Double Teamed

The time of Double Cross' energy draining helpful people's energy unhindered is over, and he faces not just one of Tokyo's Magical Heroes, but two of them: Cute Wolf Tsukiko and Nanoha Takamachi.

Date: 2017-09-02
Pose Count: 13
Michio Mori 2017-09-02 08:12:19 82245
    Earlier that day after school Michio Mori was out shopping for groceries. It was something he had to do often because he liked to make sure home cooked meals were eaten as often as possible, with prepackaged and process foods saved for when time was tight-- or when a treat was in order for deserts. That meant vegetables that would only stay fresh so long. Nor was he the type of person who would grab whatever was closet so long as it didn't have a brown spot, checking every piece of fruit and vegetable was the best, that every loaf of bread was fresh baked, and all the milk he bought was the furthest from expiring.

    The blue haired young man had been going about his business as normal when a young mother noticed him picking out some leeks, pausing for a moment as she noticed the scrutiny placed upon the long, leafy green vegetable. Odd for someone so young, but he truly seemed to care. Perhaps on a whim or some twist of fate the curly haired brunette approached him, striking up a short conversation before commenting on his discriminatory selection process and finally offering him her recipe for a creamy leek stew.

    At once Michio's expression softened and warmed, quickly retrieving a small shopping list and flipping it over so the recipe could be written down. Butter, carrots and mushrooms he already had in his basket, and the spices and rice he had at home. All he'd need now was the chicken and bacon(!) and he'd be set for a delicious dinner tonight, probably with enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

    He had a hard time thanking the young woman enough, a smile on his face and a softness in his eyes. "You," Michio noted as they parted ways, "have been truly kind to me."

    He knelt crouched atop the grocery store roof later that night, a black hood pulled over his head and throwing shadows across his lowered face, black and white clothing covering his form. Even now the warmth of the soup could be felt in his stomach. He'd eaten too much it had been so good, and even better was that Hina liked it even more than he.

    He lifted his head, the moons pale rays revealing his stoic expression. "Truly kind," he repeated to himself, quietly but even. Cobalt blue eyes cast in the direction the woman had left. He couldn't afford to lose her, not when he was sure. A dash and a short leap meant he was across the rooftop to the next, several more and a longer one across the road found him standing across from the apartment building she'd entered. He hadn't needed to follow her any further. Even from here he could feel it, that which he needed. She was there on the third floor, in the room by the window. Good, that would make this easy.

    "Double Cross," he whispered, and a brilliant blood red gem appeared near his hand, spinning briefly before forming a sword around itself, set securely into the crossguard. He grabbed the weapon and leapt, drawing his coat around himself as he drifted across the sky. The window gave easily, exploding into plastic and glass and sending the family into an immediate panic. Something in the room smelled delicious, but he wasn't hungry. He had, after all, already had the meal himself.

    Sword still held in his right hand he wasted no time, reaching out with his left and holding it towards the familiar young mother, whose scream of surprise was suddenly cut off into gurgle, her body seemingly lifted into the air by her chest. And then slowly, delicately, a tickle of amber light poured out from her, twinkling in the air and swirling about Double Cross arm, crossing his body and towards the blood red gem that greedily lapped it up.

    Even as the children shouter for him to stop and their father got angry he didn't show a single shred of remorse.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-09-02 08:30:53 82246
Nanoha Takamachi was out in the evening hours flying in the air. She was looking for Jewel Seeds. On the off chance one might activate tonight. This was a lie she told herself. She was looking for Fate. Raising Heart was on full alert however, for Jewel Seeds. And happenstance, also for Bardiche's signature. Raising Heart knew the desires of it's master, even if it'd prefer to stick only to the Jewel Seeds.

What's detected isn't any three of those things as a flare of apparently dark, horrible energy is picked up.

< Unwholesome Energy Detected. > rings out Raising Heart. < We should move to engage. >

Nanoha blinked. Not a Jewel Seed, but perhaps something just as dangerous.

She spun downwards towards the ground from her high altitude in a short spin, letting Raising Heart in it's standby form of a staff. It leads her to a very obviously broken window on a building and she settles down next to it , back to the wall as she suddenly... very childishly wiggles a little to the right toward's the window and peeks in.

Wait. This guy is just...busting. Into people's houses!? And stealing their energy!?--or.. something. Her eyes go wide and she frowns. Raising Heart can't make heads or tails of it right now, but Nanoha knows an 'energy drain' of some sort when she sees one.

She throws herself in front of the window, though not directly in it. Like she knows it's a bad idea. Raising Heart has been teaching her tactics.

"Hey! You STOP that!" she calls out, pointing Raising Heart as it exclaims < Cannon Mode. > as it shifts into it's more cannon-like form, complete with handle and trigger and flourishing angel winglets on the end.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-09-02 08:36:55 82247
Nighttime in Uminari City finds Cute Wolf Tsukiko on patrol, hopping across rooftops as she searches for anything out of the ordinary.

(Of course, 'ordinary' has a rather flexible definition when you're a magical girl, but that's beside the point.)

Things have been pretty quiet; no youma wandering around, nor any zones of sinking dread. Just a wolfgirl bounding across the roofs, a waxing gibbous moon--

--and the sound of breaking glass and a panicked family. So much for a peaceful patrol!

Tsukiko lands on the balcony, not trying to soften her landing. "I don't think you should be doing that," she mutters at the swordsman. While she's refraining from snarling in an effort to not further panic the family, anyone with knowledge of a dog's body language can easily tell that she is VERY angry with the swordsman.

Glancing at the other magical girl here to oppose the swordsman, Tsukiko blinks with surprise. Is that Nanoha? Well, after that time they met trick-or-treating last year, there were hints that both of them were magical...
Michio Mori 2017-09-02 08:55:40 82248
    The glowing amber continues it's path from the young mother to the gemstone set in the sword, Double Cross paying no attention to the fear or anger of the family, no mind to the woman as the trickle of energy slows and fades. What he gives heed to is those who warrant his attention: the light brown haired elementary school aged girl with the cannon and the strawberry blond elementary school aged girl with the wolf ears and tail. His head half turns, eyes looking to one, and then the other.

    Now the kids are starting to get angry too, but with the appearance of artillery the father takes their place, grabbing the two children and taking them to the relative safety of their living room, behind a couch. The energy flow lessens further and Double Cross watches the two carefully as they make their demands, the young mother letting out a sigh as consciousness escapes her. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Before he was interrupted. He knew that much; had seen what had happened to others like him.

    "And what if I don't?" he asks in a cold tone, looking to the wings at the tip of Nanoha's weapon and following a path through himself and to the woman beyond. He lets a moment pass, and then drops his left arm, the curly haired woman slumping to the floor easily, without further harm. "Fine. I'm done with her anyway." He turns towards the two, facing halfway between Nahoha and Tsukiko, unsure which poses him the greatest threat. He passes his sword from right hand to left, held at the ready. After looking between the two he fixes his gaze on the Cute Wolf, "You're wrong, by the way. I need it more than she does."
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-09-02 09:09:14 82249
Nanoha Takamachi gave the boy a chance to stop. Were this just one victim in an open setting, she might give him a chance to run away. But no. This is a building and there is a family in there and she squints her eyes. "Barrier."

< Barrier > repeats Raising Heart as there's a pulse of magic and the world falls into a weird, white- black and white hue--- the rest of the family is no longer there, separated from the sudden barrier world that outcasts the non-magic into safety.

Leaving only her. Ikiko, and the boy--- and one very suddenly safe-to-destroy barrier enviroment.


< DIVINE SHOOT. > calls out Raising Heart as a series of small, magenta colored balls appear around Nanoha, before they begin to burst forward into an array of laser spam at the boy.

"NO YOU DON'T!" she defiantly calls out.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-09-02 09:17:15 82250
While this might not be Tsukiko's first time in a pocket dimension, this is one of the few times when said pocket dimension hasn't been trying to eat both her and everyone else in the neighborhood. Still, with Nanoha providing bombardment, it does make things easier... as well as a touch more complicated.

Taking advantage of the distraction provided by Divine Shoot, the wolfgirl dashes to the side, circling around until there's enough of a pause in the laser spam to launch a flying kick at Double Cross. "We're not going to let you just drain people to further whatever plot of darkness you're trying to cook up!" Tsukiko snaps at the swordsman.
Michio Mori 2017-09-02 09:35:10 82251

    The world fades to greyscale.


    Yes, barrier. And it's too bad, too; were it a little less granular this dichromatic scheme would suit him well.

    Worse still is that his eyes were on the one who held back- that simmering anger he'd thought he detected seemingly held in check while the cannon wielder let lose. One, two bolts of energy are intercept with curt swings of his sword, but where they came from more arrive. He has no choice but to fall back, crossing deeper into the apartment and towards where the father had been bringing his children before the barrier was erected. The tactical retreat sends laserfire shooting past him while others catch him in the chest and side, erupting and blowing through his outfit and leaving wounds beneath, even as fire pours into walls behind and explodes in a spray of concrete and steel that would render the building unlivable were this not now a barrier world.

    A flying kick to the jaw sends him spinning and stumbling backwards, lashing out in retaliation with a quick swipe of his sword, landing with one hand to the floor and breathing heavily. "I wouldn't expect you to, but I'm not going to let that stop me."

    He rises back up quickly, right hand stretching as foul blackness forms inside of it and condenses into a tight, potent ball of dark energy. The young man's body moving in a swift arc as his rise turns into a twist, his arm trailing behind him and then whipping forward, releasing the ball at just the right moment to send it rolling off his fingers just so, screaming out towards the cannon wielding mage at terrifying speed.

    Or at least, terrifying speed to someone unused to dealing with similar such threats.

    As soon is the ball is on it's way he pivots and engages Tsukiko, swiping several times with his sword, testing her distance and getting a feel for her range.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-09-02 09:48:34 82252
Nanoha Takamachi... does not chase after the boy.

She frowns a little as she hangs back. "Chase him!" she calls out at Tsukiko as she raises raising heart over her head a moment and closes her eyes... "Area Search..." she mutters.

Two magenta balls fly out--- through the wall.. upwards and high into the sky, as she begins to pin point where the boy is and then she follows, letting the Area Search feed her data.

Like the ball of energy heading her way- in which Raising Heart bursts out an alarm about, but not until it's almost up into her- causing her to take a solid hit to the shoulder as she yelps, and grabs said shoulder. That smarted. But that's what barrier jackets are for.

She returns fire, with more of those Magenta orbs.

Meanwhile, her area search works on a good firing soultion for her next attack. Which requires a little more setup time. Which she can reduce if she can get that information first.

"You don't need to worry about that stopping you because it's us who's gonna stop you, not that!" she calls out.
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-09-02 09:58:23 82253
Cute Wolf Tsukiko nods to Nanoha, then pursues the swordsman. Darting through the debris, the wolfgirl tries to limit the directions Double Cross can move. A circle here, a feint there, she tests his range about as much as he tests hers.

Even in the middle of the skirmish, she does occasionally glance skyward towards Nanoha. While Tsukiko can appreciate the seemingly precise nature of the mage's beams, she's still wary of remaining too close to the likely blast. At least they're probably not as indiscriminate as other allied attacks she's had to work around!
Michio Mori 2017-09-02 10:11:07 82254
    Moving deeper into the building seems to have given Double Cross some breathing room, but it doesn't last long. The Area Search will show he's only moved fifteen feet from where he had been before, merely out of the way where it might be harder to aim such destructive shots. The magenta magic flinger's ally is here with him, right? The glances skyward aren't missed even as he steps away from her attacks and feints, letting her force him deeper inside the building and further from escape, trying to draw her in to make the shots from the flying mage more dangerous.

    It doesn't take long for him to get a sense of her range, nor does he imagine it take Tsukiko long to find his own. In fact he's counting on it. Two more left handed swipes of his sword swing towards her, only for darkness to suddenly erupt from the point of his sword, extending again the length of the blade and cutting a swath through what would otherwise been safe distance, the cloying corruption of the energy seeking to overwhelm her as he steps back further to survey the result.

    That's when two brilliant orbs of energy come shooting in, crashing through the exterior wall a floor above and then straight through the ceiling above Double Cross, slamming into him from behind with enough force to send him to the floor, the resultant magenta explosion collapsing it and sending him tumbling to the second level of the building. It takes a few moments for him to recover, to pick himself back up, and it's only now that he realizes what an enormous threat that Nanoha represents, able to blast him freely even through such obstructions, lack of vision seemingly no hindrance at all.

    That leaves him no choice. Where before he sought to draw Tsukiko in he now seeks escape, dashing as soon as his feet are under him and crashing once more through a window and it's frame, seeking to rebound off the building opposite and make his way to the roof, cobalt blue eyes turned skyward for any hint of blue and white barrier jacket and that long, menacing magical cannon. As soon as he sees her he lifts his hand and begins firing a stream of energy blasts of his own, dark even against the night sky as they streak up, though not nearly so potent as the ball, or nearly as fast.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-09-02 10:43:53 82256
Area Search serves a good purpose of giving her spatial awareness. And when one doesn't need to worry about collateral damage, you get to become creative with how you hit people. Through walls. Ceilings. Floor. The Earth.

Still. She crashes through a window, a small flare of an auto shield protecting her from the glass, as she frowns a little. She's used to being underestimated.

Energy blasts streak through the Sky. "Round Shield."

< Round Shield. > calls out the device as Nanoha raises her hand and forms a circular shield-like form in front of her. It blocks more blasts from winging her. And gives her time to summon up another circle around her, as she steadys the device down and pointed towards Double Cross. It takes into account his movement. And Ikiko's with the help of that area search as she closes her eyes as she builds up energy into the device, a series of rings forming up the shaft of the cannon-like device.

"Raising Heart, Let's aim for a direct hit and send him reeling....... DIVINE....!"

< Divine! >

"BUSTER!" < BUSTER! > calls out the device as a large, powerful beam of energy lances out towards Double Cross, trying to lead the hit- to hit him head on!
Ikiko Hisakata 2017-09-02 10:57:37 82257
Cute Wolf Tsukiko yelps as Double Cross swipes at her with a longer reach than expected, diving backward to avoid the worst of the strike. As the swordsman runs after Nanoha, the wolfgirl gets back to her feet and starts pursuing again, this time trying to track him from a somewhat greater distance.

A distance she quickly favors as Nanoha unleashes a massive beam at Double Cross! Tsukiko tenses up, readying to deliver a lunging kick if the swordsman loses his focus to the Divine Buster.
Michio Mori 2017-09-02 11:15:12 82258
    If he had managed to dodge or deflect all of her attacks Double Cross would doubtlessly underestimate her, but it took only a single hit from Nanoha Takamachi for him to realize that taking many more of them were a very bad idea. It's good to see that his attacks have some effect, but once that shield goes up and readily deals with the others the young man begins to realize how difficult an opponent he's dealing with. She doesn't seem to be bothered in the slightest by her injuries either, and that breeds respect.

    It also doesn't take much of an imagination to realize what's likely to happen next as the young mage builds energy, and now his stoic facade cracks the slightest bit with a downturn at the corners of his mouth. Best not to be hit with that.

    He lands atop the roof and them immediately begins running away, intending to zigzag across the rooftops in an attempt to evade the shot or make Nanoha miss. There's only one problem with that- it leads him wide open to Tsukiko below, who for a second time lands a flying kick and revokes any semblance of control and turning his intended zigzag into an entirely predictable parabola.

    The result is predictable; a lance of magenta reaches out and touches him. He's caught up by it, giving so little resistance that it flings him and carries him along for a ride all the way to the end of the line. Double Cross struggles against it even as the attack sears into him, burning away his protective clothing and assaulting him directly even before detonating. Try as he might to put something, anything between the beam and himself his efforts remain fruitless. He's pushed across the dull grey sky to the edge of the world, the barrier itself. Only then does the attack detonate, erupting and shattering everything caught within it.

    Almost everything, anyway; the barrier itself holds. It holds, but it cracks. Not much- but enough.

    The Area Scan picks up a sudden spike of dark energy, but it's hardly necessary. The wrongness of it can be felt even without the sensitive magical detectors, something rotten and terrible. It's a massive release of energy caught within the explosion of the Divine Buster, gaining it a core of ugly black as the two forces struggle. Double Cross' release of energy is not a retaliation, however. Pinned as he is the magenta explosion shapes his own, and high above Tokyo in the night sky a furious torrent of darkness pours through a puncture in Nanoha's barrier, followed soon after by the brilliant magenta light show.

    As for Double Cross? Nowhere to be found.