The Fast and the Fasterer


When Mahou Shoujo dream of speed there is no evil that can catch up.

Date: 2017-05-07
Pose Count: 41
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-07 19:09:52 76040
    Another day goes by and as the evening draws to a close, it's getting closer and closer to the time that most of the denizens of Tokyo turn in, crawl under the sheets, close their eyes, and rest up to be ready for the start of a new day to come. There's just one problem... People around the city have been having less and less restful sleep. Strange dreams, more frequent nightmares, and sudden interruptions in sleep have slowly been on the rise.
    But for the moment, the populace at large is... Largely unaware and getting ready to do it all over again. Like right now.
    Going to sleep will have strange results tonight. Everyone will find themselves on the streets of Tokyo in broad daylight. Though it's not quite right... Have you ever had one of those dreams of being in an unfamiliar part of town, but you were able to swear up and down you've been there before? Eaten at that ramen restaurant? Know all the great spots-- even though the neighborhood doesn't in actuality exist at all? It is exactly like that; the familiar streets of a sector of Tokyo... That doesn't exist at all. Bright lights, bustling stores, the savory smells of street stands of a street fair in full swing.
    And amid it all, Ariel is on a corner, seated on her giant dog's back, scratching her head, glitter and sparkles shedding from silvery hair as she scrunches her face. Looking completely confused.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-07 19:15:26 76041
    Kokoro believes she knows quite well why she's having strange dreams lately. After all, coming to Tokyo and within your first week there becoming a magical girl is a pretty huge life change. If anything she's been having some trouble sleeping at all. But the lack of sleep catches up eventually, and the world's grumpiest thundergirl finally goes out like a light.

    Only to find herself in a place she doesn't know, and yet she knows. And there's a girl there. On a dog. A girl shedding sparkles. "...Okay, what the hell is going on," she says in a deadpan tone, looking around.
Sora Hisakata 2017-05-07 19:17:56 76042
Sitting on the ground, leaning against a wall is an equally confused Sora. She's near Kokoro, flipping through a book that's both strangely familiar to her and completely alien. "I dunno." She answers in a tone of 'I don't give a damn' and she flips another page of her book. "The sparkle girl and her dog don't seem hostile, so I don't really care?"
Lacrima 2017-05-07 19:19:01 76043
Lacrima wakes up. She isn't in her coffin. Or her closet. Or even bed. She just is. She's swore she woke up from a daydream except she's in the usual outfit she is when she dreams. But this is not the usual Inqusition raid she's used to waking up in , in confusion.

This place seems familiar. But not in a way she's actually familiar with. It's strange as she frowns and shakes her head off of it. She's suddenly in a dream which means....

Ah. There we are. There's the unicorn girl on top of the giant dog's back. She steps over as she looks around. The other dream they were in started like this too. Uneventuful and non threating. Then a giant castle bust out of the ground.

That hasn't happened yet at least. "Ariel-chan." she says out with a short nod of 'hello'.

"Where are we this time?" she asks. "Do you know what's happening?" she wonders.

Her eyes turn to the newcomver. She head tilts. "That girl looks confused." she says. "I don't think she's part of the dream." she says.

"Hello?" the young vampire girl calls out to Kokoro. Then her eyes turn to Sora. "Sora-chan. Hello." she says.

"...Hrm. That's odd. Ariel. Did you. Call us here. Or...?" she looks confusingly to Ariel a moment, now. She figured she was summoned. Maybe that isn't the case.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-07 19:21:18 76044
"I wish I knew," comes a voice familiar to Kokoro, puzzled and musing. A short ways away from the thundergrump, Rashmi is frowning at the street, bespectacled eyes drifting back and forth, nose twitching as unfamiliar scents drift across it.

"Pretty sure this isn't *actually* a place, though. I wonder what we're doing here...?"

Her wandering gaze finds Lacrima, and her eyes widen briefly, then narrow. "Um, s'cuse me?" she calls to the vampire. "Is this your fault? Only, I'd like to get the speeches out of the way if we have to."
Koji Silvia 2017-05-07 19:22:29 76045
The next thing to appear isn't what people might expect... but hey... this is a dream, isn't it? Right now one half of Koji Silvia is currently in the middle of playing Phantasy Star Online 2 with some friends... killing a lazy sunday afternoon. This is the kind of thing that Tyrfing HATES. That the boy could be training or doing something useful with his time... so the Unity Knight puts itself into an idle mode.

And this is where the weirdness happens.

The other half appears here in this new Tokyo. A six and a half foot tall anthromorphic snow leopard feline male, wearing armored pants, shoulder guards, and bracers. Big teal feline eyes blind, and then turns to look at and address the others with a germanically accented voice, "If one of you hacked me, I guarantee you're not going to find my defenses so easy to..."

There's a pause from the beastman as he looks directly at Rashmi, "Oh. You."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-05-07 19:22:33 76046
Amidst the street bustle and chatter, a distinctive sound rings out - the rhythmic striking of metal-shod hooves on pavement. It's not entirely out of the ordinary here in Tokyo, to see a police horse on patrol at a street fair like this.

They're usually not ridden by samurai, though.

Akashimaru is long inured to the surprise of finding herself in a dream not her own. Still, the situation is an odd one. More than anything else, it's seeing Ariel and Lucky that brings a look of surprise to Akashimaru's face, and she steers her big dark bay horse in that direction. "Ariel," she calls. "This wasn't you...?"
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-07 19:32:20 76047
    It's pretty strange isn't it? Well the food carts smell nice and there certainly is a lot of action, even if every 'person' around has a blur for a face, But for the most part they are oblivious to the dreamers present.
    Ariel purses her lips, seemingly in her own universe of trying to figure out what the heck is going on when Kokomo catches her off guard.
    Bleat!
    The horned girl nearly jumps off her riding-dog's back before turning around, golden eyes wide, to find that more and more people are showing up. "Wah!" It's a shocked look of recognition and surprise as she stares at Kokomo like a deer trapped in headlights, until she regains her composure with a breath. "Um! I'm pretty completely sort of totally sure Lacrima didn't do this." She notes to Rashmi first and foremost. "Wh-what why would I be hostile?" She asks of Sora, looking genuinely confused. "... Hacked?"
    Floppy ears prick up at the familiar sound of hooves, though, and Ariel gives Akashimaru a struggling look. "I didn't." She confirms before looking to the others to explain everything. "This is all a dream."
    Pause.
    "No really I mean it, this is someone's dream." She adds on realizing how insane that might sound to the new faces. "But I don't know who's."
    Funny... Was that the sounds of engines revving angrily from down the block?
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-07 19:53:24 76049
    Wait. Did that unicorn girl just get called 'Ariel'? Kokoro's brow furrows. Where has she heard that name before? Why does the sparkling girl remind her of something?

    "-and what the hell are you doing in my dreams now?" Kokoro adds out loud, pretty much the instant she spots Rashmi. It's more exasperated than genuinely angry, thankfully. The other weirdos, Kokoro seems to have accepted as just part of the dream, but-

    That bleat. That bleat. "Oh my god. The girl from the train. You... you..."

    She stops. She looks around. "...I'm not dreaming. Oh my god, I'm not dreaming." Apparently, someone is, but it's not hers. Which means all these people are really here. And Ariel is really a unicorn. "What has my life become." It's not really a question. Just a general grouse.
Lacrima 2017-05-07 19:54:12 76050
Lacrima ftrowns. That girl from the warehouse....

"I had nothing to do with this. I'm sure if I had such an ability I'd have no problem feeding as I do." she huffs. Her eyes look back over to Ariel and nods. "See?" she says in that slightly smarmy tone of 'told you so'. That she can pull off.

Her eyes retrace over to Kokoro and she purses her lips and looks back to Ariel. "Someone you know?" she asks.

She frowns once more to the other claiming a hack. "This is a dream. Not a VR simulation." she says.

She then turns her attention to the revving happening down the way.

"...What is that." she says more to herself. Not that others can't hear her anyways as her eyes look to Akashimaru. "Hello, again." she says politely.

She looks over Kokoro as she head tilts and walks over. "Are you okay? You seem to be panicing." she says. "I suggest you don't do that and relax."
Sora Hisakata 2017-05-07 19:56:11 76051
"Your life has become much more interesting. Time will tell whether this is a good thing. Personal experience suggests it's not." Sora answers Kokoro with a casual shrug, and then she looks towards Ariel and adds for her, "Well the thing is, I don't know you but your appearance suggests you're powerful, so the question for someone like me has to be 'do I need to look for help' or 'am I going to be fine' because if you were hostile, I'd be in trouble." She doesn't seem to recognize Ariel.

Lacrima gets a squint and a shrug, "Whatever is going on, I'm trusting you to protect me, Lacrima, don't let me down." The others present get a somewhat wary squint, and she raises a hand in greeting. "Sora Hisakata. Former magical girl." She doesn't mention the kind of magical girl she used to be, and turns back to Ariel. "So what should we expect?"
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-07 20:01:20 76052
"Okay, okay," Rashmi says, holding up placating hands at Lacrima as she and Ariel vouch for her innocence. "Just, well, the factory. Anyway--"

Which is when the 'You's come out, and the dark-skinned redhead begins to look uncertain, unused to a relatively large number of people objecting to her presence. "So..... um..... does anyone know who's driving that *car,* then?"
Koji Silvia 2017-05-07 20:03:04 76053
He just sort of looms there over most of these girls, the impression of beastliness taller and broader enough that some of them could ride on his shoulders. The fluffiness probably doesn't hurt either, but for the moment Knight Tyrfing is still glaring at Rashmi like this is somehow her fault. Sweeping eyes take in Kokoro for a moment, and then back again. About the only person who's not shorter than him by a good bit is the girl on the horse, but that hardly seems to phase the beast-man, as he manifests a sword of silver-white energy in his hand.

Relatively ignored for the moment, except for Lacrima, the beastman replies to her, "Why does it not surprise me that I get pulled into a scenario involving her. I continually warn him about being nice to you people, but he never listens. Damned nuisance."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-05-07 20:09:54 76054
From her high vantage point in the saddle, the samurai girl in red surveys the others who've gathered in this dream. Lacrima gets a nod of acknowledgement, but as to the others... unfamiliar faces, all. All but Ariel, anyway.

"Could be the dreamer," she says in answer to Rasmi's question. "Or it could be something else. It's probably important, though." As she speaks, she shifts the reins into one hand, freeing the other to settle against the tessen that's tucked into her belt. The horse seems to pick up on her sense of anticipation; its hooves stamp restlessly, fidgeting in place, as though eager to move.
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-07 20:21:43 76055
    The look on Ariel's face is perhaps the most sheepish of forced smiles in unicorn history, at Kokoro. "T-Technically you are dreaming. I just don't think it's your dream." She says softly, when the girl puts the pieces together. Lucky lifts a paw I greeting, even. "Wuff."
    "We've met." Ariel confirms awkwardly when prompted. But then quietly stares at Sora, pointing one finger at herself curiously.
    Powerful???
    She snaps out of it fast though to answer. "I'm not sure just yet, anything can-..."
    Almost as though on Akashimaru's cue, the 'people' are cleared out explosively, a streak of blue smashing them aside on the street carelessly like cardboard boxes. Which seems to be okay, as the faceless mob seem more like set pieces for the dream than actual entities. And that bolt of blue zips clean by everyone and into the distance. Before pausing. Zipping backwards. And stopping among everyone. It's a boy, wearing in-line skates and goggles. And he speaks a mile a minute.
    "Sup! Name's Blitz and I keep things up to speed around here. By the way you might wanna get on the move, got a few nightmares eating my dust, bythewaycatch."
    That is about all the explanation that happens before he tosses something for Rashmi to catch, and then blitzes off again.
    It looks like a miniature can of nitrous.
    Which might come in handy as six jet black drag race cars come barreling down the road, smashing aside anything in their path. And the cityscape CHANGES. The flat and smooth street warping in a hazy blur into a steep downward hill.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-07 20:30:43 76056
    "I'm fine," Kokoro replies to Lacrima, her voice sharp. "...I just wish I knew why my life's become some kind of strange manga ever since I came back to Tokyo." She glances aside at Sora, and adds in a vaguely irritated tone, "Yeah, that's a pretty big questionmark." She doesn't seem to have anything in particular to say about Rashmi's presence at the moment - other than what she's already said, of course. But she does turn her head when Tyrfing stares; and curiously enough, meets his gaze fearlessly, straight on. For a moment or two, at least. That engine sound is really getting-

    What the hell is this blue guy. What the hell are those cars, what the hell is that can and what the hell just happened to the city?! "Oh my god, and now some random dream guy is getting us involved in- gaaaaaah!" Well, now she really IS fuming. Briefly, Kokoro whirls around, pointing at the rest of the group. "Alright, none of you saw this, none of you know me, you meet me on the street this didn't happen, we clear?"

    Then Kokoro flings something into the air.

    It looks like a tiny little hammer, something you'd put on a charm bracelet. Except as it flips through the air, it grows... and grows, and grows. By the time it hits the ground with a *crunch*, head-first, it's grown to the size of a large warhammer, crackling with electricity. The tall girl slings her own hand out and snags the handle, hefting the weapon up and hauling it in a circle around herself, while lightning crackles down the hammer across her body. Clothes reshape, reform, becoming crimson fabric, leather, metal. Her hair crackles, lifts up, shifts from brown to crimson, while her completely-uncovered eyes turn a vibrant violet color.

    By the time Kokoro settles the hammer on her shoulder and steps out into the street, she's completely changed. "Hey. Unicorn girl. Ariel. We just gotta stop these things, right?" And the lead car gets a single finger pointed at it, a challenge that needs no words. Just a stern look.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-07 20:37:24 76057
When you're a newbie magical girl...

You find yourself in the strangest situations as a matter of course, and often victory or death can ride on how well you think under pressure.

Which is a shame, because already unbalanced by people upset at her for being, then tossed a strnge thing by an even stranger kid, Rashmi is well and truly on her mental back foot by the time the evil drag racers round the corner.

Luckily, however, this is a dream, and dreams might not necessarily *require* transformation sequences. In the space between two flickers as Kokoro transforms, Rashmi is wearing at least a dream copy of her Barrier Jacket, eyes still the size of dinener-plates and locked on to the Dragsters, nitrous canister clutched tightly to her chest.

The sound that comes out of her throat can only really be described as *squeep* and in another moment she's off and running in the general direction of 'away.'
Lacrima 2017-05-07 20:42:56 76058
The sounds pick up then this guy stops and tosses something to Rashmi and talks really fast and she blinks as she looks back to Ariel. "What?"

"Why would he give us something like that?" she asks scratching her head. Oh he's being chased. And they want that?

"You uh. You better. Move. I think." she says to Rashimi as she looks to Kokoro. She blinks. "Oh. You're new. Don't worry. You'll get used to it. A cursed necklace stole all my positive emotions then turned me into an undead vampire." she says flatly. "Sure whatever you're going through can't be as bad as that." she insists.

She looks to Tyrfing. "I don't think this is that girls fault. Fight about it later. Somethings coming." she says as she looks back into the distance.

Dragsters!? She frowns a bit and looks over to Sora. "Sora-chan. You outta find a safer place to hide. I don't think you'll survive being hit by one of these things and I'm not sure of dream mechanics and death yet." she says.

"I always assume it's worse case. Like those American horror movies."
Koji Silvia 2017-05-07 21:03:55 76059
The beastman's demeanor seems to change the moment there's a threat to be dealt with, and he looks around at the group and the departing Rashmi. He holds one big hand out in front of him and declares loudly, "Kampfflugmodus einleiten!"

Behind him a triangle-shaped magical seal appears and floats there, then causes his armored boots to float up off the ground as more silver-blue energy seems to act like steps of light for him.

As he flexes his legs to move, Tyrfing declares in a rather gruff tone, "Listen up. This is just like these human video games, or those cartoons... I've seen things something this before. Separate into two teams. The fastest or most maneuverable of us, you're the runners. You carry the target. Best fighters, pair off, two of us for each of them. If your runner is going to be overwhelmed, throw to the other group, and fall back to play defense. Don't focus on beating up the bad guys... they'll just come back. Get to the finish line!"

He pushes off, and it almost looks like he's SKATING as he goes to catch up with Rashmi, snarling out hard, "Hey Hammer Girl! Stop messing around and get up here! Her right flank's vulnerable! Isn't Rashmi your FRIEND?!"

Now that he's beside Rashmi, Tyrfing adds in a slightly more subdued tone, "They won't touch you. My word on it."
Sora Hisakata 2017-05-07 21:05:46 76060
Sora believes she can go fast, it's a dream after all, she's pretty sure she's not bound by the laws of reality, so she runs. And then, she trips, goes flying and in her panic forgets it's just a dream and crashes into the side of a building, upper half through the window, and she lets out a soft pained cry, pushes herself back and turns around, no longer quite believing that she can go fast, at least for the moment.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-05-07 21:11:45 76061
WELP. The nature of the dream has made itself clear, and the time for discussion is gone, replaced by the time for action. Catching Tyrfing's words, Akashimaru wheels her mount around, raising her tessen high as the dark horse crowhops and dances in place with eagerness to run. "I'll go with that strategy," she declares. "Ariel! Let's move!"

As soon as she says it she gives the horse his head. He surges forward, hooves hammering sparks from the pavement with the sudden burst of speed and power. At the same moment, the iron fan in Akashimaru's hand flashes with red light, arcing into the curve of a bow, and the samurai girl twists in the saddle to aim a heavy black arrow at one of the black racecards.

It's hardly the best situation for accuracy, but not for nothing were samurai once known as mounted archers, after all.
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-07 21:26:14 76062
    When Blitz blazes off, Ariel is left staring at where the resident Dream Guardian was standing for a few more seconds. Then she catches up on the fact that he's gone. "Ah that's important-" She chirps at the sight of the nitrous, stating the obvious.
    The nightmare dragsters aren't going to stop for anytihng. The six of them driving in formations, blazing down the street and leaving trails of inky dark black flames in their wake, if anything they only pick up more speed when the nitrous is passed to Rashmi. Ariel is still staring like a deer in headlights by the time the now-hammer-wielding girl calls out to her.
    "But I saw that and I met you on the train..." She murmurs, clearly not getting the human concept of 'keep thine lips sealed'.
    But Akashimaru's words ring true. It is time to move. And Ariel bleats as the dragsters come blazing along, on a collision course for Kokoro. The one in the lead kicking up gear and intending to ram the hammer girl aside. It smashes into her full force.
    And crumples against her like it just slammed a wall. The others break formation, splitting around her and streaking on a course... To chase Rashmi down, while another dark racer comes streaking from around a corner to replace the wreck, confirming Tyrfing's assessment.
    Just like that, Lucky is off like a bullet, Ariel clinging to the hound's neck as they start to race down the hill, leaping a parked car and landing without a break in speed, four paws skidding to brake just long enough to gently scrape Sora from her crash and toss her on his back. As Akashimaru's arrow embeds perfectly in an engine, causing one of the dragsters to skid onto its side and force the others to slow fractionally to get around it.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-07 21:30:47 76063
    Kokoro doesn't even look Tyrfing's way. "I think you got the wrong idea. I ain't got any friends. Never have." Her entire attention is focused on the charging vehicle. "Besides. If one of these things gets up after I hit it-!" That hammer of hers comes off her shoulder, swung up into a two-handed grip as the charging vehicle approaches. The head crackles with lightning, the towering magical girl heaves the weapon up overhead-

    And swings it down and around, almost like a bat. CRUNCH.

    "...Then I'll just swing again." Whatever ego Kokoro might have, she's at least smart enough not to stay in one place. As the rest of them blow by, Kokoro swings her hammer up onto her shoulder again, a few last arcs of electricity crackling across it. "And if I gotta take these things apart to keep them off someone, then-!" And then she puts that immense strength of hers to work; she might not have any kind of true superspeed, but the strength in her legs at least means she can book it faster than an ordinary person easily, which means that she'll be able to catch up to this race. And probably go right through any unfortunate cars that happen to be in her way. Just... don't expect her to be able to-

    WHUD.

    -turn.
Lacrima 2017-05-07 21:35:17 76064
Lacrima looks to Sora and facefaults as she facepalms. "Sora. Just go fast. you'll be fine. You can here." she says. "As for me..." one of those dragsters are coming and she deftly leaps into the air and on the nose of one. She steps daintily along the front until she kicks the window open--- looking into erriely empty driver seat despite it's intent of nightmare attack.

She jumps in and the top closes as he places her hands to the wheel as she grits her teeth and reaches out her dark will across it. The dragster gains an awesome purple paint job and also a batwing fin. Probbaly better not to think about it too hard.

She has taken complete control. Good. At least of this dragster. Which is enough. She'll begin to veer it to the right to try to begin to drive the one immediatly next to it off track. Nevermind Dragsters aren't made for turns-- it's a dream. Hers is. /Magic/!
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-07 21:46:07 76066
Rashmi Terios glances at Tyrfing, nodding faintly... but something in her eyes goes brittle, as Kokoro flatly deies any friendships they may have. Dodging past an oncoming streetlamp, she draws in a deep breath, and tugs an oversized, armored book from somewhere behind her. "I hope this works," she mutters, and an intricate, revolving circle filled with runes, more circles, and squares sketched in golden yellow light opens up beneath her feet -- and stays beneath her, no matter how fast she runs.

With a grunt of effort, she leaps off the street, loosing all her stored breath in a ringing shout.

< NICOMACHEA! AIR LINER! >

The circle just beneath her feet bursts outward, creating a wide ribbon of runes and lines that loops, swerves, and in general produces a track that would have to play merry hell with anyone trying to make a beeline for her position. Looking down at the nitrous tank, she presses her lips into a thin line, twists the valve at the top...

...And the sound of air rushing in to fill the void behind her creates a fairly impressive thunderclap.
Koji Silvia 2017-05-07 21:58:19 76067
The big beast-man hmphs hard as Kokoro denies involvement, and Rashmi demonstrates her school of magic. The triangle-design that floats behind his back by a few inches is spewing streamers of magical energy like thrusters is nothing compared to the thrust that Rashmi gives herself, and he just grits his fangs, "Typical."

So he turns himself and begins to ride backwards to cover Rashmi now, watching the other girls as they catch up, and then holds up his free hand. Another triangle diagram appears in the air as he says with a roar, "THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE GIRL! <FEUER-MODUS SCHNELL BARRET!>"

The diagram begins to almost literally spin up like a tri-barrel machinegun, and soon there's a barrage of silver-blue energy bolts flying through the air... but not at the targets farthest ahead. Instead, he's firing for cover on the girl with the hammer so she's not overwhelmed being so far back.
Sora Hisakata 2017-05-07 22:03:46 76068
And then Sora is on top of giant floof. She blinks and then holds on tight, not looking forward to the idea that she may fall off, but grateful for the ability to hitch a ride away from those things, "So what exactly is with those guys anyway?" She asks while she the opportunity, paying some attention to the various magics that surround her.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-05-07 22:16:39 76069
If there was any doubt, the futility of trying to make a stand-up fight against a team of nightmare racecars is confirmed by the appearance of another one joining the pack. This battle is going to be one of speed - and right now, Rashmi's way ahead of all of them thanks to the boost from that blue bottle.

They need to catch up.

"GO!" Akashimaru bellows, and still gripping her bow she stands up in the stirrups and crouches forward in the saddle, bending low over the horse's neck until its mane is practically whipping against her face. The dark bay stretches out into a full gallop, tearing down the street at a breakneck pace. His rider's scarlet sleeves and long tail of hair stream out in the wind of their speed like banners.

Up ahead, the street twists into a hairpin turn that doubles back over a bridge across a concrete-walled canal... and Akashimaru sees a chance to make up some distance. It's nothing that a car can cross, but rather than make the turn, the samura girl grips a handful of mane and points her mount straight at the dizzying gap--

--and barely breaking stride, the big bay makes a tremendous leap, legs bunching up to his body to clear the canal in one mighty jump and land on the other side in a fantastic clashing of hooves.

"Hey!" Akashimaru yells ahead to Rashmi. "Don't let yourself get cut off!"
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-07 22:29:07 76070
    It's getting to be a nightmarishly chaotic race down the hill, but Kokoro should be able to put on enough speed to catch up to the dragsters. The stragglers are probably about to have a very bad time, between her and Tyrfing's spell providing cover fire; but for every dark racer crushed or wiped off the road-- or hijacked as Lacrima assumes direct control- are replaced, swinging indangerously around corners and from alleys, soon joined by heavy duty muscle cars and dark sedans with roaring engines, for each one the DRAGULA rams off the road.
    For the moment, Ariel and Sora are sharing the 'saddle' on Lucky's back, but Ariel is letting her hound handle most of the 'driving' for the moment. "They're nightmares." She answers. "They want to take what's important from this dream and leave nothing left but darkness and terror." Explained further. Which means that bottle in Rashmi's possession is more important than anything else.
    A problem might arise when there's another blur. It's not just speed, as the dream shifts again, the ground quaking beneath feet and tires, concrete ripping apart and splitting into massive rifts in the earth, forming ramps and jumps and giant deadly pitfalls, and a maze of underground pipe work and steel girders jutting out from nearby buildings creating an obstacle course, forcinf Ariel to leap off Lucky's back. She hits a girder running and streaks up the mangled steel in a silvery blur before she's running at top speed perpendicular to the ground on a building wall.
    The bottom of the hill is coming into view, Blitz waving frantically from atop a police cruiser with its sirens and lights blazing, amid a line of them forming a blocade. That looks like the finish line.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-07 22:37:16 76071
    So what. So what if they keep reappearing for every one that goes down. So what if Kokoro keeps slamming into walls. If she can just catch up, if she can just keep slamming one after another, it doesn't matter how many they can replace - the replacements will lose ground.

    Speaking of losing ground. "Holy crap...!"

    Kokoro redoubles her speed. Tiny electrical arcs dance across her calves and feet. She charges, faster, faster still, and then leaps, aiming to land herself on the rearmost car. But she only gives it the most cursory smash. Almost a smack in passing. Her main goal is to leap to the next. And the one after that, and the one after that. To get herself to the front of the pack, where she can start smashing and crushing whichever ones might take the lead, ensuring that they have a hard time doing anything but 'skidding off into pitfalls' or 'crashing wildly'.

    ...no, she's not quite targeting "the front of the pack". It's more like she's targeting "whichever nightmare dragsters seem to present the most threat to Rashmi", whether that be the frontmost one, or the one that looks like it has the best path. So it's almost, but not quite the same.
Lacrima 2017-05-07 22:43:22 76072
Lacrima is speeding down the way, driving cars off road and all that. She doesn't know how to drive, but in the dream she does because she knows she can because it's a dream. She's in control of the youma. This thing may aswell be an extension of herself at the moment. Speaking of which. When it comes to jumps the thing ejects it's wheels and the big bat fin seems to expand and slide back into the car to become some sort of plane.

She makes the jump deftly and easy like this as the thing resolves back to hovering and keeping up with the others. She kind of wants to imagine this thing with a big missle on the front now but... well. That may be overdoing it. So instead, Lacrima resolves to continue F-Zero crash into more speeding chasing vehicles. She's wrecking THE DRAGULA in the process now, but what does she care for some nightmare she's controlling? The thing needs to be put down when this is all said and done anyways.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-07 22:44:10 76073
The speed wears off after only an eyeblink... which is probably for the best, because Rashmi is significantly more green in the cheeks than she started, near the end of her hard-light racetrack. Her eyes scan the dreamscape for her allies, and upon spotting Akashimaru, she rears back, hurling the bottle at the cavalrymahou. As an immediate follow-up, she waves her book open, pointing two pages of animated, scrolling rune-work and dense symbology. < ACCELERATION -- BOOST UP! >

Another, much smaller, ribbon of golden light streaks from between the pages, darting down to wrap itself around the horse's foreleg, gently revolving an inch away from skin, warming like direct sunlight--

And increasing his landspeed by a factor of lots.

Waving Tyrfing after the bottle, and by extension Akashimaru, she doubles over at the very edge of her light ribbon, gaaaaaaaaaaasping for breath.
Koji Silvia 2017-05-07 22:59:19 76074
Watching Kokoro lance past like that, Tyrfing's head snap-follows her movements, and then looks up and around at the changes in the terrain. This part works with him, as he boosts off the ground and hits the first angled wall. Instead of going for speed, he uses the new area to continually kick off and get altitude over the wrecked track. Kicking, flipping, bursts from his back giving him more air until he can fling out both hands and declares, <Griffkette.>

Twin lances of chain-shaped energy reach out and grip to a street-lamp and exposed piping to give him a kind of slingshot like Spiderman. Pulling back, he then says, <Einfahren!>

The chains pull in hard, nearly yanking the streetlight free from the ground and bending the pipe some, but the end result is that he goes flying through the air, flipping and twisting, just to land next to Akashimaru. The thrust of the magic behind him grows longer, and he shoots forwards and ahead of her... but only for a moment.

Suddenly, his entire body becomes silver-blue energy, a flare in the grunge and darkness of the course. His arms go wide and then his voice takes an echo-like quality before declaring, <Vereinigungsmodus!>

Akashimaru and her valiant steed pass through his aura and tranform once more! Both horse and rider are now clad as techno-future samurai. Molded chrome lamellar covering the horse's head, legs and flanks, the saddle looking almost like something meant for a motorcycle. For the young woman herself, the molded and form-fitting armor surges her with strength, and a mecha-style Noh Mask lock over her face, giving her a high-tech heads-up display.

To top it all off, in her hands appears a long mecha-katana, the blade-edge glowing blue and leaving contrails with every movement.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-05-07 23:08:47 76075
Akashimaru's eyes widen as she catches sight of the bottle hurtling through the air toward her - one chance in a million to catch it, and she acts on instinct, no time even to transform the bow she's been clutching back into a tessen before she simply hauls back and flings it. "Hiraisen!"

The bow bursts into red sparks and becomes a fan spiraling through the air, red ribbon unspooling behind it as it arcs toward the bottle - and meets just right to go whipping around it, snagging the bottle in a coil of red that Akashimaru yanks back to her hand.

And not a moment too soon, because in the next instant Rashmi's spell winds around the horse's pistoning forelegs, and the lurch of sudden acceleration almost leaves the rider behind in midair. The hammering four-beat of galloping hooves merges into a single pounding beat, hooves coming down too fast to sount any more, and in the horse's wake is thrown up a cascade of golden sparks and spindly red petals.

"Oh shiiIIII---!"

Akashimaru's voice Dopplers by as horse and rider barrel right into Tyrfing's silver-blue aura and are transformed in it, gaining a distinct engine roar underlying the drumming of hooves now. Reins and stirrups are gone; in their place are handlebars extending from the horse's armor, exhaust pipes from the saddle, a more secure seat for the suddenly armed and armored samurai.

She can see the target now, highlighted clearly by the mask's HUD. With the nitrous bottle held securely against the front of her saddle, Akashimaru aims straight for it across the perilous ground, leaving behind her a trail of sparks and flame and slightly maniacal laughter.
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-07 23:27:04 76076
    Almost there. Almost there. The police line is only maybe a mile away. And with the speed put on in the past moment, that's just a few seconds away before Rashmi and everyone on her trail are home free and safe. But the course is still a shattered landscape, and for a good stretch it seems like the only 'ground' available to Kokoro ARE the cars she's leapfrogging on and smashing en passant to keep them from catching up.
    The gaps are no issue for a flying BATCAR streaking down the course like it came flying out of hell, the Dragula seeming better suited to aerial vehicular assault with Lacrima behind the wheel and bending it to alter to her will, unlike the other dark racers, which do not have the benefit of an imaginative young Noble in command, more of the nightmare cars swatted from the sky and falling into the endless yawning pits below.
    But Rashmi is putting on speed of her own. She's going to need it, by the time there IS ground to cover again. It's funny... How the death drops come to an end for another long straight path down the hill- allowing for TOP SPEED. Which might be necessary in a moment as the high octane dreamstuff is passed from the mage to the newly unison'd samurai. Ariel is no longer blitzing along the side of a building as she leaps for a power line, boots kicking up sparks all the way along as she grinds down the hill on her heels, arms flailing at first before catching her balance.
    The reason why the need for speed becomes apparent... When a building is smashed aside and a gigantic MACK TRUCK swerves onto the road, taking up the whole street, the sidewalk, and wide enough to grind against every building it passes.
    But it's a last ditch attempt by the forces of darkness.
    Everyone can practically taste that finish line.
Rashmi Terios 2017-05-07 23:35:32 76077
Having finally caught her breath... Rashmi groans, as the 18-wheeler roars onto the scene, eyes flicking left and right to search for the rest of her fellow racers. A muttered spell wraps ribbons around her own ankles, and she ninjas from building to building, trying to keep pace with the pack down on the road.

Kokoro's rampage seems to be continuing without pause, and the book is brought up for another little session of Midchildian Cheerleading.

< STRIKE -- BOOST UP! >

A golden ribbon twines around the Thundersmith's right wrist, and her already-not-inconsiderable strength surges upward. Rashmi gives the bigger student a smile that may or may not be seen from several stories up, and waves toward the semi. By now, Kokoro should know What To Do.
Lacrima 2017-05-07 23:42:44 76078
Lacrima can deal with cars but a giant semi is a little /too much/ to push off the track. She frowns and races towards the finish line, but not before coming to a screeching halt and doing this awesome skid turn towards the semi. She closes her eyes and the car becomes something more sleek less car like and more...missile like. Okay.

She presses on the gas, and then makes the gas dissapear, but before also letting herself phase through the car, turning into something black and smoke-like just for a second before reforming as the now missle-jet-slash-car is heading towards the semi- aiming to try to smash into it and blow it up.

Others are probably free to jump on it and ride into the semi if they feel so inclinded on it's war towards to crash into the semi spectacularly.

She sighs and shakes her head as she turns around and begins to walk the last few feet towards the finish line.

Cool Vampires don't look at the explosion, duh.
Kokoro Akakuma 2017-05-07 23:47:56 76079
    Later, Kokoro will once again wonder at her instincts. Wonder at how she understands just what she needs to do. But now's not the time... which, amusingly enough, is what her instincts are telling her. Now is the time to push for it. To make it to the finish line. And though she might be the slowest person here, even with the dream's speed boost, she's at least got enough to make a charge down the hill and sprint for the finish.

    But a giant truck might render the finish line's safety utterly useless. Oh no. Nooooo no no.

    As Kokoro Akakuma goes skidding down to the bottom of the hill, she slams her hammer into the ground, hauling herself to a halt through sheer friction (and probably chewing up a gouge in the ground at the same time). She turns and plants her feet, and already the electricity is crackling across her body, along her hammer... in her eyes? Oh, this is new.

    Those violet eyes light up, tiny arcs of lightning radiating outward, and the electrical storm building on the hammer surges. Her hand tenses, and she hefts the weapon up, and the charge around it intensifies. She takes it into both hands, and the sound of arcing electricity grows louder... and then Rashmi's boost spell latches onto her, amplifying not just her superhuman strength, but her lightning, which erupts into a veritable thunderstorm centered on the hammer.

    There's a mutter that's almost inaudible under all that electricity. Almost. "...thanks."

    And then Kokoro has no more time. There's a huge, speeding truck coming down the hill, and she's holding a thunderstorm in the shape of a hammer. At this point, there's only one thing left to do: Swing the hammer, at the exact moment the truck is going as fast as it will go.

    "HaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAA-!!"
Koji Silvia 2017-05-07 23:50:59 76080
The 'armor' on the horse shifts from looking like samurai lamellar armor into shifting surfaces like a jet's wings... allowing to maximize airflow. It extends to cover everything it can, joint-linkages glowing with blue energy as the horse itself seems to be subsumed into the form and becomes just as retro-mecha as the armor being worn by Akashimaru.

She is self-contained, sensor enabled, a series of commands for magical weaponry, her new sword, the speed control for the horse independent of the handle-bars as needed.

All of this and the voice in her 'head' that now says, "My Lady. All I have is yours to control." It's the voice of the beast-man, echoing in a electronic filter, but somehow the echo is the voice of a much younger man.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-05-08 00:10:52 76081
The high-tech armor, the sword, that voice - far too polite to be her past self's - it's all incredibly weird, but at the same time in that way of dream logic, Akashimaru understands completely. Or at least as much as she needs to. Behind the mask, unseen but perhaps felt in some way by her impromptu partner, she grins, sharp-edged and fierce.

"In that case..." she says, shifting her grasp on the blue nitrous bottle even as the calamity of the semi truck bears down somewhere behind. "...Let's take it up all the way it'll go."

Without pausing to consider how she knows how, she finds the fittings in the mecha-katana where the nozzle of the bottle will snap into place, and she gives it a twist.

Instantly the long blade hums, vibrating in her hands, ablaze with silver-blue and crimson light. Twisting in the saddle, she draws it back and swings full-force. Any last remaining obstacles, any wreckage of the semi truck that Lacrima and Kokoro's efforts might have sent tumbling ahead of them, the supercharged blade cleaves cleanly through in a massive sheet of brilliant light and trailing sparks as motor-horse and mecha-samurai come screaming across the last stretch to the safety of the police line.
Ariel Theodore 2017-05-08 00:29:30 76082
    That truck. That truck is coming right for them. But it's the end of the line. Even Blitz, the resident dream guarian looks like he's having second thoughts about standing at the finish line as the magical heroes come barrelling down at full force, the unstoppable truck bearing in hot on their heels.
    Apparently no one here has heard the word unstoppable before.
    The Dragula is sacrificed; the nightmare vehicle turned on nightmare on Lacrima's whim and will, displaying her dominance as a much stronger force of darkness, for the sake of good. Even as she disembarks, the dark bat-car continues on the course she sets it, slamming head on into the truck's grill. It keeps coming, ut the impact slams it hard enough to make the truck 'jump' on its front wheels, costing it a few seconds of speed, and giving the others a breath just long enough to prepare for it at the bottom and for Lacrima to walk past like a complete badass.
    Because apparently Kokoro Akakuma refuses to acknowledge the term unstoppable.
    Empowered by Rashmi, when she swings that hammer, the amount of force that it brought on the nightmare truck is utterly titanic. For a dream about speed, everything seems to happen in slow motion; lightning arcing off the hammer as it slams the truck grill with a thunderous impact. The grill crumples like tin foil. The entire hood of the truck compacts on itself like a soda can getting crushed. The glass windshield is pulverized, as the engine block is completely flattened, stopping the oversized vehicle dead in its tracks. But it still has momentum. And though the engine is smashed, the TRAILER comes swinging up from behind it in a violent arc sure to crush down on everything...
    Until Akashimafing swings. And the trailer, smashed engine, and street all the way up the hill are completely cleaved in half, the two halves splitting apart to crash harmlessly on either side of the finish line.
    With that done, the last of the nightmare racers are gone. IF there are any stragglers, and that is a big if, they limp away on flat tires and grinding axles, leaving everyone to catch their breath. And leaving Blitz to whistle approvingly. "I don't think I've seen speed like that before." She says.
    While Ariel collapses face first to the asphalt, panting, and eyes swirling. "Did we win the race?"

    @.@