18: Friends and Alloys


'''Content Warning:''' ''Reference to child abuse, ocean of tears.'' Jewel Seed #18 fully activates with a vengeance, possessing Jin Meiyou's body and attempting to turn Tokyo into a metallic wasteland. Our heroes defeat and seal it, and the result is *SO SAD YOU GUYS*.

Date: 2017-11-04
Pose Count: 44
Tin Soldier 2017-11-04 22:31:45 86081
TWENTY MINUTES AGO:

Rashmi had given Jin a box of the sweets he liked best from Korma Chameleon to take to Fate, and it took Jin some help from Osiemnastka to find where to go to give them to her as a surprise. He hadn't planned on going to her home, because he knew he'd lose his temper if he saw the mother she was trying so hard to please, but he absolutely had Osiemnastka send Bardiche a message that Jin had a present for Fate. Two presents! Something nice from Rashmi and also a surprise from Jin himself.

TWO MINUTES AGO:

He'd been at the agreed-upon destination, waiting with a white box of delicious treats in one hand and something in his other hand, something that glittered and called and sang, sang of power, sang of tightly leashed wild energy. The boy soldier watched Fate approach, and squinted, and-- and she was walking stiffly, sore, worse than she was in the subway station. The livid scars and scabs he'd seen on her back at the hospital burned red and white hot in his mind's eye, and... she was supposed to be safe. Osiemnastka had taken him away from there and he'd been assured that Fate was fine, and he was positive that her acquisition of the Jewel Seed had kept her from getting harmed again, and it didn't.

It didn't.

The glittering thing in his hand began to glow, and the box of sweets dropped from suddenly nerveless fingers.

Across the city, Devices flare to life with sudden and abrupt warnings.

NOW:

Fate can see Jin's wild eyes, and his hand shaking as he tries, tries so hard, to hold out the Jewel Seed in it. To offer it to the girl. To give it to her.

Anyone arriving can see that, too, and can see him suddenly stiffen, back arching, as his skin dissolves to reveal shining metal beneath it; they can see the Jewel Seed fly from his hand to implant itself in his chest, glowing brilliantly; they can see him rising from the ground, growing to ten feet tall, fifteen; he is PFC Kouboku, but he is a molded figure, cast in an alloy of lead and tin. Streetlights and cars bend and crunch, reshaping themselves and the city around them to an urban wasteland; cars and mailboxes and wifi stations and sewer tunnel lids and drainage grates and metal garbage bin casings rip themselves from the ground and begin to circle in the air.

It's not Jin's voice that issues forth from the metal man's mouth-- it is Osiemnastka's.

I kNeW yoUr wILL WoULd FaLTeR, bLAde oF nO HOnoR-- booms the voice.

Jin's voice; he's struggling, he writhes in the air and the floating metal objects waver, start to lower. "No-- how dare you-- how DARE you-- you promised to help me protect her-- protect the children who should never... never be soldiers..."

Osiemnastka, then: HOW DARE YOU KEEP ME LOCKED AWAY FOR SO LONG WITH YOUR SMALL DREAMS, SMALL THING? YOU ARE FINISHED: A HOLLOW VESSEL, AND ENOUGH POWER NOW TO TAKE THE WORLD--

There's a final struggle, and the figure in the air hangs limp for a moment, then stiffens straight and turns around upside down, fist up, and piledrives the asphalt beneath it. There's an earth-shaking explosion, and from the source of impact a wave of shining transformation begins to spread immediately, swallowing everything, coating it in life-stifling and sharp-edged metal.
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-04 22:53:33 86082
The moment the warning came in, Rashmi was in the air and speeding toward Nicomachea's waypoint. ....Which isn't even needed after a moment; it's hard to miss a section of Tokyo crumbling into abrupt decay, as the metals that give it skeleton, mind, and blood are wrenched into the air.

She nearly brakes to a dead halt, however, as the source of the Jewel Seed's havoc grows large enough to be seen at a distance. To be identified.

Shock drains the color from her face, and her voice is shaky and whispered. "J-jin-san....? How did you--"

*bing!* << WARNING! WARNING! TRANSMUTATORY CORRUPTION IMMINENT! >>

Nicomachea's alert snaps the redhead out of her horrified fugue, and against all common sense she resumes flight, taking a tall, parabolic course to avoid the transformation wave, and arrow toward the crater dug in the street.
Fate Testarossa 2017-11-04 22:57:43 86083
    As much as Precia May have tried to make Fate regret bringing Nanoha to her apartment after the Jewel Seed incident in the hospital... She could not. Her situation, be it as it may, sometimes forces Fate to harden her heart, but that is so far from the truth about the girl. She is simply too kind and gentle to turn a cold shoulder to another person, for so long.
    Fate does not regret her decision. She doesn't regret it, in spite of the sore, stiff, pain that permeated through her whole body when she does go to meet the soldier. Presents are not something she often receives, and it was in part curiosity and part her polite nature that she would not refuse Jin's call.
    Try as she might to hide what happened... He seems to have caught on. And she had no clue it would have such an effect upon him.
    "Meiyou, please, I'm fine." She tried to assure him, calm and quietly. But it's to no avail, is it?
    He holds out a Jewel Seed. But his eyes betray him. "-Calm down." She says, knowing full well the dire results of a Jewel Seed getting a feel for strong emotions nearby. She knows full well what can go wrong when handling one, but in the end she is forced to back away- fast as things go so very wrong. She's already in her Barrier Jacket in a flash once the Jewel Seed merges with Jin and brings such a drastic change to both the young man and the environment. She makes the smart decision to not be on the ground when Osiemnastka impacts the ground with violent transmutative force.
    "... Bardiche..."
    [SIR]
    Fate draws a slow calming breath and makes her decision.
    "Transmit a distress signal in our location."
    Her Device, stalwart and faithful, obeys, pinging Devices and magic users near and far with warning and request for aid.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-11-04 23:12:02 86086
Nanoha Takamachi is getting ready for bed. She's in her PJs that are pink and she's brushing her teeth in front of the mirror and her pony tails are undone and she's look like she's about to teeter over sideways. It was a stupid half day of school and other things have been on her mind. Jewel Seeds. Fate-chan. Brush brush.

Yuuno Scrya is hit with a powerful damn wave of something that rocks him from a curled up ball on Nanoha's nightstand. And the pure shock wakes Raising Heart out of it's slumber.

SHe stumbles out and frowns as she sighs. She was just getting ready for bed. She goes to get dressed when Raising Heart pings out.

< Master, there is a distress signal. > Nanoha continues to move to get dressed. Though at an attempted quicker pace. < It is from Bardiche. >

Nanoha Takamachi quickly just Sets up her Barrier Jacket--- they are just PJs afterall, upon hearing that and off she goes.

Fate-chan is asking for help? That's ... a new one. She means. SHE'S GLAD she is! She should! Fate-chan has help! But... it's still. New. And Odd sudden behavioral change to her.

---and it's a Jewel Seed signature.

What's going on, she thinks as she makes her way towards.... a mess.

Yes this is a mess. Her eyes trace from... something that sounds like Jin but is some big metal thing and also Raising Heart is spitting out a warning about a force wave so she's preparing for that and. There's Fate-chan. Who doesn't seem to be in any more danger than usual with these things. She frowns a bit.

"Rashmi-chan, Fate-chan, what's going on!" she calls out.

< SIT-REP. > calls out Raising Heart.

"Why do you wanna sit now?" she asks Raising Heart.

< SITUATION REPORT. WHAT IS GOING ON. > it reiterates. "Ohhhhh...." she says.

"Right!" she calls out worriedly.

No one has put up a barrier yet. "SETUP A BARRIER, RAISING HEART!" she calls out. The device complies, the world color shifting to a stark white and grey monochrome scene of sorts as non-magical people are shifted out of the local timespace or what have you!
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-11-04 23:24:54 86087
Yuzuki Amemori is a night owl, unlike the day she doesn't look like she's fighting off sleep armed only with copious amounts of caffeine and force of will. She's also dressed in glowing bits of tat, a warm looking hoodie with the hood up, her cloth mask pulled down around her neck and a baggy pair of pants with bits run through the loops. She may jingle while she walks. She's returning from a job, thinking she'd stop and say hi when she feels that magical pinging! This compeltely confuses her initially.

With that aside, it clicks and she starts chasing it, relying purely on instinct. If it's pinging that sort of feeling she should armor up right? Should she change in advance? . . . She slips into a quiet ally, turning to Hakuomaru with the remnants of the red thread trailing behind her as she launches herself with bursts of earth and stone that fade away after a few moments. Even if it's not dangerous, she can get there quicker now!

That's how she arrives, falling out of the sky, and stabilized by more stone, leaving a crack behind as the momentum comes to a stop. Standing straight, she looks around, trying to assess things. Trying to determine the problem. Failing horribly and asking with only a hint of distortion through the mask today, "What's going on?"
Koji Silvia 2017-11-04 23:27:59 86088
The gem-eye of the pencil case is blinking.

The owner of the pencil case is not paying attention however. He's in the middle of running a wok with one hand, and prepping noodles with the other. Tonight is ramen night at the Silvia house, and the chief cook of the apartment is hard at work, meaning that all of Koji's concentration is on the task before him.

Still, the case blinks, and with an electronic and audible hmph, Tyrfing takes the initiative on his own since it's not only a Jewels Seed signature AND a distress signal coming in at the same time and cuts in on his Lord's thought.

< KOJI! >

That startles the young man almost enough to burn himself, but he replies mostly to himself, and under his breath, "I don't care what you think, Tyr-san... I am not making steamed buns tonight just because you like the ones that street vendor we passed by today made. You're not winning this argument. This is ramen night. I'm ma-"

< Oh, will you shut up for a minute, kid! This is serious. There's a Jewel Seed ping, AND I just got a distress signal. >

For once, trying to have a normal night that doesn't involve his Mage or his Senshi friends, or his weird life, or school... Koji almost snaps back, still under his breath, "Let someone else handle it for once Tyr-san. This is the first ramen night we've had in a month..."

The Devices growls out, < Kid, it's from Bardiche. Designated User... Fate Testarossa. >

The OH face Koji makes could be used as an example for manga artists everywhere.

Looking back and forth with all of the things he has in front of him, he then sighs deeply to himself and turns off the heat, moves the wok off the burner, and then yells out, "MOM! I'll be back in a few! I forgot to get green onions and some tamari from the conbini! I'll be back in a few!"

From the living room, Mokoto Silvia replies, "Allright, Koji! And get your Dad some of those stupid cigarette shaped gums he likes!"

"Yes Mom!"

Grabbing Tyrfing, Koji is out the door and heading not for the gated front of the complex, but up for the roof, henshining as he makes the turn to the last set of steps, and calling out as he hits the top of the building, "FLUGMODUS!"

< JA WOHL! >
Kukai Souma 2017-11-04 23:47:56 86089
Yay, a week of patrolling and working out and jogging and now it's the weekend, so it's time to relax. Relaxing would usually mean hanging out with Nadeshiko, or maybe Amu and Tadase too, or even his brothers, but for now Kukai is enjoying the concept of something he doesn't usually indulge in - a nice, warm, dozy nap, with the cold outside, and Daichi in his egg napping as well.

All of this is ruined when Kukai's Virtue phone starts blaring an emergency signal at max volume. Kukai sits straight up and stares at it blankly for a second, then scoops it up. "Crap. .... Oh, crap." He looks over at the egg case, where Daichi is already awake and rubbing his eyes. "Daichi, not a second to waste! Chara Transform!"

Kukai lunges over and yanks up the window to his room, even as Daichi enters his heart from behind. There is a flash of light and Sky Jack leaps out of the window, pulling his flying skateboard from nowhere out underneath him before he lands on the ground, shooting into the sky towards the source of the distress call!
Takashi Agera 2017-11-04 23:51:55 86090
Takashi's device did not flare up in an alert when the others did - because once again, in his lab, he had it dissassembled, all of its constituent parts - Belkan, Midchildan, and Human - being assembled into yet another array, preparing yet another solution for problems he knew he'd create for himself. But even before it could run self-diagnostics, it was alive with alerts - the alerts about the Jewel seed. Alerts from Takashi's own monoritoring equipment spectrum. And most importantly, a distress signal from Bardiche. That last one he wouldn't ignore.

"Axion, triangulate that position and modify for the Dusk Zone's dimensional transversal." he demanded sternly and with urgency. Axion's ebony jewel pinged a purple-blue as he stepped into the Dusk Zone.

Ever since an incident with a Witch's Barrier and Hannah, Takashi had made opening or sidestepping through Barriers a personal goal, and so nobody witnessed the way he slipped in through a hole just before it closed, forced his way into the active Barrier.

And that's why it seems like he just slides in, trailing little motes of dark energy and the occasional rune, appearing in front of Fate, the hand with his gauntlet raised out, ready to forge a Shield at a moment's notice. Riventon's eyes go wide when he sees Jin at the heart of all of this, and his mind puts it together quickly. "I'm sorry, Fate. I should've warned you. I thought he was more stable. I wasn't sure how to explain." He wasn't even sure how to talk to Fate right now, without breaching the subject of those crisscrossing scars and outright killing the person responsible. He'd kept away from her and now this.
Tin Soldier 2017-11-04 23:55:46 86091
    "Meiyou, please, I'm fine"

He'd been so calm, so confident, so-- serene. He pledged his help to Fate, and something beside it-- his loyalty. His dedication.

    "Calm down--"

The wild eyes were not just rage, it wasn't just outrage on her behalf, there was terror and determination and a sense of having been betrayed, and there was pride, pride, too much pride, and devastated loss. She could see him fighting to maintain control, and losing in a landslide.

    "J-Jin-san....? How did you--"

And Rashmi had seen him last, and he had been so resolved, so earnest, so otherwise at peace; he knew his fate, and he had been choosing it, and this was not it. This is not it. A ghost--? Osiemnastka had called him a small thing, a hollow vessel...

    "What's going on?"

Nanoha's thrown up a barrier, and the metal that's been eating everything in its path as it spread out from the crater that the enormous toy soldier, jewel seed embedded in its chest, created by punching the ground--? It only eats what it can't ultimately hurt, now, finally, unless anyone is standing on the edges of it where it's still spreading.

The shining metal ground cover eats buildings, flowers, grass, trees; it begins to climb up Yuzuki's boots where she lands, as the wave overtakes her position. What's going on is apparently that some dingus got himself a jewel seed and the jewel seed went crazy-- right? That's the kind of Extra that's going on here... right?

    "It's from Bardiche..."

And when Koji does not get to the conbenie, but to the enormous barrier Nanoha erected, he'll see what some here recognise, and some don't. He certainly should.

The metal soldier, fifteen feet tall and wearing the face and uniform of PFC Kouboku, is climbing out of the crater he made. Rashmi's flying toward him, and he holds up a too-large hand, grabbing the metal on her person and stopping her in midair; with a careless flick, he sends her flying away. The voice of that horribly rude 'Device', Osiemnastka, who had supposedly improved, booms out and reverberates through the barrier, dripping with scorn.

YOU WILL, PERHAPS, SLOW ME DOWN, CHILDREN. WHY DO YOU FIGHT SO FOR A THING? DID IT FOOL YOU SO WELL? IT WANTED, OH IT WANTED. IT SUFFERED. IT FELT LOSS. BUT IT WAS A FOOLISH THING ITSELF, TO THINK IT COULD BE A PERSON! TO THINK IT COULD ULTIMATELY CONTROL ME FOREVER-- BUT EVEN THAT--

Osiemnastka, in Jin's transformed body, looks down at Fate. And it sneers. IT WOULD HAVE GIVEN ME TO YOU. IT PLANNED TO GIVE UP THE FARCE I GAVE IT TO HELP YOU, WHO CANNOT EVEN STAND AGAINST WHAT IS WRONG. IT SHOULD BE HAPPY I WON. I WILL END YOUR MISERY, WHICH IS ALL IT WANTED.

And no less than three mid-sized sedans and a smartcar come hurtling toward Fate from four directions, and the Jin-shaped-Jewel-Seed-thing brings his hands up in the air and grows again-- twenty feet tall, thirty-- and grabs for any metal on her person, making to freeze her in place as well...

...and Sky Jack will arrive just in time to see the Stay-Puft Jinmetal Man bringing his giant hands together to clap her between them; Riventon arrives just in time to be right next to her and most assuredly in the line of smishage, and there's a malicious delight in what the giant metal soldier adds: GOOD, YOU WHO THINK YOU CAN CONTROL WITH KNOWLEDGE, YOU CAN DIE TOO, PROTECTING THIS ONE AS IT WISHED TO--
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-05 00:09:08 86092
Barrier Jackets are extremely handy things. They allow their wearers to walk off trifling things like 'being seized hold of by one's earrings and clothes fittings, and tossed into the side of an apartment block' with mere bruises.

And when Rashmi pulls herself out of the gouge torn into the side of the dimensionally-displaced concrete, there is a look on her face that has never been seen before; not even when her beloved pet was hit hard enough to nearly die.

Tears streaking down her cheeks, Rashmi is furious.

A trail of golden light follows her as she speeds back toward the metallic titan. "OSIEMNASTKA! HOW DARE YOU BETRAY HIM LIKE THIS?!"
Takashi Agera 2017-11-05 00:20:43 86095
Riventon stands his ground. He thinks quickly - he could just dash out but Fate... doesn't look very much in dashy state. It takes him a moment to shove off that anger at that and the connections he makes, but just a moment. He makes a split second decision - gathering Dark Energy in his gauntleted left hand and outstretching his right.

    <RUNDEN SCHILD,LAUNCH!>

In a moment, Riventon generates a very weak, flickering Round Shield circle, and then hurls it at Fate - the effect is like colliding with a giant marshmallow or an Air Bag, and it shatters into nothingness after it evicts her from the attack's Area. Leaving Riventon in it. He smashes the orb of energy into his hand, and from the tar-like liquid comes dozens of short-lived Dark Energy constructs, diving and pushing and generally shoving the arms away just enough that Riventon is able to clear the effect himself by diving back - looking down and seeing the scuff the hands left on his shoe. Close.

But he rolls to his feet and points at the giant Tin Solider. "Don't confuse knowledge with intelligence. You can get information out of a book. But how you apply it... that's different."

<Meister, Achtung.Standard Diagnostic Failure. Operations at roughly 75% efficency.>

"...that's very bad timing, Axion." he grumbled.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-05 00:21:08 86096
Sky Jack arrived, dodging inside the barrier just in time to to stare at the giant metallic figure as it slammed its hands around Fate. He wasn't quite sure what he was staring at, but he -was- quite sure that Fate would be just fine. Without being sure if he could actually hurt the thing, he decided to take on his other role - main distraction.

Jack flew straight at the thing's face, yelling at the top of his lungs and punting an electrically charged soccer ball launched with the force of a powerful punch at the bridge of its nose. "HEY! Metal maniac! I'm here to do more than slow you down, I'm here to stop you dead! And you're wrong about controlling or knowledge because I don't do any of those things! I'm just going to pound you to dust! Catch me if you can, I'm the mosquito, you're the metal moron!"

Another set of soccer balls thud into the sides of Osiemnastka's ears and cheeks as Sky Jack circles around his head, eyes kept carefully on the soldier's swiping, crushing hands, even as he sees the Dark Energy powers trying to prevent Fate from being pulped!
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-11-05 00:29:21 86097
Yuuno is on Nanoha's shoulder because he was a little hesitant when the Distress signal came from Fate's device. He smelled trap. But this isn't a trap. This is something else. She blinks as she eyes Osiemnastka and then down to Yuuno. "Yuuno... can a device really betray their owner like that?...." she asks with concern.

Yuuno shakes his head. "Absolutely not. They can take actions against their owners to protect them at time. But that's a Jewel Seed with intelligence." he says. Yuuno doesn't seem particularly surprised by this. But it's curious. What happened? Most Seeds have a instinct. But intelligence is something else. Postulating for the young weasel archeologist isn't really priority right now.

Oh god the thing is trying to squish Fate-chan!...

...and also Riventon...

BUT IMPORTANTLY FATE-CHAN. She summons up a bunch of magenta orbs around herself that all get flung at once in an effort to smack the giant metal man in what should be a center of gravity point. She's trying to throw off center. She can't move quick enough to get there in time.

"Nrg..." she mutters.

"Wait so is the Jewel Seed also Jin-kun!?" she asks out loud.

Yuuno frowns as he keeps hold to Nanoha's shoulder. "I'm not sure about those specifics. It sounds like Fate. Or Riventon. Or Rashmi. Know best." he says.

Please ask Rashmi later, he thinks. Because those other two are kinda dangerous right now.
Fate Testarossa 2017-11-05 00:32:42 86099
    [Situation: Terrible.] Bardiche replies to Raising Heart.
    Fate is in poor condition. No condition to take on a raging Jewel Seed on her own, let alone the disastrous melding of Device and man that was once Jin Meiyou.
    "He had a Jewel Seed." Fate answers. Though her voice is mild, and her tone calm, her hands shake where she holds onto her black axe. "It went out of control."
    She pointedly does not give the reason why. Right now she's not even going to try and act hostile toward the arriving mages, or Nanoha, this is a moment - a rare moment of admitting - she is not up for handling on her own. She is probably not capable of handling on her own, in her condition. Her movements are sluggish, adrenaline dampening the aching sting of fresh injuries she'd dare not show. A fact that makes the tiny blonde hot and shamefaced when Riventon appears before her. She opens her mouth to speak, before remembering the anger in his eyes that she had seen on the very same night her unshakeable pride had been crushed.
    "... Ri...venton."
    Part of her isn't surprised by his arrival. A small part of her is.
    But then she has to focus. And her own gaze hardens, a new chill overtaking scarlet eyes.
    Jin had promised to help her. Osiemnastka vowed to Jin it would do everything in its power for him to do that. The Device had claimed it would. Now here it is revealing its true nature. The pieces fall into place. 'He would have given it to her'.
    Fate's brow knots, a visible anger overtaking the normally cool girl's features.
    She had been deceived.
    Jin Meiyou had been deceived.
    Both feelings leave a nasty taste in her mouth as she shifts her grip on Bardiche and lunges forward, ignoring her pain-- only to be arrested mid-rush when the metal portions of her Barrier Jacket are used against her. That quiet rage is interrupted by a look of mixed shock and horror, her speed halted to zero. Then the cars come. Fate readies herself for... Pain? No, that would do more than hurt, at best she would be lucky if she were just knocked out by the crush. Her breath catches in her throat. She's not ready for it.
    Which means she's not ready for Riventon's shield, but infinitely more thankful as she's shoved out of harm's way. She's spun end over end, at first before she rights herself.
    "Riventon!"
    But he makes it out of harm's path too.
    "Bardiche-"
    [Purging Barrier Jacket.] The Device pings, as though reading her mind. In a flare of golden light, parts of her armor dissipating in flares of golden light, as Bardiche streamlines her defenses, sacrificing much of her Barrier Jacket's armoring for the sake of speed. ... And removing any metal pieces from the construction. [Sir: Defences reduced seventy-five percent. Proceed with caution.]
    <<He manipulates metal. If you have any on you get rid of it.>> She warns in an open mental communication. It's stating the obvious, but if it can help someone else she's not going to hold it back as she turns her focus on the metal man.
    [Scythe form. Arc Saber] Bardiche intones, and she HEAVES. A crackling crescent of golden electric light is launched like a boomerang, whirling and sharp.
    <<We're going to have to weaken the Jewel Seed before we can seal it.>> A pause. ... <<Please do so nonlethally.>>
Koji Silvia 2017-11-05 00:36:00 86100
Above it all, just in the edge of the Barrier as it locked in place, Tyrfing and Koji get to hear the speech given, and see the towering monstrosity push Rashmi into a wall, her Jacket going up just in time to take the brunt of it. In front of his eyes there are screens appearing as the Bits around him are bringing him the faces of friends and strangers alike, letting him see expression, letting him see relative power levels.

Letting him see the horror of this.

He's paralyzed for the moment, unable to do anything except watch as this all unfolds, and the senpai who he had made the mistake of not speaking to... not reaching out... only hearing after the fact that he was helping with Fate on her side, and never getting a chance to find out why.

It's almost a pity that boys are never chosen by Kyubey, because had Koji and Jin been Puella? This would be not only made much more sense of, but a sad and inevitable end to things.

< Koji. >

It takes him a moment to respond, "I can't fight him. I..."

< I know, kid, I know. But right now that's not Jin. That's not even human. Maybe someplace in there Jin's still inside, still alive. But I can't detect him. There's too much... It... in the way. >

Gulping once Koji says, "What good are we supposed to be against something like that?! This isn't like the dreams, Tyrfing... we barely understand how we work now, and t-th-..."

< GET IT TOGETHER, KOJI! >

The harsh rebuke is a slap to the face as the blinks and shakes his head once, as if Koji had been slapped.

< Right now, the fact that he's fifteen feet of metal and converting the whole block into more of himself isn't important. That it's the Device... no... the Jewel Seed in charge, not your friend. >

< What's important right now is that there's someone in danger. What's important right now is the very thing that he believed in. Soldiers put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of their respective nations and worlds. That's what -I- was made for. That's what Jin wanted to be. A protector. >

< I know that's what you want to be. But right now? The only way we're going to protect ANYONE is if we get past the fear, and do the right thing.>

Koji closes his eyes, and then takes a breath. Beneath his floating feet and above his head, the air ignites with twin Belkan incantation circles as he begins to focus his mana, feeling the battle beginning to evolve below him, "Tyrfing, begin generating Spion Bits, put them in a spread formation at the outer edge of the Barrier and start gathering data. Feed to all available Devices."

< Ja Wohl, Ritter. >

The high-tech sheathe on his back opens up three small hatches on each side, and a dozen newly made Bits begin flying away, each vanishing as light-bending cloaks appear on them, going to the edge of the Barrier and begin gathering data on the new threat.
Yuzuki Amemori 2017-11-05 00:42:43 86101
Hakuomaru rolls her shoulders and starts to ask a further series of questions when she feels that creeping metal. She hops back, trying to kick the stuff away and hopping away from said creeping metal, trying to tear it away and keep it away with rippling shards of stone. She plants her black sword ahead of her, feeding more and more magic into it, the ground splintering and cracking away from her.

Stepping further back, each step rippling more stone away from her, clearly a touch spooked, she pulls the sword free. Looking to the others for a moment, she slams her sword back into the ground, an overhead swing, the earth suddenly lurchign forward and suddenly lunging in a pillar towards the metallic body. it them crumples away and she tries to put more distance between herself and the creeping metal! Well, untill she's at the barrier at least.
Tin Soldier 2017-11-05 01:03:53 86102
The jewel-seed-fuelled toy-soldier-shaped building of a monster shows its teeth at Rashmi in a rictus of a grin as its hands come together with a thundrous WHANNNNGGG and Fate, in Riventon's shield, poings out of the monster's clap like a bar of wet soap, and the dark energy goop that Riventon shoves to soap himself out gets him out more or less in the nick of time, too. YOU. I TOLD YOU I WOULD REMEMBER THAT, DO YOU RECALL? WHEN YOU THREATENED ME, IN YOUR PARENTS' RESTAURANT. I REMEMBER IT.

Not-Jin but Definitely Osiemnastka Somehow, he makes a wide gesture with one arm and crashes it through part of a swallowed building, ripping off and bending part of its now-metal side and swiftly tearing it to strips. He throws the strips into the air and one of them chases Rashmi, moving to wrap her up like a Mage-flavored super-crunchy taquito. AND IT IS NOT BETRAYAL. YOUR JIN IS NO MORE A PERSON THAN I AM, RASHMI TERIOS. IT HAS IDEALS: WHAT IS GOOD AND HONORABLE, AND WHAT IS EVIL. WHAT IS EVIL GAINS MORE, SO I TOOK HIS WILL AND HIS IDEAS AND USED THE ONES THAT WOULD SERVE TO GRANT MORE POWER. IS THIS NOT RATIONAL-- His head whips around and blank metal eyes look directly at Takashi. RIVENTON?

And then Sky Jack is literally IN HIS FACE with zapping and soccer balls of all things, and Osiemnastka-Jin abruptly looks FURIOUS, and two more of the metal strips come flying through the air at the Jack-- as well as that neglected smartcar. And then a lamp-post, because why not. DO NOT WAKE IT. IT IS DEAD. IT IS AN OBJECT. ITS WILL IS MINE.

A blast from Raising Heart impacts one of the toy soldier's knees, of all things, and that knee-- it happens to be the one that Jin injured, the one that made Jin limp, the leg that Jin had crushed. Oh hell yes it loses its balance, stumbling to one side and catching itself on another building, giant fingers jamming into the empty sockets of the building's windows. The leg twists, an atrocious sound of distressed metal filling the air, and rips partially open--

--and reveals that the creature is hollow. That's emphasized much, much more thoroughly as Fate-- oh, Fate, who's realizing what's going on, some of what's going on, changes her configuration to remove the metal and sends Bardiche as a terrifying light scythe attack, and the leg is sliced clean off. It topples to the ground with a ringing clatter and clang, and the metal monster's face is transfigured with fury. HOW DARE YOU. HOW DARE YOU!! so proud-- destroy it-- can't die-- DO NOT WAKE IT!!

The information that Koji and Tyrfing gather is-- really bad. Well, really bad in some ways. Pretty good in others! Pretty good in that it's not just the monster's leg that's hollow; it's the entire metal body. And every time it grows-- it was at thirty feet a moment before, and the angrier it gets the taller it gets-- the thinner its 'skin' gets. The bad news is that it's ripping more buildings apart, with gestures and with hands, and it's enthroned itself in a building because its leg's off, and it takes enormous handfuls of the raw metal it's been converting everything into and literally just starts flinging it at everything and everyone. If it misses the fighters? It might knock something down to fall on them.

This is a Jewel Seed Tantrum. It's so powerful! It didn't think these guys could sting so much.

Osiemnastka leans down with all the junk flying through the air and snatches its leg up, then starts trying to jam it back on furiously-- then gives up on it and literally hurls its two-storey-tall half-leg at Nanoha out of pure spite.
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-05 01:14:58 86103
*bing!* << SOLAR BARRIER... SOLAR BARRIER... SOLAR BARRIER >>

As she flies in search of escape from the incoming strip of metal, Rashmi sets around herself a thick bubble of golden mana. And then a second, and a third, just before the flying metal catches up and wraps around the triple-bubble, coccooning the red-headed Mage in structural detritus.

*bing!* << RED SHIFT >>

Three separate, layered shields collapse in sequence, blasting the metal apart and away from Rashmi.

"Everyone, keep your distance!" she calls, as Nicomachea begins to glow, reconfiguring itself into its extremely high-output Sealing Mode. "OSIEMNASTKA! YOUR GREED HAS MADE YOU A FAILURE AS A DEVICE, A FAILURE AS A PROTECTOR, AND SOON A FAILURE AS A LOGIA! JIN-KUN ONLY WANTED TO HELP THOSE HE CARED ABOUT, AND YOU TWISTED THAT SO YOU COULD WRECK EVERYTHING!"

A circle spreads under Rashmi. A second ring resolves into place. Then a third. "DOUBLE UP! WATCH EACH OTHER'S BACKS, AND HIT IT FROM EVERY SIDE!"

Nicomachea is definitely charging a high-output spell... but those aren't the emissions signatures of an attack?
Takashi Agera 2017-11-05 01:15:26 86104
Riventon actually considered it for a half moment, considered answering - but then, as the Jewel Seed tantrum starts and everyone - including Fate and himself - are at risk, he opts to go for a different tactic. "Do you even know your own history, crystal that pretends to be a machine that pretends to be a man? Do you even know your original purpose, your design? The pedigree of your flawed birth into this world? I do. You're a tool. And not even a good one at that. A shard of counterfiet, of imitation." Riventon generates a series of Dark Energy spheres that collide with various bits of flying junk to knock them off course and away from him as he folds his arms and actually starts floating towards this Hollow Tin Solider.

"Trying to escape your destiny by enforcing it on others? Pathetic. Jin isn't the tool, but you are. Now release him, you living error code, before I shatter you and repurpose your scraps to build something actually useful."

Riventon's plan, apparently, is to insult an Eldritch Lost Logia into losing control, as thought that will do anyone any good. But in fact, he's hoping that as it loses control Jin can regain control. Or at least that it's rage will be directed at him. Even at 75% strength, he thinks - plans - hopes that he can dodge the worst of it. And that the others manage to utilize the time well.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-05 01:33:09 86105
Sky Jack wants to look around at the sound of the name Riventon - the idea of one of his soccer balls just accidentally flying off and bashing his nose to pieces makes his heart thrill - but right now he's got more metal strips and a smartcar flying at him. The only thing that comes to mind is get out of the line of sight of those infuriated eyes. He leans back, grabbing the front of his board as it cocks up, yanking it up, and flying straight up, metal strips slamming together around the car and chasing him up into the sky, a green blast of light chased by dull chromatic braids, the lamppost slapping into the top of the braid to swing at him and clash into the bottom of his board, sending Sky Jack spinning towards the ground for a moment before he brings it back under him, panting hard and shuddering all over, too close to the ground and feeling the slam all the way up his legs and into his spine.

Jack doesn't really get the information that Koji and the others are getting, but he sees the hollowed out leg and the dim holes in the body, and gets an idea. Back into the sky he goes past the thing and stays above it, punting more soccer balls down at it even as it tries to stay up on one leg. "HEY! YOU MISSED, YOU LOSER! WHY DON'T YOU GROW YOUR WAY UP HERE AND TRY AGAIN! OR ARE YOU TOO THIN SKINNED TO PLAY WITH THE BIG BOYS?!" Technically it didn't really miss, but taunting is an artform. He has that much in common with Riventon.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-11-05 01:34:08 86106
People often underestimate other people. Nanoha Takamachi tries not to do this. She doesn't get what this thing is flailing and crying about. Except maybe a couple here know. And they'll all emotionally upset enough that she can't get answers. Nanoha Takamachi would probably be a mess too if she had the whole picture.

Oh crap. There's a giant metal former leg thrown at her and she darts upwards QUICKLY at a fast pace. Nanoha is getting better at flying. She barely misses it clipping her- she can feel the rush of air that causes her to spin head over heels once as she stops herself dead to a straight up stance. "Woah!" she says with wide eyes.

She fires off a quick shot bullet, of a magenta energy from a hand. An auto-cast because she's resteadying herself.

"Fate-chan!" she calls out.

She makes a quick flight over to Fate's side. Rashmi is telling them to double up. She already knows who the best is to go for that. "Fate-chan. You're faster right now. Watch my back and let me know incomings." she says softly.

Raising Heart pings in agreement. Now isn't the time to spout disagreements. Yuuno is also still holding onto Nanoha's sleeve for dear life on her shoulder.
Fate Testarossa 2017-11-05 01:42:48 86107
    It is not the first time Fate has been caught in the midst of a Lost Logia having a fit. Painful memories of her own prior attempt to give in and make a wish- of dark armor- and the bright light that followed it.
    These are memories she had tried to push out and away, but for a moment they all come flooding back.
    "You used him." She whispers. "You twisted his wish..." Her voice is cold and unforgiving, no remorse shown as her spell severs that tin leg.
    Somewhere, in her heart, a small part of Fate Testarossa is crushed. She thought she had been helping, even if marginally, by letting Jin find a purpose in helping her cause. Instead she has only made matters worse by both action and inaction.
    Briefly, she considers closing in for melee. Rashmi calls for distance, and that arrests her forward momentum almost as soon as she starts it. Instead, Fate is forced to focus on evasion, as buildings are torn apart and used as violently flung ammunition. She dodges and swerves, kicking on her speed and gritting her teeth through her own pain. She has no choice, with how much of her Barrier Jacket was streamlined for mobility. Even a single hit would be disastrous.
    She's left pale and sweating when she finally does come to a halt, panting for breath.
    And then. Nanoha. Nanoha emerges at her side. Fate opens her mouth to speak, but finds herself more gobsmacked than anything else at first.
    "Mn. No, I'm not, right now." She truthfully denies her speed.
    [SIR. A suggestion...] Bardiche announces, and relays a string of formulae and calculations to Raising Heart, as Fate launches a stream of golden arrowheads at the giant tin man in a rushed barrage.
Koji Silvia 2017-11-05 01:52:26 86108
The data that comes back to Koji, and he takes it and sends it to everyone else, letting them see that Oseicanyousee is actually made of. Which is to say that it's actually a hollow tin soldier. He's so distracted by it, that it's almost a surprise that Tyrfing ejects 3 more Bits to form an Autonome Schild and stops him from being impaled by rebar. Taking a breath, Koji mutters a silent thanks to his partner, and then says, "Tyrfing, recall all Bits, booster formation."

"Tyrfing. Ubertragungsleistung. Target. My left Fist."

< Ja Wohl, Ritter. >

All twelve of the small flying drones that Command Unity Knight Tyrfing sent out to scout and get information come back over to their Mage. As they reappear, each begins to attach themselves to one part of his body, acting almost like a second Knight Cloth. They link to his joints... hips and shoulders, knees and elbows... until the last set attach to his feet and right hand.

But Five of them come down and reform, floating over his four fingers and thumb, flexing like a separate clawed hand, and then start to combine, reshape, and reform until they become a rather high-tech looking gauntlet with five gems at the knuckle-points. The sheathe-and-sword float off of his back and then settle over where the gauntlet's wrist is, reinforcing the construct as the Device reshapes itself on the fly into a new configuration for this maneuver.

Koji flexes his fingers, and the huge metallic gauntlet over his left hand and arm does the same in time, and then he nods once as he looks back to the giant metal man, "Tyrfing. Find me a weak spot."

Targetting reticles begin to ping over the body of Ossiefurtaka as the young male mage begins to focus his mana into the wings on his back keeping him high up, and Tyrfing starts spinning up for his strike.

"Don't tell mom I did this. She'd be WAY too proud of me. So would Miss Haruna. So Would Miss Makoto... So wou-"

< ...Koji? Shut up and hit him already!>
Tin Soldier 2017-11-05 02:10:06 86109
Shards of metal fly everywhere around Rashmi as she bursts the containment that tried to squish her, and there are so many of these little powerful toy people that Osiemnastka clearly isn't tracking them all, his attention flickering from target to target as he grows in rage. Her words gain his attention-- probably especially because she used his name-- and he throws a car in her direction, sneering again, blank metal eyes wide. I WAS NEVER A DEVICE, FOOL OF A MAGE! JIN WANTED, AND ITS DESIRE AWAKENED ME! I DUG IT FROM THE SILT AND GAVE IT THE LIFE IT WANTED!! IT COULD NOT CRY, AND I GAVE IT TEARS! IT DECIDED WHEN IT MET THE WEAK, WEAK FATE THAT I SHOULD BE GIVEN AWAY, THAT IT SHOULD GIVE UP ITS SEMBLANCE OF LIFE AND ALLOW ME TO BE SEALED, BECAUSE SHE WANTED ME AND THOSE LIKE ME-- AND IT WAS STUPID AND DID NOT REALIZE THAT HUMANS ARE CRUEL AND STUPID AS WELL! THAT NO SEED WOULD SAVE HER! ITS TIME IS OVER AND MINE IS COME, AND I GRANT ITS WISH BY ENDING ALL YOUR MISERY FOREVER!!!

Before Osiemnastka can parse the rest of what she's saying, Riventon is sassing him, and he's even more furious-- fifty feet tall, sixty, and it tears off the entire side of a building to use as a crutch to stand once more. This insouciant Mage filled with Dark Energy is in his face being a rude jerk, and a couple of sedans and a mailbox and a truck lift up from the ground and get flung at Takashi as Osiemnastka howls, I AM NO COUNTERFEIT! I AM OSIEMNASTKA, THE ONLY! I AM EIGHTEEN, THE ONLY! AND MY CODE IS OBJECT-ORIENTED! THERE IS NOTHING TO RELEASE! YOUR STUPIDITY INSULTS ME! IT IS NOT EVEN A HUMAN-- I DID NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE! SUCH A STRONG WILL IN SOMETHING THAT WAS A CHILD'S TOY WAS TAILOR MADE FOR ME!

So stuff gets thrown at Riventon and then Sky Jack's over Osiemnastka's head, raining down more soccer balls and seriously making the giant metal man rage out. Sixty feet tall! Seventy! He makes a grab for Sky Jack, obviously not thinking clearly, and there are some pretty epic hollow reverberating bounce sounds as some of the soccer balls actually go through the top of the giant's head and bounce around inside like superballs, making bumps everywhere as the metal's pushed out from the inside. DIE! DIE ALREADY!

Osiemnastka doesn't even notice that his leg doesn't hit Nanoha, doesn't pay attention to Nanoha or Fate at all-- but there's a faint echo of Jin's voice on the wind. "Don't listen. I was mistaken in trusting it, but I am so happy to have met you, Fate Testarossa. I will always be your friend, and I can always be there for you, if you can forgive me...but destroy this travesty. Destroy it. Seal it. It will not harm me."

SHUT UP YOU STUPID THING! I AM EVERY EVIL YOUR CHILDREN FEARED IN THE NIGHT! YOU PROTECTED THEM FROM MERE DREAMS! I AM REALITY, AND YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A TOY! YOU ARE A T-- The golden arrowheads hit, each of them piercing through the fantastically thinned metal 'skin' like it's Reynolds Wrap, tearing monstrous slices through the rapidly destabilizing body. It hasn't even NOTICED Koji yet; Koji hasn't flung a blessed thing at Osiemnastka and is obviously, therefore, not worth any attention whatsoever. Right?
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-05 02:23:37 86111
That is a car. Flying toward her face.

Nicomachea is charging up a big spell and can't really divert any mana to mobility and there is a car coming towards Rashmi's face and--

Mental check: 65% complete? Okay. Time to do something stupid.

The wings of Rashmi's back wink out, and she starts to plummet.

Yay, gravity!

She continues to hold one hand skyward as she falls to the ground, a ball of bright, golden mana growing larger and larger against her palm. Finally, the calculations are complete, though the ground is coming up at a worryingly rapid pace.

*bing!* << BOOST ALL >>

"BULLET BLESS!"

The ball of magic explodes into countless rune-etched ribbons of light that thrash and eel through the air, seeking out every last combatant on the field. Nanoha, Fate, Tyrfing, Kukai, Riventon, all of them suddenly gain a floating, lazily revolving friendship-band of solid sunlight around their right wrist, warm and encouraging and ready to nearly double the power output of the group's next ranged attacks.

*bing!* << FLIER FIN >>

And with maybe a dozen feet left to fall, the wings kicks back on, and Rashmi is safe once more.

Have fun, everyone!
Takashi Agera 2017-11-05 02:30:24 86112
As expected, Riventon more than got the creature's attention, and all sorts of things- chunks of buildings, cars, lamp posts, sewer lines, and various other odds and ends - dive bomb Riventon, who doesn't move. Doesn't attempt to dodge. And when they impact - Riventon detonates into an inky black mollasses, exploding in the air like a ball of tar.

"The difference..." Riventon begins - the real Riventon, stepping out of his Dusk Zone hidey hole "...between knowledge and intelligence - is all in the application." With his hand raised, he begins to coalsece a large orb of Dark Energy in his right palm - as Rashmi's bless encircles it. "Also, you're really giving people like me a bad name, you crystaline psychopath. So let me give you a special parting gift. Axion... Cartridge Load."

    <<Explosion!>

Axion changes form, taking up Riventon's arm to the elbow and generating a few exhaust ports. "Lets finish this."

    <ZERSCHMETTERN!>

The blast of dark energy from Riventon's arm is volumous enough to push him backwards, a surging bolt of energy that seems to be in a Dark rainbow - while the main blast is true black, there are smaller bolts of energy surging through it, they're black-red, black-blue, black-purple - unnatural colors that it probably isn't too good to look at and thinking about might give the others a headache.
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-11-05 02:32:42 86113
Nanoha Takamachi eyes fate. Huh!? Of course she is! Fate is super fast! Nanoha Takamachi. Not so much. She is about to ready something when Raising Heart gets a bunch of calculations and formulae from.....

Bardiche?....

She blinks as she searches her thoughts and nods determinedly as Raising Heart talks about it in her head quickly.

She rears back and begins feeding energy and appears to be readying for what's a Divine Buster, with similar markings and circles.
    hen Rashmi's boost comes on and the markings spin faster and grow a little larger as she narrows her eyes. She has Raising Hear correct for this and retransmit changes if they're required. She raises Raising Heart over her head.

On Fate's call...
Kukai Souma 2017-11-05 02:36:31 86114
Sky Jack sees one of those giant hands coming towards him and can't dodge, can't get away - one big finger swings towards him and he turns, spinning his board in a 360, trying to block it off, and instead of blocking it or being thrown away ends up tearing through the finger as the hollow, tinfoil digit falls apart!

He pants for a second as he sees the band around his wrist, feeling the sunlight, the warmth, knowing what it will do, and seeing it around everyone else.

Everyone who's focused on the tin soldier.

A thought comes to mind, something that rises up in his heart like an angry, jealous, competitive viper and sinks its fangs into his chest. A soccer ball appears in front of him and charges, perhaps faster than he's ever charged one before, the Bullet Bless ramping it up till it looks like a lightning strike held in a bottle. "GOLDEN! VICTORY! SHOOT!"

The electrical rocket launcher fires, and a crack of thunder follows the lightning as it launches across the sky!

Right at Riventon.
Fate Testarossa 2017-11-05 02:58:35 86116
    Osiemnastka rages.
    It is a trait typical to all Jewel Seeds thus far... How they fly so wildly out of control. This is nothing new to Fate, the only thing new about it is this particular Jewel Seeds' ability to speak. She ignores it. She ignores its verbal rage. She has other things to focus on. It is not deserving of her attention.
    Fate Testarossa's focus in this moment is keen. Sharper than any knife, she once more becomes a quiet blade of conviction. Call her weak all it wants, Osiemnastka's words will not cut her. In this moment her intent is to cut IT.
    Rashmi completes her spell. The bright band of cheerful sunlight forms around Fate's wrist. A warm, silent, symbol of many things. Things up to this point Fate has denied and rebuffed. Things for which she casts a side wards glance at the pigtailed girl beside her, trusting in her Device and already setting up for a combination she had never called for. ... But will not turn down in this moment. Not when she hears Jin Meiyou's voice.
    That is the only signal she needs. Seal the seed. He won't be harmed.
    "Now." Her voice is firmer than it has ever been, as she sets herself beside Nanoha, Bardiche readied to bear.
    [Glaive form!]
    The black axe, ever stalwart and faithful prepares to enact his own calculations, Fate funneling the magical energy needed into her Device as Bardiche works in tandem with Raising Heart... And they unleash. It's a twin streak of gold, and pink as the Mid-Childan Devices unleash the signature spells of their wielders.
    Divine Buster.
    Plasma Smasher.
    The trailing streaks intertwine, two beams becoming one greater force brought down to bear on the giant tin man in a wave of roiling mana.
    [BUSTER SHIFT!]
Koji Silvia 2017-11-05 03:04:53 86118
All that's said is a lot to take in, but Koji does, even when the declaration that Jin might not be quite the person or the thing that he might have known in the flesh. But one thing does come back up, and as such when Koji speaks up, the Bullet Bless wrapping around him like an angry alert band against his normally black and metal.

"You said Jin Wanted. That's right. HE wanted. HE had will... no matter what he was. I don't know who Jin really is. He might be a person, he might be a stuffed animal... but that doesn't matter. You don't want him awake. You don't want his Will."

Tyrfing's FlugModus wings angle and he begins streaking towards the core of the metal being.

"HE IS NOT A TOY! HE'S REAL! YOU'RE JUST HOLLOW INSIDE! YOU'RE BIG AND EMPTY, JUST LIKE YOU ARE NOW! YOU'RE NOTHING WITHOUT JIN AND I'M GONNA PROVE IT!"

As he streaks into melee range, right at the Jewel Seed's 'heart', hatches open up on the part covering the elbow, creating boosters that fire off just as he swings in for a titanic punch, pushing himself RIGHT THROUGH THE JEWEL SEED.

Everyone else sees the gauntleted form of Koji Silvia ram into the thin metal shell so hard he caves it in and then just brute forces his way through in a manner that would make every rough and tough type he's met since becoming a part of this whole thing proud.

"JIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!"

The yell echoes through the city block as Koji comes out the other side of the 70 foot tall metal man, the fist now clutched around whatever might be left of Jin Meiyou.
Tin Soldier 2017-11-05 03:31:52 86120
    "BULLET BLESS!"

Rashmi knows: knows when to listen, and when not to. Knows when to hit, when to defend, when to dodge like hell by falling far and fast, and when to spread the belief and conviction and the warmth of sunlight around like the gift of power that it always is, always will be. Her immense will and expenditure of her own energy are more than enough to bring all of her allies'-- temporary or permanent-- attacks to the next level, and defeat the stolen will of the ghost she befriended, defeat it and free him.

    "...you crystalline psychopath..."

Riventon's smugness is at times a thing to really want to punch, but in this instance, the words and the sheer power of the attack he looses on the monster and the kick it's got that sends him flying backwards, they are all legitimately in the right place, for the right reasons (mostly), for the...

...okay probably no one saw Kukai's move coming, that's gonna smart...

    ...she already knows who the best is to go for that...

Nanoha, with all the love and trust in her singing heart, readies Divine Buster to intertwine its power and might with that of the girl she wants so badly to save, wants so badly to be loved by, loves so much--

    Seal the Seed. He won't be harmed. "Now."

--and Fate's heart is in harmony with hers, no matter how many questions this strange Seed has raised, no matter how many hearts have been or may be hurt by it, and the awesome and terrifying power of their combined hearts, especially with the immense double-up Invincibility Heart boost granted by Rashmi, is enough to level mountains and convert demons to goodness to the point of their wanting to join the Little Sisters of the Poor and spend their lives caring for lepers and drinking watery soup.

    "HE IS NOT A TOY! HE'S REAL!"

Koji and Tyrfing smash through the seventy-foot crumpling monstrosity at the same time as all of the CORRECTLY AIMED attacks combine in a devastating explosion of light and darkness and sound and shreds of tinfoil, and all of the floating metal that Osiemnastka had been whipping around crashes to the ground in a deafening cacophony of ringing large junk.

In the thunderous silence after the blast, there's the distinct sound of an object hitting the abruptly asphalt surface upon which practically no one had dared stand. It's the crystalline ringing of a jewel seed, sealed and nominally (more or less) (temporarily) (conditionally) harmless.

In Koji's fist is a small figurine of dark oxidized metal -- a lead and tin alloy -- with a few brightly shining abrasions where the metal's collided with things made of harder stuff. It's a tin soldier, ancient, far warmer than it should be for a chilly night like this. Ancient: all the paint's long since rubbed or flaked off, and its corners are rounded, its features pleasant and vague. It hasn't been in a case all this time.

It's been loved by generations of children.

Everyone knows that a toy that's been loved so long and so well, given life and stories and a heart by a family of imaginations... is real.
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-05 03:49:28 86123
As cars and girders and lamp-posts and twisted wiring fall to a ground made nominally safe again, Rashmi lowers herself to touch down in the middle of the street, walking toward where Koji has come to rest. "About a week ago I started getting curious about Jin-kun," she says softly. "So I did some research. Six years ago, a Meiyou family died, when a tsunami hit their home, in Sendai. Jin Meiyou was twelve years old."

As she closes on the Jewel Seed, she stoops, raising it off the ground with the safety of a spell. "After Walpurgisnacht attacked... Private First Class Jin Meiyou was honorably discharged, when a house fell on him as he was helping with cleanup efforts. Private First Class Meiyou was eighteen, and shared a birthday with the boy who died in Sendai."

As she comes up next to Koji, she kneels down, placing a hand on her dear friend's shoulder. "It wasn't until tonight that I realized the truth about him. I thought Jin was a ghost, someone getting ready to move on, but who desperately wanted to protect someone who needed it... when they couldn't do that in life. But I was wrong."

Looking up, she meets Fate's gaze, steadily, and holds out the hand supporting the Jewel Seed to her. "Jin Meiyou died six years ago. The man who was our friend was that boy's favorite toy, who wished only for the power to protect a child who desperately needed it... the way he never could protect his last owner."
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-11-05 04:02:50 86124
The giant metal thing is gone. She winces a bit as metal and bits fall to the ground as she looks around. Wait. Did that boy. Just...

Sock Riventon when no one was looking?

Part of her grimaces at this. It's the external one that looks like a 'not cool' expression. The other part is nodding approvingly. That's the internal one. For reasons. Then she looks towards Rashmi and she blinks. "Huh!? Woah..." she says with wide eyes. Jin was really a tiny toy? A Jewel Seed musta taken advantage she figures. But...

"Yuuno-- I thought you lost the Jewel Seeds shortly after I met you?...." she asks.

Yuuno shrugs. He can't comment on this. He doesn't know the specifics.

She looks back forward and shakes her head. She gently looks back towards Fate and walks on over and gently leans forward. "Fate-chan. Are you gonna be okay....?" she asks softly.

She doesn't say anything about the Jewel Seed. Yuuno seems oddly frustrated with this. Probably telegraphically chiding Nanoha on not saying anything about it.
Takashi Agera 2017-11-05 04:17:13 86125
Riventon is still holding his left hand with his right - the sheer power of the attack required the bracing - But he looks up. For a moment there's that nearly trademark smug grin, as the creature is destroyed and the extra bits of gauntlet flake off into the air like singed paper. "We need to talk, fa-"

That's all that Takashi gets. His weapon isn't at full operation, this is the first time he's used a Cartridge in ages, and there was just a lot of stuff going on - and that is the reason he didn't notice. The boy didn't even get a shield up. Instead he takes the full shocking blast of the attack, and Riventon - goes flying. He hits the ground. He tumbled, rolling a good distance. It wasn't just any attack, it was an empowered attack, and it shows.

He doesn't, as he so often does, land on his feet. Instead he is face down on the ground.

But he reaches his gauntleted hand out, grabbing a handfull of debris in it as he struggles to return to his feet. Shaking. But alive. There's also a hairline crack in the ebony jewel that sits as his Device's center gem.

In a lab in the Strange Space within Mitakihara ward, alerts go off on a screen. Two girls - one with long black hair and eyes that glowed blue like the ocean - and another, younger, in an immaculate gothic dress, gloved fingers delicately reaching for a scythe - start to move.
Fate Testarossa 2017-11-05 04:33:31 86126
    It is a moment, small and brief. In which Fate and Nanoha's hearts are in unison. Even if both girls might not know it. But it is fleeting and short-lived, doomed to return to the conflict and turmoil both girls equally share for different reasons. But even still, just one little moment is a start.
    Still, once the magic settles and the giant tin man is no more, an exhausted Fate touches down. In her hand, Bardiche returns to axe form, twin prongs shifting slightly before popping open to let the stoic Device vent a long hiss of steam from the magically accumulated heat, while Fate equally tries to cool herself and her head with quick deep breaths.
    It works for Arf. It does not work so well for her, but that is beside the point as scarlet eyes frantically search for signs of Jin Meiyou. Only to see a small gleaming metal figure landing in Koji's hand. Curiosity compels her approach, albeit hesitant and wary.
    Then she hears Rashmi.
    Fate halts. Every part of the blonde's body goes stark still, she's not even shaking anymore as a sensation similar to an ice cube slides down the back of her Barrier Jacket.
    She's silent when Nanoha asks if she'll be okay. It takes her a second to shake off the shock, scarlet eyes searching, briefly, for Riventon- having missed the cheap shot in all the commotion. Her attention is almost fully on the tiny figurine for a long, contemplative, silence.
Kukai Souma 2017-11-05 04:44:33 86127
Sky Jack keeps an eye on Riventon and considers not being around for the moment now that he's pulled his trick. In fact, hiding sounds good - even knocked out, there's not much good he can do to Riv at this point. Still, that ought to break his power for a while. Sky Jack lets out a cheer and flies low over the group, missing Rashmi's words entirely, deciding to stick around for a bit. "Yeah, we won! Who was that big metal jerk, anyways?"
Koji Silvia 2017-11-05 04:47:55 86128
The sound of the stranger Riventon who SEEMS to be a Mage, but no mage he's ever seen jars Koji from his moment of near-commiseration with Rashmi. And though there's a nod to his friend in all of this, and he just looks at the warm little doll in the gauntlet he's wearing.

Tyrfing begins to disassemble from around the boy, leaving him holding the tin soldier while the sword and sheathe reattach to his back, and the remaining four bits that were not burned up from mana usage float close by them.

He smiles back at Rashmi for a moment and just says quietly, "Thank you."

But then he walks over to where Fate is, and he holds out the little worn out tin soldier to her, "Here. He wanted to help you. I don't know what's going on with you, or with why you need to find these Jewel Seeds. All I know is it's important to you, and because of that it was important to him."

Yes, Riventon was just dirtplanted, yes, if he was perfectly aware of just how BAD that was, he'd be a little more focused on that instead of this, but in his head there is a 'Rashmi has this' mentality when it comes to stupid mistakes between friends.

So he goes on.

"When I was six, my dad gave me three action figures he had when he was a kid. They sit up above my computer desk where I can see them every morning. One of them is Susumu Kodai from Space Battleship Yamato, one of them is GoLion, and the last is Fujiko Mine from Lupin the Third. They've been on adventures together all over Japan with me. They were around when I cried myself to sleep because boys in my class picked on me, and they are always there when I get home so I could tell them about my day. When the Dream world was threatened, it was the imagination they inspired that gave me the power to help everyone else."

Then he just puts it in Fate's hand, and folds her fingers over it, "His stories and his adventures are yours now. Just like he keeps you and your friend safe, you keep him safe too. So one day when you find a little boy or little girl who needs a friend... you'll know he's just the one who can help them too."

Perhaps it's the moment, and it might be a little TOO far, but he goes for the hair-ruffle, and the big-brother grin.
Fate Testarossa 2017-11-05 05:15:18 86129
    No. ... No that's not contemplative silence.
    The slack-jawed silent stare with absolutely no composure to it... That is a look that can only be described as one of muted shock.
    She barely even registers Tyrfing disengaging and that it's now Koji Silvia that approaches her, her focus is so intent on that tiny figurine, as Rashmi's words turn over in her head again and again. The final pieces of the puzzle click into place. Among them, the nature of the Jewel Seeds, and the image of this little figurine play repeatedly in her mind, as the tiny soldier is held towards her.
    The little soldier that needed someone to protect, so badly, the little soldier with a life all its own to be able to make a wish, the young man that had so desperately sought to help her at no gain to himself, the tiny faith tale soldier that protected her from a tall tale... All one and the same. The realization is a heavy weight cast in tin. A weight that is gently set in her hands.
    Only once Jin Meiyou- the little soldier is set in her grasp does she realize how close Koji is. Fate flinches instinctively from the physical contact, but reluctantly allows it for now, fingers curling over the battered but well loved little figure.
    She is, in part, tempted to push it back. To not accept the small weight set in her grasp. It was her problems that had upset Jin the most. The things he could not solve for her no matter how hard he desired it. The scars upon her back compelling her in wordless hisses to say 'no, someone else deserves his love more than I'. She does not want this little stalwart soldier to sit on her nightstand and see her coming home injured and broken every night. She almost rejects him.
    [SIR. Take him.] It is almost as though that Device of hers can read her mind. And it is Bardiche's words that make Fate fall to her knees, clutching the little tin man to her chest tightly.
    Her throat burns.
    Her eyes are scratchy.
    Fate fights it. She cannot show weakness. She is strong, she tells herself. And she tells herself that over and over, in spite of how, in this moment, utterly lonely it makes her feel.
    A slow breath and she once again regains her composure, albeit muted.
    "Thank you."
    She's not speaking to Koji when she says it, and once again, she jerks as though afraid of his touch when he reaches for her hair. It takes her a long beat, subtly wiping at her eyes on the back of her glove, before Fate Testarossa is on her feet once again, still clutching the small soldier to her breast.
    [Internalize Number: Eighteen.] Bardiche announces solemnly, plucking the Jewel Seed from Rashmi's hand as she holds it out, sealing it away where it can harm no one else and grant no more wishes.
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-05 05:20:35 86130
"Thank you, Jin-kun," Rashmi murmurs... At which point she blinks, head popping up and turning to track where Riventon landed. With a heavy sigh, she pats Koji's arm, then ushes off the ground again, headed toward the poor faceplanted Dark Mage. A murmured spell, and Riventon is surrounded in a ring of warm sunlight rising from the ground. It's not the most comprehensive bit of healing magic, but it soothes aches and dulls the edge of pain. "...That was really not nice of him to do," she says to Riventon, offering a hand out. "I'm sure you probably don't hear this as often as you deserve to.... but thanks, Riventon-san. It was nice of you to help when you didn't have to, and I appreciate that."
Nanoha Takamachi 2017-11-05 05:37:47 86131
Nanoha Takamachi eyes Koji and nods to him a little with a small smile as she then looks back down to Fate with concern. And... is Fate. Is Fate going to... cry? She isn't worried by this just. Fate is always cool. and calm. Not like this. It's more jarring rather than worrying. Because of course Fate has /feelings/.

She just rarely sees anything besides cool and neutral, as she dispells the barrier finally now that it's un-needed.

She gently lets Fate seal it as Yuuno starts to speak up and Nanoha helpfully closes two fingers around his tiny muzzle and glares. Yeep! Yuuno immediately shuts up. Yeah. Nanoha isn't having the whining right now.

She does eye the touch and it's reaction and she tries to shoot Koji a wordless look about this. It's something she noticed when Fate took her home to apply first aid.

"Fate-chan." she says quietly. "Thanks for calling us to help." she says quietly.

"....Do you need someone to help take you home?" she asks. Probably not. Riventon will be okay in a moment. Probably.
Takashi Agera 2017-11-05 05:52:23 86132
Roughly the milisecond that Nanoha lets the barrier drop, there's a flare up of golden energy - what starts as a dot spreads into four lines, spans out, and forms a quartered circle - and a much larger flare of the same energy erupts in a column, as a rip is torn in spacetime. Out of the rift first steps Black Sakura, leading the way with her scythe, and followed up by a veritable platoon of magical girls - Senshi uniforms, Prism Keepers, Pretty Cures, and more - all in greyscale colorless outrfits. And all, creepily, missing faces - just blank flesh.

They're armed with different magitech weapons - mostly rifles, a few pistols... and a flamethrower.

They arrive as Rashmi's spell is helping Riventon find his feet - first one then they other - and they're pointing weapons wordlessly at Rashmi. And at pretty much everyone else except Fate. The faceless girls move to start jabbing jagged rifle bayonetts Rashmi's way before Riventon makes a downwards motion with his palm and calls them off.

"I won't forget this." he says to Rashmi, his tone a sort of eerie calm. It is thankfulness for her efforts, of a sort. "Nor will I forget your actions." he adds to Kukai. That's a much more hostile tone, but it's a calculated hostile rather than the emotional hostile. More dangerous. "Fate. Are you ready to go? We need to talk." The faceless girls start to pressure Rashmi away from Riventon by sheer weight of numbers. And poking.
Rashmi Terios 2017-11-05 05:56:34 86133
"....Um," Rashmi pontificates, raising her hands and backing away from the mahou stabbequins. "Riventon-san... Y'know... it's stuff like this that doesn't help your reputation any. I mean, this is the second time I've ever even seen you, and um... Why is that one dressed like Sacchan?"
Koji Silvia 2017-11-05 06:00:47 86134
Koji is just sort of left staring at the parade of grey-scale bad girls parading out with enough firepower to occupy Shinjuku, and he ends up looking back at Fate and then Nanoha for a moment... and then he takes a breath and his silly courtesy defaults kick in. He reaches a hand out to Nanoha, and says to her, "C'mon... I need to get some green onion and tamari from a conbini. I'll take you to the train station so you can get home. I know using Raising Heart like that can leave you a little exhausted."

Looking at Kukai and Riventon back and forth once more, he just says, "Pardon me, I do not know what's going on here, but... it was good of you both to come and try to help. I hope we can meet again under better circumstance."

He then turns and adds to Nanoha, "Shall we? I'll buy you a sweet bean cake to split with Yuuno?"
Kukai Souma 2017-11-05 06:02:22 86135
"If it's any benefit, I was aiming for your nose, but I missed." Sky Jack waves cheerily at Riventon and nods, hands dropping into his pockets and fiddling around for his phone. "Go take a nap, you'll feel better." He eyes Fate for a moment, then nods to her. "Don't give it to him, ok? He shouldn't have it." Kukai remains ready to flee at a moment's notice, seeing the mass of youma-girls behind Riventon. How well can you aim a gun if you don't have a face, anyway?

Jack looks over at Rashmi for a second, then back to the mob. She'll figure it out soon enough. For now, he'll take the little victories where he can get them. There'll be more later.