Emergency Shutdown

Akari and Millie are headed to Gullwing for post-training snacks. Signum and Zafira want their Linker Cores. Nothing goes as planned, especially when you panic.

Date: 2019-01-10
Pose Count: 38
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 00:31:21 102433
As far as Akari knows, this is was a perfectly ordinary day of training with Millie. Well ... "ordinary" insofar as she's still kind of a mess; it didn't take her long to resume arranging their meetings and escorting, but she's still clearly in the recovery period. Nevertheless, she was getting stir crazy, and training allowed her to focus on something else.

The sky is clear, and the sun is starting to set as Akari escorts Millie towards Gullwing Coffee for some post-exercise snacks. "We might have to order things to go," says Akari. "We'd probably be ... cutting it a little close to nighttime, otherwise." She's wearing her usual blue track suit, with Rubindorn tucked into her shirt, and she has a long bag slung over her back with the handles of two wooden training swords sticking out.
Millie White 2019-01-10 00:51:28 102436
Today WAS a perfectly ordinary day of training. At least, that was what Millie had reminded herself at least every hour of the day so far. There was absolutely nothing special or out of the ordinary about today... even if it was her Birthday. The Canuck had already received a call from her parents, and if she had anything to say about it, that was where her Birthday stopped. There were far more important things to be worrying about...

Like Akari. Millie glanced at her friend as they walked, her emerald gaze neutral in order to mask the concern. After talking to Akari about what had happened, Millie had been very careful to be softer around the Device user while she recovered. It wasn't every day that someone lost a mother figure... but Akari was soldiering on, so Millie would be there to support her. Training was a great way to take one's mind of of other things, and it felt amazing to resume their previous training schedule. Even though she would never admit it, Millie had been quite stir crazy when Akari had withdrawn and their training had ceased.

"You're right." Millie said with a nod. "Better safe than sorry, eh?" The Cure was dressed in her usual t-shirt and jeans with the faded green overshirt. Even though the sky was clear and nothing seemed amiss, Millie gave a cautionary glance around her surroundings before looking back at Akari with a lopsided grin. "Snacks are on me today, Akari-san." Millie made it a point to help Akari save money whenever she could; it was important for Akari to work up savings, after all!
Signum 2019-01-10 00:59:31 102437
The day is not ordinary, in ways neither of them know! For example, one is not usually stalked from the sky.
    Oblivious to mothers and birthdays; to emotions and training - and truthfully unlikely to be affected by them - Signum hovers out of Rubindorn's sensing range, watching the two Mahou like a hawk; silently drifting behind them at a safe distance until such time as Akari and Millie step inside to get food. Floating directly above the building, Signum speaks to her comrade Zafira without taking her eyes off of the roof. "On my mark, Zafira."
    "Three... two... one..." On 'one she raises her hand and creates a barrier. All at once, every living thing around Akari and Millie vanish into thin air. That's all the warning they get before an instant later, Signum barks, "Mark." and draws her blade, falling from the sky like a comet before unleashing a violent slash of dark pink energy that cuts the phased building in half, filling the inside with smoke and debrie for Zafira to enter.
Zafira 2019-01-10 01:08:54 102440
Likewise, were it not somehow both because of and despite of the cause of his actions, Zafira'd feel completely non-affected by these sorts of things. He has an important task to complete, however, so such things aren't of consequence in comparison to it. The destruction left in the wake of Signum's slash causes the right environment for a certain canine eared warrior, who comes skulking forth to the only ones within the remains of the building, becoming visible in the chaos before rushing forward with something of roar filled with violent intent.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 01:16:33 102441
Akari manages a faint smile at Millie. "Well, if you're sure," she says softly as she holds open the door. She's always been very reluctant to ask about Millie's funds, but a part of her realizes that worrying about that on top of everything else is a recipe for ... well ... further disaster than they have already.

And then Rubindorn pings her telepathically. MISTRESS! INCOMING!

Akari looks straight up just as the barrier forms, and instantly pulls Rubindorn out of her shirt and holds it in both hands. Her pendant pings, there's a surge of blue light as she transforms into her Bell form, her Knight Clothing materializing in the same instant. "Rosenschild!" Rose Shield.

Ping! <<ROSENSCHILD!>> Zafira would find himself clashing up against a triangular pyramid of rose-red light, with his two targets safely inside.

(For now, at least. She tries not to think about the fact that this particular shield spell has been shattered nearly every time she's used it, and that was when she had her powers boosted by the darkness ...)

Akari shoots Zafira a smile that doesn't come anywhere near her eyes, holding Rubindorn in its polearm form, a ten-foot double-ended spontoon spear which barely even fits inside the pyramid. "Hey, Zaf-kun!" she says. She thrusts the spear through the shield at his stomach. "Long time no see!"
Millie White 2019-01-10 01:29:18 102442
Millie had been about to respond that, yes, of course she was sure, but that was the moment that the world decided to stop making sense. A familiar feeling washed over her as she saw people vanishing, and her emerald eyes widened with the realization a moment too late. The building was carved open with an explosion of debris and dust, but Akari was almost instantly in her Knight Clothing and creating a shield to protect them. As soon as she had felt the time-space barrier, she knew who it was. It couldn't be anyone else.

Zafira tore out of the dust towards them with a roar and Millie watched Akari defend with her shield. Great... now that the worst had happened what...was she supposed to do? With no magic, what could she even feasibly do to help them get out of this situation? The Canuck immediately began looking around for Signum. Under no circumstances could she let Akari fight the General of Fire. If they got Akari's Linker Core...

"Akari!" Millie hissed in her friend's ear, "You need to get out of here! Teleport if you have to!" It didn't matter how, Akari just needed to GO.
Signum 2019-01-10 01:37:01 102444
As Zafira clashes with the targets below, Signum slowly drifts downward through the opened roof and onto the floor, floating above the ground like a ghost before silently landing. There's an odd shimmering around her, like a heatwave disorting the air in the shape of a tome. It casts the faintest glow that illuminates Signum's dark eyes in the chaotic swirl of debrie for a moment, before her voice calls out, simply, "Noble." Before a swing of her blade sends the dust swirling, merely putting Laevatein into position.
    "But you're not going anywhere."
    <VIOLETTER BLITZ!> 'Violet Lightning Flash!' calls the male digitized voice of Laevatein before Signum swings it horizontally, sending another crescent of energy outward, above the two targets heads, seeking, simply, the shatter Akari's shield.
Zafira 2019-01-10 01:39:51 102445
But see, there's a problem....where's Akari supposed to be able to go when there's two of them and two Wolkenritter? Zafira hops back some, his ears and tail twitching a bit. He offers a grunt to Akari rather than speaking anything in turn to her greeting. Rather, he just lets loose with some punches at the shield, notably not going for a magical shield break yet. Pointless to waste the energy if Signum's already working on it.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 01:50:36 102447
Akari keeps her focus on Zafira as Millie speaks up. "Ruby, can you teleport both of us?"

Ping! <<UM ... NEIN.>> Um, no. The barrier is causing no small amount of interference ...

And then Signum dramatically smashes against the shield as Zafira begins punching; the shield immediately starts to crack and shatter. Akari laughs helplessly. Ping! <<ROSENPFEIL!>> Rose Arrow. Five rose-red arrows of light appear; three of them shoot up at Signum while the other two fly at Zafira. But they're mainly for interference as Akari half-tackles Millie and hoists her in a one-handed fireman's carry, and flies through the still-collapsing wreckage out towards the street with the polearm held under her other arm!

She doesn't really have a plan or a destination. It's just that the Wolkenritter wanted to catch her inside a collapsing building; therefore, she's denying them that goal.
Millie White 2019-01-10 02:05:32 102449
Both of them?! That didn't matter! Millie was about to say as much, but Signum unleashed another wave of energy while Zafira lunged with more punches. They didn't have time, this was basically a two on one fight right now! Rose Arrows shot out at their assailants but Millie didn't see if they hit because she was already hoisted over Akari's shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Millie was already fishing around in her pocket for something by the time they landed outside on the street.

Her cellphone was in her hands as she leaped down from Akari's arms, furiously tapping a message. The time-space barrier likely blocked all communications going in and out, but she had to try to do SOMETHING. Anything.

"If you can manage just one, DO IT." Millie barked at Akari as she typed, rushing to hit send. They didn't have any time, the Knights would be on them in seconds. Damnit...
Signum 2019-01-10 02:16:44 102450
Signum pivots to let one rose arrow fly past her, and narrowly deflects the last two with her blade, grimicing faintly as the distraction allows the two to escape.
    "I'll get ahead of them." She tells Zafira curtly, and lifts off into the air again, briefly scanning the streets before spotting her fleeing quarry.
    Signum wrinkles her nose briefly before flatly saying. "Snake form."
    <SCHLANGENFORM> Laevatein echoes, and as Signum flies after Akari, her sword seem to break into hundreds of segments, leaving blade fragments on a chain like bladed lumbar on a spine trailing behind her. As she catches up, she begins to twist and turn the hilt of Laevatein, causing all those segments to begin to twist and swirl, quickly encircling her in a hurricane of tiny blades before she lashes out, sending the chain an incredible distance ahead of her where it swipes across the street, carving through the concrete and rupturing pipes underground so that steam and water sprays up from the ground several yards in front of Akari.
    The words "Sword form." are spoken behind them an instant before Signum lands in front of them, the segmented sword rapidly pulling back into place to form one solid, intimidating blade as she paces towards them. "No more running." She says flatly before rushing Akari with a swing of her blade.
Zafira 2019-01-10 02:23:20 102452
Zafira follows quietly from behind. You know those things they say about how it's bad to run from wild animals? Well...that applies, but don't let Zafira know anyone's making such a comparison. The knight of the shield quickly stalks somewhere behind, just out of sight. He's got an arrow lodged in his fluffy tail, the other one he dodged without trouble. For now he stays low and quiet, watching the situation and preparing to strike again.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 02:29:45 102453
Ping! <<ICH KANN NICHT AUCH EIN VERWALTEN!>> Rubindorn replies promptly. I can't even manage one!

"The barrier's in the way of teleporting in general!" Akari says hurriedly.

And then they have a snake-form sword cutting off their retreat. "OH COME ON!" She hurries to a stop and sets Millie down, then turns to face Signum.

Once again, she has that brittle smile that doesn't reach her eyes. But there's nothing remotely brittle about her stance or form as she catches Signum's blade in the triple-head of the nearer end of the spontoon. "Hi, Sig-chan!" she says, once again with that mock cheerfulness. "You have no idea how bad the past couple months have been going for me!"

Ping! <<ROSENPFEIL!>> Another phalanx of arrows appears. One flies straight at Signum's face, while the other four fly in a scattered pattern in order to make it harder to dodge.
Signum 2019-01-10 02:37:43 102454
Signum's eyebrow twitches at Akari's greeting. Only one person calls her -chan, and she certainly doesn't do it like that. It doesn't escape her notice, however, that Akari was able to block her attack, which she notes with some detached satisfaction before Akari's attack forces her to leap back, the initial arrow nearly grazing her nose. The others are two scattered to reliably deflect without leaving herself open. Instead Signum raises Laevatein in the air with a short call of "Armor Spirit!" Summon a dome of pink energy that surrounds her, deflecting the arrows away from herself.
    Leaving the shield up for a moment, Signum finally replies: "It's of no concern to me." though with a slight quirk in the corner of her lips, she admits, "Though it's gratifying that you've improved." The dome unceremoniously vanishes, and she holds her blade out pointed towards Akari. "It's my hope that you won't find this... discouraging."
    Instead of attacking, though, she subtly lifts her chin in a brief gesture to signal Zafira to attack from behind.
Millie White 2019-01-10 03:16:47 102458
There wasn't anything they could do. More specifically, there was nothing that SHE could do. Millie's eyes widened as Signum and Akari clashed, and the sheer force of the impact sent her stumbling back a few paces. This was... this was definitely the worst, like some kind of nightmare. A nightmare where Millie was forced to watch her friend try and fight off two skilled warriors while she did nothing to help. The Cure grit her teeth and reached for the ChangeMirror clipped to her belt at the small of her back.

"Come on..!" Millie held the ChangeMirror tightly in one hand and inserted the cards before trying to activate it. There was no usual flash of green light, no sudden transformation... but this time, Millie felt something that hadn't been there before. It was like a small familiar tugging inside her heart, and she knew. The Mirror was trying!
Zafira 2019-01-10 03:23:23 102460
With Signum's signal to attack, Zafira bursts out from behind the two of them. A normal, if somewhat powerful punch is suddenly flying in toward Millie's head. ...why hasn't he bothered to use any of the things he did before? Is he thinking he doesn't have to try? Is that it? ....that can't be it...right? Yeah, no, it's not. Quite the opposite. For some reason, he's being more cautious now. They've got a lot of work to do, and flying in at top power isn't going to get him very far.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 03:32:02 102462
"Of course it's of no concern to you," says Akari, unperturbed by her attack's complete ineffectiveness. "A proper Belkan Knight cares only for the mission, right? For you, filling up the pages of that book of yours might as well be the be-all and end-all of your existence."

... Her knowledge on the subject almost seems ... secondhand.

She rolls her eyes at the 'disheartening' comment. She can see Zafira's back-attack coming a mile away, of course. She darts to the side, gliding mere centimeters off the ground, and thrusts a hand out towards him. <<PANZERSCHILD!>> Panzer Shield. A rose-red Belkan spell-triangle appears to block his assault. Of course, it cracks more easily than the pyramid shield.

"I should let you know, though," she adds. "For the city of Tokyo as a whole? A group of weirdos with an artifact of doom and a mission to drain people ..." Once again, Akari thrusts her polearm through the shield at Zafira just as her shield collapses. "... is a slightly unusual Tuesday!"

She's definitely improved since the fight at the warehouse. (Insofar as it's even possible to be worse than she was at the warehouse.) But there's beads of sweat on her forehead, and there's just the faintest trace of worry in her glowing golden cat-eyes.
Signum 2019-01-10 03:44:34 102465
Signum is not oblivious to Millie's efforts, but given her current state, she's not the prime target. Though every little bit helps.
    Though Signum's eyes narrow slightly at the accusations laid at her feet, Akari's final statement draws a short exhalation; a little huff of amusement as Signum smiles slightly, shutting her eyes and calmly saying, "Hm. I see. What a frightening city." She opens them again and her smile is gone. "That suits us. You'll feed the Book... and then you'll forget. Onto the next disaster, perhaps." It's strange. The way she talks, it's almost like she isn't sitting on some planned apocalypse. Her voice grows fierce as she says, "We don't need your rightous hate. We only need your power!"
    Signum's eyes blaze as she charges Akari with a short intense roar, swinging Laevatein down towards Akari, looking to break her guard; create any opening to take her core.
Millie White 2019-01-10 04:03:20 102466
That had been Millie's one chance. Before she could try again, Zafira appeared suddenly and she pocketed her ChangeMirror to attempt to dodge. It wasn't necessary as Akari's shield appeared and blocked the punch, and Akari was by her side in an instant to defend her from Zafira's attacks. The Cure's heart swelled with both gratitude and guilt; she could see just how tired Akari was becoming. Signum began to respond and something about her voice didn't sit well with Millie. Either way, the pink haired Knight charged Akari and Millie's heart leaped into her throat. Akari was tied up with Zafira, and if she couldn't counter, her linker core would be...!

"NO!" Millie roared and lunged towards Signum before she could reach Akari. It was an overhead sword strike! This was something she knew! The Cure's hands sought to grasp one of Signum's arms, not to stop the swing with force, but to redirect it using Signum's own momentum against her. Simultaneously she raised her knee towards Signum's gut, hopefully aided by that same momentum. She might not have her magic but she was still trained to fight... even if it would be the shortest fight of her potentially equally as short life.
Zafira 2019-01-10 04:09:30 102467
Zafira lets out a growl as Millie goes for Signum. Fine then...the Shield Knight LEAPS after Millie quickly. She's not the only one who can fight and, in a combined effort to keep her life from being even SHORTER and to keep her out of Signum's way, he'd try to kick her HARD in an angle that's downward and two one side.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 04:12:08 102468
Akari raises her eyebrows. "I think perhaps you've misunderstood my point," she begins ...

But then she suddenly has to defend against a flurry of attacks. She blocks the blows from Laevatein, some with the blade, some with the shaft. All her concentration is taking up deflecting the shots.

And then she whirls around. "MILLIE-CHAN, NO!" she exclaims, concern for her friend visible in her eyes.

Of course, she also uses the opportunity to reach towards the center of her polearm, where a gun-trigger setup appears. Ping! <<KARTUSCHE BEREIT!>> Cartridge ready! She fires the cartridge, and lunges towards Zafira with the polearm!

Though, she was kind of distracted for a few seconds there.
Signum 2019-01-10 04:19:36 102470
Signum is a hurricane, relentlessly attacking and pushing Akari with a force she'd not deemed it necessary to display in their first encounter, each clash of blades impacting with bone-shaking force. "HAAAA-uh?" In one downward swing, she finds her arms braced by Millie, drawing a look of genuine surprise from the pink haired Knight before Millie knee is driven into her torso.
    Signum's body lurches, her brow furrows... and... not... much else.
    Heh. She kinda likes this kid.
    "Brave." She remarks, and doesn't move while Zafira kindly kicks Millie away. "Foolish, but brave."
    As Akari reacts to the plight of her friend, Signum straightens up, takes a breath... then spins to her right as Akari flies past her, aiming an elbow to carry that momentum into the side of Akari's head.
Millie White 2019-01-10 04:33:08 102471
Millie hadn't been expecting her knee to do any damage. The maneuver had done its job and distracted Signum from overpowering Akari in that moment, but that was all it had done. Signum's words sent a chill down Millie's spine, but she didn't have time to respond before pain exploded in her ribs.

Zafira's kick caught her in the torso while she had been tied up with Signum. The force sent her flying to the side and down hard into the pavement. The Canuck let out an arid cough, wheezing as she tried to make sense of what happened. Dazed and winded, Millie still attempted to roll over and struggle to her feet. Her attempts were weak, but they were there. Akari... she couldn't let them get to Akari!
Zafira 2019-01-10 04:41:34 102472
Well his attempt to get Mille out of the way worked, but now there's a pole arm flying at him. He'd call forth his panzerschild, attempting to block the attack with one hand. His other would attempt to take advantage of Akari's forward momentum, shooting forward toward her chest. Oddly it seems as if his hand is trying to go INTO her chest in some magical manner rather than actually trying to rip some actual, leathal hole into it.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 04:45:00 102473
And Akari takes Signum's hit and staggers. "WAUGH!" Yeah, just sort of forgetting Signum was kind of not the smartest decision she could have made right then.

And then she has a hand through her chest. Her Linker Core, once he brings it out, is pale blue. Akari's eyes go wide with shock, and she lets out a whimper, then a scream -- one which sounds more like fear than pain.

She's a living magical program; she needs her Linker Core to live. And while her creators made her durable enough to survive running out of mana, or even getting her Linker Core damaged ... well. She's confided in Millie that she doesn't trust them to have made her durable to survive the book.

Akari is afraid for her very life now.

"N-no ... NO!"
Signum 2019-01-10 04:52:22 102474
Signum knows Akari is 'just' a program like herself. And she has... experience that informs her that a program can survive the draining process... if they're allowed to. She does NOT know the specifics or quality of her design, so Signum is a bit oblivious to nature of Akari's fear. She simply walks past Akari and Zafira, remarking - almost kindly - "It'll be over soon." without breaking stride... as she approaches Millie.
    She stops in front of her and reaches one hand high above her head. On cue, the Book of Darkness appears, so motionless as to appear uncanny, like it simply doesn't belong in the space it occupies, until its pages fly open, words appearing as they turn, draining Akari's energy.
    Then Signum's eyes turn down. To Millie.
    In her state, it probably won't be much.
    But it won't be nothing.
    All the same, Signum hesistates for just a moment. She's gone thousands of years without any need for a conscience, or much worry towards fair play. But, not for the first time, a very kind face appears in her mind.
    Signum sighs.
    It's not the first time she's ignored it.
    Like a cobra lashing out, her hand strikes towards Millie with sudden violent speed, aiming to reach through her and take hold of her Linker Core.
Millie White 2019-01-10 05:09:35 102475
Through her daze, Millie could hear Akari cry out in pain, and then scream. A bolt of fear struck her heart when she realized that Akari's Linker Core was out in the open. No.. No! The Canuck ignored her own gasping breaths, ignored the pain in her ribs, ignored everything that wasn't getting to Akari before these psychos murdered her best friend. The Cure made it to one knee, ready to spring up and help her friend...

But then Signum was in front of her with the book. Millie watched in horror as the book's pages began to fill with Akari's mana, Akari's LIFE.

"D-Don't kill her!" Millie wheezed, nothing but pleading fear in her eyes as she tried and failed to get to her feet. Even in her daze, Millie noticed Signum's hesitation, noticed the sigh... and then all she knew was pain.

Signum's hand reached into her chest and extracted her linker core while Millie knelt helplessly on the pavement. Her core was the same emerald green as her eyes and it radiated a soft, calming thrum of energy. Millie's vision blurred, but one hand shakily reached out and grasped the fabric of Signum's collar. Her unseeing eyes flickered upwards towards Signum's face.

"Knights...s-serve...a Liege..." Millie gasped, "G-General...who is...your...master?" Millie fought to get the words out, but out they came.
Zafira 2019-01-10 05:23:02 102476
Zafira raises a brow and peers with surprizingly clear confusion upon his face. Why would they think they're KILLING people? They've only drained these people, and they've seemed to know enough to see that. So why's this girl panicing so much about her friend's life while she's getting the same treatment? He looks...uncharacteristically hesitant for a moment. His eyes narrow and he growls as Millie demands such information. "What place are you in to demand any sort of information of us?"
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 05:46:04 102478
Akari ... is hyperventilating. "I ... I'm ... I'm n-not gonna die in this form," she mutters, mostly to herself. "I'm not gonna die in this form ..." And then she lets out a scream as the book begins draining her.

Ping! <<JO!>> Yep! There's a surge of light, and Rubindorn uses the spell -- not very powerful, really -- to switch her back to her civilian form, with Rubindorn hanging from her hand.

Her brown human eyes glaze over slightly. Her scream goes on for another minute.

And then, as the last of her energy vanishes, she goes limp and completely still. Not a breath escapes from her.

And then, for the briefest of instants, her body glitches with rose-red light. She twitches, as if from muscle spasms. And then the glitch fades.
Signum 2019-01-10 05:48:04 102479
Signum's brow furrows upon hearing Millie's strained question - prefaced as it is by a level of fear for Millie's friend that does not gel with Signum's understanding of the situation. Her voice tinged by regret, Signum slowly answers, "Someone far greater than I." She frowns. It wasn't so long ago that she would have felt no compulsion to even acknowledge an enemy's question, much less give any sort of answer. "It's none of your-"
    'Concern' was the word that was going to end that sentence, and it's also what's written all over her face as Akari falls lifelessly to the ground, the sound of impact cutting Signum off before she can finish.
    "Zafira." She immediately drops Millie - her core half drained - and kneels beside Akari. Signum puts two fingers to Akari's neck, her heart pounding, eyes wide searching for a pulse.
    "Zafira, why would you-"
    She stops and looks at Akari's Linker Core.
    "- you didn't."
    She looks back down to Akari.
    "Then why-"
    Signum realizes, suddenly, that she's panicking. She needs to calm down. This isn't the first person they've killed. It's likely not even the *thousandth* person they've killed.
    Signum stands up slowly.
    This is... this was a risk.
    There was always a chance it was going to happen.
    It's nothing in the face of their mission.
    She'll never learn about it-
    For the first time in the program Signum's long life, she panics and reaches her hand up towards the Book of Darkness. It shudders and shakes in the air, almost as if it's resisting as some of its pages begin to turn blank, a curtain of energy flowing to Signum's hand which she then slams down onto Akari's chest in a burst of magical light that shakes the ground around them.
Millie White 2019-01-10 06:03:21 102480
Someone greater than her... that could mean any number of things, but from the hesitation she had witnessed multiple times from Signum and Zafira, it didn't feel like she was speaking in terms of strength. Millie's vision hazed in and out as her linker core was being drained, but it suddenly stopped, and somewhere in the fog of her mind, Millie realized why. She had been dropped... and Akari had stopped screaming.

From her position on the pavement, she could see Akari laying motionless, and Signum... what was she doing? She was touching her neck, and then... was that a chest compression? Millie couldn't tell as she was fighting to stay conscious and the ground was shaking. Wait... the ground was shaking?

Whatever they were doing, they had left her with half her linker core... and if Millie were any other enemy, that would have been a costly mistake. But it was Millie, and all Millie wanted was for Akari to be alright.

"A...kari..." Millie murmured to herself almost like a mantra as she tried to drag herself closer to her friend. How was she still conscious?! Her strength was failing her, but she refused to go quietly into unconsciousness even if it was rushing up quickly to claim her regardless.
Zafira 2019-01-10 06:07:49 102482
Zafira's staring in yet again, surprizingly uncharacteristic, emotionally clear, horror at his hand as Akari falls and Signum questions him like that. "Of course I---I couldn't do that to---the linker needs to be--..." He keeps half saying things before other thoughts start to come out, actually speaking his thoughts instead of carefully weighing things silently first. Whatever just happed has him more spooked than Signum'd ever remember seeing him.

He can kill people. Zafira can kill people with no issue...but to kill someone he hadn't intended to. To kill someone when that means possibly failing the purpose he was attacking them for? To fail the master twice over? That's all unforgivable. And this was NOT meant to kill anyone. What happened?!

Wait, no...calm...have to stop showing weakness like this in font of people. That's not good! Get your head back together! He narrows his eyes again, and, as if dismissing the situation, just silently walks toward Millie, glaring down at her. He'd put a foot on her back, not hard enough to hurt, but enough to keep her from surging forward....enough to still seem like he might be some sort of total jerk face. "...you prey...need to learn your PLACE!"
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 06:16:37 102483
Akari is completely still. She isn't breathing, and there's no pulse. Fortunately, Akari has told Millie that her 'biology' is fake and doesn't add to a complete whole; she certainly hasn't dissipated, as she so graphically put it.

(Her creators only knew of the Wolkenritter as a legend, and ended up implementing her very differently.)

The sudden influx of energy from the book, if anything, causes more glitching and twitching. But almost immediately, her heart is thumping in her chest, exactly the way it had been when she was being drained, with almost visible palpitations. It's a very regular heartbeat, too -- just under a hundred and twenty beats per minute, with no variation in length. She still isn't breathing, but this doesn't seem to be causing any other troubles.

... Briefly, she glitches again.
Millie White 2019-01-10 06:23:19 102484
The boot on her back indeed stopped her progress and caused her ribs to ache, but it didn't stop her from trying to get to Akari. Millie weakly struggled to free herself but found she wasn't able to, not in her condition and not in her position. Instead she hazily looked up at Zafira, her expression one of pain, fear, and... something else that was hard to place. Was it anger? Not quite...

"Predators... d-don't...hesitate." Her voice shook but her gaze spoke volumes. Predators also didn't leave prey with half their linker core still in tact, but she wasn't about to complain about that. There was clearly more going on here than they realized and, surprisingly, there was no hatred in her eyes for either Zafira or Signum. Anger, perhaps, but not hatred. Unable to move with Zafira blocking her path, all Millie could do was reach a hand uselessly out in Akari's direction as the corners of her vision began to slowly blacken.
Signum 2019-01-10 06:23:42 102485
Signum's hand hovers over Akari's chest for almost a full minute after Akari's pulse comes back, until she realizes that she's not breathing herself. She doesn't need to. *Akari* doesn't need to. But it's a comforting habit that she reengages very sharply as she stands up.
    She looks down at her hand, then up at the Book in mute horror; though truthfully she's not sure what's worse: what they almost did, or what she *just* did. They've used the book's power to protect their masters - and more rarely, themselves - but this? This was...
    This was...
    "... waste..." Signum murmurs the end of some sentence the rest of which existed only in her head as she finally stands up again. She doesn't look at Zafira, but her voice is harsh when she barks, "Zafira!" Another long stretch of silence hangs between that and her next words, her voice almost bitter, spoken through gritted teeth, "That's enough. We're leaving."
    Signum doesn't look at Zafira, doesn't look at anyone as she begins to float up off of the ground.
Zafira 2019-01-10 06:47:16 102486
Zafira gives another growl at Millie's reply. However, he frowns at Signum's responce. As she floats off and tells him it's time to go, he backs off from Millie, staring at the ground before floating up after Signum.
Rosalie Janus 2019-01-10 06:52:49 102487
Akari is unconscious, her Linker Core is in shambles, and a single lock of her hair turns purple from the darkness from the Book's energy -- purple the way she was back when she was Nightbell. But on the bright side, she now has much more energy than she would otherwise, and in spite of the occasional glitching, there doesn't seem to be any immediate sign that she'll actually die.
Millie White 2019-01-10 06:59:22 102488
The weight on her back lifted but it didn't matter. The blackness in the corners of her vision was quickly spreading out into the centre until finally, the Cure succumbed to unconsciousness. The text message in her pocket would go off the moment the Time-Space Barrier went down, alerting someone to their current predicament.