Nostalgic Nightmare

Tsubasa's Dream becomes a Nightmare

Date: 2016-03-17
Pose Count: 22
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-17 23:25:45 34192
It's getting late, Tsubasa has been working hard on things down below in the Section Two HQ, and working hard led to exhaustion, which in turn led to her falling asleep at the desk she was working at. Like some times before, her dreamscapes lead her to a familiar place.

A large stadium with unfurling ceiling, which has opened wide to let in the sun. The place is damaged from recent fighting, and very few people are there. Nought but Tsubasa and one other girl, both of whom have an active Symphogear.

The other girl is clad in orange, with long, wild red hair. Her arms wrapped around the blue-clad Tsubasa. They don't seem to be talking, just sitting there, together, enjoying eachother's company, with eyes closed.

Out in the real world, next to the entrance into Verone Academy, a portal appears to magical senses. Upon going through, they'd enter this dreamscape in the audience stands, still far from the podium that these two girls are occupying.
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-17 23:52:59 34196
    That has got to be a dangerous place for a Nightmare to be preparing to break its way through into the world of the waking. Ariel had been busy all day, dealing with paperwork, scribbling out infformation left and right, and otherwise setting herself up to attend over at Seishou, before letting herself drift off into a nap of her own. It was the gentle glimmer of her pendant that warned of an oncoming nightmare.
    There was some wandering after that, puttering through the sleepy realm of dreams and rest, before blundering her way into Tsubasa's dream. Tsubasa is someone she remembers- someone she recognizes. Though it looks like a peaceful dream... So far, anyway, aside from the battle damaged surroundings. This is possibly why she brings a finger to her lips, indicating the huge hound she's mounted on keep quiet as he pads about the stadium.
    It was originating from here, right? Right?
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-17 23:58:08 34198
Seishi should've gone home long before now, honestly. She'd stayed late after kendo club practice, getting in some extra training time, and between that and making sure everything was cleaned up and put away and closed up afterwards...

"Oh my God," the freshman mutters to herself as she hurries toward the front entrance, looking at her watch in dismay. "It's this late already?"

Preoccupied with the display of her wristwatch and the hurry she's in, she doesn't notice the small stubby four-legged shape keeping pace with her until O-Yasu speaks up, voice sharp with impatience: "Girl!"

Then she looks, and nearly trips, eyes widening in surprise and indignation. "What are you doing here?" she demands, voice dropping to a whisper as she begins to look around for anyone who might see him.

In response, the baku lifts his head and points his snout towards the hole that's opened in reality just outside the entrance. "Something's happening."

Seishi looks, the breath hissing out of her at the sight of the portal. "A Nightmare?"

"Not sure." O-Yasu's round little ears twitch once. "It smells strange somehow. But it's dream energy for sure."

"...shit," Seishi mutters between her teeth.

Nothing for it - dropping her school bag, she reaches up to pull free the red ribbon that's tied into her hair. "Twist the cord of fate!"

The ribbon floats in the air, growing longer, becoming a broad loop; as it passes over Seishi's outflung hand, the sleeve of her Verone uniform becomes the fluttering sleeve of a crimson kimono, and in moments the ordinary girl is replaced by a samurai in red.

"Go!" O-Yasu insists, ember eyes bright, and Seishi - Akashimaru - starts running.
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 00:07:25 34201
It does seem peaceful, but Ariel is right to believe the dream energy originated from here. It takes a while for it to become apparent, but the first thing to happen is a weird blue amoeba-shaped creature with glowing circle on one end to hop out into the stands. It's about as tall as a short adult, and round.

Soon, it gets friends, more and more of them, and they start to arrive from the other side. It's at that point that the girl in orange stops moving, falls onto the ground and collapses into some kind of ashes or dust. Tsubasa gets up and draws her sword, a Katana, and looks towards the Nightmare interpretation of Noise.

There's just too many for her to deal with, she can't do this alone. And yet, unaware of anyone else here, with Kanade gone, she has no choice. Thus, her voice takes up song, a melancholy tune that feels very much like traditional Japanese music, and that sword grows to become as big as, if not bigger than, Cloud's buster sword.

She grips it with both hands.
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-18 00:25:25 34204
    Okay so if it came from here, then this is where Lucky should search. Though the glowing golden hound dips his nose low and starts sniffing around, Ariel keeps her eyes on Tsubasa and the other girl. Right up until everything starts to look much more bleak.
    The first sign of the amoeba-like creature and Lucky starts barking.
    There goes being subtle out the window, but there's little need for it at the moment, as the hound-shaped star bounds down from the stands and down to Tsubasa. Ariel practically cringes as the other girl is rendered dust, but flashes a thin smile.
    "Um. Hi again."
    Is this considered an awkward time to meet again? That's what Ariel mildly onders as she grips Lucky's scruffy neck fur, as Tsubasa begins to sing that almost mournful sounding tune.
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-18 00:35:08 34205
On the other side of the vortex of dream-energy, the samurai girl finds herself in the stadium, and it doesn't take Akashimaru any time at all to home in on what looks like the source of the disturbance. Without breaking stride, she reaches to yank the metal war fan out of her belt and snaps it open with a sharp flick of her wrist.


With this shout, Akashimaru sends the tessen flying out ahead of her, spinning through the air like a bladed disc on an arcing path towards the nearest of the blobby blue creatures. In the next moment she gathers herself and springs as high as she can manage, trying to clear the monsters and land in a position where she can back up the other two girls.

If she falls short, she has a split second to think as she hurtles through the air, this could get ugly.
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 01:13:36 34213
Unexpected aid, but not unwelcome. Tsubasa nods towards the other two girls, but doesn't speak, as she moves towards the Noise, cutting through the Noise with that sword. There's a lot of them, which is normal, but unlike normal... they don't fade into ashes when she cuts through them.

Likewise, Akashimaru's strike impacts a few of the Noise, cutting clean through them. It should be enough to kill and scatter, but instead, when the halves hit the ground, they close up and grow, increasing rather than decreasing in number, their efforts seemingly counterproductive.

These 'Noise' don't just sit there and take a beating, unfortunately. They launch their way towards the girls, trying to connect with forceful impact.
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-18 01:13:42 34214
    It is, perhaps, a good thing that Tsubasa and Akashimaru are a little more direct than Ariel is. Fighting is not the girl's forte. It's not something she likes, in the least, actually. Which means there's a bleat as the Dream Noise start bouncing at her. Though she clutches Lucky's fur as she ends up in something of a wild ride, the snarling hound weaving and slinking among the amoeboid beasts, jarring his tiny rider around in the process. Ariel alreayd looks somewhat dizzy- and in fact, she and her mount seem to be attempting to avoid the confrontation directly. But the child purses her lips.
    That blunt little horn flickers. It's a shivering gleam of star-like light that dances on the nubby ivory spire like a fluttering butterfly as she concentrates.
    Several shimmering serufaces of glimmering light start to form a few platforms hovering not too far off the ground- Lucky hops on one, but the others should give some of the other girls a higher ground advantage, and in fact should present Akashimaru a perfect landing point if she chooses.
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-18 01:24:00 34217
It's not quite the landing she'd intended to make, but it's better than faceplanting into a nightmare monster: Akashimaru skids to a landing on a dream-platform that's manifested conveniently in her path. She quickly recovers her balance, straightening into a combat stance; her empty hand closes on thin air and yanks, bringing her fan flying back to her at the end of the scarlet cord that's materialized in her grip.

Looking things over from her new vantage point, the samurai girl scowls. Their situation has not improved much.

"Whose dream is this?" she calls to the other two girls, snapping the tessen closed and passing it from one hand to the other. "What are these things supposed to be? It doesn't look like cutting's going to work--"

With that, she raises the tessen in front of her, closed into her fist. A flash of red light arcs out from it, up and down; the fingers of her other hand once again find a red string and draw it back out of thin air as the fan becomes a bow nocked with a heavy black arrow.

Taking aim at one of those glowing circles, Akashimaru draws the arrow all the way back and lets it fly.
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 01:30:20 34218
"Mine. I guess." Tsubasa answers Akashimaru, jumping backwards and eventually up onto one of the platforms while evading the incoming Noise. It leads to her being surrounded, somewhat, but the platform ought to help. "And it's supposed to. The Noise aren't supposed to do this."

She keeps singing, in between words, and blue swords appear in the sky, flying into the area and piercing some of the Noise. This, like Akashimaru's arrow, seems to have an effect, downing the Noise. They still don't scatter into ash, unfortunately.

The Noise try to jump up the platforms, for Lucky, Ariel, Akashimaru and Tsubasa alike, but at least right now the girls have the advantage of height.
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-18 01:37:37 34219
    "It's hers." Ariel replies matter of factly, confirming Tsubasa's answer. She takes respite where she can, from above the 'Noise'. Though hiding from a Nightmare isn't quite going to make it go away, is it? But then the girl's silver brow furrows. "If they're supposed to, then make them." She says mildly. "It's your dream- even against a nightmare, you can always take control back."
    That tidbit of advice however is not all she does. Her horn glimmers again, Lucky is already hopping to a different platform while Ariel works. She can concentrate a bit more, so long as she's out of reach of the Noise, but it also means she's straining as well. This act of dreamweaving manifests as a trio of shimmery transparent decoy figures appearing among the nightmare Noise on the level below. One each of Ariel, Tsubasa, and Akashimaru. At least before she asks the all important question to the red-clad samurai girl.
    "Um! Who are you?"
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-18 01:53:16 34225
Another arrow materializes from thin air whistles from Akashimaru's bow toward the Noise, before the girl in red also leaps for a higher platform from which to take aim again.

"She's right," Akashimaru agrees with Ariel's advice to Tsubasa. "Your fears work against you, but this is your mind. Your will can be stronger than they are."

She looses another arrow before looking towards Ariel, brows lifting a little at the question. "--I?" The bow vanishes in a flurry of fading red sparks and becomes a tessen again, and the samurai girl flips it out of her off-hand to snatch it out of the air with the other. "I am the guardian of the gate of dreams - Akashimaru."
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 01:59:37 34227
Tsubasa hears those instructions, such as they are, and tries. A good, honest try. Her will to be an unbroken sword, a flawless guardian, she taps into that conviction and that's when all the Noise that should already have been taken out crumple and fall.

"It works." She sounds encouraged by that, as the Noise go for the diversions created by Ariel rather than the actual people up on the platforms. Tsubasa jumps from one platform to another, swinging her blade to send a wave of blue energy at the mass of enemies, destroying a good chunk.

"I am the wielder of Ame no Habakiri." She introduces herself, right as Akashimaru's arrow cuts through and destroys five Noise in one shot. "What is going on?"
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-18 02:17:17 34235
    "See?" Ariel chirps as Tsubasa puts her mind to it. She flashes something of a sweet grin Akashimaru's way, when the samurai girl gives her word of agreement on the due process of weakening a Nightmare. Though that grin turns a little sheepish, briefly, as she flicks her tail.
    "... Huh? Guardian of the gate of dreams?" It makes her brow furrow again. "I think... I think I've heard that somewhere before." She murmurs, nose scrunching as she tosses over all the old stories and fairy tales in her head. Give her a few.
    The diversionary images of the trio don't last long when the Noise go after them. Each spectral image shatters like sugar glass. She spends a beat to wipe some sweat from her brow.
    But she gets back to her dreamweaving with a small huff. Bars of that shimmering starry light start to form- she's trying to corral the Noise into a closer grouped cluster. What's going on though? "Ah... I guess we're helping you through your nightmare so it can be a good dream again. You looked really happy with that other girl. So let's get ride of these so you can be with her again!"
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-18 02:36:20 34240
"Oh, well done!" Akashimaru flashes a quick, fierce grin Tsubasa's way when the Noise begin to fall properly to her sword. It means that she misses the look that crosses Ariel's face, and in any case there's too much going on and she's not close enough to hear what the unicorn girl says.

She does, however, hear Ariel's explanation to Tsubasa, and she answers it with a firm nod. "Exactly," she says. "Something has disrupted your dream. I won't allow it to take root."

Focusing her attention sharply on the Noise below, Akashimaru brandishes her tessen in preparation, the stadium lights glinting unaccountably red off of the polished metal. "Come, the light that shatters the darkness--"

Abruptly she lunges into movement, sprinting the few steps it takes to leap from the platform she's on and launch herself towards the Noise that are beginning to cluster together. Red light erupts from the Shinken as she plummets, bright like the first full glory of a sunrise when the sun breaks the horizon. "--Nightmare Breaker!"
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 02:47:42 34246
Akashimaru breaks the nightmare, the light washing over the Noise and sending them into oblivion. When she's done, the evil disruption is gone, and the Stadium is empty except for the three girls. Tsubasa stops singing, jumping down to the ground, and looking into the distance.

"I won't be with her again." Tsubasa tells Ariel with a sad tinge to her voice. "Maybe in another dream, but..." She looks at the point where, both in her dream and reality, Kanade faded into ash, "She's gone."
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-18 02:56:30 34250
    Phew... Ariel is looking mightily relieved as the remnants are cleared away. It means she doesn't have to focus any further on maintaining her own dreamweaving. Lucky hops off the floating platform- the rest will fade as soon as the others aren't on them anymore. Though the child is still scrunching her nose. "Ah... I think mom might have told me a fairy tale about that once, when I was really small." She says, finally, to Akashimaru. Though it looks like she's struggling to remember how it went. This might keep her up at night. "She used to see a lot when she went from dream to dream."
    But more importantly, Ariel's smile thins. Wan and a little more understanding, as she looks to the pile of dust and ash. She hadn't understood the concept of death until that waking nightmare in the North Pole. But she thinks she gets it now.
    A tiny pair of armored hands clasp Tsubasa's. "If she's still in your heart, then you can see her whenever you want. All you have to do is just close your eyes."
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-18 03:15:53 34259
Akashimaru straightens up from the impact of her landing, keeping a guarded stance for a moment until she gets a good look around. No monsters remaining that she can see. She's slipping her tessen back into her belt when she hears what Ariel says and she startles, head coming up sharply. "Your mother...?"

She looks like she wants to ask more, but in that moment it becomes clear that although the Noise might be gone, the work isn't quite over. Suddenly awkward, Akashimaru looks down as Ariel moves to comfort Tsubasa; not sure what to say, she spends a short while scuffing around the ground of the Stadium as though she's looking for something.

Whatever it is, she doesn't seem to find it. Tucking both of her hands into the opposite sleeve, she moves back toward the other two girls. "Your dreams shouldn't be disrupted any more," she tells Tsubasa quietly. "You'll be able to have pleasant ones again." It's not much reassurance, and she knows it, but it's the best she can think to offer.
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 03:30:06 34266
"You're right." Tsubasa agrees with Ariel softly, "It isn't much, but it's something." She looks around the place, a sad look on her face still, but one steeled by resolve. Her sword shrinks back to a Katana-sized one, and she then dismisses it entirely, with nore more use for it.

"Thank you for helping me." There's something odd on her face, like needing help isn't something she's entirely comfortable with. But, she doesn't say that out loud, she just thanks and then suddenly remembers, "Though, I don't think I'm supposed to be asleep. I have work to do."
Ariel Theodore 2016-03-18 03:41:28 34271
    It's a long moment before Ariel finally releases Tsubasa's hand. Though she'll hold on for as long as the girl will let her. "It's something." She agrees, before Tsubasa says she should be getting work done. "... Oops."
    Oh but she glances back to Akashimaru. "Yes. My mom- she used to wander from dream to dream to fight Nightmares. She said it was her sworn duty, before..." She trails off. "Um. Well. Things happened. We should probably let her wake up, now."
Seishi Tamashige 2016-03-18 03:52:08 34280
Akashimaru lets out an abrupt, awkward little cough and she nods, quirking a rueful half-smile for a moment. "Right," she says. "I'll leave you to it, then; be well."

She looks to Ariel then, regarding the unicorn girl very curiously for more than one reason. "Do you know the way out?" The portal she came in through might be here - hopefully is still here. Akashimaru's traveled into other people's dreams before, but doing it physically is a bit of a new one on her.
Tsubasa Kazanari 2016-03-18 04:03:12 34285
Tsubasa nods to the others, and sits down on the ground, looking up. Then, as she starts to wake, her dreamworld starts to shimmer out of existence. Fortunately, the two visitors get gently deposited outside, almost as though the dreamworld never existed to begin with.