Nature of Justice

(WARN: MGS reference overflow, Stahlritter has a potty mouth and Hulda is a horrible manipulative bi--) The agents of TEDDY BE-- er, I mean, a group of Mahou join Stahlritter in Metal Gear Solid-ing up a suspected Raskoph Compound to try and find some answers on what the Raskophs are up to. They don't find anything fun, and Stahlritter almost loses it.

Date: 2018-07-28
Pose Count: 63
Stahlritter 2018-07-28 20:07:39 93078
    The last few months have been busy for Alexis Raskoph. The revelation over his parents' true nature added only more to the sense of duty he carries with the mantle of a certain Knight. Many sleepless nights spent in gathering intel, conducting recon-- but eventually, it all lead to this.

    Supply routes leading to a certain building, deep into the industrial district, with records leading through the bureaucratic maze towards certain Yakuza. And as far as Stahlritter himself explained it, the Yakuza in question are high on the list of suspected associates of the Raskoph Conglomerate.

    Long story short: Something is being transported to and from the large compound of a combined factory building long fallen into disuse and an office complex. And the intent here today is to find out precisely what that is.

    Thus, enter the staging area on the rooftop of a building next compound over, high enough to overlook the target area.

    "We don't know what's in there for sure," the unnaturally deeply-rumbling voice informs through Stahlritter's t-visored helmet, while standing on the edge of the roof, back turned to the others while the fiery-orange of the visor scans deep below. "The guards on the exterior are fully mundane Yakuza, unless if the Raskophs have supplied them with some weird equipment. Inside is a mystery. If my suspicions are correct, though, the instant we make any noise as we are even to the guards outside, the place will be swarming within minutes with any more overtly magical reinforcements that can be spared. So either A: We sneak inside and try to keep quiet for as long as possible. Or B: We go down hard and try to be fast enough that there won't even enough time for a quick reaction force to arrive."

    The helmet turns, slowly, to allow the Knight to peer back at his own reinforcements he's gathered here.

    "Which one's everyone feeling more comfortable with?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-28 20:27:26 93079
Between the edging-into-unhealthy focus that Stahritter's had, and the almost painfully-keen fresh exuberance of Miho.... not to mention Lacrima's recent...... unhappiness.... Rashmi is as much concerned with being a moderating influence in this little sortie, as helping Alexis cause trouble for his family, despite Nicomachea's strange new uncertainty about the whole operation.

Standing on the rooftop, Rashmi draws in a deep breath. "Honestly I really don't want to start the fighting unless we absolutely have to," she says at first. "Not just because it's likely to be more dangerous, but I mean it's just... not fair. Sure they're Yakuza down there, but all they have is guns, y'know? It'd be like challenging a preschool class to a track meet."
Lacrima 2018-07-28 20:33:49 93080
Lacrima isn't in the best of places right now. That's basically one hundred and ten perfect the fact. She's tired of making so much progress, so much change and then something happens that drags it back. She wants to be home curled in her coffin staring at the cushioned side.

But Alexis-niisan wanted her help, and she's going to do it. She's going to help because that's what a little sister does, right?

She'll warn Alexis about Ryo another day. She doesn't need the distraction. He doesn't need the distraction right now. She's eyeing the Yazkua on the exterior, guarding.

" you think guns aren't dangerous?" she asks. "Guns still hurt." she says. "They distract- and not all of you..." you. Magical Girls. Something she doesn't consider herself.

She's something else. She's a monster. "...are impervious to them." she says.

"Quiet may be best." she says. "For now." she says as she wraps her arms around herself a little. Crossing her arms across her chest in the process as she takes a soft breath.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-28 20:36:01 93081
Before they headed out, Miho said to Alex, "Count me in. I have a feeling you're gonna need all the help you can get."

But now Life Mahou Joy is ... kind of nervous about this, really. She peers down at the building, then steps back a bit, looking over at the others present to see what kind of input they have. That said, she immediately nods when Rashmi and Lacrima raise their concerns. "Both good points," she says softly, in that clear bright voice which sounds almost, but not quite, exactly unlike Miho does out of henshin. She clears her throat. "What, um, what is the course for sneaking in, Stahlritter-san?"
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-28 20:43:02 93082
    Ariel is not exactly the obvious choice to bring along to raid a yakuza lair. The girl is too gentle, outright refuses to fight, and is more often than not these days just trying to exist peacefully.
    But here she is anyway on the rooftop; the tiny unicorn-girl in silvery armor is mounted upon her faithful steed. Lucky the star-dog is settled on his haunches, panting lazily, golden fur gleaming much like the silvery dream-steel of his barding, the two perched close by to Lacrima.
    The fact of the matter is, she's eyeing the vampire subtly from the corner of her gaze, trying to not be too blatant about her worry, but there's no hiding it in the occasional flick of her tail or flit of floppy ears.
    "Um! Quiet is probably good. I've only seen guns on TV but they seem kind of scary and loud."
    And she doesn't want to have to suddenly patch up anyone who eats a bullet because that would probably be horrifying.
Stahlritter 2018-07-28 20:50:25 93083
    "... I... Guess that's a good point...?" Stahlritter rumbles at Rashmi first, though he somehow doesn't seem particularly convinced.

    Lacrima and Ariel's words, on the other hand, prompt the Knight to draw up a hand to rub at the side of his helmet-concealed head. Internally, he's kind of glad that everyone wants to be stealthy, but also extremely disappointed by the fact that the reason is just "Don't wanna deal with guns" rather than "We can sneak well".

    "I think both me and Lacrima can do stealth recently well, but unfortunately my skillset doesn't come with making *others* stealthy," the Knight rumbles out, though the visor turns to give Lacrima a thoughtful look. "YOu're not able to manipulate shadows around the others or anything to make them invisible, are you?"
Lacrima 2018-07-28 21:06:05 93084
Lacrima can do stealth, but much like Alexis, that's alone. She eyes Stahlritter. "I can? Dark energy projection is a thing I can do. But it'd be like keeping a wall between us and whatever and it probably wouldn't be perfect." she says.

She gently moves a little closer to Ariel. She bites her lip.

"So I can try but we'd be moving as a group." she says, as she shifts a little.

"Unless someone has a better idea. I wouldn't suggest a barrier yet." she says. "That's a bad idea." she says.

"It'll alert the most likely magical guards anywhere in the facility proper." she says.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-28 21:10:45 93085
"We-e-ell, I can think of ways that wouldn't be so bad," Rashmi starts. "I mean, isn't half of sneaking around a place just being where people aren't? So while Lacchan's keeping us hidden, I can navigate us and make sure that where we're going is where nobody's looking? You can do that, right, Nicomachea?"

*bing!* << AFFIRMATIVE, MASTER. COMMAND INPUT READY, >> chirps the huge armored book in the redhead's hands.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-28 21:19:12 93086
Life Mahou Joy smiles over at Ariel. "I've only seen guns on TV, too," she says. "And yeah, I ... really don't think I can heal people in the middle of a fight, I just can't concentrate enough on the Life Blessing when I have that kind of adrenaline going." Seems like she and Ariel are of the same mind there, too! She glances over at Rashmi and adds, "Oh! By the way, Rashmi-chan, uh ..." She goes slightly red-faced, and she sounds a bit awkward. "I can confirm that my healing goes a lot quicker when I'm in henshin."

She gives Alex a sidelong look, seeming to intuit what's bothering him. "We're all mahous here," she says dryly. "We're kind of all built around flashiness, except Lacchan."

She listens as Lacrima and Rashmi plan. "Nicomachea-san is sounding handier and handier," she says. "I can keep my own stuff under control enough that I won't disrupt you, Lacchan." There's still a sense of nervousness about her, and she hesitates. "As for a barrier, I dunno if we need one." She gives a lopsided grin. "If it's as bad as you're saying, Stahlritter-san, I kind of want to be Sailor Collateral Damage if it comes to that."
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-28 21:23:25 93087
    In fairness, Ariel is a tiny unicorn child. She has every right to be gun shy.
    Fingers lace into Lacrima's hand quietly when the vampire draws nearer, offering her a wordless squeeze of support, before plans start getting discussed. Lips purse as she ponders for a moment... Lacrima can try and hide the group... Rashmi can direct and navigate...
    So then why is Ariel smiling?
    No, seriously, the girl is positively beaming, tail swishing behind her like a dog- which prompts Lucky to perk up and start wagging, as well.
    Her nose scrunches... And for a moment it looks like she's concentrating really hard; horn beginning to glimmer green with a shimmering seashell glow...
    And down on the street below there's a sudden birdlike cry...
    It might come as a surprise. A single penguin comes toddling around the street corner, flippers lazily flapping as it starts wandering RIGHT BY the yakuza gate guards. 'Wak wak!' It squawks, tugging something behind it on a small length of rope.
    It's a toy wagon on wheels, but what might be just as interesting as the fact that it's a penguin- in an actual tuxedo-- pulling it along... Is that on this wagon is a sack.
    And the sack is half open, revealing a massive amoung of bills. Yen bills in high denominations, a big dollar sign emblazoned on the bag for emphasis as it ambles right by and starts trying to lead the men around the next corner.
    Because, seriously, look at all that money.
    'Wak wak!'
    "I can provide the distractions!"
Stahlritter 2018-07-28 21:33:57 93088
    "Alright," Stahlritter growls. "Terios, link Nicomachea to Kriegsfauste, I can move outside the shroud to ease the strain on Lacrima so he can use me as another visual relay. Prepare everything, once you have, we're gonna use the smokestack as an..."

    Something very visibly distracts STahlritter.

    "...Entry... point..."

    Namely the scene down below. Of several Yakuza scrambling in confusion around the Rich Penguin.

    "WHat the hell is that?!"

    "WHo cares, get it!"

    "No, get the money!"

    Stahlritter just stares down there for a solid ten seconds.

    "...Okay I think we need to make this really quick now then. Shroud up, I'll meet you inside!"

    And just like that, the Knight leaps off the roof, coat billowing about him like wings briefly before a length of chain appearing from nowhere pulls him out of line of sight.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-28 21:43:57 93089
"Benefits of having alien compter magic," Rashmi says with a lopsided smile. "But yeah let's not do the collateral damage thing at all, Barriers are going up if stuff gets fighty. Anyway.... Nicomachea?"

She opens the book, and a half-dozed screens fade into view, rearranged to allow for one larger screen to take up the left-hand 'real estate' above the book's pages. A circle spreads out beneath Rashmi's feet, and the book in her hands chimes again.

*bong!* << WIDE-AREA SCOUT >>

A quartet of tiny golden spheres rise up from the circle, orbiting and bobbing in place, then spread out to arrow toward the smokestack. Almost immediately, images like unto camera feeds start showing up on the smaller screens, and a map begins to be drawn of the structure on the larger screen, based on what the sensory orbs can pick up. The thoroughly-distracted guards show up on the map as bright yellow dots on the ground floor.

"Your turn, Lacchan," she mutters... then pauses, watching the penguin through one of the screens. ".....Ariel-chan, have I told you yet how glad I am that you're a part of this? Because seriously."
Lacrima 2018-07-28 21:45:53 93091
Lacrima stares at this, she stares and she practically looses all sense of location and presence and it takes a moment to shake her out of his surreal moment that she's sure could had come from one of the dumb slice of life anime she's been watching recently. Oh! OH that was Ariel. Okay. Okay good. She thought she was going mental, wondering if that's what the dark mental fall looked like. She relaxes again. "That's good Ari-chan." she says.

She sighs. "Around me then, we travel as a group." she says as she throws up a wall of shadow around them as she eyes Life Mahou Joy. "I dunno why you'd wanna be like Sailor Venus." she says making a face.

When she's done, she'll make for the smoke stack. She imagines thus means sticking to rooftops or higher areas. This factory isn't running right?

She'd rather not jump right into a boiling furnace or anything.

Nicomachea will need to guide them. You can't exactly see out of a wall of darkness. This is not a two way mirror, it's a wall of just. shimmering black.

Probably not a good idea to stare too long at it.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-28 21:52:00 93092
Life Mahou Joy stares. She points at the Sudden Penguins, and opens her mouth to comment, and then ... just ... lowers her hand and closes her mouth. And then she opens and closes her mouth a few times, before finally setting on, "That is the most awesome thing I've ever seen anyone do!" She grins, and pats Ariel's shoulder. "Nice work, Ariel-chan!"

She blinks as Stahlritter makes his abrupt exit, and then bunches up close to Lacrima with a chuckle. "Well, I meant just in terms of wrecking this place we're about to get into," murmurs, trying to focus intently on Nicomachea's screens as she flies along within Lacrima's shadow. She puts one hand on Rashmi's shoulder to steady herself; the darkness is kind of irritating her Life Blessing senses. Still, she's not about to give any other visible sign of this that would bother Lacrima even more than she is already.
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-28 22:00:50 93093
    The good news is, no one is going insane. Everyone can see the penguin. Ariel looks pretty pleased as punch with the result.
    The bad news is this distraction is not going to last. So getting a move on is probably for the best because...
    Down on the streets, Mister Moneybags The Dream Penguin glances up when he realizes that he's just waddled into the wrong neighbordhood. A large bead of sweat rolls down the arctic avian's brow as he glances up at the mob of Yakuza on the approach. One flipper rises to casually adjust his monocle... And then...
    He starts to run. For a flightless bird, he's pretty fast, too, tugging the wagon o' money behind him, fliling his flippers to escape the mobsters. He'll last long enough to be chased around the block once or twice before vanishing around another corner like he never existed. It's as good a time to get on the move as any.
    "Eheh heh~." Ariel simply giggles to herself, when her tactic is met with mass approval, before she gives Lucky's fur a light tug. The massive dog standing in an instant, following after Lacrima.
Stahlritter 2018-07-28 22:04:00 93094


    "...Think we should tell the boss about this?"

    "NO WAY, DUDE! He'll just take the money and send this thing to some scientists or something! WE'll get rich if we send it to the black market!"

    This is definitely not the kind of ridicilous any of the Yakuza were expecting, most likely. But somehow they seem to roll with it easily enough. To the point where guards from inside are running out, too, to try to help with... er, penguin-wrangling.


    "I'm going down first," Stahlritter's voice booms through Nicomachea, given Rashmi did have him establish a connection to Kriegsfauste too. "I'll make sure it's good."

    If they get close enough quick enough, they - or at least NIcomachea - get to see the silhouette of STahlritter dipping down the vertical tunnel of the smokestack of the factory-building, and a moment later another message sent through. "...The machinery down here is hollow. Nothing to stop you from coming through. THe whole building was probably built as a front to begin with. ... Which probably means there's something underneath, like there was in the place where you guys snatched me from. Have Nicomachea's scout drones scan for any electrical feedback and send the results to Krieg. Should be able to find the entrance to the secret lab or whatever else that way."
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-28 22:12:04 93096
With a guide needed through the barrier of darkness, Rashmi flies easily at Lacrima's side, keeping the book held out so that Lacchan can take note of the ever-expanding map of the area. The balls of dim light slip down he smokestack after Stahlritter, spreading out and keeping to the ceiling as they explore the general area.

Meanwhile, Nicomachea responds to a silent command with a soft, muted chime; *bing!* << TELEPATHY >>

<< There, >> all the gathered mahou hear Rashmi speak, as if just behind their left shoulder. << Now we can all keep in communication without Nico having to make noise. Miho-chan, just think like you're going to say something, but don't actually say it, it'll come through here. He's tuning the sensors..... now. >>

And indeed, a secondary map begins to sketch itself between the walls of the building layout; blue-gray lines for dead conduits, blue for live ones, and bright blue for especially strong fields. If there's anything to be found, this sensor map will display it almost immediately.
Lacrima 2018-07-28 22:26:09 93097
Floomp. Down the smokestack. She lands, hopefully with the others as she lowers the black screen when it's safe to do so, but only then. She sighs a bit and dusts herself off. She gently looks around. Finding secret things isn't an easy process for her. She'll let Rashmi handle this one.

She'll go back to being close to Ariel though, as she looks back towards Life Mahou Joy.

"There's probably going to be a lab in a 'pocket dimension' here." she says to her. "I dunno what we're expecting to find in there." she says.

"Probably gonna be. Magical youma robots." she says. She shifts a bit. "I dunno how much help I'll be in here. But I'll do my best." she says.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-28 22:33:45 93098
"Snatched him from ...?" murmurs Life Mahou Joy. She's new enough that she doesn't know all the details of Alex's previous misadventures, and she's honestly kind of worried about that.

<< Testing, testing ... Yep, got it! >> says Miho. Her telepathic sounds like that of Life Mahou Joy, except with a slightly awkward androgyny. << Or, hang on ... lemme see if ... >> Over the course of several words, it makes it back to the same voice she has when she speaks aloud. << Testing ... testing ... All right, there we go! >>

She actually smiles slightly, in spite of her nervousness. After all, it was Norie, Rashmi, and Alexis who helped reassure her about the existence of magic, and it's really obvious that Ariel is a very close friend of Norie's. Miho trusts the heroes of Tokyo, and she isn't about to stop just because she suddenly became one of them. Quite the opposite, in fact.

<< Interesting, >> she says to Lacrima. << Well ... don't worry, Norie-chan, just stick by Ariel-chan and we'll handle the offensive side of things. >> Her voice flickers into that androgynous tone, but she mostly has her telepathic voice under control.

She watches Rashmi's map for a moment, taking note of everything it shows. << Now that I think of it, do we have to worry about the Raskoph Conglomerate having people with purifying or healing powers? >>
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-28 22:37:25 93099
    Lucky keeps pace well enough across the rooftops, the massive shaggy dog taking great leaps and following closely, showing no trouble ferrying Ariel along with the others. She trusts the map work and navigation to Rashmi, and simply follows after Lacrima.
    Though it might look a little silly when Nichomachea sets up a telepathic link for the group, and the unicorn's floppy goat-like ears prick straight up on pur reflex. But then it's a quick jump down the smokestack, and Lucky lands on all fours with little more than a soft grunt, tail wagging and tongue lolling out while Ariel ruffles his neck fluff.
    <<I am sure you will be plenty of help, Lacrima!>> She replies chipperly, in spite of being on a super hush hush stealth mission.
    <<Not to worry, I'll help with any defense, too.>>
Stahlritter 2018-07-28 22:46:10 93100
    The map provided by Nicomachea doesn't provide... any particularly obvious big concentrations of electricity. It really would imply that the place has fallen out of use. Though, there are still some lines here and there, and one of them mysteriously leads to...

    << There, that obviously goes to some door in the basement, doesn't it? >> Now, Stahlritter obviously isn't able to actually physically point out what particular line he means, so everyone sort of has to take his word for it-- or try to spot it for themselves.

    << ANyone else suddenly feel like they're in Metal Gear Solid? ... I can't be the only one who knows that one, right? Right? Okay... >>

    Down to the basement, then, with Stahlritter keeping to his own brand of sneakiness in lead-- down lead them to a massive, high-tech door that... looks suspiciously similiar to what LAcrima and Rashmi both would remember as being the first obstacle the first time they raided a Raskoph installation.

    << The secret level must be shielded in some way to prevent electronic readings-- but guess this slipped it. No one looking from outside would be able to tell without being this close anyhow, I suppose. >>

    ... And as it happens, the door starts to open, too, with a hiss of released air and pressure. << -- Shit. Okay, just make sure you guys stand outside likely footpaths. >>

    The door slides open, steadily, and from within step out two-- grotesque mechs, of sort. Humanoid in shape, but very clearly not human in appearance, with very barebones chassis built primarily for function, without any concealing characteristics in mind. Lacrima will sense dark energy infused in them.

    The two bots look around in confusion, before one makes a high-pitched, irritated sound, and both go stomping up the way the Mahou Spies came from.

    << ... I'm guessing the penguin outside caught their attention. Must be set to respond to any direct magical presences here. >> The statement from Stahlritter still carries some... strange tone to it. In the telepathic sort of way, anyway. Wavering. Uncertainty.

    << ... It's odd, though. This doesn't feel right. Those two didn't... *feel* like any of the Raskoph drones I've dealt with before. >>
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-28 22:51:24 93101
<< I'd be really really really really surprised if there was anything that dealt in purification around here, >> Rashmi says after a moment. << They're actively shoving Dark energy into stuff, it'd be like keeping all your matches in the gasoline-storage room. >>

Hurriedly darting out of the way when the door slides open, Rashmi watches the 'drones' stomp on out, concern knitting her brow. << ....I'd scan them, but it'd be exactly like using sonar on a submarine, >> she thinks quietly. << Let's see if we can find any better evidence inside? >>
Lacrima 2018-07-28 23:00:36 93102
Lacrima eyes the two robots and head tilts. << Unfamiliar models. >> she says curtly. Relaying that these probably aren't standard Eclipse models and probably Raskoph specials of some sort. << Dark Energy Presence. >> she says.

<< I don't think they're entirely dark energy constructs. >> she says.

She slides out of the way they're moving. Staying out of sight.

She snorts telepathically when Life Mahou Joy asks if they might have someone with purifying powers. << No. Not at all. It's more darkness doesn't fight darkness very well. And if you're not careful you're just feeding each other or one side more dark energy. >> she mutters.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-28 23:07:15 93103
Life Mahou Joy notes that Ariel specifically mentioned "defense", when she and Lacrima had been talking entirely about "offense", but she doesn't comment. << I know it! >> she says in response to Alexis. << ... I've only watched Youtube videos, though ... >>

She nods to Rashmi and Lacrima. << I meant more in general, but all right, got it. >> She scoots a bit closer to Rashmi and peers over her shoulder at the mechs. << ... I don't have any basis for comparison with other models, but I can sense some darkness in them through the Life Blessing ... >>
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-28 23:12:58 93104
    Metal Gear Solid?
    What's that?
    Ariel hops off Lucky's back as the mechanical walkers go tromping by.
    <<Mister Moneybags should be vanishing about now.>> She notes in regards to the dream penguin outside. So the group is on their own on the inside now. ... So why is she putting on a bandanna on her forehead like a headband?
    "Lucky, stay behind and protect Lacrima. I'm going to go on ahead." She whispers to her dog.
    See the thing about unicorns is... They can be unseen if they desire it. Not invisible but unseen.
    There's a tiny shimmer as Ariel's armor vanishes, leaving her in her tunic and barefoot. It's quieter that way as she slides into a shadow.
    . o O (If I make believe I don't exist, nothing should be able to see me.) She logics to herself, as she starts scouting ahead a little bit.
    Well. Technically it's not wrong. Unicorns don't really exist anyway so... That's when she realizes something, and sends a message to the others.


    <<We should have codenames!>> Ariel mentally chirps, kneeling hidden behind a crate with two fingers pressed to her ear. <<I'll be Quiet Karkadan! Lacrima can be Shadow Bat, Rashmi could be Sunny Owl-- oh oh oh, Stahlritter can be Metal Wolf Chaos... Um...>> She pauses and thinks for a moment. What about Life Mahou Joy? <<Crazy Cat?>>
Stahlritter 2018-07-28 23:29:25 93105
    << Mother has a very specific feel to her droids, >> Stahlritter is prompt to point out. << Lacrima-- you're sure Eclipse doesn't have anything like those? >>

    << ... I'm fine with Stahlritter >> he insists in response to Ariel, then, with... well,. it's not really possible to sigh telepathically, but there's the closest equivalent of it anyhow there. << Let's... keep moving. Before the door closes on it's own. >>

    Beyond the door itself, it's like stepping into a different world. Less decrepit, rundown factory, and more sterile, futuristic hallways, with automatic sliding doors and what have you... and the odd droid patrolling here and there. Somehow, Stahlritter keeps getting antsier the deeper in they get.

    Thankfully, Lacrima's shroud manages to help keep everyone unnoticed... save for STahlritter, who has to rely on his own wits and skills, and in turn likeyl ends up getting slowed down behind the rest to the point that he has to seperate, and take a different route. More accurately, divert into a security room.

    << You guys keep going ahead-- I'm gonna see if I can find anything here. There was a mundane techie here but he's, uh... sleeping now. I'm having Krieg send data from these computers here to Nico-- maybe he can figure out someplace useful for you guys to go to while I look at the paperwork and logs here. >>

    It eventually guides the motley crew of sneaky Mahou (sans STahlritter) towards... *massive* security doors leading to... some kind of storage room, apparently? They might need to actually *break* through those, though.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-28 23:34:45 93106
Unicorns can make almost any situation feel like it's as much fun as playing make-believe in the park. This flashes through Rashmi's head as she stifles the giggles, hard enough that the group can hear her << *snrrrrk* >> telepathically. << .....Sunny Owl confirms, Quiet Karkadan, >> she thinks, struggling hard to hold back laughter.

Sadly, the giggles are slowly crushed beneath the oppressive weight of weirdness in the secret lab, and as Kriegsfauste's directions guide them to the door, Rashmi looks up, and up, and up, and sighs heavily. << ...........I get the feeling that we're going to have to say hello with lasers and stuff. >>
Lacrima 2018-07-28 23:45:24 93107
Lacrima nods a bit. << I'm mostly sure. I'm not privy to every design or thing they wield though. >> she says. <<... Ah. So the sneaking is over>> she mutters as they reach the heavy door--- then Ariel broadcasts back to them.... and all she can do is purses her lips hard enough to avoid giggling out loud as she sighs a bit.

<< Shadow Bat. Is more just a basic description of myself. >> she says dryly somehow.

She draws a hand back as she gathers up dark energy. "Garra de la oscuridad!" she calls out in Spanish as she suddenly explodes forward with what appears to be a sudden powerful series of dark energy slashes forward into the door. She's trying to slice heavily into it.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-28 23:48:52 93108
Life Mahou Joy clamps her hands over her mouth, struggling not to laugh. << I would've gone with "Lesbian Cat," but sure, >> she says, amusement in her telepathic voice. << Or, uh, "Speed Cat", or -- You know what, I can live with Crazy Cat. >>

She looks around curiously at the facility on the other side, taking everything in and occasionally glancing at Nicomachea's screens for reference. When they arrive at the double-doors, she peers at them for a moment, tapping her chin thoughtfully. << Well, Sunny Owl, my attacks are kind of lackluster in the physical damage department, so ... >> There's still a sense of giggling in her voice.

She tries not to flinch from Lacrima's sudden surge of destructive darkness, and just ... steps back so she's a bit further behind Rashmi. There's a faint minty glow on her fingertips for a moment, but then she balls her hands into fists and the glow disappears.
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-28 23:59:58 93110
    ... Where has Ariel gone?
    Lucky keeps close to Lacrima as instructed, though.


    <<Sunny Owl, I seem to have encountered some sort of warehous demon. It's staring at me with its beady eyes... Look at the teeth on that thing, I bet it could rip apart a tank. ... I might not make it out of here alive....>>
    Ariel is in a vent somewhere, staring down a massive rat.
    <<It's coming right towards me! ... I'll have to remember the basics of TLC...>>
    A moment later, the rat is happily nuzzling her cheek, munching on a cookie she had in her tunic pocket.


    <<So, Shadow Bat, how does Dark Energy taste like, anyway?>>

    Ariel asks this from inside a locker, somewhere.


    <<Oh, Speed Cat? ... Well speed isn't really an adjective, it can either be a noun or a verb, and breaks the name scheme of TEDDY BEAR. ... That's what I named our mercenary group. TEDDY BEAR is a good name right? I'm thinking of making a base out of some pillows and a few sheets, and it can be called NAPPING HEAVEN.>>
    Ariel exposits from where she presses herself up against a conveniently green wall, making her 95% harder to see because of her green tunic and skin.


    <<I can't get past this really big door. Shadow Bat can you do anything about it?>>
    And Lacrima obliges.
    This is when the cardboard box that had been sitting beside the door like a completely normal cardboard box, lifts up on two skinny legs and bare feet. Before Ariel tugs it off and delicately sets it aside.
    "Sorry! I didn't mean to keep anyone waiting~."
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 00:04:30 93111
    << ... Just so we are hundred percent clear, I am *not* calling myself Metal Wolf Chaos in this lifetime. >> Apparently Stahlritter never played spy when he was a young boy.

    << All this stuff here-- it feels wrong too. The paperwork feels less 'Evil Magic Science' and more.. I don't know. Organized crime. Dirty governments. There's logs here of money movement-- I think money the Yakuza are laundering, maybe? Money that comes from... Councilman something or the other, and counts on goods of-- >>

    There's a very distinct pause there. Not just because Lacrima is preparing to slice the door in that moment.

    << ... I think I just figured out what they've been moving through here. >>

    A loud, screeching soundo of metal tearing apart and then falling into pieces with mighty crashes fills the hallway.

    << People. >>

    When the dust and smoke from the destructive knocking down of the door fades away, the four Mahou are greeted by a long room, dimly lit in blue light. A room, where the walls on both sides are lined by dozens upon dozens of pods.

    Pods with several tubes attached. Drawing... *something* out of them. And each of them comes with a windows that reveal each to hold an unconscious human within.

    Of course, alarm klaxons fill the hallways, too, with red lights flashing everywhere. And from both ends of the hallway-- several droids come scrambling down, with vicious, inhuman mechanical screeches.

    And firing blasts of energy at the operatives of TEDDY BE- er. The Mahou.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 00:11:32 93112
<< ...Well that was fun while it lasted, >> Rashmi muses as the doors are rent apart and their cover completely blown. A Solar Shield springs up to deflect the energy bolts, as glowing yellow Barrets coalesce and dart out, arcing out and back to take the droids from another angle as Rashmi darts upward to foul the droids' aim by darting behind and through lights and piping. << Ariel-chan, HIDE! Help where you can but don't let them see you okay? Miho-chan watch where you shoot I don't want to chance anything hurting those people in there if we can help it at all. Stahlritter, if you're wanting a fight you'd best join us and get it, because you were right. >>
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-29 00:15:25 93113
    <<You mean you don't want to be part of TEDDY BEAR...?>> Ariel broadcasts back when Stahlritter denies his codename. One can almost hear her lower lip quivering over the mental feed.
    But then the great big door falls apart, and the Knight comes to a dark realization about the purpose of the warehouse and just what terrible cargo is being moved about.
    <<P-people?>> The unicorn balks. But when her vision is no longer obscured and she can see into the next room, Quiet Karkadan freezes. Topaz eyes widen in shock at the sight of the tubes. This is no longer fun and games.
    Then the alarm sounds.
    Ariel jerks like she's just been slapped, pulled from her shock in an instant with ears perked right up and listening for danger. And danger comes in the form of those terrible machines. Ariel bleats sharply. And without even realizing it her horn glimmers in a sudden tiny flare of magic.


    That makes an exclamation point pop up over her head. She doesn't need to be told twice to hide, the tiny unicorn flings herself to the floor in a tumble, skidding out of the way of oncoming energy blasts, missing her by just a hair as she flings herself behind the nearest people-pod while Lucky defensively places his armored bulk in front of Lacrima.
Lacrima 2018-07-29 00:18:54 93114
<<"Ariel! Are you ok---okay you're okay good.">> she says as she mutters. The door is sliced down. That's good. << you really want me to answer that, Ari-chan...?">> she asks softly when they open the door and...

She takes a deep breath. "Well." she talks out loud. "That's unsettling." she says outloud. Tubes are drawing something out.

She shifts herself into a black puddle, and she'll be... moving off to the side and remaining an ichor puddle for the time being.

<< I'm going to figure out what's going on here. >> she says softly. << What they're taking. >> she says.

She's going to remain off to the side and start gliding along tubes. Can she sense anything from those siphoning tubes?
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 00:24:00 93115
<< Well, I just meant like Rev-- you know what, never mind. >> Life Mahou Joy grins at Ariel when she pops out of the box.

And then ... excitement. Joy stares at the people in the pods; whether or not the Life Blessing senses darkness, she feels a sense of dread in the depths of her soul as she looks at the scene before her. The attacking robots bring her attention back to the here-and-now, though, and she slips behind Rashmi's solar shield. "Uh, right!" she says aloud without thinking.

Her wand materializes in her left hand and she tosses it into her right, before she thrusts it out at the robots. "Minty Barrage!" she calls out, and her wand starts firing a stream of pellets of minty-green purifying light which might possibly look resemble mint leaves. They seem to be low-powered, so they don't hurt the bots that badly, but she does hit several of them in succession.
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 00:32:49 93116
    << Yeah turns out these sons of bitches figured out I am here too! >> Stahlritter's first reply comes through after Rashmi. << I'll try to get there as quick as I can but there's A LITERAL WALL OF DROIDS HERE. Hold on best you can! >>

    The hallway itself fills with flashing lights, explosions and dust and smoke as energy blasts collide with shields and droids. The mechanical opponents are only slowed down some, however-- that becomes painfully obvious when, through the smoke, one bursts through in an inhuman dash, with one arm shifting and rearranging it's parts to form into a massive, arm-sized blade, directed towards Rashmi as it turns to leap after her, cutting through pipes and light fixtures alike in it's attempt to get the Mage. And more alike charge through from the opposite end of the hallway, blades at the ready.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 00:41:35 93117
<< ...Oh great. >> Now Rashmi has found herself the primary combatant on the field.

This probably isn't a very good thing.

Still she does give it her all, throwing up another Solar Shield in the hallway to block the advance of the new combatants; a Barrier tuned for blocking strength, it should give the droids pause for at least a little bit.

But then another droid jumps out of the smoke, and with a startled yipe the redhead throws a quick shield made of a simple magic circle to block.... and holds it against the blade, struggling to keep it from following through.

Pushing back against the strike, she gets just enough time to reposition and catch the blade again... but this time she seems to take a page from Kokoro, wrapping her free arm around the blade and spinning in the air, hurling the droid against the wall.

As she pauses to catch her breath, Nicomachea chimes out again.

*bing!* << RED SHIFT >>

.....Aaaaaand the shield she'd thrown up collapses in an eyeblink, protective mana converted into kinetic force that scrapes the entire circumference of the hallway as it pushes back against the oncoming horde.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 00:45:01 93118
"Gah!" Life Mahou Joy rises into the air, and points directly at the charging youma-bot, angling it so the only thing behind it is the floor. She twirls her wand around in a circle, leaving a trail of light, and calls out, "JOY SHINING --"

And then ... Rashmi parries it. Well, that's that handled. She adjusts her aim and finishes, "-- RAY!" She thrusts her wand outward, and the ring of light she left collapses into a large beam of purifying energy, cutting through several other robots. "Oh jeez ..."

... And then Joy's left arm starts emitting green-black wisps of darkness. Her shadow turns pitch-black and starts hissing, "... fear ... panic ... temptation to use the Death Curse ..."

Life Mahou Joy shakes her head, and whacks her arm with her wand, making the wisps vanish. "Shut up, Liquid!" she says. And then telepathically, <<... yare yare da wa, I'm can't believe I'm actually seriously considering naming the voice in my Death Curse 'Liquid Miho.'>> She pauses. <<... or I guess 'Liquid Joy' would be more ... safe for keeping my identity secret. 'Liquid Mahou'?>>

The darkness in her shadow fades, but not before letting out a snicker, audible only to Rashmi.
Lacrima 2018-07-29 00:49:43 93119
<< ....ah. They're draining energy. >> she says. She's still a puddle. But she can feel that through the tubes. Nrg. All this energy. Imagine all the things she could do with all this energy. Why she could.... No. Nono. Time to shift that thought of her head right now.

She doesn't need to make this harder for Alexis-niisan, Ari-chan and the others.

<< ...these look kind of like the pods they had Alexis-niisan in... when we rescued him... >> she says softly. << Not sure this is harvesting maybe so much as mass indoctrination of some sort?... >> she mutters. << I'm not sure. >>

Then there's a blast of purification from somewhere and she reflexively recoils. << Nrg what was that. >>
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-29 00:58:52 93120
    Ariel has disappeared in the chaos again, the pacifist unicorn forsaking her play for the hasty act of taking cover.
    Lucky, on the other hand...
    When Lacrima vanishes, the armored hound HOWLS.
    In an instant he charges at one of the machines, throwing his immense bulk at it, leaping it with a monstrous ferocity as he snaps his jaws, powerful enough to tear metal and seeking out vital parts to rip to shreds.
    A cardboard box runs by through the chaos, before thumping headfirst against a wall.
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 01:06:07 93121
    The wall cracks underneath the impact of the droid tossed away by the recoil of Rashmi's shield-spin. The blade-arm of another is torn off by Lucky, and several more are brought falling apart by Life Mahou Joy's ray.

    And more still come. But unlike their predecessors, none try to charge into close combat range. INstead taking firing line positions, with arms turned into apparent energy cannons, charging up power in order to send what proimses to be all the more powerful blasts towards the intruders.

    << You guys still okay?! >> Stahlritter's voice telepathically broadcasts over in the middle of it all. << SOmething weird's going on, the bots are seperating and dividing more and more, but only some of them are headed your way-- I dunno, maybe something's happening upstairs. >>
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 01:21:08 93123
<< Oh lord, >> Rashmi sighs, as the cannons come out. << Stahlritter we are about to find out what it's like to fight Nano-chan, this is going to suck so much. >> Nicomachea glows brightly, unidentifiable bits lifting away from the book, reassembling, and new 'parts' snapping into place.

*bing!* << SEALING MODE >>

The glow shatters, and the book has now become more akin to a folio, with two front covers that open in opposing directions, with a pair of steam-vent cylinders at the spines. Another circle spreads out beneath her feet, and Rashmi draws in a deep, slow breath. << SOLAR SHELL! >>

Obligingly, a thick pane of transparent yellow 'glass' snaps into being, cutting the cannoneers off from their intended targets. They may get through, but the high-output spell is guaranteed to make it require some time.

<< ....Also real quick that was Joy's magic, Lacchan. Ariel-chan, are you all right? >>
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 01:26:12 93124
Life Mahou Joy winces at Lacrima's last message. << Sorry, Lacchan! Uh ... >> She thinks fast. << Rashmi-chan, can Nicomachea draw line on the map showing where I'm aiming? And have it change color or whatever and warn me if it gets too close to Lacchan. >>

Her shadow becomes black again. "Death curse wouldn't hurt your friend," her shadow whispers pointedly.

"It also wouldn't hurt the robots!" snaps Joy.

She gulps when she sees the robots taking aim. "Uhhh ..." She moves in close next to Rashmi. Her shadow, in response to her obvious fear, starts to snicker again ...

And then a lightbulb turns on in her head, and she thrusts her hands and wand forward towards the solar shield surrounding her and Rashmi. She has nowhere near enough concentration to heal injuries, but maybe ... << Also, Lacchan, you're gonna want to stay away from us for a few minutes! >>

She takes a deep breath. "Life Blessing ..." She can't think of a good name. "... um ..." Her hands and wand glow minty-green, and she starts pouring the purifying energies of the Life Blessing directly into the shield, reinforcing it against darkness -- and possibly also reinforcing it in general! -- just as a name comes to mind. "... Stand Firm!"
Lacrima 2018-07-29 01:40:52 93125
Lacrima reforms, but into a different form. That shadowy form that Miho saw in the Night Harbor. An awful black wispy creature. It forms behind two of them. But she doesn't attack them. She points. "Obedecer!" she calls out in Spanish.

Two of these things stop dead as they face Lacrima. She just grits her teeth. "Kill the other ones." is all she says flatly.

Then the two robots turn and begin attacking others from behind as fiercely as they we're attacking the 'heroes' on the other side.

She's gonna need to concentrate to keep control for now, so she merely floats there. And watches.
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 01:57:48 93126
    The massive energy blasts strike against the shield formed by the combined strength of Rashmi and Life Mahou Joy both. On both sides of the hallway. Strong enough that from the inside of the shell, the exterior may well seem as though a solid block of pure light. Except rather than purifying sunlight it's instead giant laser beams of death and what have you. Subtle difference.

    The light gets disrupted by the intrusion of LAcrima's essence, however, into the droids. SUddenly, the blasts of cannons are redirected against one another, and the scene that greets the heroes is one of infighting. Some still insist on firing on the heroes, but others brawl on with the two inexplicable defectors. At least that's bound to create a more easily-crossed obstacle for the MAhou to deal with.


    A large, black-red gauntlet of steel slams into and through the head of a droid. One of Nicomacheas' screens might have told Rashmi as much already, but Stahlritter's been conducting his own fierce battle through the robot guards of the facility. Punching his way through and occasionally grabbing at loose parts left behind from the demolished foes to use *them* as temporary, explosive weapons.

    But then, in an instant, the Knight's battle ends.

    The walls shift, tiles breaking off and reforming into spikes that spear through droids ahead of him, one after the other-- cutting through some central core in each, perhaps, for what follows is each one of them exploding into tiny, inrecoverable and irrecognizable bits.

    Leaving Stahlritter, dumbfounded, staring at the results. And the hallway ominously silent, save for the klaxons of the alarms.

    "Fate has a sense of humor today~." THe voice rings out from behind him. The voice of a mature woman, chipper and positive-- and yet, somehow, carrying a deathly chill to it. A voice that makes Stahlritter's spine seize up.

    "Here I am, coming to deal with this... absolute travesty of an operation, but wouldn't you know it, I find my good son doing my work for me."


    The Knight spins around and jumps back, in an instinctive effort to bring distance to the source of the voice. And to stare down the approaching figure of a tall woman, in an awfully expensive, suspiciously clean beige dress suit, with strawberry blonde hair flowing smooth like silk down to her waist.

    << Guys. Big problem. >>
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 02:07:13 93127

The scene on one of the viewscreens is indeed picked up and broadcast to those inside the shield, as the rest of the screens go absolutely mental with pulsing danger signs and warning icons. For some strange reason, when Nicomachea identified the new arrival, he didn't use Rashmi's voice, as he seems to prefer to; rather, the epithet is spoken in a scrambled, but still audibly female, voice. But now Rashmi goes pale. << We need to get out now, you guys! Lacchan, can you open the pods safely and quickly?! Stahlritter..... okay y'know what no. Close your eyes. Nico, open a window for him.

In the security room, the sensor ball that had been flitting and darting around Alexis now zips toward his mother. It blips to one side, then the other, mere inches from Hulda's face.... And then explodes in a brilliant, heatless flash of light, strong enough to briefly turn the area into a monochrome painting.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 02:14:22 93128
It takes all of Life Mahou Joy's self-control not to recoil from the bright light around the shield; she is very conscious of the fact that it's only her and Rashmi right now. She doesn't pour as much energy into the shield, since it seems to have enough Life energy already, but she's still doing her best to maintain it. Briefly, she can feel Lacrima putting more darkness into the situation, taking a little bit of strain off the shield ...

And then Nicomachea goes nuts. << Thundering who the what-now? >> says Joy, looking worriedly at the screen. << What's going on!? Who is that!? >>
Lacrima 2018-07-29 02:14:38 93129
Lacrima moves across the way, overhead and hovers near Rashmi. << Right. Spooky blacky wispy thing is me. >> she says flatly. She huffs, and looks to Rashmi. << I can open the pods, but getting people out safely is something else. >> she says.

She sighs and sort of zips around. She's finding either pads on these pods or a central system to try to open these things.

Open. Open Open come on....
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-29 02:27:30 93130
    Okay so it's kind of a jumbled mess of things going on. Ariel is running around wildly under that box, spared from terrible cannon blasts by Rashmi and Mahou Joy's combined efforts, and Lacrima hijacking control over a few of the youma-bots. Lucky has been helping out, too, of course, tearing apart robots one by one... Before he rips the blade arm clean off of one.
    In that same instant, he seizes the blade in his jaws... And starts USING it. Wild swipes and vicious slashes, the hound spins himself about to build deadly cutting momentum and add an inhuman and primal ferocity to each slash as he remains in the thick of the fray. But then something goes wrong somewhere else.
    Ariel throws her box off and stands up straight, blinking. "Whuh? We're leaving?" Not that she's against doing so after everything went pear shaped and took all the fun out of playing Sneaky Cog Plasma. But then comes the need to get people out of the pods.
    <<I'll help Lacrima!>> Ariel pipes up, skidding to follow the spoopy dark shadowy form of her special-est fried. ... And pauses.
    "Thundering... Demon Bitch...?" She asks aloud, innocently.
    But then she focuses. Because while Lacrima starts trying to get the pods open, Ariel is really concentrating.
    "Um. How did that incantation go... Um um um... Lords of Atlantis, bear this weight. Uphold us in our time of need, Disk of Haephastus!"
    There's a glimme of her horn, and then a bright circle of green-gold light pops into existence in front of her. Ariel chimes sweetly, satisfied with her work and puts her hands on it and starts pushing it around like a shopping cart.
    <<Once you get them out of there start loading them on here!>>
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 02:41:59 93131
    There's consoles attached to each of the pods, at least. Lacrima's familiar enough with Eclipse's systems. She'll get them open. But there's so many.

    Meanwhile, the woman in front of Alexis squints her green eyes at the flitting orb. "That's just ru--" She starts, before the sudden flash.

    Stahlritter instinctively responded to it, too. Shielding his eyes behind the visor with an arm. But, rather than taking the opportunity to escape, he does precisely the thing that's bound to cause Rashmi's blood pressure to go up.

    He charges in right for Hulda.

    "What--" his voice booms out, as one huge gauntlet reaches over and grabs onto the woman right by her throat, thick steel-clad fingers wrapping about it, and slamming her against the nearest wall by that hold. "--have you DONE?!?!" The words aren't yelled out. Not even screamed out. No, they are *roared* out, in a fit of immeasurable fury, one that the other Mahou can hear even without the telepathy or the screening from Nicomachea.

    Hulda, for her part? Shockingly enough, she doesn't try to escape, she doesn't even attack. SHe just... makes a few indignant wriggles and asks, "What, no 'hello mother, how are you doing, yes I am fine thank you'? We're going straight to that after how long now?"


    She sighs out, and... smiles. Smiles, of all things, despite being at immediate threat of being throttled. "You never were good at listening to your parents, were you? I came to shut down this operation."

    "Because you got enough of whatever you got out of those people?! OR were they just failures to toss aside?! WHAT!?"

    Hulda's head tilts to the side. Or as much as it can with Stahlritter's hand holding onto her throat. "Oh, no, these weren't mine. I thought you got past the phase where you blame your mother for all the things wrong in your life. This is... an associate's facility. The technology is based on mine, yes, but I hardly intended to be used like *this*."

    There's a pause. A moment of uncertainty in Stahlritter.

    "... You expect me to believe that?"

    "No, I suppose I don't. I didn't raise you to take things at face value. But you can have those poor people, then. Like I said, you're just doing what I intended to do now, so I don't mind. Free them, take them to a hospital, to all their families. I'm sure you can find evidence here that'll point you to the ones responsible, too. Give them their justice."

    "... THat doesn't mean I can just ignore you either, even if it is true."

    And at that, of all things, Hulda's smile grows. It's not a warm smile. But it is an encouraging one. "Of course not~," she coos out. "You have to punish who you see as evil for their wrongdoing. That's the nature of justice, isn't it?"

    Through all this, Stahlritter remains ominously quiet in the telepathic link to everyone else.
Lacrima 2018-07-29 03:03:54 93132
Lacrima is helping people onto that floating disc Ariel makes. She's quick when she's just black wispy dark. She's placing them, one after another after she gets the pods open. Moving along with Ari-chan as she pushes the disc like... a shopping cart?

She's moving and hurrying. Up. Down. Left. Right. Basically like a quick black line darting here and back and forth.

"Hurrying!" she calls out. "Doing my best!" she says.

"Wait. Hulda!? Hulda is here!?" she suddenly winces.. nrg she can't stop, she continues onwards. Zipping, grabbing people.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 03:06:18 93133
<< STAHLRITTER STOP MESSING AROUND AND HELP US SAVE THESE PEOPLE! >> Perhaps not what one might call the most politic way to redirect Alexis' attention, but at the moment Rashmi is short on ideas. The shell begins to spiderweb, very much like a cracked iPhone screen, under the sustained onslaught, and Rashmi is looking very, very scared. "THat's Alexis-kun's mom," she murmurs, for Joy's ears alone. "She's like super scary powerful, she came really close to killing Souma-san the last time we had to deal with her." Clearing her throat, she turns back to her mental link. << Ariel-chan, do you have a way you and Lucky could get them out? Because I don't think we could survive another trip to the Dusk Zone, not with things the way the are.... >>

Shaking her head, she glances over her shoulder at Miho. << Okay Miho you're going to want to take a deep breath and get as calm as you can, because we're going to try something new for you. I'm going to set up another spell, but I want you to reinforce it before it's triggered, okay? >>

And the magic circle spreads out under her feet, but this time it's joined by another revolving in front of her. Then another after that, and another, and another, and before too long it looks like Rashmi has somehow written the setup to a magical railgun in floating, revolving light, as the shield continues to crack and crunch.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 03:19:38 93134
Life Mahou Joy looks up at shadow-Lacrima, and nods and gives her a thumbs-up. (Another sign that she's a non-hostile.)

She watches the argument on the feed, flinches as the screen starts to crack, and watches the kittens on Nicomachea's screen as she puts more energy into the area of the shield around the cracking. "L ... Lacchan," she calls out. "Can I, uh, can I tell Stahlritter-kun about ... the other night to try to, to, to talk him down? Because he's, he's looking and sounding ... a lot like, uh, that person we met." In spite of her worry, in spite of the very real threat descending upon them, she still feels like she has to ask that.

She shakes her head at Rashmi. << I ... >> She takes another deep breath, and watches the kitten-feed some more. << Well, I'm ... pretty sure I'm not actually making a difference on the shields anymore ... so ... sure. >> Her telepathic voice is starting to dip into that androgyny it had before. She puts her hand and wand on towards Rashmi's new spell, redirecting the Life Blessing into the railgun instead, and the spaces in between the rings. She doesn't take any existing energy away from the shield, she just stops feeding new energy into it or trying to stabilize it, and it soon starts to fizzle out.
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-29 03:34:04 93135
    Ariel scoots right along as Lacrima works freeing prisoners from the pods, and keeps the floating disk steady. The more people that get loaded onto it makes Ariel strain. It's visible from the struggling look of enduring that etches on the tiny unicorn-girl's face, sweat beading on her brow as she maintains focus to keep the her magic holding the people aloft.
    But she also listens.
    And pauses when she hears the situation between Stahlritter and Hulda.
    "Lucky, take over." She issues to her canine steed, who immediately drops his new blade and takes on the duty of disk pushing. She is needed elsewhere.
    In the next moment, one of Rashmi's arms is hugged to Ariel's chest. The mage's expression is easy to read. Ariel can see the fear there, and though it's not much, the gentle girl is trying to bolster Rashmi with her supporting presence while the girl pieces her next spell together. Does she have a way to get the people out, though...? That makes her pause. <<S-Sorry. I'm giving everything I have just to carry them all.>>

But she furrows her brow and closes her eyes.


    Not Stahlritter. Ariel flat out calls the enraged and hot blooded youth by name when things sound super dangerous on his end of the line. <<I don't know why you're so angry right now.>> She admits it, being clueless to the prior aggression, spite, and animosity between mother and son. <<But that's your mother, isn't she? Even is she's as scary as Rashmi says, do you really want to hurt her? Justice isn't about punishing people who do bad things, it's about doing what's right for those that have been hurt. We need to get these people to safety, and we're um. Kind of having a hard time and could really use your help, like Rashmi said.>> There's a pause.
    <<I don't know her as well as you do, but maybe she just wanted to do the right thing for once, like she says? ... Besides. She's your mother. No matter how things have been, you've always loved each other at least a little bit, right?>> She ends entirely innocently.
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 03:49:33 93136
    Stahlritter doesn't respond in any way to Rashmi's telepathic yell. The only thing he seems to be focused on is the woman in front of him. THe woman whose throat is in his death grip.

    Death grip he keeps tightening. IT's visible enough through Nichomachea's screen. Steel fingers digging against the woman's neck, constricting her throat, applying more and more pressure.

    Just one twist would do it, just one twist would break--

    But then there's the unicorn's voice inside his head. At first, it seems as though he's ignoring it all. But...

    Midway through, the hold loosens. And after a moment that seems as though it is an eternity, he lets go entirely, allowing Hulda to stand on her own feet freely again, with a growl of, "...Get the fuck out of here," rumbling from underneath the Knight's helmet.

    And Hulda? She... actually looks disappointed.

    "Where did that determination go, Alexis?" She asks of him, in a blunt, deadpan tone. "Maybe you're not ready yet. But, like I said... you can take them out. You'll find upstairs clear."

    Crack. Ting. Ting ting ting ting. A metallic sound, of pieces hitting the floor.

    "Try not to be too disappointed though, when you try to seek justice for what happened here."

    Ting ting ting. Pieces fall off of Hulda. Skin falling apart to reveal machinery underneath, only for that to seperate and clatter off too.

    "The nature of justice in the rest of the world, you see... it is not so fair."

    And with that, the droid bearing the face and voice of Hulda Raskoph falls apart completely.

    For a few seconds, Stahlritter just stands there. STaring at where the proxy of his mother used to stand. Staring at the hand he nearly used to break it's neck with.

    << ... I'm on my way >> he finally voices out through the telepathic link again, and he's zooming down the hallways once again, to try and reach them.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 04:03:05 93137
Purification isn't something that Rashmi is used to working with. Kunzite could tailor energy into exactly the matrix needed by her magic; incorporating purification, on the other hand, is like trying to keep your feet while holding onto the leads of half a dozen excitable Luckys who want to romp and play and barely even notice someone's trying to get them all moving in one direction.

Which is why it's kind of a relief when Joy seems to instinctively slip the minty-green power in the spaces between her spells, exactly where she'd have put it herself if it had been her idea. And with Nicomachea in Sealing Mode, she at least knows that Life Mahou Joy's power isn't going to hurt the Device.


Too late to worry now, really.

*bing!* << SOLAR >>

A dozen of Rashmi's Barrets fade into existence, taking up places on the first circle of Rashmi's spell, as evenly placed as hour marks on a clock.

<< MINTY >>

The Barrets race inward, coverging in the center of the disc to form a single ball of pulsing, barely-restrained magical power. << BUSTER >>

And the circle collapses, exploding outwards. Then the next, and the next, the ball of yellow light racing through the minty fields in between, dragging the purifying life energy along with it, as each successive circle kicks up the speed and force of the Barret until, at the final disc, it explodes into a beam of coruscating yellow-green power, as warm as springtime at noon and powerful enough to simply vaporize their opposition.

When the beam burns away, Rashmi drops down to her knees, struggling to catch her breath. Ariel gets a shaky, tired smile, and a hand atop her head. "Thank you, Ariel-chan," she whispers, mopping the sweat from her brow. << ....So okay, >> she says, her mental voice every inch as shaky as her proper one. << I've got us a way out. Lemme just figure out what I did with my feet, and we can get out of here.

Her wings are still active and fluttering on her back. No, she doesn't seem to realize this. She's that wiped.
Lacrima 2018-07-29 04:11:10 93138
Lacrima has finished as much as she can. All pods are opened, everyone is on that golden disc Ariel made. She calls out. "That's it!" she says softly. She gently looks around and eyes Miho... but... she doesn't answer. It seems the situation has been fixed.

She makes a fuss. "We should get out of here, right!?" she says.

"Like now?" she says then. "If there's an exit!" she calls out.

She gently places a shadow hand on Ariel-chan's shoulder. It's a thank you.
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 04:18:40 93139
Life Mahou Joy actually feels herself getting affected by Ariel's words as well ... right up until the bit about loving each other, which causes her to grimace as an image of Ryo Okana grabbing Alex's injured arm flashes through her mind. "Well, blood family isn't always automatically good," she murmurs. "Glad that worked, though."

Her eyes open wide at the impromptu Solar Minty Buster. She can feel her power surging through Rashmi's, which is ... kind of weird. "... I need to come up with a name for the offensive-increasing blessing," she says softly, sinking to her knees to try to support Rashmi. "I tried to put some of that in with the reinforcement ... and 'Buster' doesn't quite seem like my thing."

She gives Lacrima and Ariel a thumbs-up. She opens her mouth to give Lacrima a warning to step back ... but she just exhales, since too exhausted herself to try any more experiments with the Life Blessing. Instead, she wraps her arms around Rashmi in a quick awkward hug. "Well, at least this got, uh, resolved well enough ... I think."
Stahlritter 2018-07-29 04:26:02 93140
    The hallway sizzles and steams from the onslaught of Solar Minty Buster. Pieces of drones remain littered throughout. And no sign of any movement, be it visual or audio. Until a sudden call from around the corner of "HOLD FIRE, FRIENDLY!"

    And cue, thus, Stahlritter carefully turning the corner with a peek around it, before coming stepping fully around it. "Geez, Rash, when did you start packing a nuke? This place is de--" He halts his words and steps both when he actually looks forward. And sees both Life Mahou Joy and Ariel draped on Rashmi.

    "... I can, uh... come back later."
Ariel Theodore 2018-07-29 04:33:43 93141
    Hulda can be as disappointed a she likes. Ariel just doesn't like it when her friends are put in such intensely negative emotional states, and Stahlritter's anger was upsetting, even from in an entirely different part of the facility. Ariel sighs with blatant relief as Alexis says he's on the way.
    Her logic and reasoning are not perfect; what Mahou Joy says is true, blood family isn't always good... But this is a girl who lived her whole life alone with very loving parents. She's working with a view from a very narrow window by comparison.
    But as soon as Rashmi loses strength in herl legs, Ariel gets arms around her fully, easing her down, before Mahou Joy joins them. "C-can we go now? I'm done playing Super Spies for a while, I think..."
    There's a sigh, and when she feels that hand on her shoulder, she's not even fazed by the dark and shadowy nature. Ariel simply leans back with an exhausted huff, head turning to brush nose on Lacrima's cheek with a tiny little trilling sound, Lucky busily pushing the disk along already. Only for the big dog to pause and cover his eyes with a paw and a whine.
Rashmi Terios 2018-07-29 04:39:35 93142
"...Remind me," Rashmi says, pulling in a deep breath and blinking down at the little yellow wings fluttering at her feet. Blushing a bit, she rises, letting go of Joy so she can at least get getself moving under her own power in one form of another. "Remind me to give you a quick primer on Device magic. 'Buster's' like, a class of spell. Nico had to put together the spell on the fly to make it capable of using your power, so... He kinda went to his defaults."

Shaking her head, she turns her weary smile onto Alexis, then Ariel and Lacrima, and it only fades upon catching sight of the pile of people. "...We need to go, guys. They're gonna have to get checked out and probably purified. And I really don't like what it means that they're even here, but we can talk about that later."

And then, because her Linker Core is nearly depleted, her stomach begins to rumble as though it belonged to a starving Alexis. Blushing, she hunches her shoulders. "...Isn't there an okonomiyaki stand on the way back? My treat."
Miho Kagami 2018-07-29 04:42:11 93143
Life Mahou Joy rolls her eyes. "Will you shut up and help us get out of here, Alexis-kun?" she says. "I'm only twenty-five percent sure that Rashmi-chan can walk what with the power she just expended, and only seventy-five percent sure the rest of us ..." She side-eyes Ariel. "... can."

She nods to Rashmi. "I'm gonna need to rest up a bit before I try purifying anyone," she says. "I ... haven't figured out yet if eating would help me, but yeah, in the meantime ... okonomiyaki sounds great."
Lacrima 2018-07-29 04:43:51 93144
Lacrima blushes. Somehow this happens when Ariel leans over and nuzzles and trills. Red on black is way way way more obvious than anything.

This also causes her to suddenly turn back in a more humanoid form as she huffs and leans over Ariel-chan. "Food. Food yes." she mutters, as she draws Ariel into a shortish hug and a kiss on the forehead.