545/Culminating Plans

From Radiant Heart MUSH

Culminating Plans
Date of Scene: 02 October 2023
Location: Plot Room 3
Synopsis: Sunbreaker has it out with Sailor Moon... but when the outers get involved, suddenly Sunbreaker finds out the consequences of her actions. Something that shakes her to the core.
Cast of Characters: Hinoiri Kirara, Usagi Tsukino, Mamoru Chiba, Setsuna Meiou, Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaiou

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker let out a triumphant yell, the obsidian gauntlet on her right hand falling away. She'd done it. It had taken a long, long time. But finally. Her hand was healed. She stretched out the fingers, then held them up. "Ohhhh that feels NICE! Ugh. It's almost nice to have hands again," she said. "Almost, but not quite."

Behind her, however, her youma... was defeated. The mailbox getting wrecked and her familiar sliding out of it with a low, angry hiss. It then darted off, dashing into the gem of storing Sunbreaker had. She gave Sailor Moon a small, rather vicious smirk. "You know what? I'm actually in a pretty good mood, so I think I'll actually let you go." She held out her left hand and the little dark energy tower she'd set up compressed into a diamond, before flying to her hand and disappearing. "You can go ahead and grovel in thank you, whenever you're ready," she taunted, before stretching out her fingers and... "Oh, by the way."

She then gave her the CORRECT finger this time. HA! She LEARNED!

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
There it was, a more correct finger this time, just as Sailor Moon sent the youma packing. She was a little winded, having gotten kind of (very) used to fighting with allies, but she'd done it! It hadn't taken even taken too long! Sailor Moon might have even spent time being proud of herself, if not for the taunting and the aforementioned finger.

Which is maybe why she snaps. Maybe it's also the pile of homework waiting for her.

"Grovel? To you?! You're the one who ran fleeing at the sight of me!! You're lucky I didn't throw my tiara after you for coming to see Naru-chan like that!"

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker eye twitched. Oh. Ohhhh there was a poor choice of words. Sunbreaker paused and then lowered down to the ground, walking towards her. Her eyes narrowed... Until she stood directly in front of Sailor Moon and just grinned. "Every time we've fought... you've always had help. Half the time I've been wounded. Even then? You only BARELY came out on top."

"The only reason I didn't get in a fight with you... oh, hold on. Sorry. Let me come down to your level." She then bent her knees, put her hands on them and knelt down slightly like she was talking to a child. "The only reason I left that day was because I wasn't *looking* for a fight. Especially not with a second rate orbital body. Do you really think, if we fought, you'd last more than two minutes? Or, what, hoping you can pull another miracle out of your butt? Maybe grow another tiara, wear them like a pair of horseshoes?" Pause. "Errr. Knuckle... shoes?" Okay, so she didn't know the right word DON'T SUE! "... You know what I mean!" she snapped angrily, her cheeks going a little red.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"And every time we've fought, you've had tons of civilians around, or Naru-chan around, or someone else we have to worry about protecting! Just because you go around causing damage and never caring - you could have killed Naru-chan! And then you turned around and gave her the notes you took on doing it?!"

Her voice is climbing higher and higher, shrill with outrage. Sunbreaker's pride is wounded? Sailor Moon's heart has been wounded longer. She'd pitied her, when she sobbed after taking a hit last time, and now she was annoyed about that too, because here was Sunbreaker acting like such a jerk -

"You've not even that much taller than me, you jerk! I don't care if I could beat you. But you care, because you've got a tsuntsun heart and it's not cute."

Huff. Her eye is twitching. Second rate orbital body?! Her heart rate is picked up, all temper and fury.

"You go around acting like you're so much better than everyone, but you're just mad because I have friends and you don't. You always have to fight on your own because no one likes you!" And then, she laughs. At Sunbreaker. For getting the word wrong. A little chuckle, a puncture in the balloon of mad, that might just might be the straw that breaks the camel's back, if the rest wasn't enough as is.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker clenched her fists. "You think... I'm... cheating?" she asked. "You think I'M handicapping YOU?!" she asked. "The only reason Naru almost died was because YOU interferred! I had everything WELL IN HAND before YOU came bursting through my door!" Oh, and now her pride was burning. Like her. Though the flames were nowhere near as big this time.

"I... don't even know what that means! But I don't NEED a heart OR to be cute! I'm not some stupid princess looking for someone to take care of me! I'm a sovereign! You can't even BEGIN to understand the things I'm capable of!"

Oh. Ohhhh. Ohhhhhhhhh.

She was silent for a few moments. Her fists clenched. "I... never wanted friends. I... never... needed... friends... I can do everything by myself. I WILL do everything by myself. Because that's what I've ALWAYS done! You're WEAK! You need others to carry you! I CAN CARRY MYSELF!" she yelled, before thrusting out her right hand. A blast of dark flame erupting from it.

"Fine then. You have friends. But they aren't here. I already broke one girl's stupid magical toy. What kind of pathetic user needs a TOY to do MAGIC, huh?! My power is REAL! And you know what? I'm going to BREAK YOUR TOY, then we'll see how much your FRIENDS CARE ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU'RE NOT ANY USE TO THEM!" she yelled, her fury in full blossom now, voice slightly raspy.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"You were shoving so much dark energy into her she almost turned into a youma! You think that's under control?!" Is she serious? Is she serious? "Are you fucking stupid?"

The rest of Sunbreaker's words, her complaints, her twisted justifications, it might as well wash over her, and she's left untouched, barely acknowledging any of it, until Sunbreaker shouts out that she's weak, at which point she snaps back, "Better weak and with friends than pathetic and alone!"

Maybe some of the darkness from the bookshop had stuck around. There are still bruises around her neck, hidden against by the band of her choker, where Hayazaki-sensei had tried to strangle her with hands possessed by dark energy. Maybe that's part of why she goes so far, presses so viciously, the dormant charcoal of her temper set aflame by how utterly unrepentant Sunbreaker is.

"Go ahead! Try! Maybe it will make you feel better when you go back alone and my friends still love me!"

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker growled. "Yes! I knew what I was doing it! Before you came barging in there I was managing it! How much dark energy do you think is inside me right now? I'm not a youma, you idiot. Because I know what I'm doing. I'm... I'm..."

Her fists clenched. "I've always been alone," she said bitterly. "I've never asked for anything from anyone. I've earned everything I've ever had. I've fought, I've scrounged, I've... I've... JUST SHUT UP!" she screamed.

Sunbreaker slapped the girl, but the slap wasn't the bad part. It was the explosion of fire upside the girl's head that was it.

Then the orb of fire in her left hand, which she sent at her stomach, making it erupt like a grenade. "SHUT UP! YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING! YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A PATHETIC, WASTEFUL, NOBODY! I bet you've never had to work for anything in your entire STUPID LIFE!" she yelled before lifting both hands up. Flames formed in them, which then crackled like electricity, which she then sent down into the other girl's chest.

"I HATE YOU! I HATE ALL OF YOU! I HATE YOU! THIS STUPID WORLD! YOUR STUPID MOON! YOU'RE NOTHING! IF YOU'D JUST GET OUT OF MY WAY I'D BE DONE AND I COULD GO HOME ALREADY!" She clasped both her hands together and, when she pulled the right hand back, a black-hot flame had formed, though it sounded like an engine of sorts, the fire shrieking like an angry dragon. Which she then used when she lunged forward and rammed it into the other girl's chest. "I'LL TAKE YOUR POWER! I AM THE MOST POWERFUL MAGE IN ANY WORLD!"

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon would have said something back. Really, she would - about Naru, and Dark Energy, and the difference between agreeing to use magic and having it shoved inside you like an overflowing water balloon -

Except that she can't. Her head is spinning almost literally, the force of that blow enough to turn her whole body. Fire so hot it takes a moment for the burn to register strikes her skin, just before a fireball hits her stomach; the fabric of her fuku proves it really isn't fabric, with that, because it would burn if it were. It scorches, instead, her skirt starting to wisp and burn, and Sailor Moon would scream if she could, but the wind is knocked out of her.

And then she's jolted, flames like electricity broiling over her skin, under it, the ribbon on her bow and the broach at it's center starting to burn, and she does scream. Agony. Sheer and complete agony, and worse, because the electricity sparks memory, brings past terror to present fear, and for a moment she can't remember if this is the lightning striking her from above or the fire burning into her chest, flashing back to that day in downtown when she learned exactly how much someone could hate her.

It always came down to power. People wanting her power. People furious she had it, or furious she didn't, hating her, hurting her, coming after her friends for power, and for a moment she wanted it, wanted that power, wanted it to hurt them back, wanted to make the pain stop forever and the broach on her chest glowed as she was struck, as power flowed through her, glowed silver and crackled with black fire as her thoughts churned with fear-anger-pain-pain-pain. There was no room for words, only intent, and that intent was vicious, destructive, was vengeful and scared -

And then Sunbreaker struck again, and that silver light flickered and died as Sailor Moon's scattered intentions were burned away under the all-consuming agony of fire. Even her fuku, with it's reinforced armor for the chest, was buckling under this much pressure. Her ribbon was long since burned, charred shreds remaining. Under it, welts rose, painful burns that would linger for a while, even with her sped-up magical girl healing. Her fuku flickered, for a moment nothing more than pink ribbons looped and laced over her torso and limbs before resolidifying.

She had no more breath to scream and it was desperation only instinctive terror that let her understand that without her power she would die, because her power was the only thing keeping her from becoming a charred wreck. If she'd been thinking clearly, she wouldn't have tried what she did next.

If she was thinking clearly, she wouldn't have been on fire.

"...moon... twilight... flash -"

The beam was weak and barely there - but it was also being launched point blank, from Sailor Moon's tiara. If it doesn't hit Sunbreaker, it will launch through the air, a pale beam of moonlight launched like a beacon from the ground to the sky.

Mamoru Chiba has posed:
There's not even screaming yet, only pain -- and it's a pain so bright and fierce and raw that it calls vengeance from silver and the dream of protection from gold -- only one of those things makes it through, and it's in a flash of red and black.

It's so fast the silken black cape doesn't even have time to settle before it's somehow between Moon and someone who refuses the Sun with black fire, and then suddenly cape and Moon and pain are away, away.

It's too fast to understand properly; it's not teleportation, it's not any kind of dark energy thing, it's--

--a figure carrying a scorched young girl who just sent up a signal for help, but not a figure who's fighting Sunbreaker. Just one who's Seriously Overdressed, in a mask and top hat and full formal evening wear, black and white and a deep red on the inside of that black cape, a gold badge hanging from his white tie.

He sets Sailor Moon down gently and swiftly, sweeping his cape back up to hang between Sunbreaker and the Senshi of Mystery even at this distance.

"She made a mistake," he murmurs urgently to Usagi. "She made a mistake. You'll be okay. You're so strong, Sailor Moon--"

His voice is familiar, but there's only the smell of char and burning hair and flesh and there's still only pain. "--you shouldn't ever have to be strong alone, but I believe in you."

His touch is cool, but it's fleeting; he's fading like a dream, translucent, then transparent, and then gone.

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker was panting. It hurt. It hurt. It hurt. Why did it hurt? Why did her heart hurt? Why did... ugh. Obviously what Sailor Moon said hurt her. Upset her. Made her MAD! It was her fault. HER! It was her. With each strike, that anger grew, that hatred. It didn't make the pain stop. If anything, it just made her anger, her loathing grow. But she couldn't see that now. All she could see was, this time? This time she won.

Then that beam. Her left hand moved out, wreathed in dark flames. And she struck the beam, knocking it aside. So rather than stopping or being just sent to the heavens... Instead the beam of white light flew up, with black flames swirling around it. A beacon to others both of danger... and how much.

Sunbreaker was panting now. "I... hate you... I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you. You're just the moon. You're the reject. The secondary. You're not the sun. You're not worth this. You. Can't. Beat. Me. I HATE YOU!" Sunbreaker yelled!

And then... Then there was a... what? What just... she looked confused. Bewildered. Staring at the strange figure. And then she snarled. "Of course. Of course. The moment you're in danger, someone comes. Always. ALWAYS! And..." and he was fading away. And her eye twitched. "Some kind of... ghost... thing... guardian. Pathetic. So you bought a few seconds, it's meaningless..." She started towards her.

"Nobody ever came when I needed to be rescued, Sailor Moon. But you know what? That's how I became strong. That's why I'm going to walk away from here as Sunbreaker, and you're going to walk away from here as... whoever you are under that fake magic of yours. Revel in your powerlessness and how much useless your friendships WERE!" she yelled, running at her once more, furious tears in her eyes, a dark, crackling, flaming spear in her hand, raised high.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Some Time Before at Casa Del Outer:

Setsuna calls her other two roommates in, "Okay, while this isn't the way we've done things before...I think there's a specific threat we need to do something about. There's a villain out there who, above and beyond just working for the enemy, has badly burnt at LEAST two magical girls and tortured several others. The most recent by telling her she was put under a death curse that turned out to be just a prank. I wore myself out trying to stop that damn thing the other night and she was utterly convinced she was going to die by the end of it and in tears for hours after."

She rubs her face, "So I think we should all suit up, go find her, and show her why you don't DO that."

She starts to go on, but then snaps her fingers as if remembering, "Oh! And she calls herself 'Sunbreaker'. *I* call her 'Ironbutt'. Because iron production is literally what breaks suns, and I think she likes having a cool-sounding moniker so I refuse to call her by it."

Back at the Present:

As the Twilight Flash screams into the sky like a beacon of moonlight with dark flames surrounding it, Pluto immediately orients on it and heads at maximum speed in that direction.

She looks over at Neptune and Uranus and signals for the other two to go one way while she goes the other...and then she puts on as much speed as her still smol legs will allow.

And thus, as Sunbreaker advances on Moon, fire weapon held menacingly...a small, black-skirted girl holding a staff as tall as she is with a red orb in a heart-shaped ring at one end lands on the pavement just in front of Sailor Moon, spins said Rod in her hands like a baton and slams the butt of it down as she calls out, "GARNET BALL!"

Which causes a red-tinted shield of magical force to surround herself and the fallen Senshi.

Inside the shield, the little senshi gives a very toothy smile and says, "Hello, Ironbutt. I'm afraid the bill has come due for all the people you've burned and terrorized."

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    World Shaking!

    The orange sphere of quasimagnetic energy surges forward out of the shadows, ripping a line of unrestricted property damage in the ground on the way to it's target of Sunbreaker.

    For a moment, Uranus was entering alongside Neptune, unsure of knowing what to do. Right up until she saw Sunbreaker there, standing with a spear raised - it honestly didn't matter if it was over Sailor Moon or Usagi Tsukino or Gurio Umino. It made it real easy to figure out who the Enemy was. And when the Enemy was identified, Sailor Uranus took over. Like riding a bike, if you were a professional bike rider in another life and suddenly got a bunch of your memories back.

    And there's not just one thing rushing at Sunbreaker, but two. Dashing behind her own attack, using it for cover, is Sailor Uranus. Maybe World Shaking will connect, or maybe Sunbreaker can block World Shaking. Parry it. But the question Uranus is about to not ask but demand an answer to, is can she block that attack *and* the Senshi-Henshin-Powered knee that's following it? And then the other leg's blur-fast blue boot? Before she jumps back, because Deep Submerge is coming. Neptune didn't tell her it was coming (though it's an easy assumption) but Uranus can feel it, can sense it, she knows how long she has between strikes one and two to get those extra two kicks in, knows it from a whole other lifetime of teamwork, while still able to get clear of the second impact.

    Haruka Tenoh hasn't kicked anyone in her life except playfully, but Sailor Uranus has kicked a lot of things and very much remembers how to move.

    A few minutes ago, Sailor Uranus was telling Sailor Neptune that she'd hang back until she got a measure of what was going on. Apparently, that lasted a quarter second. She's back -now- though, having cleared the drop zone of Deep Submerge. She is also looking down at herself, and resisting the urge to sum up her sudden feelings of 'I have done this a lot before' by saying 'Whoa - I know kung fu'. "See? Right by your side, like I said." Sailor Uranus says. "The whooole time."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Neptune knew Uranus wasn't going to be able to hold back. That woman wasn't capable of holding back anything. So she just nodded when she'd said it, and then Uranus was rushing off to fight just like she always did. That just leaves her bringing in her backup shot. She waits just long enough that there'll be a breath between their attacks, and lets off her own right after the World Shaking.

Deep Submerge!

Sailor Neptune reaches up with both hands and one can practically see the ocean waters rise up next to her as the big ball of blue energy--and seawater, it's like 80% seawater--forms in her hands until it is nearly as big as she is and then she throws it with a trail of magical energy toward Sunbreaker.

It has been millenia since that perfect one-two punch had been delivered. Sunbreaker is truly privileged to be part of this momentous occasion.

She looks aside toward Uranus, then, when she comes back and laughs. "Of course. I hardly noticed you were gone."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
The beam flies and is intercepted by black flames, becomes a beacon of threat and danger that dies away in seconds, and Sailor Moon would fall if not for him - if not for the flash of red and black and shielding, the warmth of someone wrapping their arms around her, the sleek flash a silken cape -

She hurts, she hurts, her whole body throbs and aches and the burns will demand attention, but she opens her eyes and she sees a mask, white to suit his shirt, to contract with the top hat and the suit with its tails and the red flowing on the inside of his cape and those wispy curls of anger and suffering in her chest are dampened by the warmth of him, the shelter of his cape put between them.

She made a mistake.

Sunbreaker had made a mistake. Sunbreaker was trying to kill her. Sunbreaker had hurt her, and Usagi had wanted to hurt her back, if only for a moment, before agony washed her clean of thought, and she can't place his face.

It's like her dreams. A voice whispering to her, familiar and soothing, that she could never quite remember when she woke. In the blank moment, the hovering where all she can see is him, she wonders if he's fantasy brought to life, her dreams come true. He vanishes like a dream, at least, his cool touch as fleeting as a breeze, and Sailor Moon rocks on her kitten heels, wobbly and weak. She barely hears Sunbreaker's furious words.

At first.

It's not the anger that reaches her. It's the sorrow. It's the grief. The betrayal.

Nobody ever came when I needed to be rescued.

It's pity, again, that moves hers, pity and sympathy, as it had on the beach, when Sunbreaker wept her agony to the uncaring sands and heavens. Sailor Moon lifts her head, weary and scorches, her bangs a burnt ruin, the edges of her long hair burnt away and odango nearly undone (oh, she'll need a trim after this), her fuku a ruin, skirt just scraps of fabric -

The red-tinted shield that rises between her and the spear earns a slow blink. Another. And then Sailor Moon drops to her knees, fuku wavering again, those ribbons appearing once more. She's definitely out of the fight portion of this encounter.

Good thing she obviously isn't needed, now. The others - she doesn't know them on sight, but they're Senshi, and they must be the other Outers. That's Michiru-san, so she must be Neptune, and that's Pluto -


Sailor Moon says, very quietly, "Pluto-san, have you shrunk, or did that slap spin my head around more than I thought?"

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker let out another furocious growl when another girl came. Of course! "One of you, ten of you, it doesn't matter! These spikes aren't iron, they're--" Her misinterpretation of what the 'iron' meant was, well, never finished. As then everything sucked.

World Shaking!

Sunbreaker had only a moment to turn and, well, it seemed she learned from her encounter with Hematite. She brought that barrier up fast, the spear shifting form and into the new protective spell. While it was slightly flimsy, when the world shaking hit it it was still growing in strength. It started to crumble, repair, crumble, repair, finally at full power. The energy dispersed around it. Though it held. That was the important part. It was covered in cracks and crumbling in half a dozen spots, some of the energy had managed to lance past it, erupting against her and blowing out some of her flames. But it held. Ha.

It was so shoddy that the knee strike shattered it and she didn't even SEE the other leg coming. It struck her, sending her stumbling backwards against Pluto's shield, knocking the wind out from her. It took her a second to rasp out a few angry words. "You thin-"

Deep Submerge!

There it was. The finisher. The energy crashed into her and smashed her against the shield. She screamed, but it was silent as the water filled her mouth and the taste of seawater and pain filled her world. The energy disippated...

And Sunbreaker collapsed. Pain. All she felt was pain. She couldn't... Her flames flickered, but there was no heat anymore. All she felt was pain. Inside and out. Tears flowing down her cheeks.

She couldn't win. She'd... she'd lost. Arrogant as she was. Strong as she was. she knew this was lost. She knew. But she couldn't admit it. Couldn't say it. Couldn't... tell them she gave up. "I... I won't... I don't... I don't need... anyone. I-I can do this... I'm..." She tried to pick herself up. "I... I'm strong... enough... I'm... g-great... powerful... w-worthy. I won't..."

Then she dropped. Everything hurt. "I won't... lose..." she whispered. She couldn't. She'd lost again. Just like she always did. Stupid... always. Always so many of them. "I... don't... need anyone else... I... I can d-do this... alone... strong..." She didn't look strong. Soaking wet, only the occasional sputter of flame. Smashed between shield and hammer of leg and seawater blast. Only the smallest occasional flicker of fire from her beaten body.

But she didn't, yet, understand what this meant.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto looks over her shoulder at Sailor Moon as she kneels there, trying to get her wits about her. It would be SOOOOOO easy to mess with her head right now...and much later, Pluto will be lamenting the lost chance...but right now is for dealing with a PROBLEM...so instead she says, "...you're seeing things correctly. One moment, dear."

She grits her teeth...because even if Sunbreaker blocks most of the energies of the two other Outer Senshi's attacks...both with her own shields and heself...well, even just the backsplash is nothing to sneeze at.

Still, she holds until the villain has fallen, and then she says, "...just give me a minute to deal with this..."

Only Moon is close enough to hear as Pluto whispers "...dead scream."

And then the wind whips around her as a purple ball of Death coalesces at the end of Pluto's Garnet Rod...and she spins around once to level it at the back of Sunbreaker's head.

There's a moment before she fires it off...and just as she's about to let fly, a scorched, gloved hand comes lunging by her and grabs the shaft of the Garnet rod just past Pluto's hands and wrenches the staff up so that the Dead Scream goes flying off into the sky.

Pluto looks over at Sailor Moon who just interrupted her attack and can only say, "...THE HELL?!"

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Uranus walks up to Sunbreaker now, collapsed on the floor and still talking crap like so many before her. Not that Sailor Uranus could name any particulars, but. It felt familiar. She didn't realize how hard she'd been clenching her fists until they started to hurt, imprints left in the gloves when she looked down at them. Maybe she was more tense than she thought. Or... maybe it wasn't Haruka that was tense, but Sailor Uranus, that guardian lurking in past memories.

    She walks up, shaking her head. "You lot never really learn, do you?" she asks. It's not a question. It's more of a statement. A presentation of facts. She doesn't have an ounce of pity in her eyes. It's a barely contained urge she fights back to go over there and kick Sunbreaker while she's down.

    But Sailor Pluto goes for the finishing shot and Uranus is fine with this, on board with this. Dispassionate. Cold. Because that's what soldiers were. They won the war and they didn't cry for the other side.

    Of course, that killing blow never comes, thanks to Sailor Moon. Sailor Uranus pauses. "I don't think it's necessary to prolong her suffering, Sailor Moon. Just because she's a blight on this world and a messenger of evil doesn't mean we have to send her off slowly." She says. Misunderstanding it for a moment. But then she hears it, a voice, not words but memories, telling her something. About Usagi. About the other Senshi. The Inner Senshi.

    "Wait. Sailor Moon, you weren't seriously trying to SAVE HER were you?"

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Neptune doesn't say anything. She doesn't have to. She just walks in stride with Uranus and looks down at Sunbreaker with eyes full of judgement. She sees Pluto make her Dead Scream and doesn't even look surprised. She hurled that Deep Submerge with intent to kill, and they were a team. Pluto is just finishing the job.

At least she would be if it weren't for that meddling Sailor Moon!

But there is Uranus with the words. The outrage. The disbelief. So Neptune just fixes her attention on Sailor Moon then, and simply looks judgemental. This is war, girl.

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon hadn't thought. Hadn't planned out what she was going to do, hadn't even known she was going to do it until she did it, lunged forward with the last of her strength, grabbed at the Garnet Rod, and sent the attack launching up, up, and awayyyyy...

(Sorry, seagull.)

But there's Pluto, shocked, and the other, baffled, and speaking to her, saying things she can't agree with at all, even if she had burned with anger. "She's not a - blight. She's - a jerk, and, and a villain... and -"

She trails away, nearly gagging at the scent of her burned hair, burned clothes as the wind shifts. She's not strong enough to stop them, not now, not beat to hell and back, but she forces herself to her feet anyway, biting back little whimpers of pain the whole way up. The armor over her chest is half-melted, singed and warped from Sunbreaker's attacks, and she's beat to hell and back, very obviously on her last legs. And yet.

"She's out of the fight. She's down. You won."

They're looking at her, eyes full of judgement, and she's looking at them, eyes filled with tears.

"You won."

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker slowly looked back. What... She had just a moment to see that orb. To watch it coalesce. And she can't do it. She closes her eyes. She waits. She... she realizes it. She'd messed up. She should have left. She should have fled. She should have escaped while she had the chance.

Instead, she'd die.

Then, 'THE HELL?!'

Her eyes opened and she... stared. Sailor Moon... What? WHAT? Then it made sense. Torturing her. Right. The sparkle skirts were... Were...

Sailor Moon was... protecting her? She... She was... she was...

No. No no no no no. This wasn't... she wasn't... no. This was a mistake. This HAD to be a mistake. She couldn't.... NOBODY was this... "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!" she yelled, unable to keep the fury out of her voice. She tried to sit up, only to collapse again. "Why... why are you... this won't... change anything. I *hate* you! I hate you I hate you I hate you! I'm not.... I'm NEVER going to join you! I'm never going to give you my power! I'm going to just... I'm going to get stronger. I'm going to... to ascend... I'm... I'm going to... I'm... I was going to crush you... If they weren't here... I'd have destroyed your power... I would have left you powerless... you know this... you have to know this... just... just like I did that... that other girl..."

"... You... hate me... so why..." She didn't... understand...

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Pluto just blinks a few times at Sailor Moon as she staggers there...almost uncomprehending as she looks at the bruised, burnt Inner Senshi. She glances over at Sunbreaker as she dissolves into confused rambles, then back to Moon.

The smol senshi stalks over to get in Moon's face...

...though the effort probably loses something since at the moment, the top of Pluto's head only comes up to Moon's shoulders...

...and the smol Senshi growls out in a low voice, "How many?! HOW MANY?! How many people has she burnt or terrorized or killed in just the LAST WEEK ALONE?! Because I've spent the last two days dealing with the WRECKAGE that girl has left. I held a girl in my arms who Ironbutt CONVINCED she was going to die because of a curse...apparently because she thought it was FUNNY! I watched someone who is a good friend of mine lying in a hospital bed with severe burns because THAT GIRL threw a temper tantrum! I'm sure you can think of OTHER examples!"

She punctuates her sentence by clanging the butt end of the Garnet Rod on the pavement, "SO! Unless you've suddenly developed the ability to permanently seal someone away forever, that kind of leaves us with precious few options for dealing with somoene so unrepentant, Sailor Moon! SO! HAVE YOU LEARNED HOW TO SEAL?! HAVE YOU?! BECAUSE OTHERWISE STAND ASIDE AND LET US DO OUR JOBS BEFOR THINGS END UP LIKE THEY DID LAST TIME!!!"

Ah, there it is...the trickle of emotions bottled up for...a very, very long time starting to leak out.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "You hear this girl? Saying it in her OWN VOICE?!" Uranus said, gesturing to the beaten Sunbreaker who looked like she'd have a hard time being a threat to a seagull much less anything else. "She wants to hurt you. She wants to injure you. She was going to put you down, Sailor Moon. Listen to the girl's OWN WORDS." Uranus says, her gestures between Sunbreaker and Sailor Moon growing more frustatedly erratic. "Do you not understand? This is different, you two are different. You have barely any strength and you're still misguidedly using it to protect her. But she has hardly any strength and is threatening you." Uranus growls, and puts her boot on Sunbreaker to stop her erratic attempts to stand up.

    "Is this the reason I felt at odds with the other Sailor I met? Pluto is sure making it sound like it." Uranus notes, in this moment admitting that she, too, is still figuring things out, but figuring that she knows enough to start putting peices together. She's only even put on this fuku a couple times before - and honestly only just now is realizing she henshined into shorts rather than a skirt, deal with that later she guesses - but there's a sort of authority, a feeling of being the long-suffering elder, that she gets from Sailor Uranus herself, from being an outer senshi.

    "You don't have to understand. Just let us do our jobs and protect this world from threats."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Neptune just stands there with her arms folded over her chest looking at Sailor Moon with disbelief and judgement still. She glances aside at Uranus as she talks and nods her agreements with the taller woman's points.

"Do you remember what I told you the first time we met, Sailor Moon?" Neptune says, her voice cold and aloof. Not at all friendly like the time to which she is referring. "I've seen the _end of the world_, Sailor Moon. Do you think we avoid that by giving out fourth and fifth chances? This is a _war_. We are soldiers. Don't get in our way."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sailor Moon is very tempted to call Sunbreaker stupid again. To ask her why she thinks yelling is a good idea right now. And to ask her where she gets these ideas, because Sailor Moon is positive, very positive, that she's never tried to take anyone's power. And she's even more positive that she has power, and so does every magical girl she knows, so why would she have to give it up? Before anyone else can speak, that's what she says, direct response to Sunbreaker.

"Then hate me! But I didn't give up my power, so you should know I wouldn't take yours."

But Sunbreaker doesn't, because she's stupid, and fragile as glass, and dangerous, and Sailor Moon is not stupid. She's not!

But even as Sailor Pluto storms up to her, furious and yelling, she stands her ground, mouth set mulishly, eyes still damp with tears - pain, mostly, but also fear and frustration, and -

"NO!" A single word, a ringing shout, but Sailor Moon backs up, away from Sailor Pluto, until she stands before Sunbreaker, shoving herself between her fellow blond Senshi and the downed enemy. She stands there, with her back to Sunbreaker, arms spread wide, weak as a kitten, probably easy to toss aside. Beads of sweat build at her temples, at her back - she hasn't somehow forgotten the last few moments, remembers the fear and agony with perfect clarity, that moment of vengeful, hateful wanting before hellish flames washed it all away. She'll have nightmares about this. She'll try to turn them into dreams of the boy who saved her, of the Outer Senshi riding to her rescue -

But she fears she'll have nightmares of this, too. Weak and helpless, with her own fellow Senshi baying for blood, for death.

"She's a jerk, she's - she's hurt people. She hurt me. She hates me, and she hurt me, and - and maybe she would have managed to crush me! But that's my problem." She swallows hard. She looks at her fellow Senshi. "She's making mistakes. And she's hurting people. And she's got to fix that. But killing her doesn't solve anything! Okay, she can't burn people anymore, if she's killed! And - and maybe that does solve something, but - but -"

She tries to search for words, tries to put her resolve into more than just feeling and the pit in her gut.

"If you kill her - no. No. I'm not standing aside." She can't. Rational thought, logic, she has to think it through, and maybe she'll manage. But for now? She looks at the three of them, and Sailor Neptune in particular. "We don't saved the world by killing girls my age! Sunbreaker is - I'm not going to say I like her! I don't! She kidnapped Naru, and she hurt people, and she hurt me. But she hasn't killed anyone."

Hinoiri Kirara has posed:
Sunbreaker was silent, now. Because... because this girl was fighting for her. She was fighting her own people for her. She was... why? It didn't make any sense. It didn't... She reached up, gripping her head. It hurt. It all hurt. It all hurt. And she couldn't stop crying. Why was she doing this?

It didn't make any sense. None of it made any sense. And Uranus was stepping on her. Digging her into the ground. And the other girls were yelling at her. And they were right. She hated them. Hated this world. And... and she just wanted to go home. She wanted... She... And... and Sailor Moon was protecting her. Was shielding her. And... and she was right.

And she was protecting her. She was... Why? She...

But slowly, Sunbreaker sat up. And she looked up. Over Sailor Moon's shoulder. Towards the three girls who wanted to kill her. Then at Sailor Moon. It didn't... it didn't... why... "W-why... I don't... I don't... understand... I... AGH!" And then she lifted a hand and... she hit Sailor Moon. With all the strength of a newborn puppy. "I-I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you!" she shrieked, both fists flailing but... it wasn't hard. It was angry and frustrated and weak and confused and soft and pathetic and... Sailor Moon knew she could hit harder, but it was... pitiful at best. A weak attempt to lash out in confusion and anger. "I... I'll never protect you. I'll never... help you. I'll never... I don't... I... don't... know... I don't understand... I..."

... "I don't understand you... and I don't know how... to try..." And then, in a flurry of small, black flames...

Sunbreaker was gone.

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
Sailor Pluto just stares at Moon as she defends Sunbreaker...and interposes herself between the beaten villain and the three Outer Senshi.

When Sunbreaker does her patterpatter blows on Sailor Moon, Pluto scowls and waves a hand towards her...as if to say 'even broken, she's still trying to attack you'.

And then Sunbreaker has her final breakdown before vanishing in a burst of flames.

At which point Pluto blinks back and forth between Moon and where Sunbreaker was a few times...at which point something happens that very few have ever gotten to see.

Sailor Pluto LOSES HER SHIT.

Clutching the Garnet Rod in her trembling hands, she screams, "YOU LET HER GET AWAY!!!"

And then she raises the staff over her head...and it looks for a second like she's going to swing on Sailor Moon...but then she brings the nigh-indestructable ring of the Garnet Rod down on the ground where Sunbreaker was...and then again and again and again and again as she screams almost incoherently in a language not heard by the ears of man for thousands and thousands of years.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    "Shameful." The word leaves Uranus' lips before she even catches herself saying it. And it's not at Pluto. It's aimed squarely at Sailor Moon. "Why would you do that? You know she's going to hurt more people. Even in her injured state she was lashing out." Haruka, now, has to step into the role that Pluto might normally occupy, somewhere between her own anger and Neptune's cold stoic glare - swapping roles with Pluto, for the moment. The three of them always handled that well, covering for the other. "You know that's what's going to happen, right? She's gotten away, she's going to heal her injuries, and she's not going to come back looking for an apology, she's going to come back and hurt you. Or hurt someone else. Because you let her get away, another magical girl could get hurt. What if it's one of us? Or worse, what if she takes that anger out on a civilian? What if it's someone you know - I heard she already went after one civilian friend of yours."

    "We tried to do the right thing, and you wouldn't let us. Is this why you always kept us apart?" Haruka doesn't know where that last bit came from, but her other spirit, does. "Because you don't like thinking everything is all rainbows and happiness all the time? Because you don't like getting your hands dirty?" she asks. "Did you notice, all of our henshins come with gloves. Because we're expected to get our hands dirty so people like that girl don't critically injure innocent people." She reaches down to put a gentle hand on Pluto's back at some point when the tantrum either stops or dies down.

    Then Sailor Uranus points an accusatory finger at Sailor Moon. "Anything she does now is on your head, Sailor Moon. Next time she kidnaps one of your friends, or burns someone, I want you to remember. You could have stood aside while we stopped her from being a threat to anybody else. And you chose not to. You put other people at risk for your idealism." Sailor Uranus says coldly. "This is a mistake someone ELSE will pay for."

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Neptune just stares at Sailor Moon while the other two berate and lecture her. Her icy cold gaze casting judgement on the young girl as her words resonate through Neptune's head.

'We don't save the world by killing girls my age!'

When she speaks, she's calm and quiet. Regulated. If she's angry, she's definitely keeping it to herself. "The unfortunate reality for your not-exactly-friend, Sailor Moon, is that she is making mistakes that cannot be ignored. She is wielding powerful magics that cannot go unanswered. It doesn't matter that she's your age. Some mistakes are lethal."

She tosses her hair and then turns to walk over and put a hand on Pluto's shoulder. If she's not done banging at the ground yet. "You won, Pluto. Let's go."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
Sunbreaker cries, behind her. The Outer Senshi stare in judgement and censure in front of her. Sailor Moon is exhausted to her core, her fuku barely holding, her body barely holding. She has nothing left in her for a drawn out, emotional confrontation. She barely has it in her to withstand the kitten soft, newborn puppy blows that Sunbreaker rains on her back, her arms shaking with exhaustion where she keeps them spread.

"You're still a person, Sunbreaker," she mutters, when Sunbreaker is done. "You don't have to be my friend. You don't have to help me. Just - stop being a jerk."

There's no time to say anything else.

There's no time to understand anything else.

Sunbreaker vanishes, and Usagi understands something very well, without needing to be told - oh, that's not going to go over well.

And indeed, it does not. When Sailor Pluto raises the staff, Usagi genuinely does think she's about to get whalloped, which is not a great thing, especially as her fuku flickers, one last time. Three times the charm, and all, because the ribbons don't reform into her uniform, this time. They fade entirely, leaving her in just her civilian clothes, the welts on her cheek and arms all the more visibles, the bruises on her throat from yesterday's strangulation livid against the rest of her shock-pale skin.

"To you," Usagi says, and she is tired and she has to blink, long and hard, to not cry, because she doesn't want to, it won't help. "She's hurting people. And I'll try to stop her every time, but I'm not going to kill her. And I'm not going to stand by and let anyone else do it either! You want to throw Naru-chan in my face? Do it! Naru-chan doesn't want her dead either."

There's a sharpness in her tone, despite the weakness of her body, as she looks at them. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know what you mean about keeping people apart. Or thinking everything is happiness and rainbows! You're just like my mama, always assuming things and thinking you know best, and I'm going to ignore you like I ignore her!"

Maybe it's childish. Maybe she shouldn't phrase it like that. But she's hurting and tired and in pain and pretty angry too. The Outer Senshi are looking at her like she's scum, like she's a fool. like she's a child -

"I've been fighting people too. I've been fighting! I've been helping! I've been the one scraping to help people and I've been the one trying too. Don't you tell me I made a mistake because I'm not going to watch you murder her in cold blood! I'm the one she beat up this time. Naru is the one she kidnapped! We get to decide if she should die for what she did to us!"

It's a ringing scream, more energy than she has to offer. She sways and clutches at the wall behind her to stay standing.

Neptune is cold and stern. She says that Sunbreaker can't be ignored - who said she should be? Who said she would be? When was anyone ever ignoring her, or what she's done?

"We died once, you said," Usagi says, and it is tired. She is tired. "You said we failed. This is a new chance. For everyone. I'll fight Sunbreaker however many times I have to. I 'll get stronger and stronger, however much it takes. I was always going to, and I already had to. One more thing is just one more thing. Her mistakes aren't lethal yet. I have to try."

Setsuna Meiou has posed:
After the spot that Sunbreaker had been in is no more than a rubbled crater in the ground, Sailor Pluto falls to her knees, head hanging as she clacks the butt end of the Garnet Rod into the pavement again and again before finally slowing to a stop as she feels the hands of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune touch her shoulders.

There's a long moment where she just sits there, shuddering as if crying...but when she finally uses her staff to push herself to her feet and turn around to face now-Usagi, her face is dry, "...and what about the others? What about the other lives she's ruined? The other people she's burned? The other scars she's caused, physical and mental? Are you the one to forgive FOR THEM? Sometimes, you need someone to PUT THE ANIMALS *DOWN* because they JUST. WON'T. LEARN!"

She then visibly screws her eyes shut TIGHT and takes some very deep breaths in and out through her nose...and when she opens her eyes again, she's visibly more calm.

A sharp eye or one knowing her well can tell that it's a calm held by a thread.

At which point she slowly walks towards Usagi...and once close enough, she absently begins checking her over, "...you'll want to get something on those burns soon...and those bruises are going to purple something awful...you'll need to see a stylist about your hair before tomorrow...I'll make you a reservation someplace discreet..."

Then she's pressing a pair of pills in Usagi's hand, "...this is some Excedrin...you'll have to dry swallow them, but they should at least dull the pain by the time the adrenaline wears off...are you going to need help getting back to your room?"

Because while she's furious and angry and all the rest...Usagi is still a Senshi...one of the few links to her past around...and also a person she swore to care for...more than once, in fact.

She then looks Usagi in the eyes...and those purple orbs bore into the now taller young woman with a message that this is NOT over...but it's over for NOW.

Haruka Tenoh has posed:
    Sailor Uranus has said so much more than she probably intended to say, really. Than she would have said if she'd had time to think about it, if her mind wasn't acting on the behalf of a history half-forgotten. It is, once again, not quite how she wanted to meet her fellow senshi. Couldn't be something simple, just some youma, no, it had to be running into her getting her butt kicked by some girl they were hunting to take off the board like a bad chess peice. Thinking about all of this made it seem like Uranus was distant, cold, again. The fact that she'd crossed her arms and just had a long yelling session while one of her partners obliterated a specific spot on the ground probably isn't helping.

    "We should probably go." Uranus says after a moment. "I don't think we're going to get anything more done tonight. Sailor Moon is beat up, as Pluto just pointed out, and we're probably still high on adrenaline, too." she notes. "I don't think anybody's convincing anybody of anything right now."

    "But if that girl is gunning for you - you might not want to be out patrolling alone. I don't want her to come back and find you again, and have it not be while we're out looking for her." she notes. "Especially not while you're wounded." It was almost a different person with a different tone, speaking now. Someone who could show concern and empathy, where previously she wanted to remove a threat. But then again, Sailor Moon wasn't a threat. She was something they had felt that call to protect, instead. Much like Pluto, there were multiple agendas for Uranus here.

Michiru Kaiou has posed:
Conversely, Sailor Neptune has said exactly as little as she meant to. It was so much better having Uranus there to speak their mind--because they sure do seem to be of one mind so often--and save her the trouble. But whereas Pluto and Uranus both soften, Neptune remains distant and aloof. She gives Uasgi a long, piercing look, and then shakes her head. She doesn't have anything more to add. Nothing that's useful to say right now.

So instead, she says, "Take care of yourself."

Usagi Tsukino has posed:
"I didn't say I forgive her," Usagi says, short and frustrated, "And if they want her to die, then they can tell me."

Because maybe someone would. Maybe someone would be like Hannah, shaking and furious and angry, hurting to their core. Maybe she could say something. Maybe she could convince them. Maybe she wouldn't. But the Outer Senshi are not going to be the ones to convince her.

She shuts her eyes. Breathes out. In. Opens them, and lets Pluto check her over. The pills are accepted.

"No, I can get home."

And if she can't, she'll ask Mamoru if he can come get her - hm. She considers her burns, her soreness, the handsome stranger who rescued her in a mask and tuxedo -

...no, she'd still ask him.

If she needed help.

Pluto's eyes promised that this wasn't over, and sure. It wasn't. But Usagi wasn't going to change her mind. Sunbreaker was cruel and mean and scared and she bit the hands that reached out to her and the hands that existed in her presence, but she didn't deserve to die.

"I'll be okay. I picked the fight with her."

And with that little revelation, Usagi turns to walk away. They're going one way. She'll go her own.