Concordia Discordantium


Sayaka and Madoka fight Riventon, and in doing so, Sayaka faces down some of her inner demons in a very outer way.

Date: 2016-02-23
Pose Count: 31
Takashi Agera 2016-02-23 00:26:54 30609
It's the early afternoon as classes let out. Most people are on their way home, or hanging out chatting with friends. Takashi Agera is not most people. And unfortunantly for someone else, a student at Mitakihara University had made an ass of himself to Takashi by tripping and knocking over an ongoing experiment in Science Club, getting a sort of dye onto Takashi Agera's school uniform

While he'd taken it well in school so as to divert attention... Well, Takashi's non-school experiments need energy, and his uniform needs to not be ruined by clumsy oafs who pretend like they have a chance at ever becoming a real scientist. A few days in the hospital recovering from an attack should give the boy some time to reconsider his life, Takashi figured.

And that's why as Sayaka and Madoka leave the school grounds for the day, both of them can feel it, in a sense - that disturbing, sick-to-your-stomach surge of negative energy nearby as Takashi Agera, now as Riventon, lifts the now-unconscious boy off the ground behind one of the towering buildings of the University, pulling out the all but the very last of energy, cutting off a scream he can no longer find the energy to continue.

And in the shadows behind him lurks a caped figure with two gleaming blades, one in each hand, and a wide smile on her face. Because someone's going to come - someone /always/ comes.
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 00:33:49 30610
    Sayaka has skipped way too many days of school. And while Madoka (so generously!) brought her homework home for her to do, Sayaka still had a bunch of make up tests to write and bigger exams to study for. Siiiigh. What a drag, why cant she just be a professional witch hunter instead?

    Well, whatever. Here she is, dutifully attending classes for once, practically jumping out of her seat when the school bell rings to signify the end of classes for today. But man, does she sure have a massive pile of homework still to catch up on!

    "Ahh Mado-chan, how did I ever allow you to convince me that going back to school was in my own best interests?" she makes a face at Madoka as the two of them walk through the campus, heading straight towards Riventon and his latest victim. Almost instantly, Sayaka feels that dark queasy feeling that she has felt before.

    "What is this, some kinda dark energy?" Narrowing her eyes, she pauses in stride, peering around and alert for the slightest thing out of the ordinary.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 00:44:05 30611
    Madoka is walking beside Sayaka and gives her a mildly embarrassed look, "Of course it's the best thing for you, Sayaka-chan! Once you're caught back up then I think you'll enjoy getting back to your old routines. Or, well, most of them!" Because she is going to have to get used to spending a whole bunch of her time hunting Witches after school.

    She lets out a soft giggle, "It's been a while since we walked to or from school together! Doesn't it feel-" sudden gross feeling of icky evil energy in the pit of her stomach, "nice..."

    She doesn't hesitate, but doesn't immediately henshin either. After all there are certainly Witches who won't notice or attack you until you transform and start making a nuisance of yourself, and no one's ever told her that the same won't be true for other kinds of Youma. "Let's go, Sayaka-chan!" She jogs over to the side of the building, only to step out behind it and see Riventon holding the body of a knocked out boy off the ground. This is shocking to say the least, but what's even more shocking is the caped figure with familiar, violin-bow shaped swords. "...Sayaka-chan! Whatever that thing says to you don't listen to it!"

    The unhenshined, pink-haired girl gives Riventon a glare, making her look very much like an angry but harmless kitten, "Why does it always have to be you! Why are you always coming after my friends?!"
Takashi Agera 2016-02-23 00:56:14 30612
Riventon turns on his heel to face Madoka, and sees Sayaka in the back there. But more importantly, the shadow-cloaked girl sees the Sayaka and takes a step out, the sword coming into view, out of the shadows.

For the real Sayaka, the feeling of being ill in her soul just increases with proximity - the feeling that this place, that this creature, that everything is wrong, as her soul beats at the opposite resonance of the creature.

"Ah, you've gotten brave, Cotton Candy." he says, pointing at Madoka. "Shouldn't you be running along home before I decide you'll make a great research project?" he asks, presuming he can get Madoka to run away - to run to saftey from this fight - by scaring her as he's done in the past.

"And as for you, Sayaka Miki, I thought I would do you a favor. You see, we've met so many times, and more often than not, you end up trying to find your way out of some building I've knocked you through." Riventon says with a snarling grin. "So I thought I would show you how much power you could have if you just gave in and worked with me. Of course, you won't get to really appreciate it, because she finds your very existence... anathema."

Riventon gestures with his hands, and there's a burst of bright blue energy, crackling through the air, as the Nullheart Sayaka steps forward, a slasher smile on her face, energy coursing through her, swords gripped in both hands, red lines of slick, blood-like ichor dripping from her eyes. She doesn't say anything, but she shifts into a combat stance as the energy around her crackles wildly.

This one seems very unlike the last Nullheart...
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 01:02:32 30613
    Sayaka nods. "Right!" She doesn't transform yet either, not wanting to attract any undue attention until she knows just what exactly they are up against. However, the closer they get to the source, the sicker she feels in the pit of her stomach. And then..

    "Riventon! That bastard! what have you done this time?!" Eyes narrow angrily as she focuses in on the evil mad scientist, and the body of his latest victim. She snarls, instinctively stepping in front of Madoka, even though Madoka can now take care of herself no doubt - some habits just never die.

    "Grr..." She clenches her fists as she glares back at Riventon, recalling how the last couple times she tried to fight him, he did indeed send her flying through some building or other. "Guess it's time for me to even the score then.."

    And then he pulls out a disgustingly twisted, evil version of Sayaka and she gasps, staring at it in shock. "I..I dont believe this...You're even more twisted than I thought..How DARE you mock me like this! I'll punish you!!" And with an angry snarl, she lifts her soulgem ring to the sky, transforming into a Puella. Time for revenge!!
Kyouko Sakura 2016-02-23 01:10:40 30617
    Kyouko arrives. There's no prelude- no sign she's coming. Like a red lightning bolt out of a clear sky, she's just suddenly /there/, dress flaring out around her as she lands.. the blade of her spear held levelled at Riventon's neck. There's a snarl on her face, her lip curled back to reveal a sharp fang.

    She speaks over her shoulder in a remarkably calm voice that doesn't match the expression on her face in the slightest. "Saya-chan. One thing at a time." She turns her head slightly to look over her shoulder, keeping an eye on Riventon as well, one red eye visible through strands of hair that have escaped her ponytail and hang down against her cheek. "That thing.." She nods towards the Nullheart version of her closest friend, "Seems to want a piece of you. You ain't gonna let it have one, are you?"

    She looks back at Riventon. "I'll make sure this clown doesn't interfere." Madoka gets a glance of acknowledgement, but not spoken greeting.

    She had been nearby when she sensed the dark energy. She had come to investigate. Once she had seen what was happening.. she just acted. This is how Kyouko works.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 01:21:03 30619
    Madoka's eyebrows lower and a look of fierce resolve sets itself upon her features, quite unlike anything Takashi or Riventon had ever noticed before. She holds her hand out in front of herself, prominently displaying her Soul Gem ring and the mark on her fingernail, the ring shimmering before turning to forming into it's full egg shape. A bright flash of pink light erupts from it and fills the air around her. It seems to solidify, a velvety red stage curtain seeming to appear in front of her.

    It lifts to reveal Madoka standing in a ballet pose with what appears to be the scenery of a misty lake in the forest at night. She's up on her toes with her head tilted up wards, her arms held above her head to make an oval shape. Music begins to play and Madoka dances, the swan dance to be precise, flitting about with ethereal grace. She appears to be moving but it's the scenery behind her that moves, her position remaining static as she were appearing on a television screen.

    A hop, her shoes changing into bright red ones with bows on them, with white stockings rising out of them. A fluttering step and she swings her arms around herself, a pair of white gloves appearing on her hands. A leaping spin and her school uniform erupts into pink sparkles that seem to form into tiny pink butterflies before fluttering away, leaving behind a fancy, frilly Magical Girl dress. The music ends and Madoka's head tosses back and catches, her pigtails jolting alongside her ribbons, which flash into much larger, brighter ones.

    Madoka jumps forward gracefully, but this time she really does jump forward, out of whatever that magical construct was and onto the grass, now in full henshin. She takes an elegant stage bow, arms sweeping in front of herself, and when she stands up a rose flies towards her on a parabolic arc out of nowhere. She reaches out and catches it delicately in the palm of her hand. In an instant it elongates, it's stem growing into the wood of a large bow, two diamond shaped gems set inside it near either side of her hand, a pair of twiggy shoots spreading and opening up at the top of the bow near the blooming rose now set inside it, and a thin bowstring of pink magic sets into place.

    This whole time her eyes and been closed in a performers focus, but now they open and focus on Riventon. "I'm never going to run from you again."

    Puella Magi Madoka draws back the string of her bow.
Homura Akemi 2016-02-23 01:25:57 30621
    Homura comes by a little bit later than Sayaka and Madoka, having taken a bit longer to disentangle herself from her other classmates. Something about the homework she had to turn in late about a week ago. Make-up work, ugh.

    When she comes up late, she senses the use of magic nearby. She sneaks over to investigate, peeking around a corner and taking note of what she sees.

    Madoka is here. Sayaka is with her, and that's normal. Kyouko is here, and she's in henshin... and so is Sayaka. Actually that's troubling. Riventon is here. Oh that explains a lot. Wait... there's another more psycho-looking Sayaka?

    Homura shakes her head, sighs, and comes out from behind her hiding place, walking towards the other three Puella Magi as her henshin appears around her. "Again? Riventon you sicko." She glances at Madoka, and then flashes a wicked smile at Riventon. That smile is on her face the whole time Madoka henshins, up until the moment that Madoka declares she'll never run from him again.

    Homura's going to enjoy this.

    She gives Madoka a reassuring pat on the shoulder as she passes by, pulling an assault rifle out of her shield and leveling it at Riventon. She's looking at him, but her words are for everyone else. "No matter what, it's just a fake. Last time I saw one of these, Riventon used his magic to heal its injuries. It also shut down some of my powers."
Takashi Agera 2016-02-23 01:45:25 30626
There's a snarling, vicious noise- and it doesn't come from Riventon. It comes from the crackling ball of negativity and energy that is the other Sayaka Miki, and its followed by a cacophony as a distorted ring of visual music erupts out from under her and she charges the less grey-eyed Sayaka.

"JUST DIE!" she shouts, swinging one sword across and the other sword down, hoping to catch a parry and get purchase with the other. "You're weak! Worthless! You can't even hunt Witches on your own and that's the ONLY THING YOU'RE GOOD FOR! Now die so I can become you, so I can take your place! I'LL KILL THE WITCHES YOU'RE TOO WEAK TO." she snarls, pressing the attack with reckless abandon.

Meanwhile, Riventon himself responds to the accusations levied at him. "You make a mockery of yourself, Sayaka Miki, using your powers to such a pathetic degree." he says, joining his creation in the cruelty for a moment, before suddenly there's a Kyouko there. A shield automatically erupts into being before Kyouko's spear gets near, and while menaching, the surge of force pushes it back. Riventon himself doesn't move, though he inwardly thanks his Device, without showing a moment of worry outwardly.

He looks at Kyouko. "That's funny, a mere illusionist calling me a clown. Or... perhaps truthfully, you're just a wild mongrel. Run away before I fetch a newspaper."

It's Madoka's henshin that really throws him off guard. This is the opposite of running away. This is bad. This is bad on a lot of levels. He can feel that rush of power from her, too. But it seems as though the potential that he felt didn't translate into her magical strength, in the end. Still, she's henshin'd now and threatening him. He has to think quickly. How can he protect her if she's going to throw herself into conflict suddenly?

"I see you've become a Puella Magi yourself..." he says, buying himself a moment to think. Homura appears, and he comments. "I guess this one caused you to make a poor life decision. I wish I could say I was surprised, but..." he shrugs, taking a step back.

"And this one's different. Stronger than yours was. Combination of the results of the experiment with yours and the fact that... well, interestingly enough, Miki's energy took better to mine than yours did. She's made for this kind of thing, I think." he says, with a sneer, leaving the factuality of that statement to be debated over.

"And you're really dense, Sleeptaker-chan. I shut down your powers. Needed a way to..." and it's hear that he pulls a hand out of a pocket, releasing a few small purple marble-shaped things. They expode into clouds of dark miasma and energy, a momentary distraction in the fog. When the fog clears, there's a half-dozen of Riventon's less special youma, shadow creatures with red eyes and claws for hands, and they charge the firls - two for each.

They're not as much of a threat individually - but they're a great distraction, and Riventon appears out of the Dusk Zone behind Kyouko, gauntlet raised, orb of black energy ready to burstr.

    <SCHATTENSCHLAG!>
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 01:54:38 30627
    Oh. Oh right. Madoka's a Puella Magi now, she can take care of herself. Sayaka pauses a moment, watching in silent awe as Madoka transforms for the first time in front of her. Wow, she's amazing! Sayaka can just feel the incredible power she radiates with. Riventon's sure to have met his match this time!

    Then Homura and Kyouko make their signature appearances. Sayaka's gaze is drawn towards the latter for a moment longer, smiling softly at her and nodding. "Thanks, Kyou-chan..I'll take care of the imposter!"

    And with that, she summons a pair of cutlasses, spinning and twirling them expertly in front of her as she advances upon her evil double, mirroring the other's movements as she both parries and strikes at the same time. Looks like a stalemate first round.

    When the Null-Saya speaks, Sayaka frowns softly. No..Some of what she says is undoubtedly true. Sayaka DID devote her life to hunting witches, had resigned to the fact that that's all she's good for. "Please. I dont need some cheap imitation to take my place! I'm stronger than you, and I'll prove it! There's only room for one Sayaka Miki in this world and it's me!"
Kyouko Sakura 2016-02-23 01:58:31 30630
    Kyouko doesn't flinch as the shield bursts into being between her spear-tip and Riventon's throat. She keeps up the pressure against it as she and Riventon, and the others, speak, the shield throwing off little sparks as she presses the magic-sharp blade into it. Madoka henshins, but Kyouko doesn't take her eyes off of Riventon. This isn't news to her. Homura arrives. Kyouko still doesn't look away. She's focused.

    She hears the thing the 'false' Sayaka shouts at the real one as she attacks. "Saya-chan!" Her voice cuts through the noise easily, sharp and clear. She doesn't sound reassuring, or placating. If anything, she sounds angry. "Will you shut that thing up? You know it's telling lies. You're stronger than it is. Show me!"

    And then Riventon throws down those orbs of smoke and vanishes- only to re-appear behind her a moment later, primed for an attack. Kyouko's instincts save her- sharp as ever, she responds without conscious thought. The Youma are ignored.

    As that orb of dark energy aims to impact Kyouko she.. splits in two. Like a camera suddenly going out of focus, she blurrs and shifts in /both directions at once/, the orb passing harmlessly through the middle. The mirrored Kyoukos both snarl and strike out at Riventon in the same instant. "Mere illusionist? I think you used the wrong m-word, asshole."

    A third voice comes from behind Riventon. "I think you mean 'master'." Kyouko's spear, divided into segments connected by chain, whips like a snake from directly behind where the enemy re-emerged, aiming to wrap around his arm and pull it back, throwing him off balance as the two in front stab.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 02:11:08 30632
    Madoka holds back the drawstring on her bow, seeming to wait for a good moment to attack rather than firing recklessly. Magic has a cost, after all. Homura shows up and she looks over to her best friend with a smile, "Homura-chan! Thank goodness." Now her eyes shine with not only resolve, but confidence. Three of the strongest Puella Magi she knows and herself versus Riventon and his experiments? She likes those odds, even if he is terrifically powerful. They're all terrifically powerful in their own ways. If Mami were here they'd probably have this on a lock. "I still need to be careful," she reminds herself.

    "A poor life decision? Hm, maybe you're right. Maybe I should have used my Wish to destroy you right from the start." Actually she was right about to do that too, or something similar, when he attacked her the first time. In a perverse way he actually has Homura to thank for saving his butt from an unstoppably powerful Puella Magi terrified into action. There would have been catastrophic consequences for that, but Riventon sure wouldn't have been around to see them.

    She listens to his ranting and quietly takes mental notes. So this Nullheart is going to be stronger than Homura's? That's good to know. She doesn't interrupt his info dump; Madoka has for some odd become accustomed to taking truthful words from otherwise unsavory sources and putting it to good use.

    The orbs drop and explode into the shadowy Youma, and this is when Madoka takes her shot. The rose atop her bow flares in a brilliant waft of pink energy and she fires, sending out eight small arrows at the creatures- two each for the ones going for her, and two each for the two moving to flank Kyouko. She wants the viscious redhead to be able to focus all her attention on the dark magical boy.

    "They're right, Sayaka-chan! That thing may be strong, but it's only an imitation of yourself! Don't listen to it; just destroy it. You can do it, I believe in you!"
Homura Akemi 2016-02-23 02:16:03 30634
    Homura watches Sayaka closely. When Homura's Nullheart appeared, she started verbalizing all of Homura's insecurities in front of everyone. Should Homura... just pretend she doesn't hear it? She's not going to pick a fight here if she can avoid it.

    On the other hand, it does say something about Sayka.. She feels like she can't hunt Witches on her own, and that's what she's worried about? Huh.

    The thought of Homura having caused Madoka to make a poor life decision leads to a narrowing of Homura's eyes and a cold stare at Riventon. She knows how Madoka really feels about being a Puella Magi, and the hopeful archer seems to think it's better than being helpless and feeling weak, but at the same time Madoka didn't really have a choice if she wanted to keep Homura.

    "Stronger you say? Sayaka took to it better?" What does that even mean? Her eyes slide towards Sayaka before focusing back on Riventon. "Are you trying to imply something? Nevermind. I don't care."

    Still calling her sleeptalker. "I really don't care if you overheard me mumbling about talking shields and tech support issues, but thanks for making me look like less of a creep by comparison."

    Shadow youma appear. Disgusting things. Homura doesn't hesitate. She pulls the trigger and bullets start flying. She leaps backwards, letting the melee fighters tangle with Riventon and Nullheart Sayaka while she and Madoka take out the youma.

    "That thing's only trying to bother you, Sayaka-san. Don't let it.."

    Well everyone else was trying to be encouraging so she may as well.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-23 02:21:33 30635
What Sayaka has in determination, her clone has in ferocity. "I CAN'T EVEN FEEL PAIN, THAT'S WHY I'M STRONGER!" she screams, intentionally taking a blow in order to get herself into a better position to slice at Sayaka. She doesn't even flinch as the sword cuts into her flesh.

"You're the imitation! Not doing whatever you can do to be stronger? Some hero of justice. You're a loser. Couldn't even get what you really wanted!" the Nullheart shouts, the resonnace of their souls letting her find the words she needs.

"Don't you understand? You only have one purpose and somehow YOU STILL MANAGE TO BE BAD AT IT." the grey-skinned Sayaka Miki says, now gleefully letting the real one get small successes in order to continue to press her wild attacks, ichor flowing out of the wounds.

Meanwhile, Riventon is still sneering at Kyouko for the time being. "The word I'm looking for..." Riventon says, as the spear grabs his arm and pulls him forward "is actually moron." he says, the autoguard shield from his device coming up before the two segments can impact, and finish the attack - another successful ward.

"Neat trick. Doesn't substitute for actual power though. One day you're gonna annoy me so much I stop playing around." Then he puts his other hand on the chain and feeds dark energy up it like a cable. Someday people are going to learn to stop trying to touch him, even indirectly... maybe.

"It's not an imitation of Sayaka Miki..." he says as Madoka's arrows lance into his temporary distractions and they fade away without so much as a groan - becoming like so much smoke in the air. "It's more like... Sayaka Miki 2.0 - She's far better than her predecessor. Stronger. Fearless. Disconnected from pain..." he says, laughing a bit. "Maybe you need one, too, so you can see what a mistake you're making by opposing me. Sayaka Miki, you should listen to yourself. She knows what she's talking about - she knows you better than anyone."

Then he fades away into the Dusk Zone and appears up above the group, sitting on the edge of a nearby building like he'd been there the whole fight, just casually waiting. But then large black orbs begin to tear their way into existence, crackling with energy. Four of them - two rach for Kyouko and Homura. But astute watchers will note there's none for Madoka. "How is it, sleeptalker, knowing that you're the reason Madoka will probably die? She's got this attitude that's dangerous, do you see it in her eyes? Last time someone looked at me like that I put them in the hospital. Is that what you want? Just turn around and walk away. Or I'll educate you both." He's concerned it might actually come to that, with Madoka. He doesn't bother trying to talk Kyouko down, though - he's half expecting her to get up from that energy surge and come try to stab him off his new perch.
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 02:29:45 30639
    Sayaka snarls at the imitation, matching her strike for strike. However, it is true that Sayaka can feel pain whereas her double seems to barely flinch as blood seeps from its waxy skin. "Disgusting..You cant feel, because you're not real! But I..."

    She hesitates a moment, remembering what happened when she threw her soulgem over the edge of a building. How she fell down like a lifeless puppet. How Shinobu explained how her soul and her very essence - everything that makes her her, was contained in that soulgem.


    "Just an empty shell..." She murmurs, shaking her head. Is that why she wasn't as strong as the others? Because she couldn't get what she really wanted? Sayaka flinches as the creature finds its mark, slicing into her midsection. She cries out in pain, stumbling back a few steps.

    "Just shut up! I may be an empty shell, but at least I'm not a monster like you!" With a battle cry, she lashes out at the nullheart again, her swords flashing as she deals multiple strikes. But her focus is off, overcome with rage. There is doubt in the back of her mind now. Is that her only purpose, to fight witches? Can she truly do it alone? Is she strong enough..?
Kyouko Sakura 2016-02-23 02:37:08 30644
    Kyouko snarls in triumph as her chain-spear wraps around Riventon's arm.. though his shielding magic again deflects the attacks of the two clones, which vanish into nothingness moments after the attacks fail to find purchase. She can hear the false Sayaka screaming at the real one behind her, and can hear the real one's responses.

    "Saya-chan! She's wrong! You did a good thing, and you did it for him, not for yourself!" She grunts with effort, trying to pull Riventon back, "You can be whatever you want to be! You have that strength! And fighting Witches.. that's not all you are! It's not all you have to be! /You/ showed me that! /You/ told me I didn't have to be a monster! Because of you I-"

    She cuts off suddenly as Riventon sends Dark Energy shooting back along her spear. It surges into her body, and her limbs spasm, the spear falls away. At the same time, anyone watching closely will spot the white borders on her costume fluctuating.. small white crack-like protrustions spreading out from them into the red.

    She falls to her knees as he vanishes, panting. Then he appears on the roof above, and her head snaps up, lip peeled back again. "Power?" She mutters, in a dark tone. "I'll show you power."

    Two dark orbs surge into being, aimed at her. She doesn't care. She leaps from the ground, hard enough to cause a small shockwave to ripple out from where she had been standing, bringing her spear around like a whirling club to crush Riventon off the side of the building- and he'll be able to sense that some of the very same Dark Energy he just shot into her is not concentrated at the tip of her spear- adding power to the blow.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 02:46:31 30648
    Madoka jogs around to reposition, doing her best to keep herself at medium range from every one else in the battle while also keeping line of sight to them. She finally does take a potshot at Riventon as he starts sending dark energy backwards through Kyouko's spear, but his Dusk Zone teleport has him out of harms way before they arrive. "Kyouko-san!" she shouts, a little bit worried about her, especially as the dark energy orbs begin flying.

    It's more than a little odd that none are coming her way but Madoka isn't about to complain. Her chin lifts as he tries taunting her with the potential of a 'Madoka Kaname 2.0', "What could she tell me that I haven't already told myself a hundred times? That I'm weak? Worthless? That I stood by for so long and watched my friends getting hurt, or that I'm putting everyone in even more danger by trying to help them now? I know all these things. Maybe they're true, maybe they're not, but I won't let them stop me."

    Kyouko goes after Riventon in a power play and spear again, so Madoka turns her attention to the Nullheart. She runs, trying to get to a side angle to reduce the chance of accidentally shooting Sayaka in the process. Once she sees a shot she takes it, sending a single relatively powerful arrow towards the shoulder of the shadow creature, trying to disable it's arm long enough to make an opening so that Sayaka can do her thing and carve it up.
Homura Akemi 2016-02-23 02:49:51 30650
    "Actually that's wrong," says Homura. While she's not really good at being encouraging (and actually sounding like she means it), she's more than willing to correct someone in the most arrogantly nerdy and annoying way possible. Especially if it's someone who prides themselves on being smart. "That thing only knows about one part of her. It only knows her darker side. It doesn't have her heart. It doesn't have her sense of justice. It doesn't know her sacrifice. It doesn't have any of the better qualities that make her Sayaka Miki. Just like she said, Sayaka-san isn't a monster like that thing is."

    Homura flips her hair, letting it fall behind her. "You say it's stronger, but I say it's just a cheap imitation. So it's more brutal. So maybe it actually has more raw power. I wouldn't doubt that it had actual tangible advantages, but that's not going to help you. That's not how magic works. The strategies that win in this world aren't based upon raw power, but on the feelings in your heart." She then adds, with a haughty stare and a condescending voice, "Maybe you'll actually learn that one day."

    Homura hefts a rocket launcher over her shoulder and is about to display her true, deepest, most sincere feelings towards Riventon when the bishy scientist suddenly vanishes. He reappears elsewhere. "She's not going to die. I wished for the power to protect her, and I will. Even if I can't undo what happens here, I still have faith in that wish, and I have faith in Madoka-chan. She'll live a full life, and she'll be happy. I'll make sure of that, no matter how many creeps I have to go through."

    When she notices the dark orbs coming after her, she has no choice but to stop time. She's seen what Riventon's attacks can do to her and she's not going to take chances. She takes a moment to make sure Madoka's alright, but she isn't being attacked. Well good. Just gives her time to focus more on Riventon.

    Time resumes, and about seven rockets fly towards Riventon from below, and three more from behind. Homura has joined him on the rooftop, having finally taken the opportunity to tell him how he really feels. With violence. Hatred is a feeling, right?
Takashi Agera 2016-02-23 03:06:16 30657
Riventon leans over the edge a bit. "Sayaka, face it, you're just the beaten up prototype. She's better than you, and if she dies, I'll just make another one."

Back on the ground, the Nullheart keeps pressuring her, just as much emotionally as physically. "Just give up. You're too weak to fight witches, too weak to admit what you wished for, too weak to have a purpose. I'll steal him. What's the point of being a hero of justice if you can't right wrongs?" she says, swinging her blade with that slasher smile still clear on her face.

"And it's a terrible injustice you made this sacrifice but didn't get him. I'll make sure I do." she says, blade humming an awful song. "All you have to do is give in and die so I can take your place, weakling..."

And then it gets stopped short from an attack by taking Madoka's powerful arrow in the side, and for a moment, it's substantially slower. Not out of any pain, but just from the damage that has been inflicted on it. But Riventon doesn't seem to be healing it today, either.

"Right, Sayaka. Why don't you make the with sacrificing and die so you can be repla~"

    WHUMP

In comes Kyouko, using the fury her darker side pulled forward. Of course, there was a autoguard shield, but Kyouko's fury and strength shattered right through it - he'd have needed focus to defend against that attack. And as he regains his footing and opens his mouth there's a storm of rockets headed his way - He's forced to put up a circular barrier, but on rocket six the telltale sound and feeling of a shattered ward occurs, and he goes flying off the rooftop from rocket seven, trailing smoke and sailing through the air before he rights himself. He's bleeding and his Barrier Labcoat looks the worse for wear, but that smile doesn't seem to leave his face.

"Just proving my point, Apatite" he says, sneering out the name. "Much stronger in this form than relying on your tricks." Then he looks at Homura. "Do you know what matters in this world? Power. Real power. Power comes in a lot of ways, though. Sometimes it's obvious, magical power - or being a walking arsenal." He raises his gauntlet and it racks a black energy cartridge.

    <EXPLOSION!>

"And sometimes it comes in the form of being more intelligent, creative, and capable than your opponents!" he says, full of a charge of energy, a strange distortion forming in his hand.

    <ZEIT KLOPF!>

The surge of energy erupts out. It's not a true time stop like Homura's - he can't manage that yet - but it distorts the local time for everyone else, giving him the advantage he needs to enact the plan he's thought.

"...Sometimes power is knowing your enemy's weaknesses." He's moving up at an astonishingly rapid speed, one hand aiming to wrap around the pink Puella's neck, and the other hand with a bolt of energy charged in his hand, right at her face - though he doesn't intend to unleash it, unless Madoka reacts, she risks the tenor of this fight changing.

And the torn apart Sayaka is still swinging, blades now clanging with furious blue lightning, threatening to zap the real Sayaka even on a parry - even though that lightning is constantly wearing down the Nullheart too.
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 03:28:26 30665
    Sayaka glares at the nullheart, her stomach wound already healing up with her magic. "Oh, shut up already. what do you know, about me..?" but even so, is she right? Is Sayaka weak? She peers around her, watching as Homura fights with her time spells and giant explody missiles.

    Kyouko creates powerful illusions of herself, making multiple copies of herself as she strikes with her powerful chain spear. And let's not forget Madoka, the most powerful of them all, with her explosive arrows, and her miraculous ability to bring back even a witch..What does Sayaka have to offer, except her unpolished melee strikes, or heightenned healing ability?

    As for her sacrifice.."Kyousuke..I wanted him to love me, like I love..Loved him. But..He's happy with Hitomi now.." She frowns. "It's true, I felt bitter towards them, I made that sacrifice for him, and I got nothing in return, except.."

    Sayaka pauses as she watches Riventon attacking her allies..Her friends. And she's too far away to stop him. Then Homura says something perhaps a bit shocking to Sayaka's ears, even if she states it in a factual, cool sort of way. Her heart, her justice. Her desire to protect others.

    She smiles. "Thanks, Homura-san!" turning to face the nullheart with new ferocity and skill, this time striking true, striking quick as she unleashes a flurry of vicious sword strikes with her twin swords, attempting to go for a finishing blow, to end this for once and for all.

    As she spins and slices, nearly dancing with her opponent so that her swords seem to sing on the air, her swords extend into long chain-link swords, attempting to wrap around the nullheart's neck and pull it closer as she summons magical blue energies and singing notes along the edge of her blades. "That's right. You could never replace me, because I have something you dont..I have a heart, and a desire to protect others!. Arioso...Grando!" she yells, releasing a massive blast through her swords as a collective wave that carries towards the nullheart, pouring in everything she's got into destroying the monstrosity.
Kyouko Sakura 2016-02-23 03:33:36 30667
    And suddenly, Kyouko is next to Sayaka, even as that sword wraps around the Nullheart's neck for the final blow. How she got there is hard to tell- either the Kyouko on the roof was an illusion, or this one is, but does it really matter? Sometimes even she can't tell. What matters is she's there.

    And as Sayaka begins to channel energy to unleash that blast of energy, Kyouko leans in against her shoulder. "I believe in you, Saya-chan. I need you. That's one thing that.. monster could never have." And she kisses Sayaka right on the cheek.

    But where's her spear? She doesn't seem to have it with her.

    That's because she hurled it off the roof before she moved- and it's flying like a missile straight at Riventon as he holds Madoka, the tip glowing and streaming with blood-red energy like a comet. It's aimed to pierce right through his midsection, and hopefully miss Madoka altogether. But even if its shields deflect it, she poured enough magic into that lancing throw that hopefully it will give Madoka and/or Homura a chance to react.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 03:46:06 30673
    Madoka sees her arrow slam home and disrupt the false Sayaka's attacks enough that the real one can start getting hits in. "There's one other thing that Sayaka-chan has that you never will: Friends that care about her. That's real power."

    She keeps running, more and more of her focus on Sayaka and her battle with her false, dark energy construct self. A couple more arrows are fired when the angle is right and the timing is safe; it's true that if there's one Puella Magi she could afford to clip with a hail of arrows it's Sayaka, but that's going to be filed directly under 'last resort'.

    This single minded focus ends up costing her, however. There are explosions behind her but her back is turned almost completely to Riventon, her eye looking down the shaft of her 'notched' magical pink arrow. This distraction when combined with the sudden burst of speed means that Madoka is only just starting to turn towards him when his hand goes around her neck.

    Her grip on her bow becomes and the arrow is fired low as she releases the magic bowstring, hitting the grass and dissipating in a burst of harmless pink sparks. One gloved hand goes to her neck while she winces in pain, grabbing at the hand around it and trying to pull it loose so she can escape.

    The effort is doesn't get her far, her legs kicking out beneath her as she struggles. Despite the dark magic held to her face if this was any of the others this course of option would have been a very poor choice. Homura has handguns and explosives, Sayaka and Kyouko both have sharp melee weapons. But Madoka only has a bow; she has no close range defenses other than smacking people with it, and considering that Kyouko's clubbing wasn't enough to stop him it would likely only be an annoyance.

    Luckily for Madoka she -also- has friends who care about her. Or allies who hate the person grabbing her enough to try and stop him; whichever Kyouko is acting as right now will do! The spear comes crashing down, and forces Riventon to act against it or be impaled.

    This gives her the opening she needs, grabbing more tightly to the wrist of the hand around her neck, holding her bodyweight with it, so she can lift her legs and kick off of him with enough force that it would normally send her jumping high up into the air. Here it's enough to send her crashing forward out of his grip.

    She crashes into the grass and tears up a fair chunk of dirt in the process, tumbling head over heals in a tangle of limbs. After two bounces she manages to gain control of herself, digging a gloved hand into the sod deep enough to end her flipping, ending on her knees facing towards him.

    What happens next is entirely predictable. The very moment she's stopped she lifts her bow and charges a powerful attack, letting fly a clean dozen arrows from a single draw and release of her bowstring, a large flame of magic erupting from it's top. If he had to expend his defenses on Kyouko's spear this could hurt.
Homura Akemi 2016-02-23 03:51:15 30677
    "Power didn't save Walpurgisnacht, and it won't save you either." Homura watches as Riventon falls from the rooftop, and runs towards the ledge to follow him. This fight isn't over yet. She imagines that the fight with Riventon will never be over until one of them is dead.

    Homura's timestop might've given her enough of an edge to be faster than Riventon, but she isn't expecting that tactic, and so she doesn't react in time to stop it. All she can do is watch as Riventon closes his hand around Madoka's throat and threatens her. "Madoka!"

    Homura thinks about this. She was just talking to Madoka the other day about dealing with a hostage situation, wasn't she? Homura said she'd use a sniper rifle in a case like that, but it's a bit different when it's Madoka isn't it? What if she gets hit?

    No, Homura can't afford to worry about that. She can't allow Riventon to just grab Madoka uncontested. She stops time to look it over.

    Then she sees Kyouko's spear coming in. Homura is, right now, incredibly grateful that Kyouko's here. She lets time resume for a bit, watching closely. The moment Madoka's free, there is a stack of black boxes, slightly taller than Riventon, appearing right next to them. There's a soft beeping sound, flashing red LEDs, and then once Madoka is out of the blast radius those black boxes explode.

    Homura is right next to Madoka, saying, "Hey, are you alright?"

    Homura actually noticed the careful shots that Madoka was making earlier, supporting Sayaka without hitting her. She smiles, kindof proud, though it's clear now they need to work on some kind of close range option for Madoka.

    Well, that kind of thing can wait.
Takashi Agera 2016-02-23 04:17:16 30691
"Even if you win it means nothing. You know the truth." the Nullheart hisses, energy crackling around her right before Sayaka's attack slams into her clone, shattering her. First the henshin goes, leaving a feminine youma shape behind snarling as the henshin fades away and the swords both shatter into blackness. Then that youma itself is torn away, leaving only a small blue gumball sized orb with the emblem of Sayaka's soul gem on it, which shatters too into black smoke.

Meanwhile, Riventon's got Madoka, and while he doesn't intend to make good on his bluff, it's an impressive bluff. There's a powerful lance that threatens to come in from his side, and he throws his left arm around, putting up a ward that contests the incoming attack - winning eventually.

"Yeah, you made a terrible mistake, little girl -" and then he's stuffed because Madoka uses her feet to leverage. There's a part of him that's really impressed because she can't have been a magical girl too long, but she has an impressive determination - and then all of his impressed moments are shattered by the realization she's attacking him.

I mean, it's one thing to speak, but now she's shifted to attack - and that means some of the protection he was intending is gone, he realizes, as the arrow slams into the shield he hastily builds - and shatters it, too, slamming into him a powerful force, sending him staggering back.

And a bunch of explosives just appears in her spot. He only has a moment to react. But he's getting faster on the draw, too - like the others here, he's still capable of improving and learning. The reaction time is almost too fast, even then.

    <DUSTERNIS MAUER!>

Riventon's gauntlet bursts out with a black, ink-like surge, forming a sphere around him of solid miasma, flowing slowly like mollases, and soaking the impact from the explosives. From behind it, the girls can hear him laughing. "From now on, I'll have to really begin to pull out the stops. And Madoka - remember - you have others you'll have to protect if you keep getting in my way - if not yourself or Homura, think of Tastuya perhaps..." he comments, vanishing to the dusk zone before the gloom wall shield can reveal him again.
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 04:25:34 30697
    Suddenly Kyouko is at her side..And time seems to slow right down as she kisses Sayaka on the cheek. She freezes, flushing, feeling the warmth run up through her body..And smiles. "Kyou-chan.." she murmurs, and smiles softly. "Thank you, for believing in me..." once she's finished her attack on the fake Sayaka, she reaches down a gloved hand, briefly clutching one of Kyouko's hands in hers.

    However, in the heat of the battle, she peers towards the Nullheart, still on guard until it's destroyed, melting away into the nothing from which it came. "Tch. what a cheap imitation." She mutters. Then, another distraction as Madoka's caught around the neck by Riventon. Enough of a distraction that she lets go of Kyouko's hand, stepping towards Madoka. "Mado-chan...!"

    But it seems she's got this one covered, and Sayaka's actually quite proud of her. She's resourceful, powerful..Yeah, she's gonna make a good Puella Magi! "Nice move!" she grins. But it seems that Riventon has escaped once more and she glares up at him, pointing her sword threatenningly at him, even knowing he's too far away to counter attack.

    "Yeah, you keep on bringing it on, and we'll always be here to stop you..And now we've got a new member to boot! You dont stand a chance, Riventon!"
Kyouko Sakura 2016-02-23 04:30:22 30702
    Kyouko watches in satisfaction as the Nullheart is destroyed by Sayaka's attack.. just like she always knew it would be. She /believed/ it would be. And Sayaka believed it too, which is why she's still here and the Nullheart is nothing but dust. Sayaka's gloved hand finds hers, and Kyouko squeezes it, giving the blue-haired girl a genuine, bright, confident smile with only a hint of fang.

    Sayaka lets go and steps towards Madoka, and Kyouko finds her attention drawn there as well, as her attack gives Madoka enough time to act, and then the combined force of Madoka and Homura's attacks drive Riventon to retreat. He shouts threats as he goes, but Kyouko knows that game. She's played it often enough herself.

    "That's right." She says quietly, almost to herself, although Sayaka can clearly hear her. "Nobody has to be alone. As long as we fight together.. we don't have anything to be afraid of." She glances at Sayaka, who is still threatening Riventon, and she smiles. She steps forward, and leans in to murmur something in the blue-haired girl's ear.

    Then she turns, suddenly sprinting, and leaps away onto a nearby rooftop, vanishing from sight a moment later.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 04:41:28 30710
    After Madoka looses her arrows she keeps her eyes on Riventon to see their effect. That the arrows shatter his barrier so that others can smash into him, or his barrier jacket at least, is something that gives her a sense of accomplishment, but there's something else she notices that gives her a moment of disquiet as Homura appears next to her. The surprise on his face.

    That... doesn't make very much sense. Surely he expected her to attack him after grabbing her by the throat, after continually threatening her every single time they'd ever met? It isn't even at the strength of the attack itself, but that the attack came at all- that look appeared before the shield is even formed.

    Her eyes widen when she sees it only to frown a little, lowering her arms and her bow as he disappears behind his shell of gloom. After a moment she looks up to Homura from her still kneeling position, giving her a small smile, "Thanks to Kyouko-san. I was able to get away before he could really do anything; I wonder why he didn't channel his magic into me through he hand like he always does to everyone else, though?" She lets out a small sigh and gets up to her feet, "Maybe he just wanted the chance to gloat a little longer."

    From behind the shell, as the explosions die down Madoka hears him threaten her family and her head snaps over in that direction, "Don't you even think about hurting my little brother!" When the miasmic shield finally fades she sees that he's gone and lets out a sigh, quietly telling herself that he's just trying to get under her skin, just like he's tried to get under everyone else's.

    She gets up, pushing her self to her feet, looking over to see how Sayaka is fairing, finding only her and Kyouko standing there, the false copy of her nowhere in sight. She walks over to her friend and smiles, watching Kyouko as she dashes off into the distance and calling out, "Thank you for the save, Kyouko-san! You're right, none of us has reason to be alone anymore!"

    She waits a few moments for Sayaka to absorb whatever those whispered words were, only to hop towards her the blue-haired girl and wrap her arms around her in a tight, "I'm so proud of you, Sayaka-chan!" She lets out a happy laugh, focusing on the positive for the moment rather than whatever disquieting facts might have been revealed. "You fought so well!"

    She tries to spin her friend around with her, laughing loudly and playfully, letting go of the hug to take her hands and jump around a bit in a happy dance. "You barely even let that jerk get to you. That's the Sayaka-chan I know, fighting hard and putting a stop to things she knows is wrong!"
Homura Akemi 2016-02-23 04:56:50 30719
    Homura did notice that Madoka wasn't being attacked when Kyouko and Homura were. She noticed because she specifically thought to protect Madoka and realized that it wasn't necessary, but she didn't see the look on his creepy face.

    She does hear what Madoka says about him not channeling his energy into her, and frowns. Yeah, something is wrong there. "You know, it's funny. He threatens you a lot, but how much does he actually hurt you? It's more like he's just trying to scare you."

    Homura's eyes focus on the spot where Riventon was. "So now he knows where you live, too? What a creep. He doesn't have any limits, does he?" Homura realizes that she has another reason to be glad that she spends so much time with Madoka, being able to help her if something bad happens to her family.

    Madoka runs to Sayaka's side, and Kyouko is leaving. Homura glances towards the vanishing Kyouko, but there's no point in saying goodbye or anything. She's already out of earshot.

    Homura turns towards Sayaka and Madoka, walking to the both of them. "Well... you kept your word." What word? "You lasted longer than a month or two, and I have to admit you actually are doing a good job." Yeah, Homura remembered what Sayaka said during fight with the Sugarplum Witch, and held her to it.

    She takes this chance to tell Madoka what she noticed before, saying, "You did well, too. You made a lot of very tight shots, I noticed. That's good progress."
Sayaka Miki 2016-02-23 05:02:20 30721
    Kyouko whispers something in her ear and Sayaka smirks, turning to look at the redhead. But as usual, she does her flashy exit, vanishing from sight before Sayaka can retort. "So typical.." She murmurs. But at least Sayaka's managed to clear some confusion in her troubled mind.

    She suddenly finds herself being accosted by an over eager Madoka who wraps her in a heartfelt hug and her smile softens on her dear friend. "Thank you, Madoka. Thanks for believing in me. And..." She peers back at Homura, her long time enemy. Although Sayaka is slowly, gradually starting to understand her better.

    "Thanks to you too, Homura-san, for believing in me. Guess we're not half bad as a team, eh?"

    She grins.

    Then Homura speaks about keeping her promise and that brings an amused smirk to her face. "Really, did you have such doubts about me? Perhaps there was a different version of me that died needlessly, but this time..Maybe things will be alright.." Sayaka keeps glancing towards where Kyouko vanished however, and finally with a distracted smile and wave, she too, darts off into the night, determined to find Kyouko and talk to her about..Stuff.
Madoka Akemi 2016-02-23 05:17:31 30731
    Madoka gives a small shake of her head, "I shouldn't be surprised. The first time I saw him he ambushed me while I was taking a shortcut home from school. He's probably known where I live this whole time." It's not like it's especially difficult to Google 'Kaname mitakihara' and find her address, anyway. Nevermind school records.

    She nods her head happily to Sayaka when she thanks her, "You're welcome, Sayaka-chan! You're worth believing in!" She lets go of Sayaka's hands when she looks off in the direction Kyouko left and starts moving that direction. That's not a conversation she wants to stop or interrupt! "Good luck, Sayaka-chan!" she calls after her, lifting her hand high into the air and waving after her.

    Once she's gone she steps over to Homura and hugs her as well, pulling her girlfriend close for a quick embrace. "Thank you, too, Homura-chan. I think you helped her a lot."

    She lets go and smiles, "Hehe... thanks! I wouldn't be very much help fighting with Kyouko-san or Sayaka-chan if I kept hitting them on accident."
Homura Akemi 2016-02-23 05:24:02 30735
    "This timeline is the only one that matters," says Homura, dismissing previous timelines with a wave of her hand. "Keep it up, and I won't have to worry about you. We did make a good team, didn't we?"

    Then Sayaka is gone as quick as Kyouko. This went well. She's a little concerned about what she heard Sayaka's Nullheart say, but Sayaka herself seemed confident enough in the end.

    Homura hugs Madoka when the hug comes, and she blinks. "I did...?" Did she say something that would help Sayaka? Maybe. She said a lot of things that she didn't really think about before saying. Anything that undermines what Riventon or the Nullheart said would probably help Sayaka in some way. "... well, it's just the truth. I assumed it was the same as my fake. I think it was correct, considering how Sayaka was at the end of it."

    Homura smiles at Madoka. "We'll have to figure something out for when you get grabbed, but we can worry about that later. I'm happy you're doing well, Madoka-chan."