There's Snow Day Like the Present


A Jewel Seed infests a Snow Leopard Cub. In the ensuing fight, the snow leopard is gravely injured. While Riventon and Fate rush away with the jewel seed, Mikoto makes a new friend. Literally.

Date: 2016-01-12
Pose Count: 45
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 01:09:52 22264
Tokyo is home to more than a few zoos, but most are on the outskirts of the city. King Penguin Park, however, has a smaller zoo, where kids can come and see the better behaved (or younger) animals, and learn all about them, along their journey to be young scientists, artists, or whatever else their heart desires.

But little children are not the only ones with dreams. Generally the dreams of snow leopards are simple and not terrifically detailed. Food. Shelter. Freedom. Hunting and playing.

The problem is when those dreams get fueled by a Jewel Seed.

The park's hours are closed, but devices all throughout the city can sense the presence of this Jewel Seed when it activates. The King Penguin Zoo has been transformed by the Jewel Seed's power from a controlled, friendly environment to an alpine forest, with snowy ground and bunnies running everywhere. Most of the normal zoo animals are hiding in their cages, confused and scared of the strange turn of events. But one not-so-little snow leopard is bounding through the snow with gleeful abandon, moving far too rapidly for a cat its size.

The not-so-little leopard glows with power, a jewel seed planted firmly between its eyes as it pounces on its prey. It lets out a mighty roar as it catches the rabbit, then bounds off to the next. 'Fun' and 'food'. What wishes.
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 01:19:02 22267
    Fate Testarossa, floating high above the city, scans for any signs of Jewel Seeds. The recent appearance of one has given her some hope, even if she didn't get it. When she sees another, she is quick to react.

    She dives from the air, down towards the now-altered zoo. She sends out a signal to Riventon, because she's probably going to need his backup again.
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 01:26:30 22272
Another Jewel Seed... so soon? Why where they suddenly so active? One waking up after the other. Together... they're something dangerous. That's what Lindy-san said, right? She frowned a bit- as she was flying overheard, shoes lightly in bright pink wings- as her usual flight 'effect'.

She looked down to the forest... "..Area Search.."

< Area Search >

A Jewel Seed signature... some incomings. She frowned. Fate and her boss, probably..

She'd send a notice to a few friends, as usual, though wasn't sure who was listening tonight...

'Jewel Seed. Penguin Park Zoo.'

That's it.

She'd move to dive down into the jungle below. Who knew what resided in the transformed landscape! She'd have to be cautious.

"Gotta be careful..." she mutters to herself.

Big spooky magic forests are well. Spooky.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 01:27:40 22273
Riventon picks up the pulse of energy before Fate's call even reaches him, and he's already in henshin and on his way, soaring through the sky like a jet black meteor. He lands near fate, green eyes ablaze with interest and purpose.

"Sorry, Fate-chan..." he begins. "But I'm not letting you duel anybody this time. Anyone who gets near us is getting swatted full-force. Honor is for people who don't want to take home a Jewel Seed tonight."
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 01:30:11 22274
The zoo was the last thing on Mikoto's mind this particular day. The Walpurgisnacht meeting the night before had helped her keep busy for another day, but now she was just trudging around the city looking for Ikuto. Or maybe trying to be in a place he wouldn't look for her.

Either way, she's not too far from the zoo to feel the magic pulse when the Jewel Seed activates. Okay, that at least will let her forget about her problems for a little while. And it's very likely that she'll get to hit somebody. "Carnwennan," she mutters, slipping briefly into an alley. "Set up!"

A flash of a Belkan spell-glyph, and her figure is replaced by the familiar form of Miss Blue. "Area Search, partner. Locate the Seed signature."

A moment later she takes to the air, slaloming between the buildings towards the zoo.
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 01:36:05 22276
The not-so-little leopard pauses in its hunting and snacks to stare up at the sky. Tonight has gone perfect for the creature. But if two wishes have worked, why not a third? Its claws grow stronger and wider, sharper and more curved.

And then it leaps at a tree and begins climbing, using those newfound claws to gain purchase as it tries to find the highest possible vantage point. The better to hunt with.

As Nanoha comes barreling through the trees, she is the first to spot it: it looks like a cub, all massive paws and silly tufted ears. But the snow leopard is easily as big as Nanoha, with wicked long claws, glowing red eyes, sharp claws, and that jewel seed right in its forehead.

It stares at her for a brief moment, then licks its chops and snarls. Leaping from the tree, the empowered snow leopard leaps for Nanoha, claws and teeth flashing. The hunt is on!
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 01:49:46 22284
    "No duels. Right," says Fate, with a nod to Riventon. "We're here to win, not get distracted. We'll just have to be very aggressive when the Jewel Seed comes out this time."

    As Fate gets close, she notices the monster going after Nanoha... and she hangs back a bit. Turning to Riventon, she says, "It's to our advantage if the enemy is weakened when the Jewel Seed is sealed. Maybe we should be fighting them as well as fighting the target?"

    In the spirit of that, Fate holds out Bardiche. <Photon Lancer>, it announces. Four golden spheres of electrical fire from her Device. Two of them go for Nanoha, and the other two go for the snow leopard.
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 01:52:12 22285
Nanoha Takamachi gets to about the canopy when Raising Heart picks the Jewel Seed signature right in front of her...

Nanoha is now staring a very big, hungry white snow leopard. "A..ah!?"

< Jewel Seed Signature Located. >

"I..I can see that Raising Heart!" she calls out. She begins to hover backwards quick, aiming to try to prevent herself from becoming cat food. "Ugh! Why is this another cat!?" she asks worriedly. She manages to avoid being catscratched.

< Incoming Electrical Spell >

Nanoha looks up. Electric...?

...Fate...

She doesn't avoid it- because she got side swiped by the cat and caught up in trying to avoid that instead. It blasts into her and causes her to spin a little in the air. She'll be ready next time- now that she knows they're here.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 01:55:58 22288
Riventon nods to Fate, agreeing with her tactical appraisal to a degree. "Actually, I feel if we take out any of the other combatants first, securing the jewel seed is a matter of time, not success."

The black jewel on his right gauntlet lights up - or to be more accurate, it glows with a fierce black energy.<Shadow Strike!> Axion calls out, and the black pulse of energy from his gauntlet follows directly after Fate's attack - though his is entirely focused on hitting Nanoha Takamachi.

After the blast rocks out from his hand, Riventon looks at his device. "Keep me alert for any other interlopers."
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 01:57:08 22289
Miss Blue soars in towards the zoo, sliding past the outer wall like a zephyr. ((~Four active mana signs detected, Meister. Three mages, known signatures. One jewel seed, semi-active.~))

Fate, Riventon, and Nanoha again, hmm? Looks like the kid might need some help, partner. Start stacking up Flicker Shots.

((~Affirmative, Meister. Ambush mode enabled.~)) She slips down between the trees, trying to focus on concealing her signature behind Nanoha's until she gets closer.
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 02:05:32 22296
The cat doesn't manage to catch onto Nanoha, and from such a height it has a long way to go. Right about now, the thing is really wishing it could fly like she does.

There is a moment of confusion as the cat continues to fall, and then great eagle's wings sprout from its shoulders, and it begins to soar like a mighty gryphon.

This just in time for it to take a pair of photon lances to the back.

The cat-bird screeches in anger as it collapses on the ground, then shakes its head and glares back up at the sky. There is a growl of frustration, and then it leaps into the air, wings beating furious to impossibly lift the creature higher and higher. It's flying fast, and now it's heading straight for Fate!
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 02:14:56 22300
    Fate frowns as the snow leopard starts coming after her. "Well, this is exactly not what we were just planning. Still, if it thinks it can take me..."

    <Scythe Mode>

    "... then that just saves me the trouble of hunting it down."

    Fate dives towards the now-flying leopard, Scythe held overhead. When the two meet in the air, she brings that Scythe down on the creature, pulling away with her own crazy speed before moving back in and attacking again from another angle.
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 02:16:57 22302
Nanoha Takamachi does manage to avoid the Shadow Strike, the pulse of dark energy flying past her as she dashes to the right. She spins into the air and---

...the cat is now flying. Ugh. Flying... Jewel Seed cat. This is getting kind of silly, Nanoha thinks, in her head idly. It's going after Fate now. It's one against three. Not in her favor, but she can't let that deter her!

Mikoto is coming in low and can't detect her right now.

< Cannon Mode >

The combination bombardment/sealing mode forms- the head of raising heart taking a more square shape as she levys it--- "Divine Shooter...!"

< Divine Shooter >

The magic circle gets cast and there's an array of bright pink orbs that form- that begin to explode into lasers around her at Riventon-- a load of beamspam.

She tries to keep moving to the right-- in an arc, strafing around the central pivot that appears to be Riventon for the moment!
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 02:22:27 22308
Nanoha's moving in on Riventon - which means that she's not attacking fate. It's drawing attention through being a jerk. He's good at that. "Hey, kid!" he shouts, little blue shields bursting to tank most (but not all) of Nanoha's blasts. He does a good job of shutting out the pain those little pink lasers create as they sear through parts of his Barrier Jacket - either the device is strong, or the wielder is, he notes. But there is pain, and it's clear. "If you give me that fancy stick I might let you live."

Riventon's gauntlet flairs to life again, and the two little orbs burst out of it, circling around him, and meeting Nanoha's shots with some black shots of his own to deflect them. "Trust me, the outcomes of this experiment do not look good for you." he adds with a toothy grin.
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 02:27:40 22313
Following Nanoha through all the twists and turns of her preferred aerial combat mode is a dizzying experience, and it's not one that Mikoto is an expert at just yet. So it is perhaps inevitable that eventually, enough hints will get through that a watchful sensor (like Axion) will pick up her approach.

The mass of Flicker Shots forming around her might be a titch harder to pick up, however.

She picks up speed as she closes in, twisting hard around to keep following Nanoha's moves, until Carnwennan informs her that detection is inevitable. Wait until he's got his defenses up against Takamachi's shots, she orders the Device, and then hit him hard.

((~Confirmed, Meister. Arsenal mode: enabled.~))

And moments later, that threshold is passed, her magical signature almost certain to leak through to Axion's sensors if it hadn't already. A moment past that, Nanoha's bombardment still pursuing Riventon, Miss Blue's infamous Flicker Barrage roars out of nowhere as light-darts drop their concealment and lash out at the dark mage.

"Then you'd better write this one down in your lab notebook as a failure, boya!"
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 02:31:33 22320
The cat-bird streaks towards Fate, closing ridiculously fast at their combined speeds.

But she's faster. And more experienced. And Bardiche has reach. The cat yowls in pain as Bardiche cuts a line across the poor cat's right flank. It tries to sink a claw into her stomach as it passes by, but between her barrier jacket and the speeds, it probably won't hurt her much.

The cat goes spinning, wheeling, careening past Nanoha, then lands hard once more on the ground. This time it doesn' tlook to be getting back up right away.
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 02:36:34 22324
    Fate does manage to take a scratch from the snow leopard, but her Barrier Jacket absorbs the damage, leaving only a few thin scratch marks in the jacket itself.

    As the snow leopard goes crashing down into the ground, Fate focuses her attention on Nanoha, and then on Miss Blue. Following Riventon's tactical advice, Fate decides against focusing on one target, and instead attempts to eliminate an enemy while she's distracted.

    Fate races towards Nanoha, swinging her scythe in mid-air to unleash a golden crescent of energy. <Arc Saber>. That crescent flies towards Nanoha, and Fate tries to fly past her, landing on the ground close to the snow leopard.

    It's only then that she notices the sneak attack upon her boss. Well, it's a good thing she interfered, then.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 02:42:47 22332
Riventon is so busy dealing with Nanoha that he's suddenly and completly overwhelmed by the storming barrage of Flicker Shots. An automatic Round Shield is put up around him, but the size of the barrage rains down upon him and in moments the area in which he stands is only covered in the white dust kicked up from their impacts.

It's a few moments before two pinpricks of red light emerge from the smoke, before it clears to reveal Riventon, standing up from being knocked down on one knee, having formed his Shadow Guise back up.

"You'll need more tricks that that one today. Which, by the way, I'm getting really sick of." <KABELFORME!> Axion says in a voice the device hasn't used on the battlefield in some time, with the two spinning orbs disappearing, and Riventon ganing a second gauntlet. With a flourish, he spins and unleashes a jungle of dark energy 'wires' - glowing blue-black in the moonlight. The wires fill the air and make tactical movement a little bit more than hazardous as he sweeps them inwards towards Mikoto.
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 02:45:04 22335
Nanoha Takamachi watches as the cat goes flying past her. Eeeegh!?

She does her best to avoid it. Luckily. It wasn't 'aimed' at her. Oh. Then Riventon begins to demand her partner! "Why would I give you Raising Heart!?" she says. "Because you asked!? Because you think you deserve to decide who lives and dies!? You're a big jerk.

Nrg, Fate!? She swings her scythe in the air and she has to dodge it, giving enough leeway for Fate to bash through...

"Fate... I spoke to someone named Lindy-san... who worked for the TSAB...!" she calls out. "She says nothing good ever comes of the Jewel Seeds! That all they do.. is cause sadness and misfortune- and when enough are together something terrible happens!" she calls out.

She begins to try to take after Fate when wires fill the air. She has to stop dead and frowns... she raises a hand--- forming a protection spell-- as she begins to plow through, trying to avoid them.

This still hurts a whole lot when she does run into one- relying on the protection spell to stop it from hurting her worse. She winces, but does her best to keep up her pace- while Riventon seems to be preoccupied with Mikoto-san suddenly!
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 02:57:25 22344
Miss Blue smiles a thin, dangerous smile. She can leave the Jewel Seed up to Nanoha for now. Riventon's the more dangerous target. And the more unpleasant one. "You can do it, Takamachi-san. I'll keep the jerk off your back. Ganbatte!"

She keeps up the Flicker Barrage, pounding at his defenses, unwilling to let up. She'd dearly love to knock him out of the fight completely, though it seems unlikely. She'll settle for keeping him away from Nanoha and the Seed.

This is going to be one of those days, though. Riventon's wire attack is going to be hard to dodge, as maneuverable as it seems. Maybe she can cut through them with Carnwennan's blade. Maybe she can let him drag her close enough to get at him.

Either way... her blade lashes out, the gleaming magesteel meeting the ebon tendrils. "Hey, hey. Look here, old chap." She's put on a rather badly fake English accent. "That just isn't cricket, now, is it?"
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 03:05:49 22351
The cat's day has gone from decent to amazing to awful all in the span of half an hour. It slowly limps back to its feet and looks up at the sky, and then, with a little yowl, it limps its way towards its cage.

Right now, it wishes nothing more than to be left alone. Which is why there is a very sudden, very powerful hurricane-force wind rushing upwards towards the quartet of flying combatants.
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 03:09:21 22354
    Fate frowns at the mention of the TSAB. "She works for the TSAB, and you trusted her?" Fate's wine-red eyes narrow at Nanoha. "I wouldn't have. The TSAB often will do all sorts of things to get what they want. They don't have the best reputation. Helix-chan has more stories about them than I do, but even I don't exactly have a high opinion of them."

    Bardiche begins to transform. The axehead spins around, creating a two-pronged head. Golden wings sprout from the neck, and a considerable power buildup can be detected. <Sealing Mode>

    She sends a private telepathic message to Riventon. ~I'm going for it, Riv-sama!~ Hopefully this is the right moment for that. She's making the effort, that's for sure.

    The hurricane-force winds pick up, making Fate's life suddenly very difficult. Especially since she was going after the creature to begin with. Fortunately, she started off close to it, and while it's limpling away, she still has a chance to make the shot.

    She does decide to land on the ground however, placing her back against a fence to stop the wind from blowing her too far away.

    Once her power build-up is finished, she aims Bardiche at the fallen snow leopard, and she unleashes a massive electrical beam of gold.

    <Sealing>

    She just hopes she can get to the Jewel Seed while the others are distracted. She isn't really focued on the fate of the snow leopard at all.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 03:17:40 22360
Riventon is fighting against Mikoto - it seems like the heroes want to seperate this battle into duels even if Riventon and Fate try not to - and she's carving her way through to him. The wind picks up, and though the force of it's very strong. But Riventon has spent an awful lot of time flying, and while it's not usually in hurricane force winds, he's incredibly manouverable in the air.

Mikoto might get what she asked for - and more than she bargained for - as the wires try to wrap around her sword and arm and drag her forward into Riventon during the hurricane storm, fighting against the buffeting winds.

But then, the right gauntlet begins to glow with a black power that will be familiar to Mikoto - the device announces the attack as Riventon's black hand reaches out to remind Mikoto why he doesn't always shy away from close combat. <VERZWEIFLUNG BERUHREN!>
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 03:28:06 22366
Nanoha Takamachi frowns. "Fate..." that's really all she can say. Can nothing she say even make the girl think? Ugh... it's clear these are dangerous. Look at that youma... at this cat-- AND the other cat!!!. Doesn't the evidence back up her words?

Oh dear! A large hurricaune force attempts to blow her back and she forces all the energy she can into her flight spell- the wings on her shoes glowing brighter--- she manages to push through it as she gets to the ground closer to Fate.

"Fate..." she tries to think of something to say. Something that makes sense. Make her think. Maybe. For a moment. "..aren't you afraid of what these things might do to your mother?... look at all they do here...! Turn.. cats into monsters! and creatures into powerful beings..!" she asks.

Now that she thinks about it. That is a concern. If Fate's so sad now... what would happen if these things /did/ hurt her mother!? Would..

Would it be worse? Would Fate feel worse? Ugh.

She doesn't want anyone to be hurt.
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 04:29:17 22394
The cat-bird turns around just as the Sealing takes place, and it lets out a little, "Meowl!" of surprise.

Fate's binding spell hits the gem in its forehead square on, and the gem begins to glow with a brilliant light.

The gem, number XIII, begins to float off of the cat's head, and the terrain flickers once, then fades back to its natural state. The cat, freed from the gem, is now severely injured, and it limps to one side, then falls over.
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 04:32:54 22395
    Fate actually visibly flinches at Nanoha's words.

    She can have faith in her mother, even if she doesn't know why she wants these things. She can dislike the TSAB, becuase their questionable reputation isn't completely unearned. Yet all of those things are beliefs, things that are unsubstantiated but she has faith in them anyways.

    Yet, what she's seeing in front of her isn't a matter of faith. It's a matter of fact. Nanoha hit a nerve that Fate didn't even know was there. What happens is probably not what Nanoha was hoping for.

    "I said... I'd do anything... for my mother."

    Fate's voice is soft when she says that, but there's a trembling undercurrent. It's too quiet to be anger. It might be fear.

    Fate looks behind her once, to take note of where the other combatants in the area are, and then starts flying towards the now-free Jewel Seed. Bardiche transforms into staff mode, and Fate turns around briefly to fire one more volley of Photon Lancer at both Nanoha and Miss Blue. Then she turns around and starts heading directly for the Jewel Seed.
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 04:40:00 22396
Miss Blue is yanked towards Riventon! Hurriedly pulled in close, she takes advantage of it, letting Carnwennan's blade dissipate for a moment in order to cut its connection with the dark energy wires. Sneeeeaky.

But now she's buffeted by storm winds from the empowered cat, and she doesn't have the chance to return the attack. She'll get him another time. It's taking everything she's got to keep up with the sudden massive burst of wind. "Damn fool!" she yells at him, even as the wind carries her away.

The wind hurls her into one of the trees she'd evaded on her way in, and she gets pelted by photon lancers. Ouch, that hurt. She isn't seeing too clearly, but she definitely heard a Device voice say 'sealed'. So she looks for the seed... but all she sees is a slumped, bleeding cat. ...

... "... Iku...? No!" All thought of pursuing the seed is abandoned as she hurls herself towards that so-tiny-seeming form.
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 04:46:32 22400
Riventon is still charged with shadow energy after Mikoto breaks the closed in melee, and with the hurricane-force winds buffeting everyone, he decides to make the most use of it. Most teleportation effects are slow, or require some setup time. But there's another way - by just stepping through the Dusk Zone. Even that normally takes some effort, but he's bleeding so much black energy that he can just convert that directly.

It's by slipping between dimensions he appears next to the Jewel Seed just a moment before Nanoha can seal it - a stitch in time - grabbing it in his gauntlet before her sealing beam can reach it.

<ERWERB JUWEL SAMEN SERIAL XIII. SEALED.> his gauntlet announces in its two voices, as the crystal is taken within it. "Didn't I tell you this day was going to end poorly for you?" With his free hand he makes a tsk-tsking motion.
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 04:54:21 22403
Mikoto snaps something extremely foul at Riventon. Fortunately for our viewers at home it's not even in Belkan, but in another, contemporaneous language, now long extinct. Axion might be able to translate it for him later. She lashes out at him with Carnwennan's blade, sending a series of Flakschrecken towards him as she passes, not bothering to watch and see if they hit.

Or if they get in Nanoha's way, either.

All that she can see is the wounded cat, bleeding out its life in the snow. Her Ikuto, slumped in the snowbank and left for dead.

She knows it isn't really him. But she hasn't been thinking clearly for a while, and with the bits of dark energy that got at her from Riventon's attack, it's harder and harder for reality to intrude on her feelings.

At the same moment Riventon's gauntleted fist closes around the Jewel Seed, she reaches the cat, gathering it up so very carefully in her arms as that familiar Belkan glyph glows against the snow at her feet.

A single tear glides down her cheek, glistening gold in the setting sun.
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 05:07:47 22405
Nanoha Takamachi speaks out. "Think Fate, please..." she begs, genuine concern and worry on her voice. When Fate moves to shoot Phonton Lancers at her, she raises her hand- a magic circle forming as a magical auto-guard is cast, as she tanks the shots...

She doesn't move towards the seed. She's trying to gamble with her time here- or maybe hope that Miss Blue will go for it. Does she want to? Yes.

But sometimes there's things more important than that.

"These things only hurt!..."

Riventon gets the Jewel Seed first. Not an optimal outcome. In fact, Raising Heart's always piping. < Engage Target >.

Nanoha bites her teeth in gentle determiniation. She looks from Riventon back to Fate. She could try to Divine Buster Riventon... but would that accomplish, right this moment? Just hurt the black man or make Fate take the hit for him?-- and attacking Fate right now. The Jewel Seed's taken. What good would flinging beams at Fate do right now!?

< Engage Target > Raising Heart repeats. Obviously, it wants Nanoha to fight for the Jewel Seed. She wants to. But...

She side glances to the light of a belkan glyph somewhere off the side as she looks back at the two. Raising Heart lights up three rings around it, two at either end, one in the middle. Conflicitng emotions. Conflicting Ideals. What does she do?

She closes her eyes...."Listen....to me!" she calls out.....

< Divine Buster >

She fires a rather large beam of bright pink energy from the tip of Raising Heart towards Riventon.
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 05:09:02 22406
The snow leopard cub isn't nearly so small as a cat. It is, in fact, half way to full grown! It's heavy, and it's bleeding heavily where bardiche cut into its side. The creature pants and lets out a low wailing noise as Mikoto lifts it. Heavy, but not beyond her ability to raise.

Mikoto's magic begins to flood into the creature. A transfer of energy can heal, certainly, but it's inefficieent and not terribly effectively. The blood slows, but only a little. The cub is still in a great deal of pain. Perhaps dying.
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 05:18:16 22408
    Fate Testarossa sees Riventon claim the Jewel Seed. Not exactly as planned, but close enough. When Nanoha calls out to Fate, Fate glances back at her, briefly, but she doesn't answer. It isn't until Nanoha starts preparing an attack that Fate turns to respond.

    She gets between Riventon and Nanoha. Baridiche announces. <DEFENSOR> A large yellow bubble surrounds Fate, and she grits her teeth as each bolt of the Divine Buster slams into her shield. Her energy is drained by absorbing the attack, but at least it didn't interfere with their mission.

    She makes note of the snow leopard, eyes shining with something like gentle sympathy, but only for a moment. A hardness returns to her eyes, and she focuse back on Nanoha. "The only ones getting hurt are the ones trying to stop me. Stay out of my way. I wont change my mind no matter what you say."

    She turns around and speeds towards Riventon, saying, "Do you have a quick way out?"
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 05:39:13 22412
Riventon is about to get piledriven by a Divine Buster when suddenly, there's a flash of yellow and someone else's shield is covering for him. It's good to know Fate will return favors, at least.

Riventon burned up a lot of energy doing that quick teleport - it's a lot harder to go that fast than it is to just fade out - and both of them are a little haggard. But he looks to Fate, and Fate can quite possible know what Takashi's face must look like under that mask, eyes shining a bit.

"I bet we can still outrun them in the air." he says, before scooping up fate and taking flight, doing a bit of a corkscrew as he builds up speed.
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 05:53:02 22418
"... you foolish, stupid, stubborn boy," Miss Blue, Mikoto, murmurs to the cat cradled in her arms. She pours energy into the creature, trying to heal it. Even as with Ikuto a few days before, however, it is in vain, her healing ability too small, the spells she can put towards that aim too weak and too poorly-mastered.

Is she going to see it die in her arms, as the boy she loved almost did, before he fled and left her heart burning in his wake? Or is there something... anything...

Yes. There is. And it's Riventon's mocking voice that reminds her of it. Ayana.

After all, she's spent so many hours, these past few weeks, researching the famliar ritual, to try to find a way to free the little fox from that very same villain. If nothing else, she's certain she can pull that off. And the total restructuring it puts the body through would save the cat.

Yes. She can do this. She can save one person, one being. Even if she can save no one else, she can save this one.

"Let silver and steel be the essence"
"Let stone and the archduke of contracts be the foundation."

The spell-glyph gleams crimson beneath her, rotating slowly, rising into the air and carrying girl and cat with it.

"Let rise a wall against the wind."
"Let the four cardinal gates close."
"Let it be filled fivefold for every turn."

The glyph increases its intensity, almost blindingly bright.

"My fate shall rest with your sword."

The cat's own form, now, glows almost as bright, as mana is poured into its form.

"This oath I swear."
"If thou wilt answer this contract then let my will be your guide."

Almost too blinding to look upon, circle, cat, and girl appear as one fused mass of light.

"Come forth!"
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 05:55:03 22419
For whatever reason... the Divine Buster feels a lot weaker than the last time she launched it. It's possible Nanoha's entire heart isn't in this one. A weak, raspy attack from someone with a tired heart. Does she pursue? She could. Her mana levels are in fact, not terrible. But is it worth it?

'I wont change my mind no matter what you say.'

She doesn't know if that's true or not-- but if her words won't get through. Maybe... maybe she will have to keep fighting. But not today. For now she justs lets them run. No pursing, and besides...

Somethings going on with Miss Blue over here. She turns to face her and sort of floats through the air at a high clip towards her- but keeps her distance, not exactly knowing what's going on.

Raising Heart pings at Nanoha, questioningly, as if to ask 'why isn't she pursing them'. She doesn't answer visibly or telepahtically or anything. She may not quite know herself.

Nanoha stands a distance away, in awe at the glowing circles and words for a bit.

What's... going on?
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 06:02:34 22421
In that brilliance, only silhouettes are visible. Cat and girl, girl and cat. Cat and girl, girl and ... girl? The cat seems to grow, gaining size and substance, gaining vitality and light.

It's a ritual Riventon and Fate well recognize: both having gone through it, themselves, in one form or another. It is the creation of a bond deeper than friendship and love: a bond of master to familiar.

And so the cat becomes a young woman, with medium length silver hair just a little wild, soft blue eyes and a pair of cat-like ears sticking up atop her head. She paws at Mikoto's mouth with a hand, then reaches down to clutch at her side.

Draped in a fine winter dress of silver blue, the new-made familiar gasps in surprise, then looks up at Mikoto. "You ... you saved me," she whispers, then wraps her arms suddenly around the mage in a tight hug. "Thank you."
Fate Testarossa 2016-01-12 06:04:14 22422
    Fate is picked up and carried away, but not before taking one last glance back at the scene behind her. She recognizes the Familiar Ritual, the long version of it anyways, and frowns back at them. "So... that's what they're going to do with it?" she mutters. Only Riventon can probably hear her, and even then just because he's literally right next to her.

    Fate could prepare another attack, but since there doesn't seem to be any pursiut, she decides against it. There's no point right now. They got what they came for.

    "They seem to care more about that than they do about the Jewel Seed."
Takashi Agera 2016-01-12 06:17:07 22424
Riventon looks down at Fate. "Who cares what they're interested in." he says, coldly. "Fools will always be happy to take second place. We have the Jewel Seed. There's nothing down there worth going back for, I assure you." he says to her.

"...and thank you for the shield. We'll get this to your Mother soon."
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 06:18:28 22425
Mikoto nods, tears dripping down her cheeks, as she gathers the girl close to her. "My light. My hope." For the first time in what seems like an eternity, her heart is not weighed down with despair.

She reaches up, briefly, tracing one silver-furred ear with a gentle fingertip. "Hikari-chan." It only seems right to name her thus, for she has restored light to the young Knight's soul.

"I'm so sorry, little one. You got hurt over something you couldn't do anything about. Over our foolish pride."
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 06:24:49 22426
Nanoha Takamachi sort of looks wide eyed at this whole thing and when it's done there's... some kind of catwoman there. She blinks. Oh-- right. Familiar. What people keep confusing Yuuno for sometimes. Is this that? She doesn't know. She doesn't know the familiar spell- and if Raising Heart does, it hasn't taught it to her yet, and if Yuuno knows, likewise there.

She takes a few steps forward. Raising Heart's revered to it's default 'staff' mode by now-- round end, shimmering pink glass orb. She doesn't hesitantly say anything yet.

What can she?
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 06:27:24 22427
"Mikoto-chan," Hikari says, worry in her tone. She clings to Mikoto tightly, hugging her. "It's not your fault," she promises. "Shh, it's all okay. I'm safe, now. And you're safe, too. You don't need to worry for me, any more."

The cat-girl's ears perk up, and she turns suddenly to peer over her shoulder.

"Takamachi-san," she murmurs, then smiles. "I'm sorry that I caused you such trouble. That you did not get the Jewel Seed."
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 06:30:04 22429
"I worry," Mikoto insists. "I always worry. It's just the way I am." She lets out a long, soft sigh, and buries her face in Hikari's shoulder for a time.

Finally, her eyes mostly dry, she looks up to Nanoha. "I'm sorry too, kiddo... they got away with another one. But don't worry. We'll get them. We will."
Nanoha Takamachi 2016-01-12 06:35:45 22430
Nanoha Takamachi blinks, eh? Is the cat apologizing to her. She shakes her head rapidly. "Wha? No. It was the Jewel Seed's fault..." she mutters. She shakes her head. "And you're not the reason I lost it." she says. "That's my fault...I was... too busy trying to get through to Fate..." she says with a sigh.

"Was that.. the familiar spell?" she asks curiously, finally.

"Oh...I'm... Nanoha Takamachi but you already seem to know my name. That's strange!" she says with a smile!
Ayana Tasogare 2016-01-12 06:40:02 22431
"I know you do," Hikari replies to Mikoto with a faint smile. The cat-girl pets Mikoto's hair gently, then kisses her on the cheek. "It is part of why you are such a good friend."

Hikari gently disentangles from Mikoto's lap, then takes her friend--her master--by the hand, and gently pulls her back to her feet. There's a smile, then she turns and dips into a curtsey for Nanoha.

"I am Hikari Nakajima," she introduces herself to the young girl. "I know you as Mikoto knows you. I was created from her love, her thoughts, and her beliefs, and as you are in all of these, in some measure, so too do I share these feelings for you."
Mikoto Nakajima 2016-01-12 06:47:30 22432
Mikoto nods, and lets Hikari pull her to her feet, muttering a 'thank you'... and trembling a little from exhaustion. The spell took a lot out of her, both magically and emotionally.

"I think I went a little mad," she explains, "But I'm not going to regret this. Not ever."

She takes a deep breath, savoring the clear, crisp air, then shivers. "Let's get somewhere warm to talk, shall we? I think you know how to find the warehouse?" The same one where everything went wrong, so recently. "I'll make us all some hot chocolate."