1445/Dimension Past: Back to the Past

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Dimension Past: Back to the Past
Date of Scene: 22 April 2024
Location: Juuban Ward
Synopsis: When a youma fight interrupts Queen Beryl's latest plans, she faces the mahou themselves, putting on a terrifying show of power - particularly when she takes note of Tuxedo Kamen. The taunts and insults of our heroes don't go over well, and the Queen of the Dark Kingdom decides to send the group on a trip down memory - transporting them to an echo of the past! Trapped first in the center of the Fall of the Moon Kingdom, our heroes eventually find themselves somewhere less awful... but still trapped. CW: war, death. You came for back to the future but eneded up in Saving Private Ryan
Cast of Characters: Beryl, Madoka Kaname, Hinoiri Kirara, Rashmi Terios, Erika Shimizu, Haruka Tenoh, Usagi Tsukino, Michiru Kaiou, Mamoru Chiba, Jadeite, Kyouka Inai, Amanda Faust, Rei Hino, Setsuna Meiou
Tinyplot: Operation: Past

Beryl has posed:
It's rare for a simple, petty business matter to become important enough to earn the attention of the Dark Kingdom's own queen, but on this wretchedly sunny day, with infernal birds singing, and flower-scented breezes blowing, Director Beryl herself stands amidst a crowd of Beryl Holdings employees, all facing the entrance of a large, modern building with tasteful decor and expensive landscaping. Juuban has been the site of plenty of projects, the majority of them short-term ventures meant solely to gather victims for draining, but none with as much thought and care put into them as this one.

Humans might worship money as the ultimate reward, but like any proper Queen, Beryl worships at the alter of power. And in this world, the easiest way to obtain power is to take it from those too weak to hold onto it.

That is exactly what this venture will do: take'.

What else could one expect from Beryl Holdings' new credit union?

She can already see it now - the raging customers, the despairing employees, the bitterness in the eyes of all who entered, the broken down hopes and dreams. Hidden in the terms of service would be enough loopholes and twists to spin the heads of even the most experienced professionals, and yet, the low costs and high returns would ensure they come back, too driven by greed to refuse. A wonderful source of passive energy drain! All she would need to do is send in a new youma once a month - perhaps even once every two weeks - to drain the gathered humans dry.

No one would suspect a thing. Who left the bank enthusiastic?

"Director Beryl, w-would you like to do the honor of cutting the ribbon?"

Because of course, there's a ribbon, a rich red, satin and beautiful, waiting to be cut by a pair of oversized scissors. Beryl may have hated people, but she loved to be worshipped - and what was cutting the ribbon, but a moment of worship, watchful eyes held fearfully by her power and majesty?

"It would be my honor," she responds with the faintest of smiles, "And yours."

She climbs the stairs of the building, heels click-clacking, curly red hair swaying - seven feet tall and glamorous, she's traded her usual expensive business suits for a long halter dress in her signature deep purple, low cut with flowing skirts. Her lips are a deep purple, her eyes eyes crimson. Only those with magic notice that her lips aren't painted with lipstick, her ears too pointed.

She accepts the scissors, lifting them to the ribbon. She's just about to make the cut, when she notes the sound of... screaming. In the distance, yes, but growing closer, accompanied by the crunch of metal, the thud of something enormously heavy against concrete and asphalt.

It couldn't be. Not in her moment of triumph!

And yet, it very much is Across the street from where Beryl stands, a youma appears, running for it's life as attacks just barely miss, metal screeching as it grabs a dumpster and pulls it behind itself. It's fast for something so large - an oversized skeletal rabbit, with a pattern of triangles on it's chest, it's wide mouth turned down in a frown.

"Hey, hey, hey," it calls, "Just because you're not as cool as some of the folks I've seen, that's no reason to be so mad, you know? You're not so bad, you're like, almost pretty!"

The gathered employees, partners, and new customers start to run - they won't remember quite what it was they saw, later, but in the moment, they see the strange, impossible creature barreling for them, still dragging the dumpster, and they're in terror.

Beryl stands stockstill, frozen in disbelieving fury.

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Madoka and Gretchen are watching the ribbon cutting from a distance, dragged here by none other than Sio. Of course the CEO fairy would want them all here, since it's a pretty big deal. Gretchen had... misgivings about coming here, for reasons that she couldn't clearly remember. They aren't close enough to really hear what's being said, but they can see a tall woman with red curly hair wielding the ceremonial scissors.

    "Look, look!" flails Sio. "She's about to cut it."

    "Do we really have to be here?" asks Gretchen, nervously. "That woman gives me vibes. She looks like a witch. Not like a Witch witch but I mean... the fairy tale kind."

    "Don't just judge her by her looks, Gretchen-chan," chides Madoka, trying very hard to not be weirded out by the strange lady. The pinkette wouldn't be saying that if she was close enough to hear how Beryl talks to her underlings.

    Their conversation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a giant rabbit skeleton. "Oh shoot!" says Madoka before reaching out for Sio. "C'mon, we have to help! MY HEART: UNLOCK!"

    A flashy henshin sequence later, Hope Blossom is super jumping towards the offending youma. Gretchen is flying after her, nervously eyeing Director Beryl more than the actual youma currently attacking.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker had no idea how all of this had gone wrong. I mean, it ALWAYS went wrong, but THIS time she was SURE it wasn't her fault. THIS youma was obviously defective. "Get your fuzzy butt BACK HERE you useless RABBIT!" she yelled after it. "I swear if you don't get back here I'll find out whatever petting zoo they made your butt from and SEND YOU BACK THERE!" she yelled, flying after the youma...

Only to come to a screaching halt (in mid air, no less) the moment she saw *Beryl*. She gave a soft, confused squeak, staring at the director. WHY WAS SHE OUT OF HER OFFICE?! SHE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE OUT OF HER OFFICE! Sunbreaker was VERY clear she didn't want to work within TWO HUNDRED FEET of that crazy broad!

"B-bunny.... youma... come back..." she kind of half hearted called to it... sloooooowly inching away...

Rashmi Terios has posed:
Tokyo is a weird and magical place.

Even if one doesn't *perceive* magic, Tokyo is a city full to bursting with people, ideas, companies... It's a town where the life cycle of new-and-different is redlined, fads and fashions sprouting and dying within weeks.

If one *does* perceive magic, it's a weird and magical place in utterly different ways. Take, for example, the youma running for its rabbity unlife, dragging an entire dumpster behind it as if that much cover will do anything but delay the inevitable.

But even though one young Device Mage can fly, that doesn't mean her friends and allies can similarly ignore the blockage to get their attacks on target.

Thus do several glowing golden balls of energy fade into view, as the book floating millimeters above her hand speak.


With a jarring, crack-SNAP, the balls of energy become golden, crystalline chunks of ice, that launch themselves one after another at the dumpster, each that successfully hits sticking to the target and to each other, and to the ground. More and more ice-barrets are summoned and flung, as Rashmi walks her fire down the street to keep the pressure on.

And, hopefully, ruin the dumpster as a viable defense.

Erika Shimizu has posed:
    "Gebback here ye... Blatherin' barnacle encrusted jackrabbit!"
    That would be the call of of one Jolly Roger; the pirate-themed mahou was... Well she was out and about in Juban when the skeletal rabbit youma decided to rear its ugly head and then one thing led to another and IT BROKE HER SODA BOTTLE.
    Now, Jolly Roger may always have more than one bottle of cola on her at any given time... But the one she was drinking from was a special edition Jan Ken Pop MYSTERY flavor that she had scarce put to her lips when the youma wrecked it.
    That's why all this nautical nonsense is happening now with a pirate chasing a skelebunny, cutlass in one hand, flintlock pistol in the other, and murder in her eyes.
    People are running away- well Jolly Roger is running TOWARD the rabbit, huffing and sputtering and blathering raging nautical nonsense!
    At least until she slows down and then comes to a halt.
    Oh looks like a ribbon ceremony got interrupted. People are running about in panic. So much for the celebration.
    "Eesh, I'd hate to be that lady with the scissors right about now."
    HA HA... If she only knew.
    She doesn't know.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus is running up on the skeleton-rabbit thing, knowing Neptune isn't far behind. The dumpster is thrown in her way and she vaults over it smoothly with one hand, hardly slowing down. She trusts Neptune to weave around it as well - it's so calming, even in the fight with a evil skelerabbitmonster, to know that one of your allies is the person who you can absolutely, undoubtedly count on.

    The orange-gold energy of her planet gathers in her hand, forming a sphere as she leaps into the air and slams it down into the floor.

    "WORLD... SHAKING!" she calls as the orange sphere rips up the ground between Uranus and the rabbit-youma, seeking to slam into it and stop it from running by stunning it with vicious shockwaves. Certainly it won't, perhaps, miss the youma and aggrivate a more dangerous threat she hasn't noticed, or anything.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"Oh no, it got into a street again!" Sailor Moon groans with frustration as her tiara buries itself into a wall instead of the youma. "Jadeite-kun, do you think you can put a wall up to stop it?!"

The dumpster bursts thanks to Page Mage's attack, garbage spilling everywhere, but the youma itself is just fine. The stupid thing hasn't seemed very strong - the hits it's gotten off not managing to do very much - but it's fast, as evidence of the fact that it's totally managed to dodge everything they've thrown at it.

"Sunbreaker, why'd you have to make it so fast?! Are you making fun of me?!"

It's a rabbit, she's Usagi, is this targeted? Attacks are flying everywhere, and she sees Hope Blossom bounding along, so maybe this is - maybe this is going to end well? There are civilians running everywhere and she feels awfully sorry about that...

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
    Michiru Kaiou has no reason to be at the grand opening of a credit union. She pays people to manage her finances so that she doesn't have to think about them. Which is why Michiru Kaiou wasn't there.
    Sailor Neptune, however, well she was there, just a few steps behind Uranus running toward the weird rabbit youma. She dodges around the arc of the dumpster, moving like flowing water as she makes her way to plant her feet and square off, bringing her hands together and forming a massive sphere of energy and seawater that she rises over her head.
    "Deep Submerge!" she calls as she brings her hands down and sends that giant blue orb hurtling toward the rabbit right behind Uranus's attack.

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
"I am VERY pretty!" yells Tuxedo Kamen, taking off his hat and running a gloved hand through his hair, then flipping his cape back as he sleight-of-hands the hat away. He jumps up to land on a ledge almost at the end of the street, high up enough to be close without being in the way.

Bringing one hand to his chest, it starts to glow white, then white-gold, and he yells, "TUXEDO!" and half-turns away, then draws his arm out in a wide arc and yells, "La SMOKING!!" and then flings his hand out and flicks his outstretched fingers open as a white-gold ball of energy forms in front of his hand, "BOMBER!!!"

The blast is loosed at the rabbit thing, punchy laser only actually making contact for as long as Tuxedo Mask can keep it aimed right at the moving target; he stops and leans against the wall when it ends up exploding some trash in the dumpster after a second.

"Even my attack is pretty!!" he adds firm... ly... oh, oh no, oh no oh no oh no, "MOON!" he calls, eyes wide behind the mask, and he's pointing, and it sure as hell looks like he's abruptly suddenly WILDLY WORRIED about the skeletal negging bunny thing.

Jadeite has posed:
"You always have been!"

Jadeite is in fast pursuit at Sailor Senshis' sides, his ice rapier sheathed as he prepares to blast the youma with another Snow Thimble attack.

But then - he can't explain what he feels, the electricity in the air, the sudden weight in his chest - not until he looks over at HER, the woman with red hair and eyes as easy to drown in as the sea. The one who had changed his fate so many years ago.


"Glory of the Snow," he casts instead, and tries to grab Sailor Moon's arm as icy flowers bloom as shields between them and Her, the Director, the Snake -

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    Stellar is watching this whole thing unfold from the roof of a nearby building. It's not that she thinks her kids need her supervision for this sort of youma-hunt (although, judging by the rate of success they are currently having maybe that's incorrect), it's more that she just happened to be in the neighborhood when all this started going down so she came to check it out. So far, despite the youma being slippery as hell, she doesn't see any need to intervene directly. She sits on the edge of the rooftop, watching the chase, moving from time to time to keep things in view.

     She hasn't yet noticed Beryl and her little event going on across the way.

    She does notice Tuxedo Kamen's attack. "Wow, that is a cool punchy laser."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    A skeletal rabbit. Why. At least it's not another crocodile made of teeth...

    Dang, Amy's life sure is weird these days.

    "It doesn't... what... why are you calling it fuzz butt?! It's a skeleton!" the Puella Magi yells to Sunbreaker as she arcs through the air after a rocket jump. Sunbreaker, who suddenly stops cold? "What, you've got cold feet now?" Amy turns her weapon towards the youma, but-- damn it, it's running towards some kind of event full of people. She'd better not shoot from a ground angle and risk missing...

    "We'll just have to finish it quickly!" Amy pauses briefly at Tuxedo Mask's choice of words, then shakes her head and resumes pursuit. The red Puella Magi rocket-jumps into the air again, arcing over the skeletal rabbit and firing rockets down on it...

    ...And only when she's already arcing towards the crowd of people does it occur to her that if Sunbreaker is scared, she probably knows something Amanda doesn't...

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker couldn't resist. She had to. "Yes, but it's unrelated to the youma!" she yelled down at Sailor Moon before she could stop herself. She was scared of Beryl, certainly... but you can't just LET a pristine burn like that go without taking a swing. "And it was an assigned one! My youma are MUCH more powerful!" Can't also not brag about how much better her stuff is.

Rei Hino has posed:
    Skeletal Rabbits would make a likely yokai. More likely youma. Always something bad. Rei Hino had been here to look good for her father's sake, polite, in the background, dressed nicely, and during the opening mayhem had made her way to a quick change -- skidding out of a side street on her heels, coming up behind Jolly Roger as she calls out the rabbit.

    She catches Moon's tiara striking a wall and makes a face. And Tuxedo Kamen (who yes, is pretty, with pretty attacks), and she breathes out in a slight huff of frustration. This was an ally-rich environment.

    She brings her hands together, and in a hushed whisper she adds to the attacks at the rabbit, a line of fire aimed to cross its nose in a warning shot to try and back it away from everyone else!

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto hadn't been with the main pack chasing after the rabbit youma, as she'd been elswhere when the madness started.

Truth told, she's not really sure how this all started.

And by this point, it doesn't really matter anyway.

After hearing from the others over communicators where they were and where they were going, she decied to try to cut it off before it got to the crowded pack...but, sadly, events, circumstance, and a giant rabbit moving faster than should be possible means that instead of cutting the thing off, she ends up merely joining the pack of mahou giving chase to the thing.

Thus, when she lands in the middle of the pursuit crowd from a nearby roof, she merely comments, "I get he feeling this has been a particularly slippery one."

Beryl has posed:
There are attacks flying everywhere, the poor skeletal-rabbit youma fleeing for it's goshdarn life. Totoro never had to deal with problems like this! Why did Totoro never have to deal with these problems, but this poor youma does?!

"You know, I'm - really surprised you're all so strong, I mean, who'd have expected it from cuties like you?!" The words are yelped, as the dumpster explodes to bits, and stone shards rain down over it from the tiara. It runs blindly forward, looking back at the magical warriors chasing it, just in time to see World Shaking, and jump to the side, rolling end over end, right into Deep Submerge.

As the youma sputters and yells, smashed and half-drowned by the blue sphere, that orange one keeps flying forward, tearing up the ground of the city street and - oh no.

Slamming right into the stairs of the new Credit Union, destroying them.

Director Beryl, Queen Beryl, had still been standing there in disbelieving fury, but the shock of this, destruction to her newly built operation - shocks her into motion. She stalks down the stairs at a sedate pace, eyes narrowed in a hard glare.

The youma crawls from the water soaking it, only to be blasted in the back by Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber and launched forward with a scream. Fire blazes by, lighting it's fur up, and it rolls across the ground.

It looks worse for wear - probably on the verge of destruction, and definitely panicked, as it lands at Beryl's feet.

"H-hey," it says, voice frightened, "Anyone ever tell you're really pretty for such a mature woman?"

It's the last thing the poor, wretched youma says, before the woman in the purple dress lifts her foot and crushes it's head under her heel. The skeletal rabbit youma crumples into shards of porcelain, dark energy floating up, up, and away, as Beryl levels her gaze at the mass of wretched, pathetic, children, now standing before her.

Puella Red, having rocket launched herself into the air to leap above the youma, is the first to feel her wrath - what goes up, must come down, after all. In a swift gesture, Beryl snatches the girl out of the air, and hurls her directly at Sunbreaker.

After all, she could hardly miss the pathetic wretch of a free-lancer she'd instructed to be far, far better than this, in the future. Another mistake. Perhaps she needed another lesson.
Hers small wall of ice, in the shape of lovely, delicate, vulnerable flowers has gone up, near the alley entrance, and Beryl recognizes that attack. Of course she does - it's creator had once belonged to her, body and soul. He would again.

"You fools should have kept your childish game of heroes to yourself," she says coldly, and strength seems to waft from her, a warning that says this one is not to be trifled with. "And you blasted Senshi should have warned your allies to fear me!"

Because of course, she recognizes her ancient, hated enemies, those wretches who should have stayed dead. It's too late for warnings now - the attack on Red and Sunbreaker proves that.

Beryl brings her hands together in a clap, and a shockwave of dark energy flies from her, more than enough to knock everyone off their feet. To shatter the wall of ice Jadeite erected.

To reveal Sailor Moon, and more importantly, the boy in the Tuxedo. The boy who had thrown the rose, that Thetis brought. With Sailor Moon and Jadeite.

"Can it be?" And she stares at him, unable to see through the veil. "Is that you, Endymion?"

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    It's hard for Stellar not to notice Beryl when she literally crushes the youma underfoot- especially when she claps her hands and sends out a shockwave of Dark Energy. That's really rather hard to miss. Stellar is several buildings away on a rooftop and even she feels the wave of pressure, although it's not strong enough to knock her down at that distance.

    Grey eyes narrow as they focus in on the woman standing on the stairs. She had no intention of meeting this particular villain again so soon.. in fact, had promised not to do so without backup. But hey, look at all those mahou down there! Surely that counts as backup.

    On the other hand, she still distinctly remembers the sound of impacting a bus at semisonic speeds.

    She crouches down on the edge of the building and watches. Waiting to see what the others, especially Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, do.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker gave a sharp intake of air when she heard the youma say *that*. Oh. "D-definitely not my youma," she said.

And then Puella Red was yeeted at her. Luckily, she was flying... but instead of dodging, she caught the girl, spinning through the air once or twice, before just... Blinking. "Okay, I've met you. Don't overthink this," she warned, before promptly just dropping Puella Red to drop the twenty or thirty feet to the ground. At least she wasn't yeeted into the wall at fifty miles an hour?

Then, before she can stop herself... "Wait, who in the world is Endymion? Is that one of those pokemon things? Also, err. You... sparkle skirts... might... want to run..." She was certainly inching away, only pausing to... "Well, I guess it only broke a bank stairway, though. At least nothing valuable was damaged. I never thought a director would do their own banking, though."

HINT! HINT! NUDGE! NUDGE! RUN! AWAY! KIDS! She was making sure to stay out of arms reach of Beryl, though. She did not wanna be put on ice... she wasn't sure if she could count as 'dismissed', either...

Erika Shimizu has posed:
    Right then, so much for the ribbon ceremony.
    Sucks to be that lady-- no no it sucks to be that *YOUMA* when the Director reveals herself to be the QUEEN. Jolly Roger can't help but stare raptly as the youma is evaporated and...
    That woman... That woman radiates so much power.
    Enough power to make the Dread Pirate's teeth itch and the hair on her neck stand on end.
    This is an absolute feat, considering the pirate's undead status.
    "That... That likely be my cue to uh. Take my leave, iffin' ye will." Jolly Roger mutters as Puella Red is flung and that wave of pure raw power from the woman's clap and dark energy hits Erika with the force of a gunshot, slamming her clean off her feet into the pavement with a grunt of pain.
    Jolly Roger slowly picks herself up. It's a feat of pure physical stamina and endurance that she can even DO so after that.
    "C-crimeny..." The pirate mutters, deciding now would probably be the best time to exercise discretion over valor, she... Starts trying to stagger off unnoticed.

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope Blossom gets close enough to hear the skeletal rabbit's negging and she decides, for once, that she's going to take its words, and perhaps its very existence, personally. Even though it never said anything to her.

    It's only when Blossom gets close does she realize that Sunbreaker is here. "Seriously, Sunny? I knew you were mean but I expected you to at least have more class than this!"

    Gretchen trails behind, still watching Beryl with wary eyes. When the Witch fairy looks up at Sunbreaker, she notices something. "Blossom-chan, I think Sunbreaker is scared of the witch lady."

    "I-- What?" Blossom stops on top of a lamppost, looks back at Gretchen, then at Beryl.

    Then she watches as Beryl kills the youma, forceflings Red, starts tearing her way through several attacks and--

    Blossom's eyes go wide. "Who... who is she?!" Something is wrong here.

    Gretchen is tugging at Hope's sleeve. "Swap with me! Now!"

    Hope Blossom glows with bright pink light as Sio's egg leaves her and Gretchen's X-Egg enters. Just in time for the dark energy wave to send her falling off of her street light, arms flailing the whole way.

    When Hope Witch picks herself up, she brushes off her ribbon dress and asks Beryl plainly, "Wait... are you Hematite-kun's former boss?"

    Sio starts looking around frantically for a place to hide. Hope Witch just opens a tiny Labyrinth gate and shoves her in for safety.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"It sure is pretty!" Sailor Moon, supportive and honest, clapping as the blast sends the youma flying forward. She had been excited, even with Sunbreaker taunting her, because the best this youma can do is run. So many of her friends and allies are here, gathered for the fight, and even if there's been a regrettable amount of property damage, there's no way this won't end in their victory.

She's especially sure of this when she sees fire blasting across the field, and knows that Sailor Mars is here too, just like the Outer Senshi. As the youma, surely on it's last legs goes rolling, she smiles-

And she sees her, that tall, terrible figure, even as Tuxedo Kamen - as Mamoru - as Endymion - calls for her.

She's never seen her in this life, but then, how could she ever forget her.

"No, no, nonono," she whispers under her breath, eyes wide, horrified, remembering just what she'd yelled at Inai-sensei about not too long ago -

"Kamen-kun, you've got run -"

Because it's dangerous for all of them, but Beryl is obsessed with Mamoru in a way unlike anyone else, and his name doesn't belong in her mouth, the syllables of his name have never sounded so wrong as they do now, carressed by her voice.

And then Red is launched directly at Sunbreaker, and dropped (but not at flight speed, at least), and even Sunbreaker sounds nervous. Not too much of a surprise, given what Mamoru had told her about her punishment...

And yet.

She sure had told Inai-sensei not to take Beryl on alone. But she's not alone. And Mamoru needs to get out of here, and she's already seen him, and -

"Moon Healing Escalation!"

She doesn't think it will do much. Not against Beryl, not without the full strength of the Silver Crystal, but like hell is she pulling that out right now.

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
Wobbling on his perch, it's not long before Jadeite grabs Mamoru behind his shield with Sailor Moon, and he's half-panicked, out of breath, there aren't enough of them here, there aren't enough of them here to take her on. "Everybody run," he says in a punched-out little gasp, "everybody get out of here, she's too strong--" and he's pulling at Jadeite and Moon and then all of sudden they're knocked back and the ice shield is shattered and they're




He freezes like a deer in headlights, then glances behind him, then lifts a hand to point to his chest, eyebrows up. Maybe she can't see that he's shaking, maybe nobody can see he's shaking. He certainly sounds confused. Or something. "No?" he offers, tentatively.

She's looking at him she's looking at him

He almost tries stepping in front of Usagi, the oldest reflex he has, to shield her. He doesn't do it. He doesn't want to give Beryl any flashbacks like the ones he still has at night, in nightmares. He almost feels like it's happening again, Beryl on the stairs, and then Hope Witch brings up Hematite after Beryl asks him if he's Endymion and he laughs, freezing cold all of a sudden, rushing in his ears.

He can't fight her.

He doesn't want to die.

He doesn't want anyone else to die, either.


Tuxedo Kamen bolts.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "Oh shi-" is about what Sailor Uranus gets before she crosses her arms and tries to brave the storm of Dark Energy. Credit to Beryl, it still takes Sailor Uranus off her feet. She gets back up quickly, though. "Fear you? I don't even know you, spooky." Sailor Uranus says. And Haruka doesn't. But Sailor Uranus - Guardian Uranus - does. And her eyes blink with realization. "Oh. No. I do know you."

    "I know I've been waiting millenia to get my chance to get to you!" she says. She can feel the danger that radiates from the woman. She can feel her threat. But she also knows - she can feel Sailor Neptune here. Sailor Moon. Mamoru. Jadeite. Plus others not even in this fight. So she, unwisely, smacks her fist into her hand and then paradoxically draws her blade from its subspace sheathe.

    "I'm gonna right this wrong RIGHT NOW!" She yells. Moon healing escalation is coming. Good. Sailor Uranus might need the backup. But she's not going to let *Beryl* fight anybody without her getting involved. Immediately. No more waiting for the right moment or keeping some other post. She owes her former self that much.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
As the dumpster is eliminated as cover, Rashmi takes a moment to glance around herself... then feel a pang of sympathy for the poor youma. "...Hanzo-kun wasn't kidding about mahou and raptors," she mutters to herself... then the reactions of her allies begin to filter into her awareness, and the fact that all that scared and nervous is directed *past* the youma, to the incredibly tall elfy woman in front of what was now a pretty well-ruined business opening.

"So uh... why's everyone so nerv--"

And the youma is crushed, and the full might of Beryl unveiled to all.

"...Oh," Rashmi says softly. "...That's a good reason."

Swallow that fear, Rashmi... You're a mage of justice, and also mostly a civil servant. You have *responsibilities.*

Amy's flight into Sunbreaker, and subsequent depositing on the ground, is marked, and Rashmi swoops down to place herself between Beryl and Amy.

...Sunbreaker can be protected too if she keeps her mouth shut.

<< *BONG!* >> << SOLAR SHIELD >>

A circular plane of light spreads out from Rashmi's outstretched hand, moving forward and widening, until in front of Rashmi is a translucent shield, a good three meters in diameter.

She then opens her mouth to speak, but it is *difficult* to miss Usagi's desperation, and Tuxedo Kamen turning and *legging it away.*

...Suddenly her most reliable spell doesn't feel all that sufficient.



Jadeite has posed:
His shields crumble like so many cookies in a child's hand. That's fine. They take the brunt of Beryl's hideous power instead of the bodies of the many mahou around him.

He fought on her side, once. She had impossible power back in the Golden Kingdom, and it had only grown in the millinia hence.

It's not that he's a coward. It's that he knows what Beryl is capable of, and she'd have crushed everyone with a breath BEFORE she realized Endymion was here. The only thing that's preventing this from becoming a bloodbath is his prince and the addition is just adding a delay.

If this wasn't do or die, he'd want to shake that girl in pink upside the head for confirming Tuxedo Mask's identity as Hematite, but -

But right now, his prince needs time to run and henshin back into a form Beryl won't know. With any luck, in the aftermath, his prince will put them all back together from the shreds Beryl is about to leave them in.

"Glory of the Snow!" he casts again, and ice flowers manifest in front of several alleyways to hide where Endymion has run, with a few more in front of him and the Sailor Scouts for good measure.

It won't be enough. But he has to try.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
    Michiru just lets the wave of Dark Energy wash over her, falling back with it and tumbling to the ground, rolling and getting back up to her feet like some flotsam in the sea. Then she hears Uranus talking smack, and her lips tighten into a smirk.
    Of course she's trash talking Queen Beryl.
    Of course she's running toward Queen Beryl with her sword drawn.
    This is Sailor Uranus. Haruka Tenoh. Since when has she ever made the cautious choice?
    Neptune lets out a resigned laugh as she reaches into her own little pocket of space to pull out the Deep Aqua Mirror. If her love is going to go after the Queen, the least she could do was help her find a weak spot.

Rei Hino has posed:
    Sailor Mars drops her hands, checking to see if the Rabbit is in full retreat, no heated skeletal hassenfeffer or toasty Peter Cottontail, though, can compare to when Beryl drops her disguise.

    There is something primal there. Fear pulling the air from her very lungs, but the Senshi of War and Passion grits her teeth, and wills herself to move.

    "FIRE SOUL!" she calls out, her fire spiraling outwards again, in defense of her princess as she narrows her eyes.

    For Mars, it is Do or Die. For all the arguments she's had with Usagi, Mars defends Moon in both lifetimes -- always.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
And just as Sailor Pluto is checking sightlines and readying her attack...the youma tumbles to the ground in front of Beryl...and gets CRUSHED.

That earns a blink...and then her eye tracks up from the crushed youma...to a face that's featured in more than a few of Pluto's nightmares over the years.

Uranus and Neptune are probably close enough to hear Pluto utter a few swear words that they may have heard her use before...and by context, they're pretty bad...which is made more concerning when she ends the string with, "...it's HER."

When the concussive blast hits, Pluto gets knocked back a bit along with many others...but she manages to get the Garnet Rod planted into the ground to stabilize herself before she goes rolling TOO far...and then the greenhaired senshi looks quickly around the battlefield, seeing who's where and what's available...and rapidly decides that she does NOT like the calculus for this engagement.

...which is unfortunately when she hears Beryl say 'Endymion'.

At which point she blows out a sigh...that just made all this even MORE complicated, she's sure.

As Tuxedo wisely takes the better part of valor and Moon sends a wave of magical purification in his direction, Sailor Pluto falls back a bit and steps so that she's more or less on the line between Beryl and the departing young man, at which point she whispers her attack, spins once, and hurls a ball of magical death towards Beryl to add to the wave of covering fire.

        <<dead scream>>

Amanda Faust has posed:
    The rabbit-youma is surprised at their strength? "Anybody who watched magical girl anime..." Amy answers, dryly. And then her travel is interrupted as she's abruptly jarred to a halt in the air, the 'mature woman' below gesturing at her -- "Oo-uh???" is the only sound she has time to make -- before she's bodily FLUNG out of the air, so surprised at the novelty of being subject to a telekinetic attack that she doesn't do anything to stop her trajectory in time. "Aaaahh!"

    And then she's caught by someone, and looks up in surprise and maybe a hint of gratitude at... Sunbreaker?! At being told 'don't overthink this' she gives an uncertain look and a thumbs-up, acknowledging that there's enough mutual respect here (she hopes) to not take the opportunity for a cheap shot in either direction.

    She's dropped, but from this height she can land normally with the physical abilities of a mahou shoujo--only to be immediately sent flying backward by the dark wave!

    She hits the pavement -- the back of her head smacking into the ground briefly, thank goodness she's a Puella Magi -- and skids with a scraping sound. "Oww!" The 'armor' pieces in her outfit provide some protection for once, but she's still scraped up, especially her lower back. Gods, that stings!

    Although as soon as she can mentally process being annoyed at the pain, her skin and outfit regenerate to pristine. Scrapes hurt like hell but aren't lasting against Red. She lets out a breath in relief as the pain goes away, and quick-stands by crossing her legs, rolling forward, and standing up with a hop to straighten her legs.

    Her launcher, dropped in the attack, reforms in her off-hand, positioned like a shield against her arm. Okay, this is no normal Dark General, it's someone multiple people on both sides are scared of. The youma's beaten, so... Do they retreat? Or press the attack? This villain is at least some measure of foolish, attacking and scaring her own allies, but Amanda hardly knows enough to exploit that.

    Sunbreaker is clearly trying to retreat. They should follow suit...

    Before Amanda can say anything, Sailor Moon gives the command to run. Alright then!

                           FIGHT  MAGIC  ITEM  >RUN  

    Moon Healing Escalation!

    Amy stumbles to a stop and looks back in alarm. Wait, is Sailor Moon fighting after all?!

Beryl has posed:
Sailor Neptune will have no luck finding a weakness today. The Deep Aqua Mirror roils with darkness - with the gleam of red eyes.

Beryl's? Or Metallia's? It's hard to say. Something to contemplate, later.

If later ever comes.

Sailor Uranus launches herself at Beryl, blade first, as beams of purifying silver fly free and a planet shaped orb of purple is launched at her. It looks pretty bad for her, huh? All that power? All that force?

And yet, in a split second of motion and power, Beryl catches Sailor Uranus by the wrist, stopping the thrust of her sword, and swings her about as though she were nothing more than a particularly floppy doll. Her grip is steel, is diamond, implacable and unbreakable, and Moon Healing Escalation strikes Sailor Uranus' back, dissipating on contact - it does no harm to her, given that Sailor Uranus isn't infected with dark energy, but Dead Scream and Fire Soul certainly will hurt.

She drops the battered and likely smoking Sailor Uranus after that, kicking her down what remains of the stairs for good measure.

"How pathetic. Thousands of years, and you're still helpless in the face of my power."

Hope Witch speaks a magic word and the boy in the Tuxedo looks baffled, staring at Beryl with abject confusion, and then ice goes up again, another wall, another barrier between her and the boy who may yet be Endymion -

And Queen Beryl steps over Sailor Uranus to walk towards Hope Witch and the others.

"If you wish to keep your worthless lives, you will tell me if that is the boy who was once Hematite!"

There's a shield between the rest of them and Beryl, Uranus on one side, everyone else protected by Page Mage's power... but are they confident that spell will hold off this?

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Seeing things unfold, and putting two and two together, combined with nagging, fragmented memories from past timelines... Hope Witch's eyes narrow at Queen Beryl. Attacks from the Senshi come out. Tuxedo Kamen starts to run. She doesn't need to know a thing about the Silver Millenium to know, roughly, what the story is here.

    Madoka was sure that she wouldn't actually kill another human or other variant of 'real person' unless one of her friends, especially one of her Chara, were threatened. She was pretty sure that was the one and only reason she'd put someone down.

    She now has a second reason.

    A wide Labyrinth gate opens behind her, and a house-sized eldritch, many eyed, many-winged thing made of gold, brass, fire and swords appears behind her. She doesn't pull out her bow. Not yet. Not with the tiny fairy in her heart screaming at her to jump into the Labyrinth and run. Still, there's merit in testing the strength of the enemy.

    Yet the shield is up, and the giant Familiar is putting itself between Beryl and Hope Witch.

    "No," she responds, almost without thinking. "No, Hematite fled to Australia. Sorry."

Jadeite has posed:
Jadeite is going to throw up as many ice shields as he can behind glowing gold shield and over the nearby alleyway mouths, and more - he doesn't know what's coming but it's certainly coming for them all. He'll try and eat as much of the damage as he can.

"I'm shocked, your Highness," he sneers, a bead of sweat rolling down his face from the effort of throwing up as many shields as he can. "You don't recognize your own father after all this time? I suppose it makes sense after all these years he's spent trying to avoid you and your mother. You don't get your looks from him at all - it amazes me how you insist on parading around town like a giraffe in a wig!"

Don't look at Endymion or that sailor scout smoking on the ground! Look at him!

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    Okay, so people are definitely fighting Beryl- and not doing a particularly effective job of it, by all indications. Stellar can't hold that against them, though- she wasn't very effective when she tried either.

    Still, she should get down there. If nothing else, she can get Tuxedo Mask away. Though he seems to be doing a good job of running all on his own. Something she also cannot fault him for.

    Unsure of what the most effective move is, Stellar decides that putting herself into position for when it becomes apparent is the best move. She vanishes from the rooftop, re-appearing several buildings closer in the mouth of an alleyway, out of Beryl's direct line of sight but close enough to get a better handle on the situation and move when it becomes apparent what the best move is.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Pain. That's what Sailor Uranus' world becomes as the Dead Scream and Fire Soul impact her back instead of their intended target. For just a moment all she can feel is pain - henshin armor is prretty solid and Haruka Tenou is no pushover either. But she's pretty sure that her throat is ragged from a scream she doesn't remember making, when the world was only pain and fury, fire and silent screams. Comparatively she *almost* doesn't feel the kick of disdain as an injury, or at least not a physical one. One to her pride, sure.

    Though that was about as crispy and smoking as damaged as her back. Which means the only thing to do is... Back down? No. Not Sailor Uranus, not Haruka Tenou. In that moment both the parts of her are in harmonious agreement. Double down. That's the answer here. Especially with so much at risk. She thinks she can just drop her and focus on her friends? Not while she still breathes, she can't.

    "Hey." She says, though she says it into the ground, so she has to say it again as she reaches a shaking hand out and braces herself up and rises.

    "Hey. You old hag." she says as she rises to her wobbly feet, sword still glowing as she tries to grip it firmly. "You know what's sad? You did all of this for one guy and he still thinks you're repulsive." she says. "That's gotta be way more humiliating than anything I've ever gone through." she says, before she steps in to try to swing again. It's a much more clumsy swing, the pain having a bigger effect that she wants it to. But it doesn't matter. What matters is that glimpse of sea-green hair she saw out of the corner of her eyes as she stood. As long as Michiru is in ths world, this world needs protecting, even if every fiber of her being is echoing out in pain, even if it costs her everything.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
"...Red-chan I *really* hope you have a grapple rocket," Rashmi says over her shoulder. Her eye flicks to Sunbreaker for just a moment, then away and back to the threat in front of them. The sheer amount of force being utterly batted aside is enough to help Rashmi realize that her shield isn't *at all* likely to stop Beryl on the attack for a fraction of a second.

"Nicomachea? Full spread."

    << *BONG!* >> << ACKNOWLEDGED, >> replies the book.



    << SOLAR SHIELD >>

One shield may not be enough... But Rashmi doesn't have *one* defensive spell. Walls of jagged ice and swirling fire sandwich planes of light made solid, as she honors the threat Beryl presents, as seriously as she can; by putting everything she's got into making sure the others are protected.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"Get out of here, Red-chan," Sailor Moon whispers, catching sight of that confused face, "I just need to distract her for a little while, it's going to be fine."

It's not going to be fine. She doesn't believe that. She can't, not with Beryl on the field. They'd needed so many on hand to handle Hematite and the Shitennou and she is worse than all of them. She is nightmare incarnate, and Sailor Moon does not remember everything, but she remembers dying, at her own hands, remembers the sword as it cleaved into him, the smell of iron, the sound of screams.

Page Mage puts up wall after wall as Sailor Uranus is used as a meat shield, and behind Page Mage, Jadeite summons wall after wall of ice, sealing the entrance, making sure Mamoru can't easily change his mind, can't turn back to rejoin them -

And then Jadeite opens his mouth with insults, and Sailor Uranus does the same thing, and Hope Witch says Hematite is in Australia -

"You think he'd stay anywhere you could find him?" She finds herself shouting, staring daggers at Beryl through the shields that have been erected. Her lip curls back in a sneer. Her hand shakes around the Moon Stick. The silver crystal's glow ebbs and flows, brightening and dimming, again, again, again. "You make him sick. Even sharing a country with you was too much."

They might as well enrage her. She surely won't go after Mamochan if they've stayed to piss her off...

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
    She knew Beryl would be too strong, and yet Neptune still raced after Uranus, and she still was caught by surprise when Beryl snagged her and then swung her like nothing more than a sack of meat and bones. Uranus's feet caught Neptune square in the guts, knocking the wind right out of her and knocking her over.
    So she didn't see her love take all those attacks. She was too busy seeing stars and eating dirt. But she heard the blonde's waveringly defiant voice as she got back up. That brought a smile to her face. She still had her fight in her, so she knew Uranus was okay.
    Climbing back up to her feet she quickly glances around the battlefield before trying to close the distance between her and Uranus, to drag her away. Of course she's attacking again.
    Of course she is.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Okay, some are running, some are fighting; Tactically, Amy vaguely recalls hearing somewhere that this is really bad and a lot of videogame experience certainly backs it up in principle.

    But now Beryl has Uranus -- Amy winces and sucks air in through clenched teeth as the senshi is used as a shield and just eats attacks, and then is thankfully dropped. But how the hell can any of them get close enough to retrieve her when Beryl can use The Force?

    Oh. Amy's got an idea.

    "We have to run! If we don't all run or all fight, we'll lose!" she shouts to the others, at the same time as Moon responds to her and she fires a missile that curves around Rashmi's shield and explodes into a smokescreen!

    Amy nods to Moon, but then starts running towards Uranus -- not directly, but around Beryl to the left, while conjuring and throwing a dud grenade to the right to make a louder noise than her feet. Hoping the smoke will give her enough cover to retrieve Uranus! Although, that might be about to go awry too...

Erika Shimizu has posed:
    Jolly Roger manages to stop staggering. She manages to right herself enough to break into a full tilt run.
    It's bad. When Tuxedo Kamen of all people decides to run that's a sign that things are bad. It's one thing for a no-name pirate to flee in terror, but when a magical hero turns tail... Yeah that's good enough sign for Jolly Roger to get going. But.
    Can she really run?
    Slowly the pirate comes to a halt and glances over her shoulder.
    Something wriggles in the folds of her naval greatcoat and a small octopuss with a pirate hat crawls out of her pocket.
    "Blub!" Davy Jones chastises her for fleeing like a common lump.
    "Yeah but I mean look at her." She replies to her mascot. "I can't fight that."
    "Blub blub!" The octopus says.
    "Aye... I know.
    "Y-yeah..." She relents.
    And then Jolly Roger sighs.
    "Yer right, Davy." She mutters, adjusting her hat to a jaunty angle. "Runnin' now won't fix the problem. And maybe together we can all do sommat about said problem, aye?"
    With that the octopus leaps back into Jolly Roger's greatcoat and the pirate whirls around.
    In her hand is a flintlock pistol. And slowly. She starts walking back. Pacing her way towards the fray, towards the threat, towards the woman that could very well end her unlife with minimal effort.
    The krak-POW of the gun going off signals that this pirate still has some fight in her as Jolly Roger takes aim and lets fly a powderball at Queen Beryl before she tosses the spent gun aside where it turns to seafoam and glitter as soon as it hits the ground.
    "Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering hag. To the last I grapple with thee..." She mutters drawing another gun. She opens fire again.
    "From hell's heart I stab at thee..." She says, absolutely ready to freaking die just to give the other mahous a chance to fight or fly.
    She draws another gun--
    For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." She says unloading another shot and drawing another flintlock.
    "Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned woman! Thus, I give up the spear!"
    The spear being ANOTHER gunshot.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto stares at Uranus as she keeps trying to fight...and she's close enough to Sailor Moon that the younger Senshi can not only hear her knuckles creaking as they grip the Garnet Rod...she can also hear the fear and concern in her voice as she mutters, "...I swear by all that is Holy, Uranus...if you get yoursellf killed here I will find a way to storm down into the Underworld, drag your sorry ass back to the land of the living just so I can beat you to within an inch of it for being a dumbass..."

Jadeite's attempt to enrage Beryl gets a slight smirk...but then Moon calls out...and she's fairly certain THAT will get some attention. At which point she steps just in front of Moon and spins the Garnet Rod once before planting it in the ground and calling forth another shield to protect Sailor Moon and add to the shields more or less between Beryl and the departing Tuxedo:

        <<GARNET BALL!>>

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker eye twitched slightly. What. In the world. Were they DOING? Fighting impossible odds was supposed to be HER thing! And wait. Oh. Ohhhhh. "You want HEMATITE? That loser?" she asked, shaking her head. Stupid sparkleskirts!

OH gosh they were doubling down. Why were so many of them doubling down? She was NOT going to help them! Damn it.

She erupted into flame, appearing over the battlefield. "Idiots! Get out of *her* way!" she yells, before flicking her hands down. Red magic would wash over as many of the magical skirts as she could and then get flung away. Into walls. Trying to scatter them.

Idiots, RUN! She mentally pleaded with them.

And then Moon. Gosh. DARN IT! STUPID GIRL! WHY?! WHY?!

And then she teleported again, appearing in front of Moon. "You've lost this battle," she said. Though the words were harsh, the look in her eyes was anything but.

Please, you stupid idiot. I can't even fight her. You have no chance. JUST RUN! If you run the others will too!

She'd thrust her palm out, into the girl (Thanks, Fuyuko!) and unleash a blast of magic with the strike.

Rei Hino has posed:
    The pirate is giving Sailor Mars incidental cover fire as the Senshi of War charges in behind, the blasts of the guns echoing in her ears as Mars makes her approach as she tries to get ahead of Moon.

    "Are you --" duck and weave, slide over a grate, almost get a heel stuck --

    "/Seriously/--" she turns, and uses the hood of a police vehicle to leap up --

    "/Quoting Moby Dick Right Now?!" she asks of Jolly Roger, and she unleashes another torrent of fire at Beryl to try and keep heat off Sailor Moon.

    She's already incenced about Uranus. This isn't going to be a Fun or Easy fight. ... but when is it ever?

Beryl has posed:
The many-eyed, many-winged creature of fire, brass, and gold is certainly a surprise. One of Beryl's perfectly manicured eyebrows even creeps up at the sight. It is a towering, menacing thing, a wordless threat, something few would wish to tangle with.

Queen Beryl is not few. She is the one, the singular, she is the one who will rule the Earth, she will stand above the Moon and Stars themselves, who will burn it all to the ground once more if she must.

Sailor Mars may be a creature of fire, Sunbreaker may see herself as she will break the Sun and it's Princess, but Beryl is a queen, and she is sworn to the creature which consumes the sun itself.

She has given her life and her power and she will do it again, to steal what Metallia has, to take what is rightfully hers.

All of which is to say, Beryl does not flinch at the familiar at all. No, even as insults are flung her way, she reaches out, and with the most delicate of touches, rests her fingers on the familiar.

In an instant, crystal sweeps up from the ground, trapping it in a hell of eternal, motionless, wakefulness, cruelly and falsely called sleep.

Sunbreaker has most certainly seen this before.

"Australia," she tells Hope Witch disdainfully, "Was already going to burn. For your pathetic attempt at a lie, however, I will see it's people die screaming."

And then she stalks towards the shields raised by Page Mage, the fire-energy-ice sandwich of walls, and drives her hand through as though these layers of protection were nothing more than tissue paper.

"Talk is cheap, Jadeite," she says with a smile, "Insults even less. But you would know that, given how little your professions of love and loyalty were worth. Do you fight to save your prince now, when you so readily marched with me to his death?"

Bullets are flying, a pirate is citing words, and Sailor Uranus insults her, joining in the tide of words now that power has failed. With her hand still in the shield, she turns her head to look down at the rumpled soldier, smirking. "Do you think your cities were destroyed, the Earth burned as fuel, for only a man? You are as slow-witted as you are hopeless. I don't remember seeing you, when Silver Millennium fell. Did you cower in fear, as your comrades died?"

And then she blasts dark energy from her palm, aiming to knock everyone on the other side of that shield flat. Sailor Moon and Sailor Pluto, behind the Garnet Ball, will still stand, at least until Sunbreaker's blast sends Sailor Moon rolling backwards, knocked temporarily flat, and further away from the fighting.

It won't help.

"Too much time has passed," Beryl calls, "The world has forgotten what it is to burn. And you warriors have forgotten what it is to be brought to heel. Clearly that school has failed to educate you."

And she brings her hands together once more. This time, there's no shockwave of dark energy - only a tear in space, the size of a golf ball - a baseball - a basketball - an exercise ball -

rRapidly expanding, vivid purple and poisonous red, and she lobs it, landing in the middle of the crowd of senshi - in the middle of the street now torn apart by battle.

A sucking force grabs at those nearest to Beryl, beginning to pull them in, one by one, and blackness will overtake their vision, as they fall, fall, fall.

"Witness what I have wrought, and will bring upon this world again!"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    In the smoke, Sailor Uranus is staggered from her pain and her body's ability to give far less than her pride before being intercepted by Amy Faust and Sailor Neptune. "I'm fine." she protests. She is not fine. Her fuku is a mess, looking like she'd been thrown through a wheat thresher. "I got her." She does not.

    This becomes even more evident as the smoke from the screen begins to be drawn up into the dark portal-orb.

    "We have to stop her this time." This time. "We can't let her do it again." Again. Those words are said with such emphasis and meaning as she tries to fight her way out of her would be rescue - and succeeds only in getting away and being one of the first to be pulled into Beryl's Portal.

Kyouka Inai has posed:
    Stellar has her chance to help robbed from her by Beryl's unexpected action. Why it's unexpected is hard to say- given the woman's power and attitude, her doing something crazy and devastating should have been exactly what was anticipated. Perhaps it was- but how can somebody anticipate something like this?

    The ball of energy is lobbed, and everyone in the vicinity vanishes into it. There's a moment of fear, a spike of panic at the notion that this is some kind of black hole or other lethal singularity, but that doesn't track with what she's sensing, or what Beryl says. It's some kind of portal, or prison... maybe both.

    That doesn't make it any easier to decide what to do about it. But the fact remains; her backup (or frontup, perhaps, since she was going to be the backup) has vanished. And she's already experienced the futility of taking on Beryl solo.

    Stellar grinds her teeth, a sour expression on her face. She hates feeling helpless. But she's not entirely helpless, is she? Help those she can help.

    She vanishes again after a moment- off to find Tuxedo Mask and make sure he got away safely.

    We'll figure out that portal thing once Beryl isn't standing directly next to it.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
As that terrible hand lunges through the largest amount of the best defenses she can possibly muster, Rashmi has just enough time to wonder what she could have done instead, to slow this woman down.

It's a question she'll have the luxury of answering, in time, because before Beryl's impeccable manicure can close around her Barrier Jacket, Sunbreaker's 'assistance' comes in from a completely unpredictable direction, blasting the redhead away from Beryl, and her shields, and into a nearby wall.

It's lucky, at least, that the Barrier Jacket is designed to hold up against exactly this kind of high-speed architectural inspection, and thus Rashmi just gets a pleasant few moments of remembering how to breathe.

And *just* as air gets sucked into her lungs, space and time is wrenched open, and Nicomachea starts to panic out loud.


But there is time to do none of that, and Rashmi can only dig her fingernails into the ground in a futile attempt to halt the inexorable pull...

A move which barely slows down her backward progress... But does supply just enough delay for Nicomachea to send a snapshot data packet to S2U.

Someone, after all, has to be warned that an actual dimension-breaking threat occupies the C-suite.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
    Nobody should have any doubt in their mind what choice Neptune makes when she sees Uranus sucked into the orb. She is here to save the world, but the world isn't worth saving without Uranus in it. She looks to Red, standing right there next to her, having also tried to rescue Uranus from herself, and says, "Run if you can."
    Then she turns and runs the other way, diving head first into the portal after her soulmate.

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Some of the words being shouted at Beryl make Hope Witch glance thoughtfully off to the side. 'All of what?' she thinks. A part of her considers Homura for a moment, but... nah, this and that are two very different things. Workplace SH isn't something she can overlook, especially not from someone so threatening that Tuxedo Kamen's first instinct was to run. No matter how kind or forgiving she tries to be, there's no excuse for this.

    Yet at the same time, she still doesn't attack. On some level, some deep part of her knows that attacking right now is pointless. It isn't just the fact that everyone else's attacks aren't really doing anything. It's not just the fact that Sunbreaker is all but begging them to run away. She just... knows somehow. Like there's something about the dark energy currently radiating from Director Beryl that just screams wrong.

    "I don't fear death, but you should; because when you die, no one will ever want you back," is probably the coldest phrase that has ever escaped Madoka's lips, and she manages to utter it just moments before Sunbreaker's blast wave launches her backwards into her Labyrinth, thus immediately destroying any credibility or cool points she might have gained. She's sent flying into the infinite plushie store. At least there's something soft for her to land on.

    This, of course, means that she can't do anything to direct or protect the Familiar from what happens next.

    It twitches as it's caught in ice. Normally when a Witch or Familiar makes noise it's hard to tell exactly what it's supposed to be, but in this case it's very clearly trying to scream. As the icey cage forms around it, the large feathery wings spread wide in an attempt to fly up and away, but it's a worthless effort. This fight was over before it began. Every single one of its eyes widen in cold terror at Beryl's overwhelming cruelty, and will likely be frozen that way for all time.

    The terrifying fate of the Familiar, in of itself, isn't an irrecoverable loss. Not in the long term. They exist as a reflection of their Witch, sometimes to mock her but often to protect her. In time, it can be replaced. That's not the bad part.

    No, the bad part is that Madoka brought out the strongest Familiar she had. She had much to learn about her Witch powers and she was far from a master of Gretchen's power, but right now in this moment the instant defeat of the largest benotafraid she could summon was proof positive that Hope Witch could not stand against Beryl.

    As Hope Witch once again exits her Labyrinth, just in time to hear Beryl's threat. If those words were uttered by any common youma, it'd result in immediate death and possibly some mockery, but Beryl... Beryl seems like the kind of woman who could actually do it.

    The portal opens, or is it a singularity? Whatever it was, it's dragging her in. Hope Witch tries to scramble for her Labyrinth, and tries to open it up wider to take all of her friends to safety, but it's no use. The Labyrinth is coming with her, which means that poor Sio is, too.

    "Sio-chan, text the others! Tell them what happened before we get dragged in!"

    Inside, the businessfary is texting her fellow minidokas rapidly. She only gets a few texts through before they pass the point of no return.

Erika Shimizu has posed:
    A pirate do be citin' words. And what words they be as Jolly Roger casts aside her spent pistol and readies- braces for retaliation.
    "Yar!" She replies to Sailor Mars. She was, in fact, quoting Herman Melville's Moby Dick. It's... That's a thing that just happened yep.
    But when her musketballs have absolutely zero effect on Beryl well.
    "Yep I shoulda seen that coming."
    She honestly really should have, this is like a final boss encounter and she's not anywhere in shape enough to square off against a top tier threat like Beryl.
    But when the Queen opens that portal and it begins its terrible inexorable tugging force, the pirate wheels around to flee.

    Only for her cherished and treasured hat to get plucked off her head.

    For Erika Shimizu, time slows down. She turns her head, eyes following after the feathered tricorne cap as it sails through the air and gets swallowed by the doom gate, lost forever to time and space.
    "N-no...!" She whispers, hushed and disbelieving.
    Before she wheels about AGAIN towards the portal.
    And leaps IN, after her very important and very beloved hat.

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
Of course-- the one time he does as he's told, he hates it, he hates himself for doing it. It was not instinct at all -- his instinct is to protect, but with the number of times he's died or almost died trying to do that, and given who everyone is facing up against, given what Zoisite's STILL angry at him about, given what happened the last time-- he made himself listen. He made himself do what Sailor Moon said.

Of course he changes his mind exactly as everyone who knows him best thought he might. And Tuxedo Mask is barred from re-entry.

There are now so many walls between them, and they muffle sound a bit, but he can still hear the insults, he can still see Beryl's face in his mind's eye-- what's she DOING to them? He has to get back-- no, he has to make sure she doesn't use him as a weapon against them, has to make sure he doesn't get a backseat driver like he warned Bow about, has to make sure there's someone left to heal them when they're-- they're injured.

What would she do? Teach them a lesson, but one that gets them out of her way. She wouldn't put them all in Eternal Sleep right in the middle of town, would she? No, too complicated, take too long, something that'll get everyone at once--

Tuxedo Kamen jumps up to the roofline again and creeps forward, just far enough to see what's going on, not to get involved again, not... oh how he fiercely misses his little shadow right now, but she's moved on like she should have so long ago, and Beryl would have noticed her and ripped her to shreds anyway. How he misses the feeling of knowing what he's doing. How he misses, briefly, awfully, feeling like he had power -- but he knows it would never have been enough to stop her.

And now she's... that is a portal. That's a portal and that means she's sending them somewhere they won't be able to get out of. Okay. They can deal with whatever's on the other side, and he can deal with getting them out... later. When Beryl's not right there.

He creeps back, and then runs again -- runs to get help, this time. Kazuo, Zoi, Naru, Kyouka, Luna. Chrono. Ami? Was Ami in the fight? Whoever wasn't in the fight. (Chrono is going to kill him.) Whoever can help.

He'll need all the help he can get.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Uranus resists rescue! Amy tries to grab her arm and pull, "We will! But not right now!"

    They struggle as Beryl threatens to kill all of Australia. Damn, Sailor Moon's final boss has no chill. Wait, the school... Beryl knows Radiant Heart is full of magical girls and boys?! Oh no.

    "NO!" Amy shouts as Uranus pulls free from her... only to get sucked into darkness, followed by Amy.

    Witness what I have wrought, and will bring upon this world again!

    And then there's nothing but blackness.

    Wait. Am I dead? Was that it? Just died to a magic black hole or something? At least I didn't turn into a Witch...

    ...Huh. I was expecting not to exist, not to be conscious for... whatever this is. Am I waiting to be reincarnated? How long does that take? Does time have any meaning here? It's interesting that I feel like I'm falling. Not that I'd expect nothingness to have gravity, but if I'm dead I shouldn't have a body to feel that with... what even am I, just a soul with no gem? How do I even work?

    At that last thought, Amy reaches for her soul gem and feels her hand touch her wrist and realizes it's just dark. Oh.

    Feeling kind of stupid, the Puella Magi attempts to fire a flare cluster to light up... wherever this is!

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Pluto grits her teeth as the Garnet Ball proves it's strength...being the last shield standing.

Maybe it's just THAT good.

Maybe the other shields bled enough power off that it made it through.

...and then, the oldest Senshi hears Sunbreaker's voice RIGHT behind her and the sound of a magical attack going off.

Which causes her to turn and see the tail end of the Dark Energy user hitting Moon with a concussive blast.


Sailor Pluto chokes up her grip on the Garnet Rod, ready to swing for the fences with Sunbreaker's head as the ball...

UNFORTUNATELY, doing so means she took her eyes off the prize...and was thus caught unprepared by the sudden eruption of the spatial rift.

...not that she could likely have done anything anyway...as Beryl dropped the thing not very far from her feet.

She has long enough to get out, "FFF" before she passes the event horizon and disappears.

Rei Hino has posed:
    Well. This was unexpected.

    Rei Hino's fire didn't do much if anything to Beryl. Though Jolly Roger replied that yes, she had been quoting the book she had to read for an AP English class taught by a nun. It was boring.

    Call anyone else, Ishmael!

    But Sailor Mars lands, and was about to launch another attack, bruised and dusted up as she was when Beryl opens the portal, Mars's eyes go wide.

    She turns, latching onto a car bumper as she holds tightly. She feels her arms strain, her hair pulling backwards, skirt and bow fluttering before she grits her teeth.

    "No -- No no no --" she hisses out, before she loses her grip. Dark eyes wide, Sailor Mars tumbles towards the darkness and falls in after Pluto!

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
When Amy runs forward, skirting around to try and get Sailor Uranus - Sailor Moon can't begrudge her, because she too wants to get to Uranus. But she is afraid for her, because Beryl is more than any of them can handle, and she's not yet even breaking a sweat -

And then Pluto is there, and a maroon wall comes up, Sailor Moon might have been protected from the initial blast of Dark Energy, but then, Sunbreaker is there, right next to her, spitting harsh words with eyes wide with pleading - pleading not for herself, but for Usagi.

Given what happened to Sunbreaker... of course she knows better than to attack Beryl. Of course she'd want nothing more than for everyone to escape, and Sailor Moon regrets that she can't give her what she wants -

And also regrets colliding with the wall, ow. Stars dance over her head as she pushes herself to her feet, just in time to see Neptune and Jolly Roger diving into the portal at the same time, to see Page Mage and Hope Witch dragged in howling, and she doesn't think about it.

She just brings her wrist to her lips, communicator flashing, as she runs for the portal, and her friends.

SAILOR MOON to ALL RECEIVERS:Everyone! Beryl showed up in Juuban! She's made some kind of portal and it's pulling everyone in and I've got to go after them! If you come after US, be careful!

It's the last message that will be able to travel from Sailor Moon's communicator. Her channel goes dead, after this.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker had only a moment to realize something was going very wrong. "W-what?" she asked. Wait, Beryl was attacking her?!

Of course she was attacking her. Why WOULDN'T she attack her? Because she was BERYL. Bitch didn't care about anyone else aside from herself. And before she could right herself... she toppled into the barrier, floundering for a moment, trying to right herself... And failing.


And now she just... tried... not to panic as the darkness enclosed and she found herself floundering through Beryl's fantasies. This. This would not be good.

Jadeite has posed:
The other scouts fall in one by one, and the other mahou, and finally Sailor Moon disappears into the void -

Endymion will live, but he'd be miserable living without one of the loves of his life.

"Talk is cheap, but your barber is cheaper," he tells Beryl with a sharp grin. "That's the great thing about second lives, isn't it? We can fix what went wrong the first time around. We'll fix you too, sooner or later."

And with that, with all the dignity of a bodyguard of the Prince of the Earth, Jadeite steps into the portal and lets himself plummet.

Beryl has posed:
The world is dark for a moment so long it may seem like forever, and the light of Amy's flare is swallowed whole, never even illuminating what lies before them -

And then it ends. And then they are standing, all of them, even those who dove head first or were swept in from sprawled on the ground. They are on their feet and the sky above is filled with not just thousands but millions of stars, though there's something strange about the sky, a faint shimmer far, far above their heads. There's something else, in the night sky too (but is it night? It was just day -)

An orb, too large to be the moon, so much closer, shrouded in black mist that moves and sways, roils like boiling steam - and when the writhing mists part, as they do every so often - blue and green and the red of flame, of fires visible from space.

They might realize they're seeing the Earth from afar, burning.

But far above their heads isn't what they'll want to focus on. No, what they'll like want to focus on is -

The sounds, first. Screams of panic and fear, of rage and hate, of agony, torn from every kind of voice, every kind of person - the very young and the very old, the warriors and the civilians. The roar of flame and the boom of thunder and the crash of metal as swords strike swords, strike shields, strike flesh.

The scents, too, nothing like the city scent of Tokyo; exhaust and pollution, flowers and pollen. No, this is something unfamiliar to the majority of those here: The tang of iron heavy in the air from all the spilled blood, the heavy, throat-scratching scent of smoke.

And of course, there's so much more to see than the stars above.

There's the swarming army, of rage-maddened, hate-filled humans some in heavy armor and wielding swords, spears, or shields, but far more in common, old-old-old fashioned clothes, wielding pitchforks and cleavers, broken off staves of wood, knives, anything that they can wield as they try to get in, to get at - them?

No, it's the city. They're trying to get it into the city around them, the city that so clearly isn't Tokyo - the scents in the air are from the smoke rising from some of the buildings close to them, visibly crumbling under an assault. It's so clear that these forces have already made their way inside. It's so clear that many of them have died trying, because there are bodies all around them, and those rushing to get inside, clashing against what must be this city's guard, in pale silver and gold uniforms, are literally storming over the bodies of their comrades to get inside.

It's not just humans, either. There are dozens and dozens of youma mixed among the crowd, all surging forward, all trying to rip and tear, all fighting to get into this city.

The city itself was once beautiful, an orderly mix of architecture that brings to mind the Islamic style, the classical and neo-classical movements, but nothing is pretty under assault, and this place is no different.

There's a gate, between them and the enemy, a gate that's been broken up, but is still defended, by a tall woman with long black hair, a red fuku marked with purple bows.

Sailor Mars stands against the enemy, pillars of flame roaring out, rolling over the waves of enemies, incinerating swaths of monsters and men alike, but they're still coming.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus staggers to her feet slowly. Getting thrown around like a ragdoll, eating two of her fellow senshi's attacks to her less-shielded back, and then getting thrown into wherever the hell they are now has done a number on her.

    She looks to Sailor Neptune. "Where... are we?" she asks, her voice low and breathing pained. "What's going on? Why... are we not on Earth?" She asks, pulling Neptune in and leaning on the other girl a bit as they speak in low, hushed tones.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
There's something captivating about a true night sky, unobscured by the light spilling up from the city. Of uncountable points of light, a jeweled carpet strewn across the true night sky.

There's something gut-wrenchingly horrific about seeing the Earth from the Moon, a brilliant ball suspended above their heads... and on fire. The Earth, burning, and the monumental horror of seeing it with her own eyes, helps Rashmi understand why doomsday prophets look and sound the way they do. How could *anyone* live a normal life, after seeing that in their *dreams,* let alone with waking eyes?

There's something *terrifyingly focusing* about watching a war rage directly in front of her. Another thing that once was a distant concern, a thing to be stood against in principle. But principle is tested by the awful crucible of reality, and after mere moments of watching with the same helpless awe that one witnesses a train-wreck in progress... Something stirs deep within her soul.

Never again.

Her head snaps around as Uranus breaks the silence, and slipping next to the blond, she points up. "Uranus-chan... look. *We're on the moon.*"

Said, as if that explains *everything.* And in some cases, it might very well do.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker groaned when the world came back into focus. And... "DAMN IT! All of you! Can't any of you do the smart thing for ONCE in your miserable lives?" she sneered. "It would take at least three of me to take down Beryl like I am, and it takes half a dozen or more of you lot to face me! Why, why would you even TRY to fight her?" She turned on Moon, her eyes narrowed to angry slits. "What is WRONG with you in particular? YOU are one of the girls she hates most, why would you NOT run! She's lazy as tartarus? Why can't just ONE of you have the sense of a wooden duck you--" and then. Mid rant. She FINALLY stopped.

And looked around.

"Where the buck ARE we? Is that... your world? Is that... H-holy..."

And then... there was war. And she stared, her hands moving over her mouth. Watching one of the senshi just... incinerate people. Real, living people... "What.... what is this place? Why are..." Then she looked to Mars. The mars who had fallen with them. Then turned to Moon. "YOU! This is YOUR doing, somehow, isn't it?! Or... or... I thought you people wanted to PROTECT people!" she yelled, feebly motioning to the destruction, the chaos. "This isn't... This isn't protecting them!"

Jadeite has posed:
He's back.

The sights. The sounds. The smells. Definitely the smells. Blood is thick in the air; he can taste it when he opens his mouth to breathe deeply, trying to settle his racing heart.

He can manage. He can stay calm. He kept up the facade for Beryl, he can do it here too -

"This is not her doing," he tells Sunbreaker. "This is a war, and that army is trying to breach the walls to slaughter everyone in this city. This is simply the Senshi protecting others on a greater scale than they usually do."

And with that, he bows his head to Sailor Moon. "Do you have orders for me?"

This is not the time to go rogue. This time - he will trust in his prince, and his prince's love.

Erika Shimizu has posed:
    Into the portal to reclaim her precious hat and Jolly Roger goes tumbling into darkness... Only to find herself standing a moment later and...
    She reaches up-- her cap is soundly upon her head where it belongs.
    But then. Then everything hits her like a sudden slamming crash into a wall.
    The world is burning, Erika.
    She looks up to see the world- the earth itself shrouded in darkness. Then she hears the screams. Pain, terror, horrific sounds and utterances.
    She doesn't even realize that she's drawn another pistol. It's just there in her hand as she... She smells the blood in the air like a shark scenting blood on the water.
    Slowly, the dread pirate takes off her hat, holding it limp in her hand as she tries to deal with the tonal whiplash of fighting a villain one moment to suddenly being thrust head first into a war in the next.
    "What in bloody hell..." She whispers, as realization sets in.
    This is the moon.
    But there's no treasure to be found here. There's no happy 8-bit NES chiptune Ducktales theme and there's no swan diving into vaults of treasure like she was led to believe existed on the moon.
    No, instead there's an army, thirsty for blood, trying to get into the nearby city-- why is there a city on the moon?
    Jolly Roger isn't even going to question it.
    "B... Blimey blisterin' barnacles." She utters watching men, women, young and old clambering over the fallen to continue and press a violent and bloody assault.
    "... That's you innit." She says finally, without even looking to Sailor Mars.
    She's here. But she's also there, clear as day burning people away as they come.
    This is not how Erika Shimizu expected things. Ever.
    "What the bloody heeeeeeeeeeell..."

Rei Hino has posed:
    "... she dropped us into the past...?" Sailor Mars whispers, her eyes wide. She looks to Usagi, and then looks to the gate where Sailor Mars -- the original Sailor Mars. Her past self... is wrecking such damage at the gates of the city. Even in the foggy memories, Mars never recalled this, and she freezes in place. She looks to Jolly Roger, and gives a small, dry nod before she pushes herself up, looking to Usagi, to Jadeite and Sunbreaker.

    "We should move further into the city and away from the fighting -- I..." she trails off.

    It is /surprisingly distracting/ watching yourself fight.

    "We need to regroup and figure out how to get back before --" she cuts off suddenly.

'Usagi Tsukino has posed:
The world whistles around them, vanished in darkness, and when they land, Sailor Moon is in a memory.

Not her memory, though. She hadn't been in the city, when the war broke out, when the enemy invaded. She had been sequestered away, kept safe, at her mother's insistence, at Endymion's insistence, at her
guardians insistence.

She doesn't remember this part clearly, and a part of her has been glad for that but now - now, as it all plays out before her eyes, she wishes she had. It might have prepared her for the sight of so many bodies, so many lives lost. It's not just enemies, on the ground. There are civilians too, pale haired Lunarians lying crumpled on the ground, blood pooled around their lifeless bodies. There are screams in the distance, the sound of people being killed, being hurt, the desperate wails of those who have lost everything, who have succumbed to despair.

Sailor Moon whimpers. Tears fill her eyes.

Sunbreaker yells, lambasting her, and she tries to straighten, tries to tighten her spine, as Rashmi speaks the truth, as Sunbreaker lambasts her, Sailor Moon swallows, and swallows, and swallows again -

Jadeite speaks first.

She closes her eyes, and opens them again.

"We're in --" the name she says isn't Japanese. It's not English, either, or any language from earth. It's Lunarian, and it's the proper name for a city that none of them have seen, and yet Serenity knows to her bones. "The Capital City. This... this is the final day. This... we couldn't protect them anymore, we couldn't even protect ourselves, they came for us and they -"

Mars, taking charge.

Her hands are shaking. A stray tear rolls down her cheek.

"Mars-chan is right. We - we have to get out of here. I don't know if we're... Pluto-san says that the Gates of Time are broken, we can't be... this can't really be the past, but either way - we - can we -"

That's Mars too, fighting for her life, burning a path, trying endlessly to stem the tide that won't stop coming. Her fuku is damaged, even from this distance they can see that there's blood spattered across her, but is it hers? Is she wounded? Is this how she died?

Usagi doesn't know. Serenity never knew.

She doesn't wnat to leave her.

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope Witch finds herself on the other side of darkness. Sio is next to her. Wasn't the business fairy in her Labyrinth? Well, now she's here next to her, clinging to Hope's shoulder for safety. Hope softly pats her fairy's head as she takes in the surroundings.

    The Earth is above them, and on fire. That would place them... where? Is this the Moon? Did the world just end?

    Oh shoot. Homura's gonna reset soon, isn't she? Well, better luck next timeline.

    Hope Witch lets out an exasperated sigh squats down on the ground. She watches chaos break out around her as she tries to figure out how, exactly, the apocalypse happened. Maybe if she could warn her favorite time traveler then it might help her fix things next time. Yet, as time passes, she starts to realize...

    Either this isn't real, or something really bad happened to Homura-chan.

    The others start speaking. Sunbreaker throws accusations and questions. Hope Witch stands up again and cups Sio into her hands. "Sio-chan, can you get through to my other Chara?"

    The CEO Chara takes out her tiny smartphone and tries tapping. "Well, I'm not getting a signal. Maybe we're out of range?"

    Hope Witch's mouth twists, then she says, "It's a magic phone. It shouldn't be reliant on cell phone towers."

    Sio shrugs. "Well, I'm not getting through."

    Hope Witch considers this for a moment, and also hears what Mars and Jadeite say. "So... we're in the past. That explains a lot. Cut off from the present as far as I can tell. I don't know what the Gates of Time are, but there's always other ways to go back in time." To Sailor Moon, she asks, "Is this what you meant the other day when you mentioned being a Moon Princess?"

    Turning to Amy, she asks, "How is your Grief Seed supply? I can lend you a couple, but I don't know how many Witches we'll find in this era."

    Hope Witch looks at Sailor Moon again, and then at Sailor Mars. The one fighting in the distance, against hordes of attackers. "It might cause a time paradox, but... we should help her."

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
As Sailor Pluto gains the ability to focus, she quickly looks around...and notes the sky..."


...the Earth above, burning...


...and finally the WAR raging around them..."


Gloved fingers creak once more as the Senshi of Time squeezes a death grip on the Garnet Rod.

After a few deep breaths, she says, "...Okay, everyone...what just happened is that we just got sucked through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment into a special kind of pocket dimension. There's a technical name for it, but it's long and not really important right now."

Reluctantly, she looks around and waves a hand, "...this? All this? Sometimes when there's a massive magical cataclysm, it makes a kind of...echo."

There's a pause as she shakes her head, "...it's a kind of SNAPSHOT of the event that exists in this pocket and replays itself over and over and over. Back in the Silver Millenium, there were people who looked for them and used them as kind of archaeology expeditions to the past."

She looks at the surrounding people, "...you can walk around, talk with people and events and interact with them...but it's not real. You can't change anything. Not permanently."

She takes one last deep breath, "...good news is that these things have a way out."

She pauses, "...bad news is that I have NO idea how it was done. All I can say is that there's no actual temporal component to all of this."

There's one last frown, "...but Mars' caution isn't ill advised. While you can't change anything here...you can still get hurt."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Huh. Flare didn't work. Light doesn't work here? What does that mean?

    Before Amy can come to any conclusion, she's standing. She glances down and checks. Not doll Amy or anything. Still a Puella Magi. Still red hair (and presumably eyes).

    The sky has too many stars.

    Amy looks up. Is that... Earth? And it's on fire?!

    She sways on her feet unsteadily, mouth gawping open a bit.

    Wait, if that's the Earth, then this is--

    Well, it's certainly not the moon she learned about in science class, or from any legend she's ever heard of. The sounds of battle reach her and... like, she's heard something like it, before, in countless movies, but this is... this is real. The sound is real and all around her. As are the smells, and the feeling of the air on her skin.

    Wait, are there too many stars because there's no atmosphere (that can't be right) in the way or...? A world where Kyubey kept more stars alive? Wait, hangon, moon people, Sailor Moon's past, if this is the past and science is wrong and Kyubey is right, then... maybe there were a lot more stars in the past.

    Amy's focus is drawn to one of the peasants(?) trying to get in, who's speared by a soldier. Dead. Thoughts about how long someone has before brain damage if they can keep them alive until a magic healer reaches them start to rush into her head and then she realizes there are too many, dead and dying, for any healer to save.

    ...Is that Sailor Mars, age_progression edition?

    Sailor Uranus asks why they're not on Earth. Amy looks over. Also Sailor Mars is over there, too. "I th... I think Earth is..." Amy just points up.

    She turns to Rashmi. "We're really on the moon? This is... what it was like?" She rubs her arm, glancing at the distant war and then back to her comrades. Gripping her arm. It's hard not to feel small, when the world is ending around you. When two worlds are ending around you. She walks closer to the others.

    Sunbreaker is accusing Mars. "Is she even the same person?! And look, there's youma and humans trying to get in. Maybe things aren't how they seem..." Jadeite confirms it.

    Mars (present edition) suggests they move into the city. "We really can't stop it... there's a war..."

    Amy is trying to not feel in the moment, as best she can. Push it all away and treat this like a videogame cutscene.

    Except it's all around her. She can smell it. She can feel it.

    But she has to. Or she'll end up like the people here, right...?

    Madoka asks about her magic supply. Amy's hand goes to her belt pouch. "I got one that's almost used up."

    And then someone says something... "There were Gates of Time?!" Amy turns to Sailor Pluto, and looks up at the taller woman, eyes pleading: Make this make sense.

    And, incredibly, she does.

    "...So we're in a ghost. Kind of. Of a world. How do we find the way out?"

    A thought comes to her. "Is this... this is the Silver Millenium you all talk about, right...?"

Beryl has posed:
The war wages on without anyone noticing them. People fight and die and die and die and die and then have their bodies climbed over. Youma attempt to swarm Sailor Mars again and again and every time she repels them, blasting out spiraling waves of fire that have her at the center, flames not just red but white with heat, starting to melt the stone of the gates but also - burning away the enemies.

It doesn't stop them from coming. It doesn't stop the army. It only stops the the immediate enemies. And yet there are so many more.

In the distance, light flickers.

The effect of lightning strikes as thick as trees, crashing to the Earth on the other side of the city. Sailor Jupiter, past edition, is clearly fighting her own front in this war.

There's one thing all this standing and talking and reacting can confirm for them: Pluto is right. This is an echo, and the enemies that manage to break past Past-Sailor Mars, either by squirming through passages, through climbing and falling over the gates... those already inside... they walk right past them. They don't seem to register them at all.

They're just an audience, to the horror.

At least for now. But there's places to go. They can run deeper into the city, where the violence seems fewer. And there's the palace - rising in the distance, in the middle of the city, a palace that resembles the Taj Mahal.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "Whatever's going on right now we need to get our wits about us." Sailor Uranus says as she pulls gently away from Neptune to walk alongside the others. She's still clearly a bit staggered. "Pluto's usually right, especially about anything that relates to time. Or Doctor Who. As long as it's not driving." she adds. She is trying to inject a little levity into what is obviously a hellish trauma dump of a new world. It's part of her 'leadership style' as it were. Venus isn't here and Moon is shocked.

    She can't help but look around and bear witness, even as she advises the others against it. "If this is a repeat of the past, I know how it ends." she says, her voice turning solemn. "I hope we don't end up going through the emergency button the Outer Senshi had to push."

    Her eyes roam over the surface of the Moon. She had been here once in her past life, but she wasn't here for this. Her fists clench. "If we can't change anything then we should be careful how much we watch. Queen Beryl didn't throw us in here because she expected us to take strength from it."

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
More and more information was dumped on her and, frankly? It all clicked into place. A dimensional... She scraped her mind and... nope.

Nope. This was not the kind of magic she was familiar with. Sure, chaos realms? Fine. Interdimensional magic? Okay. But this? This was not...

"Well... fine. Then the only way out is probably to break it. It's Beryl's, right? So... throw it off. Make things go the way she'd hate them." She motioned towards Mars.

"That... that girl, the other sailor celestial body girl. She's supposed to... die, right? So save her. If you do that, if that isn't what was supposed to happen, then maybe it breaks everything and it collapses and we're out. Maybe that's how we..." Pause. Realizing what she just said. "How... you get out of here." She couldn't, shouldn't, interfere. Right? If she did, then.... She wasn't with Beryl, now. But if she helped them, would Beryl... Would Beryl find out? Her arms wrapped around herself a little.

Then she saw the flashes in the distance, the lightning.

Then her eyes fell on the fire. Mars destroying them. Killing them. So many. Who... who was the... She just wanted it to stop. This wasn't the battles she did. This was... death. Murder. Destruction. She grit her teeth, trying to find a solution. But like it or not, she was spiraling. The flames around her were flaring up, then dimming down, then flaring up again.

Help. Hinder. Fight. She watched the flames wash over the people. The monsters. The youma. She couldn't. She shouldn't...


She disappeared in a flash of fire... to appear over the past Mars. "STOP! KILLING! EACH! OTHER!" she finally screamed before holding out both her hands. For a moment, bright light erupted out from her, then dark flames seared from her hands, searing a line into the ground. A barrier of red magic rose up, and then pushed out, to push them back. "ENOUGH! STOP! IT! STOP! STOP KILLING! YOU CAN'T TAKE ANYTHING BACK ONCE YOU'RE DEAD!" she screamed. "STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!"

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope Witch listens as Pluto answers all of her questions, asked and unasked. A thought crossed her mind. "Would such an echo cross into parallel worlds?" It would explain some of her dreams if it did.

    "If that's the case... If we can't change anything, then we can't really save anyone. On the other hand, if it's not real then there's no one to save. We should focus on keeping ourselves safe." Her black branchbow appears in her hands, and she fires her pink arrows into the air. They curve downward and converge into a circle that hovers over the group. Any threat that gets too close, human or youma, gets to deal with a facefull of pink death.

    After Sunbreaker's outburst, Madoka makes a small adjustment to her arrows. Now they'll trap or create smoke clouds, but not kill. Her priority is still the safety of the people she knows are real.

    As for Madoka, she's oddly cold during this moment. Perhaps it's because this isn't her first apocalypse. At least not as far as her own memories go.

    No, dummy, corrects Gretchen. It's because this henshin has an anti-despair effect.

    Well, that's at least one thing that makes sense. "We should move. If no one has any better ideas, I say we head for the palace. If any place in this city is defensible, it's probably there."

    She starts moving in that direction, unless someone stops her.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
"Then she's an *idiot,*" Rashmi says in answer to Uranus, her voice harder than it ever has been.

Forcing herself to tear her gaze away from the brutal, horrific carnage, she turns to pass her eyes over the friends trapped in this echo with her. "This... is *horrible.* I feel sick just breathing the air, I'm not sure I'll ever sleep again, but *never again* will this happen, not if we have anything to say about *any* of it."

Drawing in a long, deep breath, she closes her eyes for a moment. "I do think we should move, though... If there's anything to be learned from all this... it's not going to be here, on the front line." Turning to look back at the city, she points to the domed towers. "Moon-chan... Is... is that the Palace? If it is... we should probably go the--"

Sunbreaker disappears in a flash of panic and fire, and Rashmi feels a yawning sadness in the pit of her gut.

<< *BONG!* >> << TELEPATHY >>

"...Oh good it works in here," Rashmi murmurs, then turns her thoughts to Sunbreaker, the target of the spell. << Hey... I understand, and thank you, >> she says, more fear and hurt and just *exhaustion* bleeding into her mental voice than her physical. << But this already happened. We're living a movie right now, and we need to go where the most informative thing happened. Come with us? >>

And with that, she reaches up to squeeze Pluto's shoulder, then turns to follow Madoka.

Rei Hino has posed:
    "And I don't want to be here for what comes next." Mars replies quietly. Her normally resolute voice is shaking. She can't take her eyes off the Guardian of Passion and War incinerating the enemies in front of her. She feels her eyes burn.

    "We need to go deeper into the city." she swallows thickly, shaking her head. "If this is the last day I don't want to see it. I don't want to see it again." she breathes out, and pushes herself to take steps forward, looking up to Uranus, and then back to Moon and --

    ... shit.

    "NO!" Mars cries out, and she turns to chase down Sunbreaker.

    "THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL EVERYONE. You /aren't/ going to convince them to STOP. /This is a war/. A war that was *lost* THOUSANDS of years ago! They can't hear us but *we can still get hurt!* Didn't you hear that?!" Mars calls out, though she's raising one arm as if to call on her won celestial fires in defense.

    She tries to keep one eye on Moon, one eye on Sunbreaker and *why do people always rush in*.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Hope Witch and Amy ask easy questions, ones that don't strain Sailor Moon's frazzled, grief-stricken, heartsick mind to answer. Pluto's given reassurance, made it clear that they aren't actually in the past (though it hurts, too. It means she can't save them. Never mind the ethics of it, never mind the paradox, if she could save them, she would, if she could stop this, she would.)

(She can't.)

"This is what I meant," she says quietly, "This is the Capital City of Silver Millennium - the empire my mother ruled for so long the people of Earth thought she was a goddess."

The memories are flooding back to her, even as the scent of death fills her nostrils, the sound of it heavy in her ears.

"This was our home."

This is meant to be a place of beauty and splendor, a capital city that bustles with business, with culture, a peaceful place of dignitaries, ambassadors, where the politics of an interplanetary empire are conducted.

The place Serenity grew up, safe and sheltered. The crown jewel of the Sol System.

Sailor Uranus is raising fair points. Beryl didn't send them here to strenghten their hearts and spirits. She sent them to see this. To remember this. To know this was her doing.

And everyone else is getting the right idea.

Sailor Moon should follow them.

Sailor Moon has to follow them.

Sailor Moon -

Sunbreaker teleports to Sailor Mars' side, the original version, and she screams out in despair, in anger, pleading for it to stop, and Sailor Moon runs to Sailor Mars' side.

Not the Sailor Mars of the present. The Sailor Mars of the past.

She can't turn her back.

Isn't that what she regrets, so, so much? She killed herself. She killed herself. She left them all to deal with it - or she died after them - and she doesn't know because she didn't try to find out because she killed herself and the only thing that preserved them was her mother.

She can't do it again. Against all reason, Sailor Moon turns to run -

But Mars speaks. Rei-chan, Mars. The Mars who is her dear friend, who argues with her and loves and makes her better, and she can't - she can't be selfish, can she? SHe was selfish once already, and Rei-chan doesn't want to see it, then -

She follows Mars to chase after Sunbreaker.

"SUNBREAKER," and her voice carries, a pitched scream, "They're going to kill you too! We can't stop them! I can't save her and neither can you and we can't change the past, because this isn't just Beryl! This is everyone! She might have sent us here but Pluto said this is an echo of disaster! This is her memory! My memory! Their memory!"

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy listens to Sunbreaker trying to come up with a way out and takes a deep breath, which is kind of a mistake as the scents of smoke and blood fill her lungs. And then Sunbreaker is over there desperately yelling at the combatants, and Amy winces. She looks up to Pluto again, and holds out a hand.

    For a moment, Amy tries to smile and put on a brave face. To give Pluto a look like one adult to another, a look that says you're not alone in bearing the responsibility, there's someone else here who gets it. But it wavers. It has the fake quality of a child acting the role because they think they have to.

    Holding out her hand ends up making her look more like a child asking for reassurance.

    Rashmi and Mars (present) and Moon try to talk down Sunbreaker behind her. Amy tries to hold her face steady. "I always told myself... I'd be able to handle this. Be the big man, who stays calm and logical and does what needs to be done even surrounded by suffering and horror and death." Amy shakes her head. "But I can't. I don't think anyone can. No wonder soldiers get all fucked up. No one can be Kiritsugu. He's not real. ...And he's probably pretty fucked up, come to think of it. I want to get out of here."

    'This isn't what I became a magical girl for.'

    The sentiment of a fictional character Amy finds herself at times uncomfortably similar to comes to her mind. But it's what I have to deal with. And we'll get through it.

    Turned away, for a moment, from the fight at the gate, Amy is caught off-guard as a youma that got past Past Mars walks past her. "Oh fu--!" she startles, stumbling back and summoning her launcher, but the youma runs past, ignoring her. Oh. Right, it's an echo.

Jadeite has posed:
The princess is faltering.

Of course she is. This is the war that ended in her death and the destruction of her people. In life, she'd stayed besieged and safe until the very end, but now -

Jadeite had fought here, once. The wounds he'd taken facing Sailor Mars had killed him, eventually.

He's glad that Mars and Sailor Moon and the shield-bearer have talked the shouty one down, but this is sitll a war zone and - oh, it'd be so much easier to do the bodyguard thing if everyone stayed together!! So he chases after them, and casts - "Glory of the Snow!"

Hopefully the ice shield will catch any stray attacks that come near them.

He takes Sailor Moon's side, ready to catch her if she falters - the other scouts have offense in the bag, but there's not many here with defensive spells at the ready, and Endymion -

He can't let him see his love dead a second time.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Pluto stands there, deathgrip in the Garnet Rod...eyes closed and breathing heavily through her nose.

Which might be a bit of a mistake given how the average battlefield smells all too often like a midden.

As Rashmi and Uranus and Amy all offer her a bit of support...Pluto after a moment gives them a bit of a smile...

And then she looks around and says, "...Moon has the right of it...we need to get to the palace..."

She then licks her lips and swallows, "...but it all eventually ends there, anyway."

She closes her eyes again and a shudder runs through her, "...move...we need to move..."

Her voice drops to a whisper, "...must move...not happening...not real...not again..."

And she starts moving towards the palace...trying as much as possible to keep her eyes closed...because she's seen all this before...and the last time she saw it, it BROKE HER...

And they can ill afford for her to break again.

As Sunbreaker herself goes a little bit nuts, Pluto looks back, "...we need to bring her with us...all she can do is get hurt..."

...but before she moves again, she pauses...then looks up, at a star...holds the Garnet Rod up lengthwise and sights down it.

She repeats this two or three times at different stars, then nods and starts moving again.

Beryl has posed:
The shouting of the heroes goes unnoticed. The barrier of arrows is unneeded - though youma and maddened, crazed soldiers alike run by, they never collide with the heroes, never acknowledge them, skirt aside from them as though the echo itself knows they aren't really here, but can't pass through solid matter.

That's the case for most of them.

For Sunbreaker, who waded into the war, who's magic blocks the soldiers and youma and which blockades the fiery efforts of Sailor Mars (past edition)?

Oh, they've noticed her. The humans and monsters alike launch attacks at the barriers, and the humans - some of them merely scream.

Still more use their words.

"Kill the Moon Witch!" "Spread her entrails, take her head! Make sure she doesn't rise again!" "She's trying to stop us! She can't stop us! The Earth will not be used!" "Die Witch! Die Lunar Trash!" "FOR OUR GREAT RULER!"

She isn't getting through to them.

As for Past Sailor Mars?

This close, there are differences, between her and the Sailor Mars that even now tries to talk Sunbreaker down, who goes unnoticed still by the echoes of this ancient tragedy. Sailor Mars of the Silver Millennium, Sailor Mars of the past, Sailor Mars who was and is Princess Mars as much as Sailor Mars is older, in her twenties. She's a woman grown, slightly taller, more mature, and her eyes have the hardness of a soldier, of someone who will do what it takes to to accomplish her goals.

That much was obvious, though. She's killing her enemies, after all.

"I will not let my home fall," she says, cold. It's the first words she's spoken. Her voice is different, slightly huskier, worn. She's been fighting for so long, breathing in the smoke. "Do not beg me for the lives of those who burn their world for the power to burn mine."

Sunbreaker won't be convincing her, either.

Meanwhile - a glimmer of rainbow colored light flickers into existence, not far away - maybe twenty yards off from where Madoka has set off to. It stands out, because in the midst of the hell that's captured them, this is something soft, gentle, and on further inspection? This is a portal - similar to the one that brought them here in shape and size, but it's again, rainbow colored, fairly gentle in appearance, and there's no sucking pressure. They can choose to enter this portal.

Perhaps it's a way out?

Maybe it's the way out that Pluto mentioned. Maybe it's another trick, another trap of Beryl's.

But could it be worse than this? They can go to the palace - but the Moon Palace too, is a place of death.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus - no, in this instance, it's much more Haruka Tenoh - looks at Sailor Pluto with a forlorn sad expression and moves over to her, grabbing the older girl's arm and squeezing it. "It's not real because I'm here, Pluto-san. The last time, I wasn't here. Neptune wasn't. So you already know this isn't what you experienced before, right?" she says. She is worried about her friend - her family.

    "Wherever you're going, I'm going too, so that you can use me to keep your bearings. Alright?" She offers. But it's not an offer, it's a demand. She's sure Neptune - no, Michiru will feel the same way. "Someone else is going to have pull Sunbreaker out of her trouble back there." Uranus says, a little bit forcefully. "She's not my priority." Pluto and Serenity are.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy dismisses her weapon and walks beside Pluto, who apparently knows Time Stuff and knows where to go.

    Do all of the Senshi remember this, now?

    No, clearly not all of them were here in this spot. Obviously Mars was, and Pluto seems to know her way around.

    Amy isn't ignoring Sunbreaker, exactly, but she's kind of hoping someone else will handle it? Until Pluto stops and says they have to get her.

    Amy, who was focused on Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other And Not Thinking About All The Death And Hopelessness Around Her, has to be a little more present again, and stops and turns back to Sunbreaker. "You heard them."

    No, that's not loud enough.

    She takes a deep breath, almost choking on the smoke, and shouts, "You heard them! The Senshi know about this stuff! If they say you can't do anything here..."

    She slumps, and stops shouting. "...then you should probably listen. You can't... we can't just change reality by being determined enough. Even magic has limits. Otherwise these stars would still be in our sky, too."

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope Witch watches with wide, curious eyes as youma and human alike seem to ignore her. The rainbow portal in the distance reflects within her pink eyes for a moment. Then she turns back to call out-- no, no that's unnecessary.

    She reaches out telepathically to everyone else. <<Everyone, there's another portal over here. It might be safer than this place. I don't know what's on the other side, but we probably shouldn't stay here long.>>

    She glances up at Sunbreaker, off in the distance, then says to the others. <<Last one to the portal's a loser!>> she calls out telepathically, looking directly at Hinoiri's alter ego as she does so. Then she starts running towards it.

    However, she stops a few yards away from it, thinking perhaps that going in by herself is probably a bad idea. She summons a tiny Familiar and sends it through first. Maybe it can scout things out for her and report back?

    Assuming it doesn't just, you know... break off contact again.

Rashmi Terios has posed:
<< *BONG!* >> << FLIER FIN >>

When the portal opens, Rashmi draws in a long, slow breath, and pushes off the surface of the moon -- THE SURFACE OF THE MOON gods how wild and strange her world has become -- and flits back, pausing to give Pluto a *crushing* hug once the elder Senshi is done sighting the star positions.

Then, back, with no small amount of hesitance at *flying toward an ongoing war,* but back all the same, to wordlessly loop an arm around Sunbreaker's waist.

"Please don't set me on fire until after we're home," she says quietly. "We're not leaving you behind."

And with her possibly squirming, maybe-swearing burden, she sets her course directly for the portal, waiting to step through until all are gathered to move on.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker glanced back at Mars, her face one of fury and pain. "I don't CARE! I don't CARE if it's not real! I don't care if we can't change anything! You can't just ask me to stand still and do nothing! I'm stronger than ALL OF YOU!" she yelled. "Go! JUST GO! I'll be fine! I'll do it! I'll fix it myself!" she yelled at them.

"I'm strong... ngggg... enough..."

Except she wasn't. The fires around her were getting smaller and smaller. The barrier was crumbling... the dark energy she harnessed? It was becoming less and less effective by the second...

"If... the stars don't shine... then become strong enough you can MAKE THEM shine!" she yelled.

But... Mars wouldn't listen. They wouldn't listen. She wasn't...

... There was a portal. She'd been ignoring it. Until...


She growled, turning the most venomous look possible to Madoka.

But... when Rashmi came for her... she sighed. She didn't help her any.

But she didn't resist, letting the other girl pull her away. Her flames dimming and dimming... Watching the carnage even as she was pulled through the portal.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
After a few moments, Uranus' words get through to her.

Uranus and Neptune WEREN'T there.

Neither were Amy, Rashmi, Hope Witch, Jolly Roger...or 'Sailor Moon'.

Sometimes that tiny little bit of difference is enough...

So she mentally focuses on them and manages to push back the panic building in the back of her head.

Looking around at Hope Witch's message, she blinks, then nods, "Through the portal is unlikely to HURT. Worst case, we're in another echo. An event like this could have left a LOT of them."

And with that, she has something ELSE to focus on...at which point she makes sure everyone else is heading that way before she starts running that direction...and ultimately through the portal.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
There's ice, falling down around them, making a new shield, and Sailor Moon is grateful for it. She hopes they don't need it, but she's grateful for Jadeite -

Grateful for Tamaki.

She needs him to be Tamaki, here. She needs to not think of the fact that he is here, somewhere, on the Moon, that he is here and fighting and killing and ending her world.

"Sunbreaker," she calls again, and has to look Sailor Mars in the face, a woman she knows, a face she didn't entirely remember until this moment.

A fact that doesn't see her, eyes that don't acknowledge her.

"I'm so sorry," she tells that Sailor Mars anyway.

She reaches out. She grabs Sunbreaker's wrist, because the barrier isn't for her, and she pulls.

Speaking quietly, just for the two of them, she says, "Hinoiri-chan, I would give anything to save them... but we can't. So we have to save us, so we can make sure this doesn't happen again."

Because it could. Because this is very likely what Beryl wants to happen, again.

And then? It doesn't even matter, because Page Mage has her, and Page Mage won't let her go. She's flying, flying for the portal Madoka told them about, and Sailor Moon watches her go with a relieved sigh. She puts an arm around Sailor Mars, and she looks to Tamaki, to Jadeite, and she says, "Let's go. We've got to stay together, so Kamen-kun doesn't panic more than he has to. He's going to get us out of here, you know? We can trust him. So... we just have to trust each other."

In a place designed to remind them of the worst things people can do... Usagi is going to have to cling to her heart. To do what's right. To remember that things have changed.

So with Sailor Mars and Jadeite, she goes to the portal, and eventually, through it.

Jadeite has posed:
With Sunbreaker taken care of and the rest of the mahou headed towards the portal, Jadeite can relax a little - there's just one person he has to protect here and now.

He wraps an arm around Sailor Moon tenatively,sandwiching her between him and Mars, and smiles.

(She does not need to know he jumped in after her rather than trying to escape. Good deeds should be done for their own valor, not to obtain praise. He will not be the man he was before.)

"I know. We're going to stay safe, and we're going to get out of here, and we're going to get everyone else out. My prince - Kamen-kun will be waiting for us, so we both have to come back intact."

They cannot die. They will not die. They have to come home. They must.

"For the time being, consider me part of your retinue. I trust you. Please allow me to be your shield until we escape."

And when they cross through the portal, he leaves an icy flower over it - so that if they find it again, they know NOT to go back.

Beryl has posed:
The tiny familiar that passes through the portal fizzes and ripples, but then when it lands? Hope Witch will get the sense that it's in a place that seems totally fine. The familiar isn't fighting, isn't feeling any particularly strong sensation.

It seems perfectly safe.

And so everyone who crash landed into the past makes it through the portal. Some on their own, some leaning against others, some as clusters, but they all make it in, and this time, there's no darkness. There's a light, a wash of white, and when they land?

--well it's certainly different. There's a lot of noise, still, but no screaming, fear, or fury. The noise is a little muffled. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the humidity and temperature are a Mediterranean late summer, hot but not wiltingly so.

The alley itself is fairly narrow -- wide enough for a donkey with a load or a hand-cart. It's also very dark, since the buildings to either side touch on the top floor, about four storeys up. There's no nice way to say that it smells bad; there's a gutter running down the center of it for effluvia, and what one might think of as compostable household waste rots where it's fallen -- but there's only about a day's worth. It must be someone's job to clean it at night.

Beyond the mouth of the alley on one side is a fairly busy street with mostly pedestrian traffic and the occasional cart, or rider on a horse, or carriage. On the other end, the alley opens onto a bewilderingly busy, loud, bright market square. There are vendors hawking their wares, anything from hot food to live animals (and the live animal sounds as well) to fabric to houseware, metals and ceramics, bright colored glass, jewelry, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, honey, fish, meat, eggs-- it's alive, it's bustling, everyone's in brightly dyed linens or summer-weight wool; it looks medieval, if the region's a little muddled architecture-wise.

The market's on a plateau: up the hill to one side there's city and more city and a palace with brilliant fluttering pennants at the top; down the hill to the other side there's city and more city and then the ocean, with ships and boats a-plenty, sails full of the swift clean sea wind. If they look up to the sky? There's the full moon, the proper, normal distance away, though the rabbit looks a bit different, a sign that they're viewing the moon from a place far from Tokyo.

Amanda Faust has posed:
    And on the subject of stars, Amy looks up once more, at the strange sky. She holds her right hand upwards, familiar arm and too many stars in her vision at the same time.

    "Heh. I guess it's true. Only an idiot would reach out... and try grabbing an unreachable star..."

    And then she closes her fist and pulls it to her chest as she lets out a wheeze and cackles madly at something absurdly funny only to her, laughs that are almost sobs as she holds her left hand over her face and doubles over.

    After her lungs are empty and she takes a breath, she stands up straight and breathes out and in again, before holding her fist palm-up in front of her as if looking at the captured star. "...But we can still find a way to make it better. We can find a better future that's possible, even if we can't do the impossible. That's the point, isn't it?" She grins, bittersweetly.

    Whatever Moment she's having over, after a glance around to confirm everyone is running this time, Amy, too, runs for the portal.

    And when they're safely on the other side she takes a moment to just lean against the wall of the alley and breathe the clean air for a bit. Oh ick she coughs and sputters, actually this is not clean air. But at least it's free of blood and burned human!

Rashmi Terios has posed:
"Sunbreaker," Rashmi says, as she flies the erstwhile goddess toward the portal, "I understand. I do. This... *this* is why I get in your way. Even if *you* don't want things like this to happen? A lot of the people you're working for? They do. And as long as you stand with them, I *have* to stand against you. A *lot* of us do, even the ones that like you. *This* is why. Because they're right; this is what she wants to happen again. And, *no.*"

But then they're at the portal, and Rashmi sets Sunbreaker down to step through...

"PFFFWAUGH," is her first, eloquent declamation, upon landing on the other side of the portal and getting hit with the *wall of stench.*

Pressing the back of her wrist against her nostrils, she spends a few moments experimenting with just breathing through her mou--


Turning to Pluto, Rashmi simply leans slightly enough to nudge the taller Senshi. No words, no interruption, just 'I am here,' and hopefully that will be enough to be of some kind of help.

"So... Where are we, this time?"

Amy speaks up, and Rashmi echoes the Puella's bitter grin with a sad smile of her own. "It's never stupid to reach for the impossible, Red-chan. It's only stupid to think it's useless to do that."

Madoka Kaname has posed:
    Hope, after realizing that her Familiar isn't particularly worried about what's on the other side, says, <<Seems safe. I'm going in.>>

    ... And moments later she comes out on a place a bit less terrifying and a bit more like Earth. With all the major celestial bodies being roughly where she expects them to be. She wonders to herself. Is this the middle ages now, or are they still back in the Silver Millenium age?

    She whispers a small, "thank you" to the Familiar before sending it back to its home. Then she releases Sio and lets the business fairy float around on her own. Now that the immediate terror is over, Hope Witch starts to really process what it is she just saw.

    She shudders. A chill runs down her spine. All the same, she looks back at those who lived through this, whose home all of this once was, with sympathy. This has to be horrible for them, like visiting a loved one's grave, or seeing the rubble of one's own house.

    Thinking along those lines brings up unpleasant memories, one's she'd usually suppress, but in this moment she allows herself those feelings.

    At least, until the horrible stench pulls her away from her melancholy.

    "Somewhere that stinks," she responds to Rashmi.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker glared at Sailor Moon. At Usagi. she knew she couldn't change it. She wasn't strong enough. She... was always too weak. Again. She was too weak. She couldn't face Beryl. Couldn't FIGHT Beryl yet. But soon.

Soon. This would never, ever happen again. Because SHE wouldn't let it. She'd fight it herself. These girls... they'd had their chance. They're failed. But she'd succeed where they'd failed. She wsn't like them. She was strong. She was stronger than they'd ever be. So.... she'd fix it. All of it. Herself. Because that's what she did. Obviously they couldn't be trusted to fix it.

Ugh, that smell. She lfited her hands to her mouth...

Then her eyes went wide... "This is a different time. This..."

And within moments, a grin formed on her lips. "Good luck, all of you. You try to find your way out. I'm going to find my own."

And then? Then she was gone. Why?

Well... Beryl, now more than ever, was her enemy. And Beryl had possibly given her the key to her defeat. So, Beryl, Sunbreaker had one question.

Where is your power?


Setsuna Meiou has posed:
As the Outers transit the gate as a group, Setsuna blinks and looks around.

Not getting directly attacked: Plus!

Being somewhere unfamiliar: Minus.

Being obviously on Earth: Might be Plus, Might be Minus.

The elder Senshi pauses and frowns, "...knowing how these things tend to work...this is PROBABLY connected some way..."

A look around at the city is given, "...maybe the beginning of the whole sad affair?"

She taps a finger to her lips, "...dunno if this is going to be when the Earth gets burned to power that bint or maybe something else..."

Finally, she shrugs, "Frankly, I don't know. I wasn't paying a lot of attention to Earth at this time...but at a guess, this is some time before what we came from."

Oddly enough, unlike everyone else, the smell doesn't really bother her.

Mainly because she's experienced it's like before.

She absently responds to Rashmi's nudge with a brief hug...and she pats Amy on the head before scowling a little, "...frankly, I'm finding myself irritated that I can't just TELL *when* we are."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
The wall of stench is decidedly unpleasant, but the sky is clear and the city is full of the sounds of ordinary commerce and the world is a better place now, because -

Because she still knows where she is. And it's better.

"We're in the Golden Kingdom!" Her voice is warm and excited and more than a little relieved. Even the absolute stench and funk can't ruin that for her.

She smiles brightly, even as she coughs and spits a little about the smell.

"This is Endymion's home kingdom - I don't know which city, I never really got to spend much time here for you know, obvious Moon reasons," not that most of the people here know that. "Um... the people here aren't... I don't know if they'll take it well? But this is still an echo, so that shouldn't matter unless we try to interact..."

And a part of her is curious to find Endymion, to bask in a better memory, except they should really stick together -

"And Sunbreaker is gone," she sighs, rolling her eyes. "Well... the world's not burning, and the people seem to be normal, so it must be... a little while before everything started to go badly..."

Amanda Faust has posed:
    Amy quirks an eyebrow at Rashmi, and then starts slightly at the headpat, but doesn't object. It's kinda nice. She will keep her head positioned right here. Although At Pluto's comment about knowing when it is, she raises her left wrist to look at it but 1. she's henshined so all there is to look at is her soul gem and 2. even if she weren't there's no way that would work.

Jadeite has posed:
Jadeite breathes in deeply - ah, as much as he's gotten used to the smell of gasoline and exhaust in Tokyo - THIS is the true smell of a city! They'll need to make their way to the market to get some of the more, shall we say,pleasant scents involved, but this too was the smell of home.

"We're home," he says fondly. "I can help guide us - I don't remember which town this is either, but I remember the way around, and I can cool any hotheads that may show up. But I'd guess this is sufficiently before the war that we shouldn't have a problem."

There had once been a time of peace. He had not understood it as the treasure it was then.

"If we make it up that hill, we can enjoy some of the breeze from the ocean. I imagine we could all use a chance to enjoy that, can't we?"