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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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BrokenPromise Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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”Worst part is that it never gets better. But if it never gets worse, I’m happy. I’m alive.”

— Nuncio


@DarkwolfX37@Shifter_Master@twave@Flamelord

“Magic ain’t easy for any of us ta understand.” He was able to pick up on the girl’s frustration. He didn’t really understand magic beyond what he could do with it, and things that he had seen from time to time. “As for where we are, seems ta be the exit to the sewers from the over city.” He pulled his hat over his eyes. “Without gettin’ too into it, we’re in an alternate reality. Nobody knows what the hell goes on here.” He turned around and walked along the cliff edge. “This place ain’t totally alien ta me though. If we follow this wall, there should be a way out.”

And so they ventured away. Save Melisa



“Why do the updates take so long to download REEEEEE-”

— Oros


Not long after she had departed, Oros had returned. When the shadow gate shut behind her, it kicked up magical waste all over her form. But for Oros, these toxic waters were not something to be endured, they were actually restorative.

“Ahhhhh~!” She ran her hand through her hair. Her skin briefly turned into black crystal wherever waste was present, and it was readily absorbed into her body. “I suppose while I wait to recharge, I’ll read the recent patch notes.” Oros reached into her hammerspace and pulled out the Doctrine of Combat Supremacy.

Patch notes V0.015

Hello magical girls!

After considering community feedback and recent events, we’ve decided that it’s time to make some balance changes to Oros.


“Oh no!” Oros shook the page. “That’s right! I was a premium magical girl! People were forking over dough to play me, but with the season nearly over, they’re going to hit me with nerfs and put me in free rotation! How could you do this shit to me! I’m an Oros main!”

One thing that’s been really grieving Beacon/Mint players (especially Jenna/Janet mains) has been Oros’s ability to track Beacon/Mint players regardless of where they hide. We at Riot games believe that this under minds the hidden nature of those organizations, and so we’ve decided that Oros’s “Innate Awareness” will only allow her to detect Mint/Beacon activity rather than the members themselves. This will make her Innate Awareness tracking less reliable. Of course, Oros players can still use their beast spec to sniff out targets they are familiar with.

“…What?” Oros wasn’t really sure what to make of the patch notes. She trusted Riot games, but she wasn’t really sure what counted as “Mint/Beacon activity.” She was entering free rotation, so it was probably a lot more severe than she was anticipating. “Oh wait, the patch notes continue.”

But it’s not all bad news for Oros mains! With her reveal as being a hidden Mika prestige class, experienced Oros players can now use Mika’s signature season 3 features: Her ability to create/control water, and also her upgraded Pool Fists with a special “VER Δ “ weapon skin!

Oros will likely receive more adjustments as the season concludes, but we feel this is a step in the right direction with one of the roster’s more controversial magical girls.

Stay frosty, Patrons!
~Riot Games


Oros lowered the DOCS and examined her right arm then her left. She extended her hand outward, and a small amount of water rushed out of her fingers and spun through the air. Twirling about in ways only a water specialist could manage.

Next, her arms bubbled over with sea foam. With a shake of her arms, her gauntlets had returned. They did have a striking resemblance to Mika’s Pool fists, with the exception that the cores looked a little melted. Oros had run them a little hot once upon a time, and they were on the verge of exploding. While the gloves themselves had been warped by heat and excessive use, the blades were still plenty sharp, and everything about the pool fist’s function was in full working order.

What could Oros do but laugh?

“I forgot I had those old toys. I suppose a death here and there can warp one’s memories a bit.”

Well, the stage had been set, and Oros still needed to get the Mint’s attention. She had just the plan for that.

“Hey, hey!” Oros was preparing to shift again, but this time it was going to be massive. This was evident as the black sphere behind her continued to expand wider and wider. “Do you guys remember season two at the cathedral? PLOT TWIST!”

Melisa, however, had not seen season 2, and was approaching Oros.




Things were not quiet in sanctuary.

Things were about to be far less so.

When Oros returned to Sanctuary, she did so with as much of that magical waste as she could take along with her. It surged outward in all directions, causing panic and discord where it flowed.

Clearly Oros couldn’t dedicate all of her magic to the porting of questionable magical substances, as she needed to maintain some of her mana to take on a form that could readily absorb some of that mana back into herself after the trip. It would be pretty humiliating if she appeared with her mana reserves depleted, vulnerable and unable to protect herself from the chaotic magic tide she’d summoned.

And she’d need at least some magic to reach into her hammerspace and swap out her outfit for a swimsuit.

“What? You thought just because I wasn’t at the beach dimension I wasn’t gunna get dressed up? DOUBLE PLOT TWIST!”

Oros rode her Dan pool float like a surfboard, but it could only take so much of the magical bong water before it popped and shot off like a rocket. The dolphin rider fell backwards into the stuff, and let the current carry her as far as it would take her.

Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by FamishedPants
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H i l a r i a



"Hilaria never got to return the favor for Mika, now that she thinks about it..."

— Hilaria



Hilaria was able to escape with some support from Freya. As a sign of gratitude, she beamed a smile and gave the girl a pat on the head, then turned to eye the situation. Some injured girls, confusion, and a beach. You could say a little bit was going on here. The spontaneous transformation into her swimsuit had become routine at this point, as she came here from time to time.

Not much interested her beyond Lily's interrogation. Hilaria had not expected someone like her to change sides so abruptly, and it seemed others were equally caught unawares. They weren't as laid-back about it as Hilaria was, though. It was almost like a verbal dogpile onto the girl, but Dan's dimension prevented it from escalating. At least for now. Hilaria shrugged.

Having a short attention span when it came to everything that wasn't food, she had become bored and decided to listen in on Dina, who appeared to be in a rush to leave. She also seemed to be shaken up, but all the knight cared about was the fact there would be one less person to eat with. As soon as she had finished her short conversation with another, much less healthy-looking girl, Hilaria waved her out. "See ya~!"

That should have left Dan open for a brief period. Hilaria would certainly capitalize on this. She tried to grab Dan's attention, as he held the key to a divine feast. "Danny~! Danny~! Can we talk food~?" she asked him, only to be interrupted by Mariette. Hilaria's head twisted quickly to look at the girl and for a split-second, the rabbit-carrying girl would sense her life was in danger. Hilaria then smiled. "Mmm, who~? Oh, yeah~! Her~!" she gave herself a light bop on the head. "Hilaria sometimes forgets names~" This was essentially a lie given that she almost always forgot names. But she continued, glancing upwards as if to think on it and drawing a finger to her lip. "Hilaria saw her engage with the enemy, and then she thinks Eli got taken away~!" she explained.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Shifter_Master
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.:⋮Road Block⋮:.



Penny would be honest in saying she had expected another shift to occur at some point. It was one of the main reasons she had kept Snoopy close by in the opening stages of the fight. And that assumption proved to be valuable as her familiar was close enough to get shifted with her to this new ruined local.

Regardless, she let Oros say her piece after all a lull in combat was never a disadvantage for Penny, and she used the time given to both examine the ruins with her senses and regenerate what damage she had accumulated. Nothing significant enough that Oros was able to make off with something, but there were a few gouges on her extra limbs that could use a patch job. Other than that her personal force field had absorbed any damage aimed at her torso. So she was back at 100% rather quickly.

Just in time to give her answer as well “No.” Short, blunt, and to the point. “Not only do I have no reason to trust you. I am an ally with Beacon, and I will not leave those at the Sanctuary to be picked off by the Mint.”

“I’m willing to help you storm the Mint HQ if you know where it is, but what you are asking is not something I’m going to help out with.”

Oros’s smile hadn’t changed, almost like Penny’s reaction was expected. No, it was what Oros wanted. With a sigh, she turned on her heel and strode away from Penny.

”You know I’m genuinely hurt that you don’t wanna help out a fellow love bird.” She occasionally looked over her shoulder, but otherwise kept walking down the street. ”You’re so needy, Penny. Anyone you want to get close too just seems to vanish, or you utterly destroy your relationship with them in an act of betrayal.” She sent both of her swords into her hammerspace. ”I mean, I never thought Thalia was good for you. Alicia is a bit of a prude, I bet she hasn’t even held her cat maid’s hand yet. And hey, if you can’t have her, why not go for a bikini clad adolescent like Chloe, right?” Oros turned around, folding her hands behind her back. ”Funny how you have all these crazy connections and yet your relationships just take a few days to turn to ash. You’re more like me than I thought.”

There was a lingering grimace of hurt and hate on Penny’s face at the casual cruelty of her flaws being pointed out. But she didn’t move towards Oros, no she stayed where she was and instead rolled her shoulder and let out an approximation of a long breath. Her composure gradually returned as she did. “You’re not wrong.” She would admit after a moment, as Penny knew that she had a bad habit of destroying her own relationships. It wasn’t entirely her own fault, but that didn’t change the fact that she did. Didn’t mean admitting it or hearing it was easy.

“But who I was yesterday is not who I will be tomorrow” She reignighted her thrusters in preparation to leave. “I’ve seen the end of that road, I have no intention of walking it any further.” She would keep her eyes locked onto Oros, unsure if she was to be classified as friend or foe just yet. “I would change course yourself if we really were that similar. Otherwise you’ll just end up dying alone.” Penny would half turn away “But I think you know that already Oros”

”We all die alone Penny. That’s one thing us magical girls all share. But I can appreciate the irony in Laat’s former champion telling me to change. Guess some things simply can’t.”

Oros stopped hopping backwards. She sniffed the air a bit before violently snorting.

”Well, you don’t want to help me. You say you can’t trust me, and I have to assume that’s because you think I’m unpredictable and random for some reason. Certainly it can’t be that my story lacks credibility. It’s been a few decades but I think the sign to the Golden Trove is still around here somewhere.” With a shake of her head, she turned to look down a ruined alleyway. ”Guess all that’s left to do is wax philosophical, get laid, or fight. Problem is talking bores me, I don’t like repeat performances, and I don’t like repeat performances.” She raised a finger. ” Although there is a secret fourth option.`` She flicked her finger towards the ground. ”It requires my legs.`` After pausing for dramatic effect, Oros ran down the ruined alleyway.

Penny listened to Oros’s rebuttal, simply shrugged at what was being said, then finished turning away and began leaving. Snoopy swooped down into his dock and began relaying the modified path Penny had requested. She needed to swing by where she had been to pick up the others that had been abducted into the Overcity with her before returning to the Sanctuary.

She kept her senses primed and extended however. As it was obvious that she was in a hostile environment if the sounds of large creatures stomping around in the background was any evidence.

Penny’s extended sensors would instantly pick up a very strong power signature directly above her. Not that she even needed her sensors to tell something was off. The sky was getting visibly darker, and the sounds of massive beasts seemed to fade as she picked up on an wining sound. It could have been electric, or the sound of some strange insect. But all Penny would have to do was look up to see something aweful descending from the heavens.

It was wreathed in an intense black shape that made the darkness look gray by comparison. Red and purple lights danced along its form, which was roughly shaped like a man. It had a head and a torso, but that was about where the similarities ended. The lower half of its body was made up entirely of faces, with bone and vine sprouting out behind them. Motifs of the unborn, undying horror Aighorost. Not that anyone in that reality had ever heard its name uttered. Only Penny had, and that was a name rambled off of the lips of a lunatic.

”Hello Penny, greetings Penny, salutations Penny.” The creature did not speak with just one voice. Every mouth the entity had opened up in unison to speak, save the head that rested on its shoulders. Unlike the other faces, it was the only one that bothered to make eye contact with her. ”We do not typically speak to those who have been born. Save for our champions, and none as much as our greatest champion. Perhaps in another timeline you could have been our champion. For good or for ill, you did not survive the battle royale at the end of the world.” The head atop its shoulders displayed no emotion. It didn’t even look alive. The avatar’s body wiggled and moved, but the head might as well belong to a statue for all the good it did in a conversation. ”As a disjointed entity that represents a collection of individuals, I cannot possibly speak for all of us. But we can say with some degree of certainty that there are things about you that are not understood. Perhaps that is something we have in common? Perhaps that is something we can rectify?”

Penny was understandably rather shocked to see the massive Horror floating above her, but perhaps surprisingly she shrugged off that shock rather easily. Perhaps it was the fact that she had encountered a large horror before, or perhaps it was because she wasn’t human at her core, but whatever it was she recovered rather quickly upon her realizing just what it was that floated above her.

Pulling her gaze away from Aighorost she consulted the map that Snoopy was providing her as she contemplated a few different routes out of here. “I think I would be more worried if you did understand everything about me” She would reply as she resumed moving. “But seeing as I don’t have much option at the moment feel free to ask your questions. Just know that I might have some to ask myself.”

Reaching back she would grab the port in which Snoopy resided and drag it to her shoulder so that Snoopy’s single red eye was staring up at Aighorost. “Also, I don’t think it would ever be possible for me to be your champion. Regardless of timeline.”

”That is a fallacy, incorrect, untrue. You have seen the effects a different world can have on a soul. It would be unwise to assume things would be any different for you without sufficient proof.” The horror’s avatar touched down several feet in front of Penny. It was about twice her height, which was pretty small compared to other avatars. ”But we will not concern ourselves with your beliefs, for now. The interrogation starts. You are a monster, yet you are not corrupted. Those two features have always been considered synonymous with each other. Yet you hold the spark. How do you believe this is possible?”

A flicker of annoyance would pass across Penny’s face as Aighorost landed in front of her. As that dashed her hopes that she would be able to work and converse. She also wanted to counter the off hand dismissal of her belief, as it wasn’t simply a moral argument that had her taking such a stance.

Nevertheless she came to a stop when the Horror touched down. Snoopy’s port shifted back to its default position shortly after she came to a stop “Because I chose to embrace it rather than flee from it.” Penny would reply “Monster Girls housing Sparks isn’t as great an statistical outlier as it appears on the surface. It is a fact that I am abnormal, but not because of that. After all there are plenty of members of Beacon who possess the capability to become Monstergirls temporarily yet none of them have lost the Spark.”

”A normal monster girl and a magical girl experiencing a metamorphosis are not even remotely the same.” Unlike Penny, the avatar seemed perfectly calm. Its voices were always monotone, if unsettling. Perhaps they were more robot-like than even Penny. ”Metamorphosis strips a magical girl of their mental facilities, barring their fight or flight reflexes. They’ve also been observed to get slightly stronger. Monster girls on the other hand are not only stronger, but they also possess other abilities. They have another magical specialization, mental mutations, the ability to think clearly outside of their mental mutations, abilities granted to them due to their exotic shape. Some can even enter a metamorphosis themselves, briefly taking the shape of a full monster. Metamorphosis may be caused by magical chaos, but it is not the same as corruption.” The clouds had long since parted, revealing a massive eye in the sky. It was only visible briefly before the sky darkened up. A midnight sky, without a single star to light the way. ”If you were not a statistical anomaly, then why are you the only one in Penrose with your condition? Moreover, if being a monster and corruption free were simple, why haven’t more girls taken this option? If monster girls are willingly keeping mental mutations that make them a danger to others when they can keep both their forms and their mental purity, why is it acceptable for them to continue being monsters? Why would Beacon, Ascendancy or otherwise, condone the existence of such unsavory creatures when they could easy remain as they are mental mutation free?”

“You're conflating two separate issues and misinterpreting metamorphosis” Penny would counter calmly, only a raised eyebrow to show her sense of incredulity at the Horror. “Corruption and Monsterhood are not one and the same. I can attest to that, having experienced both purification and corruption while simultaneously retaining my status as a Monstergirl. And metamorphosis has shown the ability to bring forth those very same traits advantages and disadvantages. Altered specializations and physiological capabilities alongside altered mental processes. I also wouldn’t blame the transition for the lack of mental faculties, the metamorphosis is just an expansion onto the natural organic fight or flight response which when triggered, usually under high stress same as a metamorphosis, also strips a lot of higher brain processes down to base reactions.”

“And I am a statistical anomaly just, once again, not for carrying a spark with my nature. I also never said anything about being free of corruption while being a Monster is easy. Far from it. The reason it doesn’t happen more is, in my belief, a mix of ignorance and fear. As like you most have conflated the issues. Because corruption can cause one to become a Monster Girl and purification can revert one from it, but again they are not one and the same.” Penny by this point has settled into a simple stance, feet shoulder width apart and arms cross. She noted both the eye in the sky and the sheer emptiness of the night but didn’t react to them or even seem to acknowledge them.

“I would liken corruption to a stress fracture on one’s soul. As normally Corruption happens when one gets far too much mana for them to handle and as a result something gives way or breaks. Magic is adaptable by its nature so it fills in those cracks but in doing so alters the person. Like cracking a stone and then filling the cracks with moss. Still whole but altered.”

“Purification reverts the damage caused by that influx and by doing so removes the magic that filled in those cracks. But things can still stick regardless. Showing that the alterations that can be caused aren’t inherent to the damage. The difficult part is that to cleanse corruption but maintain non-human status one has to be willing to let their soul heal on its own time and merit while also viewing the alterations done to them as intrinsic aspects to who they are. That process is painful and time consuming I assure you.”

“I have to ask though” She would add after a moment of letting her words be processed. “Why do you care? And as an extension to that, what is it you are hoping to accomplish with your champions?”

The avatar stood in silence for several seconds. Its body pulsed and wiggled, plants dying and growing at its feet. ”We are always impressed by your kind’s ability to juggle a conversation like that. Your answers are unsatisfying for reasons beyond your control, but they sate our curiosity. We will table that discussion for now and focus on your questions. But we must remind you that you are asking a horror for knowledge. Information this powerful has turned Oros into what she is today. If we refuse to answer your questions, you will understand why.”

The avatar sprouted legs and stepped off of the mass it had fallen to earth from. Now it wasn’t much taller than Penny was.

”Are you a connoisseur of the arts, Penny? Do you read books, watch movies, or play video games? Of course you do.” Aigorost stopped walking a few feet in front of Penny. ”When you are enjoying a story, what do you think is the most important thing for the storyteller to maintain?”

“Consistency” Would be Penny’s reply seemingly unfazed by the horror moving closer to her. Though a keen eye would note that her extra limbs were tracking it ever so slightly as it approached.

”That is certainly part of the answer, one we would expect from someone who enjoys media.” They folded their arms behind their back and paced around Penny, giving her a wide berth. ”The correct answer is ‘suspension of disbelief.’ While this does embody various types of consistency, such as narrative consistency, it also embodies various forms of logic. Example: you can have a leader of an imperial branch of the military who is consistently bad at his job. Logically, they would be replaced by someone more fit to rule.” Aigorost turned to look at Penny. ”The world at large does not believe in magical girls. If you were to pick up a car in front of them, they would tell you that what you’re doing goes against the consistency of the world they know. If it happened in the pages of a manga however, they would realize this is a story about magical girls, and understand that being able to pick up something so heavy is part of the setting.” The avatar stopped walking when it was behind the cyborg. ”We are Aigorost, unborn into reality. But not unborn to all realities. The world we exist in does not have magical girls, none that we are aware of.” The avatar resumed walking again, but in two different directions. This caused them to split into two separate selves that were just as large as the original. ”Understanding how a world operates is important to enjoying the spectacle, which should conclude on your second question: We are here for amusement.” All three avatars were speaking as one. ”I understand that is not a very strong motivation, but that is the truth of the matter. Perhaps that is why we let Oros do as she pleases. She is more interesting than she has a right to be.” The two avatars walked back into each other creating a whole again. Unlike when they split, this seemed to cause them to shrink further. They were half of Penny’s height now. Though they were no more quiet for it. ”Perhaps one day we would like to walk among you, but that does not seem possible at this time.”

Penny would turn as Aighorost circled around her refusing to give her back to it easily. And even when it split into copies Snoopy’s lone eye could be felt tracking the one behind her. It wasn’t hard for her to gauge that this particular Horror was one of the more reasonable ones that existed, but that didn’t mean that she trusted it. Horrors were still far too well known to mess with the minds of their followers for her to do that.

It’s desire to walk amongst humans also wasn’t as far out there a prospect as it suspected it to be either. Though Penny wasn’t sure if she wanted to bring up Serenity, even if it went a fair way towards proving her beliefs about corruption and monsterhood. “The strength of one's motivation is more found in their conviction rather than their goal. The Joker is simply in it for the laughs after all, and no one can say he isn’t strongly motivated.” She would retort. It also highlighted that amusement is subjective, and that just because that was Aighorost goal didn’t mean it couldn’t be malevolent. She did at least respect that it was doing all of this to try and gain some perspective first.

Before the conversation could go further, phantom sensations would course over her limbs. Concussive impacts, sharp sudden fatigue, and caustic burning. Alongside those sensations washed out glimpses of the Sanctuary would flicker in the corner of her vision. And on reflex he gaze would snap in the direction of where the Sanctuary once stood in this dead realm.

“I need to leave now” She would say curtly drawing her gaze back to the avatar in front of her. “Are you going to impede me on this?”

”Did you even need to ask?”

The avatar flaked away into ash. Of course the rules of magic prevented horrors from directly engaging with magical girls, even inside their own domain. But this was the hunting grounds for a horror, a place where sacrifices were laid out and its prey resided. But what was prey to an all powerful horror could be a predator to a monster girl.

Creatures that bore no markings climbed out of the ruined ground. All manner of monsters furred and scaled. None of which shared the abominable features of Aigorost’s creations. They all looked quite alive for the moment, no rot nor twig was visible on these creatures. But a meal was visible to them. And in Penny they would try and partake.

“Of course” Penny would remark with a sigh as the Horror took its leave and the rumbling of Monsters drew nearer. ”Prick” Rolling her neck she began advancing once more, her energy blades and hover systems igniting as she went.

She didn’t have time for the slow and scenic route anymore. Penrose wouldn’t lose it’s Queen so easily and this place would not hold her for much longer.





-=ƎClean UpE=-


Aurelio and his massive mob of copied selves, did what they always did in this circumstance. Hit the ground running and started helping. His mana was too low to apply much magical healing but he was more then willing to act as an additional twenty pairs of hands to run orders and instructions, or grab supplies and move people.

After all, he had been evacuating people all though the fight. He knew better then all but the people running the infirmary just how badly things had gotten. Still within all of that there were a few clones that would be seen simply resting near those that he knew personally, watching over them while they rested or while the medics worked. Or softly talking with them giving them what updates he could if they were already taken care of.

He knew he was going to crash hard when he truly stopped, so he just kept going for a bit longer, letting his clones that did stop stay that way not bothering to recall the mana spent on them as their memories would bring the crash all the sooner.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by twave
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GM @Flamelord | Oros @BrokenPromise | Dina @AtomicNut

For a while Melisa just stood where she was wrestling with her emotions. Try as she might something about the thing she had become overpowered and dictated her behavior. She should go. There was nothing left here and Nuncio even seemingly knew a way out. At first she followed after before she stopped and she just felt overwhelmed again and fell further behind. She started pouting and like a lost child just kind of froze. This wasn't helpful, what was going on? She glanced back hoping to see Penny but instead she Oros standing alone talking to herself. "Hey!" Seemed she was too far away or the other girl was too distracted.

Turning the doll tried to make her way back to the beast girl. She hopped and moved bits of metal over so she could make her way. "What did you do with Penny!" Her eyes opened wide as the dark circle appeared and expanded more and more. Should she run? She should run. Melisa didn't get the chance though and was whisked away back to the Sanctuary. This time there was no one to stop her from falling into the torrent that filled the area.



Sanctuary - Third Floor

GM @Ariamis | Mint Agents @Flamelord | Sanctuary @Shifter_Master | Dina @AtomicNut | Oros @BrokenPromise

The commotion being caused in the lower levels of the Sanctuary drew the attention of the boy. He shuffled others out of the way as he made it down. Penny had apparently left to check or intercept something from what he understood. Now things getting rowdy was not the most unusual thing at the Sanctuary, especially whenever the ring leaders were away. Usually it was some misunderstanding or mental mutation left unchecked. So at first he didn't move with the most urgency. As more came running out in fear though he picked up the pace. Arriving at the room where people were running from he caught a glimpse of the creature. It appeared to be attacking and eating those it got in its clutches. Getting through he could see that with each it consumed it grew in size.

This little tidbit in mind his first thought was getting as many out of this thing's reach as possible. He called out as he rushed in, hopefully everyone knew this already knew this, but he would say it anyhow. "Everyone out! Don't let it get a hold of you!" Charging up his speed he dashed into the fray, his Lightweight Boots making his movement all the easier. He would go in and snatch up anyone having trouble escaping and bring them to the exit. He would just start making laps trying to get as many out of harms way as he could.

Where the hell had this thing come from? Glancing around he didn't spot any breach it could have made its way in from. Something was off but he didn't have a concrete idea of what it was. Right now the important thing was keeping it from being able to feed.

Apparently when it rains it pours. There was a sudden rush of pressure in the enclosed space that was the Sanctuary that made your ears pop. His efforts to move people out were interrupted when a number of them that were trying to escape scrambled back as a toxic liquid trickled down. He lacked the proper abilities to fully identify what it was but his Awareness clearly told him he would want to avoid it. One misfortune was an accident, two one after the other was something else. Perhaps most problematic would be that most of the help was probably still off fighting somewhere and others would be the last he'd want to invite.

"Stay here and out of that stuff, I'll keep the monster busy. Paree!" He didn't get an answer. No time. Going back into the room he opened up his book and shot lightning out at the creature to draw its attention. "Paree, I could use some help here!"

After a moment a little Puchuu with a coat made of leaves appeared. The patron looked over at the creature Shane just attacked with a dull expression. "This hardly looks beyond your capabilities child."

"Something is happening here. At least check the other levels and make sure." He didn't wait for an answer and moved so the monster he just provoked wouldn't be able to grab him.

Paree rolled his eyes. He wasn't quite convinced until he took a closer look at the highly toxic magic creeping down. This was from the Overcity. Certainly something out of place. Shane wasn't one to cry wolf so the tiny fuzz ball hopped up off the ground. Blinking in and out through the Sanctuary he got a quick lay of what was happening. Returning to Shane's side briefly he stated dryly. "I will monitor the situation and consider your request." He disappeared.

"...Great."





Dan's Beach Dimension - Arrival Point

GM / NPCs @Ariamis | Cradle Crew @BrokenPromise@Majoras End@FamishedPants
Mariette Crew @PlatinumSkink | Too many to tag

Arriving as one of the last few into the dimension, Jenna expectedly found herself surrounded by everyone that the others had been fighting. Like everyone else she was now in her bathing suit. Given the circumstances the Beacon girl didn't stay bunched up with everyone else. Her appearance did draw attention though as she probably shouldn't be there. Once out of the crowd she held up her hands. "Hey now, I'm not here to fight alright." Scooting away a bit further she overheard Mariette asking about Eli and that the slime girl had been grabbed. Pausing for a moment a load of things ran through her head.

Now Jenna wasn't crazy enough to go after Mariette here. One, it probably wouldn't work; two, it would mean leaving Justine's end uncertain; and three, there would be no turning back from it. Far too many factors to go wrong. She turned away from the others and went to join up with the Cradle. She put a little distance before she pushed a voice into Mariette's mind. It wasn't forceful like a command or anything. Instead it was subtle. To Mariette she would perceive it as someone speaking around her. The wind and waves made it hard to tell from who or where, but she would lightly hear...

"...thought I hear- that gir- te-- Eli they wou-- be safe wi-- the Djinn Sist--s."

Never stopping her walk, Jenna took out a piece of paper from her backpack and quickly scribbled something down before stuffing it back in. The fact that the Beacon girl never actually heard what Deni said didn't matter, she just needed the portal girl to pick up on it. It was an underhanded way to tell Mariette where Eli went, but if she outright said it then she was likely to create more problems than it was worth. Glancing around she remembered the details about the fountain and took a brief detour to get a drink before running back to rejoin the Cradle. "Don't suppose we couldn't pick a relaxing spot to make sure J is toast could we?" She managed a smile despite the tension her mere presence created. Her attention turned to Eliza. "Oh yeah, let me heal you up." Gently she placed a hand on the light witch to hopefully be able to heal her this time.
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Eli opened her eyes, and the slime-harpy found herself in a familiar space. The Djinn-Sisters’ home dimension, right where Deni had told her she’d appear. She breathed out a bit in relief, and a little in regret, because the hectic battle was over for her and it felt like she really hadn’t contributed that much. Still, she now looked towards…

Violet and Sakura were off to one side, busy stuffing what looked to be cards in red envelopes. When Eli appeared they quickly threw a cloth over the table, which subsequently seemed to have vanished in a puff of cold air and sound of liny bells as the cloth dropped flat on the ground. The two quickly ran over and gave their friend a hug.

”You made it! Are you hurt? Do you need anything?”

It was clear that Mariette wasn’t with her. A look of concern flashed for a moment as Sakura dragged over a giant pillow for Eli. ”Where’s Mariette? Is she alright?” Her sister ran around behind some tapestry to retrieve something and came back with a couple goblets moments later.

‘Violet, Sakura…’ Eli said, seeing them run towards her and raised her own wings as they hugged around their slime-friend. She wasn’t really about to question what they were doing, because all that was on her mind right now was…
‘Deni… Deni’s alive. Deni’s alive!’ she had to repeat for her friends, small tears (of slime) as she was still in the hug. Sakura pulled over the pillow and a somewhat overwhelmed Eli sat down on it, feeling a little awkward.

‘Mariette’s alright, she was escaping. We were attacked by Justine, as we expected, but we didn’t expect her to bring Beacon with her. Fortunately, we brought allies of our own…’ Eli said, watching the goblets being brought up. ‘The dimension was breaking apart, but we were making a successful escape. Then… Deni came charging at me… But why was Deni…?’ Eli thinks for a bit, perplexed.

The two girls only had the minimal amount of information of what had been likely to happen. Whatever transpired sounded intense but they were mostly in the dark. The two shuddered as they sensed another arrival. They knew who it was as they’d let her in. The djinn girls vanished as several candles around the room were lit with sparks of electricity. The new arrival took a step and her magic traveled across the floor and crisscrossed under the pillow. Beneath the slime girl a magic circle lit up, prepared in advance to ensnare her. Ordinarily being this many steps ahead was tough on a good day, but it always helps when you have insider information.

”Eli.” Janet stated calmly as she took a few steps forward. ”Sorry for the surprise. Your sister requested assistance in making sure you were safe. ” Most of the time she would simply offer the option to be purified in some form of fashion. Knowing that she was almost certain to resist the precautions were put in place to prevent either one of them being harmed as much as possible.

Eli thought a bit, reflecting on what she’d heard. Deni had said she’d save her sister from the horror. Oh. Deni didn’t seem affiliated with Asengav anymore. Then, this odd way of transporting her out, and requesting she put a sleeping curse on herself… Eli connected everything quickly. And of course… that was unacceptable. She had to esca-

‘KAH-!?’ Eli recoiled as her friends vanished and candles showed up, raising her wings over her eyes in alarm. With the candles there, Eli’s slime slightly destabilized, dripping off her like she was slowly melting, and she winced back in pain from the candles into the pillow. From there she was completely unable to do anything about the magic snares of the magical circle. Th-they were going to free her… ‘… AAH-!’ As part of the mind-bending, even the idea of freedom was painful to Eli. The idea of being freed caused an unnatural fear of Asengav himself, a promise of what he’d do to someone who escaped.

As a result, Eli desperately tried to flail against the bindings. Probably to no avail, given her less-than-impressive stat-sheet and the present banes.

Janet had never experienced her bane when she had been under Justine, so she could only imagine how it felt. Holding out a hand she stabilized the circle holding Eli. Raising her other hand she began to use her Psychic spec to get into the monster girl’s head. Thus far Janet had not shown much success in controlling others with her magic. This was not really the same thing and she’d already proven much more effective at breaking the control others may be under. A horror’s control was not quite the same as a magical girl’s, but Deni had given some benchmark to work with. Still the process would take several minutes but with the passing of time Asengav’s implanted grip was loosened.

Somewhere during this time, Deni manifested inside the Dimensional Home, and wasted absolutely no time-


‘Eli!’ she shouted out, skipping next to the ritual currently taking place. Deni, kind of regretted it immediately. There was absolutely nothing she could do, except watch Eli restrained and in pain before her. Looked like Janet had it all under control. ‘H-how’s it going?’ Deni asked with a worried voice, eyes fixed on her sister.

Janet remained calm as Deni came over. ”I’m making headway.” So much so that the girl felt relaxed enough to look down to the tiny samurai. She considered asking about Mariette, but perhaps this was enough stress. ”I expect to be done in a couple minutes. She will probably be out at that point. She should wake up shortly from there and we can discuss your options.”

As expected Eli did pass out. There wasn’t really any indication of when the process finished until Janet ended the magic circle and began to make rounds putting out the candles. She moved the slime girl over to one of the large pillowed seats and they waited for her to come to.

Eventually, after having had Deni stand watch over her possibly unnecessarily for basically the entire time, nervously checking her with Reinforcement magic to check if she needed healing in any sort of way, Eli started to wake up. She grunted, her slime gathering up a bit again, lifting a wing to rub at her eyes.

‘Eli!’ Deni immediately called, leaning forward over her. ‘Are you alright!?’

‘Deni…’ Eli whispered her name, and remembered all that which had happened previously, but didn’t yet know what it had done. ‘Wh-what happened…?’ Eli asked, looking with a bit of fear towards Janet. She found that the Beacon girl was sitting down rather relaxed with her hands folded in her lap.

"Hello Eli. How are you feeling?" She gave a soft smile.

‘Doing…?’ Eli asked, wincing. ‘You restrained me and put a bunch of my bane around me, how do you think I’m doing? I got to get back to-’ she blinked a bit. ‘-wait.’ Why exactly did she want to get back to- ‘Oh.’ Her eyes trailed to Deni. ‘You… you saved me, didn’t you?’

Deni basically immediately burst into tears and fell down on Eli to hug around her. ‘Eliiii…!’

‘Ah…’ Eli winced a bit at the hug, but… ‘You’re… not a monster-girl anymore, huh.’

‘You beeet! I’ve been through some weird stuff you wouldn’t believe…!’ Deni called through sobs and hugging. Her sister was free from Asengav’s mind-bending~!

‘You recruited the Djinn Sisters and members of Beacon to help, too…’ Eli thought on all the things that she’d have to have done to get where she was. ‘How many people there were there to save me…?’

‘Haha, not all of them!’ Deni said with a chuckle, still squeezing Eli and crying. ‘I had to get to you before Justine or Alicia could kill you…!’

‘Oh, so THAT was why Lily threw Mariette at you… you were going to save Mariette too and had talked to Lily beforehand, hadn’t you?’ Eli was looking up in the ceiling just looking back at the battle as she now knew this, her wings slowly closing over Deni, too.

‘Yepp!’ Deni said. ‘She’s all alone and afraid now. Who knows what kind of danger she might get into without us! We got to go save her too, right?’

‘Definitely…’ Eli sighed out, patting the crying Deni. ‘I’m proud of you, Deni. You risked so much. I’m so happy.’

‘H-hey,’ Deni looked up at her with a grin. ‘I’m the older sister, I’m supposed to be comforting you! … Hahaha,’ she said and then laughed, because of course she wasn’t entirely serious.

‘Tihi,’ Eli replied to the laugh with a little giggle of her own, and then the two twins could laugh and giggle amongst themselves for a bit, for the first time in a long time.

The moment was touching. Watching the reunited twins made Janet think about her own sister. They really didn't get the chance to relax like this all that much lately. Hopefully things would calm down a bit so the two could try and have some fun. With a warm smile she scooted closer to the edge of her chair and leaned forward. "You two are adorable." She paused for a moment just to take in the scene. Unfortunately they weren't quite done yet. There was still another matter to attend to.

Keeping her smile the blonde brushed her hair back. "Not to kill the mood, but from what I understand there is still more to do. The mind bending was the first part, what are you going to do now?" She summoned her backpack that Jenna had been carrying. While they answered she opened up the backpack and glanced at a note in it briefly.

‘Tihi, you hear that? We’re adorable,’ Eli reported to her sister with a smile.

‘I’d totally have preferred being sexy, but I’ll take adorable~’ Deni told, grinning in turn.

‘Nope. Child magical girls. Act your age,’ Eli told back.

‘Anyways, yes!’ Deni jumped back on her feet and grasped her fists and looked towards Janet excitedly. ‘Her connection to Asengav needs to be severed! There’s things that can do that, red coins and other purifying magic-changing things, we just need to find some! I’d rather she doesn’t have to join Beacon, but, if we go to the Sanctuary there’s got to be options!’ Deni reports, looking hopeful indeed.

‘… Ah, yeah, Penny definitely has those,’ Eli reports, slight smirk on her lips, looking towards Janet. ‘Mariette kind of delivered them to her… on your request,’ Eli said, looking towards Janet.

‘Oh, really!?’ Deni looked impressed.

While she was listening to the conversation as it bounced back and forth she rummaged through her backpack. Eli spilling that Janet had been in contact didn’t elicit a direct response. Instead she pulled out one of the potions Deni had heard of, a Red coin, and a White coin. She set them down on a nearby table. ”There are a few things to explain with these. Especially since you are twins. The potion will purify you and you will no longer be a monster girl. We haven’t ever tested it with a Twinned Soul but both of you should need to take half. You two are different right now so I’m not sure if that might do anything.” Her hand had been on the potion before moving to the Red coin.

”The Red coin can change some or all aspects of your magic. You will both need to use it and depending on how much you choose to change it can join your soul back together and you both will become a single girl.”

Moving on to the last. ”As you said, with the White coin you will be joined into Beacon. Eli will be purified and no longer be a monster girl. You will both still need to use it so that will induct both of you. I understand if you’re hesitant to choose this one but it will also grant you the protective power of the ShineSpark. Asengav and others will not be able to affect your mind or soul so long as you possess it.”

They both watched Janet pick up the things… ‘Oh, you already got the things for us!? Aw, you’re so sweet~!’ Deni said, beaming at her.

‘Uh. How much are we going to owe you?’ Eli asked automatically, her more cautious mind interjecting.

They listened to Janet’s explanation, both focused as they went through the items, and…

‘We definitely want to remain two,’ Deni asserted confidently. ‘I don’t know if there’s that much about ourselves we want to change. Maybe Red Coin and only change the patron?’ she suggested, looking towards Eli.

‘Eeh. We’re pretty recognizable like this. We may want to change what we look like, if Mariette comes looking for us,’ Eli replied, looking over at Deni. ‘A camera might have seen you saving me. Then they’re definitely coming for you.’

‘Ahahaha, I can pick how I want to look. It’s you we’re thinking about. Want to remain a monster girl?’ Deni asked.

‘Not if you’re not one,’ Eli said, beaming a bit at Deni. Deni blushed the slightest and smiled.

‘Right. I don’t want us tied to Beacon. No offense, but we just served a really bad master for a long time, I’d like us to remain unattached for a while~’ Deni said, smiling to Janet.

‘Maybe the potion will do, then?’ Eli suggested. ‘If all we want is to make me not a monster anymore and sever my attachment to Asengav, isn’t that exactly what it does?’

‘Assuming no nasty side-effects because twins~’ Deni followed up with a grin.

Nodding in answer to the question Janet smiled. ”Yes. It can purge the connection to corrupted patrons. Your appearance will necessarily change as you will become a normal magical girl. I don’t anticipate any negative effects. It’s just you two are quite different from one another so I cannot guarantee the exact results.” Couldn’t say she didn’t blame them for not choosing to join Beacon. Going from one extreme to another probably wouldn’t be her first choice either. Well… maybe. Circumstantial. She had been no fan of Father so going back to Beacon had been easy.

‘Alright…’ Eli said, breathing out. ‘Then that should-’

‘Wait,’ Deni interrupted, her eyes suddenly sharp. ‘Waaaaaait, wait wait,’ she insisted, Eli looking over and tilting her head curiously. Deni looked at Eli all excitedly. ‘Maybe, just maybe, this is our chance to game the system!?’

‘Uh.’

‘I’ve been theorizing, and I think someone used one of those Red Coins on me, when I became like this. Thing is, I decided to be smug, and then I could choose everything I wanted about myself. If we talk about this, we can decide how we’d like everything about ourselves. It. Could. Be. Amazing,’ Deni said with extremely focused eyes and the frown of determination towards Eli.

‘…’ Eli looked a little lost, but. ‘Do we have time to think about this?’ she instead asked Janet, providing a little smile though looking (whatever is the expression when anime characters have their eyes go happy but with eyebrows that go in the opposite direction of a frown).

Leaning back a bit Janet seemed to give it a little thought. She really didn't want to leave this to chance. It would also be good to report if she had been able to convert or whatever Mariette's closest allies. Not that she wanted to abuse such terms, but any good news she could deliver would help keep her out of hot water. After a bit she sighed. "I will be staying here for a little while longer in case Mariette decides to show up. Beyond that I will extend the offer but my ability to provide it could end at any time." She got quiet. Well aware that she could get in trouble for, well, just about anything at this point. She stood up and seemed to prepare for the event should the other girl arrive.

‘I… don’t think she will,’ Deni said, sighing a bit. ‘I tried getting her first, but she escaped with the other champions of Asengav. I almost had her, but…’ and she sighed again. ‘Second time’s going to be a lot harder…’

‘Hm. Still, Deni did raise a potentially good point. Let’s take the Red Coin, and see what kind of improvements that could be made, while making sure we stay two,’ she eventually said, looking to Janet. ‘Is that acceptable?’

”Of course.” She paused her work and took up the Red coin. Turning she offered it to them.

Eli sighed a bit as she took it with her slimy wing. It did feel different, knowing this form was made out of the darkness of Asengav. ‘It’s better we use it as soon as possible. Asengav may be able to track me through our connection…’ Who knows how far the powers of an interdimensional horror reached.

‘… Alright, but let’s try having a little fun with it, alright?’ Deni asked, as she grabbed the other end of it with her hand.

‘What’s your definition of fun?’ Eli asked, but giggled a bit. She looked to Janet. ‘… I have something I need to tell you later. All of you, actually. As many of you as possible… a bit later. For now, we’re using this coin,’ Eli said, and Deni nodded.

The two exchanged looks with Janet, and then they held the coin together. Together, they closed their eyes, and, with a slight glow…
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Sanctuary - Entrance

GM @Ariamis | Mint Agents @Flamelord | Sanctuary @Shifter_Master | Dina @AtomicNut | Oros @BrokenPromise

Dina’s eyes stood still for a second, trying to process the chaos she had been immersed in. The Sanctuary was in disarray, and people were going everywhere. The backlash from her Power of Friendship told her it was looking pretty dire at the moment. A voice seemed to stand out from above most, that of the gardener she had met earlier.

“I’ll handle the sludge.” Dina said curtly, as she began to trace back the cause of such exotic waste to pour into Sanctuary’s inner sanctum. A couple of panicked, yet still loyal catmaids clung on to Dina, their eyes watery.

“Mistress, what do we do?” They said, completely in confusion.

“Help me trying to get the sludge off here, try to fetch some gear, as soon as possible. Also avoid any combatants.” Dina said, as she kept pressing on, before saying in a sharp voice.

“Ruler’s Menagerie: Stymphalian birds!” She beckoned, manifesting the dreaded birds of bronze beaks and pinions who could sunder armor and whose very dung was poisonous. “Seek and harass any intruder you find!” She commanded, fully aware that whoever had orchestrated this would not be stopped by ugly mythological birds.

Her eyes now rested on the entrance. It was key that it had to be cleared, as some people apparently had unsuccessfully tried to exit through there. Her brow furrowed upon seeing the scene. Her tail was swishing from one side to the other non stop, as her fists clenched, manifesting a weapon. Her Cat’s Cradle.

“What is the meaning of this?” She demanded as she raised some barriers attempting to create a dam against the toxic waste.

The front gate to Sanctuary wasn’t holding.

Adamantium claws cut through the metal door like a scythe harvesting wheat. Oros had already cut an opening, and now that the magic waste was funneling in, she was about to make the hole a lot bigger.

”Berzerker Barrage!”

Each fury enhanced swing reamed out the hole a little more, allowing more and more of the questionable substance inside. It slammed against the barrier and surged against the walls. It would only be a matter of time before it overtook the barrier.

One of the stymphalian birds spotted Oros and flew closer to her, talons and beak ready to dig into its prey. The wild magical girl looked away from the gate she was opening and spit some water at the creature’s eye. With the creature bamboozled, Oros leapt away from the door and cut through the bird’s neck in a single swipe. ”Another one for the bestiary!”

”Do my eyes deceive me?” Oros waded closer to the barriers. ”Did you come back from wherever you were just to play with me? Or did I wake you from your nap… Dina?”

Warped in with the other crap from the Overcity, Melisa fell and plopped into the toxic waste. While she was light, she had no buoyancy whatsoever and sank straight to the bottom. This didn't quite register at first though as she went into shock, the swirling magical energies assaulting her metallic body and manifesting in unpredictable ways.

Two such effects had noticeable results. Her vision, which had been obscured by the toxins, began to clear and soon she could see perfectly fine through the liquid and dimly lit space. The second thing was the pink flame inside her core shifted into pink shaded vines and twigs. It wasn't something she noticed immediately, but as she stood up she could see small seedlings begin to sprout on the outside of her body and vines began to reach and twist out of her chest. Thankfully it wasn't Trixy level speeds of growth and she scraped off the initial sprouts.

Finding that the level of the toxins was higher than she was tall her movement was much slower. She could see that Oros was trashing the gate and letting the stuff pour into the spaces below. At first she panicked and tried to yell but of course that doesn't work underwater. Pausing and thinking more like a magical girl her eyes darted around. This building was practically made of metal. Taking her cannons she pointed them in Oros direction once again and fired. They flowed by the attacking girl and hit the door several times.

The gates that Oros had been mincing began to creak and bend. Not inward as they had when being struck, but folding back and mending in place. Shooting at another nearby building pieces of it began to come to life and began breaking apart. The metal objects moved to converge on Oros to entangle her.

Dina’s ears twitched slightly as she threw yet another barrier, raising the dam according to the level of sludge. Her eyes rested on the maniac marauder. She knew her. Her Power of Friendship was having some sort of reaction. This strange foe was possibly elated to see her. She had to try something.

“You have advantage over me, stranger, but magic works in queer ways. Playing with you seems a fitting proposal, and yet, one must be assured that the playground is clean. Would you be so kind of removing this… grime? If you do, I will play with you. I will even have tea with you, and share many words, as perhaps, once upon a time, we were acquainted.” Dina said, focusing her Power of Friendship and Reinforcement to boost this statement. She also had noticed the girl had some… beastly qualities. So she threw some Beast coercion too.

”You serious? This isn’t typically what happens when we meet.” Oros scratched the top of her head. ”Though I’m gunna be honest, I’m a sucker for well mannered bread boards.” She grinned. ”Why the hell not? I’ll get all of this shit out of here before you can scream my name at the top of your lungs!”

Oros jumped to the halfway point between the front gate and Dina’s barriers. ”Alright! Let’s get as clean as a whistle!” She dug the adamantium claws into the floor and cut the floor open, causing the ceiling of the floor below to fall and crush whatever was unfortunate enough to be under it. Shortly afterwards, the magical waste was draining to the floors below, reducing the level of sludge at the present level.

”It’s like they say about employment, The boss looks down and sees nothing but shit, the workers look up and see nothing but ass holes! And speaking of ass holes…” She reached her hand towards the hole in the door, and with a tug, Melisa was pulled past the gate and into Sanctuary. The flow of the magic waste helped drag her closer to Oros. ”Can’t you see we’re trying to save all those innocent civilians outside? Go open up a hole on the lower level! We gotta drain this stuff as fast as possible!” Oros opened her hand to try and catch the incoming doll. ”Don’t you worry, sweet pea!” She looked at Dina and winked. ”We’ll have all this shit at the lowest level in no time!”

At the very least, the top most floor looked like it would be safe.

Melisa didn't make it far past the gate as all the metal objects she'd thrown in that direction caught their master. Her head was just visible out of the spray coming through. "Protect the- You're the one that brought this stuff here!"

”Zip and shush!”

Instead of Melisa, Oros outstretched hand was met by writhing metal that shot out and attempted to wrap itself around her arm and as many of the girl's limbs as it could to pull her back out.

“What have you done…” Dina whispered, aghast and livid, at the action to unfold. She had underestimated the sociopathy of this freak, who had then proceeded to comply with her command in one of the most horrific ways possible, just to make a joke. “Do you think this reality is a game for you to plunder?”

Multiverse theory was a bitch. One of her grandsons had always been the science fiction nerd. How many Dinas this creature had tormented for sick amusement? That casually made statement suggested a routine of meeting several Dinas. However, at least she was not alone. There was another, the doll monster girl. Was it Melisa?

“Melisa, be a dear and hold her off!” Dina sharply remarked as she focused, a sharp pain on her forehead heralded the appearance of a single horn with a screw pattern. Dina flared her beast magic to the max, before deploying her reinforcement magic as well, jumping, -no- diving into the waste.

“Cleanse!” She said out loud as she combined the magic of the unicorn horn and her own reinforcement magic while she went further into the sludge, and eventually the hole, to cleanse all the toxic muck.

Oros did not seem to have what it took to free themselves from their metal cage. Melisa had little difficulty entangling Oros and pulling her towards the opening, even if it was just her legs. Her arms were swinging at everything that moved, and her claws seemed to cut through just about anything. But as Melisa dragged the girl towards the gate, she’d notice that Oros was moving much faster than she should have been. Almost as if gravity was conspiring to help move Oros in her direction as fast as possible. Because of course it was.

A tentacle popped out of the ground, right under Oros’s back. This forced her into the air, where she grew two more arms. Her borrowed flaming blade and black katana appeared in her extra hands, seconds before she arrived at Melisa’s location. With all of Oros’s weapons brought to bear, she…lowered one of her hands onto Melisa’s head.

”Sup.”

Oros lifted Melisa off the ground. The maniac didn’t wear an elated grin or anything one might associate with a crazy person. Her eyes were half closed, and her brow was scrunched together. ”I just want you to know that I have no problem putting you on respawn right now. But that also seems kind of like a shame since you’re turning into a bonsai plant.” She rested the claws on her other hand against the makeshift barrier the doll had erected. ”But do you smell that? That stench? There’s a Mint agent around here, and I need to meet with them.” She sniffed the air. ”Come to think of it, I think I smelled them a bit when I took everyone to the magic ball pit that nobody but I wanted to play in. It’s not you, is it?” Her claw split the barrier in half, and the magical waste flooded in again. ”Nah, it has to be one of those other two. I bet they’re hiding further down. Things is, there’s a rainbow shitting unicorn down there now. Can’t just let my remaining hookah water get tarnished by Dina.” She sighed. ”Wait! I bet Dina is testing me. She’ll give me another chance if she can see how great I am with kids! Okay, what’s something cool I can say before I do it? Perhaps…”



The hole in the gate that Melisa was trying to keep shut had finally been sealed off. One of Oros’s legs swelled and crystallized, blocking the gate entirely. Even though no more waste would leak inside, it was still interfacing with Oros’s body. This was not the end of her grotesque metamorphosis. Her flesh bulged and stretched, like her skin was nothing more than a piece of cloth trying to hide . Her shoulder blades turned into rows of talons, The pit of her neck turned into a maw filled with jagged teeth, she sprouted more limbs, more tentacles, it was easier to just write Oros off as an abomination. Her new shape wasn’t comparable to a human. The misshaped blob had none of the features the magical girl once had. Save for her face, which was attached to a tentacle rising out of the top of the mass. Melisa’s body was being wound up in ribbons of flesh, attempting to bind her arms and legs to its massive form.

When Oros had put her claws against the door Melisa tried shooting at the hand. The bullets bounced off the claws or failed to penetrate the Tough Skin. To be honest, she wasn't really sure what to do here. She'd been told to hold Oros off. At the moment she wasn't doing that so much as distracting her so... Same thing? Melisa didn't really have a clue what Oros was rambling on about but the doll answered "No." a couple times when she asked about smelling things.

It seemed to Melisa that Oros didn't want Dina messing with the makeshift reservoir of whatever they'd brought with them. At the moment she didn't have a lot with her that she could use that wasn't already shredded. When Oros began to shift though the gate partly scrunched up like an accordian to one side, pulling the crystal leg with it. Water began flowing back in to be purified by Dina below. Melisa's arms rotated around and she just started firing wildly to snag any piece of metal off adjacent buildings she could despite being unable to see.

Most of Oros shifted, save the Adamantium claws that Melisa had struck which broke free from the liquifying flesh and flew to Melisa. They didn't seem to do anything just yet but she clearly had taken possession of them. The buildings outside groaned and creaked as parts of the structure were working their way free. The girl didn't yet have a whole lot of answers to being wrapped up by the flesh. In fact it had been a little bit since she last dealt with the plants growing on her and the vines were also starting to wind around her.

Dina heaved, and her breath became ragged as she continued to purify what amount of water had trickled in, seeing the carnage the actions of this interloper had caused. Her eyes rested on the immobile shape of one of the cat-maids, crushed under debris, while another one, with one eye full of blood and a crushed arm, was trying to pitifully make her move frantically. Even if her arm seemed more minced meat than an actual arm.

Her heart sank even more upon seeing the image, yet the fear of battle she once had, and indeed the fear of death she had been feeling, was slowly but surely replaced by an ice cold fury. She was not the best warrior magical girl by any shot, but right now, she was the only one besides Melisa who could stop the maniac, their forces spread thin.

She gritted her teeth. Where did Penny go? They could sure use her strong-arm approach right now! Even if she was pro Beacon…

Then it clicked.

The purification vials that had been set aside on a table on the first floor. She slung her Cat’s Cradle with determination, gaining enough leverage, and with her cat-like spine, having little trouble to reach the first level again.

Apparently now there was a tumorous burrito fused to Melisa that she could have sworn had been cooked in one of the Red Army’s kitchen. Dina’s gaze was oddly glazed and detached, as if her hesitation and fear had been washed away by a cold unrelenting Russian winter.

She made no further admonishment or sound, merely stared for a brief moment, her tail swishing and ears twitching, before turning her attention and pouncing onto the nearby purification potion table, to get a couple of vials.

“Necessitas etiam timidos fortes facit.” She whispered. “Hen to Pan…”

The Avatar markings and clothes enveloped her.

Unfortunately, it appeared Oros’s “no kill clause” only lasted as long as Melisa adhered to the unspoken rule that she couldn’t interfere with what Oros was doing. The windings of flesh soon attempted to coil around Melisa whole, swarming around her head and torso. They were no longer aiming to just bind her, either. They were going to crush her. Melisa had pretty average durability as far as monster girls were concerned, but Oros’s strength was massive. The doll’s limbs were cracking, one of her ankles shattered under the pressure being applied to it, all with the key to her release hovering just out of reach. The pool fist hovered just out of reach, with Oros’s gravity magic fighting Melisa’s metal magic. But the fight ended when Oros slipped one of her fifteen arms inside the gauntlet, and pulled the claw deep into its girth.

As soon as Dina pounced on the table, tentacles would pop out of the ground from every side and attempt to bind her to the ground.

”You’re not running are you?” Oros’s sword arms hovered high above Dina. The arms holding her blades had become swollen with muscles. They were even appearing outside of her skin. ”But I agree, I’m getting tired of this dungeon too. I think it’s about time I fueled up again anyway.” Once again, the area around Oros’s massive body started to darken. She was preparing to shift again.

Unlike most Oros had attempted to crush, Melisa did not cry out in pain. She was however terrified as her body was being broken and let out a muffled screamed. Being mashed to the size of a fist probably wasn't the worst way to go but she really had no idea how or if she could recover from such. Perhaps she would get the chance to find out as threads shot through the ball of flesh and attached to the doll. A tug ripped the near lifeless form from the monster girl's grip, tearing through the layers of flesh like paper.



Whipping up and away the doll landed limply in the arms of a blue eyed little girl. She had a pleasant smile despite having to step in to retrieve her play thing. She held the doll up and examined her, humming to the tune. "Oooh you poor thing. And here I hoped you'd found a new friend." Suddenly stopping, she pretended to hear something and lifted Melisa's head to her own ear. "Mhm, mhm. Oh that's a wonderful idea!" The girl giggled and the side of the building that had been rattling blew apart. Sheet metal, a couple beams, and a light pole came hurdling in the direction of the entrance.

As Dina was entering into her Avatar state she found herself becoming attuned to all of the metal Melisa had enchanted with her Metal and Spirit magic. This included all of the flecks and shredded metal strewn about. For this metal alone she could manipulate and issue it mental commands without the need to exert her own mana. The last command Melisa would give was simple Protect Dina. Everything she'd taken surged in obedience and the damaged metal morphed back together to intercept the arms going after the Stray Empress.

Dina’s spine twisted in a fashion that would have broken any other girl’s spine as she saw the tentacles coming for her, putting a hasty barrier before jumping away… and noticing something else holding the offending appendixes. The Empress of Strays broke in yet another pounce at Oros, ready to deliver a slash...except she did not. Instead a barrier placed inside her own heart crushed the muscle, causing massive damage to Dina.

The conditions were met.

Gravity Cancel
Time Stop!

Dina said no words, as she powered through the immense pain and determination to bring herself to an inch of her life in order to grind the entire reality to an halt. She tore muscles, broke bones, but she went on sheer grit towards the goal.

The purification potions were dunked with fury in the newly opened maw of Oros’ neck. Gaining more mouths was sometimes a big mistake. Dina didn’t stop there however, focusing one last time.

Purification! She amped up the Unicorn’s horn until it broke, alongside her reinforcement to boost the effect of the potion.

When time resumed, Dina fell in an awkward position, blood seeping from her mouth, but her gaze of spite on Oros. No words were spoken. She didn’t deserve to even be addressed as such.

Dina could ram potions down Oros’s neck, enforce them, but it was difficult to make the abomination swallow when time couldn’t even tick by.

”Lick lick lick lick lick lick-”

The black aura continued to grow around Oros, while also inching ever closer to Dina. No mere scrap of metal could stand in the way of ultimate evolution.

But for some reason, the abomination stopped on its own.

Pfffffffffffffffft~

Holes started to open up all over the abomination, and red steam blasted out of its every crevice. Soon the entire monster was covered in a cloud of red smoke. Though Dina would not have to wait long to see what was left of the creature inside.

That was when Oros stumbled out of the cloud, seemingly purified of her condition. Her eyes had turned a soft green, and her outfit had taken on a less corrupted look. While still undoubtedly revealing, her miko outfit had taken on the appearance of a bright red jacket and hot pants.

Oros looked at her trembling hands. Her wide eyed expression clearly displayed her shock. Though few knew what was actually going on in her head, and the usually mouthy woman had yet to say a single word. But her starstruck look didn’t last forever. Her eyes focused, her lips curled into a scowl, and she rose to her feet again. She had been purified, not beaten.

Once she got to Dina’s side, she kneeled beside the woman. Her eyes trailed over her broken form. With a groan, she laid her left hand on Dina’s stomach. While water magic wasn’t the most potent healing, it was all Oros could offer her former lover in a long forgotten world.

The little girl watched curiously as the monster burst and very shortly a drastically changed girl stepped out. Gasping out loud and eyes sparkling she held the limp doll up to see. "Woooow! Look Melisa, isn't she adorable?" The childlike patron whimsically danced a bit and called over a small portion of metal to start repairing the damaged figurine. Other than marveling at Oros' change she didn't seem concerned at all with anything else going on.

Dina’s gaze seemed steely, but the resolution was quickly waning in her. If she could she would be sobbing and crying in a fetal position. She wanted to live! She could not stand dying! She would forget who she would even be!

Yet, even if someone truly fervently wished something, did not mean it would come to pass. She desperately tried to knit together what was left of her own heart with Reinforcement. It was no use… She was likely going to die here.

At least they would never find out how ungraceful her last thoughts would be.

And then something happened. The… purified opponent began to heal her? Dina’s cold gaze of hatred seemed to shatter at once, as she stood wide eyed at her benefactor, the former callous foe. She shuddered, trying to move, and utter something.

“Wh---why?” She said weakly. She had half a mind she’d be swatted or kicked.

Oros continued to focus on healing Dina. For a moment it seemed like she was ignoring her. But she did finally speak.

”I don’t know, Dina. I’ve seen this world die too many times to care about what makes sense anymore.” She didn’t take her eyes off of Dina’s face. ”I’ve watched my family die, you die, Penrose claimed by flames taller than the clouds, and then monsters eat up the remains until only dirt and stone remain. I’ve watched it happen so many times I’ve become numb to it.” She inhaled. ”Numb to everything. I never thought I would miss the cool autumn breeze, the warmth of the sun, the softness of my pillow. Even food didn’t do it for me anymore. You know what I’ve been doing? Fighting and fucking. That’s what my life has been.” With a sigh, she closed her eyes. ”However.” Oros smiled. ”I’m not too surprised with this outcome. I mean yea, if I die, it’s usually Penny who kills me and shit. But she’s been on a bit of a losing streak recently. Of the hundred, no, thousands of times I’ve experienced this reality, you are the one person I’ve never been able to kill.”
The Empress of Strays looked at the whole tale of the marauder. Apparently the purification had brought some sense of self. Dina could no longer hate this person, nor have killing intent towards her. She felt sympathetic towards her foe.

Dina shuddered a bit more, her broken limb managing to stir due to force of will, as she brushed it against Oros’ cheek, still leaving a bloody handprint on her. “It feels as if you don’t have a home anymore, is it not?” Dina said, managing to get a bit more of strength. “It’s okay, sweetie.” She said in a wizened, old tone, finally letting go her actual age speaking for herself. “...in these times, all you need to know is that home is where your heart actually is. But you forgot. Good thing you remembered.” Dina said, before choking on some blood, causing her to cough. “You have granted me mercy, and I shall not forget about this. Yet I am greedy.” Dina said.

“Please spare these girls, who have lost everything too. I’m just an old woman.” Dina finally admitted, as the exhaustion was getting the better of her.

Oros didn’t respond to Dina, and instead focused on mending her heart back together. It wouldn’t matter, as she was on the verge of losing consciousness.

By the time Oros was satisfied with her healing job, Dina had passed out. She looked over her handiwork. The feline woman’s rising stomach was evidence that she was breathing normally.

”Damn, Mika has no idea what she’s missing out on.”

She leaned over the woman, her lips hovering a few inches over Dina’s. And then… she pressed her forehead against hers. There was a soft glow as Oros transferred some of her memories over to Dina via memory link. It was something she used to be able to do after using the red coin, but hadn’t been able to do it since she became a monster.

Once she was done, Oros kissed Dina’s temple before rising to her feet again and walking towards the exit. The cheerful little girl had almost finished repairing the gate, but Oros swiftly cut an additional hole just big enough for herself before leaving Sanctuary.

The patron casually picked vines and twigs off her creation. Skipping up to Dina the little girl set the doll down in front of the cat girl. Melisa's body hadn't fully repaired but she had all the components for her own magic to finish the job. "Keep the kitty safe okay?" The threads came loose from Melisa and the patron stepped away.

Coming to a moment later the tiny girl took back possession of the metal she'd relinquished. Even though she had been out she had a vague recollection of what had happened. Drawing the metal to her some of it went to Dina to brace her body and prevent any further internal damage. She didn't really have any kind of proper healing. For now she surrounded herself and Dina with metal, shaping it to look like a crate. Someone she recognized would come along eventually.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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E R A S V R E


”It has been done, Samantha.”

Veronica and Silhouette drifted through darkness. There was no light to see by, no world to enforce gravity on the two. Time itself may have even stood still in this place. If there was something that did fill this void, it was air. It was a bit cooler than Mariette’s dimension, but Veronica didn’t seem to mind.

Unlike most, these two cradle agents had the ability to see through darkness. Samantha could see all manner of things floating around them. Weapons, artifacts, military gear, housing, an assortment of items both practical and not. The walls, ceiling, and floor had too much stuff floating in the way to be visible. Perhaps there were none.

”You may release Justine now. She will not harm anyone else ever again.”

Samantha didn’t want to hold onto the corpse any longer than she had to, so she didn’t hesitate to release it. The body seemed to float just as they did. Sam then gazed around at the multitude of objects, a bit envious at the convenience something like this place must have provided. “Do you intend to keep her here?” Sam asked. Didn’t seem like a place they’d have to worry about being compromised, at any rate.

”Of course. You know where this is, right?” Veronica looked around herself. ”This is what the inside of the cradle looks like. It could be likened to a hammerspace. Everything that goes inside it is locked into stasis until I will it to my hand or a nearby shadow.” She smiled. ”It is a powerful weapon, but that’s not really what makes it so valuable to me.” She opened her hand, and a cursed spear flew into her hand. ”When you kill a magical girl, the process of reincarnation starts. Maybe a decade or so down the line, they get to be reincarnated. Their weapons, outfit, everything fades from this world. And this process just keeps going forever and ever. You can’t really ever get rid of a magical girl permanently. They are effectively immortal… until I came around.”

Suddenly, the debris moved aside to reveal more magical girls. Hundreds of them, their faces twisted in agony or horror, frozen in stasis.

”If Justine’s dying body remains here, how long do you suppose it will be before she can return?”

It was an unnerving sight to see, but Samantha didn’t look very surprised. Veronica had weapons to loan and it only made sense something like this was what made it possible. She emotionlessly glanced at the twisted features of the girls, then answered. “There’s no mana requirement? If so, I imagine indefinitely,” Something about this piqued Sam’s curiosity. “So you take your weapons from the people you have here? Why are they imperfect?”

”Most hammer spaces can’t even take living things inside of themselves. As a dark power, there were bound to be drawbacks to leaving things here too long.” She spun the spear before letting it float out of her hand. ”Over the course of time, anything left in here will be saturated with dark magic. This is what imparts such unique properties on cradle gear. It’s not quite the same as magical girl corruption, as the effects saturate everything. Weapons and artifacts are not spared its effects.” Veronica sighed. ”Or maybe the girls themselves are reacting to me using their gear. As my eternal prisoners, their last act of defiance is tarnishing their tools. Perhaps it's done in a last ditch effort to rebel against their jailer. I am not Binky, so I don’t truly know. I have tried to keep as many eyes off of the cradle for as long as I could. You are one of the few people who has ever seen it.”

Samantha seemed happy upon Veronica mentioning it was a secret shown to few. She tried not to let it reflect on her face, however, as she felt it weird and immature to get excited over that. She wasn't some kid!

With a motion of her hand, the magical girls were hidden from sight again, ”As sinister as it is, it’s also romantic in a way, isn’t it?”

Veronica's statement prompted Sam to look around again. "Romantic?" she repeated. While she felt like that might not be the case with other people, Sam really was ignorant with these things. She just assumed she was missing something if Veronica thought so. "I wouldn't really know... but it is quiet. And I could see it being a nice retreat, kinda like those dimensional homes some girls have," this was ignoring the suffering in the background. Oh, and the fact that since she hadn't exactly adjusted to the 'low-grav' situation, Sam had to resist the urge to ‘swim’ to keep afloat. But aside from those…

”Yes, yes I think so too.” She pulled Samantha closer. ”So how are you and Trixy doing? Still holding up well?”

Samantha nodded. "I am fine. I wasn't attacked directly, nor did I expend much energy," She sounded a bit disappointed about this though. "As for Trixy, wouldn't it be better to ask her?" she closed her eyes. "I don't recall any serious damage done to her."

Veronica squinted her eyes. ”I mean your relationship.”

"O-oh..." Sam briefly recalled a few moments she had shared with Trixy. "I can't say for certain, but I believe things are going well." As far as Samantha could tell, Trixy seemed to be enjoying herself. And she couldn't say she disliked that. "Why bring this up? Did she say something?" Sam almost seemed worried.

”Well.” Veronica looked away. ”She’s been thinking some things, but it’s probably not worth bringing up.”

"What sort of things?" Sam found herself asking the question before she could think. It was an embarrassingly-impulsive reaction that made her blush a bit. "Oh, uh, that's kinda private, forget I said anything..."

The former cradle mother snorted. ”Sam, I didn’t tell you why I left. It’s true it was to have Binky perform a surgery on me. Viridian simply took my place temporarily. But there was another reason why I decided it was necessary to split myself into two different people.” She looked into Sil’s eyes. ”I didn’t think I could be an effective leader if I got to know you all so intimately. So we traded memories to make sure things didn’t get too personal. One of us would be equipped with the important memories of the agents. Things like your abilities and what you do best. The other would have all the useless ones. Your daily lives, what you ate the other day, the last time you saw Trixy, that sort of thing. What do you think about that?”

Sam kept eye contact with Veronica, but she didn't know what to think. "I don't know what to think." It honestly confused her. "I'm honestly a bit confused. You did all of this and just gave away the Cradle, after all..."

”Under the circumstances, it was the only way I could claim Justine while protecting the rest of you.” She narrowed her eyes. ”Sam, what I was saying was that Viridian was the one who was set up to lead. She had all of your combat data while I held onto the memories of each of you. I was overcome with emotion and acted irrationally in the situation. I’m not sure what I am to you, but you are more than an agent to me. All of you are. Your deaths might only last a decade or so, but the Cradle was worth it. Even if it wasn’t necessary, and even if it was futile, my ambitions were not worth more than your lives.” Veronica lowered her head. ”I failed you all, and I am sorry.”

Sam rested a hand on Veronica's shoulder. "We're not the Mint, so the expectation is NOT to treat us as expendable," she stated. "I was sure that's part of the reason you started the Cradle in the first place. Why we have a damned Glimmr page you made me keep tabs on." Sam was somewhat irritated at Veronica from the tone of her voice. "Not even I want..." Sam's eyes widened when she realized what she was about to say. "...I don't want any of us to die," She didn't even have a particularly good relationship with the other Cradle agents, either. "...It's nothing to apologize for. And, uh... well, I can't say I think of you as just an employer... but, like I've said, these I'm terrible with things..."

”It’s less that anyone was expendable and that Viridian wouldn’t have been as impulsive as me. Or at least she shouldn’t have been, but while she has only the memories I gave her, she is still her own person with her own personality. Perhaps she felt I would make the right choice in the end, hence why I was summoned.” Veronica lifted her head and pulled Samatha into a hug. ”Regardless, Maura treats her girls very well. I doubt she will handle the cradle any differently. We also share in our hate for Mint and Beacon, she only chooses to describe these feelings as ‘those who upset the balance.’ I do need to have a conversation with her at some point.” Veronica and Samantha’s faces were inches apart. ”We can talk about that later. Right now while we’re alone, while you can still hear my voice outside of your head, I’d like to tell you something else.” Veronica leaned closer. ”Our future.”

That was when a hole opened in this cold, dark space, and light poured in. The cradle agent and her former employer were drawn towards the hole and shot out of the cradle. Samantha landed on her back and the two slid a few feet through the sand, causing a sand pillow to form behind her head. Veronica was just as close as before but something else had changed beside their surroundings.

They were both wearing swimsuits.

”Howdy y’all!” Viridian waved to them, dressed in a swimsuit herself. ”We all made it out, safe and sound!”

”Waaaaaah~~~<3” Trixy was also in a swimsuit while making… a very strange face. She had her hands pressed together and practically bounding to her position. Veronica was about to get off of Samantha when Trixy’s hand stopped her from rising all the way. ”Were you guys doing something? Don’t let me interrupt!”

”Hm?” Veronica blinked. ”Yes, I was talking to Sam, and I wanted to be really close to make sure she heard and understood me.”

The Cradle's idol went to push Veronica up so she could move out from under her, but accidentally groped her instead so she abandoned the idea. "!" Samantha was embarrassed by this, her face flushed a deep red. "S-sorry." It didn't help that being in a swimsuit was clearly a weakness of sorts for her, and being so close to Veronica in one, particularly in front of Trixy, made retaining composure difficult. "Y-yeah..." she looked away to hide her shame. "...a-as you were saying...?"

”Waaaaaah~~~<3 Sam! You just, took hold of Veronica, and, and…!”

”Sam!” Veronica’s eyes were wide open. ”J-just let me get off of you! There’s no reason to assist!”

Trixy’s eyes rolled into her head, and she fell backwards. This caused the three girls to collapse into a big dog pile.

Viridian turned from the spectacle to address Jenna. ”Don’t worry yourself about Justine, buttercup. She’s as done as toast with an egg sunny side up, ya hear? Biscuits and gravy straight off the stove top is what she is!”

No swimsuit pics because you fuckers are way too horny.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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H A P P I N E S S, S E R E N I T Y, H A R M O N Y


Su did not care how ridiculous she looked with her head bandaged up so tightly. Nor did she care that her body was on display in a revealing swimsuit. The heat didn’t phase her, nor did her life threatening injuries. While Helga had to guide her, Su was able to walk unassisted to her location. It wasn’t hard to pick out the voice of the one she wanted to see.

“Mariette?” Su approached the portal witch. “You said you wanted to talk to me after the battle. I’m here now.” After examining her for a moment, it became obvious that something was wrong with Mariette. Her face looked pained, which was nothing Su had ever witnessed before. “Is something the matter?”

Mariette held fast as Hilaria told her Eli had been taken away. She thought back to what little she’d seen. The enemies present at the time… had only been the little samurai and the pink girl (MDP) over there. Except MDP was here now, so she couldn’t have been the one. There was only… Except, the samurai had been one of her allies on the other side? She was part of Crimson Cradle, and had even been given a key…

Then something spoke into her mind. Not that she knew, because all she heard was some vague words that happened to include “Eli”, “safe” and “Djinn Sisters”. Mariette spun around, visible eye wide, trying to find who had spoken, but only found Su, who had approached her. Indeed, Mariette looked a bit pained and quite frightened, hands on her chest. Su spoke to her, but…

‘I-I… I just… wanted to catch up… but Eli… someone took Eli, but…’ Mariette pants, looking past the bandaged Su for whoever could have spoken. After all, few here would know the connection between the Djinn Sisters and Mariette. They’d specifically avoided the connection for the sake of protecting them from the rest of Asengav’s champions. The ones that would know would be… those present in the restaurant that day. Su, Alexander, Lily… okay, then potentially anyone could know if they spoke… but if the samurai somehow knew the Djinn Sisters were their friends, then…

Mariette spun back to Hilaria. ‘Who was it that took her? How did they look?’ she asked, serious.

Helga was surprised by Mariette’s claim, and winced. “Oh, that’s bad. I didn’t even notice that she was gone by the time we ran out of there.” She turned to Su with a worried look on her face. “You have any idea what happened there, Su?”

“The last thing I remember was diving off the roof to stop Beacon’s advance. I didn’t see anything from the side of the mansion, or when you carried me away.” She looked to Hilaria.

"Hilaria saw her clearly~!" She exclaimed. "She was very small and cute with her little katana~!" she looked towards the frantic portal witch with a smile and pointed. "Hilaria thinks you should know the one~ Lillers went for the Hail Mariette straight towards her but she ignored it and went for Eli~"

“Hail Mariette? That’s a good one,” Helga commented with a giggle, and afterwards sheepishly smiled. “I think Hilaria’s referring to the little samurai girl. I wonder what her deal was?”

It was the small samurai. The one they call Ronin. That meant a member of Crimson Cradle had picked Eli up. Perhaps it had been a spur-of-the-moment thing seeing how Eli had been left behind and Overcity Shift? If so, Mariette needed to exit this dimension immediately… and just as she raised a hand to open a portal, she remembered that she couldn’t. Still, if she thought about it some more, why would Lily throw her at Ronin, then? If she knew Ronin was on their side, just saying it would have sufficed. She needed to talk to Lily…

‘… Thank you, Hilaria. For everything, today. If you ever need help with something, I owe it to you to help you,’ Mariette said, having calmed down… just a little. Hilaria nodded in response. More things were pointing to Eli being safe, now. She turned to Su and Helga.

‘The same goes for the two of you. Thank you, so much,’ she said, her intense distrust of Helga having lessened considerably now. She needed to go to the Djinn Sisters… but for some reason, she was afraid of going alone. Like, if it somehow had been a mental trap? But, she couldn’t take any of the Champions of Asengav to meet the Djinn Sisters, so… ‘… Would you two consider helping with one more thing for me? Back in Penrose. I… can’t talk about it here…’ she said, averting her gaze somewhat, highly aware of her information-girl-in-generic-appearance peering holes in her from only a slight distance. ‘Somewhere private, later?’

“That would be fine.” Su let out an exhausted sigh before looking at her phone. It still had Deni’s text message on it. “I need to get out of here myself.” She folded the phone shut. “We can meet up again at the Golden Trove. Just give me a moment to prepare a room for us.”

“Yeah, that won’t be a problem at all.” Helga also answered with a smile.

Hilaria frowned, seemingly dejected by all the talk of departure. She really wanted to eat a delicious meal with everyone but it looked as though she was going to be disappointed..

‘That’s fine. I have a few more things to take care of here. I’ll be there when I can,’ Mariette said, not mentioning that she actually literally couldn’t leave right now.

“That is acceptable. I should really get back to the hotel though.” Before departing, Su turned to Helga. “Helga, I understand you were one of Mika’s friends. I suppose a lot of people were, actually..” The hotel manager smiled. “I didn’t know how to react to her having switched patrons so suddenly, but I am glad she had you as a comrade. I don’t know if she will return to Penrose any time soon, but I hope you’ll look after her if she ever returns to Penrose.”

Helga took Su’s hand, and slightly rubbed her thumb on the back of her hand. “Of course, Su. When she’s ready to come home, there’s going to be lots of ice cream waiting for her.”

"Mika~? Hilaria has some unfinished business with her~!" Reaching into the depths of her bosom, Hilaria produced a bottle of sunscreen. "Hilaria will make sure she won't succumb to the sun's harmful rays when next she meets Mika~ You make sure to let Hilaria know when she comes back~!"

Su raised an eyebrow, but after some thought, she giggled. Her fingers coiled around Helga’s hand. “That sounds wonderful. I’ll be sure to send her over when she returns.”
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Predictably, MDP was completely oblivious to the various little dramas playing out around her, and so she happily skipped over to Mayra without a care in the world and grabbed her by the hand. “Like, come on, Mayra Wayra~! (giggle!)” MDP said as she dragged the dragon girl over to where her other friends were standing. “There are some people weple over heresie that Magical Dream Princess would just totally wotally wuv to introduce you to~! (giggle!)” Once they arrived, the energetic magical girl began pointing to each girl in turn. “This is Pastel-chan~! But her actual wactual namey waymy is Amanda Wanda~! She’s, like, Magical Dream Princess’s most super duper best friend in the whole wide worldsie~! (giggle!) And this is Connie Wonnie, and her best friend in the whole wide worldsie, Gaia Waia~! (giggle!) And, like, this is Magical Dream Princess’s newest friendy wendy, Mayra Wayra~!” she added, gesturing to the girl in question. “She’s that super duper cool dragony wagony person worsen Magical Dream Princess was telling you about~! (giggle!)”

“H-Hello,” Connie said, waving meekly. “I-It’s n-nice to m-meet you.” She was a little nervous about the fact that MDP’s newest friend was a member of Mariette’s forces, but the draconic girl seemed nice enough. At least, if her big smile was anything to go by.

“It is my pleasure to meet you as well,” Gaia added with a tranquil smile of her own.

"Er, h-hi." Amanda waved, hugging herself when she realized her dress had changed. "Don't worry about them. They're pretty harmless." She told Mayra (and most of Mariette's friends, in fact.), refering to the other three.

Perhaps very oddly, the dragon-girl looked a lot more human right now because beach dimension had transformed her into something more easy on the eyes and a pretty tiny swimsuit, but regardless, she grinned pretty happily as MDP got her to come over. ‘Hiiiii~!’ Mayra waved at them,

She looked over at Amanda with a raised eyebrow at that statement... ‘Harmless, eh? she asked, and then leaned forward to stare at Connie's face for a bit. From probably a bit too close.

‘We got a warning about you. Something about you driving away a whole horde of collobs with a single spell and that we should be wary if you can do that to us, too. Interesting. What can you do that's so harmless~?’ Mayra asked, grinning a bit. She then looked directly over at Gaia.

‘Haha, another plant-girl! But you seem pretty alive compared to Esther's dead-tree thing~’ Mayra commented, then looked super-excited. ‘Ooooh, can you make apples out of nothing!? It'd be really cool if you could!’

“O-Oh, umm…” Connie mumbled as Mayra got a bit too close for her liking and began telling her how she’d been warned about her magic. “T-That’s b-because I-I u-use n-n-nightmare m-magic,” Connie explained. “B-But, I r-really h-hate it!” she hastened to add. “I-It’s s-so m-mean and s-scary… I-I w-wish I could u-use d-dream m-magic like A-Amanda and MDP…”

“It seems like such a cruel trick that my dearest Connie has been forced to make use of such a horrible specialization,” Gaia agreed, placing a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder and giving it a gentle massage. “And yes,” she added with a melodious giggle. “I can certainly make some apples for you, although not exactly out of nothing,” she clarified, as she conjured some seeds in her palm. Green energy swirled around them as she infused the seeds with her magic, and soon the seeds had been transformed into five delicious-looking apples, with a large leafy plant serving as a basket. “Here you go,” she said, offering the botanical basket to Mayra. “Please enjoy them.”

“Aww, Mayra Wayra shouldn’t worry~! Magical Dream Princess’s friendy wendies are, like, total wotal super duper sweethearts~! (giggle!)” MDP told her, while striking a cute pose and making a heart with her hands. “They wouldn’t hurt anybodywody, as long as nobodywody tried to hurt them~!” Then MDP gasped as she suddenly remembered something. “Golly wolly~! Magical Dream Princess totally wotally forgot about Samurai-chan~! But, like, Magical Dream Princess doesn’t see her anywheresie…” Her cute voice trailed off as she began looking around for the diminutive samurai. “Magical Dream Princess was, like, super duper sure she saw her go through the portal wortal…”

“G-Gosh, y-you’re right!” Connie said as she, too, noticed that Ronin was nowhere to be found. “I h-hope s-she’s okay…”

"She probably had another way to escape. Overcity shift, perhaps?" Amanda suggested. Knowing how much of a risk it was for Ronin to be near Mariette, the magician assumed she'd have an alternative escape. "But yeah, Connie isn't as bad as she may seem. Her patron's a bit of an a- Er, a jerk though." she explained, grabbing an apple while watching everyone else enter. Amanda grimaced seeing those unfortunately injured.

But then there was Valerie, who walked off a reasonable hole below her ribcage.

‘Nightmare magic?’ ... Mayra's eyes suddenly shone up. ‘ME! ME! I WANT A NIGHTMARE! I WANT A NIGHTMARE SO I CAN SHOW IT WHO'S BOSS!’ she sounded, raising a hand up high with her face the sheer manifestation of excited curiosity. Clearly, MDP or Amanda didn't exactly need to worry about Mayra worrying.

Then Gaia was able to make apples out of almost nothing with an excited Mayra. ‘Free snacks anytime! You, are, a, GIFT!’ Mayra said and snatched the basket and then leaped forward to hug around Gaia quite excitedly, possibly dropping one of the apples in the basket just because of the speed of that.

Then there was this discussion about Samurai-chan... ‘Ah, the one I saved Mariette from! She was, like, thiiiis close to getting to her, then I snatched her up! Talk about right on time!’ Mayra said, chuckling, not realizing the implications of that. ‘Oh, she was a friend of yours? Eeeh, she's probably fiiine, if she was able to get THAT close to top girl then she's probably strong enough to get away, haha.’

‘So, you use dream magic, too? Like her?’ Mayra asked Amanda, gesturing back at MDP when she did.

Connie was a bit taken aback by Mayra’s sheer enthusiasm about her magic, so it took her a moment to respond to the draconic girl’s request. “R-Really…? Y-You a-actually w-want me to g-give you a n-nightmare…?” she asked with disbelief. “I-I g-guess I c-could, b-but, umm, I d-don’t think I can d-do it h-here…” she told Mayra as she looked at the tropical paradise surrounding them. “S-So, um, m-maybe l-later?”

“Why thank you so very much,” a blushing Gaia told Mayra with a giggle after the monster girl had called her a gift and wrapped her up in a big hug. “And you are more than welcome to partake of Mother Earth’s bounty any time.”

When Mayra addressed Amanda, the magician's brows rose. "Oh, yes! But my magic isn't exactly as extravagant as Dreamy's." She said, taking a bite out of the apple in her hand.

“Awww~! Pastel-chan is, like, sooo super duper modest wodest~! (giggle!)” MDP gushed. “And she’s, like, a super duper smarty warty, too~!” the whimsical magical girl added. “She’s, like, waaaay more focused wocused than Magical Dream Princess~! (giggle!)”

"W-Well of course I have to be focused! If I'm gonna be a mediary of dreams, I must stay vigilant!" Amanda turned to MDP, blushing slightly from the compliments.

‘Later it is!’ Mayra said with a little grin towards Connie. There was an excited nod to what Gaia said as well.

‘Sooooo, we got dreams, nightmares and dreams, plus the girl that can make apples that can totally put people to sleep,’ she claimed, with absolutely no evidence to the last assumption. ‘That's a pretty amusing team, haha,’ Mayra commented, definitely looking amused.

“I suppose when you put it that way, it is somewhat amusing,” Gaia conceded. “And what of your team, Mayra? Do your magical specializations share any thematic elements as well?”

‘Eeeeeeh, nah, we're pretty varied. I mean, our patron specifically picked us across dimensions to accomplish very different goals that he intended for us, we're just all here because Mariette's his darling and she needed protection~’ Mayra said with a grin, taking amusement knowing how angry Lea would have been if she heard that.

‘... Oh, wait! We do have a theme!’ she suddenly realized, slapping a fist into a palm. ‘We all have specific weaknesses! We all share a weakness to lit candles, you knew that already,’ since they'd come with a bunch, ‘but we all also have unique weaknesses that harm us WAY more! Like, Lea's is fire,’ now, anyway, it was iron before but her weakness had to be switched to explain how she could take such a ridiculous amount of damage from what was supposed to be her less damaging bane, ‘and mine is-’

‘SURE! GO AHEAD AND TELL OUR ENEMIES HOW TO DEFEAT US! WE DON'T MIND~!’ Suzette called from a bit of a distance over there, apparently having been listening in. Mayra took the cue, smirked, and... ‘... and yeah! That's a theme!’

"Techically not who you should worry about but okay!!" Amanda yelled back to Suzette. Then her eyes widened and brows furrowed. "And I was just here to make sure everyone escaped safely!!!" She explained, in case she was being concidered an enemy too.

‘NOT YOU, THE OTHER THREE! NOT THAT I HAVE A CLUE WHO YOU ARE!’ Suzette called back, also amused right now.

"Name's Amanda! NICE TO MEET YOU!" The magician replied with a thumbs up. Then looked back to the other four. "Uh...too much?"

“Not at all,” Gaia replied with a melodious giggle. “AND WE ARE NOT YOUR ENEMIES EITHER,” she called to Suzette. “WE ONLY CAME HERE TO HELP SAVE MISS MARIETTE!”

‘AND I'M SUZETTE! HI!’ Suzette yelled back from a bit of a distance, clearly refusing to get closer. Still, then Gaia said her thing... ‘ARE YOU ENTIRELY SURE!? LOOKED AN AWFUL LOT LIKE JOINING THE RAIDING PARTY INTENDED TO KILL HER TO ME!’

‘... Uh,’ Mayra mentally prepared herself to possibly act.

Gaia took a deep breath. This was going to be tricky. She had to convince them that they weren’t enemies, but at the same time, she couldn’t reveal too much about Ronin’s plans. How to proceed? As it happened, she never got the chance to figure that out…

“Like, that’s because we were super duper undercoverwover~! (giggle!)” MDP chirped, while skipping over to Suzette. “Like, Samurai-chan asked us to help her save Mariettey Wetty, but, like, she had to spy on that meanie weanie vampire wampire lady wady, so, like we all had to pretendy wendy to be on her sidey widey~! (giggle!) Oh~! And it’s, like, super duper nice to meet you, Suzettey Wetty~! (giggle!)” she added happily. “Magical Dream Princess’s namey wamey is Magical Dream Princess~! She really hopes we can be super duper good friends~! (giggle!)”

‘... What, you were on our side all along?’ Suzette asked, her eyebrows raised. She then laughed out loud, bending her neck back and laughing out into the air. ‘Whelp, then, sorry about the tentacle monster. And the kobolds and other monsters sent to kill you. And the lava and sonic traps. And all of us unloading our collective magical firepower on you in that ambush. And the-’ she proceeded to have to hold over her stomach as she laughed some more. ‘We really got to plan this better...!’

‘You were all on our side...?’ Ronja asked, tilting her head, the spider-monster girl coming over because she's never far from Suzette. ‘Then, why would Lily, mid-battle, attack our mistress and throw her at the samurai? If it had simply been to kill her then Lily's powerful enough to do that herself, without question, but there was intent in that throw. But if the samurai, too, was one of our allies...?’ Ronja asked, frowning a bit as she considered.

"I don't think it was to kill her." Amanda walked over to Ronja and Suzette. "From what I could tell watching you guys, she was trying to stun Mariette long enough for...uh...'Samurai-Chan' to step in and get her to safety. Both Beacon and Justine wanted her dead, after all." She frowned.

‘Hm, perhaps. I think I'll go ask her myself,’ Ronja told, and has the full intention of walking over towards Lily, wherever she might be at this moment.

“Like, bye bye for nowie, miss spider wider person werson~!” MDP called after Ronja. “And, like, super duper thankie wankies, Pastel-chan~!” she told Amanda while giving her a happy smile. “You’re, like, super duper good at explainy wayning thingie wingies~! (giggle!) Like, if Magical Dream Princess had tried, she would have probably wobably said something she really shouldn’t have by mistakey wakey…”

“Yes, thank you for resolving that so smoothly, Amanda,” Gaia concurred serenely. “Although I imagine such a task was merely second nature for a mediator of dreams such as yourself.”

"Aw, you guys!" Amanda scratched the back of her head, smiling sheepishly. "I just didn't want them to see you as enemies. And you're my friends! Of course I'd back you up!"

‘... RIGHT, THAT'S ENOUGH SERIOUSNESS AND GRATITUDE!’ Mayra suddenly shouted out, skipping in right into the middle of the group. ‘This place is an AMAZING playground! You can play volleyball, build sandcastles, have drinks, OH, AND KEIJO!’ Mayra announced quite excitedly. ‘Come on! Let me show you! Let's go!’ she called, quite intending on grabbing hold of as many arms as she could to pull off to the beach resort.

“Magical Dream Princess would, like, totally wotally wuv to~! (giggle!)” the whimsical magical girl cheered, before swiftly sobering as something occurred to her. “But, um, actually wactually, Magical Dream Princess would kinda winda like to have a private wivate talky walky with Connie Wonnie right nowie… I-If that’s okie dokie with her…”

“O-Oh! Umm… O-Okay…” Connie replied, somewhat unsure of what MDP was planning to talk with her about. “L-Lead the w-way!” she added, giving MDP what she hoped was a happy smile.

“Goody woody~! (giggle!)” MDP cheered as she grabbed Connie’s hand and began to drag her away. “Like, after we’re finished winished, we’ll come backy wacky and have all kinds of funsie wunsie together wether~! (giggle!)” she called to the others as she departed.

“Well then, I suppose it’s just us for the time being,” Gaia observed. “What do you say to getting some refreshments while we wait? We can also plan out what our first activity shall be.”

I just hope their chat does not take too long...
Gaia thought to herself as she eyed the overly enthusiastic Mayra. I do not think Amanda and I have the energy to keep up with Mayra without MDP around to take some of the edge off...




After MDP had dragged her outside, the whimsical magical girl had led Connie to a relatively secluded spot, tucked away amongst the colorful tropical foliage. Once they arrived, both girls took a seat on a small bench.

“Sooo, like, Magical Dream Princess is kinda winda nervous about doing this,” MDP began, her trepidation clear in her voice, “but she really can’t talky walky with you about these thingie wingies when she’s Magical Dream Princess, so, she’s, like, gonna have to trust you with her secret wecret identity wentity, okie dokie?”

“O-Okay,” Connie replied in a stunned whisper, surprised, and a bit honored, that she was being entrusted with something so important. “I-I p-promise I w-won’t let a-anyone know!”

“Like, thankie wankie, Connie Wonnie~! (giggle!)” MDP told her happily. “Magical Dream Princess knows she can trust you, because Connie Wonnie is a super duper sweetie weetie pie~! (giggle!)” she added, giving Connie a big hug. After releasing her, the cheerful magical girl took a deep breath. “Okie dokie~! Magical Dream Princess is gonna go back to normal wormal nowie~!”

There was a bright flash, and the next thing Connie knew, a completely different girl was sitting next to her, one who seemed like the total opposite of the childish and hyperactive MDP.

“You… probably don’t know who I am,” the girl said, blushing slightly, “but you gave my father a series of nightmares over the course of several nights. It was my desire to stop those nightmares, and confront the person responsible, that ultimately led to me becoming Magical Dream Princess.”

“O-Oh m-my g-gosh…” Connie gasped, her body trembling. “I-I’m s-so s-sorry…!”

“It is alright,” Violet told her calmly, while placing a reassuring hand on the frighted girl’s shoulder. “I now realize that it was not your intention to cause harm. You were simply being forced to do it by that horrific Patron of yours. If anything, you are just as much a victim as my father, although I am still perplexed by why the Lord of Nightmares chose to target him.”

“B-But t-that’s n-not t-t-true…” Connie said softly, her tone filled with plaintive remorse. “T-The L-Lord o-of N-N-Nightmares d-doesn’t c-care w-who I g-give n-nightmares to…”

“Then why single my father out?” Violet asked, clearly puzzled by this revelation. “I’ve looked into who you’ve been giving nightmares to, and I found that there was definitely some sort of pattern. Upon learning of your Patron, I simply assumed that it was the one responsible for choosing your targets, but now you mean to tell me that you chose these targets yourself?” the heiress inquired, while casting a skeptical gaze over the still-trembling Connie. “Forgive me, but I have great difficulty believing that someone as kind and timid as you would ever do such a thing.”

“That is because she was not the one who selected your father,” a new voice interrupted. I did.”

“Mia!” Connie gasped at the sound of her friend’s voice.

“You!” Violet exclaimed as Gaia approached them. “I should have known you would be responsible for all this! I had initially intended to give you the benefit of the doubt, but with a name like yours, I was foolish to think you would have been anything other than another one of those insane ecoterrorists that have been plaguing my father’s company for years!”

“Violet Covington…” Gaia noted cooly. “I must admit, you are perhaps the very last person I would have expected to see here. And your father is responsible for untold pain and suffering. It is only right he be made to suffer the consequences in turn. If you could only feel the agony he inflicts on Mother Earth as I do, I am certain you would agree.”

“Superstitious nonsense!” Violet snapped. ]“And tricking such a gentle girl as Connie into aiding your fanatical vendetta… Have you no shame at all?! I thought she was supposed to be your friend!

“She is my friend,” Gaia replied pointedly. “My dearest Connie means more to me than anything else in the universe! I would never do anything that wasn’t for her benefit! Do you know what happens when she doesn’t give enough people nightmares?” the verdant magical girl asked, voice filled with venom. “Her accursed Patron tortures her! It tears my heart to shreds when I see her after that happens… And so, to keep it from happening, I had Connie give nightmares to those who were deserving of them, horrible people who have done horrible things to others. People like your father. Tell me, Miss Covington, do you truly believe your father has done nothing to harm others? Do you, of all people, after all you’ve seen, after where you are right now, do you truly believe what I am saying is merely ‘superstitious nonsense’?”

Violet was silent for a moment. As much as she hated to admit it, Gaia was right. She had indeed seen enough in her short time as a magical girl to know that there was far more to reality than what could be seen with mundane eyes. She also knew, deep down, that her father had regrettably been involved with many things that she had wished he hadn’t, things that, as Magical Dream Princess, she could never condone. The young heiress was about to say as much, when she heard the sound of crying.

“I-I’m s-s-sorry…” Connie whimpered as tears streamed down her cheeks. “P-Please d-don’t f-fight…” she implored plaintively. “T-This is a-all b-because of m-me… I-If I had n-never g-gotten t-these p-powers, n-none of t-this w-would have h-happened…”

“No, Connie,” Violet told her, gently taking one of the girl’s trembling hands into both of her own. “None of this is your fault, please believe that.”

“She is right, little sister,” Gaia agreed, while placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. “You have done nothing wrong, so there is no need for you to apologize for anything.”

“I… I should be the one to apologize…” Violet said after a moment. “What your friend said is correct. My father has done some truly awful things, and I have always chosen to ignore it, or find some way to justify it… Because I loved him, because I admired him, and… and because I wanted him to love and admire me. But I was wrong. I should have acted with greater integrity. I should have said something, should have done something… I’ve been such a shameful coward,” she added softly as she stared at the ground. “But that changes now. As the current head of Covington Industries, I shall see to it that my father’s great failings are corrected. Henceforth, CI shall be a force for positive change in the world. You both have my word on that.”

Both Connie and Gaia were taken aback by the conviction displayed by the heiress’s voice and countenance.

“I believe you,” Gaia said after a moment, a smile beginning to spread across her face. “And you have my thanks, as well as those of Mother Earth.”

“A-And t-thank y-you for b-being so n-nice to me, M-Miss C-Covington,” Connie whispered shakily.

It was clear to see that the poor girl was still very nervous, and Violet gave her a warm smile in an attempt to make her feel more comfortable. “Connie,” she chided gently. “We are friends. There is no need to be so formal. Simply call me Violet.”

“O-Oh…! U-Umm, o-okay, V-Violet!” Connie replied, while doing her best to muster up a smile of her own.

“I believe we have lingered here long enough,” the young heiress observed as she helped Connie to her feet. “What do you say to having some fun?”

“I-I’d r-really l-like t-that!” Connie told her happily.

“Wonderful. In that case… Hearts, Candy, Sparkles, and Balloons~! Sunshine, Glitter, Unicorns, and Rainbows~! Taaa daaa~! Magical Girl Super Cute Pretty Pretty Magical Dream Princess is here~! (giggle!)”

“Like, come on, Connie Wonnie~! (giggle!)”
MDP cheered as she grabbed Connie’s hand and pulled her along. “Let’s go find Mayra Wayra and Pastel-chan, and build some super duper pretty witty sand castle wastles~! (giggle!)”

Connie couldn’t help but laugh as well as she once again found herself being pulled along by the excitable magical girl, with an amused Gaia following close behind. Now that all the tension had been peacefully resolved, she felt so happy and content. She only hoped that things would remain that way…
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Rachel scowled as Alicia informed her of the mission’s failure, and sighed. “Acknowledged. The infirmary is prepared for you; go and rest there, Paladin Seraph. I will hear the rest once I’m back.” She beckoned for her fellow Ascendancy operatives present to follow her as she left. “Insubordinate traitors...” She could be heard grumbling on her way out, while Leena and FanFan, both weary from battle, headed off towards the infirmary. "Damn, we were close," Leena mumbled, while FanFan patted her on the back. "Oh, don't be so gloomy. At least Justine was dealt with. Now, how about a spot of tea?"





Lily had decided to take a visit outside the hotel lobby and catch some fresh air, away from the bustling crowd. She managed to sneak out thanks to Dan distracting Alex. "Oh, no need to worry! I fixed the space-time continuum, so now the dimension is synchronized with the others. In fact, I can explain it in song!" And so a whole musical was made.

“It’s still so bright and nice here...” She muttered to herself, when she noticed a certain girl had slowly approached her. The moment she saw her, she averted her eyes, biting her lower lip: it was Mariette.
“Oh, Mariette...” She tried to keep herself spirited, but she was unable to fully look her in the eye.
“So, uh...Well, this is, maybe just a bit awkward.”

Mariette had walked directly to her, her one visible eye entirely focused. There was but one question on her mind, and she wasn’t going to even bother trying to de-awkward Lily before asking.

‘Why did you throw me at Ronin?’ she simply asked, focused. She could add details to why she was asking, but for now, sharpness.

Lily expected the question, but she still winced at the accusative tone that accompanied it.
“Look, Mariette, I...” She took a deep breath, and faced her; her eyes trembled.
“You need help. And I don’t mean help with fighting, or something like that. I haven’t been your friend for long, but even I can tell you’re not really like this. I saw how you assembled all those monsters, harnessed dark magic...Even if it was for a good cause, like fighting against a bad girl like Justine, it’s still...bad. You’re doing bad things.” She paused as she sniffled, holding back her tears.
“And I fear, if you keep going down this path...” She paused for a moment.
“A true friend protects their friends...Even from themselves, you know. That’s why I did what I did, Mariette. I wanted to save you.”

Mariette held quiet, listening to Lily’s words. She didn’t detect any lies. Still, that raised the question…

‘How would throwing me at Ronin save me?’ she asked, same tone.

Lily blinked, unsure how to answer. She did promise she would keep Ronin’s plan a secret, yet she felt like she should come clean about her betrayal, to save what little goodwill remained. Finally, she spoke:
“Because Ronin...also wants to save you, Mariette,” she spoke, and a tear swept down her cheek.
“She told me it was the only way to do so.”

Mariette frowned a bit at this statement, trying to work out what it all meant. Because, that last part was a lie. Why it was a lie, why Lily would lie… no, that wasn’t it. She’d convinced herself of it, hadn’t she? …

‘Very well. Thank you for answering. I will take my leave now,’ Mariette said, intending on turning away and walking.

Lily nodded with a sad look, and wiped the tears from her face with her hands.
“I’m sorry, Mariette...”

However, after Mariette turned a corner, she came face to face with someone she didn’t recognize at first. However, it didn’t take her long to realize who it was: Dan, having taken the form of a blue-skinned woman.



“Mariette, we need to talk,” the Lesser Force spoke, now carrying a mature, husky tone in her voice that completely differed from his usual squeaky self. She approached Mariette, and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “First of all, I would like to apologize for not having been able to fully assist as I promised. I was not prepared for the horrors that I witnessed in the battlefield.”
Her look turned sterner. “Which brings me to my second point: while your motivations to combat Justine were justified, the methods to do so were not. You attempted killing everyone but your own allies using my powers, and mercilessly cut down girls brainwashed by Justine, among other crimes.” She sighed, and crossed her arms. “Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

Mariette heard Lily’s words, but did not respond. It wasn’t something she could easily forgive. She didn’t blame Lily for her actions, and did not consider her less of a person for it. It was just… unacceptable for other reasons.

Then Mariette rounded the corner and ran into a person far more intimidating than the squeaky dolphin he usually was. Mariette winced, swallowing a bit as the woman form’s hand was placed on her shoulder, and Mariette found herself looking into the ground like some child who knew she’d done bad.

‘… I didn’t think Beacon would be there. I thought it would be just Justine, but there were a bunch more girls unaffiliated with her. Justine is the terror I described to you. The rest… I wouldn’t have requested your help against the others.’ Mariette shook her head a bit. ‘The rest was all in interest of self-preservation. Her brainwashed girls were attacking me, I had to defend myself, by any means necessary. I don’t see what I could have done differently. … And I changed my mind on the collapsing dimension thing. That was triggered by someone other than me,’ she said, her mind jumping to the worst possible conclusions about what Dan might do to her.

Danalia kept a stoic expression on her face as she listened to Mariette’s words, slightly nodding at the mention of Beacon. “It is true that Justine possessed far more allies and power than either of us could have predicted. Still, your selfishness and cowardice gave way to cruel methods, and the spreading of suffering. That is not saving smiles like you once told me, even if Justine was defeated in the end.” She turned away, looking up at the bright sun.
“Do not worry, Mariette; I won’t imprison you here. That is how I’ll repay you for not fulfilling my promise. Instead, I have taken something your master values greatly.”
She turned her head to glance at Mariette with a cold glare. “I have placed the Black Mirror somewhere where it can only reflect the pure brightness, and will be safe there. But if I ever learn that you or some other girl of your master’s threatens Penrose...I won’t hesitate to destroy it. Did I make myself clear?”

‘… We don’t know how many people might smile when they otherwise wouldn’t, if Justine isn’t there to take their smiles away,’ Mariette defended on that first point, though feeling awkward as she did. Then, though, came the part about the Black Mirror, that Mariette had already suspected. She breathed in a bit fearfully as what she had suspected turned out to be true, Dan had taken the mirror. It may have been a mistake to try to employ the dolphin’s services. Mariette looked up at the dolphin’s woman form for a second or two, but found she couldn’t maintain eye-contact and looked down again.

‘… I understand…’ was all she could say.

Danalia nodded, and turned back to face Mariette with a content smile.
“Now that you have accepted your punishment, I will offer you a chance to redeem yourself.” A magical envelope appeared with a poof in her hand, and she offered it to the eyepatched girl. It had a red seal with Dan’s face on it. “I will be holding a Christmas party, and will be inviting as many magical girls of Penrose as I can there. I would like you and any other girls you know to attend this party. Simply accept the invitation inside, and you will be taken there on the day of the festivities. You can also copy it as many times as you want to.”
She gently lifted Mariette’s chin up so she would look into her eyes. “I know there is a caring, kind girl deep inside of you. If you can prove to me you have changed your ways...I will return the Black Mirror to you.” She then lifted her touch off her, and sighed in relief. “That is all I have to say for now. You may leave as you wish.” She snapped her fingers, and Mariette felt how her magical powers were restored.

Mariette looked a bit surprised by the turn of events. Inviting to a Christmas party? Mariette swallowed a bit, because she couldn’t see how that would prove that she’d changed her ways. Especially because she really hadn’t. However, she also needed to get that Black Mirror back. How would she change her ways while still accomplishing Asengav’s goals? It seemed… impossible. Mariette took the letter in her hand, and focused on it a bit… and as Dan had said, it duplicated into two as she desired it. She looked back to the female form.

‘Is there anyone you’ve already invited, or others that are inviting people, or should I… invite everyone?’ Because she would. Nobody in Penrose would be safe.

“You are the first one I have told,” Danalia answered with a sweet smile, and patted Mariette’s head. “I’m happy to see your eagerness to accomplish this task, so I will leave it up to you. I look forward to seeing how many friends you will bring to the party.” She then turned towards the hotel entrance. “Now then, I must return and take care of the wounded. Goodbye, and best of luck in your quest.” And with that, she teleported away in a puff of sparkling blue smoke.

Mariette nodded to the words being spoken. Then, she took a deep breath, as her magical power spread its might. Then, with the letters duplicating in her grip…

[@everyone at the beach resort]

She one by one opened a portal to every single magical girl currently in the beach dimension, and handed them a copy of the magical envelope with Dan’s face on the seal.

‘Dan’s holding a Christmas party, and everyone's invited. Please bring as many friends as you can. If you focus on the envelope, it will duplicate, so go ahead and spread them as far as you can. I will see you there,’ she’d tell each person, looking a tad embarrassed as she did, but nonetheless, determined to see this through.



Things at the Sanctuary were spiraling quickly. Two others had arrived to defend the place but there was too much happening for the motley forces to reliably hold for long. A nightmare monster, some lingering toxic magic, and the Mint that most had yet to realize were even there were all assaulting the place of peace. Seemed that perhaps one of the threats had left but she had taken down two defenders in the process. Shane was going to need some assistance. Ordinarily Paree would contact the local Beacon but in this case it would only make things much much worse.

A call went out into the local area, anyone who could rapidly respond and was sympathetic to the Sanctuary’s cause would be made aware of the current threats (Nightmare monster, toxic magic, and the Mint). Anyone that did not meet those two criteria were excluded and did not receive the message.


Not finding many available magical girls in the nearby area the Puchuu put out a call to get Dina’s patron’s attention.

Just like a certain other Puchuu, Paree had the connections to pull some magical strings and get in touch with the Lesser Force; he was happily humming as he returned back to the hotel, pleased with how he had resolved the situation with Mariette when he received the call, taking the form of a cartoony old-fashioned phone that poofed next to him.
"Oh, another one?" Paree could hear a squeaky voice on the other side of the magical voice channel he had formed, alongside random noise in the background such as shouting girls and general revelry.
“I’m kind of busy for a talk right now, but I guess you also want to see how your magical girl is doing?”

Never one for small talk, Paree got right to the point. ”I have a magical boy in need of immediate assistance at the location they call the Sanctuary in Penrose. I believe one of your own is also on site, the cat girl.” He didn’t bother specifying a name. ”It sounds as if you have a number of individuals there. I would like to enter your realm to see if there are any who would answer my call.”

“Dina!” Dan yelled in shock upon realizing who Paree had referred to. “So that’s what she was so worried about...Hilaria, please wait a moment, this call is important.” Dan had momentarily responded to someone apparently asking about food. “All right, I will open an entrance for you.”
Then, a blue vortex appeared near the Puchuu, like a whirlpool of vibrant azure energy.

Strolling in the Puchuu arrived at Dan’s beach, now donning a woven sunhat and a pair of sunglasses with dark round lenses. Paree snapped his tiny fingers and the same message as before went out to those present at the beach. The only difference is they should report to Dan to be transported. He turned to the dolphin creature. ”I need to investigate another anomaly, do you believe you can handle transportation?” The glasses made the cute creature’s business minded approach seem a whole lot cooler than it had any right to be.

When Paree arrived, Dan opened his beak in an attempt to greet him, only to be shut down immediately by the stoic Patron. “Sheesh, at least the other one had a sense of fun, not to mention easy on the eyes”, he mumbled under his breath. He then nodded as the Puchuu made his request, and his fin mysteriously formed a bump resembling a raised thumb. “You can count on me, buddy. I’ll make sure Dina gets the help she needs.”

”If you could place those that respond outside the Sanctuary I believe that should be a safe space to start from. Do let them know to be careful of the magical waste. There may still be some lingering.”

Dan blinked, and furrowed his brow as he rubbed his fins against the sides of his head. “The Sanctuary, eh? Ah, Dina’s there,” he said, as he sensed her presence from the magical bond the two shared. “Yep, that works. But are you sure you have to leave right now? Surely you can spare a mome-”

”People are dying.” He said calmly. The Puchuu tilted the hat back and leaned his head down to look over the glasses. ”If Shane does a good job perhaps I will allow him the pleasure of a visit. With your permission of course.” He didn’t really care either way, but it seemed an easier way to get the aquatic patron off his back.

Dan’s bottlenose drooped down and he sighed, though he seemed to get a tiny bit relieved that Paree was lenient enough to let Shane have a reward. “Yes, I understand. Shane is of course always welcome to visit this place, so let him know, ok?”

Paree simply nodded. ”And should you need assistance yourself do consider us as a contact. While I may not have much to offer I do believe in returning the favor.” He seemed ready to go but would allow one last response.

Dan managed a small smile, and gave Paree a salute. He didn’t like the little furball’s no-nonsense attitude, but at least he could respect his work morale and desire for peace. “Thank you, comrade. Let’s make sure the day is saved.”

”Agreed.” He turned and vanished.




Lily had returned back to Alex in the hotel.
“Hey Alex...” She held an arm behind her back as she looked down at the floor with a frown in her face.
“I talked with Mariette, but it didn’t work out. She was still upset. I don’t know what to do next...”

It was at that moment when Mariette’s message reached everyone, including Maura who had already left the hotel, and Connie’s group, who were just about to also exit the building.
Lily received the letter among the rest of them, her mouth wide in surprise as she held the letter before her.
“A Christmas party? Wow! What a surprise! Thank you so much, Mariette!” She never could have expected Mariette to do something this nice to them, and she smiled.
“So if I want to share this-Oh, it’s that easy!”
The letter copied itself, and she gave one to Alex, jumping up and down in excitement.
“I’ve completely forgotten it’s nearly Christmas already! Oh man, I haven’t made my list yet! Or sent out Christmas greeting cards! I should also-”

“Ahem, may I have your attention please!” Dan interrupted the raucous crowd with the sound of a Party Horn of In-Laws Slaying (with a +9 bonus) blaring out.
Now, I know you all may be excited for this party, but there is a crisis on our hands! The Penrose Sanctuary is under attack, putting everyone there in danger!” He then opened a blue portal. “This portal will lead you right outside the Sanctuary. If anyone here could please go there and help Dina save the locals, I would be grateful.”
Dan hated having to put these girls through another ordeal, and bring trouble to their paradise, but he had come to learn that evil rarely rested.

Lily was the first one to respond, holding her fist out with a determined smile.
“Not a problem, Dan! This is a job for us magical girls! Come on, let’s go, Alex!” She then grabbed his hand. “Oh, I’m fine now, no need to worry!” She then quickly blurted out, as if expecting Alex to raise a logical concern over her recovery.
As she ran through the portal, she waved at Mariette, who had arrived upon hearing the call for help.
“Thanks for the invitation Mariette! See ya at the partyyy!”
And with that, the two disappeared through the portal.



Lily and Alex arrived outside the Sanctuary. Even from so far away, they could hear faint screams and sounds of destruction in the distance. She summoned her motorcycle.
“Let’s go find Dina!” Lily said, having assumed her magical girl look, and the two dashed through the interconnected web of passages and chambers, with Lily occasionally driving on the ceiling of tube-shaped tunnels until at last she found the catgirl.
“Dina! We’re here to help!”





Helga was enjoying her time talking with Su and enjoying the can of Mountain Dan she had received, when suddenly Mariette’s hand popped out from a portal offering them letters.
“Huh? A party?” She took the invitation, and stared at it for a moment, trying to comprehend what Mariette said. “Hey, that’s great! Thanks a lot!” She turned to Su. “Hey Su, you thinking what I’m thinking?” She winked. “There’s no way we can pass up on an opportunity like this, right?”

Unfortunately, Su’s response would be drowned out by Dan, resulting in Helga sighing. “The Sanctuary? Isn’t that the place where monster girls hang out?”



At a distant alley in Penrose, the sound of displaced air prefaced Sonia and Reaver’s arrival there; the Space magical girl had forcefully grabbed his shoulder and teleported the two of them there. Still holding him in a tight grip, she took a look at her surroundings.

“Hmm...Well, it looks indiscrete and out of the way as you mentioned the entrance to be,” she noted, and then glanced at him.
“I will now send you to the Sanctuary, as you have requested. Goodbye for now.” Her hand briefly glowed, and Reaver was teleported, into the very same spot at the Sanctuary where he was taken from. Sonia then summoned a handkerchief, and wiped her hands.
“Disgusting pervert. Now then, let’s see...”
She approached the back wall and stopped, a hand outstretched before her. She concentrated, and created an entryway into a black-and-white space familiar to agents of Mint: Al’s office. The Coin Broker himself was standing before a window at the back of it, staring at the city at an impossibly high angle, like the room was located on the top floor of a towering building. He took a puff of smoke.

“Visceral is dead.”

Sonia squinted, looking tense.
“You would be the first to learn that. Typical.”

“It’s my job, miss. A proper businessman is aware of the slightest changes in the industry.”
He turned towards her; he was smiling. “I am also aware that you wished to speak with me. Now then, how may I help you?”
He gestured towards a seat, and Sonia begrudgingly took it with grace, as the door behind them closed and disappeared from the alley.

So it was that Sonia would take her first steps on the path of revenge, for Justine’s sake. But little did she know of the events that followed after Justine’s fall. At the exact moment death would have claimed hold of her, a potion of purification had blessed her, courtesy of Jenna. The potion washed away the centuries of corruption and malice that Father had cursed the vampire girl with, and she was miraculously reborn anew, as immaculate as any magical girl. Yet, she did not wake from her deathly sleep, as the gradual corruption around her prevented her from recovering. But it would take untold eons before the purified girl would begin to wither.
And so, trapped in Veronica’s darkness that is the Cradle, she was Snow White incarnate, cursed with eternal slumber. But unlike the fabled princess, who found her happily ever after, Justine would receive a true love’s kiss…

Nevermore.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Card Captor
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Card Captor The passing through Kamen Rider

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With the chaos of battle over, Alexander was finally able to be alone with his thoughts. He wandered over to the beach and laid down on the sand where the waves could wash over him, and just relaxed...or at least tried to 'Sure it ended up working out okay...I think, But I don't think the others care that much. As far as they're concerned; Lily betrayed them. Dammit, I can't just do nothing' he sat up and huffed 'Only problem is that I'm shit at talking to people. So how the hell am I supposed to get everyone to forgive her?' He groaned as he got to his feet "Screw it, I'll just try talking to Mariette"

---

Alexander made his way back to the hotel to find Mariette, but ran into Lily first
“Hey Alex...” She held an arm behind her back as she looked down at the floor with a frown in her face.
“I talked with Mariette, but it didn’t work out. She was still upset. I don’t know what to do next...”

For a brief moment, Alexander was reminded of how Lily was after Ixion died. 'It feels like just yesterday. I...I don't know if I could handle seeing her like that again so soon. Lily isn't like me; she doesn't seem as used to being alone as I am. Having so many people hate her...I don't think she'll take that well' He had already decided to do something before, this just bolster his resolve. Yet before he could do much of anything, something else happened

‘Dan’s holding a Christmas party, and everyone's invited. Please bring as many friends as you can. If you focus on the envelope, it will duplicate, so go ahead and spread them as far as you can. I will see you there,’ A portal opened above Lily and a letter fell down on her

"Christmas, huh?" Alexander mumbled to himself, suddenly feeling grouchy, when suddenly he realized something; this was his first Christmas since he got his powers. 'That's right...this year is different! No stuffy orphanage or lonely cold apartment. This year I'll be spending it on a beach resort. And not only that, but this year I actually have someone-' His eyes shot wide open "Fuck" he hissed under his breath before looking to an excited Lily who was bouncing around while handing him a letter, which he took 'That's right; there's a whole lot of people pissed off at Lily right now. If I can't fix this in time, it might fuck up her Christmas' His mind quickly imagined up a lonely Lily at a Christmas party with everyone either avoiding her or sneering at his. Tears in her empty looking eyes. He snapped out of it while quivering in equal parts fear and rage 'Fuckkkkkkkk! Now I'm on a time limit. Dammit, this is already going to be hard enough, I don't need the extra chal-'

“Ahem, may I have your attention please!” Dan interrupted the raucous crowd and Alexander's crazed internal panic with the sound of a Party Horn of In-Laws Slaying (with a +9 bonus) blaring out.
Now, I know you all may be excited for this party, but there is a crisis on our hands! The Penrose Sanctuary is under attack, putting everyone there in danger!” He then opened a blue portal. “This portal will lead you right outside the Sanctuary. If anyone here could please go there and help Dina save the locals, I would be grateful.”

Alexander was on the verge of extremely loud rage crying, but Lily's voice distracted him

“Not a problem, Dan! This is a job for us magical girls! Come on, let’s go, Alex!” She then grabbed his hand. “Oh, I’m fine now, no need to worry!” She then quickly blurted out, as if expecting Alex to raise a logical concern over her recovery.

'I highly doubt that.' Alexander thought to himself, not willing to call her out to her face. However, he was finding his rage fading away, leaving fatigue in it's place

As she ran through the portal, she waved at Mariette, who had arrived upon hearing the call for help.
“Thanks for the invitation Mariette! See ya at the partyyy!”

Alexander sighed "Let's...let's just get this over with"
And with that, the two disappeared through the portal.

---

The Sanctuary was a mess.

Not huge news, considering Penrose, but it was more of a mess than was normal for the area. Lily quickly got her motorcycle ready, and Alexander took his seat behind her, shifting to his Beast Mode as he did so. Once the magic settled, the screams became much more clear "I really hope this isn't as much of a chaotic mess as the last fight."
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Majoras End
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For the most part Jenna wasn't entirely sure what the plan was with Justine. The two she expected to have her came without the body and a simple reassurance was given that she was taken care of. "That's nice, but where is she?" She finished healing up Eliza and took a step back.

"Well," Eliza sat back up once Jenna finished healing her. She wasn't really phased when her uniform turned into a swimsuit again, but atleast she had a jacket this time, so she didn't feel as awkward. "Assuming they took a detour to the Cradle, they might have kept Justine's body in there?" She was still holding the Astolfo plush.

"Hm..." She doubted she would be a guest there any time soon. Especially with Beacon breating down her neck. She offered a hand to help Eliza up.

The witch waved Jenna's hand off, standing up by herself. "Thanks for the help, well, back there and now. So, how's Janet? And Cindy??" She asked her.

Ah yes, Cindy had spilled the beans to Trixy hadn't she. Not that keeping a secret was going to last long anyway. They had just announced such for the Sanctuary so people were going to find out pretty shortly anyway. "They're both okay. It's kind of a weird situation as you might guess."

"...Do they know that she has my soul jar yet?" Eliza's eyebrow rose. "Beacon, I mean."

Shaking her head she gave a bit of a smile. "I'm pretty sure they don't. Janet and Cindy have an agreement, so you and Maura are sort of allies through her in a way. I don't know how reassuring that is but we'll do our best keep you safe. Janet and I are... doing our best to try and keep some peace." The girl rubbed her arm. It was more like pushing a boulder up a hill. Constantly under threat of slipping and getting crushed.

"Anaya's probably in the same boat, in that case." Eliza sighed. "But atleast there are some sane people in Beacon. Some." Speaking of Beacon, now that her magic wasn't suppressed, the witch focused on scrying what was happening back in Penrose.

Jenna watched quietly for a moment before leaning a bit closer and whispering. "What do you see?" In truth she didn't entirely expect an answer. Her Third Eye had told her what Eliza was up to at a basic level.

Eliza's brows furrowed. "Can't really see much happening..." she mused, deciding to focus on something else. "Maybe I should check on Anay- Oh." her eyes widened slightly, looking to Jenna. "I don't think Alicia took their losing too well." there was a hint of concern in the witch's tone.

"Alicia?" She bit her lip. Mariette had gotten away and her initial plan to take Justine back to Beacon didn't quite play out the way she'd planned. "Right, I think I'm going to need a little more than someone's word that Justine is taken care of." She glanced up hoping she could get something more to confirm.

"Eh, maybe Maura can take you to the Cradle?" Eliza suggested.

"Well, suppose it doesn't hurt to try. Thank you, Eliza." The new Cradle patron being just nearby she stepped over and addressed her. "Pardon me miss Maura. I realize this might be a stretch, but I had hoped to see Justine's fate by coming here. I don't need her, just something I can see to prove to me she's gone." Her brain was coming up short on things she could potentially use. It felt like forever ago she'd been her thrawl. Picking out the finer details also wasn't something easy to do in the heat of battle.

"Hm?" Maura turned to look at Jenna. "Ah, you need proof that Justine's done for?" She tilted her head. Even then, she wasn't sure if taking Jenna to the Cradle was a good idea. Beacon could find a way to probe such information from the poor girl, and even then, Maura hadn't even seen all of what lies within herself. "...Maybe I can find something for you." She mused, her shadow turning more opaque as she reached an arm into the Cradle.

In searching for an item of Justine's, Maura found purchase of something feathered that she could pull from.

"Aha!" Maura grabbed the item, and pulled her hand out of the shadow. "Will this suffice?" She asked Jenna, handing the item to the other girl.

Jenna started for a moment at the feather before gingerly taking it. It was not something she expected. "This isn't... " She stopped as she rolled the small object between her fingers. Her eyes widened as she recognized her own handywork. "Wait this- this is..." The girl was shaking a bit with... excitement?

The Beacon girl had to stop herself before she exploded or jumped after the patron. Clearing her throat she held up the feather. "I used a purification potion on Justine just after she was defeated. That was one of the main reason I wanted to see her. If this is her's then I have good reason to believe that it's worked and she no longer serves Father." Jenna seemed rather sure of herself. The feather might do for her needs but it only inforced her desire to see for herself.

Maura's eyebrows rose in curiosity. "Really?" With her shadow still opaque, she looked into the Cradle herself to see. "Well, looks like our dear demon became an angel in the end. A shame she might be stuck there for a long time." The necromancer commented, then sighed. "Look, I know you wish for better proof than this. But concidering our circumstances, it's too much of a risk for Beacon to find out what's in there." she frowned, the shadow fading back to normal. "Mayhaps we can arrange something, once things die down again?

Holding her breath the girl let it hiss out a bit. It was an expected response, but not ideal.
Still it wasn't an outright no. Hanging onto the feather she nodded. "
That's reasonable. I believe I have enough to at least convey that she won't be creating any problems for us in the near future. I had hoped purifying her would mean she could be free, but I think we can both agree it's better to be sure it's safe for that first."


The conversation was inturrupted when invitations for a Christmas party popped up in front of each of them and were handed out to then pass to others. Adding that to her now small collection of things to carry she seemed a bit bewlidered. "Uh..."

The announcement of the Sanctuary under attack had Jenna let out a sigh. She wanted to go there so bad but that would be such a terrible idea. Beacon would be all over that place in no time if she did. "Seems like everyone else might be busy anyhow. I should get back to help heal and help the others anyway. Thank you for indulging me, Maura. I'll leave it to you. I'm sure you'll be in touch." Stepping away she activated her recall and returned to HQ.

Maura had already heard of the Sanctuary being attacked before Dan told the others, North and Evelyn being among the few who answered the call for help. Ready to shadow-step, she looked to Jenna. "Good luck." She nodded to her with a smile, before leaving herself.

Eliza, meanwhile, internally freaked out over the news. And by internally, it was actually externally. "How the hell did I miss that?!?" She shrieked, running through the portal with Valerie following behind unamused.

A call sung out for help, yet barely anyone answered.

Surely such a threat would call for more magical girls.

...

Right?


"Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god!!" Theresa paced back and forth across the edge of a building, as screams rung out from the Sanctuary. The familiar had already seen North and Evelyn rush in to help, but what was she supposed to do? She was just a bird! "Where are they?! They should be back by now! Oh, I hope nothing bad happened to-"

Theresa snapped out of her fearful thoughts at the sound (sounds?) of someone approaching. She quickly turned to her human form, and spun around.

Her eyes widened once she realized who it was.

"It can't be..."

...

Among the chaos in the Sanctuary, three women walked calmly towards the location of the monster, in contrast to the fear most denizens shared.

"...Ew." The woman leading the trio stopped herself before she stepped on a remnant of toxic waste. With a slight grimace, she turned to look at her companions. "Lauren, think you can clear out the sludge~?" Maribel Whitley asked the emerald-haired girl behind her with a smile.

With an unamused look, Lauren Corvus used her water and reinforcement magic to wash the toxic magic away, clearing a path for them as well. "Are you sure this monster isn't your doing, Maribel?" the Witch of Order asked back.

Maribel pouted. "Goodness no! I haven't been to this area until now!" she twirled her parasol. "Though if someone new has inherited nightmare magic, I'd love to meet them~" the Witch of Nightmares chuckled, opening a rift to her pocket dimension as a shortcut.

"The monster is just below us~ Once we drop in, Lauren should help evacuate any magical girls trapped down there, I'll deal with containing our little friend, and Rowena?"

"?" Rowena Beck looked back to Maribel.

"If whatever provoked the monster is still down here, can you be a dear and take care of them~?" She asked sweetly. The Witch of Life looked around at their surroundings, then nodded.

"Excellent~! Let's get started right away!"
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Alicia was not happy about it, but there was a sort of grim satisfaction as Rachel headed off in response to the information she had provided. If putting their own house in order was what they needed to do in order to ensure future success, then so be it.

Initially she was reluctant to go to the infirmary. There were things to do, debriefings to be had. This had been her mission, her plan, and she needed to see it to the end. And while Jenna might have been handled, there were others who needed to be held accountable for their actions. If they were going to have to do this again then she did not want to run into the same mistakes.

That was the plan at least. Reality intruded as fading adrenaline and tumultuous emotions were stamped on by pain lancing through her chest with each deep breath. It seemed Trixy’s sniper shot had done more than she had initially thought in the heat of the moment.

Grimacing, a hand fell to press near the impact zone, and with a frown she turned and made her way after the others to the infirmary. It looked like she needed that trip after all. “Rachel reacted a lot better than I thought she would,” she noted as she rejoined FanFan and Leena. Not that she was complaining about that fact, it just seemed somewhat out of character. Especially with the responsibility she had placed on Alicia for this.

For now, she joined the others in heading to the infirmary. Hopefully nothing else had fallen apart in the delay between the general return and her appearance back in HQ.








The fighting at the Sanctuary continued, both above and below. The Mint team rapidly became aware of Oros’ sudden and dynamic return, but that was resolved before they needed to intervene. If anything it had helped their plan, though in an indirect manner. At the very least it had not hurt. It merely served to confuse the defenders and hinder their response to the real threat all the more.

Still, the monster would not be entirely unimpeded. Shane went to slow it down, and some of the more bold in the Sanctuary would go to help him and defend their home. Of course the monster was a formidable foe on its own, surging forward and lashing out at any target with a myriad of tendrils. As one could guess, being caught would be unwise.

The Sanctuary had a lot of strong members though, even when one did not consider Penny. Given time they could have found a solution, or dealt with the monster on their own. That was why the Mint team was here. It fit their agenda much better if those efforts did not succeed.

That was the problem Shane and his allies would run into. Illusions to confuse, Time magic to alter reaction speeds, reinforced barriers to weaken attacks before they could strike, mental spells to weaken the resolve of girls to potential setbacks. With Varjo’s powers the team was able to move in the shadows, unseen and unnoticed. With someone actively working aga8inst them on so many fronts, Shane was leading a doomed effort as the monster surged forward towards the passage to the second floor.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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BrokenPromise Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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“Pen pen.”

— Aighorost


I wonder if Penny’s going to appear. It would kind of be a shame if we didn’t see her again until the event ends. I mean I assume they turned down a proper fight against me because they wanted her to appear again. Oh well…




L O S T I N T H O U G H T


@DarkwolfX37

Needless to say, Nuncio was a little concerned when the doll girl randomly didn’t trust him and stubbornly waited for Penny to come back. He probably would have stayed with her, but that was one hell of a retcon that he had no intention of introducing He instead focused on leading Shion out of the overcity.

Needless to say, the overcity wasn’t exactly a convenient place to navigate. When they came out they were several blocks from Sanctuary.

”So uh, bit of an intermission there.” Nuncio folded his arms. ”Ya was sayin somethin’ about leaving Penrose?” He sighed. ”I ain’t gunna lie. For Faith, for Sammy? I think it’s in all of our best interests we get the flock outta here.”




S P E C I A L N E E D S


@Ariamis

Su wouldn’t even have time to think of a response to Helga’s question before she was cut off.

”Seems we have other things to be concerned about.” Su yanked the bandages off of her head. ”There no reason we can’t help an ally of Penrose. Let’s see what we can do.” And with that, they ran for the portal.




V I C T O R Y T H R O U G H V I O L E N C E


@FamishedPants@Majoras End@twave

The pile of cradle agents detonated, and everyone was thrown away from Veronica.

”What’s this? Another foe invades Penrose?” She pointed at the portal. ”We should follow the rest of Maura’s agents!” She blazed a trail straight for the portal, followed by a scrambling Trixy.

Viridian, on the other hand, seemed content to stay behind.




P A T C H N O T E S


Hello Patrons!

Like we promised, we’ve finally rolled out the newest balance patch for Oros, and it’s a pretty significant one!

The biggest and most notable change is that Oros is no longer a monster girl! She has a new purified skin.

In terms of balance, we wanted Oros to seem more like Mika, so we removed a lot of her monsterous abilities. Her VIT, MAG, and LCK have all been reduced slightly. She’s also lost a lot of her unfair survival options, which allows her to feel pain and survive attacks that would cause her heart to stop beating. She can also no longer void step, and her ability to sniff out Mint and Beacon players has been entirely removed! We know Beacon players needed a lot of help, and we all breathed a sigh of relief to see that go.

But it’s not all bad news for Oros mains. Oros’s martial training lets her make use of non-magical weapons in her hammerspace, and her memory link lets her share her memories with others. We understand that players who enjoyed Oros’s beast like qualities might not like this change, but it does give utility and role play opportunities to those who wish to use her more cautiously. The dev team is a really big fan of frying pan => Shotgun => Memory Link(“We dated in an alternate universe”) => Endless Eclipse => M4 => AA-12 => Tentacles => Pool Fist Dash => Memory Link(“This Was Your Death”) => Headbut.

We’re happy with how she is, but we’ll be keeping an eye on Oros until the season ends. We’ll likely have to roll out one more patch for her before the Christmas event starts.

-The Riot Team
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Reaver

@Flamelord

Reaver would be lying if he had not enjoyed her brief stint with the disgruntled maid. She seemed to be in utter disgust of him… a kind of attention Reaver was more than happy to receive. Still, business was first, and he was dropped directly in front of the entrance of Sanctuary.

However the plan had probably been shot to hell. Penny was no longer there, the door was a wreck… and were those reinforcements coming through a portal? Well, that seemed to be a chance for more fighting.

“This is Reaver.” He tried to communicate. “Visceral abducted me into another battlefield against my will. She is a goner now. What’s the situation?”

For a moment there was silence, before the familiar voice of Seppa reached directly into Reaver’s head via her telepathy. Well, look who decided to show up after all,” she remarked with only a slight bite to her tone from being left in the lurch. The monster is in play, a wild card took out Penny after you left then smashed the front door, and we’re getting ready to make our move. Try not to mess things up too badly this time.”

“There’s reinforcements about to pour from a portal now. I assume they’re not ours?” Reaver then said gravelly, as he began to twirl his sword. “Also, the spear is half broken. Turns out metal users can still warp and bend the craft.”

Reaver would practically hear Seppa growling over their mental connection as she ground her teeth. Seemed she was not a fan of learning the state of the gear she had let Reaver borrow. ’I see. I’ll need to work on that in the next version,” she mused.

He would then hear Alma, as she was added to the mental conversation. ’Any reinforcements are hostile. Hinder their efforts, but try to have some discretion about it. They aren’t supposed to know that we’re behind the chaos. Just that we solved it.’ That might be a lot to ask of Reaver, but if Al said he was back on the team then they’d treat him like it.

“I’ll see what I can do.” He sighed. This was not what he was used to. Subterfuge… he could do a little out of necessity, but he was no master. He then thought on his own sorcery… the runes that the Allfather had bestowed on him.

Springing into action he created a series of barriers, laden with explosive runes that would detonate not unlike a flashbang grenade once the barrier was broken. Another rune was applied to his face, to make himself not be recognized readily. He could do little for those who already rushed past inside the compound, but he could be a total quagmire for those who went in afterwards and were on transit through the portal.

So he rushed to the breach and began covering it with the same kind of explosive barriers he had done earlier. He knew that in doing so, this would not fully stop them, but it was enough to win time.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DarkwolfX37
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DarkwolfX37 Yami

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Shion blinked. Then she blinked again, and everything seemed to be over. She shook her head out of her stupor as Crow didn't want to write reactions to everything something had caused her to lose focus entirely for the past... while.

Uh... Yeah. That's basically what I'm here for. I'm supposed to get you three the hell out of Dodge. Or at least Penrose.



Oh shit, oh fuck, oh shit, oh fuck. She's here. She's got a bat. She's... always had a bat? Summer was quietly contemplating where exactly her life went wrong. That voice wouldn't shut up and now it was talking about her again. Why the concern? Wait, did that mean it was close by? She was going to shut the hell up already!" She stormed off, once again furious, and soon became lost in the streets of Penrose.

@BrokenPromise
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Shifter_Master
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Shifter_Master Atrast Nal Tunsha

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.:⋮Return of the Queen⋮:.




[-System Status-
[External damage: 12%, primary damage located on outer extremities.

[Internal damage: 4% and holding

[Regen protocols: Halted. External damage posing no loss of combat functionally or efficiency.
Internal damage posing no risk to core function.
Mana restoration current priority.

[Mana capacity: 67% and rising.

[Gauss system: 23 seconds until ready.
Loadout: Short range, Full Spectrum

[Weapon configuration: Assault Pattern-1.
[CQC armaments-
Primary: Harpoon and Grinder Load Outs Deployed.
Secondary: 1&3 Set into Claw Position, 2&4 Set into Lance Position.

[Near field defensive barriers: Online, 2-3 offensive spread patter initiated.

[Long range Las-casters: Deployed, targeting systems twin-linked.

[E-G Core: Online. Maintaining T.R., no loss to mana recovery.
Stored E-G discharges remaining: 3
Time until full stock recharged: 45 Seconds.

[Hover systems: Online

[Blue mage systems -
CC: Primed for acquisition.
Evo: secondary and tertiary mutations bleeding off. Base line stability in 12 seconds.

[S.A systems-
G.G. Nanites: 100% capacity
Auto-deflect subroutines: Offline
A.W. Shot: Ready

[Snoopy: Third Eye Overwatch Protocol in effect.

[Response level: Phase Three: Fiend Calibration: Version 1.

[Humanity.Exe: Suspended
[E.o.D: Fully Online

-

It was quiet in the room where Penny was. The only noise the soft tapping of keys as Penny tapped away at the console in front of her. It had taken longer than she had wanted to reach this point. The Monsters outside had proven to be a greater hindrance than expected. Perhaps they were bolstered by their superior numbers, or they had lost their fear of death having to linger under the shadow of a Horror. Regardless, while they had hindered Penny they were not sufficient enough to stop her.

So now she was within the ruined HQ of this dimensions Beacon. It much like the rest of the city was in terrible shape, but there were some parts of it mostly untouched. The Spark based defenses maintaining some of the more important systems up and running, and bringing them back online at Penny’s approach.

Thus here she was, standing in front of the Teleporter relay cracking her way past the firewalls that were still in place around Beacon’s network so she could access the command prompts for it. It was her quickest way home. One that was vital important for her to get running swiftly. For she was well aware of what was happening back at the Sanctuary.

Her blood red eyes never blinked as she pushed though the computer system at speeds no human could ever match. The blood slowly drying across her chassis didn’t bother her as she worked. Not even the deathly quiet of this dead realm bothered her. All that mattered at the moment was getting home.

Which wouldn’t be long now. One more minuet to finish cracking the systems, thirty seconds to warm up the one functioning teleporter, less then one to input the coordinates and then five more for the sequence to fire.

That didn’t mean that each and every one of those seconds wasn’t filled with hurt and anger for what was happening at the Sanctuary. Nor did it remove the feeling that each second was far, far too long.




The Sanctuary was in chaos.

At the main floor, girls ran around in barely contained panic. The front door had been savaged, both by claw and caustic sludge. And while Dina had cleansed the sludge earlier there were still plenty of people who had fallen victim to it still in need of assistance.

Monica could be seen calling out orders and doing everything she could to maintain the tenuous cohesion that was the main floor. She was near to open tears and obviously stressed at the disaster that was still affecting the Sanctuary.

As bad as this were up above it was infinitely worse down below. The cramped tunnels hindered those trying to destroyed the invading Monster, who at this point easily filled the tunnels with its bulk. Trapping any unlucky enough to be in their rooms it yet, still able to easily lash out at those who were attacking it with its long tendrils.

Ashlyn along with a few others had joined up with Shane but they were being pushed back. The Mint’s machinations foiling any attempts at a coordinated defense. Which was proving to be exceptionally bad as Ashlyn’s barriers continued to feed the Monster, yet her Mental mutations not allowing her to stop blocking its attacks with those very same barriers.

It wouldn’t be long until it forced its way up to the second floor. Where most of the Sanctuary’s housing was. And from there it wouldn’t be far to the main floor. To those who hadn’t fled, because they couldn’t. Or perhaps worse. Where Beacon might be able to catch wind of it.

It was dire and seemingly hopeless.

But then something shifted. Something about the atmosphere of the Sanctuary became charged, as if the building was waking up. Some of those on the top floor would stop in what they were doing to glance around uncertainly, while those below were too busy fighting to fully notice it.

Then the first spark would be seen at the top of the passage between the second and third floors. A bright sharp spark of white. It would flicker into existence suddenly, once twice and then explode outwards with a harsh crack. And in the wake of those sparks stood the Queen of Penrose. Still covered in the blood of those that had tried to stop her from returning and what minor wounds they had been able to inflict on her.

She stood ready for war, and one look at her face showed she was out for blood. Her right arm no longer held a hand, instead it had a tricone bit where her fist would sit and all along her arm the teeth of a chainsaw stood out. In addition, the edges of the drill bit and the teeth of the sawblade were sheathed in a crimson energy field.

Her left arm was much the same though rather then a drill bit her left had was replaced by an elongated spike and her arm was wrapped in a length of chain. The spike was also shrouded by the same crimson field further lengthening its point.

Across her body her holographic armor was on full display, all of it glowing that same baleful red. Her extra limbs were splayed out around her read to strike out. Not that many people would be able to fully notice these changes.

As not even a full second after she touched down, she would burst into motion. The electrical hum of her hover jests the only warning of her approach as she blitzed at the Monster that threatened the Sanctuary. And shortly after everyone would be notified of her return as the roar of her Gauss cannon loudly signaled her return as it shot gunned a spray of devastation point blank at the slug like abomination.

The Presence of the Mint operatives in the Shadows was not unnoticed by Penny. But they were secondary targets at the moment. And Penny would extract her pound of flesh from them soon.



@BrokenPromise, @twave, @Ariamis, @AtomicNut, @Flamelord
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by twave
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Sanctuary - First Floor

GM @Flamelord | Dina, Reaver @AtomicNut

Sitting, hunkered down in her little box with Dina, Melisa was inactive for several minutes. Her spirit as it were was reaching out into the nearby area searching out anyone who was sleeping and dreaming. Despite not being in a residential area there still were people around. Security guards and maintenance workers primarily. Latching on and consuming these dreams her mana began to return. Most of it went to repair as her deformed body began to fold back into the proper position and cracks began to seam shut. Waking again she realized that someone was moving about outside. Peaking out she could see in the darkness a magical boy moving back and creating barriers. Despite her temporary True Sight she couldn't make out the face. The armor was sort of familiar, but having only seen it briefly before all the teleportation madness started she really had little idea who it was. The only thing she did know is it wasn't anyone she recognized from the Sanctuary. And at this point anyone from the outside was suspicious. The other detail is she was already too late to stop him from going in.

Fighting with the leaves and vines briefly she pulled out the adamantium nails she's stolen and sent them out to test one of the barriers. These things were a lot more effective at piercing and cutting unlike any other metal she had encountered thus far. So like razor fine bullets they whirled and spun through the nearest barrier, cutting in deep before breaking through. Two effects took the doll by surprise, well, one I suppose. The resulting flash meant to obscure her vision was greatly reduced thanks to her magically improved eyesight. That's not to say it didn't surprise her but it didn't blind her as intended. Inside the metal box though the loud bang rang through which caused her to cover her ears. Damn that was loud in a tiny space.

Looking back to Dina she used some additional metal to make some earplugs and fit them in the catgirl's ears. They probably didn't quite fit initially but they would reshape fit without harm. Melisa herself filled her own head with metal to stop the literally ringing the bang caused in the empty space. With that taken care of she directed the nails to go to the next barrier to take it out. For now she'd stay put but at least she could try and clean up some of these traps.


Sanctuary - Third Floor > Second Floor

GM @Ariamis | Mint Agents @Flamelord | Sanctuary @Shifter_Master | Dina, Reaver @AtomicNut

This whole process was beginning to get on his nerves. The creature itself didn't seem all that problematic at first as he and others had been holding it back. Then it seemed like their attacks had lost their oomph. Did this thing adapt or something? Paying a little more attention he could sense his bolts losing some of their charge in transit but he didn't really have an explanation as to why. When the creature lunged forward to rush past him to the others he was about to do something rather desperate when Penny reappeared and charged into battle. "I was beginning to wonder." This slightly changed what he was about to do but really the robotic girl just gave him better space to do so. He called the others to fall back to the path up.

A glint of Ruby and Gold flashed as he clutched four coins and activated them. The lot was to restore much of the magic he'd lost following Cindy's wishes, a decision he'd repeatedly regretted as he was far less adept with Lightning at this point. Stone magic returning to his grasp the book he held flew open and pages flipped as more spells appeared. He didn't have time to study those right now though. He slammed the spine of the book against the wall of the hallway and sent a tremor outward to get a spatial sense of the Sanctuary top to bottom. He didn't have Penny or Dina's fancy coins to tell him what was goin on, but he had his old ways of casing the area. Something had broken through above, there were loud bangs coming from the upper level, and people were running around scared. Alright then, so more was going on than he anticipated. First things first though. "Sorry buddy. Going to have to take this one to go." Slamming the book shut the floor under him buckled and rose, taking him and the other girls up into the second floor and away from the creature. It also sealed off the monster's immediate route to the upper levels.

Despite seemingly having left Penny alone to fend for herself he could still sense what was happening below and from time to time he would cast to send a chunk of earth or concrete down the hall into the monster. The monster girl also had better control of this space than he did so she likely had more options than he realized. Of course this being the first time back up after moving down to save everyone else he quickly took in his surroundings. Most probably picked up the danger and were already trying to get out. Some were frozen though and he used his PoF to coax them into moving. "Everyone to the emergency exit!" He would move in that direction himself to cover them. Once everyone was clear they would be in a better position to deal with whatever was happening. Though considering no one was yelling about cleansing or purifying everything there weren't that many people he could imagine were attacking. Beacon weren't generally known for using monsters as weapons either. There were a few girls entering he didn't recognize and he kept an eye on them should they attack while moving away.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by PlatinumSkink
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Dan called for help at the Sanctuary. Mariette didn’t have the option to decline. She wasn’t about to bring all her troops, but she alone opened a portal and was out of the beach dimension almost instantly.

_________________


Mariette’s focus was the unorganized masses. She’d stand inside an apartment from a significant distance, and use her own smaller portals to locate those one would call civilians and non-combatants right now. Mariette assumed others were in better condition to do battle right around now. There was at least one person trying to get people out. Mariette figured she’d lend a hand.

She charged whatever mana she had left. She was going to locate those she identified as inhabitants of the Sanctuary and open portals in their vicinity. Larger portals for larger crowds, on a distance if they were currently in danger. The portals led to empty buildings in Penrose, from where they could reorganize and come up with new plans.

‘Come! The portals will bring you to safety!’ Mariette called, trying to make herself heard, probably failing. Still, she was trying.

She’d keep her portals away from combat right now and focus on evacuating people that are currently trying to escape and make that process a bit easier.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by FamishedPants
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S i l h o u e t t e



"Later beach."

— Samantha



Silhouette picked herself up hastily after the pileup, glancing in each direction with a reddened face. She was embarrassed to not only have been thrust into such a compromising situation all of the sudden, but she had also groped Veronica! How shameful. And, maybe, not entirely unpleasant, but she had to focus on other things!

...and then she glanced down at herself, almost instinctively. "Ah..." The stupid beach dimension that forced her into this lewd getup! She started to become very self-conscious just like last time, which is why when a portal opened up with a letter next to her, she nearly yelped. Realizing what it was, she snatched it up and tried covering some of her body. However, she began to feel another presence right beside her. Sam launched her free hand to the side and grabbed this figure by the throat, lifting it a couple of feet above the ground. "We. Are. Leaving." Sam 'kindly' informed Shade, who had manifested without her consent.

"OK OK, *HACK* I'M SORRY I *COUGH* JUST WANTED OUT FOR ONCE."

Sam glared at the girl. "Next time we hang out with Trixy you can appear, but for now..."

Shade nodded a few times in quick succession, and then her form melted back into Sam's shadow. With nothing left to grip, Sam's arm returned to her side. She stared at the letter for a moment before approaching the portal. She noticed Viridian not attempting to leave and stopped to speak for a moment. "Hey, you're not...?" Sam shook her head. "...well, I'll be going," Sam mentioned, then hopped through the portal to join the rest of the Cradle. The sooner she got out of this bikini, the better.

Honestly, she would have to be under some heavy mental manipulation to ever willingly come back to this place.
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