, she throws it up into the air and spreads her palm at the same time.

"WORLD!" she cries, as the power of the sky gathers into a golden sphere. Her arm trembles as she has to hold it up for longer than usual to get it up to size. "SHA-KING!" wrenches from her throat, as her tall, athletic body swivels through the motion of a hard pitch, tossing away her own attack as though it were a leech draining her. But it follows true, sailing straight up to slam in amongst the others, tearing away ribbons of flame as it burrows.

Uranus drops to one knee as the pulsing light of her power grows distant from her, its reflection on her hair growing dim. "Come on," she urges. She'd love to see all this beautiful destruction above her cram into Eudial.

COMBAT: FINISHER! Sailor Uranus has used World Shaking! on Pink Moon Stick.
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 15 Fatigue damage from Mami Tomoe's Tiro RETORT, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Stagger applied to Pink
Moon Stick!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 33 Fatigue damage from Fuu Hououji's Finisher, Emerald Cyclone: Focused, taking 22 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sourisi's Finisher, Primal Crazy Rodent, taking 66 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace La Sirene de Diamant's Finisher, The Light That Never Warms, taking 218 Fatigue damage!
Critical Hit!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Mars's Finisher, Burning Mandala, taking 109 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon Stick is
unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick fails to brace Sailor Moon's Finisher, Moon Spiral Heart Attack!, taking 236 Fatigue damage!  Pink Moon
Stick is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Pink Moon Stick braces 64 Fatigue damage from Sailor Uranus's Finisher, World Shaking!, taking 43 Fatigue damage!  Pink
Moon Stick is unable to keep fighting!
COMBAT: Sailor Uranus is unable to keep fighting!
<Pose Tracker> Pink Moon Stick [Admin] has posed.

In some ways the conclusion is foregone.

Eudial is arrogant in this knowledge, but not so arrogant as to think even so mighty a weapon as FIRE BUSTER MK IV will prevail against the combined strength of three senshi, a Miraculous-user, a Magical Knight, a Puella Magi, and La Sirene de Diamant. Of course it will lose, and the light -- golden and green, red and silver, pink and pink and pink and pink and pink -- will prevail, pushing back the fire and reclaiming the sack. Of course the twin tonfa will, with the aid of a little magic, all but boomerang the Pure Heart Crystals safely back into the arms of the girls below. Of course. Of course.

She was not expecting quite the level of blowback.

It really is quite explosive. The earlier light show for the Moon Princess event is nothing compared to this. And there's a moment, after the blast clears, where everyone expects to see no one, where her escape is expected to be either totally clean or else totally vaporized -- which is clean, too, in its own way -- that instead, everyone sees the scarlet witch, parachute shredded, weapon useless slag in her hands, sunglasses blown off completely, about to fall to her doom.

And it's then that they see fear in her eyes.

Until a hand reaches out of nowhere and grabs her under the armpit.

At a distance it's difficult to gauge the identity of her portal-summoning savior, but then, only one other member of the Death Busters has hair quite that red color. No less a person than the Grand Magus herself has outstretched to rescue her underling, it seems, and there is OPEN SURPRISE on Eudial's face as she is saved.

Then it slides back into coolness, a mask as opaque as the mirrored shades were.

And she meets Sailor Uranus' eyes as she departs.

There is confidence there that isn't belied by that momentary fear of imminent demise.

There's only one way she'd be THAT confident that the Talismans weren't in the sack.

Why DO the Death Busters suddenly feel free to collect Pure Hearts indiscriminately?

Has their objective... changed?

There's only one reason why it would have... the same reason.

"Better hurry," she tells her, tells them all. "How many HeartBeats are back in Tokyo, do you think?"

Kaolinite pulls her through her little hole in space, and they are gone.