Nature of Consequences

A visit to the farmers' market is interrupted in the worst possible way by someone seemingly seeking retribution-- only for everything that has happened to Alexis in the past month to suddenly make so much more sense.

Date: 2018-08-25
Pose Count: 73
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 16:12:51 95896
Morning at the Korma Chameleon, and the red, gold, and green awning above the door is silent; on a weekend, it's rarely worth racking up the utility bills to open before lunch, and so pre-prep is *just* getting underway. Sent to the nearby farmer's market to get 'one of everything new and interesting,' Rashmi actually has a basket hanging off one elbow, and hums cheerfully to herself as she starts to bop down the street, Little Red Riding Hood-style.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 16:26:40 95897
    Kokoro is not there, per se, but she is nearby; there's a new strategy game out that she's looking to pick up, and she wants to hit the store and pick it up before the heat gets too unbearable. So she's perhaps a block or two a way, walking with a purpose, and quietly glad of the natural 'get out of my way' field she exudes. It makes navigating Saturday-morning crowds a lot easier.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 16:26:51 95898
    It's not long after Rashmi has left Korma that someone happens to come walking just besides her.

    "You look like you walked right out of some kind of picture book of fairy tales, you know that?"

    The rumble of the voice is familiar enough to mark him as Alexis, despite the hoodie flipped up over his head. Because of course he can't help but rib the girl a little in this kind of situation.


    Up high, a mechanical orb hovers in the air, whipping between buildings, and peeking around their corners to peer down at the streets, with it's massive, eye-like iris of a camera in the center. If someone were to look up, though, it wouldn't be easy to spot, between the fast movements and... is it using camoflauging? Must be. Melding into the surroundings, to some extent.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 16:28:57 95899
Miho is making her over towards Korma in her usual outfit of a blue shirt, black skirt, and shorts underneath the skirt. She's out of henshin (which is a rarity in and of itself when she isn't specifically, and ... well, frankly, she's looking kind of miserable. She doesn't even seem to notice what anyone else is doing just yet.
Lacrima 2018-08-25 16:35:08 95900
Now one could say that Lacrima is out early, but the truth is... she's out late. She was up all night, hunting to feed. She eventually found SOMEONE she could drain she felt comfortable with--- she rarely wanted to drain delinquent kids. And there wasn't many night workers. But she eventually found someone throwing out trash and it was the last pick-me-up she needed.

Lacrima finds herself exiting an alley into a... farmers market. She looks up. "Oh." she says. "I was out all night." she mutters.

She'll begin walking away down the street the way Rashmi and Alexis are coming... so she bumps into them eventually. She blinks. Oh. "Um. Hi." she says wide eyed at the two.

She doesn't see any odd cameras in the air.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 16:43:44 95901
"That's half the fun," Rashmi chirps at Alex, beaming. "I mean I know I'm a magical girl and all, but some things are still the closest I'm going to feel like I'm doing something out of a storybook, so.... y'know, little pleasures."

Spotting Kokoro, the redhead lifts a hand and waves. "Koko-chan~! What're you doing out so early?"

Bumping into Lacchan, Rashmi squeaks in surprise, blinking owlishly. "Lacchan? Are you okay?"

Miho isn't quite noticed just yet, but a familiar face looking that miserable, is only a matter of time.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 16:58:27 95902
    Quiet and steady, Kokoro walks, projecting that air of grumpitude with no real effort - or perhaps not even conscious intent. It just kind of works out that way. Stomp stomp stom-

    Huh? Oh hey that's Rashmi. And Lacrima, and Alex.

    After a second or two of pause, she turns to head in the direction of Rashmi (or, at the very least, the sound of her voice). "Me? Out for, uh. Errands." She's still not that great at being coy or evasive, cut her a break.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 17:01:11 95903
    Very recently Emi learned an important lesson: biological people consider several months a fairly long time to have no contact with one another, enough to even cause worry. Upon further consideration this seems perfectly sensible, but drifting through space for millennia can do things to a girls sense of perspective.

    When she had started getting to know Rashmi she had learned of the Korma Chameleon and that they served all kinds of good food there, and had expressed her interest in trying it. This was still true and thus Emi was making her way towards the restaurant at what for her was a reasonable hour. Of course every hour was reasonable for Emi.

    Because, you know, robots don't need to sleep.

    She was wearing a white ruffled blouse and a black skirt with matching stockings and shoes, dressed fairly nice but not as nice as she would be for work, when she got there only to realize it hadn't opened yet. She stares at the sign displaying the store hours for two seconds before turning and immediately walking away. Looks like she needs to kill some time, and what better way to do so when you're a hungry girl than to go to the nearby place where all the fresh food is kept?

    Thus Emi can be found in the farmers market as well, looking at various stalls of raw, uncooked food and looking like a 10 year old trying not to spend all of her Summer Festival money on snack vendors. "No, no. I mustn't, I must be appropriately unsatiated when I eat the curry."

    Emi is standing in front of a stall selling raw poultry.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 17:05:07 95904
    "I have no idea wether to think that looks cute or silly," Alexis tells Rashmi with a roll of his eyes.

    That's just before they run into Kokoro and Lacrima both, and assumably come to a stop.

    Now, there's two things to understand here, in regards to Alexis. One, he knows Lacrima very well, so when he looks her over, he immediately comes to the conclusion of, "...You've been out all night and morning, haven't you?" A hand reaches out with that statement, towards her. "You should sit down somewhere."

    And two: He might not know Kokoro that well, but he DOES know the LOOK she has on her. It's the kind of look he has on himself when he has to explain away why he's sneaking about to try and buy some new RPG or something without anyone realizing what he is doing. He doens't say anything to her. He merely meets her eye, and... gives a very understanding nod. ONe that makes it clear enough that he knows what she's up to, but isn't intent on calling her out on it.

    While Emi isn't noticed yet... Miho is. His brows lift up upon noticing the girl, and he watchces her quietly for a few seconds before he bumps his elbow lightly against Rashmi's side with a quiet "Hey" made in an effort to get her attention to that direction too, before he calls out, "Miho!"
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 17:06:51 95905
Miho looks up as she finds herself approaching the farmer's market, and sort of ... slows to a stop. It isn't that she's intimidated -- Sailor Earth, Noroiko, and probably the eel-youma more-or-less burned that part of her away -- it's just that even after that, she's just not a noise-and-crowds sort of person, and her current emotional state is not helping. Frankly, she almost looks like she wants to just turn around and head the other direction.

Her head jerks around as Alex calls out to her, and she gives what must look like the world's most halfhearted wave. Frankly, at the moment, she looks haggard.
Lacrima 2018-08-25 17:12:06 95908
Lacrima blinks and shakes it off. "I'm okay." she says. "I was... um. 'Eating'..." she says in the manner of meaning- 'I left a few unconscious people in an alley about two blocks away'. That is, she's trying to emphasize those air quotes.

"I must had been out all night, I haven't headed back to Mamoru's place yet." she says. She looks over to... Kokoro. Huh. People are gathering this early, as she looks down a moment, crossing her arms in front of herself. Self esteem is very low right now.

"Right. So Saint George attacked Mamoru's place and really messed everything up and apparently he can control Lamya through some way I still don't understand. I think I did something to hamper that in the future. I'm not sure." she says. "Everyone's okay but Saint George entered by ripping the frame out of a indestructible wall and smashing it into Mamoru before he could transform, except Kyouko tanked it WITHOUT transforming and I'm kind of hoping she's okay because she ate door frame and glass." she says.

"That entire part of the apartment is a mess." she says miserably.

She shifts. "But yes I have been. As I said. I was eating." she mutters again.

"Everything okay? This is still early. Usually I don't see people I know out so early." she says. She blinks and turns around. Oh! Miho. But she looks glum.

She looks to Kokoro. "Right. I'm almost done analyzing the samples I got." she says. "Also, hello." she says quietly. "Thank you for your help with. That prior situation I talked about." she says. "It was kind of fun to watch you body check him out of the balcony." she admits.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 17:38:22 95913
"He what?!" Rashmi shouts, hands flying to her mouth as she just stares at Lacrima. "Omigosh, is everyone all right? Is he all right? Please tell me he just got punted into the next county!"

...Why yes, she does take her promise to do everything she can to save Ryo nonlethally, seriously.

"And Kokoro, you bodychecked him? ....Wow. That... wow, that's guts."

At Alex's call-out, she gestures for the girl to come closer, smiling gently. Because of course she would.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 17:59:33 95918
    Is... is that girl talking about not ruining her meal while staring at raw chicken? Kokoro just kind of stares for a moment, her one un-hair-covered brown eye blinking once or twice with mild bewilderment. Weirdo.

    Meanwhile, Alex nods. It's the nod of someone who understands maybe a little too well. Does she look more embarrassed now? Oh hey Lacrima's talking about a thing. "A-ah! Yeah, uh... yeah. Thanks. About the samples, I mean." A pause. "...heh. Glad you liked the show." She blinks at Rashmi once, then adds, "Pretty sure he ain't dead. Tough guy. Also didn't even see him hit the ground. Think he teleported, or landed and ran, or... somethin'. Definitely ain't seen the last of him."
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 18:00:53 95919
    Speaking of Rashmi, that loud exclaiming voice sounds exactly like her! It's enough to break Emi's trance away from the pasty looking chicken and more colored ducks in front of her.

    She walks over, looking curious as the conversation seems to become somewhat intense. "Hello, Alexis, hello Rashmi." There are several others around that she doesn't know yet, and so she holds her hands in front of herself and gives each of Miho, Lacrima, and Kokoro a small bow.

    She also briefly turns her head and looks, through her glasses, up at a mechanical orb flying around. The active camouflage is a nice touch, she thinks. It's cute, like a chameleon. a Korma Chameleon?

    Emi giggles to herself while looking back to Rashmi but doesn't attempt to explain the joke. After all, the others probably couldn't even see the totally normal and harmless, rapidly approaching orb.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 18:05:14 95922
Miho heaves a sigh as she drags herself over to the group. "Is ... is 'that boy' causing trouble again?" she says; her voice is even more scratchy and androgynous than usual. She shakes her head. "Sorry, I have just ... not recovered from two weeks ago at all." She's obviously referring to Sailor Earth. "... heck, I haven't even recovered from the week before that." Even more obviously, she's letting out something she's really needed to say. "I keep saying I want to 'step up my game', but all I've been doing is just ... distracting myself. Talking to people, or flying around or whatever, fighting monsters. But ... I ... Naru-san and I ran into a girl with empath powers the other days who just ... said I was like a storm ..."

She blinks at the arrival of ... someone she doesn't recognize at all! "Oh. Uh. Hi," she says awkwardly, giving Emi an extremely stiff bow with the expression of someone who just wants to run away and not have any conversations anymore.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 18:22:49 95926
    Meanwhile. Just a few paces away, a woman stands in a spot where no one had stood before. A tall one of long strawberry-blonde hair, in a flowing overcoat draped on top of an expensive, beige dress suit. She watches from there for a few seconds, and just as the gaze of one of the people in the group sweeps there-- she's gone again.

    Though 'gone' might be the wrong word. She's merely moved back to where she will be seen less easily.

    "This is perfect~," she coos out, to herself, in the alleyway just beyond the farmer's market, holding out her hand with the palm open, allowing a large, ornate dagger to materialize upon the grip of it.

    And the dagger is stabbed into the ground.

    Back to the group...

    "I'm sorry, wha--" Alexis starts to say in response to the whole matter of Ryo, but his words are cut off by a terribly violent sound of the earth itself moving.

    Asphalt and dirt both explode up from behind him and Rashmi, in a glorious fountain of dust and rubble-- but rather than any of them raining back down upon the ground and the bystanders, it reforms up there, all connecting together into rock and granite, taking on the silhouette of a 16-foot tall wolf statue.

    But this statue moves, and it's eyes glow a fierce red. The golem of a wolf has raised it's front paw up by the time Alexis has turned to look, and it comes down upon Rashmi, in an effort to pin her down onto the ground, just as a mechanically modulated voice rings out--


    And without a barrier present, the people in the market around them turn from a cacophony of idle shopping into an orchestra of terrified screams, and rapid footsteps running to every direction that is distinctly *away*.

    And Alex, he turns with his right hand extended out as he steps to try and get between Rashmi and the Wolf Golem, calling out "KRIEG--"

    ...Only for his word to turn into a squeak of surprise when the ground around him explodes, with vine-like lengths of stone wrapping around his arms and torso, to pull him back before he even has a chance to transform.

    "WHAT THE FU--?!"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 18:30:41 95928
"Hello Emi, it's good to see yoOH MY GOSH WHAT." Stupid villains and their stupid chattus interruptus.

By the time the wolf statue has formed, Rashmi has taken on her Barrier Jacket and physically tackled Miho and Kokoro out of the way of the descending paw. The others, she easily trusts to have their own reflexes, but she has no idea how less durable Kokoro is out of henshin, and knows exactly how depression turns one's instincts to mush, and refuses to chance it from either.

And the screams of the bystanders activates her second priority;

*bing!* << TIME-SPACE BARRIER >>

It may be a little on the late side, but, better a little collateral damage now, than a whole lot later, right?

"Alexis!" she calls as... someone seems to be taking a page out of his own handbook, trapping the de-henshin'd boy in stone vines. And now, now, she's annoyed, turning to face the wolf statue, the basket -- now slightly more smushed than it was before, but hey, wicker is durable -- tossed into a nearby alley and excluded from the Barrier. "...Sorry," she says, tilting her head with a professionally bland expression on her face, and her best server-with-a-difficult-customer voice on. "I interfere in a lot of thing, so um.... remind me?"
Lacrima 2018-08-25 18:34:24 95930
Lacrima watches as the world turns into chaos around her, and a giant wolf golem comes crashing against Rashmi-chan and then Alexis is suddenly caught and she looks back to the wolf and the mechanical voice. She thinks back to Ryo and she wouldn't act. She looks back to Earth where she didn't act as much as she could.

She raises her arms and gives it the blankest stare every as she stares at the bracer.

It suddenly releases it clasps and clatters to the ground. Clink. Clink. It goes inert.

"I...." screams Lacrima. "HAVE HAD. ENOUGH!" screams Lacrima-- without the bracer holding back the flow of her dark energy to a reasonable level.

There is a thunderous cackle from here suddenly-- as she turns into a vicious ichor practically, hoping through the air in a fast slinky like manner before it attempts to come down under the candid golem and just form into a hideous long /black spike/ under it, as if trying to impale it. that an oujo-laugh coming from Lacrima as she does this? Yes. Yes it is. Oh dear.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 18:50:58 95933
    "'Like a storm', huh." Kokoro grunts, in reply to Miho. "...know how that feels." She shoves her hands in her pockets, eyeing Emi warily - and finds herself nearly tossed on her rear when the ground erupts into wolf. "Whoa-?!"

    The next few seconds get very confused very quickly, but just as Kokoro's gathering her wits, a barrier goes up. Good. That gives her a clear course of action. Out comes the hammer pendant, flung up into the air - by the time it crashes to the ground, it's taken its full size, crackling with energy. Kokoro swings her arm around and snags it, giving it one whirl around her, two, and lightning cracloes across her body. Lifting her hair up, forming her customary armor, changing the hue of her hair and eyes; by the time she takes a step forward, it's Dengeki Shoujo doing the stepping.

    And much like Lacrima, there's not even a shred of hesitation. Crackling with lightning, she lunges forward, cutting loose a roar of, "YOU LET HER THE HELL GO!" And then she swings, hard, her own strength rising to meet her fury at seeing her first and closest friend in that kind of danger. Whatever that hammer hits, the barrier fills with the deafening clap of thunder.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 19:02:05 95936
    "'Like a storm', huh." Kokoro grunts, in reply to Miho. "...know how that feels." She shoves her hands in her pockets, eyeing Emi warily - and finds herself nearly tossed on her rear when the ground erupts into wolf. "Whoa-?!"

    The next few seconds get very confused very quickly, but just as Kokoro's gathering her wits, a barrier goes up. Good. That gives her a clear course of action. Out comes the hammer pendant, flung up into the air - by the time it crashes to the ground, it's taken its full size, crackling with energy. Kokoro swings her arm around and snags it, giving it one whirl around her, two, and lightning cracloes across her body. Lifting her hair up, forming her customary armor, changing the hue of her hair and eyes; by the time she takes a step forward, it's Dengeki Shoujo doing the stepping.

    And much like Lacrima, there's not even a shred of hesitation. Crackling with lightning, she lunges forward, cutting loose a roar of, "Don't know who the hell you think you are, but just jumping up and going on the attack in the middle of a crowd... goin' after Rashmi of all people... I'm gonna make SAND OUTTA YOU!" And then she swings, hard, her own strength rising to meet her fury at seeing her first and closest friend in that kind of danger. Whatever that hammer hits, the barrier fills with the deafening clap of thunder.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 19:02:25 95937
    Emi isn't aware of the woman- normal people don't stand out to her near as much as flying orbs do. Even so she reacts almost instantly when the statue begins bursting from the ground, jumping forward towards Rashmi... who jumps ahead to protect Miho and Kokoro.

    "Perhaps this was ill advised," she deadpans as the giant paw comes swiping down towards where Rashmi was and she is. She plants her feet and raises her arms, catching the paw as it slams into to hands with bone crushing force.

    But Emi isn't made of bone, she's made of magically reinforced alloys and polymers, and bracing for the blow means she's effectively unharmed. Unfortunately, it also means she's buried up to the waist in the ground, hammered into it like a nail when the statue removes it's paw.

    She blinks a little and looks down at the cracked pavement all around her. Her head turns towards Alexis, not even trying to escape at the moment, "I hope the Scissors were not just for show. Do your thing, Kreigsfauste."

    Her head then swivels towards Lacrima as her bracer falls off. "Massive negative energy anomaly detected," she casually and helpfully clarifies. "Caution is warranted."

    Red eyes flick between Rashmi and Alexis to make sure they got that.

    Emi lowers her arms.

    KABOOM goes Kokoro's hammer and Emi's hair rustles back from the force of the thunderous impact. "Can you do that in quarter notes?"
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 19:03:29 95938
And then the fun begins, and Miho just bolts into the nearest alleyway as an automatic reaction. As she hears Lacrima's voice and senses the surge of Darkness, she keeps running through Rashmi's eerie barrier-world, arms crossed and clutching her left arm in her right; her arm emits wisps of green-black shadow where she's grasping it, and her right arm is glowing minty-green.

She comes out the other end, and leans heavily against the nearest wall. She's shaking as she puts her right fist into the air. "L-life Blessing ..." She shakes her head. "Life ... Blessing ...!"

Her shadow turns black, and grows fox-ears. Oh, and jade-green eyes and a white smile too. "Hey!" says Noroiko, with mocking cheerfulness. "I could help with this!"

Miho shakes her head. "Shut up," she mutters, her voice going all the way through 'scratchy and androgynous' and into 'just plain weird'.

Noroiko's smile widens. "Just sayin', I don't benefit from you dying here, so --"

"Shut up!" Miho snaps. "Life Blessing ... w-wake up!"

Twitching and unsteady, the mint-green glow surrounds her arm at half the speed it usually does, surrounds her body completely, becomes a column of light ...

And then Life Mahou Joy, who is clearly not living up to her name at the moment, flies over the rooftops, straight towards the massive thunderclap from Kokoro's hammer, and descends upon the monster fist-first, her fist wreathed in a corona of purifying light. "Minty PUNCH!" she calls out in the bright voice that sounds almost, but not quite, exactly unlike her voice out-of-henshin.

"Wow," Noroiko deadpans, a split second before impact.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 19:13:51 95940
    The wolf is hit by No Limit Lacrima. The wolf is hit by a massive thunder hammer. The wolf is hit by Minty Punch.

    And ultimately, the Wolf Golem shatters into dozens of pieces, scattering across the ground, some pieces smashing through the various stalls of the farmer's market copied into this pocket between dimensions.

    "... Little overkill, you guys?" Calls Alexis in the aftermath of it, still stuck in the rocky vines. "But I guess it might not be over since this thing persists still-- Kriegsfauste! Engargieren!" And with a flash of light, Alexis is covered up in his Knight Armor, and Kriegsfauste has taken the form of the gauntlets. "Okay, let's--"


    The synthesized voice rings out from seemingly nowhere, to break of Alexis' words.


    In the next instant, the ground explodes again. The ground shifts and shakes, a pillar of dirt and dust rising up to destroy the stalls of the market's center. Rather than forming into a discernable figure this time, the whole *mass* itself merely turns to slam right against the mass of dark matter that is Lacrima, in an effort to envelop and restrain her.

    Underneath the t-visored helmet, Alexis' face pales from the sight. "Kokoro!" He calls out, just as a spell that bursts out kinetic energy outwardly destroys the rock vines around him. "Help Lacrima! Rashmi, help me get Emi u--"

    And again, his words are cut off. This time, it's not so much by the earth exploding, but by blasts of energy barraging towards him, Emi and Rashmi from across the way. He reacts just in time to bring out a shield with a yell of "PANZERSCHILDE!!!" to protect himself and Emi, but...

    Another barrage comes from the opposite direction. And from the left, and the right, and--

    On the rooftops and the ground surrounding, humanoid silhouettes stand, with their arms held out like cannons upon themselves. Upon closer look, much less inhuman, more of metal, with inner workings of machinery exposed under the chassis. Miho, Rashmi and Lacrima all will recognize them as the same ones that populated the laboratory they infiltrated a while back.

Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 19:25:45 95941
    Emi asks a question that just earns a silent, incredulous stare. A few arcs of lighting dance across her arms.

    Then the voice speaks, and Kokoro's brain clicks on the implications instantly - the wolf was just a mook, so to speak. "Tch. Get out here and let us pound the crap out of you already!" she yells; of course she knows full well that's not gonna happen, but she feels obligated to say it anyway.

    Of course, another attacking creature is unleashed, this time on Lacrima. "Ain't gotta tell me twice!" Pause. "AND IT'S DENGEKI SHOUJO!" But she's already moving, running full speed and whipping that huge hammer of hers around; a low backwards twirl into a high overhead smash, hoping to blow apart the mass of ground with sheer force and thunder.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 19:29:59 95942
"Oh you have got to be kiddWAK!" Suppressive fire is suppressive, and Rashmi and Nico both react with the same reflex.

*bing!* << SOLAR SHIELD >>

As Alex's spell protects himself and Emi, so does Rashmi's spell widen to cover herself, Kokoro, and Joy in a half-dome of transparent yellow light. Cocking her head for a moment, she seems to shake off a suggestion, her eyes momentarily gaining a faraway look that suggest she's in telepathic communion with her Device.


"Dengeki, Joy... We need to get those robots off the roofs. When I count down to one, I want you to jump at the edge of the shield as hard as you can. Joy, go left, Dengeki, go right. Sweep the roofline so we can help Lacchan."

At her words, hollow-centered circles spread out on the edge of her shield, one left, one right. ...Apparently that is the other girls' target.

"Solar Shield..."

*bing!* << SOLAR SHIELD >>



"Three... two.... ONE!"

When the girls jump, her shield.... collapses, sort of, but only in two axes, the kinetic kickback of the entire construct gathered into two points, catching the girls and hurling them skyward. Good thing henshin protects against whiplash...
Lacrima 2018-08-25 19:41:35 95943
Lacrima watches something try to wrap her up but apparently Kokoro has it handled... does she register this? Vaguely. She angrily watches this. "DO YOU THINK I CAN'T PROTECT MYSELF!?" she screams out. IS she screaming at the thing or Kokoro? It's hard to tell because she screams at open air.

She calls this out as she transform back into a humanoid form. Though she's in that fancy dress henshin instead of the street clothes she was in before, as she raises her hand up, and snaps her finger- a purple energy spark happening before she points her finger up.

"Destruccion Lluvia!" she calls out, a large beam of dark energy, purple in color lancing into the sky of the barrier world.

Before it starts raining heavy beams down on the rooftops.

....But also in the area of the heroes.

She doesn't even move from 'surpressing fire'. She just tanks the magical hits- reveling in her monstrous being at the moment of being horribly immortal.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 19:47:51 95944
    "Impressive." Emi states to herself as the wolf is blasted to rubble by the force of the magical girls.

    Then a synthesized voice is heard thanking Rashmi and a giant pillar of rubble rises from the ground.

    "Rashmi, if you dispel your barrier the material that constitutes that creature will no longer exist." Energy blasts begin raining down everywhere, including all around her, and Emi perhaps oddly doesn't move an inch. The blasts pock the ground all around her, ripping up rubble, but none seem to hit.

    It's a classic technique when placed into bullet hell: sometimes the best way to dodge is not to move at all.

    Her head then tilts to the side to avoid an energy blast heading right for it, only to be interrupted by Alexis' shield. "Thank you. I do not need mobility assistance at this time, however. Mobility was not yet a priority."

    Her hands press to the ground, but more importantly her flight magic kicks up a couple of notches and the ground gives way around her. She hovers a foot off the ground, red eyes turning to the robots spraying fire from the rooves. "How inelegant and unrefined." She looks... mildly perturbed as she looks to Kreigsfauste. "I will assist."

    She leans forward and curls slightly, only to shoot away at incredible speed, stopping just as fast next to a group of robots not aligned with Dengeki Shoujo and Life Mahou Joy's calculated trajectories.

    She lands, a neutral expression on her face as she punches straight through the chest of one robot, grabbing it's power source and ripping it free, palm striking it into the body of a second robot. As it explodes she steps away and half spins, avoiding the fire of the now reacting enemies while closing the distance. Every motion is calm, fast, and incredibly efficient. She grabs the weapon of the robot nearest to her and sends it's spray into one of it's comrades, only to look directly into whatever serves as it's visual sensors.

    "You are inferior."

    Emi's head tilts up as the beam of purple energy rakes across the false sky. A split second of calculations has her once again standing stock still, keeping the final robot from moving before releasing it and stepping to the side at the last possible moment, only for a blast of purple dark energy to annihilate the roof of the building and the hapless roboyouma that stood there.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 19:52:08 95945
Life Mahou Joy freezes up, eyes wide as she looks up at the energy-attacks. Noroiko snaps, "Dodge, you absol--" Solar shield! "-- ugh okay, fine."

Miho looks over Rashmi's shoulder in search of the kitten-video feed, and then ... Noroiko's form wavers, and reverts to being an ordinary shadow. "Right, got it!" says Miho. "I mean. I can probably do it on my own power, but ..."

... Aaaaand there's Lacrima doing her thing. "... yeah okay, fine," says Miho. Her heart-wand materializes in her left hand and she tosses it into her right. Then three, two, ONE!

She twirls around in midair. "Minty Barrage!" she calls out, firing pellets of light from her wand which might vaguely resemble mint-leaves. They're underpowered, as usual, but, well, these youma-bots have enough Dark that it should be painful enough.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 20:03:16 95946
    "ARE YOU KIDDING YOU ARE STUCK HALFWAY IN THE GROU--" Alexis points out the painfully obvious to Emi... just before she pulls herself up with flight magic. "...Okay nevermind."

    After Rashmi's launched off the girls - and Emi has launched HERSELF - off towards the droids that established support by fire positions in their surroudning areas, Alexis looks back to the redhead remaining by him. "Those are the councliman's bots, aren't they? How'd he figure out how to find us?!"

    And then-- oh no. Oh no, Lacrima. As dark energy lances blast through the mass of transmuted ground trying to assault the vampire with pure mass alone, and... it all rains back down again, literally EVERYWHERE, Alexis is forced to bring his shield facing *upwards* now-- thankful for the distraction to the robots caused by the three combatants sent off to their way.

    "IMOUTO YOU'RE GOING TO HURT US IF YOU KEEP THAT UP!" he yells to her in warning, hoping to god that she is actually going to hear him. That maybe his voice will go through enough.

    In the meantime, the robots fall one by one, under the combined assault of the three girls. Strangely enough, when Emi says her one-liner while staring into one robot's 'eyes', she could maybe swear that there's actual fear showing there, just momentarily.

    "Rashmi, can you keep supporting them?!" Alexis asks, then, as he turns to facing Lacrima and the mass of ever-shifting rubble. "I have to make sure..."

    Just then. Just then, the ground besides Alexis and Rashmi shifts. Another pillar shoots up, though this one is thinner than the one that launched itself at Lacrima. And this one, it turns into a distinct shape-- that of the head of a wolf.

    And it comes lunging right back down, towards Rashmi, with it's jaws wide open.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 20:07:14 95947
    "Wha-?" Lacrima lashes out, and Kokoro looks confused - and just a touch wounded. She's not sure if that was aimed at her, and Lacrima's being very destructive right now, and- oh boy, down come the lasers.

    Kokoro dives under Rashmi's protection as it widens, quickly coming up to her feet again. "Right, robots off the roofs. Jump at the edge of the... wait, what?" She wants to ask but oh crap Rashmi's already counting down. Don't question it, just go with it, don't question it, just- JUMP!


    Her landing on the roof is less than graceful. But she comes out of it swinging her hammer left and right, aiming to smash up one after another. It's hard to call her style 'graceful', but it still gives off the impression of controlled power, of a mighty force carefully directed for maximum impact. Not quite 'wild', but nowhere near machinelike. And every swing crackles with a charge of electricity.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 20:08:13 95948
"KIND OF?!" Rashmi answers, definitely on the edge of flailing about all noodly-armed like a Muppet. "LACCHAN IT'D BE A LOT EASIER TO FIGHT IF YOU'D WATCH YOUR FIRE, PLE--AAAACK!" As the wolf's head descends, Rashmi reflexively ducks, another golden half-dome flashing into existence around her. But there is only so much mass the thing can deflect, even tuned up to maximum. The object's momentum is slowed, certainly, by the kickback produced by the shield....

And then the shield shatters, and the open-mouthed wolf crashes down into the pavement, seemingly swallowing her whole.
Lacrima 2018-08-25 20:22:01 95950
Lacrima narrows her eyes as she breaks off into a ... bunch of bats that disappear into mist? Yes. Yes she does at the attack. Moving to somewhere in the in the middle of all this. "Oh-hoho...." is all Alexis gets in reply. Another Oujo-laugh. "It isn't my fault if you can't protect yourself." she says. Yeah. She isn't sounding like her normal self at all. The tone is sharp- direct. Not the underlying tone of guilt that Lacrima usually speaks with.

Regardless. She wraps her arms around herself and begins drawing in a large amount of dark energy as looks down on the battle below.

She seems to be charging something.

That is probably not a good thing for many reasons right now.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 20:33:02 95953
    "Packed soil and asphalt are restraining," Emi explains, "but not so much more so than my own mass." Not weight. Mass. Important distinction. Very scientific.

    When the robot she stares at looks at her in what seems like fear it actually seems to shake her. She releases it a little earlier than expected, stepping away and almost gets herself shot before the giant blast comes down and destroys is. Her eyes are a little wide as she gazes into the smoking ruins, and then over to the other three she destroyed herself. They do not look significantly advanced- at least not to her. Their mechanics are exposed and unrefined.

    But could she have misjudged them? Could they have been alive in the same manner as she was? "Fear response. Possible artificial, possible natural. Likely instinctual." Her eyes narrow a little, "Enemy shows no feeling or remorse in assault. Probability of artificial imitation reaction... eighty-seven percent." Far, far lower than she'd like. Enough for doubt.

    She snaps out of it just in time to see the wolf's head appear on the body of the rubble creature, and then Rashmi's shield collapse. "That is not good. I cannot assist against an opponent of such strength." She looks around as Joy and Dengeki Shoujo clean house with more of the robots. She doesn't move to engage them, either- she was able to get the drop on them, but now that they likely know she's a threat attacking them head on would be a bad idea.

    Power surges and once more Emi looks towards it's source, "Negative energy levels spiking, approaching critical." She hops off the roof and runs over to the bracer that Lacrima dropped on the ground, staring at it while picking it up and analyzing it as quickly as she can. Some kind of energy manipulator, possibly a resistor.

    The large rubble monster is the enemy, but she can't do anything about that. Lacrima at this rate, however, might end up being the larger threat if she continues on the same path. Getting closer is a terrible idea, but attempting mitigation is better than nothing, right? Emi can understand the others not wanting to hurt their friend to stop her, even if it means getting caught up in whatever she's preparing.

    So she flies once more, rushing over to Lacrima's side. "Please reconsider your actions. You are as likely to destroy your friends as you are your enemies." With that she'll try to snap the bracer back around Lacrima's wrist while she's in humanoid form, having no idea how the thing works, only that it might.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 20:40:32 95955
"RASHMI-CHAN!" Miho's eyes widen. But now Lacrima's a problem, too! Her mind races: there really isn't anything she can do to Lacrima from this distance without running the risk of killing her; she's still in a charging state, but who knows how long that will last? Rashmi, on the other hand, needs help now. That other girl -- Emi, was that her name? -- is dealing with Lacchan. Rashmi it is, then!

Life Mahou Joy twirls her wand in a circle, leaving a trail of minty-green light, then thrusts her wand forward. "Joy Shining Ray!" she exclaims, and the ring collapses, firing a brilliant beam of energy at the wolf's neck.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 20:56:41 95957
    "Ra--" Alexis starts calling back behind him just in time to see the wolf's jaws close in around Rashmi and the pavement, lifting up after to... leave nothing behind.


    He stops. And he is left staring back at her, almost as if forgetting the entirety of everything else that is going on around him. The robots, the rubble monster. Everything. He just stares at the golem wolf that seemingly just ATE RASHMI, seemingly at the behest of the person he was just about ready to kill a few days ago. And Lacrima is freaking out as some kind of monster now too, because of all this. Is this... Is this because he didn't go and do it?

    But then he sees Joy coming in to try and help. To try and break through the thing. ... Maybe she's still in there, right? It's big enough... maybe. Lot of maybes. He can't be sure.

    But he has to trust them all.

    "Get her out of there!" he calls to Joy, then instead of proper freaking out, and evidently deciding to also leave the robots to Kokoro, he leaps towards Emi and Lacrima. He STILL can't fly, so really, he just leaps up high in the air to effectively pass by them briefly.

    But just briefly enough for him to tell Lacrima one simple word: "Please." It's not even said in the usual boomy voice of Stahlritter, but rather in the more natural voice of Alexis, and even then much more softly so than usual.

    He is *really* hoping the voice of Nii-san will go through.

    Nevermidn the fact that the rubble-mass is rising up again over all three of them, ready to come striking down upon all of them at once. And the wolf head from the ground rises up further, then, intent on forming its full body again-- only to be cut down at the neck by Joy Shining Ray, sending the head falling down onto the ground with a loud *THUD* that shakes the ground.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 20:58:52 95958
    With Emi having flown off, plenty of the robots put their aim after her - and consequently Lacrima and Alexis - but it doesn't take long for the calculations in them to re-evaluate the priority of targets. Afterall, a big lightning-girl with A HUGE HAMMER does come across as a pretty huge threat. Though the ones a little further away are not quite as quick to react to her presence by virtue of them not being in immediate contact, robot after robot still turns to aim their arm-cannons at her-- and fire.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 21:16:48 95960
    Kokoro is willing enough to trust in her own toughness that the first shot or two, she just outright takes - there's a soft grunt when she's hit here and there, but in true Dengeki fashion, she just lowers her head and keeps on going. Metaphorically, anyway. Literally, she can't lower her head, because that would make it more difficult to aim her swings. And she's got to clear these robots out as fast as she possibly can, because every minute she's up here is a minute she can't cover-


    And now she's not even feeling the shots slamming into her back. There's something much more important. "YOU LET HER GO! I'LL TEAR YOU THE HELL APART, YOU SPIT HER UP RIGHT NOW!" Without even a second's delay, Dengeki Shoujo hurls herself off the roof straight at the wolf, body alight with electricity, putting her full strength into just throwing herself at the thing that just ate(?) her friend.
Lacrima 2018-08-25 21:28:53 95962
Lacrima throws her arms out. "APOCALIIPSIS OSC----". The entire area starts smelling like ozone for just a second. It's probably a good thing that Lacrima's stronger attacks require some sort of incantation, since about halfway through that one, Emi comes up and starts speaking to her. That alone wouldn't stop Lacrima. Except she manages to get the bracer on, on one of those currently helpfully stretched out arms. The ozone smell stops as all that collected energy begins to dissipate.

"A..Ahahhahaha!?" goes Lacrima as she holds her arm. This sounds like a painful reaction. Mainly of a bunch of energy being shunted out of her at a quick pace burns heavily. Her arm is shaking, but a little meter on the bracer is reading '274%' right now and counting down fast until it reaches 100%. Argh..

Argh she feels sick and she here's 'please'. "I..I'm here... I... please a moment." she says more normal voice. She disappears into a Dusk Step, reappearing...

Well she can't be seen.

She's basically hiding behind a building, in a dumpers feeling ill from the effects of the idiot thing she did.

"Stupid stupid stupid..." she keeps muttering to herself. She just wanted to end this dumb fight immediately.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 21:56:58 95963
    It's definitely a very good thing for Emi. She can handle being hammered into the ground when she's ready for it but the kind of dark energy assault Lacrima was preparing would have hurt her as much as anyone else.

    "That looks unpleasant," the white haired robot girl states as Lacrima holds her arm. "I apologize, but I could not see any other means of preventing catastrophe." And then in a wink of disturbing magic Lacrima is gone from her vision. Not entirely from her sensors, but pursuit doesn't seem necessary. If the girl wants a moment to collect herself after that Emi is more than willing to give it to her.

    Almost idly she reaches over and grabs Stahlritter by the armor on his back as he reaches the apex of his jump once Lacrima dusk steps away. She turns her head towards him, "I believe strength like yours is required to dispatch the enemy." She opens a connection to Kreigsfauste and infodumps all the information she's collected on the rubble-covered monster as attacked Lacrima and Rashmi. It's not especially thorough since her focus was elsewhere, but it does contain a few weak points.

    "Paper covers rock."

    With that she turns to the side and twists, still holding onto Stahlritter while swinging her arm, using the full momentum of her body to heave him around and fling him directly towards the enormous pillar as it prepares to strike down and smash them all.

    She then holds a closed fist out and waves it towards the giant monster. "Rocket puuuunch." Her fist doesn't actually shoot off, of course. The punch is Alexis himself.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 22:05:21 95964
Miho looks around and exhales. The monster's head is off. Lacrima's not a threat anymore, and more importantly gone, though that's less relevant since it's not quite "dark." Still, she doesn't have much more she can do, so ... stick to what she knows.

So she swoops down, hands and wand extended. "Life Blessing, COURAGEOUS STRIKE!" she calls out, sending minty-green beams of light out towards Kokoro and Alexis -- making their attacks a little bit more potent, adding a bit of purification --

-- and now Emi has tossed Alex. A pained expression crosses Miho's face, and she keeps her wand trained on him throughout his trajectory in order to avoid interrupting his power supply.
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 22:18:09 95965
    After the body-splitting attack from Joy, the wolf started reforming already with additional bits of rock and dirt and asphalt moving to gather onto it. But...

    But then Dengeki Shoujo.

    There's a struggle first. Bits of rock forming to stab and smack towards her, but then she's practically tearing the damn thing apart. Rock by rock, bit by bit. There's not so much wolf left anymore by the time she's done.

    And from within-- there's a very familiar bit of red hair poking out eventually.

    Meanwhile, Stahlritter gets caught by Emi, and his t-visored helmet turns to look back at her. "What are you doiD'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHSONOFABIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH!"

    It takes half a second for him to actually orient himself in that throwing-induced flight towards the Mass. And when he does, it's done with a somersault through the air, and just as Joy's Boost comes catching onto him, his fist draws back behind him as it vibrates rapidly with gathering power, several runes forming around it.


    With the added information from Emi's transferred analysis, Alexis and Kreigsfauste both direct that fist to launching into just the right position within the Mass to maximize the power of the impact through the thing's structural integrity.


    The fist slams into the mass, and through it, with the kind of shockwave blasting out (Thanks Miho!) from the impact that causes wind pressure to strike through the surrounding area, whipping air, flapping the tents of various stalls still left standing and sending smaller bits of rubble flying. And as the Stahlritter-bullet goes through the Mass, the top of it explodes into a cloud of dust and rocks flying into every which direction, and continuing to collapse out from there down.

    Alexis still does not know how to fly, sure. But he has learned how to do landings properly. So this time, when he hits the ground, he doesn't flop face-first into anything, but rather stomps himself down onto one knee with one fist slamming against the pavement.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 22:21:06 95966
Luckily, with all the impacts slamming in the same direction against the rubble-wolf, rocks aren't the only thing that fly away from the impact. Her Barrier Jacket half-shredded, cuts and abrasions visible all over, Rashmi's limp body blasts out of the mess, rolling along the ground to fetch up against a half-destroyed wall.

She's not moving.

But that could mean a lot of things, right?
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 22:39:57 95967
    Rip and tear, smash and crush. Kokoro is a furious frenzy, swinging hammer with one arm and a fist with the other, right up until the moment Rashmi comes free. When she sees the girl knocked loose, she lets go and drops to the ground, then immediately goes running in that direction, skidding to a stop over her friend. "O-oi, Rashmi, hey. Hey, Rashmi, please, say something, oi..." Gentle shakes, only very gentle - if anything is broken, she doesn't want to make it worse. But at the same time, the thunder girl is getting more and more frantic by the second.
Lacrima 2018-08-25 22:42:35 95968
Lacrima is indeed not off sensors. She's hiding in a dumpster. She eventually actually opens the dumpster and crawls out physically landing on her knees and palms as she shakily stands up. Okay. She remembers this feeling. She'll start walking back to the group.

"Don't see. Any moving." she says. Yes that is not a complete sentence but she's hoping it's enough to get the point across that she isn't seeing any enemies.

She frowns to Rashmi and begins walking over. The fact her barrier jacket is still up is a good sign- at least. But she still doesn't LOOK good.

"Healing." she says pointing, and looking to Life Mahou Joy. She'll stop near Rashmi and frown and look to Kokoro. "Sorry." she says with a sad tone. She probably means for a statement earlier. Or maybe this. "Hard talk." she says with a pained tone, raising the bracer to peek at a meter and small display there. "Stress to. Wall." she can't explain that any further what she means. "Not break though."

Then she sort of tires a little, and turns around to make sure nothing ambushes them why they check on Rashmi.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 22:52:54 95969
    The combined assault of Dengeki Shoujo and Stahlritter boosted by Life Mahou Joy seems to be enough for the moment, and Emi is pleased with the amount of 'help' she was able to offer as well. "Yahtzee."

    She lowers her fist and looks around. She frowns a little when she sees Rashmi laying crumpled on the ground, but the fact the barrier is still up around them shows that she's not completely out. Her thoughts are very similar to Lacrima's, but rather than preparing a defense she begins scanning around for any signs or energy signatures of either more robots or the large monster. After a moment of consideration she also starts scanning below the ground as best she can.

    "The enemy is known to use burrowing techniques," she notes, mostly to Lacrima.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 22:55:30 95970
Life Mahou Joy is gingerly flies down and lands, walking over and kneeling next to Rashmi. "O-okay, r-right, l-let me handle this," she says, dematerializing her wand. "Just need ... to ... to concentrate. S-stay back, L-Lacchan ..." There is absolutely nothing steady about Miho at the moment.

She gets out her Virtue phone, and opens YouTube to a bookmarked video titled 12 hours of kittens playing! and sets it to a random time-slot, then rests her phone in her lap and watches it as she holds her shaking hands over Rashmi.

She takes a few deep breaths, watching the extended video. Every now and then, the scene changes to a different video, sometimes of a different quality. After a little more than thirty seconds, her hands have more-or-less stilled, and another thirty seconds later, the minty-green glow of the Life Blessing begins emanating from her hands, suffusing Rashmi's body, her injuries slowly healing and vanishing over the course of a couple of minutes. (Her healing really is more potent when she's in henshin.)
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 23:00:15 95971
It might be a good thing that Rashmi was unconscious this time; the wounds she took were a lot worse than a few errant broken bones, having been swallowed by a not-particularly-hollow wolf's head made of chunks of rock, cement, and asphalt. But the healing does its work, and after about thirty seconds she starts to shift, lips moving just enough to be seen. Her head lolls one way, then another... And just before Miho can finish, she sits bolt upright, eyes wide. "SOUMA-KUN!"
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 23:02:24 95972
    "I'm not sure if that's an appropriate reference to use here," Alexis tells Emi in perfect deadpan when he rises from his superhero-landing-pose.

    But nevermind all that. Rashmi is hurt as hell. He goes hurrying that way first, but with Kokoro and Miho already crowding her, he slows down in his movement when he gets closer. A hand comes up to rub along his helmet-covered head. The sight of her like that-- it mixes with all the earlier thoughts. Of the one he thinks responsible. Of how he could have stopped it. Of what he should do after...

    He tries to cast all of that away. All of it. And they finally wash away completely when Rashmi suddenly bolts into wakefulness with that yell, and his hand drops away from his head.

    "...Oh thank god," he sighs out. "I was going to--" He decides against finishing that sentence. And for good timing, too, since he gets distracted by Emi's words, even if they are directed at Lacrima.

    "... You know, it is weird," he points out. "I get the robots-- we got them all, but-- why's the ground not turning against us anymore?"
Lacrima 2018-08-25 23:12:21 95974
Lacrima seems tired, and sometimes wavers, like she's about to fall over. But she seems like she's 'okay' long term. She knows Joy is doing her healy thing at the moment, she's stepped far enough away by now. She doesn't see anything. She doesn't sense anything.

"Yes." she says to Emi. She saw that earlier. It isn't lost on her. She'd comment more on it but she can't really say much more, in the pidgin manner of speaking she has to use right now.

She turns slightly to face Alexis, and looks back. "Not know. Distraction. Goal taken. away." she says tiring out at the end of the last one. She doesn't know. Maybe it was a distraction or they completed whatever was going on here. Maybe someone doing that nearby realized they we're gonna get beat up if they continued.

"Hard talk. Energy shunt." she says. "Sorry." she says again with a tone of depression. "Dumb." she points to herself. "Fault." she says. "Fight. Quick." she says tiredly. "No work." then she quiets.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 23:19:30 95976
    Emi nods to Lacrima. Good, as long as she's aware of the possibility. She resumes her scanning, sparing a bit of focus to examine Joy's healing and relaxing a little when Rashmi sits up, though the change in her is small enough as to be hard to notice.

    Then her head suddenly turns and she lifts her arm to point. "Life signs; we are not alone. There." Her eyes flick to Lacrima, "If you need to release excess energy, I suggest that is where you start."

    Emi could be completely wrong about what part of the energy shunt is difficult for her, of course.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 23:20:23 95977
    Rashmi immediately finds herself subject to a very large hug. "Rashmi!" Surprisingly gentle, yes, but very large. "Thank goodness you're alright..." It's one of those rare moments where Kokoro seems legitimately not aware of her surroundings - neither of Lacrima, nor the very good question Alex just asked, nor Emi's response (and direction). "Y-you gotta take better care of yourself, that was... don't do that."
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 23:24:29 95978
Miho flinches, the glow vanishing as her concentration is smashed even more thoroughly than the robot. (She's probably left with a couple more aches and pains than necessary.) "W-what ...?" She looks nervously over at Alexis, Lacrima, and Emi. "... wish I could detect life in general from a distance, not just darkness," she mutters.

Aaaaand she's going back to shaking once Emi points out the presence of another life sign. Her costume actually begins to flicker slightly, and her shadow turns completely black. Noroiko lets out a brief "Heh ..."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 23:27:00 95980
"Oh good.... you're better... Lacchan," Rashmi pants, wrapping her arms around Kokoro and returning the hug quite easily. "Do you... remember... when Souma-kun got stabbed? By a cement spike that grew out of the ground behind him?"

Her eyes focus in a bit, moving from Lacrima to Alexis, then to Miho. Reaching out, she puts a hand on Miho's shoulder. "Hey... it's okay, Miho-chan. Preeeeeetty sure you literally saved me just then."

Afterward though, she shakes her head, because this is really important. "Alexis-kun I think your mom's behind this whole mess." Her eyes shoot to Emi, as the robot calls out another presence. "....Think that might be her."
Stahlritter 2018-08-25 23:34:17 95981
    "What?" Alexis lets out with his eyes widening underneath the helmet's concealment over Rashmi's words. "But that's--"

    That makes sense. All the questions he had over everything that's happened the whole of last month. He rubs at his head again...

    "Now why did you have to go and say that?"

    The voice is that of an older woman. Though 'older' in this case really means 'older than anyone else present' (save for Emi, but she sounds young anyhow). And following both that and Emi's pointing-- from around one of the destroyed stalls steps into view no other but the tall, strawberry-blonde european in an incredibly expensive suit that is Hulda Raskoph, with her hands wrapped together behind her back.

    But unlike back at the secret laboratory, she looks positively *annoyed*.

    "And you," she snarls, upon turning a look to Alexis, who in turn has promptly stiffened up and turned to impose himself between her and his friends. "Why couldn't you just do *what needed to be done*?"
Lacrima 2018-08-25 23:44:38 95983
Lacrima looks to Emi. "Energy shunt. Early. Bracer. Attach." she says, referring to the energy leveling that happened earlier when Emi shoved it back on. Regardless, She is about to go follow it when. Well there's Hulda.

"Hulda Raskoph." she says silently.

"Better person." she says. "Better than you." she says with same annoyance. "Not murderer. You- murderer. He not tool. Your tool." she says. This probably doesn't sound as threating as it should.

Luckily it's only her speech pattern really messed up and part of her gait. She's still mostly functional for a fight. She doesn't move to fight yet.

"F*** self." she finally finishes off, in a slightly nastier tone. She's channeling energy into her palms, but she is not raising them yet.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-25 23:52:36 95986
    Emi focuses on Hulga as she steps into view. She appraises the woman carefully with a keen eye. The only sign of her irritation is a slight change in posture. "Your suit is very well tailored, but I'm afraid it isn't entirely correct on you. Have you considered shopping at a discount outlet? You should also consider starching it a bit less- it would match better."

    Alexis moves to step in front of all of them, but Emi steps to the side so as not to be hidden from view. "You are an awful creator, going so far as to harm the ones your creation cares about. You have no shame." Her voice is as even as ever, but her posture has changed. She's agitated- something about this situation has her on edge, and it shows.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-25 23:56:57 95989
    Kokoro finally seems to be getting ahold of herself... until, unfortunately, a certain someone shows herself. Hulda Raskoph. It's someone she's only seen once, and only briefly, but still - just knowing this lady's responsible for that attack on Rashmi is quite enough. "Lady, I hope you've been scarfing some candy because you're about to get the pinata treatment." Normally, Dengeki Shoujo would not be this aggressive. Normally, she would not just rush an enemy whose full capabilities she doesn't know. But she's a tad bit emotional right now, and seems to be making some very poor choices. Besides, 'she can manipulate the ground around me' is enough knowledge, right? Right.

    Yeah, she's totally charging Hulda, hammer ready.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-25 23:57:17 95990
Miho nods slowly, starting to give Rashmi a weak smile ... but then she immediately stiffens up, eyes widening as she looks over towards Hulda, looks back over at Alexis, and then gets unsteadily to her feet. "He did, actually!" she says, her clear bright voice ringing out. "And, uh, just for the record, I'm not a hundred percent sure what you're trying to accomplish here, but ... if you were hoping to get something out of your son, I kind of feel like that boat sailed the minute you decided to throw a murder-tantrum at one of his friends."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-25 23:58:22 95991
"....Well now I understand Nicomachea a little better," Rashmi murmurs, gently picking up the badly cracked book and rising to her feet, pained and tired eyes squarely on Hulda. "I told him because he deserves to be informed, not programmed. So he can make his own decisions. Because he's a person, not a wrench in a toolbox, you Thundering Demon Bitch."

To most, it'll be surprise enough that Rashmi dislikes someone enough to actually swear at them. Which is bad enough.

But her voice sounds similar enough to a voice from Hulda's past, that those exact words may trigger an extremely unpleasant memory. Several of them, in fact.

But then Kokoro charges, and Rashmi's face grows dismayed as the Barrier begins to glitch and shift.
Stahlritter 2018-08-26 00:18:05 95992
    "While I appreciate your attempts at talking despite your current condition," Hulda says to Lacrima. "You should *really* be more polite than that. I entertained the idea of dealing with your family, but I thought that might be *too much*. Don't change my mind."

    Emi gets a look next, with her brows rising up, curiously. "Oh, well, you're *new*. And *incredibly rude* too at that. Though... No, I'll have to come back to you later."

    Afterall, Kokoro is charging her. And for that matter, Alexis has taken the cue to join right in besides her, with a yell of "RASHMI, JOY, SUP--"

    And for the god knows how manyith time today, Alexis gets cut off. This time? It's with an explosion of dust in front of him and Kokoro, that moves on to cover the two of them, and--

    ...In nearly the next instant, rock, cement and granite have formed around the limbs of both Alexis and Kokoro, to root them to the ground.

    "So not only does no one teach manner to kids anymore, mine has forgotten the ones I taught to him," Hulda speaks out, and once the dust has fully settled, a dagger has appeared in her hand again, and she's tapping the blunt side of it against the open palm of her other hand.

    But she's looking directly at Rashmi.

    "It makes sense now," she snarls. "I thought there was more reasons targeting you for this... lesson, here. Of course someone like *her* would be the one to ruin this regiment." ... Somehow, it feels like the 'her' in that statement doesn't refer to Rashmi, or anyone else present. "I did want the best for my boy here. I wanted to give him all the tools he could have, to become what this world needed for its change. Even if I had to give him a lesson on consequences. Take away what was holding him back. But I was wrong. I made the mistake in the first place, of letting him get close to you, and all the others."

    She looks to Alexis. "...So I suppose the lesson today isn't for him, afterall."

    And with that, she makes one quick, phase-shifted step towards his son. To stab him.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-26 00:31:51 95995
Life Mahou Joy's entire idiom comes from three things: purification, speed, and being really observant. She saw this coming a mile away.

As soon as Alexis is held in place, Miho rematerializes her wand and boosts towards them, and even before Hulda even starts moving to stab him, Miho thrusts her wand out and out fires an orb of bright green light, zipping through the air like a bowling ball. Well ... at least, it wouldn't hit her as if it was a bowling ball, Miho wouldn't really be able to bring up that kind of firepower. But even someone in a Barrier Jacket would get knocked back.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-26 00:36:46 95997
*brnkg!* << SKKRRKKLAR BRRRETSHKT >> Nicomachea is trashed, y'all.

But he does have access to enough mana, and enough of him is intact, to summon a single, bright yellow Barret. And enough to fire that Barret at a low arc, enough homing in its default pattern to allow it to skim over Kokoro and Alexis' head, to barrel down toward Hulda's face.

But then a few plates drop off the book, and the Barrier glitches hard once, then drops entirely.

Which means Hulda will have to stab her own son in public if she really wants to see it done.

Downside; Rashmi's Barrier Jacket falls with the Barrier, and in a flash of shattering yellow light, Nicomachea reverts to low-power mode, a cracked reg 'gem' in a yellow plastic-like sunburst setting.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-26 00:39:07 95999
    Aaaand there it is.

    Dengeki Shoujo's charge is brought to a sudden, screeching halt. Her arms and legs both trapped by crafted restraints of stone and cement. "Gh-! LET GO, YOU-" My, but she does have a foul mouth when she gets mad enough. She's also crackling with excess lightning by now, and straining against her bonds with every ounce of strength she's got... or, to be more accurate, every ton. They're already starting to crack a bit ominously, but she won't nearly be free in time to stop Hulda's knife. "Don't you DARE you-"
EMI v248.1 2018-08-26 00:41:11 96001
    "I am sorry if my words hurt, but your actions are more harmful. It is unacceptable for a creator to bring such harm upon their creation. Rashmi is correct. Even if you view him as a tool he is still a person, and people must be treated with respect." Emi lifts her chin a little as she speaks, as if this were somehow personal.

    She sighs as Kokoro and Alexis get bound by rubble, idly wondering if the rock and cement are crushing as well as restraining. Probably not, given the lack of pained screaming. She starts to step forward, only to reconsider with the barrier falling, giving a glance to Joy and Lacrima before instead stepping back and interposing herself between Rashmi and Hulda.

    "I can assist with repairs," she informs in a whispered tone, "so long as you have materials." For some reason she doesn't seem to be taking the threat of stabbing as seriously as might be warranted. Probably has something to do with the armor Alexis is sporting and the fact there's a healer of sufficient strength to pick Rashmi up off the ground in record time.
Lacrima 2018-08-26 00:42:16 96002
Lacrima would be willing to fire an attack. Move to help her friends. But.... but. Hulda threatens her family. This hits a button that's hot with her right now. It causes her brow to visibly twitch when Hulda says that.

So she dashes forward, moving to the woman before she can get her bearings again from hopefully Miho's defensive actions.

"Mistake." she says. Mistake?

She continues moving at Hulda. She can't be restrained like the others. If she tries-- her body is fluid. Can become mist. Hard to physically contain in binds.

"Monsters belong in place." she says as she continues her walk forward-- and when she's close enough she suddenly... dashes forward and grabs onto Hulda's form.

Then she disappears into a forced Dusk Step. Well. Correction.

They disappear into a Dusk Step, probably just as Rashmi's barrier falls.
Stahlritter 2018-08-26 00:54:58 96007
    Just before the dagger hits the cement layer brought around Alexis, Hulda... suddenly makes a full body twitch to the side and back, just out of the way of Miho's attack. Anyone who's paying close enough attention might actually notice that she seems *surprised* by the motion, as if though it wasn't at all voluntary on her part.

    The next motion is much more voluntary, though. Namely, her free hand twitching up, bringing up several Belkan runes into being around it to form a shield that intercepts Rashmi's Barret.

    But all that? All that leaves her wide open to Lacrima grabbing onto her.

    And she disappears with her.

    And thus, in the horrible shadow-world of the Dusk Zone, Hulda stares down at Lacrima-- and oh yeah, she looks absolutely *furious*, though she isn't flinching in the sort of way that would suggest she's unused to being here.

    "I thought you could be useful, but you are absolutely *dedicated* to proving me wrong, aren't you?" she snarls. She could try to stab her with that most definitely magical dagger, but she doesn't-- maybe because she doesn't think it will be permanent enough for there to be a point. "You could have helped make sure my son, the one you think of as a brother, came out good and well. But if you rather be my enemy, then *so be it*." Venom drips in her words-- and her head does twitch to the side slightly, one eyelid drooping down. Oh, the Dusk Zone is definitely affecting her.

    "Tell my son he is a *failure*. I won't need to bother with him anymore, but if he gets in our way, I will not let whatever affection I have left for him stop me from putting him down if I have to."

    Something clicks, then, and-- the older woman fades away from Lacrima's grasp. Nowhere to be seen. She probably expected as much, but still.
Miho Kagami 2018-08-26 01:03:10 96009
Miho blinks a few times. "Is she gone?" she says weakly. Her costume twitches and flickers a bit more, and her shadow turns completely black once again.

"Did she take her to the Dusk Zone!?" says Noroiko's voice. "Wow, that kid's merciless!"

A few more flickers, and Miho's henshin reverts completely, and she sinks to her knees and just bursts into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. Scratchy, androgynous -- yeah, her voice passes all the way into "just plain weird" again. The past entire month since she first transformed has just been too much.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-26 01:03:37 96010
Rashmi sighs, sinking to her knees next to Miho, wrapping an arm around the girl's shoulders. "It's okay," she says gently. "It's done. C'mon... I have some shopping to do, then let's go back to the Korma and see if Papi will make us an early lunch. He likes having people to test recipes on." Looking up at Kokoro and Alexis, Rashmi tilts her head. "....Can you two get out of that?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-26 01:06:06 96013
"And Emi?" Rashmi says, fatigue shooting through her voice. "Thanks. Seriously. It's good to see you again, too..."
Lacrima 2018-08-26 01:06:14 96014
She took Hulda to a really awful area of the Dusk Zone it seems. It isn't great. It's flat so there's barely anywhere to hide from the beasts that may roam here. She narrows her eyes. "He fine. Without you." she says cooly. "Care others." she says tiredly. The Dusk Zone exposure is having the opposite effect on her than it is Hulda. It's leveling her out finally.

"If you..." she says. "...come at him. Or any... of his friends again." she says. "I make sure this trip permanent next time." she says icily.

Lacrima isn't afraid of another Eclipse member.

She returns to where she started when she sees Hulda activate the emergency transponder. Yes she perfectly expected that. She frowns and turns around.

"Took her to Dusk Zone. She had a way out of course. Removed her from fight." she says. "Have more vocal ability back. Not all." she says.

"Sorry." she says to the others. "Never do that. Bad to do that. Hard to do that. Knew she had way out. Eclipse high ups do. Accidents. Lab." she twitches. "Sorry..." she says.

She turns to Alexis. "She said. If you get in her way. She won't hesitate again. Not like she did so this time. Don't give up. Nii-san." she says as she starts to slack, then fall backwards finally.

"My levels are still messed up. I was an idiot. Thought I could control. That. All I did. Was go back to. How was before bracer." she mutters.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-26 01:08:07 96015

    Her bonds give way, and Kokoro is left... taking a step forward or two. Lacrima's taken Hulda off... somewhere? That looked like the usual teleport thing, so while it's worrying, she's not immediately alarmed. More than anything, now that the moment's passed...

    "...tch... the hell was I thinking, just running in like that..." She hasn't even realized they're back in the 'real world' now. Without even turning to look, the tall girl calls over her shoulder, "...Rashmi, you sure you're all right? I can, uh... I can help carry stuff, if you need-" Oh hey Lacrima's back. That's good. Still not making eye contact.
EMI v248.1 2018-08-26 01:11:46 96017
    "It is good to see you too, Rashmi." Emi replies.

    Despite watching an incredible amount of anime and other shows lately, she really doesn't have any idea how to handle this. Poking fun at resemblances is easy, but even she recognizes that this is the wrong time for that. Instead she takes a long look at Rashmi, Miho, and Lacrima and follows Kokoro's lead. "Who should I carry where?"

    She doesn't know how to help them with their emotional issues, but locomotion is simple enough.
Stahlritter 2018-08-26 01:15:09 96018
    "Yeah!" Alex groans out in answer to Rashmi, and with a mighty CRACK! he breaks off nearly in time with Kokoro-- but unlke her just stumbling a step or two, he just lets himself slump down onto the ground, what with all the emotional stress of dealing with his mother in such a SPECTACULAR way.

    "... So my mom just tried to kill me," he mutters, just as Lacrima comes back. He listens to her, and underneath his helmet, he frowns. "... I won't," he murmurs. "I'm... I'm not her tin soldier anymore."

    He looks to Miho sobbing there, and for a moment, he thinks about going to join in on the hug, but... well.

    Instead, he reaches his hand over to grasp on Lacrima's arm, and tug her down-- pulling her into a hug. Not giving a damn about the fact that they are back in the real world, where people have likely returned to some extent after realizing the weird wolf thing had disappeared, and are giving some funny looks to the group of cosplayers there. "You're fine," he murmurs to the vampire. "It's okay. Just don't do that again, okay? You scared me."

    And he looks back over towards Rashmi again, considering her. "... Any idea what she was talking about just now?" he asks of her. "She talked like... she *knew* you."