2020-07-10 - MGLN SeekerS: Asteroid In Love

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MGLN SeekerS: Asteroid In Love

The Juuban Science Club hosts an astronomy party, the main thrust of which is to identify mysterious objects in the sky. But a RECOGNIZABLE star falls -- pursued by an equally recognizable enemy. In the end, the magical girls are left with a new puzzle... but one they might actually have the pieces for.


Honoka Yukishiro, Lera Camry, Setsuna Higashi, Takeo Akamizu, Endo Naoki, Niramo Umokeshi, Vita Yagami, Mikoto Minagi, Fate Testarossa, Steven Universe, Yuzuki Mayuzumi, Nagisa Misumi, Black Sky


Juuban Public School

OOC - IC Date:

7/10/2020 - 9-11-15

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> A Happy Happening - FWPC OST - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlM12tCZoy4

The word is out: the Juuban Science Club got permission to set up their astronomy equipment tonight on the roof of the school, and to stay up there for as long as they like. Exactly how things got bigger than just the club is unclear, but so many friends of friends heard and shared that there was a stargazing party at Juuban, that now it is one. The entire concrete expanse of the roof is coated in blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags, creating comfortable seating everywhere. A critical mass of guests have brought enough snacks and drinks that there's a perfectly decent spread arranged on one of the benches, one that seems to grow with every new arrival. There are even a couple of instruments in evidence, with various musicians taking turns softly plucking away in competition with the soft buzz of conversations rising towards the sky like an incense offering.

It is a beautiful night. Summer has yet to fully surrender to the clutches of Fall -- this is one of the hardest times of year to be in a classroom, during the day -- and a hot mass of air has draped itself over the city like a shawl, or a heavy exhalation, a breath. Times like these, the planet feels alive, even in the middle of Tokyo's concrete jungle. Soon, tomorrow, it will condense into clouds, and then it will rain. But for now it is both clear and warm, a marvelous combination. What it is NOT is especially dark. Tokyo light pollution, in its full earthly glory. Only the absolute brightest celestial bodies have a hope of bursting through.

But that isn't a problem per se. After all, strictly speaking, this ISN'T a STARgazing party.

Despite the greatly expanded attendance on the roof, the original function of the event is also underway. There is one big telescope set up on a tripod at one end of the roof, and being in a two meter radius of it comes with the expectation of decorum; nobody wants it to get knocked over and broken, as it is irreplaceable on the club's budget. There are also a bunch of little hand-held telescopes, and these have been more widely distributed. You can tell the actual club members by their lab coats -- a little silly in an astronomy context, but useful tonight given the density of non-scientists present -- and when they aren't doing their own mingling with friends, they're stationed at all four corners of the roof, to achieve maximum coverage.

Every so often someone calls above the party noise to announce they've spotted something, and everyone adjusts their telescopes' angles (easy for the hand-held, hard for the big one) to try to catch and identify what a lookout saw before it's gone.

"That's satellite number eighteen this hour," pipes the silver-flute voice of the Science Club's president, Honoka Yukishiro, as she makes a neat recording in her notebook. She doesn't sound disappointed by their lack of UFOs so far, and has been cheerfully encouraging all evening. "Keep at it, everyone!"

Notoriously strict, it's a little surprising that she has gone with the flow of uninvited guests turning her evening of science into an evening of celebration without so much as a raised eyebrow -- everyone has been graciously welcomed and made to feel at ease. Or... maybe it isn't so shocking. Things have been underway for a couple of hours, and so far, whether they bother to pay attention or not, the party has been treated to soft but incisively knowledgable lectures on:

1) Identifying mysterious lights in the sky based on trajectory, speed, color, and frequency of flickering -- and not as ill omens

2) The optical physics behind the function of a telescope

3) The nature of the night sky as a time machine

Partygoers are at serious risk of actually learning something tonight.

More than one gatecrasher has been coaxed into picking up one of the spare hand-held telescopes, or into taking a careful turn with the big one, or into measuring or penciling in the relative angle and speed of an 'event' that someone's seen into one of the notebooks floating around the rooftop, or delineating its path on a big star map spread across another bench. And everyone present has been gifted a little souvenir star wheel (example: https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-resources/make-a-star-wheel/), designed and produced by the Science Club over the previous month. Each star wheel is a little bit different, customized by hand-drawn bordering along the edges. There are flowers and hearts and cats and (inevitably) stars.

No one -- not even club members -- is expected to spend the whole evening working, but it hardly feels like work, whenever the group excitedly chases another sighting.

It's almost like doing science can be fun.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Astronomy is nice. Lera isn't really that good at science -- math, yes, given the type of magic she knows -- but science, engineering, and more practical effects are beyond her. But the stars, comets, and planets are all so pretty! They look even prettier through a telescope -- and it reminds her a little of home, knowing it is somewhere out there.

The orange-haired girl is used to standing taller than a lot of the others here. She isn't at a telescope, right now; she is waiting. But, there are all the little signs of her short attention span and pent-up energy.

The way her hands, in her pockets, fidget.

The way she rocks, back and forth, on her heels.

The way she scans the sky a little too quickly. And, of course, the way she lowers her head to look at Setsuna Higashi -- the slow blink of her eyes, and the even slower spread of a smile across her face.

"Hey, Setsuna~" she says, in a near sing-song. "Why do Saturn's rings need to catch up with it?"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

While she's not in the science club, it wasn't at all difficult to persuade Setsuna Higashi to try out first the smaller telescopes and then a turn at the larger. She looks at the sky with wonder, like it's a new experience, and on the aggregate it is--a gathering like this, with the night sky above along with so many people around. But that was earlier, and now she looks up primarily with her eyes, having put in her time apprising Honoka of her own findings already too. It just worked out that way.

It's not exactly that the sky is unfamiliar after this long, but that she certainly didn't get to stargaze back where she came from. Besides, the lessons are interesting!

But just this moment, she is looking at a different light source, or rather is turning to look at her. Tilting her head back downward, but not all the way downward, Setsuna looks up at Lera, smiles back with a blank sort of expectation. And then...

A question!! Setsuna blinks. "But they don't. ...Do they? I thought they were stable..." Setsuna then recognizes the sing-song tone. "...Oh!! Oh."

She gets it.

"Ahem." She stands up a little straighter, and says perhaps with a little too much effort, "I don't know, Lera, why?" Yes?? She already looks kind of delighted and the punchline hasn't even come in yet.

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

Normally at this time of night, Takeo is out on his bike racing and running through the streets of Tokyo on his Radical Racing Bike earning what might be considered by some to be ... Illicit funding. However, for whatever reason the underground racing circuit isn't meeting tonight, so Takeo, with nothing better to do was on his way home from getting stupid amounts of Mt Dew and Fritos, and possibly a pretzel. You know the type. Warm. With a cup of cheese sauce. He was on his way home to partake of this more than excellent feast when he was spotted by a class mate.

Aika Tanaka, better known to anybody with half a brain cell as the girl who joined the Kendo Club because Takeo was in it, is also an avid fan of astrology, so had every intention of enjoying a night gazing at stars with her telescope. This was made even better when she had found Takeo and had asked him if he wanted to go to the roof with her and stargaze.

Takeo, not having anything better to do, shrugged. Said "Sure. I have snacks to spare."

This may or may not have sent the wrong message since Takeo has no idea about these things.

So he leans against a railing on the roof, looking up at the light polluted sky, and sips a can of Mt Dew. "Um. Aiko. What are we looking at?"

Aiko leans in close and flutters her eyelashes. "The stars. The Planets. I bet I can find Venus ... "

Takeo blinks and rubs the back of his neck. "Venus? Is that a planet or a star? Arn't they all stars if they're up in the sky?" he peers at her. "Why are you blinking so much. You got something in the eye? I betcha poked it peering through that thing." He gestures to the telescope with his can of Mt Dew.

Aiko may or may not have sighed and indicated that Takeo look through her hand held telescope. With a raised eyebrow, he takes it and begins to scan the inky blackness. "Huh. Kinda neat." A pause. "I guess."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo at least looks like he has been doing diligent work throughout the night, aiming his hand-held telescope up and around the night sky in attempt to catch each object being called out. In truth he's only managed to catch a few sightings, and none of them have been the vaunted UFOs. Which, from experience, Endo knows might just be out there.

When not telescoping though, Endo has spent the time making himself comfortable. He has a blanket and pillow to sit on, and a small collection of onigiri and energy bars. Being a Juuban student he's familiar with the majority around him, and been happy to share snacks and chatter quietly as the night and the searching continue onwards.

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

Niramo yawns softly and rubs at one of her eyes with a closed hand, a brief moment of fatigue making itself known with the energetic Juuban student. "Aaaah, sorry about that, Waka-chan. I'm paying attention, honest!" It might actually be believable if Niramo's eyes didn't have the glazed look of one mentally far away from reality.

For her part, Wakatsuki Makiko gives her friend an annoyed pout and stuffs her hands in the pockets of her labcoat. "Of course you were. Maybe you can repeat how long the stars of Orion had been associated with a hunter?" As Niramo frantically tries to come up with a believable response, Wakatsuki let her smile grown as the shorter girl fumbles around.

Realizing that she was about to be in for a chiding lecture from the Science Club member, Niramo spots the stockpiled refreshments and hatches a hasty plan to divert the torrent of learning before it could start. It likely didn't have anything to do with Japanese culture, right? "Uh, let me get something quick to drink and keep myself awake!" Pointing a finger towards the snacks and not giving Wakatsuki a chance to respond, Niramo starts to weave through the gathered crowd. "Hopefully there's nothing with too much sugar..."

Wakatsuki lets out a sigh like one who is well acustomed to something being ignorant of the wonders of science before running after the ravenette, lab coat flapping in the still air. "Nira-chaaan, come oooon!" It's going to take all night at this rate, but Wakatsuki is going to make sure that that Niramo knew something about the stars before the night is through!

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera starts to deflate a little -- she is very proud of what's come to mind, after all -- but then she perks up when Setsuna catches her meaning. Her back straightens, and Lera raises one finger next to her head. She doesn't quite wink, but she comes closer to it.

"Because," she says, and she waits a moment. Almost as if a drumroll would introduce her.

"It'SA-TURNing the wrong way!"

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Some percentage of the Yagami clan that this player can't unilaterally declare is present tonight, but the ones currently clustered most densely are Vita, who may be trying for some kind of 'refuge in audacity' play against truancy rules by hanging out at a school event; and her....br...other? Maybe? They sort of don't look anything alike? He is startlingly handsome and powerfully muscular beneath his too-tight tee shirt. He also has his hair styled like dog ears, which is probably making someone sigh excitedly somewhere nearby.

Zafira knows better than to get that much dog hair too close to sensitive equipment.

Vita is sweeping her handheld telescope about with the useless abandon of someone who eats ice cream for lunch, though her comment is a more thoughtful, "Haven't really had to think about the stars in a while, huh..."

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

Mikoto Minagi, who is not a scientist by the deepest stretches of the most yawning depths of the imagination, is nonetheless right here. In her regular text messages to Steven - who has a Lion, whose antics Mikoto wants updates on all the time - she happened to hear about Juuban's one and only star party.

AND SO: here is Mikoto, who came out after dinner to watch the stars. She told Mai where she was going, obviously, but it's not like she expects trouble at a star party. It's a party! For stars!

Surprisingly enough, the diminutive highschooler has purloined one of those hand telescopes - there was a lot of staring, wide-eyed, at an Infinity girl's efforts before she finally noticed her gadget was the source of all that attention and showed her how to use it. Armed with rudimentary knob-turning knowledge, Mikoto looks up at the sky. There are things up there which interest her, too. That red star which only the HiME can see...

"Hey, are you looking for the moon?" The girl who leant her telescope over asks.

"Um... sure!" Mikoto chirps.

"You're a little to the left for a good view," she points out. "Try adjusting your angle a little."

Adjust, adjust, and... look! Even though the light of the sky, there's the shiny, mochi-marked moon, with the bunny pounding away! At least - those blurs must be them, right? "Found it!" Mikoto chirps, and hands the telescope back over. "Thanks!"

The girl looks through the telescope as Mikoto bounds off, a single eyebrow arcing in delicate scepticism. "The focus on this isn't exactly..."

But Mikoto is already gone, because Mikoto is not singlemindedly devoted to answers the way Natsuki is. She's just not that serious, Natsuki! She was curious, but it didn't work very well, so now she's going to do something else.

That something else is obviously snacks, but on the way Mikoto happens to spy a friend, and so --

"Takeo!" Mikoto chirps, as she springs up to hug him about the midsection as soon as he's done with that telescope, never mind the fact that he's leaning on a rail. It's fine, they're both very competent. Again, with enthusiasm: "Takeo!"

Mikoto, who does not have half a brain cell or much of an interest in Ohtori gossip, then notices Aika, and so chirps: "... hi!"

Has she gotten in the middle of something? She certainly hasn't noticed, cheerfully affectionate without a single care for the consequences.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Fate Testarossa, wearing a blue shirt and white skirt clears her throat to someone beside her, to ask a whispered question in insecurity. "You're sure that it's okay that you're spending your time here with me?"

"Of course! Besides between you and me if I had to take another day of monitor duty without some me time... I was going to go crazy."

Amy Limietta, wearing a fluttery green blouse and long green skirt is peering down into the eyepiece of the telescope, one eye squinted close, as she makes small adjustments, before calling out.

"President-! Unidentified object North by Northeast. Requesting assistance in identification."

Fate watches her with an expression of wonder, before observing, "But... this seems so much like monitor duty."

Amy pauses in place, considers this for a time, then seems to slump over her telescope in despair, "I was having so much fun... then you had to say something."

"I-I'm sorry!" Fate pipes in, as Amy ruffles her hair. "Don't sweat it. Why don't you go spend some time with your friends?"

Fate brushes her hair back into place and looks sidelong at Lera telling a joke, and at Setsuna's expression of delight. Then the punchline. She takes a step forward. Amy interrupts her by putting a hand on her arm, then she leans over and whispers with a wink, "Maybe give those two a little more time by themselves."

Fate looks at the pair, then at Amy, and nods gravely. And heads towards Endo instead. "Mind some company?" And assuming he doesn't decline, she simply kneels down on his blanket, before whispering, "You just seemed very comfortable over here."

Fate considers for a moment, then leans over and says again in a whisper with a cupped hand over her mouth, "We're doing very well this time... we've had zero abductions so far."

Arf told her that UFO abductions are very common on this world. Fate knows enough about that from first hand experience to take it very seriously.

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

Little Steven Universe may have played some part in how so many people got up here.

Having heard about the big stargazing event from others (Or searching for hostile extra-terrestrial life, as one dreadlocked teenager may have said) the boy's fingers rapidly texted many friends to get them to come! It seemed like a nice change of pace-- the Gems have let up on restrictions letting him go outside since the kidnappings (Though the giant chunk of Gem technology embedded in carved stone remains sitting atop the Warp Pad.

The quilt covering has been replaced by a sheet however.

The child has offered nicely to help carry stuff up to the observation deck for others as the event has gone on, and has helped greet people to the event!

This isn't something Steven does terribly often, though it is nice to sit waterside at night and stare into the black starry curtain as his feet touch the lapping waves. But like anything done, having friends makes it better, of course!

Eventually however, it is his turn to stop being a social butterfly and attempt stargazing as well.

"Don't worry, I brought my own telescope! Sorta. I just need to figure out how to use it--" he says digging something out of his... hot dog duffel? An odd different choice of attire instead of the usual.


A pale hand touches a gemstone embedded in a forehead as Pearl summons something for steven in the confinesd of the beach house. A small, triangular device with a telescope emerges. Made of brass and intricately cared. "Oooooh! What iiiis iiiit!"

"Steven, I am so glad you are learning an important skill! This," she says, holding the object down to Steven to pick up. "...Is a sextant! It is used by humans to measure distance and direction using the stars and constellations! It should help you find and track all the starts you need!"

Small eyes light up with their own set of stars. "Oh cool! Thank you Pearl! This will be awesome..."


"Okay, so how do I uh..." Steven mumbles, holding the sextant up to his eye to look through the small lens. He then holds it sideways, then backwards. "Uhh.... Am I doing this right?"

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

Yuzuki peers through one of the scattered telescopes, eyes focused on the sky. every once in a while, she stops looking to check the flower decorated star circle lying on the bench next to her, to check what exactly she's looking at.

Suddenly a loud rumbling noise comes from Yuzuki's stomach. She blushes a bit, hoping no one around her heard that. Maybe she should've had more for dinner after all...

She glances around, and spots another, older, Juuban student sitting on a blanket nearby...and he's got a pile of snacks. Yuzuki holds her stomach, and lets out a small whining noise. Those onigiri looked delicious...Hopefully he'd be willing to share?

"...Can I have one of those?" Yuzuki asks, pointing at the pile of onigiri.

And then a familiar girl shows up - Fate.

"Fate!" Yuzuki says, giving her a wave. She then looks between the older boy and her, and furrows her eyebrows a bit. She seemed pretty comfortable since she just sat down with him. Did they know each other?

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Starry Sky, Beautifully https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMGeh4Kqr0A

Honoka glances over at Amy, a protractor in hand, then spouts a couple angular measurements off at Yuriko, who in turn uses the big telescope to magnify what the older woman has identified. "Extremely high-altitude plane!" the glasses-wearing science club member proclaims, running fingers through her short black hair with excitement. "Wow, gosh, Honoka-chan, Limietta-san... maybe it's a SPY plane, it must be so high up!"

Spotting Steven in need of a little assistance, the club president records Yuriko and Amy's findings, then hops up from her seat and pads over. Along the way, she gives fellow scientist Wakatsuki a smile, one carried more by her eyes than on her lips... a gentle expression. Plus an encouraging thumbs-up.

At Steven's side -- they've met before, at other events -- she pauses at the sight of the rather extraordinarily ancient and impressive sextant. Her lips part slightly, and her brows climb, wonder entering her eyes. "This is a beautiful sextant, Universe-san," she tells him. Kneeling beside and a little behind him on the conveniently padded rooftop, so that they're closer to the same height, she softly asks, "May I?" before arranging her hands over his, and guiding them, and the sextant, into the proper position.

Her hair's gotten long. On her knees, even with some of it pulled up a little into a barette behind her head, the tips are pooling a little on the blanket, like a bit of the night sky collected around her.

"A sextant is used to measure the angle between two objects," she explains to him, as she adjusts the angle of the sextant's telescope to point at the Moon, then gestures for him to look inside. "For example, the Moon and the horizon..."

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

It just took Setsuna a moment, that's all. She waits for Lera to go on, and she totally gets the impression of a wink. She waits, and--

For a moment Setsuna blinks, as she thinks it through. Then another moment. Then--

It might start to feel awkward.

But then, "Haha--" She seems to finally get it, and starts laughing. "Oh, I see," Setsuna says, apparently pretty happy with it. "I don't know how you come up with those..."

She pauses, tilts her head and taps a cheek with her finger. "That would be a big problem though, wouldn't it? If its orbit were disrupted. I wonder if that would affect the rings..."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"Fate-chan." Endo greets happily as his young friend joins him. A motion is made toward the small spread of snacks, should she wish to partake.

"Aaah...no abductions yet." Endo agrees somberly. "Watch out though, just in case." It can't hurt to indulge her imagination just a little. A pause and he leans in to whisper: "You're not going to abduct anyone, are you Fate-chan? Do I have to keep an eye on you and Lera-chan?" They are aliens, after all.

Before he can continue much further, he is distracted by a petitioner! Eyes turn up toward Yuzuki, the boy offering a bright smile of greeting. "Ah, you know Fate-chan?" A short nod comes after. "Of course, help yourself. I'm Endo Naoki." A short bow of his head is made at the other student.

"Are you here for the UFOs? Or just the snacks?"

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

Suddenly Tackle Hugged at the waist, Takeo looks down and and blinks before saying, "Hi Mikoto!" He ruffles her hair playfully. he gestures to Aika, "This is Aika! She's a classmate and a fellow Kendo Club member!" He says grinning. "She's pretty good with a sword too!" He pops a can of Mt Dew from it's ring and offers it to Mikoto. "I didn't expect to see you up here! Is Mai here too?"

Aika for her part doesn't stare daggers, but the corner of her left eye and the right corner of her mouth might just possibly twitches as well. "hehe. Hi. I aM. InDeEd AiKa TaNaKa. HeLlO oThEr GiRl iN TaKeO's LiFe."

Takeo raises an eyebrow and snatches another Mt Dew and offers it to Aika. "Heat must be getting to her." He whisper to Mikoto. "Here ya go Aika. Drink a Mt Dew! It always helps me stay frosty!" He beams merrily at her.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I'm not sure, y'know?" Lera says, with a thoughtful look. She scratches at the back of her head. "It seems like maybe the rings would come with the planet, if the orbit got disrupted? Or maybe it'd mess everything up..."

She wrinkles her nose for a second. "I bet my mom would know, or--" She looks up, peering around. "Or maybe someone who knows, um, science-y stuff!"

She declares it proudly.

Then her expression falls flat. "Wait--" She frowns a little more. "I-I'm like... some kind of... magical star-themed mage, y'know? All my spells are themed around... space sounding words! Auroras! Flares! Nebulas and gases and flashy starlight stuff! S-Setsuna, shouldn't I know how gravity works? Am I a bad magical--"

<Lera. You're in public.> Soaring Sky chimes it in her mind, and Setsuna's, and just through every neighboring Intelligent Device so that Fate, Endo, and Vita (and, accidentally, Yuzuki) can intervene.

Lera's face screws up further and she laughs harder. "--a bad magical LEVEL EIGHTY-SEVEN SORCERY-NINJA in, uhhh, World of Guilds Ex Eye Vee!"

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

Niramo has to keep moving to not let Wakatsuki get a chance to go into another lecture about the stars, but the selection of offered drinks wasn't all that encouraging. Half of the cans were Mountain Dew cans! Just who would bring so many of those cans here? But buried in one corner of the table was something in the dark shade of purple reserved for grape-flavoured drinks, and she quickly takes the can in a drive-by snacking. But Wakatsuki was only more determined to make her learn something tonight! Maybe a bigger distraction is needed...?

There! Resting off to the side on a propped up pillow was Endo, and it looks like he's starting to get a few others coming up to talk to him too. It takes a little more weaving through the gathered stargazers, with Niramo almost bumbing the arm of one Infinity student who looks like they could deliver a nasty glare, before she makes it over to the elder Juuban boy. "Endo-san! Hopefully you're been enjoying yourself?"

It's only a moment after Niramo spoke that she realizes that she may have intruded upon a private conversation between Endo, Fate and Yuzuki. "Uuuh, sorry about that. I just saw Endo-san here and wanted to say hi. Hopefully I didn't disturb you both..."

Wakatsuki waves a hand in greetings towards Honoka in passing as she gives chase after Niramo, though the cheerful smile on her face shows a hint of fatigue despite the silent encouragement given. The president really was amazing to take the opportunity of the influx of visitors to try to teach about Astronomy. If only she could be a little more like her...then again, trying to teach one friend was difficult enough.

Wakatsuki is seen coming up behind Niramo a few moments later, having to take longer detours through the gathered stargazers to reach the destination. "Niramo-chan...can you at least try looking through the telescope?" Giving up her plan of amazing her friend with star trivia, the silverette pulls out a collapseable telescope out of a lab coat pocket.

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

Mikoto doesn't have a sword, and isn't a member of Kendo Club, for that matter. She does have a black bag slung over her shoulder, though. It's probably full of golf clubs.

"Uh-uh," Mikoto shakes her head, when Takeo asks about Mai. She does take the mountain dew and drink it down, though! It's Takeo's favourite drink, so she likes it, too! And there's Aika, who sounds...

... a little weird...?

Takeo whispers an explanation, though, and Mikoto turns to her, mercifully letting Takeo go fully in the process. (She's still pretty close, though. Mikoto does not particularly worry too much about 'personal space.') She looks a little sceptical, looking up to her, a frown on her face as she tries to puzzle her out...

... but Takeo gives her a drink, too, and sounds perfectly happy around her, so she must be fine. And so, after that uncertain moment of stranger danger, Mikoto smiles to Aika, too. "I'm Mikoto! Takeo's my friend! Aika's Takeo's friend too, right?"

And lo, does Mikoto hear LEVEL EIGHTY-SEVEN SORCERY-NINJA, which is kind of hard to miss with that forceful laughter.

Mikoto takes a few steps over that way, and points at Lera, eyes wide.

"Lera's... a ninja..?"

Ninjas are the matter of myth and rumour, and no one has ever seen the mysterious ninjas who assist Tokyo, surely...

But now the truth is revealed?!

"Woooow," Mikoto gasps, and it's fine if there's too much light pollution to see the stars above and they have to settle on those planes and sattlelites whose lights Honoka helpfully explained for them, because all the stars are in Mikoto's eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

"I spy the spy plane." Amy says with a titter of mirth, seeming to enjoy this. "Nothing in this sky will escape my eye...!"

When it's not a high tension situation, she certainly truly seems confident of her skills. Whereas Fate kneels down, and takes one of the onigiri. Munching a bite of it happily. "What?" Fate actually flushes at Endo's tease, after it settles in, "N-No way! I'd never abduct anyone."

Fate then stares at him seriously, "And the only thing Lera would ever abduct is this world's Thai food." She says it so seriously that it certainly doesn't seem like a joke. Then she tips her chin up, "... Setsuna... the ice cream."

Yuzu steps up at that point though, and Fate looks up... then almost immediately looks away, "Ah. Yuzuki..."

Fate passes over the Onigiri to Yuzuki with a look like she's got a guilty conscience.

"... it's good to see you again." As Endo asks her about UFO's, The younger girl actually gives Yuzuki a somber expression. "While you're here... please be on guard for possible abductions."

A beat.

"It's more likely than you think."

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

A sextant contains numerous lenses and a telescope, including multiple adjustments to tune it if one knows how to use the device. This child clearly does not. But at least Honoka might! "O-Oh! Hey!" he greets kindly. She seems to know a lot about the sextant! "Oh... yes!" the boy says, full of energy, but somehow managing to hold still as Honoka guides the use of the object.

Did they teach her it in school, or is it perhaps part of the Stargazing Club that trained her? "Oh yeah! I think Pearl said something like that, but I shoulda asked how to use it first." The boy peeks through the lens and sees... "The moon! Oh cool! It's got all sorts of craters and stuff!"

"Where did you learn how to use that?" he asks her.

"Mikoto, you made it!" he calls across the way, waving a spare hand after the peek. Actually, quite a few people he knows did honestly. THere is so many people here he missed some folks!

"What kinda stuff is the Club lookin for?" he asks Honoka back. "If you wanna use the sextant, you totally can!"

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"That's what I would assume, too," Setsuna admits of the rings. "Hmm--she probably would. Or Honoka..." But she's busy for a little question like this. Except... Lera frowns, and--

"O-oh," Setsuna says, "That's true..." Shouldn't she know how it works?? How should Setsuna know that!? She blinks at her and then suddenly she hears Soaring Sky's voice and recalls the same thing.

"No!" Setsuna answers, and then opens her mouth and closes it. "You're... a..." Setsuna Higashi, Juuban's greatest liar, continues, "You're a very good sorcery-ninja! I've never met as good a sorcery-ninja as you. In World of Guilds." Pause. "At least, I always thought you were good at it..." Pause. "Well no, that's not true," Setsuna recalls, "But I really wasn't fair to you back then either."

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

"Hey, Niramo-san." Endo raises his hand to greet his next visitor. The more the merrier for Endo, it seems. "Come and join us, if you want. I brought a lot, just in case." It is an impressive spread of riceballs nestled in the blanket, plus a few bottles of water.

A nod is given to Fate afterward, the boy's lips parting in a sharp laugh at Fate's accusations about Setsuna and Lera's abduction targets. It's loud enough to be heard over the murmured conversations nearby, and a hand is quickly placed over his mouth to prevent any further disturbance.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita is staring directly at nothing with tremendous intensity, like she were daring the howling silence behind the sky to START SOMETHIN', CHUMP--when Eisen relays Sky's warning to Lera. Which prompts Vita to tune in to what is happening however many spots over that is.

Which in turn, allows her to hear the gentle sound of a cat getting completely the wrong idea. Vita looks at Mikoto blankly, leaning over that way. She considers how best to correct this mixup in a way that will smoothly ensure the happiness of all parties.

"Oh, yeah, she is," she says, because Hayate is not here to smack her for abusing the trust of an innocent. "She's crazy good at...sneaks and such."

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Y-You think so?" Lera asks with a stammer, and reddening cheeks. She glances to the side. "I guess I have gotten to be a better ninja-sorcerer over time," she admits, and then appends: "In World of Guilds. Um."

She looks back at Setsuna, then she grins at her, her head tilting to the side. "You think I am now, and that's what counts!"

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

"Steven! Yup, yup!" Mikoto waves a hand over her head, cheerfully, as he spies her. She does not look at all like she is good at sneaks and such.

But this mismatch of skills to appearance is precisely why, when Vita informs Mikoto that Lera is crazy good at it, Mikoto takes it entirely on faith that it is completely and absolutely true. "Lera's really talented..!" Mikoto remarks, to Vita, who Mikoto is sure would never lie to her, because now Vita and Mikoto are also friends.

And so, the revelation of SECRET NINJA LERA CAMRY - which will surely not have any consequences whatsoever - leads Mikoto to find Endo, and Endo's Blanket Full Of Snacks.

Mikoto, of course, immediately goes to invite herself down onto Endo's Blanket Full Of Snacks, cheerfully greeting them: "Endo! Fate! Niramo! Yuzuki!" She sounds like she's met the fashion club member, because Yuzuki gets just as cheerful a greeting as the others.

She nomphs some onigiri, because of course she does, and washes it down with Takeo's soda. See? Being friends with boys pays off. Through snacks.

"There's so many people here!" Mikoto says, with boundless enthusiasm. "Sleepovers are fun!"

But say, what were they doing here, again..? Oh well, Mikoto dismisses it to herself, it can't be that important. Friends!

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

Endo, huh? Wasn't that one of the names Fate mentioned after their fight? "Nice to meet you, Naoki-senpai." Yuzuki says. She then looks over at Fate. "Yeah, I do."

Yuzuki gives Fate a smile as she hands her the onigiri. Yuzuki takes a bite into it, and then wolfs the whole thing down. "Thanks! I really needed that. And yeah, it's nice to see you again."

A bunch more people show up including Mikoto and Niramo. She gives them both a wave. It's getting kind of crowded over here, though, so maybe now would be a good time to make her exit.

"Nope, probably gonna go back to stargazing in a bit. Umokeshi, right? Still working on names." Yuzuki says to her year-mate. she then returns her attention to Fate. "I probably don't have to worry about abductions with all these people here- Eep!" Yuzuki jumps a little at the sudden telepathic connection. Was someone going to abduct her now?!

<It is another Intelligent Device, my lady.> Spark transmits to Yuzuki. <Miss Fate also mentioned a Lera during your fight.>

Oh...Whoops. Yuzuki coughs for a moment. "Got bit by a mosquito there. "

Yuzuki glances around for a second trying to find the source. There's a girl yelling about being a level something ninja in a video game in the distance somewhere too, what a weirdo, Yuzuki thinks.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> A Strange Incident - FWPC OST - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVdZp95EMjs

Vita may regret her daring the heavens.

"look Look LOOK!" cries Shiho Kubota, Right Wing (jersey #55) on the Juuban Lacrosse Team and auteur director of various student plays and films, including the recently-debuted-at-the-Ueno-Park-Film-Festival The Thing From The Spring (http://battlefantasia.pinksugarheartattack.net/2020-05-24_-_The_Thing_From_The_Spring, cutscene written by Nagisa's player). No one blinks at her level of exuberence; she always expresses her enthusiasm in triplicate cadence, at any scale between 'spotting a coin on the sidewalk' to 'spotting a celebrity on the sidewalk' (which pretty much covers the range for most people). She isn't even holding a telescope, though.

She doesn't have to.

Beginning as a single point above Shiho's outstretched fingertip, then rapidly blooming into a coruscating field of luminescence, a spectacular golden light dawns high in the sky... dawns, and grows. It isn't unfamiliar to astronomy fans or magical girls who've been around for long enough -- both would remember this very distinctive radiance from autumn 2013, fully two years ago now, though only the latter remember the chaos it brought afterwards.

How a falling star split into seven pieces, rumored to grant a wish to anyone who would gather them all; how they were eventually reassembled and turned to dark purpose by a villain; and how their animating force, their true identity, was the corrupted Maiden of Dreams. Well... once-corrupted. In the end she was purified by everyone's compassionate willingness to understand her plight, and equal determination to befriend her, and she set off on a long journey to catch up on her neglected-for-eons dream-distributing duties.

Hopefully this time she doesn't split on re-entry. But that doesn't seem to be the case; this isn't a meteor shower, but a single and increasingly massive approach. Before long everyone is brilliantly lit with golden overtones, and the rooftop erupts in oohs and ahhs.

"From a book," Honoka tells Steven, carefully but firmly pressing the sextant fully back into his possession (since they had been kind of sharing its weight) before letting go. "And... the Science Club is looking for anything, everything. An open mind is prerequisite to any new discovery..."

Like this one, perhaps. Though Honoka is among those whose irises, when she turns her gaze to the sky, reflect not only the coruscating aurora, but a degree of familiarity.

She rises to retrieve her notebook, and retains enough composure as the glow show continues to expand with reduced distance, to hastily scribble down some details about timestamp, initially visible location and angle of approach, but by the time she's done that, it's extremely obvious that this mysterious phenomenon is going to crash -- or perhaps land -- very nearby. Especially after the golden comet(?) rather sharply jukes its trajectory to the left. Then a little to the right. Almost as though it's... being chased, and trying to lose its pursuer.

And then it vanishes below eye-level. The reflecting glow of a trailing stream of gold, quickly separating into a spray of individual motes, then fading, suggests it might even be on the property, a building or two over. Perhaps out in the sports fields.

There is absolutely zero chance of containing the urge of the crowd to go check it out, so Honoka doesn't try to alter that outcome so much as guide it along a safer route. "Everyone who wants to, let's go together and find its point of impact," she calls over the outcry, her voice having a similar calming effect as pouring glittering oil over troubled water. "Please take care of one another, going back downstairs." There's no need for anyone's night to be ruined by tripping or trampling.

She sets off, back into the darkened school proper, at a brisk but controlled pace. Be the speed you want to see.

Her notebook is still clutched to her chest, pressed there by her left forearm. But now, that same hand also grasps her rather appallingly retro cell -- a real brick of a flip phone, blue and white. Presumably she intends to use its camera to document whatever they're about to find.

Along the way, her right hand finds Nagisa's, and they go together.

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

Handing back the telescope to Aika, as she takes the Soda, Takeo follows Mikoto. "I'm going to make sure she stays out of trouble." He grins at her and says with a genuine smile. "Thanks for showing me those stars. They are kinda neat." He then heads off to make sure Mikoto stays out of trouble.

Because. Mikoto.

He nods to Endo as he approaches offering the fist for the most sacred of Boy Rituals. The Fist Bump. "What up Endo? I didn't take you for a space looky guy!" Yupp. He knows the terminologies.

Which is when the bright star fills the sky. "Huh. That. That uh, look familiar to anybody?" Like somebody wielding a dread sword made of nightmares and horror and not that he's jealous, but it was a really cool sword despite being absolute evil. He clears his throat. He looks to Mikoto. "Wanna go check it out?"

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo's blanket is getting crowded near the time that the golden glow appears. He's had time to tap Takeo's hand in solemn greeting, as well as make sure Mikoto and greeted and appropriately fed. There's always time for friends.

There is also time for investigation. Endo's eye peeps through his telescope at the golden glow as it descends, until he has to lower the magnifying tube to avoid being blinded by the closeness of the falling light.

"Aaah...maybe it really is aliens..." He decides, stirring and rising from his comfortable spot amongst the blanket. He nods his head toward those gathered nearby, deciding: "We should go look!" And he does, abandoned his post on the roof to head toward the stairs with the rest of the curious mass of students.

He's not going particularly fast, careful to avoid stumbling and tripping over anyone in the great exodus from the room. His hand reaches into a pocket as he goes, fingers closing around the purple stone he keeps there. Just in case.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Fate seems surprised about Endo's laughter. "Did I say something funny?"

Though at Yuzu's lack of concern for abductions because of the number of people she comments swiftly. "You'd be surprised." She remembers Jasper and Rubeus making short work of a legion of them.

Fate gives Yuzuki a knowing look, because Bardiche had received the same alert. "Yes. A mosquito." Fate confirms, "I saw it right there." She's not a great liar, but lies like this are necessary.

And Fate swiftly sends off a message. <<Setsuna. Has Lera been halted from saying anything unnecessary?>>

Then Fate realizes that she should clarify, because it's possible that Lera and Setsuna don't use telepathy to communicate often? She doesn't want to assume she's used to mind to mind communication.

<<You can reply to this message.>>

Mikoto though states it's fun, and Fate allows a smile, and a nod as she notes, "It is."

"Whoa we've got a bright one. It's..." Amy looks up from the eyepiece of her telescope. Then looks at it, blink blinks. "No way."

Though then Fate's attention is taken by a gleaming golden light on high.

And her expression swiftly alters from wonder to gravity. Fate was working for Dark Fall during that time, but she certainly remembers. Though she only heard about the resolution second hand.

So as not to appear suspicious, in the meanwhile simply takes out her cell phone, and begins to dial another number - pressing it to her ear, as she whispers, "Lindy-san... we've got an emergency on our hands. We have a lot of hands on site to manage it though."

Amy's gaze lances Fate's way and looks Endo's way then at Yuzuki.


Contrasting Endo's sedate pace though, the girl breaks into a run. For... all of three seconds. The moment she enters the hallway, her pace slows down. Because she just remembered that they're in a school. Running in stairwells and hallways is unacceptable during the day - so she assumes it's the same at night. Trying to avoid a detention, she picks back up into a fast walk.

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

Golden light from the heavens...

Once upon a time, Mai was here for a sleepover. Mikoto, two years ago, was dedicated to her task - she did not stop along the way to help scattered maidens or dark girls, because she had to find her Lord Brother, above anything else. But back then, the one thing which could always draw Mikoto into assisting the magical girls with their problems...

... was Mai, asking her to be somewhere or to help someone.

Before Mikoto had any attachment to the city she had come to search through, she had an attachment to Mai Tokiha. That hasn't changed, not really. It's just... expanded out. She cares about Tokyo too. She cares about all the enemies who made themselves into her friends too. She cares about strangely normal students too. She cares about scattered maidens and dark girls too.

There's room in her heart for a lot of things, now, even if Mai was there first.

(And if Mai hadn't gotten her started... well...)

(... that's a secret for one girl to keep, and not even Mikoto knows the length of it.)

"Yeah," she nods, to Takeo, and in the economy of her speech she answers both his questions at once: it's familiar, and she wants to check it out. She puts down the remains of her mountain dew can (there's not much left, don't worry, Takeo), and grasps the strap of her sword-case as she rises back up, instead. As Endo says: maybe it really is aliens.

Honoka says to take care of each other, so Mikoto doesn't run ahead, which is really for the best, because if Mikoto bounded off she'd probably do terrible things to the health of the crowd. Instead: walking, like a normal person! At least that means she can keep near her friends.

... if it is aliens, Mikoto doesn't particularly want to get abducted again. She'd be able to get along better with Endo, this time, but it's still no fun.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Yes!" Setsuna answers. "You really have!" She remembers--she was there for a lot of it, after all. Though not all, as may be relevant mysteriously soon. She beams back. "Yes," Setsuna agrees about what counts, since her previous opinions on Lera were kind of--Well. <<Hm? Oh, she made a joke earlier! It was very good.>> Setsuna... doesn't get it. SHe's distracted.

She starts to say something else, though, but there's Shiho calling out--naturally, Setsuna recognizes her director's voice. She was in that after all!!!

But a golden light dawns.... and Setsuna almost doesn't recognize it at all, except that it reminds her of something she was shown, once. Everything is gold...

"Lera, is..."

She isn't sure, but she has a feeling. No, she has a lot of feelings at the moment actually; she starts to go. Nice, and orderly. For some reason Setsuna is actually rather expert in walking in an orderly group, and as she hears Honoka advising it, she moves to join the group as they go.

There is a distinct excitement of wonder in her then. She looks around to spot others in the crowd...

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

Niramo breaks out into a smile as Endo offers her one of the packed rice treats but she waves it off with a hand, the hand also holding the can of unopened soda. "I feel bad enough about bringing snacks...and, uh, taking advantage of your hospitality in the past. Maybe later on if there's anything left, though!"

Mikoto shows up with a cheerful yell loud enough to disturb others nearby, but it only causes Niramo to wave a hand as the Ohtori student drew near. "Ah, Mikoto-san, glad to see you here too!" She recalls Mikoto being rather excitedly asking about the once-a-week luncheons that the Cooking Club has started doing lately, and she snatches upon an idea. "There's a recipe I been wanting to practice for the Cooking Club...maybe you and Endo-san might like to try it sometime?"

Niramo directs her grin towards Yuzuki and waves again, glad to know she wasn't interupting too much here. "That's me! You're...Mayuzumi-san, right? I try to keep track of everyone's name, if possible." She vaguely remember seeing Yuzuki around a few times, but not really interacting with her in the past. Maybe it's time to change that?

Niramo decides to give Wakatsuki the benefit of the doubt and starts to reach out for the offered telescope, but the golden star that descends from the heavens is surprising - and bright enough - to distract her using the tool. The mention of aliens causing abductions were casually ignored, but the intense glow coming from the falling star brings back memories, ones that recall that aliens were not the subject of science fiction. "Well...this is certainly more exciting than just looking up at the stars, Waka-chan."

The zigzagging path the falling star was taking is clearly different than what Niramo imagines gravity would create, and that unease only grows as the comet lands close by and just out of sight of the stargazers. Taking only a moment to pull out her cellphone out from her ever-present bookbag, Niramo taps a few settings to cause light to turn on the back and becoming an impromptu flashlight. "Waka-chan, i'll be right back! I'll take pictures, I promise!" Niramo rushes off after the others traveling down Juuban's darken halls, pointing her small light forward.

Wakatsuki watches as Niramo takes off after the others for a few moments, concern showing in her eyes. While pictures of the fallen star would be nice...maybe she can take her own.

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"I'm glad you think so," Lera winks. She scratches at the back of her head -- not quite registering how Setsuna is briefly distracted. But, her attention shifts; at first, the golden light is caught from the corner of her eye.

She turns to look at it and catch the end of the star's descent. Her eyes widen; she recognizes that golden light. It has been two years since she last saw it -- and what a light it was! -- and there's a feeling of uncertainty, eagerness, and trepidation all at once. Her breath catches for a second. She glances, sidelong, back at Setsuna Higashi.

"...We need to go after it," she agrees. Endo is moving; Fate takes off at a run, then slows. Lera turns, and she walks. It's purposeful, but not overt.

She communicates with her Devices telepathically: <<If you can figure out if that's really her... let me know, okay?>>

Broken Ground, this time, is the one to reply: <<I'm trying. We need to get closer.>>

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

"Whoa...." Yuzuki says, watching the meteor(?) fall from the sky...and then make a hard zigzagging turn.

...Were Meteors supposed to do that?

She gently fiddles with the aquamarine pin attached to her uniform collar. Maybe it was actually aliens after all. Yuzuki closes her eyes, turning on her heel to head out of the building. She does the closest thing she can to running without actually running. More like speed waking. But there's a lot of people going down anyway, so it's pretty hard to straight up run without ramming into someone. She pulls out her phone and shines the light around a bit to guide her way forward through the dark schoolgrounds.

<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"You're so noisy," Rina (jersey #23, Right High Defense) complains. She ought to know; the taller, freckled girl is as inseparable from Shiho as Honoka is from Nagisa, though Shiho and Rina both might be a little uncomfortable with that comparison. At any rate Rina can't find Shiho that annoying.

Especially when she's right.

"What the...?" Nagisa wonders, looking up at the falling star. "Hey, is that real?" Her head zips back and forth, looking for a smart person's opinion. But when she finally looks back to the light in the sky, her confused face hardens, and her plaintive eyes grow briefly flinty. She looks down with more purpose this time, finding Honoka.

"Nagisa-chan?" Rina asks, staring in confusion at the sudden change in Nagisa's mood. Nagisa's poker face is as terrible as ever.

"What? Ah!" Nagisa gets it suddenly. "Wh-whoa, do you think I can make a wish on it?"

Rina's eyes fly wide. "Oh crud, you're right. Umm, I wish... I wish... what about you? Let's make one together!" she cries, stuck.

"Um!" Nagisa had started this just to act more normal, but now she's caught up in it. "I wish for... ah..."

Amber eyes fall down to the long-haired, white-skinned young scientist guiding everyone down the stairs.

"What?" Rina demands.

"Actually, I'm good," Nagisa smiles.

"Oh blugh, you dork." Rina sticks her tongue out. "Thanks a lot, Romeo."

Nagisa claps Rina's shoulder and sets into a jog. As she passes Setsuna, she taps her left shoulder while passing her on the right, mischievously. Then, naturally, she assumes Honoka's side and slides her hand into Honoka's.

<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita does a lot of things she regrets.

Vita was also working for a jerk and had a lot of things on her mind the last time this happened, so she is busy Muttley laughing at Mikoto for a bit before she notices something is wrong - and that in part because Zafira nudges her with his elbow, grunting for her attention. "Whoa," Vita says, stunned by the blazing golden light. "Isn't it...not...supposed to do that..." she says, slowly becoming worried.

Zafira grunts again, right around the first time the 'comet' jukes like an evasion, a move Vita is painfully familiar with from that time she had to pull similar stunts to avoid Nanoha trying to laser her from the other end of the freakin' universe. "...I'll go," she says to Zafira. "Go find Hayate and Shamal." They'd both feel more comfortable with more people protecting the Master.

Thus, Vita hops to her feet and scampers along to keep up with Team Device-Users.

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

"I wonder who invented this thingy! It seems like its real important for sailing ships, but that's all I really know about it," Steven admits to Honoka. Though magic may only lie outside reach of most folks, the boy finds the intricate interlocking design of this mundane sextant pretty magical in and of itself!

Whoever made it must have been very proud. Knowing Pearl and how Gems measure lifespans more in millenia than simple years, the person who made it is probably long gone. All the reason to take care of it more!

The tool of wonder is taken fully back into Steven's custody. "Ooooh... I should learn that sometime!"

A brightening trail of gold light grabs the boy's attention. Like the path to El Dorado it forms and shines as something streaks toward them all. "Was this wha tthe party was for?!" Steven exclaims, like someone knew it was coming. "I-I think it is gonna hit the school!"

A loud crash can be heard below, with a flach of beautiful light. "We better go see what tha twas!" he says, and quickly befins to follow everyone.

<Pose Tracker> Honoka Yukishiro [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Don't Let Go; Chasing, Up-Tempo -- FWPC OST -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rX7YtETH0g

The group bursts out of a pair of double doors, into a covered corridor, from which it's a quick right turn onto a sports field. School slippers may get sacrificed for science tonight, because nobody's stopping at the lockers to change into their shoes, not even fastidious Honoka. Her eyes ablaze, her skin (extra) pale, she is possessed by an urgency greater than the merely scientific -- which, for her, is really saying something. Once on the ground floor, where stairs are no longer a risk factor, she accelerated into a trot.

It is even more obviously a chase from ground level, and it hasn't stopped. The world's biggest firefly -- baseball-sized, or maybe larger, its exact diameter disguised by the brilliance of its shine -- is swerving and circling the lacrosse field at a terrific rate. And behind it, every flitter of the way, is an inky and swirling blackness. At night and at such high speeds it is even more difficult to resolve it than the star; it is mostly defined by the momentary absences it creates in the distance. Sky pollution blocked, or the shadowy border of the chain link fence.

The 'star' goes screaming past the group yet again, but this time it comes too close for comfort -- Nagisa's comfort.


It beans her right in the forehead, then bounces off, tumbling into the grass. As it does so, its light... unfurls, like petals, except the petals are limbs, limbs of a body too luminous to have feature, only form. Two arms, two legs... a head...

"A dream--" pants a maiden's voice. "I bring-- an old dream, a lost dream, a drea--!"

<< SENTINEL SLASH, >> announces Soaring Sky, as its blade appears through her chest from behind.

"--m deferred," she whispers, before dissolving into as many motes of light as there are stars in the sky -- minus one.

BLACK SKY, held by his usual black robe-and-cowled, humanoid carrier, shakes a bit of stardust off his sword -- off himself.

He advances on Nagisa, whose forehead feels exceedingly hot... everyone BUT her can see that something was left behind on impact, a burning sigil of starlight.

Letting their palms unlock, their hands separating to clasped fingertips, Honoka uses the extra space that creates to interpose herself between them. Her eyes are fire, not ice, but her voice is the opposite: so cold that it burns.

"You shall not touch her," the girl announces, levelly, but with fierce intensity without equal.

BLACK SKY doesn't have a 'snort' setting, nor a tongue with which to tsk, but dismissiveness is clearly transmitted through his telepathic voice, nevertheless.

<< BARRIER. >>

A Midchildan or Belkan-style barrier -- the kind that's going to phase everyone half a dimension over, except for normal people, the better with which to fight -- falls across the field. This one manifests as a rippling cloud of darkness, one that passes over the group for several crucial seconds. That isn't the original Soaring Sky's spell, but it is convenient, tonight; in between ordinary people being present from the group, and being subtracted, there is an instant where no one can see anyone else.

Clearly his plan is for the magically marked girl to remain, and her partner, and the others, to be gone...

Clearly he did not get a very good look at who exactly is in the crowd.

Black Sky walks over from Juuban Public School.

<Pose Tracker> Setsuna Higashi [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Setsuna gamely looks left when she's poked, and sees nothing except from her peripheral vision. "Oh--" Turn right instead, and halfway there is Nagisa, meeting up with Honoka. Setsuna blinks once, because she doesn't actually know this particular game. But she goes, not stopping for her shoes either, excited still, and she chases. It's strange, though--a darkness behind it that isn't its shadow.

Setsuna sees the maiden unfurl, but her wonder turns to horror in the next instant. "NO!"

Setsuna doesn't have time to do more than take a step forward, to recognize that there is a symbol on Nagisa's forehead, before the barrier appears, and certainly not enough time to be sure what the symbol remaining means. The barrier falls, and a cloud of darkness passes over...

"Pretty Cure! Change--Beat... UP!"

She doesn't hesitate for a moment before going for her Linkrun and calling the words that change her form and her clothes to that of Cure Passion, long pink hair cascading down her back and brilliant red attire sharp in the night. When the darkness clears that is visible, and the fighting stance she's already adopted. "You--She was--"

Cure Passion stares with fury born of shock and sadness at Black Sky, and in an instant she's shooting forward. "Haaaah--!"

Maybe she should hesitate. Maybe she should wait. But at the moment, her fist and the red energy that travels with it contain all the motivation she needs to send her forward.

COMBAT: Setsuna Higashi transforms into Cure Passion!
COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Breaking Wave on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Lera hurries along -- but she pauses as a quite familiar, two-toned golden and silver blade laced with energy stabs through the figure of light that appears from the star. "No!"

It is a plaintive, slightly hoarse cry. Then, a stronger one follows: "No!"

Lera had been behind Fate and Endo, and many of the others. She and Setsuna found themselves to the middle of the pact. Lera's eyes flicker to Nagisa and Honoka, and then up at Black Sky. The air shimmers -- they're all together, but separate as a familiar barrier explodes around them. She doesn't waste any time, before she calls out: "Soaring Sky! Broken Ground! Set up!"



Light flashes. From the pendant around her neck, where two gems flash brighter and brighter, until she is subsumed into it -- and a third, more monotone voice speaks, too: <<AURORA HORIZON INITIATED. OPTIMAL LEVELS OF RESONANCE CONFIRMED.>>

When the light fades, Lera flies a little off the ground, hand gripping a perfect mirror of the Intelligent Device held by Black Sky. In her other hand is the frame of a buckler: round edges and mechanical spokes, which are filled inby a barrier of light. A short green jacket forms, and the feather charm in Lera's hair sways to the side. She glances at Cure Passion, sees her moving.

She needs no further encouragement. The Midchildan girl shoots forward through the air.

A twisting bolt of golden light, which ends as Lera slams to a stop in front of Black Sky, and she brings Soaring Sky down. The blade ignites, a wash of crackling and roaring starfire that suddenly crystallizes into a solid blade of energy all around the weapon.

<Corona Crash!>

"Get away from them!" Lera shouts down at Black Sky, as she slams the weapon down for the copy of her own Device.

COMBAT: Lera Camry transforms into Barrier Jacket Dynamic!
COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Corona Crash on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky perfectly dodges 19 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Breaking Wave, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Black Sky's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky counters 13 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Corona Crash, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Lera Camry is Psyched!
Black Sky's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky's counterattack, Lanzebrecher, partially gets through, doing 31 Fatigue damage to Lera Camry!  Critical
COMBAT: Takeo Akamizu transforms into Chevalier Knight Lancelot!
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo breaks into a jog as he approaches the field, eyes attempting to follow the sphere of light and the blot of darkness chasing it. He squints, doing his best to focus on the chase-and not doing particularly well, until the ball of light collides with Nagisa's head.

A half-step is taken forward, and then immediately back as a gasp escapes his lips when Black Sky drives its blade into the maiden of dreams. As the fairy splits into motes of light Endo's lips curl back in a snarl at the shape of the device held by the shrouded figure.

"Fallen Stern!"


Purple light floods outward, twisting and churning around Endo. He emerges in his barrier jacket, now armored and armed with his newly transformed device. Endo hefts the greatsword in hand, moving to also interpose himself between Black Sky and its target.

He brings the weapon up in a sharp horizontal arc, blade arcing toward his opponent with a grunt of effort from Endo.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki transforms into Barrier Jacket Zerstörer!
COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Blauverschiebung on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky braces 23 Fatigue damage from Endo Naoki's Blauverschiebung, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Fate fast walks through the corridor, arms swinging at her sides as she makes it down to ground level. Right to where the Star is set to land. Fate then watches expectantly as the falling star blazes down to...


"Are you alright?" Carrying a concerned tone as if Nagisa had simply been struck by a very sturdy dodgeball rather than a falling star. However then she's too captivated by the unfurling petal, becoming a maiden. Offering... a dream.

Fate considers how she was once briefed by her Mother on this. A wish to be granted. There is guilt, and wonder at seeing her pant and offering a revelation.

Only... for a blade to appear through her chest. "No! She... she was trying to tell us something important."

There she is. Fate looks at her. Jail had said that inconvenient emotions were done away with so that Black Sky might wield itself. But is that really true?

Is she just a hollow puppet? An empty doll, like she was once accused of being...?

... or is it a younger sister, held in some terrible form of captivity?

As a barrier forms over them all, Fate looks to Yuzuki in warning and warns, "Be careful." As if trying to remind her of what she said before. Then suddenly whips out a hand with the Golden Triangle of Bardiche's standby form. "Bardiche Impulse - Set Up!"

<Drive Impulse - Ignition>

Bardiche flies out of her hands, as the gem changes into a spherical shape - violet lightning arcing out as it attaches pieces materializing into existence. The parts begin fitting together, even as she shimmers in a twin helix of gold spiralling around her, her clothes changing in a yellow shimmer of light.

A dark black peacoat with red trim, that reaches down to her ankles but opens at the skirt in the front. Metallic gauntlets falling into place over her hands, and boots sliding onto her feet. Triangles decorating each piece.


Bardiche falls into her hands as a dark polearm, and she's off in an instant, trying to encircle Sky in an aerial sweep as she brings down Bardiche again and again, each time from a different position, ultimately trying to drive Sky away from Nagisa and Honoka.

While she desires to reach out to the allegedly empty wielder, she can't. Jail's mockery hits too close to home right now. So instead she focuses on Black Sky and his aims to distract herself from the memory of Jail puppeting an older girl with Alicia's face... her face.

"What are you trying to accomplish here?"

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa transforms into Barrier Jacket Impulse!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Aerial Ace on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

As the Dream Maiden explodes into motes of dreamdust, and Black Sky stands there. Takeo takes a step back and narrows his eyes. "Right!" he says with a nod. "Time to Armor up!" Then he grips the medallion around his neck and holding it high calls out: "I SWEAR TO DEFEND THE INNOCENT!"

He's never been very good at this Secret Identy thing ....

From the black clouds lighting begins to dance and then streak toward the boy who begins to walk forward. Each bolt of lighting causes a different area of Takeo to glow until he is glowing a solid and very bright neon blue. This begins to flake away as he begins to run forward, the light exploding outward in a crashing wave of thunder as he leaps at Black sky.

Mid air the boy now lancelot, catches twin bolts of lighting out of the sky. These solidify even as he swings them into the gleaming Demon's Bane. The twin swords of Arondight! Still crackling wiht the lighting that was their place of origin, he swings the blades as he flies toward the evil thing already under attack. "LIGHTING IMPACT!"

The words are cried with a second set of crashing and air splitting thunder as they arc through the air toward Black Sky. Lighting ripples along the blades' edges. Flashing and splitting darkness with eye seering white light.

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Impact on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky perfectly dodges 24 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Aerial Ace, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Black Sky's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky braces 9 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Lightning Impact, taking 13 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot is Psyched!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"That voice..."

Mikoto doesn't have the time to place the maiden's voice or what it means for Nagisa, though; the knowledge is made distant by two years of fantastical battles. She has no time because, Sentinel Slash, there's a sword through her gold-light chest, and she's all motes and no model.

She does not quite cry out or declare defiance, because the sound from her voice is more gutteral, not quite shaped to mora: a sharp intake of breath which hitches at the back of her throat, all stangled glottal stops. Her eyes widen, and around that too-bright yellow is so much white, white like the teeth her lips pull back to expose.

Darkness clouds around them, obsfucating, but it is a mistake to think Mikoto Minagi cannot operate in darkness. She does not need to be able to see the zip of her sword-case, as in one fluid motion she draws it back, grasps her fell obsidian blade, tosses her sheathe aside. By the time the Barrier clears she is there, the HiME Mikoto, both hands grasping the claymore she calls Miroku.

The first thing she looks at isn't the blade.

She's looking at who's holding it.

'They're my feelings. No one gave them to me. No one should ever... force anyone, like that.'

Maybe that's why the first person she looks for in their newly-winnowed crowd - is that flash of gold called Fate Testarossa. "Fate!" She calls, to her, and her name is encouragement and it is assurance: Mikoto will help, too.

She doesn't look away from Black Sky long, though. Even now - even two years later - those habits are hard to shake, and Black Sky is a dangerous foe which Mikoto cannot understate.

She tears forward, and her sword drags sparks along the grounds as it furrows a line through them. A roar builds in her chest, from the bottom of her lungs on up, and she sets in circular motion - one revolution, two, three - before she brings her blade up to crash against the other.

It is two years on, so with the impact comes with a question.

The question comes from Mikoto, so it is shaped to singular word.


COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi transforms into HiME Mikoto!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Niramo Umokeshi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Running though Juuban's halls at this time of night gives Niramo a sense of foreboding, deep shadows twisting familiar sights into unsettling visages. One persistant rumor going about the school lately has been that the school has been haunted after hours, and a small part of Niramo is thankful that she's currently in a big group going to check out the fallen star. As they rush out onto astroturf and cement tiles, it becomes incresingly obvious that tonight isn't going to be about chasing after a possible spirit.

No, tonight's view of the stars is interupted with a celestial chase of golden light and darkness not unlike the void of space.

The radient star attempts to evade the group, yet collides with the forehead of one of their members. After resting on the ground, the star unfolds...into a girl? It's too difficult to make out any details of the star child from this close to the source of the light, and the words she imparts is concerning. A dream? What could be so important about a dream?

An all too familiar blade silences the messenger before more clarification can be made, and Niramo takes an instinctual step backwards from the midnight black blade and it's wielder. "Wh-what?!" The brutality and suddeness of the attack from behind freezes her in place for a moment, but it's not a moment that the Science Club president refuses to act upon, becoming a shield to impede Black Sky.

In the split second before the Barrier falls, the sight of a golden sigal is mentally noted upon but put aside for now. It's only thanks to prior experience with how this type of magic as well as prior warnings from Endo does Niramo take advantage of the few precious seconds it takes to shift between the planes of reality, with her kneeling down to tap upon the silver anklet resting just above her shoe. "Tail, sprout!"

Sourisi isn't going to give the initiative to the murder of the cosmic child. The prior engagement with the cloaked figure is proof that one has to fight tooth and nail to even stand a chance of victory. The mouse-suitted Miraculous User charges the grounded figure directly head on, her tonfa causing the air to whistle with each furious swing. "Why...why did you do such a thing?!"

COMBAT: Niramo Umokeshi transforms into Sourisi!
COMBAT: Sourisi has used Mouse Flurry on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

The crowd rushing down is quite difficult to navigate through-- Steve ndecides to stick it out i nthe back and follow up, letting everyone else pass first. "H-Hey! Take a picture for me!" he calls, holding his phone up. Though upon reaching the sportsfield, the flying light (and the flying lack-thereof-thing) have a fluffy head sttempting to peek over the crowd to see. "What si that! I can't see!"

The boy hears a paniched woman's voice, and much worse, a more angry voice, one that is familiar, the boy tries to fight through the crwod of onlookers, but is only until Steve ngets shunted a slightly over a quantum tick that he stumbles forward out of the vanishing crowd.

He also gets to see that jerk that helped devastate the department store. "You!" he says, pointing a finger. A pink shield winks into existence on his forearm. It looks like the light tried talking to Nagisa, and left... something??? on her forehead! "Is she okay?!" he shouts to the others.

But Black Sky is beset upon quickly in melee-- instead, Steven spins like throwing a discus, and puts an arcing curve on it. The shield flies wide, and comes back around the side to attempt catcking Black Sky's flank! "Not even gonna give you a speech! We know you are a badguy!" he states.

COMBAT: Steven Universe transforms into Serious Steven!
COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Throw Shield on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky perfectly counters 30 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Dauntlessness, taking 0 Fatigue
damage!  Critical Counter!  Black Sky's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky's counterattack, Sentinel Flash, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Mikoto Minagi!  
COMBAT: Black Sky partially dodges 6 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Mouse Flurry, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Sourisi is Psyched!
Black Sky's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky braces 21 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Throw Shield, taking 17 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Yuzuki Mayuzumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Yuzuki bursts through the doors with everyone else. The 'meteor' is slowly forming into a person, speaking with a girl's voice - until she is silenced, by someone in a black cloak. "What- Why?!" Yuzuki asks, stunned. And now they're advancing on that girl from the science club and a girl she's seen from the lacrosse team.

Darkness floods the area and suddenly the crowd vanishes. ...Well almost everyone. There's others here still. Others with magic like hers and Fate's and others with something different. But they were all ready to fight.

Yuzuki nods to Fate. She remembers. She remembered how shaken up Fate was when they fought, and if this was who she mistook Yuzuki for working with...Well, there was only one choice. Time to see what she could accomplish against them.

"Let's go, Spark!" Yuzuki shouts, placing one hand on the aquamarine pin she was fiddling with earlier.

<Setting up!>

Yuzuki becomes engulfed in a burst of light, her clothes shifting into a teal cropped jacket, and a red and white skirt and wrap top. The pin unfurls itself into a gold and teal glaive, with the pin's tear shaped gem coming to rest at the blade's base.

A ball of light forms at the tip of Blooming Spark's blade, and Yuzuki swings, pitching the ball forward at the assailant. She then focuses, trying to keep control of the ball once it passes through them and hopefully reroute it to go through again on its return trip to her.

COMBAT: Yuzuki Mayuzumi transforms into Barrier Jacket!
COMBAT: Yuzuki Mayuzumi has used Radiant Spike on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky braces 6 Fatigue damage from Yuzuki Mayuzumi's Radiant Spike, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Yuzuki Mayuzumi is
<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita manages to keep up with the group despite her stubby little kid legs, but she's still on the latter portion of the group stumbling through the door, only just seeing a shining golden form unfurl from the impact. "What," she breathes out, barely able to even attempt to form a further thought before calamity strikes.

"Oh no," she breathes, as the maiden scatters into stardust. "You again!"

That she gets out just before the barrier rises up, and Vita remains among the crowd that transfers into the barrier dimenion. She reaches to her neck, fishing for the tiny hammer-shaped pendant hanging under her shirt. "I won't stand here and let you do what you please. EISEN!"


Vita is among the colored splashes of light erupting at that moment, and as soon as armored feet hit the ground, she bursts forward like a crimson comet. "Get BACK!" she commands, and whirls around her center of gravity before lashing out with a full-sized Eisen, aiming to take Black Sky's bearer mid-body. "Tödlich!"

<<SCHLAG!>> Eisen roars, before releasing a blast from his hammerhead that should knock Black Sky flying!

COMBAT: Vita Yagami transforms into Crimson Iron Rider!
COMBAT: Vita Yagami has used Tödlichschlag on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky counters 7 Fatigue damage from Vita Yagami's Tödlichschlag, taking 21 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky's Reverse and
Tactician abilities activate!  Stun applied to Black Sky!
COMBAT: Black Sky's counterattack, Lanzebrecher, partially gets through, doing 10 Fatigue damage to Vita Yagami!  
<Pose Tracker> Nagisa Misumi [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.

"Ne," Nagisa says distractedly. "Ne, is it coming this--"


Nagisa's head rocks back, and she backflops without real resistance, just dropping with a thump. Her eyes are squinted shut into an X-like shape, and the skin of her forehead is reddened in a circle that feels to her as if it's lightly smoking.

"Arienai..." she moans her catchphrase. 'I can't believe it.' "M'fine," she assures Fate. Swinging her torso up abruptly, she picks herself up, brushing her skirt off as she goes. One of her hands never fully left Honoka's, and it reattaches moe firmly as she rises. She catches Setsuna looking at her, but does not understand what she's looking at. When Setsuna looks away, she briefly checks her front teeth with her finger.

Looking down, Nagisa blinks, her eyes reflecting the golden light of the tiny maiden. As her attention focuses, her face relaxes, her lips closing, ...

Then recoiling in horror.

"Hey!" she barks angrily, but she did not expect to be targeted directly. Eyes wide, she tenses, knowing that she could easily be dropped as quickly as the Maiden was, regardless of her mundane human athleticism. Honoka slams between her and the cowled villain like an iron portcullis, her determination as strong as her voice. Nagisa is struck, for a moment, by the sight of her partner defending her without the slightest concern for her own safety, for the vulnerability of her weak human flesh compared to alien magical weaponry. Then she is forced to tear her eyes away and look up, as the sky is blotted out by the barrier.

"Hono--" Nagisa starts, fearfully. There is only one reason, she suspects, that Black Sky would want to seal away the outside world.

But Soaring Sky meets Black Sky, with a fierce cry that warms Nagisa's heart. Fate joins Lera in trying above all else to separate Black Sky from Honoka (and the partner she protects). Steven's shield, Yuzuki's light, Endo and Mikoto's raw force, Lancelot's lightning, and all the rest converge to avenge the Maiden, and Nagisa lifts a forearm to shield her eyes. "Sank you!" she calls out in English to everyone. Tugging Honoka into fleeing with her, she heads back partway to the stairs before she clasps Honoka's hand more meaningfully.

"All right, let's..."

Nagisa sees Honoka is not making eye contact, but is looking at her forehead. "Is there... never mind!"

A rainbow crashes down. Two girls sail up through it, then land. Strong limbs strike martial poses, back to back. And the darkness is ordered to return from whence it came.

"Huwaito," Cure Black confirms, near-wordlessly. Then, together, they charge forward. Black surges into a sprint, knowing she's about to lose a lot of momentum, then skids into a slid tackle. The friction slows her to the point that she and White hit at the same time, one kicking at the legs, one going in higher.

With a break-dance like kickout of her legs, Black gets back onto her feet in time to pour some punches into the pause where White has finished kicking and is starting to land. She lets White, in turn, fill in when she intentionally slams in a punch hard enough to unbalance her, and in this fashion, the dark-and-bright clad partners battle, an airtight assault that is as beautiful as it is relentless.

"What's with you?" she demands. "What do you want?"

COMBAT: Nagisa Misumi transforms into Cure Black!
COMBAT: Nagisa Misumi has started a combo targeting Black Sky!
COMBAT: Honoka Yukishiro transforms into Cure White!
COMBAT: Cure White has joined the combo started by Cure Black!
COMBAT: COMBO! Cure Black and Cure White have used Taijitu Taijutsu on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky braces 54 Fatigue damage from Cure Black and Cure White's Combo: Taijitu Taijutsu, taking 23 Fatigue damage!
Cure Black and Cure White are Psyched!
<Pose Tracker> Black Sky [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Black Sky's Theme: Brynhildr In The Darkness Ver Ejected https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=581yuUMGQPE

There is a moment of shocked silence when the darkness clears and Black Sky is left with a small army of magical girls between him and his quarry.

It is promptly filled with the sound of air being tortured by the hyperacceleration of Cure Passion's fist. The clone of Lera's Device ('dark' clone would be descriptive but deceptive, the two Devices are visually identical) jerks its cowled holder off to one side in the very nick of time, but the nearness of her passage caused the cowl to ruffle up to the knees for a second, revealing the lowest portion of the same black bodysuit as their last encounter.

And Passion feels warmth closing in on her -- no, she's closing in on it, a trap of plasma left in his wake for her to punch instead, if she doesn't divert quickly.

Then he twists -- there's the slightest smell of a friction burn, coming from the palm of his holders black glove -- in time to parry his counterpart with a point-blank blast of red light.


The light collides with the energy gathered around Soaring Sky's blade. An explosion! The backblast separates them, but it burst towards Lera with greater force; Black Sky was the victor of that second-long encounter.

There's no time to gloat. Here comes Fallen Stern, and now the blade behaves as a blade, catching Endo's heavier sword with a solid click. Sparks fly, orange and purple, until--


Black Sky disengages with another point-blank blast, this one emenating off his cowled Barrier Jacket rather than the blade, like a body block of force. And just in time, as now Fate is closing in. She achieves her objective of driving him further away from his target, but fails to land a blow.


In short order the Midchildan's flight path is filled with rapid-fire crescent shaped energy blasts, which will make any more fancy aerobatics momentarily impossible. Black Sky might have kept flying them indefinitely, but in leaps Lancelot, forcing him once again to block. Lightning travels from Arondight into the Device and across the dark robe, but is more dissipated than not. This guy is tough. He repeats the same tactic used on Endo, spamming Aura Smite's force slam to get the Chevalier to back off.

Black Sky wants NO PART of the howling girl and her spinning black blade, so he straight-up teleports away, or close enough, shifting into a black-and-orange blur indistinguishable from instantaneous transport.


But when he slows back into visibility, Sourisi is waiting for him, and he rocks back from the impact of her tonfa. That definitely connected, and so did Steven's shield, at virtually the same moment, bashing into his side. You can tell from the outsized force of his response.


It does more or less what it says on the tin; not dissimilar from Lera's own attempt at first blood, plasma ignites around the blade, which cross-cuts at the close Miraculous user and the more distant Crystal Gem. The best way for them to avoid it would send them slamming straight into each other.

He can't take any advantage of this, though, as something unexpected happens; Yuzuki's Radiant Spike is on approach, and although he lifts himself to parry, the ball passes straight through. There's a soft, feminine grunt at that intrusion. But on the backswing, wise to the strange incorporeality of the attack, Black Sky conjures a spinning, triangular Belkan-style shield, which bounces it off directly.

Shield -- meet Vita. Well, meet Graf Eisen. Clearly the mighty hammer is going to shatter right through, and in the moment that that happens, with a second, more hasty << LANZEBRECHER! >> he conjures another point-blank blast of red light to mitigate her momentum and drive them apart.

Shards of orange mana, the remnants of the shield, fall in glass-like shards in Eisen's wake, filling the space between them. With a quick flick of his blade, just the very tip of it, Black Sky reclaims and reanimates them, sending them unexpectedly quickly towards the Wolkenritter in the hopes of catching her off-guard.

Meanwhile, there's a reason to hope on the battlefield itself. The motes of starlight never dissipated, never vanished at all. There are many forces clashing above them, now, but here and there, in places of quiet upon the lawn, they are moving of their own accord. Merging, into tiny rivulets, veins of radiance. Tiny and fragile -- but not random. There is something to protect, still, of the fallen star, beyond just a scattered corpse.

Black Sky either doesn't notice or doesn't care. Certainly she is no longer his priority; that, despite being driven back, belongs to the sigil left behind on Nagisa's forehead.

He confirms this with word as well as action.


Vents along the back of the Device blow out steam and bursts of golden light, before he launches into a rapid set of strikes, each leaving gold-orange flashes in their wake -- an explosion. Like a pinball and his enemies the bumper, this sequence takes him from Yuzu (horizontal slash) to Mikoto (stop-thrust) to Lera (vertical upward slash), all en route to Nagisa, through Honoka -- only he is met halfway by Cure Black and Cure White.

He endures far more punches and kicks than is entirely fair, some disappearing into the thickness of the magical robe, others blocked with spot-shields, tinier versions of the triangle shattered by Vita. Summoning several of them consecutively to give him a little time (for them to break through it) and space (now filled by force fields), he gapes the vents wide open for a final, greater blast.

The robed figure now wielding Black Sky two-handed, it is dragged, jerked into a vicious downward slice with enough mass of sharp orange energy to catch Cure Black and Cure White with a single immense blow.

The sigil, meanwhile, has come unstuck in the melee, or perhaps it was the summoned Power of Light that transformed the forehead it was imprinted on; in any case, it drifts in midair behind the Pretty Cure like a ripped-loose spiderweb, a glowing skein. If Black Sky gets through, he will surely claim it and vanish.

COMBAT: Black Sky has used Plasma Arcs on Cure Passion.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Aura Smite on Endo Naoki.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Crescent Fangs on Fate Testarossa.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Aura Smite on Lancelot.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Inferno Slasher on Sourisi.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Inferno Slasher on Steven Universe.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Guardian Slasher on Vita Yagami.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Regenschauer on Lera Camry.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Regenschauer on Mikoto Minagi.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Regenschauer on Yuzuki Mayuzumi.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Regenschauer on Cure Black.
COMBAT: Black Sky has used Regenschauer on Cure White.
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa decisively counters 21 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Crescent Fangs, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Fate
Testarossa's Reverse and Tactician abilities activate!  Stun and Trap applied to Fate Testarossa!
COMBAT: Fate Testarossa's counterattack, Sonic Move, interrupts, doing 0 Fatigue damage to Black Sky!  
COMBAT: Steven Universe braces 35 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Inferno Slasher, taking 15 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky is
Psyched!  Steven Universe's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure White counters 37 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Regenschauer, taking 37 Fatigue damage!  Cure White's Reverse and
Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure White's counterattack, Heaven and Earth Throw, partially gets through, doing 24 Fatigue damage to Black Sky!  
COMBAT: Cure Passion perfectly dodges 23 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Plasma Arcs, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!
Cure Passion's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Sourisi cleanly braces 40 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Inferno Slasher, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Yuzuki Mayuzumi fails to dodge Black Sky's Regenschauer, taking 87 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  
COMBAT: Lancelot braces 17 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Aura Smite, taking 14 Fatigue damage!  Lancelot's Block and Parry
abilities activate!
COMBAT: Endo Naoki cleanly braces 23 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Aura Smite, taking 4 Fatigue damage!  Endo Naoki's Block and
Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi counters 17 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Regenschauer, taking 52 Fatigue damage!  Mikoto Minagi's Reverse
and Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi's counterattack, Obsidian Blade: Dynamo, partially gets through, doing 11 Fatigue damage to Black Sky!  
COMBAT: Vita Yagami perfectly braces 59 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Guardian Slasher, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!
Critical Brace!  Vita Yagami's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Lera Camry cleanly braces 57 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Regenschauer, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lera
Camry's Block and Parry abilities activate!
COMBAT: Cure Black counters 13 Fatigue damage from Black Sky's Regenschauer, taking 38 Fatigue damage!  Cure Black's Reverse
ability activates!
COMBAT: Cure Black's counterattack, Sen no Sen, partially gets through, doing 8 Fatigue damage to Black Sky!  Critical Counterhit!
<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

"Don't mention it!" Lera calls back to Nagisa, for that moment that Soaring Sky and Black Sky collide, sparks flying when the blades meet. It's with a quick twist and turn of her hand that her sword meets Black Sky. Her eyes are briefly on the bodysuit.

A clone of Fate is under there, she reminds herself. Someone who, but for the grace of whatever gods they believe in, could have been Fate Testarossa.

But then a familiar -- but dangerous -- blast of red light slams into her. Soaring Sky is knocked backward, as the energy blast slams into Lera, and hurtles her backward. She flies back down at the ground, but recovers at the last moment. A ring of light explodes out from under her feet -- they sink halfway through it -- and then she flies back up.

Lera thought, for a moment, that she had kept track of the others here. Steven rushing in, the familiar spells of Fate and Endo, Vita swinging Eisen in, Lancelot's crackling lightning, Mikoto's demands. They are things that she expects, even if she doesn't take them for granted. A familiar rhythm to the battles she has fought, a small ounce of solace in an otherwise unpredictable situation.

The blue ball of light that sneaks in from the corners of her vision, leaving little afterimages, is a sudden change in the beat. At first she draws a sharp gasp in -- then turns her head, staring at Yuzuku Mayuzumi for a half-second in confusion. "You're--" She gets a crooked grin. "I-I didn't know there was another Device User out there! I'm sorry we're meeting like this, y'know?"

She keeps the smile on her face for a second. Then, it flickers, as she hears Black Sky's cry. The 'delivery,' she thinks. <<Endo-kun! Fate! We better keep an eye out--those versions of Heraut and Stern... they may not be far behind!>>

She swallows, a glance at where Nagisa had been, and then Lera's eyes snap back to the blade slashing up at her. She swings Broken Ground up. <Barrier!> the Device chimes, and blade meets shield with an explosion of sparks and arcs of lightning. Lera is driven backward, again -- but she stops herself. She looks at Black Sky, watching the Device and the ragdoll wielder hurtling for the sigil. The sigil that, she realizes, is now free floating.

"Not on your life!" she yells. She points Soaring Sky down -- and the two-toned blade splits down the middle, twin halves opening up. Arcs of deep red and orange plasma begin leaping between the two, one to the other, and multiplying, as a glowing bolt of white light appears between them.


The arcs begin to multiply. Red begins to burn to a fiery crimson; orange begins to turn gold; both begin to burn white at the core. In front of the Device, a trio of rings appear: wide, filled with Midchildan runes, and rotating.


And then the beam fires. A massive column of white light explodes out, gold at the edges. It hits the rings, and each ring turns slightly, curving it, and the beam does a parabolic arc as it flies straight for Black Sky's side with explosive force.


COMBAT: Lera Camry has used Aurora Burst Ray on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Cure Passion [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Passion remembers well what she learned about the Devices' wielders that day--but she can't help but act on the powerful emotion surging through her. She is aware of herself enough nevertheless to notice that warmth. The plasma trap is left in Black Sky's wake. Passion's fist is roaring toward it--

Abrubtly she ducks down beneath it, aborting her strike and rolling along the ground where she throw herself to get out of the way. This means she has the chance to watch much of what else happens, in the moment.

She sees something that does bring relief to her hart, a palpable sensation like stretch of her heart. Cure Passion definitely notices the little veins of radiance that re merging together, and as she pushes herself up, that's what helps her watching her friends clash with him.

As White and Black in particular clash with him, Passion watches, waits for her opportunity and trusts the others. But this--this is when she spots the drifting sigil. She sees Black Sky's goal--

She takes off again, charging once more with arms ready and pink hair flowing behind her until she becomes a pink-and-red blur across the battlefield, shooting straight for Black Sky and his wielder at another angle from Lera's blast.

COMBAT: Cure Passion has used Passion Flash on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

The blast of energy sends Endo staggering back, the boy retreating several steps before he digs his sword into the ground to halt his momentum. The blade carves a line into the dirt of the field, biting in deep before it finally comes to a halt.

As the knight catches his breath he glances toward the allied magical girls and boys arrayed, and takes note of a new device user amongst them. He does not have time to give it much consideration though, before his gaze falls on the glowing sigil floating behind Cure White and Black.

<<Let's focus on this one first, right?>> Endo's voice pings back to Lera, his fingers tightening around the device in hand.

"Well, you can't have it!" He shouts defiantly toward the cloaked figure and the device in hand. "Sogo away!"

A Belkan triangle burns to life under Endo's feet, pulsing with power. With a cry it launches him forward, the boy bringing his weapon up in a wide circle, building momentum as purple-black contrails trace behind each whirl of his blade.


Endo's hands bring Fallen Stern down in one mighty cleave toward Black Sky and wielder, unleashing that built-up speed and power in one decisive motion.

COMBAT: Endo Naoki has used Meteor Absturz on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Mikoto's cry of her name does help. In a sense it's soothing every time her name is called out by a friend. The very act of calling one's name like a sacrament to her. "Mikoto..." Fate replies, in that same sense. Right now though she finds herself warily watching Yuzuki, because she's worried - while the girl more than held her own in their fight...

... the memories of these Devices crushing them are fresh. Yet she seems hearted when Cure White and Black join the battle. Things are different from that day when they vanished under the weight of too much destiny for even them to bear.

Fate clashes again and again, but fails to drive a blow. A certain emotional desperation driving her strikes. Even before her flight path is filled with Crescent shaped projectiles. Sensing that there's no good aerial path around them, she instead flies straight at them as Bardiche chimes.

<Sonic Move.>

The first of the projectiles nicks through her barriers and into her barrier jacket before the girl seems to vanish. Blinking in and out of space like a comet flashing one way, then another.

Then she simply appears to vanish as Bardiche chimes a monosyllabic start to it, cut off by the transportation spell's movement. <Ha->

Lera, Endo and Vita, nevertheless receives a message. <<Affirmative. Try to keep him pinned down for a while longer.>>

Just after Black Sky finishes his rush around the battlefield, cleaving Mage and Pretty Cure alike with its Regenshauer...

There's another chime from above.

<Haken Slicer.>

In an attempt at a surprise attack from straight overhead, a truly colossal crescent of crackling lightning descends, massive in its weight and force as it tries to drill into Black Sky and pin him and his wielder to the ground.

"I think your benefactor has taken far too much of that which isn't his for me to allow him even-" The girl notes, in an icy cold expression of her anger. "-one-thing-more."

COMBAT: Fate Testarossa has used Haken Slicer on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (12)] has posed.

Arondight and the Evil Device of Black Sky exchange a rapid series of blows. Sparks and motes of lighting dance but are dissipated by the Device wielder's protective magics. Or maybe he/she is immune. Lancelot doesn't know. He doens't even understand how his OWN power works, let alone some mystical alien technology that behaves like a magical item.

The Blasts from the barrier jacket force Lancelot back. slamming into him, or deflected by his blades as he franticly parries them and the enemy's device. This Slided him along the ground a good four, maybe five feet. His armor steams from aborbing it's own torrent of foreign and hostile magics. he looks up, rolls a shoulder. Then says with a grin. "Let's see you block this!"

He twirls Arondight to gain some momentum and then launches himself back in. "Blazing Zephyr!!"The blades arcing a rapid series of strikes that are too fast for many eyes to follow, but trail lighting and end with booming cracks of thunder as the blades and lighting split the air between the two combatants. Lancelot briefly becomes a cyclone of white blades, snapping lighting, and booming thunder. A storm of swords crashing against Black Sky.

One of these days he's going to have to remember to look up what the heck a Zephyr is anyway ....

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Blazing Zephyr on Black Sky.
<Pose Tracker> Cure White [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> The Battle In The Ship's Graveyard - FWPC OST - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB8SPtuSzxo

Cure White's hands smack into the descending, energy-engorged blade to either side. Her lips jerk to the side in a silent wince; this was a boldly painful maneuver from the jump. With every second of contact, her palms are burning...

But she doesn't give way, her knees deepening into a bend, then straining upwards against Black Sky's descent. She channels all the force her slender body can muster from a dead stop through her pale arms. It's a struggle; the Device is wrenching sideways, an instant from stabbing the inside of Cure White's arm--

--And then Cure Black punches the blade back into place from the side.

It isn't so much the size of that force, that makes the difference, when you're fighting Cure White. It's how she directs it. Or redirects it, as the case may be.

In that crucial moment when the blade is traveling horizontally instead of vertically...

...White tucks her head, and rolls.

It isn't the blade that's going to hit the ground first; it's the body holding it, or more accurately, its BACK. The blade is still between White's tormented palms, and she doesn't let the impact happen -- she's still moving, now above Black Sky instead of below. Curling her torso, she forces the two of them to complete the three-sixty, plants her feet deeply into the ground--


--and hurls the Device and its holder high into the air.

Clenching her empty hands, once, hard and fast and loud enough to leave a soft sonic pop, she quenches the flames upon them. In this moment of hard-bought time, she studies Cure Black's face, and THIS time, looks her in the eyes.

"She left something on your forehead," she says. Smoke follows her fingers as she gently nudges Black's dramatic swoosh of bleached hair out of the way, fully confirming that there's nothing left beneath. Her flute is a little breathless. "But it fell off. That's what he wants..."

Her eyes are shining more than blazing, now, though she's no less serious.

"Let's finish this quickly, Blacku."

COMBAT: Black Sky partially dodges 15 Fatigue damage from Lera Camry's Aurora Burst Ray, taking 60 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky's
Fade and Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky counters 22 Fatigue damage from Cure Passion's Passion Flash, taking 22 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky's Reverse and
Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky's counterattack, Lanzebrecher, partially gets through, doing 24 Fatigue damage to Cure Passion!  
COMBAT: Black Sky braces 31 Fatigue damage from Endo Naoki's Meteor Absturz, taking 47 Fatigue damage!  
COMBAT: Black Sky dodges 15 Fatigue damage from Fate Testarossa's Haken Slicer, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky counters 25 Fatigue damage from Lancelot's Blazing Zephyr, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky's Reverse and
Tactician abilities activate!
COMBAT: Black Sky's counterattack, Lanzebrecher, partially gets through, doing 23 Fatigue damage to Lancelot!  
<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

A bestial snarl is Black Sky's shadow, as Mikoto descends on the place he was only for him to be somewhere, anywhere else. For all her speed she is devastatingly, overwhelmingly predictable; freight trains travel on rails, after all.

He at least answers her query as to why he's targetting Nagisa. (Let's be fair: it wasn't only her question.) The delivery --

Regenschauer is delivered to them, and Mikoto whirls again, blade coming up against the short force of that thrust. But the motion of her blade cannot overwhelm the stabbing force of him, and while Miroku's weight angles Black Sky away from anything showstopping there is a heartpounding moment of her having to shift her grip to make sure it goes between arm and chest instead of into one or the other.

Which also means she can't really follow through on her force.

But Black Sky should know that Mikoto and Endo aren't the only emblems of absolute force on this battlefield.

... Mikoto has never fought Cure White and Cure Black before, and in this she counts herself very, very lucky.

Nagisa's gone somewhere safe (thank god if he is listening), and it looks like the Pretty Cure are protecting the sigil now, unstuck in mid-air; this is at least how it looks to Mikoto, as she finds her foe again. So too does Black Sky's target look obvious, to the HiME.

"I --" She starts to shout and the word catches in her throat, as she looks to Cure Passion (she has fought that one and she is equally lucky it will not happen again), and Fate Testarossa who heard her through the din of battle, and Endo Naoki, who has a simple conclusion. Everyone...

... even someone new, huh?

"WE won't let you!" Mikoto yells, instead, as she springs high into the air, and it remains true that Mikoto cannot fly but she is quite adept at getting aerial. Thundering down, the image is less that she swings her blade and more that her blade swings and she is party to the motion; she is very light and Miroku is very heavy, and the whole of her body arcs up as the rest of her claymore arcs down.

But the way it's slated to land on Black Sky - it's at a flat angle. She has taken her surgical-sharp blade and turned it aside from its purpose: it's a bludgeon.

(She can't let Black Sky collect his delivery; equally she cannot risk the possibility Black Sky will not meet her strike and let her carve through the thrall behind him.)

COMBAT: Mikoto Minagi has used Obsidian Blade: Destruction on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky perfectly dodges 65 Fatigue damage from Mikoto Minagi's Obsidian Blade: Destruction, taking 0 Fatigue damage!
Critical Dodge!  Black Sky's Fade and Flash abilities activate!
<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Sourisi's wild guess of where Black Sky was going to reappear turns out well in her favor, enchanted rosewood catching the cloaked man off guard and giving her a spark of hope. That spark of hope sparkles a little brighter as a familiar pink shield flies in and rings upon impacting. She thought she saw a pink shirt among the stargazers earlier. "Nicely done, Steven!"

Searing plasma lances outwards from the dark blade in retaliation of her barrage, promising intense agony for Sourisi if she let it washed over her. Trying to evade the ionized gas is out of the question, as it would only cause her and Steven to fall to the ground in a tangle of limbs if they both tried to escape, which would make the whole battle that much more difficult. Sourisi doesn't try to block the ignited lightning head on, instead opting for making a primative shield as she spins her twin weaponry in front of her. The twirling blunt insturments work surprisingly well at diverting most of the plasma away from her, though several errant sparks sting her arms regardless.

The successful defense might be cause for celebration, but would be foolish to think everything safe. Black Sky is about to continue their assult until a...ball passes through the Device and strikes true. It is an unexpected attack but a welcome one, and she continues to watches the cloaked User carefully. "Thanks for the assist there!"

The golden motes of light has been scattered to the winds but instead of going to the four corners of the Earth, it starts to converge together. Is...that magical being going to reform herself? Maybe she didn't just see a murder just happen...

Black Sky continues to attack the magical defenders with supernatural agility, and Sourisi winces in felt pain upon seeing a Device User take a rather vicious assault. The starlight sigil is also torn free of the person it was magically attached to and hovers just beyond the monochromatic Pretty Cures, with Black Sky ready to retrieve the 'delivery'. It doesn't matter what exactly the sigil was or meant, it was nothing good if the cloaked puppet wanted it!

Sourisi starts running towards the sigil and the duo Pretty Cures, determined to be an obstacle in his path if he makes the attempt. While she's nowhere near as fast as their assailant, her thrown weaponry coming in from two different angles might fill the path forward for Black Sky more hazardous to traverse. "I don't see your name for this delivery. This isn't going to be anything to write home about!"

COMBAT: Sourisi has used Crashing Tooth on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky cleanly braces 28 Fatigue damage from Sourisi's Crashing Tooth, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

The shield flies and connects with Black Sky firmly, but as before, actual dealt damage is difficult to tell. The connecting sound was enough to know a decent hit was landed however.

The shield continues its course and actually heads back toward Steven for once! "Ooooh! Can I catch it?!" he says excitedly despite the threat in the immediate vicinity. This has never happened before, and would spare him the stamina to summon another!

It flies closer, closer...!

Steven jumps for it...!

Whiff. It flies off to the far side of the field. "Bawh."

The boy has little time to consider this miss as projected cutting plasma heads his way! There is little time or area to dodge, so Steven is forced to stand his ground! The shield is projected, enlarged and angled to try and deflect it. It is somewhat successful, but the sheer power of the attack sends the child onto his back painfully, the shield forced downward atop him.

"Urgh! And just what did you want with that, huh? I bet nothing good!" Steven shouts as he stands up. However, retaliation is swift, as the enlarged shield is primed from contact with energy.

The shield shrinks in size and is returned to his forearm. Some careful angling, and Steven flicks the inside of the shield, and a sonic burst of destabilizing energy is leveled toward Black Sky!

"Be careful, that guy is no joke!" he calls toward Cure Black and White.

The boy looks Lancelot's way. "Should we try to get that symbol thingy out of this place? I only had one thing I can do, but it only works on objects, I dont think it will work on a magic floating symbol!"

COMBAT: Steven Universe has used Reverb Shield on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky dodges 7 Fatigue damage from Steven Universe's Reverb Shield, taking 10 Fatigue damage!  Black Sky's Fade and
Flash abilities activate!  Stun applied to Black Sky!
<Pose Tracker> Vita Yagami [None] has posed.

Vita is good at breaking things. She talks about this a lot. Eisen's crashing hammer punches through the shield like a mallet through drywall, but the enemy knows her tricks. Of course they do. The blast of red light blasts Vita alright, and the childlike Wolkenritter slams into the ground and then bounces upward, making a horrible squawk as she hits and then a louder growl as her feet grind against the air, slowing her to a stop. "Got me," she mutters.

And then she notices the flickering shards of light, not yet dispersed. "Not that easy!" she barks, just before Black Sky's flick of a movement reanimates the attack's energy. She thrusts her hand down, and a Belkan triangular magic circle flashes into being, assembling itself in rapidly spinning segments. The blast SLAMS into this shield, crackling light against light, with the backblast sending Vita's skirts ruffling and her bunny hat fluttering, but her guard does not break, though lines of electric light crawl along the surface of the shield. It does, however, leave her puffing for breath. She reaches up and adjusts her hat. "Delivery," she mutters, echoing the word shortly after Lera. "Now why do I suspect that's not for you."

She sucks in a breath. "Yeah," she mutters in response to ongoing telepathy. "Pinning down I can do," as light flashes between her finger tips, iron balls the size of pingpong balls appearing in the gaps of her knuckles. "Eisen, here we go!" she roars, flicking them all into the air at once.


They glow, infused with Vita's light, and then GROW, each of the tiny balls becoming more like softballs mid-air, before Vita SLAMS her hammer into each, sending them all on disparate trajectories that only get more chaotic as they bob and weave, darting across the distance to try and force Black Sky into a defensive posture from the sheer number of possible attack vectors.

COMBAT: Vita Yagami has used Schwalbefliegen on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky fails to brace Vita Yagami's Schwalbefliegen, taking 23 Fatigue damage!  Vita Yagami is Psyched!  
<Pose Tracker> Yuzuki Mayuzumi [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"L-Less talking more fighting-" Yuzuki says, her face slightly red from by the attention she was getting as the 'new girl' right now. At least her shot managed to distract their assailant for a bit.

And then Black Sky is in her face, slashing across her torso. She steps back just a moment too late, and the blade strikes true, leaving a large gash through her Barrier Jacket's layers and exposing the skin underneath. She stumbles over herself and falls to the ground, as the assailant rushes off to attack someone else.

"Ugh.." Yuzuki says, staggering to her feet. Of course Fate wasn't exaggerating. She really was out of her depth, wasn't she? She glances around at the others, and then gives herself a few slaps on the cheeks. Ok. Time to focus again.

The alien (because what else would the shining light person be) looked like she might be trying to put herself back together, but there was also something else hanging out behind the girl with the bleached hair. If that was the cloaked person's target, then-

<Bow Mode.>

Blooming Spark shifts into a longbow in her hands, and Yuzuki draws back, forming arrows of teal light.

<Shining Rain!>

She fires rapidly, and the arrows whirl into the air, aiming over to where Black Sky is and hopefully raining down on them. Hopefully this would help slow them down. Hopefully.

COMBAT: Yuzuki Mayuzumi has used Shining Rain on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky fails to brace Yuzuki Mayuzumi's Shining Rain, taking 39 Fatigue damage!  Yuzuki Mayuzumi is Psyched!  
<Pose Tracker> Cure Black [Juuban Public School (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Same as Cure White

Cure White's sheer technique is staggering, even to Cure Black. She catches the blade between her palms, and Black's admiration must be expressed through cooperation; there is no time for anything else. "Haaah!" she cries, hauling back and slamming a punch into the flat of the blade. To avoid wrenching White's hands, she needs to hit it way up away from them, which reduces her leverage considerably. That's okay. Black likes to hit hard.

With a clang and a sizzle, the blade straightens out for White. In that instant, White is in position to take control, and Black already knows that now, Black Sky is in trouble.

Her punch had been in a downward angle, and Black uses that to duck under the blade, past her partner and foe both, clearing well out of the way with a brief sprint, looking over her shoulder to mark timing. The moment Black Sky goes sailing, she grinds her foot into the ground and bolts back to Cure White. She turned around in time to see White extinguish her own hands--awesome.

"These Device-users are really powerful," she breathes, briefly watching what seems like magic-tech in full, ozone-scented action.

"Black probably thinks they're all Cures-mepo!"

"I do not! I know they're from some other planet!"

Steven warns that he's no joke, and Cure Black grins. "But Cure Mouse told a good one!" she pants.

Does she mean... Sourisi? Don't ask her. She's distracted now.

Her lashes flicker as she holds still, allowing White to brush her hair aside. Her lips part slightly. She nods faintly, cupping White's knuckles to press her still-hot palm against Black's cool cheek.

"I won't forgive him for taking you away from the stars tonight," she says, in that moment where White's hand is pressed between Black's palm and cheek. Then she slips her fingertips beneath White's palm and brings their hands down between them.

"He's not very big," she observes beneath her breath. She does not need to explain to White. It would be difficult for them to attack at the same time from the same angle from this distance.

So though they set off running together, Black rams herself to a halt with an extended boot, and as White passes her, they clasp forearms. Hooking White beneath the armpit, Black exhales with a blasted "Hup!" and pitches her partner, twisting through the motion.

The moment she is away, Black runs directly at the nearby wall and leaps feet first, slamming into a horizontal crouch a good fifteen feet off the ground. Her smooth thigh muscles thrash out into hard plates for a split second of explosive might as Black bares her teeth, and a few specks of sweat toss from her bangs as she launches herself from a different angle. Right as the impact from White's kick starts to fade, Black Sky will have to deal with a second Cure drilling into him from the left.

COMBAT: Cure Black has started a combo targeting Black Sky!
COMBAT: Cure White has joined the combo started by Cure Black!
COMBAT: COMBO! Cure Black and Cure White have used Precure Double Screw Kick on Black Sky.
COMBAT: Black Sky fails to brace Cure Black and Cure White's Combo: Precure Double Screw Kick, taking 128 Fatigue damage!  
<Pose Tracker> Black Sky [Infinity Institute (7)] has posed.

Black Sky is an aerial mage, just like Lera, so being tossed high into the air is a setback to Operation Grab The Sigil but not the harbinger of total debilitation.

No, that would be EVERYONE ELSE.

It's a very full sky. Juking desperately backwards, away from Aurora Burst Ray (which, nevertheless, burns some of the front of the Barrier Jacket clean off, revealing black bodysuit beneath), only brings him more into point blank range with the charging Pretty Cure Passion. There's nothing to do but take the hit -- her fists dig in deeply -- then blast her away with more of that red light before she can follow up.

At which point Endo and Fate are coming down from above, blades- (one huge and trailing purple-black energies behind it, one a colossal lightning-scythe) -first. Black Sky again intercepts Falling Stern, but this time not without an ugly cracking sound. There's no question of blocking Bardiche simultaneously, so he twists, ending the blade lock before it can even really begin, this time, and sending the Midchildan soaring past -- not entirely harmlessly, some of her lightnings set the cowl scorching.

A familiar crimson eye is revealed beneath. Same as their last encounter, the Fatesimile's gaze is blank, expressionless.

It -- she -- disappears beneath Lancelot's storm of swords. As with the crimson Pretty Cure, the only possible response to all this momentum is the direct approach, an infusion of mana that strikes fast and hard and blows them apart. And Black Sky is forced to keep pouring it in, burning mana at an explosive rate, in order to using the sword as a sort of undersized rocket, as Miroku is going to otherwise bisect him.

It is somewhat like dangling from a broom instead of sitting on it, and it leaves his carrier open to punishment. First Sourisi's tonfa sink deeply into the robes, then Steven's sonic burst, charged with Black Sky's own energy, sends her spinning sideways. And there isn't the slightest possibility of recovering in time to handle with Vita's Schwalbefliegen on approach from an incredible number of attack vectors.

Q: What do a couple dozen softball-sized explosions make?

A: One big debris cloud. It looks like a bunch of grapes.

But there's no question that Black Sky is inside -- pinned down, as the Wolkenritter desired. Yuzuki's arrows thud into it from below, a shining rain in gravitic reverse, and they do not emerge: a direct hit. Cure White's foot, then Cure Black's, enjoy a similar fate, though of course, the girls attached to them reappear out the other side.

Black Sky doesn't. When the smoke clears, dragged forcibly away behind each Pretty Cure as though they were windshield wipers, he is thrust downwards, into the center of a spinning triangular shield that he's using as a midair platform. His carrier is holding on for dear life. They look much the worse for wear.

The Maiden's skein is a lacrosse field away, twinkling on the ground where it's gently come to rest... but it might as well be on another planet. In fact, Black Sky will have a much easier time getting to one of those, than through all of these magical girls.


And they're gone.


The lingering bits of stardust congeal around the skein in the aftermath, like a mandala generated by self-pouring golden sand. One tendril at a time, it detangles itself -- she, perhaps, detangles it, at least her spirit. At last its true form is revealed... a complex chart, something between constellation map and abstract art.

"...I cannot stay...I must...go home..."

A ghost of a whisper, but recognizably her voice; the light slowly soars upwards, until it is indistinguishable from the real stars except for its visibility despite the light pollution. And then not even that, as she passes above it.

But the web remains. It can be picked up, it can be folded, it can be kept.

And... something could be inserted into it. Somethings, were they all present. The dense pattern contains three lacunae, spaces formed naturally by the boundaries of other intricate, intersecting shapes.

These holes are VERY RECOGNIZABLY sized and shaped like the resting forms of Soaring Sky, Fallen Stern, and Souverain Heraut.

An old dream. A lost dream. A dream deferred...

<Pose Tracker> Lera Camry [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

<<Yeah! One at a time!>> Lera answers her teammates. She lowers Soaring Sky, a few motes of light lingering in the wake of firing her spell off. Her eyes glance at Yuzuki -- she can only manage a brief apologetic look -- and then it's back at Black Sky.

Any smile she had is gone when she sees that one red eye. She freezes up for a moment, but their combined efforts are enough. She lets out a breath she didn't realize that she was holding, as he vanishes. Lera isn't sure that she is relieved; she can only guess what that copy of Soaring Sky might be doing.

Or, for that matter, the wielder who seems dragged after.

She looks back at the bits of golden light gathering. She watches the web of light that forms. Her breath catches, as she sees what stays there: something with three slots. Her eyes find Endo's.

She looks concerned, as she sets down -- and reaches her fingers out for it, nervously, and then they curl back. "I think... we'd better keep this safe, y'know?"

<Pose Tracker> Endo Naoki [Juuban Public School (12)] has posed.

Endo lets out a breath of relief when their enemy vanishes, the white-knuckled grip on his device loosening only a few seconds later. His eyes move to the map left behind, cautious steps taken over to examine it.

"Yeah, it must be important." He agrees to Lera, nodding his head at the girl.

He turns to Yuzuki after, offering a tired smile toward the girl. "Thanks for the help!" He offers. The sentiment is extended to everyone present, but he calls out the unknown device wielder specifically as well.

"We did it." He's not sure what it is, but some study of the map later should help figure that out.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

Fate is watching Black Sky with a cold expression, but the moment that she sees that crimson eye beneath.

That expression cracks. It's like seeing a reflection of your own eye. A portal to the soul, and seeing it hollowed out inside.

She tells herself it's not true...

... but perhaps it's just a lie to comfort one's self, like a cloak wrapped upon one's self to shield you from the harshness of reality.

Eventually Black Sky transfer out, and she lets go of the breath she didn't know she was holding, and pants a few more, wiping a gauntlet across her mouth.

Trying to recompose herself, she floats down by the constellation map. The words of the Maiden.


But also... the skein web of stardust and light. A constellation map with hollows for...

"Maybe has something to do with what he spoke of..." Fate notes to Lera and Endo with a sense of abstraction, like she's both paying attention to the here and now and far away.

"The pericosmic array..."

Her eyes slide over to Yuzu, and there's a slow blink of the same hue of crimson that was revealed by the wielder of the Device.

"It seems you're involved now."

A beat.

"I'm sorry."

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

The reverb effect does what it is meant to do, disrupt anything magical. Not powerful, but disabling. "Yeah, take that, You creepy doppelganger!" Steven shouts.

The rest of the fight enters extreme speed and flight territory, things Steven does not have. "Okay, you guys got this! Team up on 'um!" he shouts to the others fighting.

Eventually, the foe relents and retreats. Eyes peer around the lacrosse field, waiting for an ambush. None comes. The boy holds his shield like one would hold a hat to their chest. "Everyone okay?" he asks, making sure no one is down.

"What, uh. What was that?" he asks. The boy looks from the magical lase-like pattern, then to Lera. "They came from space to give give it to someone, it looks like.

The item looks like something could be inserted into those slots. "Do we know anyone to ask about this kind of stuff?"

It came from space, but Steven has his doubts the Gems know anything. It doesn't look like something from that origin.

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

Miroku craters the ground instead of Black Sky; the momentum is such that Mikoto keeps going, and because there was no edge to bite into the earth they are flung, in ragdoll roll, back and back and back.

By the time she gets up - which she does, the blowback consequences of her own attacks have never stopped the berserker called Mikoto before - the dimensional transfer is done.

Mikoto thinks of that impact and then she puts the thought aside for now, because she is listening to the Device-wielders and their respective reactions. (Her gaze lingers on Fate, in particular, and briefly she reaches out to pat a hand on her shoulder before she steps away.) She looks to Yuzuki; nods to her, but makes no comment. It's mage business, in the end, as far as she's concerned.

She looks up, instead. The Maiden, who cannot stay...

"Thanks," is what Mikoto says to the sky, and maybe it's the first time, with regards to her.

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

Yuzuki lets out a sigh of relief as Black Sky bails. She looks up at the sigil, and tilts her head at it. The heck was that thing supposed to be anyway?

There was a lot she didn't understand going on here.

Red eyes meet crimson as Yuzuki turns to Fate and sighs. "I guess I am." But if someone like that was running around...who knows what they'd do next. She takes a look at the giant hole in her Barrier Jacket. But until then, she needed to get stronger, still.

First things first, though:

"Soooooo.....Any of you up for explaining what's going on?" Yuzuki asks.