The Fourth Wish

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"I want to erase every witch before they are even born! Every witch, from every universe, from every dimension, from every past, and every future, with my own hands. I don't care what I become. I don't want to let all those girls cry, all those Puella Magi who believed in their hope and fought against witches. All their friends who tried so much to help but could only win pain. I want them to live on with smiles on their faces. I will destroy the rules that prevent that. I will change them. This is my prayer. This is my wish. NOW-- fulfill it, INCUBATOR!"
--Madoka Kaname, June 2nd, 2015

The Beginning

It's like matter and antimatter where the infinite barrage of the fully realized power of hope collides with the infinite expanse of the ultimate, final witch. Again the reaction seems to consume... everything, creating the inescapable event horizon of a black hole, except -- it's a supermassive white hole, instead.

This time, it isn't a star that's born.

This time, it's the whole universe...

...every universe...

                                  l e t                                    
                                t h e r e                                  
                                   b e                                     
                                 h o p e                                   


<SoundTracker> You Are The New Day - The King's Singers

This time, when your eyes clear, it's late afternoon, and you're right in the middle of something.

Maybe you're playing sports, and you've got the ball.
Maybe you're in club, playing your instrument or baking your cake.
Maybe you're in the middle of a date.
Maybe you're just taking a walk down by the river.
Maybe you're already home, doing your homework -- or procrastinating.

But you're living your life -- your ordinary life -- an ordinary life that should be impossible. You haven't had time. You've been too focused on other duties. You've been too miserable.

And, even if none of those things were true: it should be impossible because Tokyo was destroyed. You saw it happen. Blow by blow, the city wielded as a weapon to pulverize itself.

Only... it wasn't.

Check the date and it's the same: June 2, 2015.

But nothing is as it was left.

Tokyo is whole -- WHOLE -- whole in a way that makes your heart whole, too.

The city is tall and shining and lovely, except for the parts that are short and green and lovely. The streets are clean and clear... except for the part where they're full of throngs of people. Busy people. Busy, mostly happy people.

Just like you, people out and about, doing what they love.

It's like Walpurgisnacht never existed in the first place.

There was no evacuation; no superstorm, real or fake; no rain even, the last week has been nothing but sun, perfect for the switch to summer uniforms.

There was, you gradually realize, thanks to a variety of little clues, no /war/.

Your grades are better, for starters, whether you find a paper buried in your bookbag or pinned to your fridge by a proud parent. So too is your attendance at school, club, work, and every other obligation in your life. That part-time job you lost because you kept missing shifts? You've got a recent paycheck.

Maybe you're in a group chat on your phone with someone you thought was your enemy.
Maybe you have a selfie with them from a recent trip to the amusement park.
Maybe you have a recent voice mail from someone who should be dead.
Maybe YOU should be dead, and the last thing you remember, after dying, is being suffused in a warm pink light, before waking up, just like everyone else, inside your own bodies, inside your own lives.

There's also the easily-spotted matter of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, wholly intact, towering on the skyline; nor are large sections of Haneda Airport closed for repairs.

It's a beautiful day.

It's the first day of the rest of your life.


You could spend it scouring your belongings for more clues, or the internet, or the newspaper. You won't find many. There are no conveniently detailed secret diaries; there's little to glean from paging through personal planners in either direction, past or future, other than evidence of a life -- your life -- lived in a way consistent to who you are. Lived the way you would have if you'd had the chance.

Now you do have that chance -- what are you going to do with it?

It bothers you less than you might have expected, not knowing EXACTLY the sequence of events, in this world, precisely as they transpired, up until you blinked your eyes and suddenly remembered that just a second ago you were in the middle of the cosmos watching the universe be destroyed and recreated... by... someone. A girl. A wholly unremarkable girl, a sort of civilian hanger-on to the magical community, who was, somehow, involved in endless trouble. You can't quite recall her face. And what was her name again? This bothers you less than it might've, too.

It helps that most things are the same as they ever were.

Friends and family in your life still are perfectly and entirely themselves, and your relationships with them are the same. With seamlessness that is less remarkable than it is simply intuitive, both remember the same conversations, the same activities, that let you pick up pretty much where you left off.

Recent supernatural events are also essentially identical. The World Tree bloomed last month and left a blizzard of petals on everyone and everything for weeks. There have been a lot of UFO sightings lately. Right now, a monster of the day is menacing the grocery store in Clover Town Street, and magical girls are mobilizing to stop it.

Suicide rates are down, though, especially in hospitals, construction sites, derelict buildings and, collectively, on Southern Cross Island. It's obvious why, to those in the know. Walpurgisnacht never happened...

...because Witches never existed.


You /could/ spend your new day investigating mysteries, but then your eyes catch on a rainbow.

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Rainbow Bridge +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 Despite its name, the Rainbow Bridge spends most of its time bone-white,      
 like an angel's harp carved of driftwood in the dark water of the bay.        
 Periodically it crosses beneath an island every bit as man-made and           
 geometrical as the bridge itself, planting pillars to claim it and then       
 traversing water again. It's visible from a wide variety of angles from the   
 coastline, forming a hypoteneuse that crosses the bay via Odaiba and, with    
 the aid of less iconic bridges, permits quick travel from Yamanote to         
 Foot traffic is possible across the bridge, and many visitors dare the long   
 walk to get a good view of the city on one side, and the sea on the other.    
 Walking atop a bridge is a poor way to see the bridge itself, of course, but  
 that is what the Yurikamome elevated train line is for. Slung beneath the     
 bridge for much of its journey, the fully automated, driverless train gives   
 a great view of the Rainbow Bridge on its way to Odaiba.                      
 For a few hours every night, this expensive landmark truly lives up to its    
 name, glowing with different hues depending on the season or holiday.         
 Rarely, a combination of floodlights makes a genuine rainbow of the bridge,   
 with deep reds at its foot and violet at its peak. Small, colorfully lit      
 tugboats and civilian craft float beneath the gleaming bridge, buoyant on     
 the liquid dream of a starry sky.                                             

The sun is sunk deeply into Tokyo Bay --

-- and, across Tokyo, the lights are coming on.

And you realize: if anyone else knows what you know, if anyone else remembers what you remember...

...that's where they're going to go.

Because of course they are. Of course you are.

It's where it all began.


  • Everyone remembers everything from the prime timeline, except for their goodbye scene with Madoka, and also the specifics of Madoka herself. Although you can recall even the finest details of interactions with her, it's as though she's been retconned out of memory, replaced with a blank-faced, nondescript sort of idea of a normal girl, whose name nobody can quite recall.
  • This is not as distressing as it may sound like. Try too hard to remember specifics about that girl, the one who made the wish that changed the world, and your mind is soothed by gentle pink light, a sort of Recognition Inhibition-like effect. But you don't even remember forgetting her face; it feels normal, natural, and unproblematic to not really know who she was anymore, as though you never did in the first place.
  • Characters do not have to have personally been at Walpurgisnacht to retain their memories of the prime timeline, though magical girls are generally assumed to have been.
  • Even "that girl" doesn't exist, never existed, in the shared reality of everyone else who doesn't remember. For example, Junko and Tomohisa Kaname have one child, their toddler son, Tatsuya Kaname, who sometimes babbles about his invisible friend.
  • Proximity to Homura's red ribbons, the single, impossible proof of Madoka's former existence, can trigger immense feelings of nostalgia in those who once knew her.
  • No one "remembers" anything from the new world; in the span of an eyeblink, magical girls 'wake up' in their own bodies, in their own lives, with all the memories of the prime timeline.
  • This is a little disconcerting at first, but the new world is essentially identical to the old world, very seamlessly so in every way possible, except with a few very specific, causality-driven differences.
  • As magical girls can discover easily by asking others of their kind who don't know any better, or mascots, or Kyuubey, "witches" in the Puella Magi sense do not exist and never existed in this world. There is a different enemy, called Wraiths, which exude a strange supernatural miasma instead of forming labyrinths, and who are hunted by Puella Magi in exchange for their wish. When they are destroyed they leave "Grief Cubes" behind, a smaller but more plentiful analogue to the Grief Seeds of the old world; so instead of eating one another, Puella Magi now regain their strength by consuming the curses of humanity, which is said to be that which Wraiths spring from and represent as a sort of placeholder, a universal constant. Their bounty has destroyed any real need for competition among Puella Magi; there is enough to go around, and teamwork has become the community norm, instead of the impossibly difficult exception. There are no territories anymore.
  • There is also a mysterious phenomenon, which Incubators do not understand but magical girls have themselves named the Law of Cycles, that causes Puella Magi to disappear when they run out of magic. This hardly ever happens because of Grief Cube shortage now, but rather when a girl has gone too far down the path of despair, past where Grief Cubes can save her Soul Gem. Puella Magi are told that their fate -- disappearing before the misfortune their hope attracts can curse the world -- is the price they will pay for their wish, before the Contract is made, so the relationship between Incubators and humanity is modestly healthier than it was before.
  • Sayaka Miki's life still ended in this way, just as the new world began.
  • The many civilians that Eri and Kyouko fed to familiars and witches as part of their Grief Seed cultivation efforts never died.
  • Since the witches, the war, and Walpurgisnacht are part of the prime timeline, all memories of them remain intact. However, presumably because witches, familiars and Grief Seeds never existed, the war never happened in the new world, and no one ever died because of it, nor were there any casualties at Walpurgisnacht, which also never happened. Exactly what happened instead is a mystery that will never be solved, and whose mysteriousness is relatively untroubling, in light of the miracle of resurrection and second chances at hand.
  • Mami Tomoe, Kimiko Akane, Kyouko Sakura and Eri Shimanouchi never died in the war. Although they only explicitly remember the warm pink light of their afterlife, it's as though they got to watch a sort of highlights reel while they were there. Therefore, they have a good intuitive understanding of the events of Walpurgisnacht, the Fourth Wish, and the transformation of the universe, allowing them to know with their gut about Wraiths, the Law of Cycles, and why things are the way they are, without having to have it explained to them by Kyuubey or other Puella Magi. They know that someone, somewhere, is fighting for them.
  • Endo Naoki, Nagisa Misumi and Honoka Yukishiro never died at Walpurgisnacht.
  • Kozue Kaoru is also alive again, but her Child is still gone.