Something Wicked...


A Witch attacks Mitakihara, but something is different about this one.

Date: 2015-10-23
Pose Count: 44
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-23 23:00:46 12117
    Evening in Mitakihara. The sun has just sunk below the horizon, the last vestiges of its light painting the western horizon a deep purple. Lights have flickered on in buildings and along streets, streets which are still busy as people go home from work, school, or other activities. To most, it seems like any other evening in the busy city.

    To those with magical senses however, the peace of the evening is abruptly shattered. A feeling of dread, of impending doom and /wrongness/ suddenly intrudes on the sense. Puella will recognize it immidiately- others who have felt it before will as well. But anyone with a sensitivity to the magical will be able to detect it. A Witch's Labyrinth has opened in the city.

    Witch Activity has been down recently. While there have been some, the rate of occurance has been fairly minimal in the past couple months. Apparently, this Witch aims to make up for that- the power of its presence is easily felt, a step above what one might consider an 'average' Witch. You don't see Witches like this every day, even when they are appearing more often.

    Following the 'scent' of the Labyrinth leads to, of all things, a restaurant. Some family chain type thing, completely innocuous looking from the outside, though its windows appear to be blocked off. Those without the ability to enter will find the door stuck and unyielding. Those, like Puella, who can freely enter a Witch's barrier can get through the door- only to find themselves in a twisted landscape made up of kitchen implements and cooking utensils.

    The ground appears to be a giant counter or stove, with burners spewing fire towards a sky the color of burnt toast. Familiars which looks like viscious kitchen knives with arms and legs mill about in the distance- they will begin to amble towards intruders, though they are far enough away that it will be several moments before they are near enough to be a threat, allowing those who enter precious time to get a handle on the situation.
Ataru Touya 2015-10-23 23:14:30 12118
Ataru Touya is talking on his phone to his usual fashion minded friend, Naka-Chan. There is a debate going on.

"Yeah, you're still wanting me to wear tuxedos in the afternoon. Not happening. Gaudy as heck!"

"Kamen who?"

"What?"

Ataru is having this conversation while his feet seem to absent mindedly wander towards a resturant- because... he's hungry? Wait. This place is close. Why'd he wander here? Something seems wrong. He passes THROUGH the door!?

"Oh...oh god!?" he says wide eyed. Also. His phone is now transmitting static he puts it away and frowns. "Well. Uh. This is totally not weird and freaky and nightmare inducing...." he pulls out a sliver of a shard of a mirror- which begins to spin and hover and harmlessly enter his being.

"Mirror of the heart, shine with truth! Graceful, Passionate Nobility, Prince Phoenix!"

There's a red flash--- Price Phoenix replaces Ataru. Phoenix jumps for a high place that he hopes is free from danger. What is this place? /How does he leave it!?/. Is this a giant kitchen!?
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-23 23:19:17 12119
Gaofele Doiru had been doing some shopping in Mitakihara that afternoon, finishing it up around sunset. He had started walking back to the apartment the Waldians are using when the pulse of dread from the Labyrinth surged across the city. Racing towards the source of the dread, he paused long enough to cache his purchases in a tree for retrival later, then henshined in an alley along the way.

Bow in hand, the forester Knight lands near the restaurant, then turns a corner and heads for the door. Gao stumbles for a moment as the scenery shifts while his hand is on the door handle, but he regains his balance and looks around, a glowing arrow nocked on his bowstring.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-23 23:21:14 12120
Mikoto has been out shopping in the area, meeting up with some of her old friends from Verone. Vicki is a serious shopper and fashionista, and if Amy couldn't make it, well, Sora surely makes up for her absence. They were planning on dinner at a nice little okonomiyaki-ya once they were done. She's in the middle of showing off a rather sporty top she's picked out when her magical senses go haywire.

<<Barrier forming, Master,>> Carnwennan silently informs her, and her expression twists.

"Hey, you okay, Miko?" Vicki asks her, concerned, and she has to shake her head.

"Nah," Mikoto replies, "I think that snack I picked up is, y'know, disagreeing."

The American nods, grimacing, and reaches out to take the top - it isn't paid for yet, after all. "I'll take care of this, you go, er, you know." Mikoto nods gratefully to her friend and dashes out... but the moment she's out of the store, she changes direction, her feet carrying her towards a nearby restaurant.

<<Barrier entry imminent, Master. Advise you activate Barrier Jacket immediately.>> Such a helpful little friend, Carnwennan.

"Thank you," Mikoto murmurs, and steps into a nearby alley to do so. Thus protected, she returns to the restaurant entrance, muttering something (most likely Belkan and unprintable) under her breath as the terrain shifts and twists around her.
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-23 23:34:05 12121
Rune had not been with Gaofele directly, but she had been in roughly the same part of town - just shopping at different places for different things, and stowing her bag in a different place... an alleyway, when that feeling struck hard, a chill slicing through her nerves.

In her current condition, heading /toward/ the source of the feeling is a questionable decision. She nonetheless transforms and heads to the restaurant, following in when she sees others slip into the Witch's world.

What she sees is, of course, bizarre. "Just like the other times... something you can almost recognize, but it's impossible for it to be real, but here it is." A quick gaze around yields familiar and unfamiliar faces, and she heads over toward Gao. "I know. I know," she can imagine what objections he might have to her being here, and if he does then they're valid ones. "I'll stay back as best I can." Mikoto and Phoenix get quick appraising gazes, trying to figure out what they're all about.
Kazue Yamamoto 2015-10-23 23:36:49 12122
    Kazue's time in the hospital was absolute agony. Her Soul Gem is half empty of that green coloration that's meant to be her energy... Or is it half full of that black stuff? Whatever it is, it took Kazue even more time for her to persuade her parents to let her continue her scenic walks back home so she can resume Witch hunting. The sense of dread Kazue feels as she walks across the street from that cursed store that evening was enough to know she wasn't going to be home on time tonight.

    Kazue stops directly in front of this building as she comes to the realization that this one was going to be big. The sheer amount of grief this Witch was generating was causing Kazue to shake violently. Then she sees other people getting drawn into the store, disappearing as they were sent into it's twisted world. Before she can buckle from her fear, she realizes the cross-walk sign in front of her is green, and almost sprints across the street and puts a hand on that door's handle, close to crying but holding her tears back. This was the path that was in front of her, and if she stopped, she was gonna be left behind. Her phone is ringing in her jeans pocket, but she can't hear it as the world around her, sights and sounds alike begin to distort, and the conenction is immediately cut. The theme of food in the Barriers she has encountered has become synonymous with a vicious hunger that needs to be tamed, and if she has to be the one to do it, then so be it.

    An epic orchestral piece rings from her mind to her surroundings, floating around her as she transforms, preparing herself for another battle.
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-23 23:45:27 12123
    It doesn't take long for the inhabitants of the Labyrinth to notice the intrusions, purposeful or otherwise. Their realm has been breached by outsiders, outsiders with power, unlike the handful of unfortunate normals which have already been sucked in- several of these can be seen scattered about the area, being herded by small groups of Familiars deeper into the Labyrinth. This is normal feeding behavior for Witches- those unfortunate people may be consumed if they are brought to the Witch itself, but can be saved if they are freed from the Familiars before then! They stumble along dazedly, as if in a trance, going whereever the Familiars direct.

    Speaking of the Familiars, having sense the uninvited intrusions, a small horde of them are now advancing on the position occupied by Rune, Gao, Mikoto, Prince Phoenix, and Kazue, who are all relatively near each other. In addition to the limbed-knives, there are strange flying creatures which look as though they are made from whisks, spinning rapidly as they torpedo through the air, and small impish creatures made of fire which leap out of the raging blasts which fire upwards from the huge burners scattered about the landscape.

    They don't look particularly happy about the intruders! Once they get close enough, the knives will begin slashing wildly, while the whisk-birds divebomb and the fire-imps.. well, let's just say letting them get too close isn't a good idea either.

    Of the actual Witch, there is no sign, although to the sense of a Puella like Kazue, she can be felt out of sight, deeper in the Labyrinth.
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-23 23:48:14 12124
Usagi is out buying a rug. It's not for her, but it's still a very Important Rug. And she is being sneaky, and using the allowance she's been saving for a video game, but she can always save it back up!

Maybe.

Possibly.

It isn't until she is literally handing her money to the sales clerk when she feels the crackle of Not Good along the hairs of her back.

"Um...can you hold this for me? I need to...quick errand, I promise!" She dashes out and runs toward the feeling. Though her stomach muscles are still a bit weak from being new, she is more or less recovered.

Besides, the stabbing happened a week ago!

There's a handy, dandy alley, and she ducks in to transform. She says it at about twice the speed she normally would, and everything's pretty much a fast-forward homage to chipmunks.

"MOON-PRISM-POWER-MAKE-UP!"

You ever see the hamster dance? The music is about that.

Fully transformed, she hops along, and knows to stop only when she's skidding up right behind Rune.

"This looks...interesting."

On the one hand, she's alone, the only senshi here. On the other, she's technically not alone, but it's still somewhat scary. Knife limbs? Fire? Whisks?! She failed cooking! She knew they would be out to get her!
Ataru Touya 2015-10-23 23:58:02 12125
Prince Phoenix gets up to his high spot. Probably on some shelf with a ridicolous large hyper-realistic picture of a salt shaker that he probably doesn't wanna think too hard about. He peeks back down to the arriving others. OH thank god, theres others here. "Hi, anyone know what this about?~" he asks almost pleasently- though the sarcasm is obvious.

He hops down from his spot and comes down with a graceful hop down onto one of the creatures, spinning in graceful piroutte before he jumps down- and with a streak of red- slashes the rapier into the next creature. Watching him is kinda like watching a ballet in action. His strikes, while fancy, and not terribly powerful. They seem to do more like knock the creatures off balance for the others.

He continues this for a bit.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-24 00:01:33 12126
"NETTLE BARRAGE!" shouts Gao, firing an arrow towards the advancing limbed-knives. As the arrow leaves the bow, it splinters into dozens of long, narrow, stinging shafts, peppering the group of advancing blades.

He can't say that he's happy to see Rune here, but he also knows that she's not one to let a threat like this go unopposed. "The faster we stop the Witch, the sooner everyone will be safe," the forester Knight shrugs. "We just have to be careful, and stay alert."
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-24 00:04:05 12127
Rune looks back as she notices Kazue - a familiar face, if one she doesn't have a name for, and opts to quickly point her out to Gao. "Her, over there. Don't know who she is, but she helped chase off some monsters that were after me at the harbor. Want to repay that if I can. And..."

Sailor Moon's arrival cuts her thoughts off. "Interesting, scary, dangerous, they're all true. Don't worry, I remember the promise we made the other day." She hasn't yet had a chance to fully explain to Gao that relations with Sailor Moon have significantly improved as of yesterday, but she's hoping context will suggest it. Phoenix in turn is given a quick "Yes, danger. Be careful!" It's obvious, but it is a response.

Gao gets a sharp nod. "With you on that. Sorry, just figured it'd be better to be surrounded by people than not, when monsters are around."

Then trouble has found them. Familiars are herding victims away, and Rune wants to rush ahead to help... but she knows better; she's not in any shape to try something that bold, and some of these monsters are heading their way to attack in any case. Runealy goes tense, wand aimed to lash out with a few thin red sparkly beams at their attackers! She's paying particular attention to ones Gao is spraying, making follow-up shots to try helping him out.

This is a notable step down from her usual attacks. Not insignificant, but it's clear she's not at 100 percent right now... and bearing this in mind she is rapidly backpedaling to try to be near the back of the group. The alien princess is trying to help, but certainly won't be leading the charge in her current condition. 'Rehab' is still ongoing.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-24 00:04:58 12128
For Mikoto, the sight of the Labyrinth is a deeply confusing one. Space and time don't -work- right, in there, at least by her standards. So she staggers for a moment as she tries to get her bearings, before her eyes narrow as she notes the incoming mass of ... animated cutlery.

"Better Homes and Gardens, by M C Escher, as far as I can tell," she answers Phoenix. The rapier-like form of an activated Carnwennan in hand, she steps forward to engage the creatures, batting the knives away with the Device's blade while she forms an array of Flicker Shots to deal with the flying foes.

"Everyone stick together, don't get separated! There's too many of them to go it alone!" Well, even if she hasn't a clue, she's good at -sounding- like she knows what she's doing. "Somebody with a well-guided ranged attack want to take out the guys herding the hostages?"
Kazue Yamamoto 2015-10-24 00:23:33 12129
    The scenery before Kazue is far from reassuring, but seeing she is once again not alone in this fight causes a much-needed wave of relief to set in. Materializing her guitar, she begins to try and quickly aquaint herselves with her allies for this battle, surprised to see some boys, a more stereotypical Magical Girl and the familiar, if worrying presence of the girl she saved back at the harbour.

     Upon hearing Prince Phoenix's question, Kazue tries to explain the situation, despite it being quite new to her as well. "This is a Witch's Labyrinth," she begins, taking a magically-enhanced leap as she hits a Familiar's bladed face with her acoustic mace on it's flat side, bending it and leaving it almost pitifully on the ground, flailing in pain as it struggles to get up. "There's not lots of time to explain, but just know these things don't show mercy. There's a Witch around here somewhere, and the only way to get rid of this place is to take it down."

     Kazue snickers as she hears Mikoto's comment on the Labyrinth. Her plan of attack sounds good to her, and gives a somewhat confident "I'm on it," as she generates multiple disks of vibrating air and hurls it toward the Familiars. Her magic ensures that they'll hit their marks with at least some accuracy. "Hopefully that'll be enough, but we should probably move closer to the hostages if we want save them before the Witch invites them to dinner."
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-24 00:37:01 12130
~*~*~

Moments before, coming out of a study session he's been helping with, Mamoru'd dropped all his books, holding his head.

Then he ran like a madman, slowing only for a second in the 'but can I even DO anything?' debate.

Now he stands outside the barrier, hand in a fist against it, looking up and up. His heart's beating too fact as he fears a fear not his own.

All he can do is wait -- and pray.

~*~*~

Sailor Moon sneezes before she looks up at Salt Shaker Guy before he hops down. "Karma for all the whisks I've destroyed over the years?"

She watches the Nettle Barrage with amazed and jealous eyes. So pretty!

At Rune's words of reassurance about their truce, she grins, hand momentarily on the displaced princess' shoulder. "I know." But what use is she here at this moment? Tiara aside, she's currently only good for melee. And moral support.

The idea of sticking together is a good one, but she is curious to see how long that lasts. She always seems to wind up just over there.

She spots the guys herding the hostages, for a moment worried. If she throws now...and her aim isn't the best...

"I can't throw the tiara. It's a one shot deal, unless I run it down. Which I can do, of course!"

She's not afraid, you're afraid.

Where is a souvenir stand when she needs one?

"Anyone see a bunch of...tiny stuff I can throw? That'd distract them if nothing else?"

Whisks! Knives! Once again, she is curious to know if bad guys read her diary. Not that she keeps one, because of snoopy brothers, but if she did, attacking cutlery will have made an appearance under Nightmare List.

Would Twilight Flash even be viable here?

She looks up at the sky. Not quite yet, if even at all. For such a nifty attack, it was very environmentally dependent...
Hersnd then Kazue saves the day!

Wait, Witch dinner?! EEP!

She steps away from the group, toward the cluster of hostages.

"If the Witch tries, I'll give her heart burn..."

Before she can think about it, her fingers are at her forehead.

"MOON TIARA ACTION!"

It's thrown in an arc, a spinning cluster of light and metal. And instead of straight, it's flying on it's side and curving.
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-24 00:41:04 12131
    The attacks on the Familiars are pretty successful. Although they are numerous and certainly dangerous, none of them are particularly tough or particularly coordinated. They flail about, and if one were not careful one could be hurt by them, but as long as everyone keeps their wits it is easy enough to destroy them. Even Prince Pheonix's rapier blows cause some of them to puff away into nothingness, and the stronger hits from Kazue, Gao, Rune, and Mikoto simply obliterate them.

    However, what they lack in individual strength they make up for in numbers. There seems to be no end to the things- they continue to march into sight from every direction. Luckily, as Kazue and Sailor Moon destroy the Familiars 'guiding' some of the normal hostages, those hostages blink dumbly and stand in place- but are largely ignored by the Familiars now concentrating on the magical fighters threatening them. If the Witch can be destroyed, they should find themselves confused but back out in the normal world!

    Speaking of the Witch- apparently all the commotion has drawn the attention of the master of this realm. It's presence is felt before it is seen.. and overwhelming wave of despair and /wrongness/ which assaults the senses, although those of the magical persuasion should be able to resist it without much effort.

    And then suddenly there it is, rising out of the flame from one of the fire-belching burners. A huge, monsterous creature of fire and blades, its shape amorphous but seeming to encompass everything dangerous you might find in a kitchen- fire, knives, swirling fumes and swirling, boiling liquids. In the center of the swirling mass is a face, an abstract, surreally glowing pair of eyes and a mouth made of jagged fire. Destroy this Witch, and the Labyrinth will collapse!
Ataru Touya 2015-10-24 00:50:42 12132
Prince Phoenix glares at Kazue. "Those puns and inferenances were /horrible!/" he says with a just a slight smirk on his face as he lands down on his feet gracefully. "Okay so a witch and a maze and all that. Okay. Let's go then!" he says pointing his sword forward. "Onward~" he insists.

And suddenly holy crap what is that? Is the the devil?! Is.. Is that the devil!?

"Dear lord." he murmurs as he jumps back.

"So. Uh. This the thing? Is this the thing we need to fight?" he asks at Kazue who seems aware of what this stuff is. He peeks back at Mikoto and he squints.

Regardless. "I'll hang back here. I think you guys are gonna need someone to save your butts in a moment." he says. "--and my power isn't suited to this thing~" he insists.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-24 01:06:00 12133
Mikoto seems to be holding her own against the Familiars with her blade fairly easily, for now, despite their numbers. If she isn't, she's at least good at making it -look- easy. Ducking, twisting, stabbing and moving on, her cloak fluttering in the air behind her. She pulls off the 'swashbuckler' look fairly well, all in all.

"Follow that frisbee," she mutters to Carnwennan, and a dozen Flicker Shots are loosed from their positions orbiting her to roar after it, targeting the remaining Familiar guards. <<Autotargeting is effective,>> the Device informs her as the shots strike home, and she nods. "Good."

And then it's NOT good. Not good at all. The wave of wrongness that pulses out from the Witch's arrival staggers the young Mage, and she takes a glancing blow from a whisk that almost knocks her over before she twists around to take it out. The move leaves her out of position for one of the knife-things, and before she can beat it off she's bleeding from one leg.

The Old-Belkan cussing is a bit more audible this time, possibly recognizable to anyone close enough. Getting her footing stable and batting another brace of knife-things away, she switches back to Japanese. "Labyrinth Architecht, give us a barrier, please."

%%Affirmative, milady. I will screen the small ones.%%
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-24 01:08:23 12134
"If you want to try throwing it, I can cover you when you go after it?" Rune offers as a guess for Sailor Moon. And apparently it's getting thrown whether that plan is agreed to or not, so Runealy begins huddling toward the center of the group - she's mindful that attackers now seem to be encircling them.

Worse, she's mindful of the feeling washing over the group. While not overwhelmed by it, she is shaken; Gao's and Hino's earlier fears of what might happen if she was near a Witch in her current state are partially right.

And now the beast of fire and blades emerges, while she's gasping and trembling. While not giving in to outright panic, or other ill thoughts, it's slowing her offense considerably. She's regularly spending more time encasing herself in a sparkly red bubble forcefield than she is hurling magic at enemies. Rune hasn't completely stopped, but her offense is more 'token effort' at this point aside from watching for opportunities to help Sailor Moon. Other than that, she's very much 'shields up' and staying close to Gao as best she can; he represents vital protection right now.
Kazue Yamamoto 2015-10-24 01:14:32 12136
    "This is it. This is the Witch!" she says, as the dispair she senses finally materializes into a a furious whirl of fire and blades.
    "I'd apppreciate the support, thanks! If you can't take the heat, just make sure nobody gets hurt," Kazue says as she puzzles how she is supposed to kill this thing... She's never had to face anything that wasn't solid before, but hopefully a face full of air'll blow this thing out!

    Another disk forms in her hand, and experimentally, Kazue throws the disk at the seemingly stationary beast before her, triggering it to explode in an immense burst of air when it reaches it's target.

    As she launches her attack, however, Kazue feels a familiar numbness overtake her body, and the normally emerald vortex of air in her hand becomes a startlingly huge, black mass. Whatever that thing is, she's certain the explosion will be huge and very, very loud. "Everyone, get down!" is all she manages before she herself decides to duck down and prepare for the oncoming explosion. A new sense of dread has appeared in Kazue's senses, but this time, much to Kazue's distress, it's in herself.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-24 01:16:33 12137
The hostages are no longer in quite as much immediate danger; that's a good thing! Of coure, with all of the familiars now focusing on the magical folk, there's not really time to celebrate... especially when the Witch makes her dramatic appearance.

Gao is tempted to take a shot at the Witch directly, but the hordes of Familiars need to be held back as well. "Bramble Grasp!" he calls as he lets another arrow fly. This one splits into an octet of vines radiating from a center point, rolling to form a sweeping pair of vine clusters that shoves Familiars back before entangling them.

He glances back to Rune; she's managing, albeit weakly. "Let me know if any of them come up to ambush us," he says encouragingly, focusing on the tide of Familiars and the Witch responsible for them. She's protecting him by watching his back; he can do the same for her by defeating the foes before they get too close.
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-24 01:22:35 12138
Miracle of miracles, after obliterating familiars, the tiara heads back.

Bouncing up, Sailor Moon reaches out with her fingers, and win she lands, the tiara is spinning like a discus.

Wow! She'll have to practice this! Did it look natural? Did it look on purpose? She hopes so!

Then the tiara stops and clatters to the ground as she clutches at her heart. She wants to cry...

Instead, she picks up her tiara, looks up, and shrieks a little before hopping back!

It wouldn't be weird if she hung back, as well, right?

But no, she's Sailor Moon, Defender of Blah Blah Blah...

There is a warm presence, just over there where she can't see, and while she's not entirely sure of the source, she's narrowed it down to one of two people in a split second. Whoever he is, she is very happy he's near by. Even happier he's not inside.

Her shoulders straighten.

There would be no moonlight in here, but there is a moon. And there are people to protect.

And this thing is very very scary.

And she has her tiara again! It could be effective against...wispy...fiery things?

So one again, taking aim.

"Moon Tiara Action!"

She really needs to widen her repertoire, but the tiara is once again twirling and swirling and at least it's pretty.

There is an explosion, not caused by her this time, or at least the threat of one, and she goes down. If she can, she tugs someone with her.
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-24 01:30:49 12140
    The witch roars, a sound like a jet engine, all heat and fury as it begins to advance, more or less hovering above the heads of the crowd of Familiars. Little arcs of fire shoot off of it like tiny meteors, zooming towards the various magical defenders. Luckily most of them seem to be pretty on the ball, and even if they aren't, Mikoto begins throwing up magical barriers that seem tough enough to at least block the fireball projectiles.

    Then the attacks start raining in on the Witch itself. First Kazue's blast of air, which explodes just in front of its firey face, causing the flames to flicker as it rears back with another roar, sending a fresh wave of firey projectiles out in it's wake- until Sailor Moon's Tiara, spinning prettily through the air, slams right into it!

    That actually seems to do quite a bit of damage, causing the firey Witch to reel backwards again, bits of it flaking away. Reality shimmers- is it defeated?

    No. Or at least, all is not as it appears. A second later, there's a /second/ wave of wrongness, and while the fire Witch is gathering itself.. another monster crawls into view from one of the dark pits scattered about. /A second Witch./ This Witch is a spidery thing of dark, thin limbs, far too many of them, with a small, almost humanoid body at the center. Each of its myriad limbs ends in a claw, and it skitters forward with alarming speed.

    This is a thing that should not be possible- as far as anyone knows, Puella included, there is one Witch per Labyrinth. But the evidence is right there, skittering towards the magical fighters. The feeling of this new creature is the same as the fire one. Two Witches, inhabiting the same space!

    The firey Witch is still reeling, and could probably be finished off with another good blow or two, but the new Witch is between it and the invaders.
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-24 01:39:24 12143
'Get down'? Runealy does not take this as an invitation to dance. Instead, she starts to renew her energy bubble... only to be disrupted by Sailor Moon, who is apparently interpreting it far more literally and has yanked her down to the bizarre ground. "Ah? Th... thanks."

Gao's request is met with "That's going to be most of the time," there have been a lot of familiars running around, after all, "but sure, I'll keep an eye on our back." It's probably the best thing she can do right now anyway; watching for familiars is within her capabilities. Outright bringing down the Witch itself is more than she should be attempting while still undergoing treatment to purge the demon-energy poison in her.

Or rather, she'll keep an eye out when she can. Right now Sailor Moon is kind of huddled atop her, limiting efforts to do this. Still, it's a good way to keep out of the way of flame arcs, whichever ones might get past Mikoto's shields!

...Yet even from down here she can see a problem, one she's pretty sure the others can see too. She points it out anyway. "Since when do they do THAT!? Ah..." She begins shaking, though Moon's presence is something of a comfort, something staving off panic. "...Should we see about pulling the victims away and getting back, way back?" She's not sure this is the right plan, but it's a thought to ponder at least.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-24 01:52:15 12146
Guardian Gao stares. "How...?" he says disbelievingly, then shakes his head. So there's more than one Witch; that just means that this is now a bit more complicated than it was a few moments ago.

"Nettle Barrage!" he calls out again, this time aiming slightly to the side of the spidery Witch. The flechette shafts could be avoided by the newcomer, but only if the Witch moves further away from the hostages. "I'll try to keep a path clear," the forester Knight says to the other magical fighters. "If anyone can make it to the hostages and rescue them, go for it!"
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-24 01:56:04 12148
She feels...chagrined for what could have been a blunder. (Senshi don't have shields, when they say duck, she hits the pavement!)

Still, she wants to cheer when the bad guy goes away, and then that fear is back and so many legs...

She wants to be afraid (she really is) but she feels Rune shake.

It's surprising how comforting it is to ignore one's own fear to try to alleviate another's. "We'll be okay," she murmurs, even though there are two Witches, and is this even right?

Then the spinning tiara is back, and she reaches out for it. This time she catches it right in her hand. There is a moment where she looks like she's posing. In reality, she's not, and when she's able to she brings her hand down and shakes her palm, blowing useless air against her glove. Not doing that again.

"Is there supposed to be two?"

Then she stands, because helpless people are basically her Kryptonite. "I'll get them."

And her knees are shaking as she runs down the cleared path, dodging and, if need be, punching things that want to eat her face off with her tiara in her good fist.

She's running hard and fast. After all, she dashes most mornings to school. She's got the practice.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-24 01:58:06 12149
Bleeding. Coughing. Unsteady on her feet. Depending on Labyrinth Architect's barrier, for now, to keep the Familiars away. Mikoto staggers as the explosion hits, falling to roll to one side. She rolls back to her feet quickly enough, noting the stocking soaked with blood and dismissing it - she'll deal with it when there isn't a Giant Freaking Monster Shooting At Her.

And then the second creature arrives, just as she's starting up another batch of Flicker Shots. "Oh, that is just -not fair-," she spits. //Combat isn't supposed to be fair,// a distant part of her murmurs, //if it is, you're doing it wrong.//

"When in danger, or in doubt," she almost chants, "Maximum power, give a joyful shout!" Wait, that isn't how that goes. "Flicker Barrage!" A baker's dozen Flicker Shots swell as she pours an overload of magic into them, then sends them zooming off towards the oncoming Witch.
Kazue Yamamoto 2015-10-24 02:04:25 12151
    Despite the new and terrifying thoughts swimming in her mind involving that magical explosion at the harbor and her apparent contamination, there is just too much going on right now for Kazue to stop and figure things out.

    Something's wrong, she's feeling a Witch's dread coming from all directions at once! Gritting her teeth, she launches into the air and aims to smash this monster from Hell's Kitchen into submission and end it all, when suddenly an immense leg-- one of many that suddenly appear-- crashes into her, and interrupting her attack.

    Kazue gasps as her body hangs momentarily on the leg of the Spider Witch. More of them?!

    It's feels just as wrong as it looks, and Kazue instinctually senses her adrenaline levels rising as she has the uncontrollable urge to get as far away from this thing as possible! Kicking off of it's leg, Kazue lands near Sailor Moon and Runealy as the Princess gives her plan.

    "I've never seen this happen before and I'm not taking any chances with two Witches at once. Since the Chef's weak, I'll try and finish it off. Everyone else should try and keep the Spider away from the hostages!" The stakes have gotten higher, but Kazue's not ready to fold yet.

    Summoning her magic once again, she launches herself high into the air, intending to avoid the Spider's reach, and throws another disk towards the Chef. Luckily, this one hasn't left her weak like the last, and she drops down towards the flaming Witch, attempting to crush it with one final blow as the Spider is distracted by the other fighters.
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-24 02:13:57 12153
    The combined ploys of all the magical warriors in attendance seem to be working. Gao's nettle shots drive the spidery Witch to the side, away from the hostages, so Sailor Moon can sprint in and begin to guide them- where, exactly? They're in a Labyrinth! There's no way out until the Witch is destroyed and the Labyrinth collapses. However, she /can/ guide them back and away from the fighting, keeping them out of harm's way. Prince Phoenix seems to be doing the same, and between the two of them they should be able to get the majority of the normal victims out of the line of fire, though they have to punch and stab the stray Familiar while they do so.

    Mikoto is firing at the Spider Witch despite her injuries, and where her shots land smoke rises from its limbs. It shrieks, trying to swipe at her, and at Gao and Rune, enraged by the pain it feels from the shots peppering its body.

    Meanwhile, the Firey Witch is still trying to recover.. that is, until Kazure launches herself up into the air over the Spider and drives another disk of power towards it! Already reeling from the previous attacks including a Tiara in the face, the Witch has time only to roar once more before Kazue slams into it, causing it to explode in a firey burst of energy that rushes out in all directions.

    A grief seed clatters to the ground.

    Normally that would be the end- but despite wavering like a bad trip, making everything go hazy for a moment, the Labyrinth stays intact! That second Witch is still living, still trying to get at Gao, Rune, and Mikoto, clawed limbs darting in to stab and swipe while knife and fire Familiars begin to circle around yet again.
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-24 02:21:39 12155
"Hope so," Rune manages back to Moon in a shaky voice. Then Moon has her tiara - so much for needing to go retrieve it, it seems! - and is heading off to go help people. Runealy rises, calling over to Mikoto: "Fights usually happen /because/ something is unfair! We just have to...!" Her voice trails off, as she watches Gao try to path-clear.

She jogs over to rejoin him, trying to watch for any problems heading their way while she makes good on Kazue's request... launching a few thin red rays at the spider-witch's way.

This gets disrupted by the spider-witch rushing in and taking a swing; Rune puts herself in an energy barrier again, but what had been sufficient to ward off familiars and errant projectiles isn't enough to totally stop this. The bubble shatters, sending Rune tumbling head over heels for several yards until she skids to a halt, lying in a heap on the floor. "Ohhn! Not yet... this isn't over yet," a dazed, defiant shout as she tries to pick herself up.

Her attacks further diminish. Wand rays are replaced by the gems on her tiara lighting up and spitting a rapid stream of tiny green sparkles at the witch... they might do minor damage, but she's really hoping they'll drive it back a little and give Runealy a chance to fully stand back up. "Did a seed fall?" She calls to Kazue, hoping it did; she knows just enough about Puella Magi to know they NEED them. Unfortunately, Rune's vision is currently too blurry for her to be sure. She sees colors and shapes, enough to make out friend from foe, but fine details are beyond her; that was quite the hit, even through her shield!
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-24 02:33:58 12159
"Rune!" Gao yelps as the princess is slammed backwards. The rescue is going well, but that Spider Witch is way too close for comfort! And the Familiars are starting to surge again, keeping things lively.

There's two small pulses of green light as the forester Knight swaps his bow for his viney quarterstaff. He darts forward, parrying some strikes and rolling with some others, trying to keep the Witch distracted as he closes in.

As Gao gets as close as he dares, he ducks and yells "FOREST WALL!" as he jabs the end of the staff into the ground. A thick barricade of plants erupts in a line, slamming upward into the Witch's face and forming a wide blockade against the approaching Familiars. It might not keep them halted for long, but every moment he can delay the denizens of the Labyrinth gives the magical fighters more time to fight back.
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-24 02:35:44 12160
People are either dazed or scared. Sailor Moon is, as well, but that's not something they need to know.

"Alright, we can't get you out just yet, but we can take you where it's relatively safer! Just follow me!"

There is a child, crying and frozen in place, and Sailor Moon picks her up. This makes punching her foes a tad bit difficult, as does the occasional shriek, but hopefully her own is held.

Once Relative Safety is reached, she struggles for a moment with the child, who is clinging like an octopus. She hops around a few times before sighing and wrapping her arms around the girl for a moment. "I need you to be brave, okay? So I can go be brave."

A few more moments later she is free, and rushing back to the foray. The first Witch is gone, but the second is still going.

Her tiara is tired. Well, if it's possible for a tiara to be tired, then it would be! Perhaps it's really just herself that is tired, energy spent from running, fighting, and champion discus throws.

Still, feeling only a little foolish, she stroked the metal against her forehead. "Just one more, okay?"

Even if she needs it twelve more times, she'll request for just one more.

"Moon Tiara Action!"

There's a noticeable lack of power in her words, and there's a moment of her trying to build up speed and momentum, but outside the shields and bubbles she does another curved throw. Perhaps along side a certain Forest Wall?

Being tired isn't an excuse. Everyone here is tired. (If not, she wants their secrets.)
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-24 02:43:23 12162
Mikoto straightens, batting away the Spider-Witch's blow, a triumphant smile on her lips as she sees the Kitchen Witch crumble and fall. "That's how you do it, girl. Good going." Labyrinth Architect interposes another Round Shield as the spider-witch takes another swipe at the girl, just barely quick enough to save her from further injury.

"Right," she mutters. "Now, how do I take you down..." She takes a moment to survey the thing, looking for a weak spot, but doesn't seem to have found one. It looks like it's going to have to be sword-work, the hard way.

<<Knight's Blade>>, Carnwennan intones, and a flickering gleam spreads along the sword-blade as Tessen engages the monster with her best sword skills.
Kazue Yamamoto 2015-10-24 02:44:27 12163
    Kazue hastily grabs the Grief Seed from the floor and immediately places it onto her fourhead, where her Soul Gem is situated. The dark film over the shining green symbol begins to fade, and with her first target dispatched, Kazue is more prepared than ever to face the second Witch. "I got it," Kazue exclaims to Rune, suddenly realizing the danger she's left her friends are in. "Just hold out a little bit longer..." From in the distance, a clawed arm descends upon Kazue, managing to scratch her before she can roll out of it's reach. Before she can even consider attacking again, two more appear from above!

    A magic-dash towards the body of the Witch traps Kazue between the Forest Wall and the approaching arms of the monster. With the Spider Witch awkwardly positioned on top of the wall, and a familiar tiara whizzing by, Kazue decides now is the perfect time for one more strike!

    With her newfound energy thanks to the previous Witch's Grief Seed, Kazue projects a powerful volley of sound above the canopy of limbs, pushing the beast down on top of the wall and the floor and allowing Kazue to jump up and smash her guitar into the body of the Witch in synch with the Moon Tiara, just before the arms of the Witch manage to grab at her!
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-24 02:50:42 12165
    Most Puella fight alone. Witches are formidable opponents, but the profits are just too great to be shared. Still, this moment proves that perhaps the traditional ways aren't always the best ones.

    The Spider Witch is striking out with its claws, but attacks rain in on it from all directions! Rune throws green sparkles in its eyes, or the general location where its eyes should be, and it shrieks, temporarily blinded, foreclaws rising up to try and shield its face. Then Gao's wall bursts up from beneath it, tossing it awkwardly up into the air, where it scrabbles for purchase even as Mikoto darts in to stab at it with her sword.

    And then.. that darn Tiara again! It slams into the Witch's body at full force from the side just as Kazue slams into it with her guitar from beneath!

    The combined power of these two attacks simultaneously striking the Witch is enough, and with a final shriek, it implodes into nothingness.. a second Grief Seed falling to the floor with a tinkling sound. This time, the Labyrinth does collapse.. the world seeming to shimmer and waver for a moment before the bizarre landscape fades, leaving the fighters standing in the middle of a restauraunt, the people they had rescued standing dumbly about or looking dazed, suddenly back in the normal world.
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-24 03:01:57 12167
"I'm fine!" Rune semi-lies to Gao as he shouts in concern. She's not 'fine', but she is alert and functional which will have to be good enough. "Good wall!" She definitely approves of his idea. And when she realizes Kazue has confirmed what's up with the seed, that also nets a "good!"

Then things proceed very rapidly indeed, with the spider-witch falling and the world returning to normal. Adrenaline begins to fade, a chill washing over her in the aftermath of having gone through the feeling of a Witch's arrival twice over; that dread stings deep inside. "I think I'm going to be sick," is her summary of how the post-fight shakes are feeling.

Yet it's more feeling than actuality, and she manages to look around, standing in a limping posture, to ask, "Everyone okay?" Her gaze wanders from sworn friend to new friend to mysterious barrier-creator to Puella Magi...
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-24 03:07:36 12168
Strike. Parry. Dodge. Spin. Strike. Strike. Parry. Ow. Hands jarred by the impact, Mikoto is out of position for the next parry. She's staring that claw right in the face, as it were, and it's coming down at her...

And then the tiara slams into the Witch, not just throwing it back, but crushing it entirely. The monster dissipates before her eyes, and she just stands there for a long moment. While the barrier around the fighters wavers and fades, she wavers on her feet, dripping blood from her stocking. She takes a slow, deep breath, and seems to steady herself, then appropriates a napkin from a nearby table to wipe her blade clean before sheathing it. "That was ... indescribable," she says, eloquently enough.

Then she looks down at the shallow gash marking her thigh. "Anyone got some duct tape?"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-24 03:09:10 12169
As the world returns to normal, Gao goes from focusing energy into his staff to leaning on it for support. "Well enough," he calls back to Rune. The forester Knight has some scuffs and scratches from his rush on the Spider Witch, and it looks like he might have the start of a shiner from getting backhanded by one of those spindly limbs, but nothing that sleep and an ice pack can't fix.

"More importantly, are the rest of these people okay?" he adds, looking around at all of the former hostages. There doesn't /seem/ to be any visible casualties, but that's just what they can see from here.
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-24 03:11:32 12170
The air clears, and her arms raise in victory. They're not up for long, though, and her 'yay' is barely heard over the scuffing of her feet.

She groans when her tiara just decides to drop to the ground to take a nap, though.

With a sigh, she retrieves it, and heads back toward the group. She arrives in time to hear Rune's question.

"I am. Tired, but that's not new." She tilts her head. "You?" She notices that Rune isn't the only one looking worse for wear.

"They were able to run, a few bruises, but that's all I saw." She feels guilty, realizing now she probably should have taken the time to check!

Her eyes widen a bit at the gash. "No duct tape, but there's probably something near by?"
Catastrophic Crunch 2015-10-24 03:25:24 12171
    Everything seems to have come out aces- nobody is (seriously) hurt, the normal humans all seem fine, and the Witches are dead. Not to mention Kazue has /two/ new Grief Seeds. Almost worth the trouble of having to defeat two Witches at once to get them!

    As they take stock of the situation though, the gathered magical people can't help but collectively get the feeling that something still isn't quite right. It's just a little tickling at the back of the mind- like the sensation of being watched.

    Then the bell over the door, which lets the employees know when a new customer has arrived, jingles merrily. Someone just walked out the door- was it one of the former hostages? Whoever she was, she's gone too fast to really get a good look at- just a flash of a young woman with blonde hair.

    The feeling of being watched vanishes with her.
Kazue Yamamoto 2015-10-24 03:42:55 12172
The second Grief Seed drops to the ground, and as Kazue goes to pick it up, she surveys her new surroundings. The Labrynth, and the danger that came with it, is finally gone. With relative safety assured, Kazue undoes her transformation and rushes over to meet her fellow fighters. As Runealy turns to look at Kazue, the Emerald Puella feels a tinge of guilt for not rushing to her aid, but despite the injuries she sees, she's relieved to know everyone made it out alive

    "I'm fine," Kazue assures Runealy, realizing that the stinging gash in her arm is probably covering the inside of her hoodie with blood right now... "Just a scratch and a few bruises, but It's nothing that won't heal with time."

    Kazue closes her eyes and, with her keen hearing, attempts to hear any signs of distress or exclamations of anyone missing. Fortunately she comes up with nothing. "Seems that everyone made it out alive," Kazue reports to the group with confidence.

    "I'm Kazue by the way. Kazue Yamamoto," she says to the crowd of fighters, unsure of the formality of this whole "magic" affair. "I'm... Pretty new to this whole magic thing, but I'm happy to be working with you all!"

    After any introductions after her greeting, Kazue turns back to Runealy with a worryied expression.

    "I admire that you don't back out from these fights, I really do... But maybe you should give it a rest for a while. You're looking worse off than at that fight in the harbour, and you were one of the few who managed to escape the explosion!" Hopefully she doesn't take this the wrong way, but Kazue just wants to be honest. What she's doing is dangerous!

    "Sorry, I've got nothing for treating wounds," Kazue says in regard to Mikoto's question. "Maybe I should bring a little first-aid kit or something next time?" Kazue takes a look around the room as she trails off. Looks like as good a time as any to get going, who knows how long her parents have been waiting at home!

    "It's finally over," Kazue says with a sigh, rolling the two Seeds in her palm and addressing the group. "I can't thank you guys enough for your he-." The bell at the entrance of the store rings, and... Someone silently exits the store.

    Suddenly, Kazue's phone begins to vibrate violently as she is brought once again to mundane reality with a dozen text messages from her family. With a sigh, Kazue waves goodbye to the fighters and exits from the same door. Whoever that woman was who exited the store, she is the least of Kazue's worries. Pondering what excuse she should use to convince her parents not to ground her forever, Kazue pockets the two Grief Seeds, planning to hide them and use the second one later. Another day ends... But who knows how long she'll have to keep this up?

    Despite the odds stacked against her, Kazue's not going to stop any time soon...
Runealy Waldia 2015-10-24 03:46:42 12173
"Got some what?" Rune isn't sure what duct tape is... but now that her vision is clearing she can figure out Mikoto's problem from context! "Oh! Ah, here... I hope this works, I can try..." She sounds unsure while limp-walking up to Mikoto.

"Me? Guess we'll find out," Rune answers Sailor Moon. "Last time I tried something like this, it nearly killed me because of my stupid mistake. But I've been getting help for it, so maybe it will work." That's kind of vague, if one hasn't been present for those 'times.' Rune is rambling, a little afraid of something that isn't immediately clear.

An aside to Gao, "Looks like between you and everyone else, they got out of this okay? Feels better than what we were up to, doesn't it?"

Kazue protests her ongoing involvement. "You're absolutely right. I shouldn't be here, and I didn't intend to be here, but when that feeling hit I figured there might be more than one monster out there... decided to be around as many people as I could. Seemed like the best out of several bad choices I could make. Listen... meet me here tomorrow, will you? There have been some things I wanted to tell you."

And then she's by Mikoto, leaning down to inspect the gash. Rune's hands are surrounded in a white glow, placed centimeters above the wound. She coughs a few times, and the glow flickers repeatedly as if threatening to go out... but it does mostly remain intact and begins to work on patching the bleeding. "You're probably still going to want to call the healers after this," she admits.
Usagi Tsukino 2015-10-24 03:51:11 12174
Sailor Moon rocks back on her boots. Now that the fighting is over, she feels a bit...out of place.

And then there's that presence from earlier. Not the one where it feels like someone's watching, but the one that was actually nice and not creepy.

And also the rug.

Say something inspirational...

"I'm sorry we had to fight, but I'm glad it was with you all. I wish to fight alongside you again one day."

And she clicks her heals together and hops away, double backing around some buildings to see just who it was that belonged to that feel. And to get the rug.

As Sailor Moon, because if she goes as Usagi, she'll probably fall asleep on the side walk.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-10-24 03:52:18 12175
"Th - thanks, Kazue-san," Mikoto adds. "Call me Tessen... 's a pleasure to meet you." She lowers herself carefully into one of the restaurant's chairs, getting the weight off her wounded leg. "Good chair," she says, patting the arm. "Stay."

It wasn't too long ago she visited another would-be fighter. In the hospital, as a matter of fact. And had some encouraging words for her, that she later questioned and remonstrated with herself over. Still, it's been One Of Those Days. "Everyone who can make even the littlest difference, helps make things that much better," she says, looking Runealy in the eye. "And if you aren't strong enough, then get stronger." The healing magic elicits a few wordless little sounds, and the bleeding definitely seems to have slowed. "Thanks, though."

Sailor Moon gets another of her frequent smiles, as her pain level drops. "Good t'fight with you, too, blondie..." And as the girl turns to go, instead of staying around to chat, she shrugs. "See you round...."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-10-24 03:53:50 12176
Guardian Gao nods to Rune. "It feels good to go out and help save people," he agrees. "Glad to see that everyone made it out reasonably okay." Especially Rune -- fighting while she's still recovering isn't the best idea, after all.