Paint the Town

Madison Perry is causing some random destruction downtown, but is that all there is to it? Either way, Princess Runealy tries to put a stop to it, and succeeds in chasing Madison off, though not before some unsettling puzzle pieces fall into place.

Date: 2016-11-20
Pose Count: 12
Madison Perry 2016-11-20 23:07:02 60992
    Early evening in downtown Tokyo, in the central area dominated by Clover Tower. The shopping mall at its base is busy as the sun sinks, people out doing holiday shopping or just enjoying an otherwise mild fall day. Unfortunately, not everyone who has decided to come out to this bustling area has done so for benevolent reasons.

    Shortly after 6pm, an explosion rocks the side of the mall. There's no warning- out of nowhere, something detonates, throwing chunks of brick and masonry into the air. The reaction is instant- although no one appears to have been seriously injured by the blast, screams and panic ensue almost at once, people running in a mass away from the sight of the concussion.

    As the smoke clears, Madison Perry can be seen hovering in the air in her henshin, just above the area where it went off. She's smirking, although honestly it looks as though she's seen better days- one whole half of her face, including one eye, is swathed in bandages, and her left arm is in a sling, held close to her chest. The other hand grips its dagger, though- the twin strapped to her belt by her restrained arm.

    She has one other unusual accessory- a black chain around her neck suspends a strange gem- twisted black metal with a white crystal at it's center. Hana Shiroi's Grief Seed. "Ah, look at 'em run." She says, to herself, or possibly to the gem. "Can you feel all that tasty panic?"

    Indeed, the white gem seems to pulse softly. Although there's no audible response, it does seem that the Grief Seed is somehow reacting to the sudden swell of fear from the crowd below.
Runealy Waldia 2016-11-20 23:18:19 60994
Rune hasn't quite been shopping per se, but she has been in the area watching all this unfold. She's familiar with some amount of gift shopping before major holidays, people do that back home... but watching it on this kind of immense scale is stunning! Learning that one of Tokyo's military leaders - a man in a white suit with white beard and glasses - is ensuring fried chicken is distributed to the populace (for a nominal fee, apparently) is just one example of how different it is here compared to what she's used to.

Yet fried chicken and bargain-hunting are suddenly on nobody's mind, it seems. When an explosion rings out, the princess goes tense and looks across the parking lot to see... "...Her!?" Eyes wide, Rune's heart pounds. "Summoning Princess' Tiara!"

She doesn't mind transforming in public. Jeweled headwear appears in one hand, an energy-hum noise pulsing all the while. "The Line of Succession..." It's passed to the other hand, which brings it to her forehead in the same motion. "...Transform!"

With a flash of red light, the princess is in full magical garb with wand in hand. While still rattled to see Madison here, she's nonetheless rushing across the concrete to get at least somewhat closer - albeit not too close, not on her own volition, not when Madison is good with blades - to her foe. "This doesn't even make sense! Why would you attack a shopping square!?" Her speech continues to use some archaic terms, it seems.

Then Rune's boot-wings light up. A silver glow launches her into the air, aiming and firing that green tip from her wand. It's heading straight for Madison, with intent to 'explode' on impact. The jump might seem irrelevant before this attack, but it's not directly for Rune's own sake; she's concerned that any retaliation might hit fleeing bystanders if she's on ground level when it comes.
Madison Perry 2016-11-20 23:24:40 60997
    Rune needn't have worried about the fleeing bystandards- not because they are out of harm's way, but because it seems like they are the point of this whole endeavor. At least in some way. Because even as Rune is transforming and leaping to attack Madison, the hovering mage says, "Now, Heartrazor." To her Device.

    <<Yes, Mistress.>> The device responds in its even baritone. Suddenly, a second explosion detonates, directly in the path of where the civilians were fleeing to, the exit of the square towards one of the main streets. She must have planted explosive devices ahead of time.

    Curiously though, even as there is renewed screaming and milling, as the fleeing shoppers now try to reverse direction, it does not seem like the explosions were engineered to do any major damage. Not to people, anyway. Again, while a wall is now blown outwards, nobody seems to have been seriously hurt, aside from a few wounds from flying stonework.

    The Grief Seed on her chest pulses with white light again, and Madison grins. "Yes, mmm.. it's lovely." She comments, as if to an unseen voice-

    Just before the green tip from Runealy's wand strikes her in the side and explodes with its own magical force. Madison caught sight of it at the last moment and started to recoil, but was too late to avoid being sent spinning through the air cursing before she can right herself.

    Her blue eyes narrow. "The Princess, again, is it?" Bandages though she is, she doesn't appear at all hesitant as she lifts her chin, raising her one dagger. "Excellent. Your fear will be the icing on the cake, so to speak."

    She laughs.. then launches herself towards Rune, bringing that one knife down in a slashing attack with viper-like speed.
Runealy Waldia 2016-11-20 23:35:17 60999
The problem with all this is that Rune isn't quite able to piece together that the explosions are designed for horror, not carnage. To her, it just looks like fortunate mistakes in timing resulting in less harm or death than one would expect from the second detonation, and introduces two-fold concern: That if there are any more bursts, people might not be so lucky... ...and that /she/ might be in the path; this is a battlefield with an unknown number of potential hazards. Both are frightening to consider, and she's already breathing heavily while her peripheral vision tries to take in as much as possible.

A direct hit seems to have had some effect on Madison, more than Rune expected but less than she hoped for. Fear? Madison wants the princess' fear? It's given; her head is already rushing with memories of their first major fight, with Rune pinned to the rear wall of the trash-heap abandoned store she lived in at the time.

"I don't understand you at all. Why are you trying to kill them, they didn't do anything to you!" The princess has misunderstood the situation, it seems. Then... Madison is upon her, blade coming down overhead. A startled cry follows as Rune tries to glide aside while descending, but she's only partially successful: The blade glances her left arm, drawing a fairly long cut down it with a hurt shout to match! That hurt, and it's terrifying, but...

...But it does offer some small relief. Madison is next to her. Runealy's mental voice tells herself: 'She can't use explosions on me if we're this close, and if she's on me then people will have time to escape...!'

Then Rune lands from her boosted leap, and the gems on her tiara light up. Tiny emerald sparkles shoot out from it in rapid succession, a barrage of small attacks meant to sweep Madison and try to drive her slightly back; Rune wants her close, but not 'knife in face' close!
Madison Perry 2016-11-20 23:40:03 61000
    Madison hisses a pleased snarl as her knife-blade cuts Rune's arm, though the Princess continues to be just slippery enough to escape major injury. "I have to give you this, Princess, you ain't easy to kill!" Madison says, with what sounds like laughter or approval in her tone.

    "Nobody's trying to kill anybody, tonight!" She then says, smirking.. then adds, "Well, I wasn't planning on it. If I can finally put you down, I'll consider it a personal victory, though!"

    She swipes with her knife again, but she's in mid-swing when Runealy's Tiara explodes out that barrage of sparkles, and she half-dives aside, the attack indeed driving her back several yards through the air although it doesn't seem to have done any damage other than a few small smoking patches on her coat.

    "You really outta learn when you're outmatched.." Madison says as she rights herself and brushes off her arm- though it does seem like she's slower than usual, with one arm and one eye out of commission.
Runealy Waldia 2016-11-20 23:51:10 61001
"If it was just me, maybe it'd be okay if I died." This is an oddly low-toned response from Rune. "But I'd drag others down with me!" She has no illusions that this somehow makes her impossible to kill, but it /is/ a fine incentive to not get killed if it can be helped. Is she outmatched? Possibly so. Madison seems to have a certain edge and viciousness to her that Rune can't bring herself to match, and it's possible Madison is more experienced too... perhaps even outright more powerful.

Nonetheless, Runealy's wand emits a yellow ray from its tip, a 'blade' of her own as she lunges at Madison with a midsection-aimed thrust! "You know, I thought I actually killed you near the rooftops..." This isn't a boast, it almost sounds like a guilty admission.
Madison Perry 2016-11-20 23:58:30 61003
    "If they can't survive on their own, they don't deserve to!" Madison spits back as Runealy states her reason for wanting to stay alive. "And that goes for you too, Princess! Only the strong are worthy to live, and the only way you can prove you are strong is to fight.. and win!"

    It does seem like Madison gets a demented joy out of the act of violence- even injured as she is, she is grinning as Runealy forms a blade out of her wand and thrusts at her. Madison's dagger intercepts it skillfully with a hissing clang, and she laughs as the Princess reminds her of their encounter a year before. "Maybe it'd be better if you had, huh? I went through a lot of misery in that crappy jail because of you."

    She pushes hard, sliding her knife along the energy-blade in an attempt to unbalance her opponent, then spinning to slash out again. "In the end though, it worked out! Here I am, getting to prove once again that I survive for a reason!"
Runealy Waldia 2016-11-21 00:02:56 61004
In hindsight - a half-second after the deflection happens - Rune is not surprised by this; she just went for a blade-to-blade fight, and that's something Madison is probably far better at. "Society wouldn't even work if everyone acted like that! Who makes homes, who makes food, who... ughk!"

She's interrupted mid-sentence as Madison's slash rides the princess' wand, and this time connecting with a good cut just below the chest. Runealy trips backward in shock from the blow, one that probably would have been fatal if it had been a few inches deeper or higher. It has, in any event, cut off any further immediate remarks from Rune. Wand sweeping up to try to push Madison's arms above where Rune is aiming, she cuts loose with a pair of thin red rays from its tip; these aren't 'blades', but rather energy shots meant to blast her enemy outright!
Madison Perry 2016-11-21 00:14:58 61007
    Below, the crowd is dispersing- there haven't been any additional explosions, and the people who had earlier been bustling about the mall happily have now almost all fled, screams and shouts still echoing from the nearby streets, as well as the wailing of approaching police sirens.

    None of this seems to be of particular concern to Madison though- if she had another mission here, it's clearly been put aside so she can focus on fighting Runealy. She grunts in satisfaction as her second cut lands, though Runealy is able to escape a truly dire injury.

    "Society ain't my concern." She scoffs, as she flips her knife around. The Grief Seed hanging around her neck pulses again, its glow somewhat brighter than it seemed to be earlier in the fight. "Tasty, ain't it, Flower?" She laughs, crouching to prepare for another attack, when suddenly Rune fires off those two energy rays.

    Madison had clearly been expecting another blade-like swipe, and is momentarily caught off guard. She raises her knife to deflect the rays, and indeed does deflect one, her Device throwing up a small shield. But she's also not used to only having one. The second ray strikes her in the shoulder, the one of her injured arm, and she all but yelps in pain as she spins around from the impact.

    "Dammit!" She tries to fight herself, but the sudden pallor on her face is a clear indication that her injuries are far from healed.
Runealy Waldia 2016-11-21 00:27:04 61008
Rune /finally/ notices the glow from the Grief Seed, and vague notions of a deeper truth start to form. They're not complete, not yet, but she understands this is significant. "You should worry about it. Without society, nobody will get anything done!"

Able to stand up now that Madison has lost some momentum, the princess sees an opportunity to possibly end this. Boot wings flare once more, hurling Runealy skyward... and now she is aiming down, almost straight-down, at her enemy. It occurs to Rune that while Madison is acting monstrous, this is not literally the same as 'a monster'; demon-sealing magic probably won't work. This leaves her other option to go with. "Waldiaaa..."

The large green gem-tip detaches from her wand, though another grows to replace it. This one also detaches, and the cycle continues until five of them form a star pattern in front of Rune. "Burst!" A sixth forms in the center of the star.

Then with a final shout of "Reign!", the orbs detonate into a wide spray of emerald sparkles showering down in Madison's direction. Whether they make contact with her, or solid ground, or something else entirely, they each burst in a tiny explosion of their own!
Madison Perry 2016-11-21 00:35:48 61011
    "Oh, I wouldn't be so sure about that.." Madison growls, her voice both pained and annoyed, either by Rune or by her lack of ability to fight to her full potential- possibly both. Uninjured, she has been proven to be able to stalmate, if not actually beat, three or four opponents at once. It's likely rather frustrating to her to find herself being overwhelmed by Runealy alone.

    Case in point- Runealy launches herself up and then comes straight down, firing off a rather sizable attack in the form of those six green gems which each detonate into a flurry of sparkles, which then eat detonate in turn. "Heartrazor! Shield!" Madison cries, holding up her single dagger, but it seems that without both in play, even the strength of the Device is halved.

    A swirling red magic circle shield does materialize, and for a few moments it stands up to the onslaught, but then with a loud cracking sound it falters, then shatters into glowing fragments. The remaining exploding sparkles strike Madison, hurling her down towards the ground trailing smoke.

    For a moment, it seems like she might have been knocked out completely. Then the Grief Seed on her chest pulses with light again, and a strange... distortion forms in the air around her, shimmering like in a heat wave. Her slow falls, so instead of slamming into the ground, she almost gently touches down on the pavement.

    A second later, she grunts, rising up unsteadily. "Dammit, you're supposed to be storing power, not using it!" She curses at the Seed, although again it makes no audible reply. She takes a moment to look up at Runealy, but is obviously not in any shape to continue the fight.

    "Oh well.. tonight was a net gain, at least. Hey Princess! When I'm all healed up, we'll do this again! Look forward to it!" And then she's turning to blast off into the sky at reckless speed, vanishing between the buildings.
Runealy Waldia 2016-11-21 00:52:54 61013
Rune tenses herself, pouring heart and energy in to her barrage even as Madison raises a defense against it. Eventually, to her own surprise, she punches through! When her foe falls, the princess sags in relief. "Finally... I... wha!?" Is the fight still on? That sudden glow would seem to suggest it.

...No, something else is happening. Madison's stall has stabilized. The princess prepares another attack, but her shot hits nothing but parking lot concrete; Madison is moving by the time another wand orb flies out. "No we won't, I'm not giving you the chance!" Rune doesn't want to outright kill Madison, but does want to /stop/ her.

This thought causes her to land, then launch again in pursuit with wand orbs being launched one after another! ...They spiral off into the distance uselessly, however; Madison is too far away and too fast to catch. The princess lands once more, wincing as her transformation ends. She takes no particular delight in this victory, and is unsure if it even /was/ a win. Regardless, someone ought to know about it. Walking with a limp to leave the area and find a good place to bring her personal limo driver to for pick-up, she begins working her Virtue-issued phone and clumsily trying to figure out how to send a report through it. Given her issues with technology, this is going to take a while...